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Members of the Middletown Area Town Hall are deciding if there should be any changes to bylaws regarding board membership. The discussion a couple weeks ago about whether members should represent districts, it was again on the agenda last week. When MATH first started a decade ago, that’s how members were chosen from Butts Canyon Road to the county line and a district from the county line south to the Rancheria. Each had one member, then 3 from Middletown, one from Cobb and one from Hidden Valley Lake. But it all changed because they couldn’t always get a quorum of regular attendees. No decision was made as a group in Cobb is forming so MATH members wanted to wait until that was further ahead.

The Middletown Area Town Hall or Math has been talking about the Dollar General store proposed at 20900 Highway 29. The planning commission said no to the idea, the company appealed and the Board of Supervisors reset the meeting for next month. The development company out of Texas says it will make needed changes to appease the neighborhood, but apparently community members have yet to see the changes. SO the developer’s been invited to the next MATH meeting July 10th to discuss updates.

The Lakeport Police Dept is all staffed up as new hires are settled. The police chief announced the full staffing after years of officers retiring or leaving for more money elsewhere. Recruiting was successful with the newest officer, Joseph Medici, sworn in last Monday morning at Lakeport City Hall. He’s from Orange County, and graduated from the Fullerton College Police Academy in May 2014. Victor Rico also joined the Lakeport Police force recently. He was at the Sheriff’s office in the county and was introduced to the City Council back in May. So the Police Department has a staff of 12 officers that are covered in this fiscal year’s budget. There are also 2 new trainees, Dale Hoskins and Andrew Welter, both going to the police academy in Windsor and due to graduate in August.

A black bear spotted at an Alexander Valley vineyard. The bear seen last Thursday at the intersection of Highway 128 and Chalk Hill Road. Vineyard workers called the sighting in to 911 bringing out the CHP and California Fish and Wildlife. The bear had already headed back to the woods before they got there. They decided not to use a trap to try to nab the bear, because they say it didn’t seem like a threat.

A large group turning out in Ukiah for a vigil to honor the dead and injured in the Orlando, FL nightclub shooting. About 100 people at the memorial Saturday night at Alex Thomas Plaza. An organization known as the Billy’s which helps gather gay men and allies at retreat centers for support organized the vigil. The president of the Billy’s, Paul Mueller, says they have a need to bring people together at times like these. After 911, the group gathered 2,000 people for a similar event. The Raging Grannies also at the event Saturday, leading the group in song.

A panel of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors meeting to discuss a possible medical marijuana tax on the ballot in November. The Board’s General Government Standing Committee is meeting today and is supposed to cover possible recommendations to the full board which has set a July 12th deadline for their decision. A business management consulting company has presented taxation plans that include a levied tax, taxing square-foot cultivation, and a warning of excessive tax possibly scaring cultivators into the black market. The Executive Office is supposed to continue their research on the idea and will bring their findings back to the board.

The Mendocino College Superintendent/President Arturo Reyes not only got a new contract, he also got a raise. The contract now goes all the way thru June 30, 2020 and he gets a 5 percent hike in salary every year of the new contract starting with the 2017-18 fiscal year. The college announced the extended contract Thursday. The new salary keeps him in line with other Community College single districts in the state with an average of $228,000 annually.

Two men from Maryland have been arrested after sheriff’s deputies say they came upon marijuana and cash during a traffic stop. Mendocino County Deputies stopped the car near Lake Mendocino Drive and Highway 101 for driving too fast on the freeway. 26 year old Carlos Samuel Larios of Hyatt, Md. and 24 year old David Mena Monroy of Hyattsville, Md. were busted after deputies reported smelling pot coming from their car as they approached. They say they found a little marijuana, and about $27,000 in cash. The two busted on suspicion of marijuana possession intended for sale and possession of over $25,000 in drug proceeds.

A woman from Ukiah’s been arrested in connection to the ripoff of a package that had expensive medical equipment inside. The package delivered to someone’s home. A resident told police they saw the woman take it, telling cops she heard her dog barking and saw a woman walking a bike down a ramp in front of her home and carrying the package off her porch. They say it had a feeding tube pump worth about $1,100 she needed for a family member, so she caught a picture of the suspect as she left. Police identified her as Wana Matthias who was on probation already for theft. So she was arrested on suspicion of grand theft and for violating her probation and booked into Mendocino County Jail.

Lab tests showed high levels of a mineral that means a new well planned in Ukiah had to be shut down. The well at the corner of Brush Street and North Orchard Avenue showed unacceptably high levels of manganese. The levels too high for drinking water, so now work on a second well is on hold while staff figures out how much it’ll cost to treat the water so it can be made safe to drink. The options to be brought to the City Council.

The Mendocino County grand jury says management having unlimited access to employee emails has led to abuses plus it creates an unnecessary liability. The latest grand jury report released Friday on the subject of Policy 22, the Information Technology of the county which was adopted back in 2003. It says that the county will have unlimited access to info and data. The manager of IT has a so-called “Unlimited Mailbox” with “super-user” access. But the grand jury says that’s the only broad access. But that super user access is unrestricted. The grand jury says IT management had come up with a new Policy 22 in 2010 that was never taken into consideration by the Board of Supervisors. But the Grand Jury says that matters not as there were no real policies or procedures on managing employee email.

The third police chief in nine days has left Oakland. This after allegations several officers had sex with a teenage prostitute and exchanged racist text messages. The Mayor Libby Schaaf says the latest acting Police Chief Paul Figueroa lasted only two days before leaving. But she says it had nothing to do with the scandals, but says the department has a toxic, macho culture that she will root out. The department’s being investigated for the sex scandal and a separate investigation into racists texts. One officer has already been placed on leave. An interim police chief was removed last week after the mayor said she lost confidence in his ability to lead the department. She appointed him after the chief resigned earlier this month. She says she won’t appoint another chief just yet.

Legislators have approved a new budget with counties getting $270 million more to build jails. Some say the money should instead be used on rehabbing prisoners. $2.2 billion in all has gone to build jails since 2007. The Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal for a quarter-billion dollars more this year was turned down by Assembly and Senate budget committees and the Legislative Analyst’s Office. The state budget got the thumbs up from both chambers with the Gov. expected to sign it into law.

California voters get to decide if they want to do away with the country’s biggest death row population. The secretary of state’s office says a repeal measure has qualified for the November ballot. It was announced Friday as a competing initiative would speed up executions. That idea expected to be certified for the ballot soon. The repeal means those with death sentences would instead get life sentences with no chance of parole.

An actual roll of the dice in Oregon decided which candidate in a tied race won a seat in the state Legislature. A Republican rolled a six, beating the Democratic challenger, who rolled three. So Dan Mason makes the Republicans a majority. The die roll because the two won exactly 41 write-in votes each from Independents because they had no candidates to choose from during the May 17th primary election.

photo Lesley Lotto
Remote News Service
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