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Monthly Archives: January 2017

A couple of men are safe after they got trapped on shoreline rocks of Bodega Head. The two called for help Sunday later afternoon with several rescuers coming to the area including the Coast Guard and the Sonoma County sheriff’s helicopter unit. The two men seen around 500 yards off the Bodega Bay Trailhead parking lot where they’d hiked down but got trapped by the tide. They were plucked out of the area by a chopper team who were lowered down to save them. They were checked out then released.

Some more tweaking of the cannabis dispensary ordinance in Ukiah. The city council is taking out a phrase which doesn’t go along with its purpose of approving permits and for appeals. The current draft approving the zoning administrator to have a public hearing and be the first to decide on permit applications. It also puts the Planning Commission in charge of hearing appeals and grant exemptions for certain zoning issues. It all comes from the ad-hoc committee who were put in charge of drafting the law. Permits would have to abide by a so-called set-back rule. So they’re nowhere near schools or places where youth congregate.

A man from Ukiah’s being charged with murder and a special allegation for a shooting last November. Steven Ryan charged for the murder of 20 year old De’Shaun Davis, who Ryan told police he killed in self defense. At his preliminary hearing last week deputies testified seeing Davis on the ground dead. Other witnesses or neighbors testified about an argument that came before they heard shots fired. They say Ryan accused Davis of trespassing. Another says Ryan told them he heard yelling so he went outside with a gun. He says Davis charged him so he fired at him. Another witness said the victim didn’t charge him and after being shot once he had his hands up and was on his knees. Ryan was held over for trial and will be arraigned next month.

Mendocino County gets bad grades for not keeping youngsters away from cigarettes. The American Lung Association State of Tobacco Control report for California shows what each community scores in their tobacco control policies, in preventing and reducing tobacco use and limiting its exposure. Ukiah, Fort Bragg, Willits and the county got all A’s for reducing sales of tobacco products to minors. But they can be fined and lose licenses to sell smokes if they’re caught selling to those under 21. Point Arena got an F on the same, and in every category in the study. Marin and Sonoma County were tops in everything, getting A’s across the board. Lake, Napa, Del Norte and Humboldt counties got poor grades.

A man in Santa Rosa has been arrested after an altercation with another man he says stole personal property. Frederick Helmke was arrested yesterday for assault with a deadly weapon. Sonoma Deputies say the victim was at his home on Guerneville Road outside Graton (Gray-tun) and Helmke, who knew the victim came over. The victim apparently accused Helmke of taking his property and they started fighting. Police say Helmke stabbed the victim in the stomach then took off in an RV. Police arrested him, taking him to jail and held him on $60,000 bail.

A woman who used to care for another woman found mummified in Fort Bragg has been ordered to stand trial. Police have connected Lori Fiorentino to the death of Arlene Potts who was found emaciated and naked besides wearing dirty diapers. The dead woman was found mummified with severe muscle atrophy and with ulcerated lesions on her body. The cause of death has not been conclusive, but the DA’s office says they think it was from neglect. Fiorentino’s public defender says there were many working in agencies and others who could have helped, but didn’t, alleging the victim may have refused care. The judge didn’t go along with that, but said he’d hear the argument later. Police say the victim may have been dead a month before being found after complaints of a foul odor were called in.

A couple from Sacramento have been arrested in connection with dozens of bottles of booze being stolen from several grocery stores in the North Bay. Sonoma police say they found 70 bottles of high end alcohol in the couple’s car and another dozen or so in a backpack. All of them together, worth about $6,000. Store security employees say they lost the booze from Safeway stores in Windsor, Petaluma, Novato and Sonoma. Apparently some employees at the Novato store followed the couple after they drove off. Matthew Moore and Frankie Nicholls were arrested on suspicion of burglary, possessing stolen property and conspiracy to commit a crime. Bail was set at $10,000 ea.

A fire in a home in Lucerne has injured one person. Firefighters get a call last night to the fire on Grove St. from a neighbor who saw flames and said there had been an explosion. They reported one person possibly trapped in the structure. Apparently they tried to help the person out but their front door was blocked. The victim rescued had burns and was taken to Sutter Lakeside Hospital. Lake Co News reports the fire was at a stick-built home. No word on the cause of the fire or the condition of the victim.

The first flu related death of someone under 65 has been reported in Lake County. The Lake County Health Officer says they got a call Monday that a woman in her 40’s died with a positive flu test. Lake Co News reports the county’s not had a reportable flu-related death since the 2013-14 flu season, that was a woman between 30 and 40 years old. The California Department of Public Health had reported earlier this month there were more severe influenza cases than last year with 23 influenza-associated deaths statewide. But only deaths in those under 65 are reported, so there could be many more.

A man from Clearlake charged for arson to a residential care and mental health facility is set to enter a plea. Anthony Conley had been arrested last week for the fire at the facility where he supposedly lived. Police went to the San Sousee adult care facility in Clearlake and arrested Conley. He’s charged with a count of arson, four counts of attempted murder and three counts of elder or dependent abuse. The man has no reported criminal history in Lake County. He’s been in jail since his arrest Thursday with bail set at $800,000.

State Sen. Mike McGuire part of a group of other California legislators who will introduce a resolution against President Trump’s recent executive orders on immigration and border security. McGuire called the orders “dangerous and ill-conceived,” saying “California is a state of immigrants,” and that “we have drawn a line in the sand.” He follows Congressman Mike Thompson who announced he would cosponsor a bill to overturn and defund the executive orders that ban refugees and people from Muslim-majority countries who enter the United States. Thompson called the bans anti-American. Thompson has cosponsored the Statue of Liberty Value (SOLVE) Act, to defund the President’s executive order and establish it as having zero value.

A teenager in central Ohio gets to cross one item off her bucket-list as cops let her use a stun gun on one of them. The 16 year old Alyssa Elkins zapped a cop, after some training. A sergeant volunteered for the shocking as a crowd of supporters watched. The sgt said it was indeed unpleasant, but if it made somebody’s dream come true, it was well worth it. The teen has decided not to have more treatment for the leukemia and apparently only has a few months to live. Another item on her list, a family trip to Disney World in February.

A man from Willits has been arrested for possession of drugs and metal knuckles. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports officers on patrol saw Rudolph Esquivel, who they knew from previous contact, and knew he was on parole with a suspended drivers license. They searched his car and found drugs, metal knuckles, and drug paraphernalia so they arrested him. He’s charged with a parole violation, possession of metal knuckles, possession of drugs and driving with a suspended license. He was held over the weekend with no bail.

A man from Roseville’s arrested in Willits for having a stolen car and drugs. Mendocino County deputies near the Sherwood Valley Casino saw two people rummaging thru a car. They told police they were looking thru their own personal property, but one could not provide proof he owned the car. Deputies say they found a home made "billy club" so they arrested one of the men, Michael Voris for Possession of a Billy Club. He was held on $15,000.00 bail.

Governor Jerry Brown’s office say he has to have more treatment for prostate cancer. Brown’s oncologist at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center says Brown can be treated with a short course of radiation with no expected significant side effects. He says the Governor’s prognosis is excellent. He’s still at work FT and will continue to be during his treatment which is expected the end of next month, into early March.

Verizon has won an appeal so it can put up a cell tower in Kelseyville. After several meetings, appeals and continuations, Epic Wireless on behalf of Verizon will get its permit for a new cell tower. The Lake County Board of Supervisors has voted 4-1 to uphold the appeal from Epic to put the monopole tower up on 17 acres. The permit was denied by the Lake County Planning Commission after public comment and finding the property didn’t meet the county’s zoning ordinance requirements. But last week the board agreed more cell coverage was needed for emergency response and community safety. An updated design has the tower at 64 feet, the lowest they can erect a cell tower. Epic says it will cover the 19-square-mile service gap on a three-mile stretch of Highway 29.

California’s new Attorney General Xavier Becerra agreeing with more than a dozen other attorneys general against Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration. The other chief legal officers include from New York, Washington, Oregon, Illinois, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. The group put out a joint statement that they represent more than 130 million Americans and foreign residents of the U-S. They called President Trump’s order unconstitutional, un-American and unlawful. Several federal courts ordered a stay of the executive order Saturday after hundreds were detained at airports and protests began. Becerra called the order “constitutional overreach."

Nearly a year and a half after the Valley Fire, FEMA’s Manufactured Housing Program is closing down. The Office of Emergency Services got an extension until the fall but it doesn’t cover anyone renting homes that were destroyed. So they have to leave the homes they’re in by March 22nd. Seven of 28 families who’ve been renting the mobile homes have been told they have to leave or they’ll have to pay rent, penalties or face eviction. The County’s reporting reaching out to those renting the homes and most have apparently made other housing arrangements. Those who don’t have other arrangements are said to be working with Supervisor Brown to do so.

Congressman Mike Thompson says Americans have a right to know signups for Obamacare aka the Affordable Care Act continue through the end of the month. The White House announced they would stop all advertising and outreach through HealthCare.gov, but open enrollment lasts through January 31st. Thompson says it’s irresponsible to try to keep Americans in the dark. He says Americans have a right to know how they can still get coverage before the deadline. He says it’s already been paid for so to pull the plug on outreach is a waste of money and a callous disregard for those in need of healthcare.

Lawmakers in Calif. make a move to be the first in the nation to add another gender marker for driver’s licenses, birth certificates and state IDs. The Gender Recognition Act of 2017 would put “non-binary” as well as male and female on official state documents so transgender people could change them if they choose. Transgender and civil rights activists support the bill saying it would make a huge difference in the lives and safety of those who don’t identify as a man or women or the gender they were assigned at birth. But many Republican legislators said to be against the bill.

The state says they can now demand Monsanto put a label on its popular weed-killer Roundup to show it can cause cancer. This would make Calif. the first state for such labeling. But Monsanto sued claiming California based its decision on an international health organization based in France. They also say it will cause immediate financial consequences for them and that they would lose business. The ruling is tentative and Monsanto says they’ll fight it. The pesticide is sold in as many as 160 countries. In Calif. it’s used on 250 different types of crops.

A man on death row in San Quentin has suddenly died of unknown causes. The State Prison says David Majors, who was sentenced to death in 1991, died Thursday at a nearby hospital. He was found guilty back then of robbery and first-degree murder for a triple murder. He and an accomplice came to Sacramento to buy meth, from AZ. They stole some methamphetamine, money and jewelry. The last execution in Calif. was back in 2006.

P, G & E has to pay a 3 million dollar fine plus run commercials on TV that shows its pipeline safety after a fatal natural-gas explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area. The judge also ordered the utility’s employees to go thru 10,000 hours of community service plus they have to have an independent monitor overseeing the safety of its gas pipeline system. The punishment connected to the 2010 explosion in San Bruno where eight people were killed and 38 homes were destroyed.

The first ever joint Congressional Assembly town hall had a packed house. 2nd District Congressman Jared Huffman and Assemblymenber Jim Wood spoke to about 450 constituents Friday talking about several items of concern including the environment and immigration. Wood and Huffman promised the crowd they’d fight for Californians thru bipartisan action. Other local leaders were at the meeting at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center, including county Supervisor John McCowen, Ukiah Vice Mayor Kevin Doble, and Willits Mayor Gerry Gonzalez. Huffman says he’s trying to focus on positive actions to counter negativity from the White House. They spoke about immigration a day before the president’s refugee ban started in earnest. They talked about climate change, social security and the impending repeal of Obamacare.

State Sen. Mike McGuire has put forward a new bill to stop marijuana businesses from using the name of a California county or name similar to it if their product was not actually grown there. Sen. McGuire says it adds some clauses to existing law and will further protect counties from companies “improperly capitalizing” on their name. He says it’s a similar action to one fought years ago by the wine industry. It prevents companies and individuals from profiting off marketing claims that are false. He says it’s about truth in labeling. His bill expands wording already noted in Proposition 64 and the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act so that a product cannot have a similar sounding name to mislead consumers.

A man in Ohio busted for burglary apparently cleaned up before being caught. Cops in Youngstown say a homeless man brought his own food to cook too. The man’s charged with burglary and breaking and entering after being found in a woman’s home. She says the guy ransacked her home and there was food everywhere and her stove was used. She also says he left water running then she found him in her shower.

ALESSIA CARA-SCARS TO YOUR BEAUTIFUL

ED SHEERAN-SHAPE OF YOU

MACHINE GUN KELLY W/CAMILA CABELLO-BAD THINGS

RIHANNA-LOVE ON THE BRAIN

WEEKND W/DAFT PUNK-I FEEL IT COMING

ZAYN W/TAYLOR SWIFT-I DON’T WANNA LIVE FOREVER

ADELE-WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE

BEBE REXHA-I GOT YOU

CHAINSMOKERS (THE)-PARIS

CLEAN BANDIT W/SEAN PAUL & ANNE-MARIE-ROCKABYE

DRAKE-FAKE LOVE

HEY VIOLET-GUYS MY AGE

JOHN LEGEND-LOVE ME NOW

JON BELLION-ALL TIME LOW

LUKAS GRAHAM-YOU’RE NOT THERE

RAE SREMMURD W/GUCCI MANE-BLACK BEATLES

SHAWN MENDES-MERCY

CALUM SCOTT-DANCING ON MY OWN

DAYA-WORDS

DJ KHALED W/NICKI MINAJ-DO YOU MIND

FITZ & THE TANTRUMS-HANDCLAP

FLUME W/TOVE LO-SAY IT

KALEO-WAY DOWN WE GO

NOAH CYRUS W/LABRINTH-MAKE ME (CRY)

BRUNO MARS-THAT’S WHAT I LIKE

CHARLI XCX W/LIL’ YACHTY-AFTER THE AFTERPARTY

G-EAZY W/MARC E. BASSY-SOME KIND OF DRUG

JAMES ARTHUR-SAY YOU WON’T LET GO

JULIA MICHAELS-ISSUES

SABRINA CARPENTER-THUMBS

STARLEY-CALL ON ME

Les Schwab in Willits had to get their front window repaired after a car smashed into the building and knocked down a fire hydrant in front of the store. Police say the driver was headed down Main St. and turned into oncoming traffic, drove into the Napa Auto Parts parking lot, hit the fire hydrant then went head-on into the front of Les Schwab. Witnesses say the hydrant let out a geyser of water until firefighters came out to close it off. That meant the city of Willits warning residents they may experience brown water for a while. A witness tells the Advocate newspaper she saw the driver veer off the road, hunch over and pass out. The driver taken to a hospital. Reports are that he may have had a low blood sugar incident. No other injuries reported.

Fitness equipment is being added to the Haehl Creek Trail thru a grant from Adventist Health. The Fit Trail compliments of Howard Memorial Hospital, will have 20 stations for almost all muscle groups from beginners to the most experienced. It also encourages stretching between the one half and two mile markers. There are instructions at each station so folks on the trail know what they’re doing. The Fit-Trail cost about $9,000 plus shipping and handling

The city of Willits still working on getting signs up along the new Willits bypass area. The city council approved a resolution that Caltrans requires for the installation of the “Downtown Willits” sign that would be installed on the north ramp into town. This is not the same as the signs that include business logos. The City Planner says to erect the six signs and for an encroachment permit, the city has to put up between $10,000 to $12,000. But the planner says they’ll try to save some money by making and installing signs on their own or reusing some already existing sign posts.

A so-called "Letter of Comfort" is being accepted by the city of Fort Bragg so an area around the Mill Pond can be transferred to complete a nature trail. The City Council has agreed to accept the letter from the Department of Toxic Substances Control instead of a “No Further Action Letter” so they can connect the north and south sections of the Coastal Trail with money from Proposition 84. Phase 1 of the trail was done in 2014 and 2015 and Phase II has been delayed. It would connect the north and south but during public comment some concerns were aired. The letter means the city and toxic substances agency agree they’re very sure no further action will be needed. This makes way for the completion of the Coastal Trail. The letter was needed quickly because money to finish the trail will not be available after next year.

A meeting of the Latino Coalition in Fort Bragg regarding immigration concerns for locals. The meeting at Safe Passage last week was delivered mostly in Spanish with quick English translations throughout. Organizers say there have already been several meetings held in English. It was standing room only at the meeting to hear the 3-person panel made up of the Fort Bragg Police Chief, a local immigration lawyer and a local English as a Second Language and citizenship teacher. They say the local police department won’t change its policy of not asking the legal status when dealing with members of the public. The chief says they want everyone to be happy and not to be living in fear if they don’t have papers. He says even if cops come to your door, not to run, that citizens can trust the police. They also gave cautionary tales of not getting your immigration papers from just anyone and to be careful who you trust in that regard.

Congressman Jared Huffman of San Rafael comes out swinging at a meeting on the environment saying they’re prepared to sue the federal government if they try to roll back protections. Huffman at Santa Rosa Junior College’s Petaluma campus last night with a crowd of a couple hundred. He had environmental lawyers with him to speak to the crowd. He spoke about Trump’s pick to head the EPA, saying he’s the wrong person to head the agency, but that he’ll be confirmed anyway because of the GOP controlled Congress. Huffman is the #2 Democrat on the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources. He says he’s prepared to fight in court if need be. He was previously the attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

New information shows almost half of Calif. is not in drought anymore. This according to federal scientists who say 49 percent of the state is now drought free. That’s the highest the state’s hit since April 2013. The latest data coming from the U.S. Drought Monitor which is a weekly study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. The 49 percent number as opposed to a year ago, when only 5% of the state was considered to not be in drought conditions.

A man in Clearlake is accused of trying to set a house on fire with people inside. Police say they got a call to the home earlier this week which was completely in flames. Power lines were also down at the 2 story home. Residents got out in time as the home burned out of control. Firefighters on the scene trying to protect nearby homes, and put the fire out. 4 people inside spoke to police who arrested Anthony Conley, who’s apparently one of the home’s residents. Cops say he willfully and intentionally set the fire knowing others were inside at the time. He faces arson, attempted murder and vandalism charges. He was being held on $800,000 bail.

Only a handful of homes left to cleanup from the Clayton Fire. Lake County’s Department of Health Services has asked for another Proclamation of the Local Health Emergency in order to continue their work removing hazardous toxic waste. So far work’s been finished at more than 40 properties. There are about a ½ dozen to go. The Sheriff and Office Emergency Services Director Brian Martin says the recent rain meant they had to keep the proclamation in effect.

Several high school teachers in Ukiah have shown their support for public education, dressing in red. The Daily Journal reports 16 teachers got together during the school lunch break Wednesday in the Ukiah Skate Park parking lot across from the High School showing unity with other teachers in the U-S. It’s all part of the national “Wear Red for Ed” campaign. That’s a day for teachers in the country to promote education. A high school English teacher told the newspaper many of them are against the new pick for Education Secretary under the Trump administration.

A report’s due next week for city representatives in Ukiah on how much it’s going to cost to finish the holiday ice rink. The City has not yet finished their financial analysis of the work. There were local companies that have donated time, labor and supplies for the foundation of the rink. The costs were previously estimated to be about $20,000 before the volunteers and donations. The city council should get a full accounting by February 1st.

A request has been agreed to by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release water from Lake Mendocino to meet flood control and dam safety requirements. The Army Corp will allow a small increase of the water supply pool behind Coyote Valley Dam. The water will continue to be released since so much rain fell. The Lake was last measured at 140 percent of water supply capacity. So the Army Corp will be releasing about 12,000 acre-feet from the flood control pool.

A lodge on the outskirts of Yosemite National Park has canceled a booking after receiving complaints about the group that supports President Trump. The group VDARE Foundation was supposed to have a meeting at Tenaya Lodge. VDare says they’re a journalistic enterprise. Their website publishes work about White America, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The law center out of Alabama tracks hate groups and calls VDARE.com an "extremist" and "white nationalist" website. A couple of articles published against the planned meeting at the end of March by other groups created some controversy, and the lodge began getting complaints. The resort said they had no idea the group’s views, then apologized and said it was a mistake and they don’t endorse the group.

$4 million dollars has been approved by the Ukiah City Council for road improvements near the Redwood Business Park. The City Council previously approved the loan but the city has to put together a new application. The planned Costco would be part of the area where the road improvement work is being done. The city engineer told the council they need just over 2 million for highway interchange work and to install a traffic light, and 1 point 8 million more for improvements to the intersection of Airport Park Boulevard and both Talmage and Commerce roads, along with widening Hastings Avenue near State Street. The city had borrowed the money already from the former redevelopment agency.

Afternoon News

The speed limit has been temporary lowered for boats on Clear Lake. The Board of Supervisors has approved an Urgency Ordinance proposed by the Sheriff and the Water Resources Department to immediately reduce the lake-wide speed limit on Clear Lake to 5 mph in order to minimize wake damage to lakeshore properties and help ensure the safety of boaters moving through all the debris on the lake surface. The speed limit will stay in place during the currently declared local disaster and as long the lake level is at 7.9 feet Rumsey or higher.

The Willits City Council has given the green light for Howard Memorial Hospital’s to install a 20-station “Fit-Trail” course along the Haehl Creek Trail. The fitness trail will be useable by the general public, as well as staff and patients of HMH and be funded entirely by an innovation grant awarded to HMH’s Nutritional Services Department from Adventist Health. Also at their meeting this week the Council approved new signs that say “Downtown Willits” before the North Main Street northbound and southbound off-ramps, and more along other roads to direct visitors into Downtown. And in response to several local small businesses being targeted for alleged non-compliance under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Willits city staff is working with the Chamber of Commerce to put together an educational forum about ADA with a Certified Access Specialist and an ADA attorney.

PM News:

The speed limit has been temporary lowered for boats on Clear Lake. The Board of Supervisors has approved an Urgency Ordinance proposed by the Sheriff and the Water Resources Department to immediately reduce the lake-wide speed limit on Clear Lake to 5 mph in order to minimize wake damage to lakeshore properties and help ensure the safety of boaters moving through all the debris on the lake surface. The speed limit will stay in place during the currently declared local disaster and as long the lake level is at 7.9 feet Rumsey or higher.

The Willits City Council has given the green light for Howard Memorial Hospital’s to install a 20-station “Fit-Trail” course along the Haehl Creek Trail. The fitness trail will be useable by the general public, as well as staff and patients of HMH and be funded entirely by an innovation grant awarded to HMH’s Nutritional Services Department from Adventist Health. Also at their meeting this week the Council approved new signs that say “Downtown Willits” before the North Main Street northbound and southbound off-ramps, and more along other roads to direct visitors into Downtown. And in response to several local small businesses being targeted for alleged non-compliance under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Willits city staff is working with the Chamber of Commerce to put together an educational forum about ADA with a Certified Access Specialist and an ADA attorney.

It could have been worse. That’s the word from city staffers in Ukiah about the storms last week that took the Russian River to flood stage in some areas. The Community Services Supervisor told the City Council a break in rain for a couple of hours helped the river recede some and is probably what saved the city from lasting damage. The river was supposed to hit 26 feet, but only got to about 22 feet on Jan. 10. She says in the past, when it hit 26, it closed the 101 at Hopland. Highways 175 and 125 and Highway 1 all closed in some parts during the worst of the storm. Some other streets also closed down as they have bridges over the Russian River. The City Manager spoke to the council too about schools closing January 10th and 11th.

A big turnout for a new burger joint in town. People were even lining up several hours before to get to be one of the first to experience the new In-N-Out Burger which opened yesterday morning. Some restaurant employees from other cities came to help with the grand opening in Ukiah. A spokesperson for the restaurant says they’ll have about 50 employees, who start at $12.50 an hour.

The Mendocino Sheriff wants to throw down some cash for a Snowcat and the board of supervisors isn’t having it. The board and the Sheriff got into it at their meeting Tuesday regarding the $45,000 expenditure Sheriff Allman wants to spend on a Snowcat and trailer for his department. The money would be used from the sheriff’s asset forfeiture fund, off-highway license fees and U.S. Forest Service funds. The supervisors voted 3 to 1 against the purchase telling Allman to bring the request back as part of the normal budget process, which is in a few weeks. The Sheriff telling the board he was disappointed in their leadership adding he hoped none of their “family members get stuck in the snow.”

More crossing t’s and dotting I’s on the Medical Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance in Lake County. The board of supervisors were making small changes to the ordinance which will allow small marijuana grows in all residential zones and more accommodations for cultivators. Back in October staffers were directed to make changes regarding cottage grows and zoning, but first there had to be an environmental assessment of the change, to align properly with the California Environmental Quality Act. The changes were made final Tuesday and permits will begin to be issued for those that don’t go over the noted specified maximum sizes, were in place before Jan. 1st of last year, and have gone along with the “urgency ordinance” that governs the county’s marijuana industry.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors has voted unanimously to recommend former three-time supervisor John Pinches fill the seat of Third District Supervisor Tom Woodhouse who resigned January 3rd. By law Governor Jerry Brown will appoint the position but the county CEO told the board at their meeting Tuesday the governor’s office is taking recommendations “from anyone who chooses to give them one.” Pinches did not seek reelection when his last term ended two years ago, citing health reasons, but has told the Mendocino Voice his health is now much improved and he wouldn’t rule it out. There are about two years left on Woodhouse’s term.

A couple nonprofits in Lake County have won millions in grants so they can rebuild homes for low income residents after the wildfires over the last couple years. Habitat for Humanity and Hammers for Hope are going to begin taking applications for low-interest CalHome loans for up to $60,000 each. The loans made available through the California Department of Housing and Community Development. The low price and volunteer labor will help to construct as many as 100 homes which were lost in the 2015 Valley fire and 2016 Clayton fire. There’s a community meeting February 16th on the housing with State Sen. Mike McGuire in Middletown about the loans.

A few rogue National Parks employees have been tweeting about Climate Change and it’s catching on. The park employees tweeting against Donald. It started with three climate-related tweets sent by Badlands National Park that were quickly deleted. Then some other park accounts tweeted against policies the new president has been talking about and had campaigned on. Redwoods National Park in California posted pictures of Redwoods, saying the groves are nature’s No. 1 carbon sink, which capture greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. The tweet said, "more redwoods would mean less #climatechange". Golden Gate National Park tweeted about 2016 being the hottest year on record for the third year in a row. Death Valley National Park tweeted the photos of Japanese Americans interned there during World War II. In New York, the Statue of Liberty — another park service site tweeted she, "weeps over President Trump’s discrimination” referring to his recent Immigration orders.

Politicians in San Francisco and other so-called sanctuary cities which claim they’ll protect immigrants in the U.S. illegally are speaking out, saying they won’t be intimidated by President Trump saying he intends to cut off millions in federal funding to such communities. Some of the cities have vowed legal action saying it’s unconstitutional. California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, tweeted: “See you in court.” Apparently there’s no formal designation to be a sanctuary city. The White House spokesman says they’ll take money from sanctuary states and cities who harbor illegal immigrants. Immigration rights advocates packed the steps of San Francisco City Hall yesterday with signs that said “Undocumented & Unafraid” and “Don’t let hate Trump our values.”

More wine from California to be imported to Canada. That’s the latest from the congressional Wine Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Mike Thompson (DCA- 05) and Duncan Hunter (R-CA-50). The two members of Congress say it means more local wines on grocery store shelves in Canada. Right now only wines from British Columbia can be sold there, but the United States challenged the regulation saying it discriminated against U.S. wine producers. The two Calif. Congressman say American wineries make some of the best wines in the world. They say the denial of our wine in Canada hinders the growth of our entrepreneurs, and also denies Canadians access to our products.

Police in northwestern Germany on the lookout for whoever rammed thru the wall of a house and took the safe inside. Police say someone used a tractor yesterday and rammed it into the wall of a home near Hannover, took the safe, left the tractor, and took off. They say those inside the home were not hurt.

It’s bunk… the story that went viral on social media about a man in Boston who lost his testicles during an explosion that happened when he tried filling a scuba tank with marijuana smoke. The Boston Leader carried the story of the supposed September incident where someone was demonstrating a scuba bong, and it going horribly wrong. But police say there was nothing of the sort reported. A picture of the alleged victim was apparently from a story in the Boston Globe about an unrelated incident.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors has voted unanimously to recommend former three-time supervisor John Pinches be chosen to fill the seat of Third District Supervisor Tom Woodhouse who resigned January 3rd. By law Governor Jerry Brown will appoint the position but the county CEO told the board at their meeting Tuesday that the governor’s office is taking recommendations “from anyone who chooses to give them a recommendation.” Pinches did not seek reelection when his last term ended two years ago, citing health reasons, but has told the Mendocino Voice his health is now much improved and he wouldn’t rule it out. There are about two years left on Woodhouse’s term.

The Lakeport Planning Commission is holding a public meeting as they consider possible amendments to the Medical Marijuana Cultivation Ordinance to allow for non-commercial growing on personal property. The City of Lakeport says they are going to divide legalized marijuana uses into two categories: commercial and non-commercial. The meeting will include a discussion on the difference, and then tackle the potential amendments, such as the number of plants that could be grown, indoor vs outdoor, and the permitting process to do it. They will not be talking about any retail issues. The meeting is February 8 at 5pm.

Mary Tyler Moore has died. Her rep says the 80-year-old passed away this morning of heart failure while battling pneumonia. An award winning actress and producer, she was also an advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, having lived with Type 1 Diabetes since her early 30’s. She rose to television fame playing Dick Van Dyke’s wife on his classic comedy for five years, but became a major star for her groundbreaking role as the single professional woman trying to make it on her own on the "The Mary Tyler Moore Show". Her many awards include 5 Emmys, 3 Golden Globes and an Oscar nomination for Ordinary People. As a producer she brought us not only spinoffs of her own shows like “Rhoda” and “Phyllis”, but also “The Bob Newhart Show,” “WKRP in Cincinnati,” “Hill Street Blues” and “St. Elsewhere. ”

40-thousand people die a year in Calif. alone from tobacco-related illnesses. And that’s cost the state more than 18-billion dollars in healthcare and loss of productivity. Two reports out today explain what states are doing to curb tobacco use. Lindsey Freitas, with the American Lung Association in California, says the state has made progress this past year – raising the legal age to buy smokes from 18 to 21, regulating e-cigarettes just like other tobacco products, and passing a ballot measure (Proposition 56) to hike the tobacco tax by two-dollars a pack.

Cut 88345 :14 "All of those things resulted in our grades going up this year, and we actually were one of the states that showed the most improvement, year over year, because of a lot of the effort that we were able to do last year. We’ve kind of regained our place as a leader in tobacco control once again."

Tag: Freitas says these efforts largely enjoyed bipartisan support, but faced opposition from Big Tobacco. California’s smoking rate still hovers around 12 percent – and while that might seem like a small number, it represents roughly the population of the state of Oregon.

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Second Cut: Along with the national report, a companion report from the California American Lung Association chapter grades cities and counties on their tobacco-control initiatives. Freitas says more than 20 received an overall "A" average – but the list doesn’t include any of the 10 largest cities. San Francisco scored a "B," Los Angeles got a "C" – and Anaheim got an “F.”

Cut 89345 :13 "The important thing to note is that these are not easy policies to adopt, even though we do have strong support. (:06) They’re still challenging to adopt in some of these bigger cities – and so, we see the progress there going a little slower."

Tag: An estimated 16-thousand California kids a year start smoking. Freitas says her group is working to stem kids’ access to e-cigs, and to curb tobacco companies’ targeting of minorities in their marketing.

A new doc’s been brought in by Mendocino County Health Centers to treat those with HIV and AIDS. Dr. David Gorchoff is a family medicine doctor with a specialized certification to treat HIV/AIDS. The doc will be seeing patients at Lakeview Health Center in Lakeport. He takes over for another doctor who recently left for another position. Gorchoff has been working on the AIDS epidemic since when it first became known, he was also the Medical Director a couple other clinics over the years.

There may soon be more low income housing in Ukiah thanks to more than 2.5 million dollars for new projects. The City Council says yes to move $2.7M from the city’s old redevelopment agency. The city had borrowed several million dollars back in 2011 by selling bonds thru the redevelopment agency. The money was to only be used on low-income housing projects. A staff report for the council last week said if the money is released they can decide where it should be used, but according to the city manager, it has to go to low-income housing, saying that will help improve the tight market in Ukiah.

Another month for the state of emergency in Sonoma County. The Board of Supervisors extended the emergency declaration yesterday for 30 more days after heavy rain pounded the region for weeks. The declaration releases state disaster relief funds for damage caused by the storms. The county noted, quote, “conditions of extreme peril” were persisting due to continued heavy rainfall which caused widespread flooding, closing and damaging roadways and triggering mudslides and causing power outages for thousands. The Gov. Jerry Brown also declared a statewide emergency for almost all of California’s counties because of the storms. The declaration directs the state Office of Emergency Services to help counties based on damage assessments from local governments.

A businessman and his son-in-law in Santa Rosa are suing the Press Democrat newspaper for libel. Bill Gallaher, a banker and developer and Scott Flater say they were defamed in several stories about campaign spending for the City Council election last year. The pair say their reputations have been harmed by four stories that came out in October and November regarding unprecedented spending in a local election. The story showed there was $195,000 in independent expenditures reported by Flater who was supporting three council candidates. But the two say the stories falsely suggested Gallaher gave money to Flater, which Gallaher says is untrue.

A homeless man in Fort Bragg has been taken to jail in connection to several windows being broken in city buildings the last several days. Fort Bragg Police say Joseph Little has been charged with a probation violation, vandalism and a hate crime because one of the buildings was a church. Police say they got a call Monday night about a disturbance and found Little who they’d already been looking for for a string of vandalisms, including at the church, a liquor store and the city’s aquatic center. He confessed, police say, to the church vandalism, because it was across from a school; the liquor store, because they sell porn; and a homeless services center because a friend wasn’t getting proper treatment there.

If you see some low flying Helicopters, no fear, it’s PG&E checking for drought battered trees. The choppers will buzz around Sonoma and Mendocino counties today and tomorrow. There will be foresters aboard looking for trees that are vulnerable of falling into power lines, which can bring outages and start wildfires. The helicopters will be just 200 to 300 feet above the ground between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Flights in Mendocino County will be in Boonville and Philo as well as the towns of Ingram, Yorkville, Soda Springs, Hendy Grove, Reilly Heights, Navarro and Comptche.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors says no to the Lake County’s Sheriff’s request to hire outside legal counsel for a lawsuit filed by the Lake County Correctional Officers Association. Now Sheriff Martin says he’s going to take legal action to force the county to hire the lawyer. The board wants Martin to use the County Counsel’s Office. The Correctional Officers are also suing the county. Martin says using the county attorney could be a conflict of interest since the lawsuit and an agreement with the association at the heart of the lawsuit, was partially drafted by the County Counsel’s Office. The lawsuit was filed regarding a time before Martin was Sheriff. But it says Martin breached the contract drawn when then sheriff Frank Rivero was running the department regarding Correctional Officers carrying guns.

A committee’s being formed in Clearlake on how money will be spent that’s raised from the recently passed Measure V for road work. The council’s meeting this Thursday and will appoint the Measure V Oversight Committee. The council members get to choose their own representative for the panel which will manage the tax proceeds that are being raised only for road repairs and improvements. The tax is expected to bring in more than $1.5M a year.

A car plows into a home in Clearlake injuring a person inside. Police say firefighters went to two calls yesterday morning, the first was a two car crash, the second a car into a house, the two accidents apparently were just the one into the home. Police say a man in a white 1993 BMW M3 south on Old Highway 53 crashed into the home then left the scene. The man in the home apparently posting on social media, the person injured was his mother in law. She’s been released from the hospital. The Beemer also apparently hit a van near the house. The resident also said, cops chasing another car last May crashed into his garage.

Governor Jerry Brown delivers his State of the State calling out the new president, not by name, but saying the state will continue to pursue climate change work and other progressive policies, saying the state is never turning back. Brown got a standing ovation at the end of his fiery speech yesterday. Brown spoke to the size of California and its economic power, saying when the state does well, America does well, and if Calif. hurts, America hurts. The governor also warned the future of Calif.’s economy was now uncertain because of the new president. Some legislators say Brown’s speech didn’t specify policy proposals besides staying with what’s working already.

A zoo in New York’s offering something new for your Valentine… cockroaches. The Bronx Zoo is giving folks a chance to name a Madagascar hissing cockroach in honor of your Valentine. The name a roach program’s been going on since 2011 as a way to raise money. So for just 10 bucks, you get an emailed certificate showing one of the insects has been named for you. They’re also sending chocolates and a Madagascar cockroach stuffed toy for more money. The museum says no worries, there’s enough roaches to name, they’ve got thousands on exhibit. The money goes to the Wildlife Conservation Society.

A public hearing’s being held to get comments on speed limit changes thru Philo. The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors will have a public hearing today regarding the speed limit on Hwy. 128 through Philo after a speed zone survey. Cal Trans says they want to lower and raise speed limits thru the area. They’re looking to raise it from 30-35 mph as part of the California Vehicle Code, and lower it from 55 mph to 45 mph. It was at 30 mph after an accident in 1996. Caltrans would like the public to join the conversation this morning at 9 in the County Administration Center, Room 1010.

The City of Ukiah is being sued regarding Measure Y for street repairs. City officials say the suit by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association will delay collecting taxes for street repairs and work the money from the tax would pay for. The suit alleges Measure Y, passed with a simple majority of 51 percent, but it’s actually a special tax which needs a super majority of 66 percent. But the City Attorney says that’s not so and says the taxpayer association had filed a similar suit against the city in 1998 which the court ruled against. The City Manager says the city had several open and public workshops and meetings on the tax and nobody brought forward concerns that are listed in the lawsuit.

Safety measures being put in place since Clear Lake is higher than its full mark and still continues to rise. Clear Lake went past 7.56 feet Rumsey Friday, it’s flood stage at 9 feet Rumsey. Late last night it hit 8.56 feet Rumsey. It hasn’t been that high since January 1995. The US Geological Survey records show releases from the Cache Creek Dam were also at near-record levels, peaking at nearly 4,600 cubic feet per second on Sunday. The Clearlake Public Works Director told Lake Co News right now there’s no flooding. He says the city’s creeks were at 50 percent of capacity. They still had boat ramps open yesterday with possible closure if the lake hits 9 feet Rumsey. City representatives in Lakeport say workers are clearing debris from drainage areas and keeping their eye on flooded areas. They’ve put a dam in at Library Park, between the lake and the Carnegie Library. The County reports all park boat access points have been closed.

The Governor has called for a state of emergency in Lake, Mendocino and 48 other counties after the heavy storms the last month. There are two emergency proclamations so money can be released to help with flooding and clean up debris after mudslides and damage to roads and highways. The declaration notes storms on December 9th and January 3rd. The January storms are noted as coming from an atmospheric river across California, that brought high winds, precipitation, and flooding, impacting dozens of counties. It also said the severe drought brought conditions that led to flash flooding, erosion, and mud and debris flows.

Lakeport Police are in their new digs. As of Monday the department is located at 2025 S. Main St. after 2 decades on N. Forbes Street. They finished up the move over last weekend, but the lobby is not open to the public yet. They do have regular police administrators there to serve the public. So if you need to go to the department for items like records requests, vehicle releases, permit applications and evidence inquiries, you can, or you can call the department. They say the lobby should open by the end of the month.

A woman in Ukiah killed by a tree falling into her apartment apparently feared the same. The Press Democrat reports Erika Tyler had been afraid this would happen and asked the landlord to take the tree out which had steel cables supporting bigger branches. But the paper reports the landlord saying it would be too expensive to do. She died Saturday morning after the tree crashed into her apartment and crushed her. Her boyfriend was sleeping next to her and got out unharmed, then rescued his 3-year old son. Tyler’s 11 and 17 year old sons were not there when it happened. Tyler’s mom says they were scared of the tree but moved in anyway because housing was limited at the time. She also says they’re planning a wrongful death lawsuit.

A long backup on the 101 north of Laytonville after a drunk driver hit a semi. Police say Gerald Stillwell of Garberville drove his pickup across the center line, hitting the truck driven by Gary Fischer who ended up with major injuries; Stillwell was unharmed. The fuel tanks on the semi were damaged and leaked diesel onto the roadway, closing it down for a couple of hours. Officers say they found Stillwell was drinking before the crash, so they arrested him for DUI.

The lawyers for the man running the so-called Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland say a fire that killed 36 people started in an adjacent building. The lawyers say their investigation shows Derick Ion Almena is not responsible for the Dec. 2nd fire. But the Alameda County district attorney’s office and the Oakland Fire Department, who are both also investigating, have not come up with the same story. They’ve not released their findings yet and are not commenting. Almena’s lawyers say they looked at power sources and wiring in the Ghost Ship and say the fire started in a closeby building, not inside the warehouse itself. They say since that’s the case Almena should not be held criminally responsible. So far he’s not been charged with a crime.

Rising pension costs mean there may have to be cuts to state funding for education. The president of the CalPERS board says they’ll phase in the rise in contributions to the pension fund since they know it’s gonna be a painful budget hit. Right now districts pay about 13.88 percent of payroll for CalPERS employees, the highest rate in history. The state education budget was already up the last several years with another $2 billion increase set for next year. The Governor’s new budget included the hike but the increases for CalPERS and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System are at more than $723 million.

Some cash found by a U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts in a box spring. Investigators find $20M in the mattress after they arrested a man from Brazil in a massive money laundering scheme. They say they think it’s linked to TelexFree, a company claiming to provide internet phone service, that was really a $1 billion pyramid scheme. Cops say they aggressively marketed their voice over internet phone service and had their so-called promoters posting ads, but they first had to buy into the company for a price. Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha was arrested and charged with a count of conspiring to commit money laundering. The company TelexFree reported making more than $1 billion in 2013, with the money coming from those who bought in to be a part of the money making scheme.