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A state Assemblyman accused of several sexual misconduct allegations has resigned. Democrat Raul Bocanegra of Los Angeles had said before he wouldn’t run again and would leave after the next legislative session, then yesterday he changed his tune and said he was out now after considering the situation over the long holiday weekend with family, friends and supporters. Several women say he was inappropriate with them, kissing or groping them without their consent. His office released a statement yesterday saying he’s innocent, but also admitted he’s not perfect.

Christmas tree prices are up this year. The Record Bee reports there’s a shortage in the usual places some Christmas tree retailers get their stock. Apparently the shortage started during the recession, but now hurricanes and heat waves affected the harvest too. The recession meant less families bought trees, so farmers planted less. Trees are grown in all 50 states, but in Oregon, they produce the most. There was a short supply in Oregon this year too though so California and others on the West Coast who sell Christmas trees had to reach out further across the country to get their supply, so they have to raise prices to match the work they’re doing to get the trees.

The Lakeport City Council has begun their work on proposed new rules for commercial marijuana growing and selling. A new ordinance to regulate marijuana and provide permits was presented to the council by the Community Development Director. As we reported there are going to be public hearings next month on the new rules. After a working group was put together to update rules, they recommended limiting retail sales of pot for delivery only. The ideas after a lot of community outreach, a city council and planning commission meeting on the proposed rules, and meetings in October and early November by the planning commission. There are also recommended changes to the city code. Nothing approved until after public comments and the December 19th public hearing. The Council is having a special meeting Monday night on the proposed changes to the city code at 6 PM.

Some confusion over the passage earlier this month of Measure B to pay for a mental health clinic and the recent vote by the Board of Supervisors to allow the Department of Planning and Building Services send in an application to the state for a nearly 5 million dollar grant for a similar project. The project already started by Redwood Community Services in Ukiah. The Daily Journal reports some residents questioning if the two projects are related. The paper reports the Board Chair John McCowen says the grant funding would complement Measure B tax funding, saying if the county gets the grant then the Measure B money could be used for other needed facilities and says there’s no conflict because there are several mental health facilities and needs and says Measure B had flexible language, allowing the county to decide what facilities could be constructed.

Small Business Saturday a close second to Black Friday in Ukiah and Willits. The Daily Journal reports retailers in Ukiah and Willits saying they had a lot of foot traffic and sales after Black Friday. The paper reports the executive director of the Ukiah Main Street program saying many of the merchants they were in touch with said it was one of the best Black Fridays they’ve had in years and said they also did well on Saturday as part of the national Small Business Saturday event. Some concern in Willits because of the downturn in business when the Willits Bypass was being built, but apparently local businesses said there were more customers out compared to last year, but there were a little less folks out on Black Friday than Small Business Saturday.

The new rule book governing California’s cannabis industry has been released. State regulators put out the 276 pages last week with rules including no marijuana businesses within 600 feet of schools, stores have to close by 10 p.m., and they need 24-hour video surveillance. The new rules go into effect January 1st when California starts allowing recreational weed sales to start. Changes in some of the rules that were being considered, like there’s no longer the one acre per person cultivation limit. The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s rules were released on Thanksgiving.

Some areas of the north coast, including Mendocino, have a delayed start to the commercial Dungeness crab season. The Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife released a statement saying the crab weren’t meaty enough in Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9, which is in Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties. The hold for about 2 weeks. So instead the season starts Dec. 16th to make sure the crab bulk up some more before they’re harvested. It’s to follow testing guidelines put together by the Tri-State Dungeness Crab Committee and overseen by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.

Quite a surprise for surgeons in India treating a man for suspected food poisoning. Maksud Khan had stomach pain so docs did an endoscopy on him, finding 263 coins and 100 nails in his stomach. They also apparently found dozens of razor blades, shards of glass, stones, and a 6-inch piece of rusted iron shackle. He was taken to surgery immediately to have the 15-lbs. of foreign objects removed. The doctors say they think Khan suffers from mental health problems, saying no sane person would do something like that. Relatives say he had been depressed lately and may have gotten addicted to eating metal objects.

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