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A state assembly member who’s the chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus and working to stop sexual harassment at the Capitol is now being accused herself. Two men say Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia of Bell Gardens made improper advances toward them. Politico is reporting on the two men, one a former staffer, who says Garcia groped his back and buttocks and tried grabbing his private parts at a legislative softball game. He apparently told his current boss who reported Garcia to the Assembly Rules Committee. Garcia says she doesn’t remember any incident, but goes on to say all complaints about sexual harassment should be taken seriously and says she’ll fully participate in any investigation. The other accusation from a lobbyist, who’s not been identified. But that person said pretty much the same thing, that Garcia tried grabbing his crotch and made an explicit sexual proposition.

Crowds descend on the Capitol against any new oil drilling off the California coast. Those against oil drilling delivering speeches on the steps of the Capitol yesterday with hundreds of people there, holding signs against the recent announcement that much of the coast would now be open to oil drilling. State Senator Mike McGuire was there along with Assemblyman Jim Wood. The two leading chants and whooping the crowd. There were other lawmakers and others who then marched to a library gallery where the U.S. Department of Interior had his one public meeting on the matter. The plan to sell oil rights including nearly 4 dozen on every ocean in the U-S, six of them on the Calif. coast.

Burners Without Borders have scrapped a plan to allow up to 75 people who lost their homes in the October wildfires to stay in converted shipping containers. The containers on loan from the Burning Man Arts and Music Festival. Burners say it was a nightmare trying to get the idea thru Santa Rosa’s permitting process, plus they couldn’t get enough money. Burners Without Borders is an international disaster relief group. They brought seven of the shipping containers that were converted to Santa Rosa at the end of October. They say they started to try to get the proper permits at the end of October, but it took three weeks to get comments back. Organizers also applied for grants which they didn’t get.

After about a week, a tractor trailer that went down a hill off the Hopland Grade, has been removed. Two heavy-duty tow trucks and two tractors yanked the trailer back up over the hill on Highway 175 after about two hours. The grade was closed all day Wednesday and Thursday while workers took away the trailer that was carrying recycled glass bottles. After the trailer was removed, they completely cleaned out the area too. The trailer reportedly taken out toward Lake County.

A new city manager has officially been hired in Fort Bragg. The City Council made the announcement Monday that Tabatha Miller of Lake Havasu City, Arizona will be headed to Calif. to be Fort Bragg’s next city manager with a projected start date of March 5th. The last day for the current city manager is Thursday with a reception this Monday night before the City Council meeting to say goodbye. More than 30 people applied to be the new city manager. Six candidates were chosen for final interviews and a panel of five city managers in the region were also involved in the process. Then three candidates remained and Miller was chosen unanimously.

A local organization for dogs in Fort Bragg trying to help get money to pay for a police dog who needs shoulder surgery. The Fort Bragg K9 Foundation trying to raise funds for Takoda after the nearly two year old showed signs of a shoulder injury. His handler took him to the doc who said he had a torn ligament on his rotator cuff for which a specialist was needed. The surgery is about $4,000 and so far they have just under 25% of that. There’s a GoFundMe set up. You can also directly donate at the Fort Bragg Police Station on Cypress St.

Some neighbors in Fort Bragg coming together to find a solution for parts of the city with only one way in or out. Folks in the Simpson Lane, Mitchell Creek and Caspar neighborhoods had an informal town hall to talk about what to do in the case of an emergency after the October wildfires. The meeting February 1st at the Caspar Community Center to work on an emergency preparedness plan. There were not only residents but reps from the county Office of Emergency Services and the local Fire Safe Council, along with the Fort Bragg Fire Chief, and county supervisors Dan Gjerde and Georgeanne Croskey. An emergency alert system is set up thru the Sheriff’s office website. And there’s an upcoming training for local preparedness with the Community Emergency Response Team in April. For more info, visit:

A new bill’s been introduced in the state senate for continued drinking water by State Senator Bill Dodd of Napa. Dodd’s drafted the bill for those having problems paying their water bill to get ample notice before the water’s turned off. The Record Bee reports the cost of water’s gone up more than 66% from 2007 and 2015 and in Los Angeles, 71 percent, but in San Francisco, a whopping 127 percent. A study shows more than one and five households in Calif. are impacted by water affordability. SO Dodd’s bill would stop shutoff for some and if service is disrupted it would mean those losing water would be told how to get it back and have the service reconnection fees waived. Plus there could be lower rates for lower income households.

The Redwood Credit Union fire fund announcing several million distributed to several nonprofits to help fire survivors. The credit union’s Community Fund distributing almost $7 million in grants from the North Bay Fire Relief Fund for 56 nonprofits after the October 8th wildfires. The money for the nonprofits to help with a number of services including financial assistance, food, housing, and more vital services for regional fire survivors. So far the credit union has donated nearly $32 million dollars to the fire relief fund that was donated by more than 41,000 individuals and organizations since October.

Mendocino County has announced a new agricultural commissioner. Tuesday the Board of Supervisors announced Joseph Moreo to be the new ag commissioner. He had been the agricultural commissioner and sealer of weights and measures in Modoc County before that. The county says Moreo has 35 years of experience in agriculture, and was a president of the Regional Association of Northern California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers.

Temporary fencing’s been installed in front of the Health and Human Services Agency’s Yokayo building in Ukiah. Apparently there are some structural problems with the stucco in front of the building and its awning the county says could become a Health or Safety risk. The fence put up to make sure the public’s safe when they’re accessing the building. The fencing up around areas needing to be fixed. Work is set to start Monday and the fencing will stay there until the work’s complete.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors has agreed to put the 1.5-cent sales tax before voters. As we reported earlier this week, the board was considering the idea after several local disasters and a rise in the amount it costs to operate the county. The supervisors voted unanimously for staff to start the work to get the initiative on the ballot in June. There were several public forums on the idea with groups broken down by each supervisorial district. The county administrative office saying there’s been a loss in property and sales tax revenues because of the recent disasters, plus the increasing cost of services created a serious and growing revenue gap. The county counsel will draft the wording and the board will take up the matter before the end of the month again.

Another controlled burn in Mendocino County will send smoke into the air. This one Monday by Cal Fire’s Mendocino Unit on privately owned land near the Shamrock Ranch, near Laytonville. It’s all part of the county’s Vegetation Management Program to reduce fuels at a time when the weather permits to minimize air quality and biological impacts. The fire’s are watched over and mimic conditions where natural wildfires occur. Smoke and aircraft could be visible in the area.


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