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The North Coast District of the Coastal Commission pushing back on county supervisors’ complaints about delaying tactics meant so progress on an amendment to the Mendocino Town Plan is at a standstill. The letter to the commission and the supervisors, the Deputy Director Alison Dettmer says they’re not sending the county a bunch of comments to stop the process. The county Planning Director has informed the supervisors that department responded to 565 pages of correspondence to the Coastal Commission. One supervisor says all of the paperwork was a travesty. And another supervisor said it was delaying tactics by the commission. It’s all related to changes to Mendocino’s land-use and building-permitting regulations.

For Women’s History Month State Sen. Mike McGuire has chosen women across No. Cal to be the Woman of the year. He says the women he chose have all done extraordinary things and have shown incredible commitment, bringing positive change to Northern California. A retired educator and President of the Mendocino Women’s Political Coalition, Val Muchowski, won the honor of Woman of the Year for Mendocino County. In Lake County, Debra Sommerfield, the President of the Lake County Winegrape Commission and a board member for Hammers for Hope, won the recognition. McGuire says the phenomenal group of women he chose continue to inspire. The women to be honored at two luncheons, one in the North Bay and one on the North Coast.

Another round of winter storms headed our way. Meteorologists say a cool Pacific weather system means more rain over the weekend and into next week. There will also be lower snow levels with this system. Should be fairly clear today, with rain moving in tonight thru Monday. Clearing is forecast for mid week. The rain means flooded areas will be inundated again and Lake County is still under a flood warning because the Lake is still above flood stage, which is 9 feet Rumsey. The Lake should continue receding though and forecasters say it should go below 9 feet Rumsey late next week.

Something of a flu outbreak at Mendocino Coast District Hospital the last couple months. Per an update at the last Hospital Trustees board meeting last month, the flu-related spike also meant a spike in patient service revenues for January of $1.5 million. That’s about 17 percent more than what was budgeted for the month so the hospital will make less because of cost-based reimbursement from MediCal. That’s because the hospital is reimbursed according to costs associated with staffing and utility costs which have stayed the same even though there were more patients. So in January the hospital only made about $8,300 and lost about $160,000.

There’s a new Caltrans Director for District 1. The agency announced Matt Brady was appointed to be District 1 director which covers Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake and Mendocino counties. The interim director goes back to Sacramento after five months since the last District Director retired last fall.
Brady’s been with Caltrans about 25-years and is a certified Project Management Professional and a California licensed Professional Engineer.

A new state auditor’s report shows a California State University Fresno employee made money while sitting around watching YouTube and playing online games. The employee was apparently one of 10 that popped up in the report which came after a whistleblower tipped the college off. The one slacking off playing online games got about $22,000 during that time. The investigation into improper activities by state employees for the latter part of last year showed state employees cost the state almost $40,000 by misusing state resources, getting improper payments and more. It also showed some employees didn’t turn over confidential information and kept a quote "indefensible" do-not-hire list.

A new report shows the state recovering nicely from the five year drought. A year ago, there was only a 5 percent recovery across the state, but now it’s more like 91 percent of the state isn’t in drought condition anymore. The report by 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 report shows about 8 and a half percent of the state is still under drought conditions, but that’s the lowest it’s been since December 2011, when the drought first began.

Lake County sewers are getting a break. The Record Bee reports the sewers finally able to keep up with the amount of water flowing thru the last couple of months. But the GM of the Hidden Valley Lake Community Services District says it’s cost them a pretty penny for the upkeep and repair. In Hidden Valley Lake alone, estimated reports are nearing a quarter million dollars for the town of about 6,000. The Lake County Special District General Manager says across the county it’s about $800,000 for repairs and upkeep. They are still using pumper trucks to get water out of the streets, but those were about to be released. Storm and Lake water were inundating the county sewer system which is old in many places. The county has almost $16 million dollars to replace old sewers and be proactive against future problems.

Volunteers needed for the Fire Relief Fund of the Lake Area Rotary Club with their one day tree planting project at Middletown Trailside Park. The group to plant about 3,000 trees Saturday, March 25th. The Fire Relief Fund put together after the Valley Fire. The Lake Area Rotary Club Fire Relief Fund and #Lake-CountyRising, among several nonprofits. These two have been working with locals and have arranged to have 100,000 native conifers given out to property owners in the affected area. They had to grow for about a year before they could be planted. As part of that project several thousand trees were left for a community tree planting project. For the project, they ask volunteers to bring shovels and any other tree planting tools. A BBQ lunch will be provided.

Fish still being saved in the Feather River after the emergency spillway failed at the Oroville Dam. Department of Fish and Wildlife workers and others from the Department of Water Resources were working to save the fish between Oroville and Yuba City that lost their habitat as the flow in the River dropped as the water in the Dam spillway was reduced from the Diversion Pool. An environmental scientist says when there’s natural flooding fish have an easier time surviving, but after the spillway was shut down, they needed a helping hand. Fish were led out, trapped, then caught in ponds on the Oroville disc golf course.

Uber’s CEO getting into it with a driver part of the larger issue of price cutting to beat the competition. Drivers not happy because their pay is being reduced, one incident caught on video shows the CEO of Uber getting into a heated confrontation with a driver. CEO Travis Kalanick and driver Fawzi Kamel caught on a video dashcam. It’s now been viewed on Youtube about 3 million times and includes some yelling, curse words and an expulsion. The driver saying he was driven to bankruptcy because of the cuts and the CEO going public and apologizing saying he needed to work on being a better leader.


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