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Two people have been arrested for the December fire at the “Ghost Ship” Warehouse in Oakland that killed 36 people. The Alameda County DA’s Office says property manager Derick Ion Almena and the venue’s “creative director” Max Harris are each charged with 36 counts of Involuntary Manslaughter after they “knowingly created a fire trap” inside the warehouse. The DA says Almena allowed 25 people to live in the building filled with flammable materials without any fire suppression equipment and Harris arranged an electronic dance music concert for which he blocked off one stairwell exit, leaving those inside only one escape route. The DA’s office would not say if anyone else could still face charges including the building’s owner. They did say the cause of the fire would likely remain undetermined since most of the evidence was destroyed in the fire.

The Mendocino County CEO says they are taking a “fiscally conservative approach” to next year’s budget. At their meeting tomorrow, the Board of Supervisors is scheduled to discuss approval of the proposed county budget for the 2017 fiscal year. The Daily Journal reports despite what she calls “vastly improved” finances from a few years ago, the county CEO wants to remain conservative in case we have another downturn. Among possible expenses for 2017: salary increases for the county’s union workers who previously took pay cuts, and the Cannabis Compliance and Enforcement Program which will need two officers, six other staff, and a couple vehicles. Among the projected revenue: the county’s cannabis tax. The final budget is set to be adopted June 20th.

Volunteers have picked up more than 100 pounds of trash at this year’s World Environment Day clean up at Lake Berryessa. Coordinator Laura Morgan of the Solano Resource Conservation District says 33 volunteers came out Sunday and cleaned about six miles of trails down to and around the lake, removing more than 55 pounds of recyclables and more than 45 pounds of just plain garbage. She says higher than average water levels from the heavy winter rains made lake access more difficult than in past years. This was the 7th year of the Cleanup, which always falls at the start of Lake Berryessa’s season. If you missed this one, Lake Berryessa will take part in the “Coastal Cleanup” in September.


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