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The emergency declaration in Lake County has been continued because of last summer’s wildfires. This is a standard declaration so the work can continue to be funded for cleanup. The board also got an update on that cleanup as it relates to the Clayton Fire. The Lake County Health Officer Dr. Karen Tait and Environmental Health Director Ray Ruminski spoke to the board saying the cleanup is nearly done. The 3,900 acre fire took down 300 structures including about 200 homes. Lake Co News reports nearly 90 of those have been cleared out and another 52 are set for cleanup. The next thing that happens for the cleared sites is soil sampling, erosion control and some damage repair.

Sonoma County is saying yes to small marijuana gardens in rural residential areas after a medical cannabis zoning ordinance was approved by the Planning Commission. It comes after a dispute between community members and growers. The residents say they don’t want pot to be grown around their homes. The commission voted unanimously for gardens and other related businesses for unincorporated areas outside the county’s nine cities. It comes ahead of regulations set by the state for medical marijuana.

Residents in Windsor out of luck regarding marijuana legalization in their hometown. Even though it’s now legal to have some weed and to grow it, in Windsor, the Town Council says no to growing. It was a unanimous vote by the council for an emergency ordinance prohibiting outdoor pot gardens, following in the footsteps of Sonoma. The ban to be in effect for 45 days, but it can go for up to two years. The new law that came from Proposition 64, means Calif. residents can grow up to six plants, but local jurisdictions are allowed to ban outdoor cultivation and restrict indoor grows.

Congressman John Garamendi says he’s announced a bill to protect National Guard members from the Pentagon trying to get back bonuses and other incentives given to them to reenlist. Garamendi, a member of the House Armed Services Committee has introduced the National Guard Pay Integrity Act which he says could protect up to 10,000 soldiers who signed up to serve the country. It comes after reports the Dept. of Defense was demanding cash incentives and bonuses that were erroneously paid to them so they’d reenlist, be returned, some decades later. The legislation also looks to protect student loan payments made on Guardsmen’s behalf as a means of recruitment.

Some medical marijuana users in Calif. getting a tax break. Certain purchases may now be exempt from sales taxes since Prop 64 was passed. It means a 15 percent excise tax starting in January of 2018 for those who buy weed and any marijuana product, including medical marijuana. It also means a tax holiday for anyone buying weed with a medical marijuana identification card from the California Department of Public Health.

A judge says no, temporarily to agree to pimping charges against those who operate Backpage.com. The state atty general is trying to prosecute the former owners Michael Lacey and James Larkin and the paper’s current CEO, Carl Ferrer. The judge has set another hearing though after the men were charged by California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who calls the site an online brothel. The judge says Harris doesn’t have the proper authority to bring the charges due to the federal Communications Decency Act which gives immunity to website operators for content posted by users.

A delay for the opening of the new homeless shelter for the winter in Ukiah. The Homeless Services Action Group reports the shelter won’t open before Thanksgiving after all. The executive director of the group says they still have to get some permits and hire staffers. They hope to open the Inland Valley Emergency Winter Shelter by December. They’re looking for 30 adults and teen volunteers for intake. They look for one two-hour shift per week, from 4:45 p.m. until 6:45 p.m., and each intake takes about 15 minutes.

It’s free to go to parks in Calif. Black Friday. So instead of going to the mall, you can visit any of California’s State Parks for the first ever Green Friday. The parks dept. is working with two advocacy groups offering 13,000 passes for free admission and parking at 116 out of 279 state parks Nov. 25th. For more info and to see a complete list of the parks involved, visit www.greenfriday.org. The free passes are offered on a first-come, first-served basis based on each park’s capacity.

An ex librarian at a Florida elementary school says she’s going to court over an exploding toilet. Anne Burson says after maintenance crews worked on water lines at Tarpon Springs Fundamental Elementary in 2012, she was hit by porcelain shards that came off the exploding toilet. She says she was injured when she tried to flush the toilet.

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