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Monthly Archives: June 2017

The Willits City Council has discussed the latest draft a medical cannabis ordinance. The City Planner presented it to the Council at their meeting last night and pointed out issues raised in a May 25 public workshop. The Willits News reports the current version of the ordinance permits indoor cultivation up to 22,000 square feet, manufacturing for products using non-volatile solvents, and limits dispensaries to three in total operating within the city at any given time. It also calls for a one-year initial cannabis permit, which could turn into a multi-year permit if the operator is compliant and keeps up with the standards. It also calls for buffers around schools, public playgrounds or parks, and licensed day care facilities. City Staff will continue to work with the City’s cannabis ad-hoc committee to finalize the ordinance.

The Ukiah Valley Trail Group says although the high water at Lake Mendocino has some areas inaccessible the trails on the south and east sides of the lake are open. The Trail Group tells the Daily Journal they recognized years ago that in high water years the trails would be flooded so they enacted several projects to make sure the trails would stay open and above water. That include a realignment of nearly five miles of trails along the east side of the lake in 2006, two trail realignments around Perry’s Cove in 2012, a realignment of trail just north of Boater’s Beach in 2010, a short realignment of the Shakota Trail in 2011 and building the 60-foot fiberglass Big Bridge in 2008. The Ukiah Valley Trail Group is working on plans to realign the rest of the trails so all trails are accessible even when the lake level is at its highest.

A small plane has crashed onto a major Southern California freeway. Fire Officials say the Cessna 310 had just taken off from John Wayne Airport around 930am when the pilot radioed a May Day about a blow engine and tried to come back to the airport. He crashed into the southbound lanes of Interstate 405 in Costa Mesa and then the plane caught on fire. The pilot and passenger were taken to trauma center where the extent of their injuries is not currently known. The plane clipped only one car on the freeway; that driver has only a minor injury.

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The Willits City Council has passed a budget for the next Fiscal Year that includes a deficit but with a promise to hold periodic finance committee meetings to keep working on the budget. The Willits News reports the budget passed narrowly 3-2 with a $389,747 deficit and a goal of finding both more savings and more revenue. Councilman Ron Orenstein who voted against it says while the city’s working capital reserve fund is still pretty healthy, he is concerned about some unknowns, including what impact the Willits bypass could have on city revenue. The paper reports that in a budget workshop held last month, the City Manager listed the cannabis industry as a potential new revenue source for the city but noted there could be a delay before the revenue rolls in. The City Council meeting also included a presentation on the latest draft of the cannabis ordinance and held a lengthy discussion on many of its contents.

Harsh words from the Mendocino County grand jury regarding the Mendocino Coast Recreation and Parks District. In a report released this week the grand jury called the district “financially irresponsible” saying they are “currently and habitually delinquent on their capital lease and outstanding loans….was over seven months late in completing the 2015-16 annual audit and currently in Chapter 9 bankruptcy.” The Ukiah Daily Journal cites the grand jury report as raising “substantial doubt” about whether the Mendocino Coast Recreation and Parks District can continue. The reports says for the past four years the district has been getting advances on county property tax funds, also known as Teeter funds, to help pay bills. But the grand jury recommends the county audit the district before giving them any more Teeter money.

The playground at Library Park in Lakeport is back open. The City announced yesterday that they got it open in time for the Independence Day weekend and celebration in the Park Tuesday. The entire Park was closed for several weeks due to damage from the major winter storms and flooding. Lake County News reports at last week’s Lakeport City Council meeting, the City Manager said due to the County having been declared a disaster area as a result of the storms, the city expects to receive close to 100-percent federal reimbursement for repairs to city facilities including the park.

The Ukiah Valley Trail Group says although the high water at Lake Mendocino has some areas inaccessible the trails on the south and east sides of the lake are open. The Trail Group tells the Daily Journal they recognized years ago that in high water years the trails would be flooded so they enacted several projects to make sure the trails would stay open and above water. That include a realignment of nearly five miles of trails along the east side of the lake in 2006, two trail realignments around Perry’s Cove in 2012, a realignment of trail just north of Boater’s Beach in 2010, a short realignment of the Shakota Trail in 2011 and building the 60-foot fiberglass Big Bridge in 2008. The Ukiah Valley Trail Group is working on plans to realign the rest of the trails so all trails are accessible even when the lake level is at its highest.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors has voted unanimously to renew their support for the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, which was created in 2015 by President Barack Obama under the Antiquities Act but is now under review along with 21 others across the country following an executive order by President Donald Trump. In April President Trump ordered monuments of 100,000 acres or more created over the past 21 years to be reviewed. Lake County News reports two-thirds of the 331,000-acre monument is in Lake County, with the rest crossing Mendocino, Colusa, Glenn, Napa, Yolo and Solano. As they did several years ago when the area was being considered for National Monument status, supporters are visiting state, regional, and local leaders to get their support to now maintain that status. This week’s affirmation marks the third time the Lake County Supervisors have said yes.The public comment period on the review of the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument ends on July 10.

Mendocino College has announced their Gala Wine Festival to help fund student scholarships will be held Saturday August 12 at the Mendocino College Stadium Field. Scholarship Chair Jerry Chaney says this past year they awarded more than $238,000 in scholarships to over 180 students.

With the Fourth of July approaching, the Lakeport Police Department is reminding you about the use of Safe and Sane Fireworks within Lakeport. Safe and Sane Fireworks can be used July 1, 2, and 3 from 9am to 10pm and July 4 from 9am to 11pm. They can be used on any street within the incorporated area of Lakeport but not on – or over – someone else’s property without their permission and not within 10 feet of any home. They have also issued reminders on what you can and can’t do in parks, especially regarding alcohol. You can find their full press release here:

LAKEPORT PREPARES FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION.

As the Fourth of July approaches, the Lakeport Police Department would like to provide Citizens with important information for those who wish to attend the event. As in the previous years, the City of Lakeport is allowing the sale and use of Safe and Sane Fireworks within the incorporated area of Lakeport. Any person who wishes to purchase and use Safe and Sane Fireworks are strongly encouraged to adhere to the following dates, times and locations for discharging Safe and Sane Fireworks.

DATES AND HOURS OF DISCHARGE:

JULY 1rst: 9:00 am to 10:00 pm JULY 2nd: 9:00 am to 10:00 pm JULY 3rd: 9:00 am to 10:00 pm JULY 4th: 9:00 am to 11:00 pm

DESIGNATED PLACES FOR DISCHARGE:

All Safe and Sane Fireworks are permitted on any street within the incorporated area of Lakeport from July 1rst through the 4th which does not violate section 5.30.180B, which states: It is unlawful for any person to ignite, discharge, project or otherwise fire or use any safe and sane firework, or permit the ignition, discharge or projection upon or over or onto another’s property without his/her permission or within 10 feet of any residence, dwelling or other structure used as a place of habitation by human beings.

Discharge of Safe and Sane Fireworks will be permitted on Fourth St. during the July 4th event. The location will be cordoned off by barrier tape and will be in the 50 block of 4th St.

Citizens should use extreme caution when discharging Safe and Sane fireworks as the city is experiencing extremely high temperatures.

Alcohol will be permitted by persons in the parklands during the 4th of July event between the hours of 11:00 am and 10:00 pm. The event has been issued a “special permit” for alcohol consumption with certain restrictions which are listed below. These restrictions are in place as a precautionary measure to protect public safety, damage to city property or private property and to protect any and all persons in attendance. Failure to abide by these conditions may result criminal actions, the immediate suspension of the alcohol permit and possible forfeiture of future special events in the City of Lakeport.

Alcohol Restrictions:
No kegs or other large alcohol storage/dispensing containers. No glass containers.
No sales of alcohol will be allowed.
Public Intoxication is prohibited.

Noise Restrictions:

No amplified music outside of facility or event location.

Park Rules:

Park lands will be closed between midnight and 6:00 am. Obey all posted rules and regulations. Annually, the 4th of July event draws a large crowd of people to the parklands thus, causing safety concerns. The Police Department has set up a public information cellular telephone text alert function through NIXLE to provide public safety alerts, other important information, such as lost children, safety concerns, street closures or location information for the safe and sane discharge area to members of the public who are attending the activities during the event. In order to receive these important public information text messages, members of the public can opt-in by texting the word fireworks to 888777.

REMINDER: Law Enforcement does not have the authority to permit the use of fireworks on any private property such as, Safeway parking lot, Kmart parking lot, Nylander Center parking lot, Shoreline Center parking lot and Vista Point parking lot.

The Lakeport Police Department will also have a command post set up at City Hall Chambers during the event for those who wish to stop by or have questions.

Members of a church that once stood on Cobb Mountain gather for a groundbreaking for their new church after their last one burned down in the Valley Fire. The fire, one of the most destructive in Calif. history, burned more than 75,000 acres, several hundred homes and the Cobb Mountain Community Fellowship. 4 people also died in the fire and four firefighters had serious injuries. This past Sunday, members of the church met to continue their promise to rebuild. The associate pastor for the church says there were other fellowships that also worshiped with them. A couple years before the fire started, the church bought another building, the Finley Revival Center, where they’ve been worshiping since the fire. The church working with Lake County so they can construct an identical building, now waiting to hear back from the county on its plan.

A woman in Riviera Marina shoots a picture from her backyard of a bobcat feasting on a deer. The Record Bee reports Gloria Beauseau heard noises outside her home a week ago, and saw the bobcat, so she started to take pictures of the scene. When the bobcat left, Beauseau says a flock of birds came in, then a black bear, which she says has been a frequent and unwelcome visitor.

North Coast State Senator Mike McGuire’s bill to ban gifts and coupons to consumers from the pharmaceutical industry has made it thru an Assembly committee. SB 790 restricts pharmaceutical companies from gifting health care providers but still allows doctors to learn about the meds. McGuire says most docs and other medical professionals put their patients needs first, but he says there’s growing evidence indicating financial benefit for medical professionals from pharma companies based on prescribing patterns. McGuire says his bill is to protect patients and taxpayers and drive prescription drugs costs down. His bill was approved by the State Senate and now moves to a vote of the full Assembly.

As part of the budget process, the Governor has signed several other bills including one to fight drugged driving. The bill by Republican Assemblyman Tom Lackey of Palmdale to create a task force thru the CHP. The CHP would coordinate with other state and local agencies for ways to get high drivers off the road. Lackey says there would now be simple and clear definitions for taking weed inside a car. The bill says cannabis would have to be in a container with an unbroken seal, much like alcohol. Lackey says the Governor took a critical step to keep California’s roads safe ahead of recreational cannabis sales starting in full swing. The CHP has to come up with pilot tests for new roadside technologies to screen drivers for drugs plus they’ll have millions to train drug recognition experts.

The Lake County Library has won a $5,000 grant for the Big Read in the county. The event by the National Endowment for the Arts encourages the sharing of a book. The Lake County Library one of 75 nonprofits getting the grant for the Big Read which pays for the community reading program between September 2017 and June 2018. The NEA Big Read here to focus on Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel with associated events this October.

A private company allowing residents in Clearlake more access to their beach. A new agreement between Clearlake and E. A. Robey & Company for Austin Beach. The Clearlake City Manager Greg Folsom says the agreement allows both for profit and non-profit activities and events at the park and beach for at least the next century. In the past the city had rights to the park, but not the beach. The president of E.A Robey says he’s never had a problem with the beach being used by non or for profits as long as the beach stays open to the public.

Planning a trip to Jenner Beach for the holiday… construction work starts next week on the parking lot, trailhead and other areas for public access. Get there while you can, the 5,630-acre Jenner Headlands Preserve closed to public access thru spring after next week. There’s good news for next year though, as the improvements include new restrooms, parking and picnic sites. The 2 million dollar facelift includes a wheelchair accessible trail to a scenic overlook so there’s access to everyone, no matter their ability. The Gateway Project also includes 12 miles of trails in the western part of the Jenner Headlands Preserve and a 15-mile round-trip to Pole Mountain and back.

The Mendocino County Grand Jury has come out with a scathing report saying the county’s Family and Children Services division of the Health and Human Services Agency has not really improved since their last report two years ago. The report says the agency’s still suffering from high turnover and non-competitive salaries. The report says the county’s, quote “pervasive drug culture, insufficient mental health and drug treatment services are contributing factors”. It goes on to say drug use ending in police action has meant the Department is having problems finding families who can take in detained children. Statistics in Mendocino County worse than the majority of counties as far as response time goes, the time it takes to get to an investigation of child abuse reports and the time taken to conduct the investigation of those reports. This year’s grand jury says the 2015 report on the department appeared to not have been taken well.

A brain surgeon in Northern Calif. accused of sexually abusing kids had bail set and nearly six and a half million dollars. Prosecutors didn’t want any bail at all for Dr. James Kohut of the Santa Cruz area, calling the neurologist a public danger who they say recruited women to help him find child victims. The D-A’s office in the case says the doctor had even discussed getting women pregnant so he could later sexually abuse children born to him. But prosecutors say there’s no evidence to show he ever did such a thing, but he’s charged with 11 counts of sexually abusing children under the age of 14. He’s pleaded not guilty.

Planning a trip into Yosemite National Park for the holiday, you’re in luck. Tioga Road opening today, the latest it’s opened in almost twenty years. The road links the east and west sides of the National Park. The late opening after the record rain and snowfall this year. Park records say the last time the road took this long to open was back in 1998. But that was a couple days later, July 1st, when the road, also known as Hwy 120 opened to drivers. There is still no cell service and plumbing operational along the road though.

New rules blocked by regulators in Calif. regarding assault weapons. The Calif. Office of Administrative Law released a quick note with no further explanation saying the proposed regulations the state Department of Justice released in May would not be put into effect. The Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office has not commented on the move. But gun-owners’ rights groups had said there were too many different kinds of firearms defined as assault weapons by the state. A bill passed last year banning new rifles included so called "bullet buttons". The law would have allowed those with the buttons to keep those weapons, but has to register them. The Gov. signed a bill extending assault weapons being registered for six more months as new regulations are drafted.

If you’ve been seeing smoke towards the northern portion of Mendocino County today, the Cal Fire Mendocino Unit has been doing a vegetation management control burn on some privately owned land near the Shamrock Ranch. Prescribed burns are done to reintroduce fire as a natural element of the ecosystem, improve wildlife habitat by inducing new shoots from trees and plants, and reduce how much fuel is up there in case of a wildfire.

Four people have been busted for drugs in Ukiah after a fight during a bad deal. Ukiah Police say someone called around 1130pm Monday about a disturbance on Elm Street saying one of the people had a gun. They got a tip about a people leaving in a gray car and spotted that car near North State and Empire. A Mendocino Deputy and UPD Officers worked together on what call a “high-risk stop” of the car. The driver was from San Leandro, and three passengers from Oakland, all of them aged 19 or 20. Police found about 16 pounds of marijuana and $1200 in cash in the car. They say the men came to Ukiah to buy pot but tried to trick the seller out of some money and the fight broke out. While the 911 caller said there was a gun, police didn’t find one on the guys so they were all just cited for misdemeanor possession and given court dates.

A full Lake Mendocino but that means some recreation areas will not be accessible because of flooded roads. The lake level so high after pounding rain this past winter. Some of the roads into the lake are under water and the Lake itself is about 753 feet above sea level according to the Army Corp which manages the lake. The Corp’s Operations and Readiness Division Chief says the Sonoma County Water Agency used to keep it low on purpose, but apparently they didn’t realize that was harmful to fish because lower water levels means higher temperatures in the Lake. So they’ve decided not to release water from the Coyote Valley Dam after 2005 which is better for fish. The Bushay Campground is closed because of the water level and storm damage. The south boat ramp, Oak Grove day use, the fish hatchery and Pomo sites B and C are also closed.

The new budget has been signed by the Governor. Governor Brown also signed 15 related bills on items like taking apart a troubled tax agency and new marijuana regulations for legal use. The Governor released a statement saying the state’s taken quote, “decisive action by enacting a balanced state budget”. Brown says it will mean there’s money to fix roads and bridges, pay down debt, invest in schools, fund the earned income tax credit and provide Medi-Cal health care for millions of Californians. There’s also new additions to the budget including expanding the tax credit for low-wage earners and $3 billion dollars more for schools. The Governor’s website has all of the details posted there.

The Mendocino County Grand Jury says the county needs a lot more housing and skilled job applicants so the county should get rid of restrictions on chain businesses. The Grand Jury report says a ban on so-called formula businesses may further stifle the county’s ability to fill professional employment positions, turn the lack of available housing around, and offer too few jobs with benefits. The report also says there’s not enough retail shopping opportunities in the county for the a youthful demographic. The Grand Jury report says there should be encouraging of business development, and maintaining the standard or continuing to review all business applications for community continuity equally.

Another fire training session just ahead of the fire season. This time more than 20 fire districts from Mendocino County in Redwood Valley for a joint training session. The meetup last Saturday. The Hopland Fire Chief says it’s been years since they had an event like this, which they hosted along with the Redwood Valley-Calpella Fire Department. The two departments say the turnout was bigger than in the past too. They’re training along the old burn area of the Black Bart Fire. The fire in 2014 destroyed five homes and more than 400 acres. There were about 100 firefighters in the drill.

A surprise closure of the Lakeside Campus of Marymount California University in Lucerne. No notice to the public, its students or staff, or even the county. District 3 Supervisor Jim Steele says the county got no notice of the closure last week, and says it was kind of a shock. The school taking over the historic Lucerne Castle less than five years ago. The Marymount California University President has not released any info and has not responded to media requests for comment. But apparently the president did send an email to the Press Democrat saying low enrollment was the reason. The school only had about 20 students. Those attending can continue online of in Southern Calif. at the main campus in Palos Verdes, which is about a day’s drive away. May not be all bad news though, the county’s apparently been contacted by other educational and religious groups to use the old hotel.

State lawmakers digging into the main pesticide ingredient in Roundup to come up with numbers that humans can be exposed to. The pesticide’s main ingredient Glyphosate is on a list of chemicals known to cause cancer. In March, the state was the first to add it to the list of other chemicals that cause cancer. The state’s now deciding what the threshold is for exposure. The standard is 140 miligrams a day, but Calif. wants to take it way down to 1.1 milligrams a day per person.

The Calif. Dept. of Public Health says there’s new cases popping up of Hepatitis C in young adults. Cases on the rise since 2007. The 20-29 year olds apparently using injection drugs more which puts them at risk for higher hepatitis C transmission and infection. The state health department says access to sterile syringes and safe injection equipment and treatment for opioid use disorders could help reduce the infections by as much as 60 percent. The infection is spread thru contaminated blood. It attacks the users liver and causes it to get inflamed. The state says about 400,00 Californians live with chronic hepatitis C, not even knowing they’re infected. The health department urging anyone who’s injected drugs and anyone born between 1945 and 1965 to get tested for the virus.

A Mendocino County sheriff’s dept. officer and two other people recovering after an accident on Highway 101. The Willits News reports an RV rear-ended the sergeant’s unmarked patrol truck south of Dora Creek yesterday. The officer had a passenger in his truck for a ride along. They had stopped in traffic for construction work at mile post marker 96 on the 101 north when the RV driver from Oregon rear ended them. The truck pushed into an SUV which then pushed into a second SUV. There were six people in the accident which closed the highway down for about a half hour. The cop, his passenger and one of the SUV drivers had moderate injuries and went to the hospital. The Garberville CHP Office is looking into whether alcohol or drugs played a role in the chain reaction crash.

A new survey of the homeless in Mendocino County presented to the Board of Supervisors. Each year there’s a count of the homeless, this time around, on January 26th. The report showed more than 1,200 homeless individuals and families, with most of them also without some sort of shelter at the time of the survey. Another report to the board also showed the per capita rate of homelessness in Mendocino County at 140 per 10,000 people. That’s according to the U-S Dept. of Housing and Urban Development which says the amount is nearly triple of what Lake County has. The count is those living on the streets or in a shelter. The county gave those surveyed $5 Safeway gift cards so they would complete surveys at warming stations. The Health and Human Services Agency says of the 1,238 homeless people in the county: 28 percent were in the coastal region, 22 percent in the north inland region (along Highway 20, north of Redwood Valley to Covelo) and 50 percent in the south inland region (south of Redwood Valley, east to the county line at Potter Valley).

Willits city officials say it may take more time, as long as a year even, to figure out the total loss of business revenue from the construction of the Willits Bypass project. They say it’s a success as far as thinning traffic concerns during its first summer of use, and say there’s no more traffic jams with long delays which were a problem for years. Caltrans reports April traffic counts showing about 4,000 cars or more were using the bypass every day. The CHP also reported less congestion and safer roads on busy weekends and during big local events. But reports also say there’s been lower sales revenue. The city council says it’s still too early to know what the local business impact was, saying it could take up to a year to fully know.

A woman in China delays her own flight for hours after tossing loose change into the plane’s engine for good luck. The American Foreign Press reports passengers on the China Southern Airlines flight from Shanghai to Guangzhou, China Tuesday. Police say the 80 year old woman went up the boarding stairs then threw coins at the plane’s engine, to pray for safety. Others boarding the flight alerted crew members who then had to dig the change out of the engine. They pulled 9 coins out, one of which made it inside the engine. The woman was detained by police and the flight was allowed to take off, five hours late.

A Mendocino County woman and her son have both pleaded not guilty to the murder of a woman on whose property they lived. Kelley Anne Coan and Alexander Phillip Coan entered pleas on Monday in relation to the death of Jamie Dawn Shipman at her home on Caspar Little Lake Road May 23rd. Kelley Coan fled the area in Shipman’s car but surrendered the next day in San Joaquin County. Alexander Coan was arrested three days later after Mendocino County detectives determined he was an “active participant”. The Sheriff’s Office has not said what evidence led them to believe Alexander Coan a suspect nor have they disclosed the motive for the killing. A preliminary hearing is set for August 14.

Governor Jerry Brown has appointed a Middletown woman to the Lake County Fair Board. Monica Rosenthal has been named to the 49th District Agricultural Association. Lake County News reports the co-owner, with her husband, of Rosenthal Vineyards has served for five years as a member of the board of directors for the Lake County Farm Bureau, and is a member of the California Women of Agriculture’s Lake County Chapter and Soroptimist International of Clear Lake. This now brings the board’s membership to eight, with one position still vacant. If you are interested in applying for the still-vacant seat go to the Governor’s Appointment Webpage: at https://www.gov.ca.gov/m_appointments.php.

The US Forest Service estimates California now has about 102 million dead trees. A Forest Service team is spending the summer doing aerial surveys. Team leader Jeffery Moore says in an article on the Cal OES Website millions of trees weakened by the bark beetle infestation were finished off by the drought and there are large areas across the state where dead trees outnumber live ones. And Moore says a lot of them are in areas frequently visited by campers and hikers, which could put people in danger from unstable trees as well as increased fire risk. Moore says the wet winter we just had will go a long way to help future generations of trees, but it’s just a start and we’d need couple more years like that for the trees to be really healthy again.

Top High School students in Lake and Mendocino counties get scholarships and other awards ahead of the next school year. Mendo Lake Credit Union (MLCU) representatives went to area schools for award presentations. The $1,000 Arlene Colombini Scholarships in Mendocino County have been awarded to Sophie Swan-Edlund of Mendocino High School and Olivia Consterdine of Mendocino College. The same award in Lake County went to Johnathon Martinez of Lower Lake High School and Cristal Nieves of Upper Lake High School. The students have to achieve at least a 3.0 grade point average, be enrolled for 12 units or more in a college or university, and they had to send in a personal statement describing why they needed the award along with their future goals. There were also several $50 honorarium awards handed out in each county at several different high schools.

The Mendocino County Executive office says an Assembly Bill to first see if employees can do the work that is sometimes contracted out would harm the county. The County’s top executive has sent a letter to the legislature against Assembly Bill 1250 which the city’s Executive office says would mean a defacto ban on its ability to contract with community based organizations, nonprofits and private local businesses for certain services. The County says counties contract with organizations and businesses with the expertise, capacity or ability to deliver services more efficiently. The bill has so far passed the Assembly and moves to the Senate Governance and Finance Committee next week. Those in favor of the bill say it won’t limit contracting with non-government groups, but will stop private contracts.

Looking for something to do on July 4th? The Ukiah and Lakeport Speedways are having fireworks this Independence Day weekend, ahead of the official July 4th holiday… Several local organizations have donated for the fireworks show at sundown at the Lakeport Speedway, Saturday July 1st and at the Ukiah Speedway, Sunday, July 2nd. The raceways will also of course have cars rumbling around the tracks too, Saturday is the Kelseyville Lumber Deake Lyndall Memorial Race in Lakeport and Sunday in Ukiah’s got Sprint Cars, Pro 4 Modifieds, Bandoleros, Legends, Taco Bell Bombers and Jammers. The gates are open at each track at 3:30PM with races starting at 5:00PM.

Fire restrictions have begun ahead of the official fire season. The Bureau of Land Management has started bans on public lands managed by the Acata and Ukiah field offices in Del Norte, Humboldt, Trinity, Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa, Yolo, Colusa, Glenn and Solano counties. The BLM says the restrictions are in place to protect public lands and nearby communities from wildfire due to dry fuels and high temperatures. They say that’s made for an increase of fire danger and a need to minimize the potential for fire starts. It means no campfires and barbecues, except in developed campgrounds. You must have a valid campfire permit for portable stoves and lanterns with gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel where it’s normally allowed. They also say you should bring shovels and have water within reach. There’s other rules too, be sure to check with the Bureau before heading out.

For more information, telephone the Arcata Field Office, 707-825-2300; or the Ukiah Field Office, 707-468-4000.

Workshops are set for Cannabis farmers on pesticides. The Mendocino County Agriculture Dept. is having workshops tomorrow on what can be used on plants, so far none have been approved. There are some substances approved for rodent control though. The state Dept. of Food and Agriculture has not come up with their guidelines yet for growers and pesticides which will ultimately be decided by the state’s Dept. of Pesticide Regulation. Two sessions tomorrow on “Pesticide Use Enforcement” and another pair July 6th, where the focus will be pesticide concepts and regulations. There will be separate trainings on how to handle pesticide too. The trainings tomorrow at the Ag Department in Ukiah.

Local food producers working with multiple federal agencies and the City of Ukiah to find ways for more local food production. There are going to be consultants from several federal agencies meeting with local non-profits and food producers to find ways to improve land access, encourage food production, and use unsold produce in recipes. North Coast Opportunities, the Mendocino Food Policy Council, and the City of Ukiah are hosting as part of the Local Foods, Local Places program, paid for by several federal agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The workshops tomorrow at 5:30pm at the Alex Rorabaugh Center in Ukiah and Thursday from 9am to 4pm at the Community Foundation in Ukiah.

To get more info, visit our website…

Contact Eva King of the Food Policy Council at Mcfpc.coordinator, 860-670-7089 or Scott Cratty at cratty.

A new report shows California higher numbers of people are not connected to the internet, other than on smartphones. The UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies report released yesterday shows 87 percent of the state’s households have broadband, but 18 percent of those use their smartphones as the only way they can connect. The report says that number is more than double the 8 percent it was at a couple years ago. The report shows there are still inequalities in society and the economy meaning less connection with California’s tech economy. The report shows 34% of those surveyed who didn’t have broadband at home said it was too costly. They also noted feeling at a disadvantage in developing new career skills or taking classes. The poll of more than 1,600 adults in six different languages.

A big brawl by the Russian River ends in one person stabbed and several other people being hit in the head with bottles. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Dept. reports the fight between rival gangs sent at least five people to the hospital. The fight last Saturday night at the Monte Rio beach with more than a dozen people. Cops say a 19 year old from Santa Rosa was stabbed in the chest and four others had cuts and gashes. Deputies say they got a call about a fight with knives, sticks, bottles and cans. A 17 year old was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon — a wine bottle — and another teen, a 16‑year‑old, also from Santa Rosa was arrested on suspicion of battery.

Firefighters from across the region jump fast on a fast-moving fire that torched about 2 acres of grass and brush. The fire yesterday afternoon along Highway 101 near Cloverdale. Firefighters get the 911 call from multiple people about the fire near the Highway 128 junction north of Cloverdale. The calls first said it was just about a half of an acre, but when firefighters got there, they say the fire was moving up a hill quickly. Cal Fire, Cloverdale, Geyserville, Healdsburg, Windsor and Hopland firefighters all responded as police had traffic down to one lane just at the Sonoma‑Mendocino county border. The fire was out around 3:30 p.m. yesterday.

To get the work done on the Oroville Dam, a model of the dam inside a warehouse in Utah is being used so engineers can work on how to attack the repairs. The replica of part of the dam is built from wood, concrete and steel – so engineers can try to figure out the best course of action on the spillway at the tallest dam in the U.S., damaged in heavy rain this past winter. They’re proposing new channels, called aerators, as part of the $300 million spillway reconstruction. They’ve also figured out an adjustment to a curve needed around halfway down the spillway wouldn’t make that much difference. The work is supposed to be done by November ahead of the next rainy season.

Taco Bell fan alert. If you’re thinking of matrimony, you can have your burrito and wedding bells along with your Taco Bell. The fast food restaurant in Las Vegas is offering wedding services at the flagship Las Vegas Cantina restaurant. The first one of its kind was held this past weekend as part of the brand’s Love and Tacos Contest, where couples competed to win an all-expense paid trip to the Las Vegas Cantina. So starting August 7th, you too can have your own Taco Bell wedding. For $600, you get an ordained officiant, reception area for up to 15 guests, swag for the bride and groom, a Taco 12 Pack, a Cinnabon Delights cake and, a sauce packet bouquet.

One person is dead and four hurt after two boats collided at Lake Mendocino Saturday night. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office says they are looking into several factors surrounding the crash that killed 26-year-old Miguel Corona of Ukiah around 1030pm Saturday near the North Boat Ramp. They say one of the boats had just left the dock as the other was approaching it. The Yolo County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol Unit is assisting in the investigation, which is looking at possible alcohol involvement, the darkness and speed of the boats, and whether or not the driver of one of the boats fled the scene.

The Lake County Office of Emergency Services is updating their Local Hazard Mitigation Plan and will be holding a couple of public meetings about it. The 2012 Local Hazard Mitigation Plan includes preparation for floods, drought, wildfires, severe weather and other concerns, with the goal of reducing overall losses during a disaster. Lake County OES says only communities that have a FEMA-approved Hazard Mitigation Plan are eligible to apply for both pre- and post-disaster mitigation grant money and for lower costs of flood insurance for residents so they need it be as accurate as possible and encourage you to come listen and speak up:

July 12, 2017
Planning Committee Meeting 2pm-4:30 pm
Lake County Board of Supervisor’s Room
255 North Forbes Street
Lakeport, CA 95453

July 12 2017
Public Information Meeting 6pm-7:30pm
Kelseyville High School
5480 Main Street
Kelseyville, CA 95451

A Laytonville High School Junior is one of four girls representing California in the National High School Rodeo Association Finals Rodeo in Barrel Racing. Hailey Finnegan and her horse Beach Cat finished fourth in the state in barrel racing at the California High School Rodeo Association State Finals, which qualified her to be part of the California team at Nationals which take place July 16-22 in Gillette, Wyoming. By going to Nationals, Hailey will be part of the world’s largest rodeo featuring over 1,750 contestants from 43 states as well as Canada and Australia.