The Lake County Board of Supervisors is allowing the appeal of the Planning Commission’s denial of the Dollar General store design in Middletown. In a close vote with Supervisors Rob Brown and Jim Steele saying no, the board said yes to the appeal of the design review permit of the major use permit for the store. Cross Development of Texas is looking to put up a 9,100-square-foot Dollar General Store at 20900 State Highway 29. Most of the board didn’t agree with the public who spoke out on the store saying there would be too much traffic and it would be too close to other businesses, neighborhoods and schools. The Planning Commission had denied the permit for it to be built at all but that was overturned. Then the commission said no to its design, and that’s turned over as well. Next Tuesday the board will consider another Dollar General Store in the Clear Lake Riviera which was also denied by the planning commission.
Lake County comes out with high grades for air quality by the American Lung Association. The latest State of the Air report grading state and local area air quality with A through F grades by measuring ozone and small-particulate concentrations. Lake Co News reports many areas got failing grades, but Lake got an A for Ozone and a B for short term particulate pollution and is the third-cleanest county in the country for annual particulate average concentrations. No big changes from a year before in particulate with the big wildfires we had. Out of the 58 counties in the state, Lake was just one of nine without any days of exceeding the ozone from 2013 through 2015.
Scam phone calls reported by the Lake County Sheriff’s office. The dept. warning the public they’ve not been making any random calls regarding loan payments. The dept. says they got some calls Monday saying they got calls from someone saying they were at the sheriff’s office and asked about a loan, looking for payment. They said their caller I.D. even showed it was the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. Someone else said someone called them supposedly from the office saying they owed money to “Advanced America” then tried coercing them into paying or said they’d be arrested. The department’s Central Dispatch called AT&T which confirmed the numbers were indeed showing as Lake County Sheriff’s Office. They called it spoofing, which some scammers do to trick people into giving them confidential info for fraud or other illegal activities.
A lively town hall meeting with those in attendance worried about the expansion of the Graton Resort and Casino. The Press Democrat reports those in attendance yesterday concerned about traffic, crime and groundwater use. A proposal to double the size of the 200-room hotel outside Rohnert Park. The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria looking to add more than 200,000 square feet to the building space of the 300,000-square-foot hotel. There were representatives of many county agencies at the meeting with about 50 people in attendance from the general public. A representative for the tribe was also at the meeting Tuesday. The Tribal Chair previously announced the expansion saying the hotel was fully booked this spring so they decided to go for it.
A landslide has closed the 101 in northern Mendocino County. The two lane section of highway around six miles north of Leggett was being repaired and already limited to one lane before the Sunday slide. Caltrans reports about 6,000 cubic yards of rocks and soil came onto the road. There’s been slides on this area of the highway before but apparently it had been pretty stable for some time. Caltrans saying they hope to have the area back open sometime today, but to use Highway 5 until the road is cleared.
A paraplegic man from Guerneville who’s been suing several Bay Area businesses and public buildings gets his lawyer fees paid and is cleared of extortion claims by a Russian River tavern. The Press Democrat reporting the tentative ruling means 73 year old Richard Skaff cannot get damages and other legal fees from Rio Nido Roadhouse owner Brad Metzger which might have been hundreds of thousands. Skaff told the newspaper he was happy with the ruling and he feels vindicated. The Roadhouse owner, Metzger’s lawyer says they’re happy to avoid paying damages he may have had to under state civil rights laws. It comes after Skaff sued after a visit to the Roadhouse because there was no handicapped parking, wheelchair ramp, handicap accessible bathrooms and more required under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. Skaff has sued dozens of others over the years.
Growing recreational marijuana is now a thing in the Mendocino County Code. The Board of Supervisors has passed their indoor cannabis cultivation regulations, now part of County Code in Chapter 9.30. Strict guidelines instead of permits like the way pot’s treated for medical use. The Board of Supervisors approval means there’s six plants allowed for personal use under Proposition 64 to be included with the 25-plant maximum in the medical ordinance. But the plants can only be grown indoors within 100 square feet and are restricted from rentals unless they’re in some sort of garage or accessory structure.
Being prepared for an emergency the topic of a daylong seminar for education professionals. The Mendocino County Office of Education hosted the seminar for those in Mendocino, Lake and Sonoma counties in Ukiah. Those who couldn’t make the drive could watch via video conference at Fort Bragg High. Those in attendance learned how to put together emergency plans or how to utilize what they have but to add on with the new federal standards. It’s a yearly training for folks in education to learn or supplement what they know about safety and emergency preparedness and response.
The last training of 2017 for the Mendocino County Chief’s Academy on the books. The training complete with a mobile fire simulator took place at the Little Lake Willits Fire District station. The academy for firefighter safety and survival, with ropes and knots, ladders, hoses, auto extrication, hazmat, wild land firefighting and more. Firefighters from across the region attended. The training from early January to mid April. Those who finish have more skills and can help train those in their departments. Those who attended volunteered for the training which happened on most weekends. They are volunteer firefighters.
A legislator from the North Bay trying to get cigarette smoking banned along the coast and at state parks. The Press Democrat reports Assemblyman Marc Levine of Greenbrae says his bill is necessary to protect others from secondhand smoke. Plus it will help with the littering of cigarette butts in public outdoor spaces. The bill is supported by the American Lung Association they say because parks and beaches are visited by families who shouldn’t have to be exposed to unwanted smoke. The newspaper reports statistics from the Ocean Conservancy saying cigarette litter is the most commonly retrieved waste item during coastal cleanup days. If the ban passes and people are caught smoking, they can get fined up to $250.