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The Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office has settled three major abalone poaching cases including two connected to restaurants. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says Steven Liang, owner of the Asian Buffet Restaurant in Fort Bragg, pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy involving the purchase and black market sales of sport-caught abalone for personal profit. He was ordered to serve some jail time, pay a $15,000 fine, and is prohibited from obtaining a fishing license for life. Another case involved the owner of a Sacramento restaurant who got probation, a $40,000 fine, and also lost his fishing license for life. The third case was an Alameda man who’d been the subject of a dramatic Cliffside rescue by volunteer firefighters from Mendocino and Elk after he got stranded by the tide while poaching abalone.

Demolition of some homes to make room for housing developments is a topic of discussion today for the Ukiah City Council. The Council began a public hearing a couple of weeks ago on the proposed demolition of a single-family home on Norton Street to make room to increase the size of a planned multi-family housing development of possibly up to 35 units. An official tells the Daily Journal if the home is not torn down the development could be as few as 22 units. With several issues unresolved the Council decided to continue the hearing to today’s scheduled meeting which also includes a second hearing for a similar plan to take down a home and another building on East Gobbi to make way for a housing complex for the mentally ill who are on the edge of falling into homelessness. The hearing is at 3 p.m. at City Council chambers.

Ukiah Valley Sanitation District General Manager Joe Tait will reportedly be leaving within the next couple of weeks. The Board of Directors is holding a special meeting today to discuss his departures as well as other items. Tait was terminated at the end of November and has since been serving out his 180-day termination notice. The Vice Chair told the Daily Journal Tait would be leaving in the next week or so. The agenda also includes an open session discussing whether private banking would be an option for district funds, as well as the District’s bond issue status. A closed session will follow with legal counsel regarding the Districts lawsuit with the City of Ukiah.

The Ukiah City Council is holding a workshop this evening to update the public on plans for street repairs, downtown parking, and the State Street Streetscape Project. Council will first talk about Measure Y, the sales tax that city residents approved in 2016 to raise money for street repairs. They will outline the funding available and the prioritization of projects. Then they plan to discuss downtown parking, including “an overview of existing conditions, as well as the solution proposed by the ad-hoc committee. Following that will be a status update and general overview” of the Streetscape Project, which includes narrowing State Street to two-lanes through downtown to create a more pedestrian-and bicycle-friendly urban core. They will be taking public input. The workshop begins at 5 p.m. in the Ukiah Valley Conference Center.

Sonoma County is planning to sue Pacific Gas &Electric for their role in the October wildfires and Lake and Mendocino Counties may not be far behind. Sonoma announced Tuesday they will seek tens of millions of dollars in damages to clear debris, rebuild infrastructure and develop safety measures to prevent future disasters. The decision follows a report to the Board of Supervisors from a group of private attorneys who have been consolidating about 100 lawsuits from residents to go under a single judge. The Sonoma Supervisors voted unanimously to sue PG&E calling them responsible for destroying more than 137 square miles in the County including more than 5,000 homes. The suit is expected to be filed in late February and according to their attorney, Lake, Mendocino and Napa counties are expected to join. Meanwhile the state Public Utilities Commission is conducting its own inquiry into the fires.

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