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Police in Ukiah partnering with the city’s Public Works department so there are less traffic accidents and other violations. Police Chief Chris Dewey telling the city council his department recently met with the traffic engineer and the mayor giving his approval, specifically saying there’s a problem on State and Dora streets. The city manager added that they’re working with other stakeholders in the community on the issue and coming up with a work plan. So for now more officers in areas they think they can make a difference. The chief says the strategy has brought the amount of car crashes down 14 percent from a year before. He also says the amount of traffic accident calls went down. There will also be another police officer hired thanks to a state grant.

The Ukiah Unified School District applying to a new state program that could provide all students, no matter the family income, a free school breakfast and lunch. The school district board has approved applying for the “Community Eligibility Provision”. They hope to have the new meal service in the 2018-2019 school year. A recent piece of legislation gives schools with a 62.5 percent or higher number of students in poverty programs such as CalFresh, Medi-Cal and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families have to also apply for this new meals program so all students get breakfast and lunch for free.

A special meeting’s been called for the Fort Bragg Unified School District regarding possible budget cuts of hundreds of thousands of dollars. $400,000 dollars of cuts to be considered at the end of May for next year and the year after that will bite into art, music and library hours. The board of trustees heard from the public during the comment period at the meeting last Thursday. Some staffers speaking out too asking the board to make cuts, not totally eliminate some programs. Others saying the cuts could mean jobs, which would hurt the community as a whole. The board apparently getting a letter from the Mendocino County Office of Education on its budget which has been posted on the district’s website as well as the Advocate newspaper’s Facebook page.

18 community members are being honored by the American Red Cross for community work. The yearly Real Heroes Breakfast tomorrow at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek in Santa Rosa. Those chosen for acts of heroism that have left a lasting and positive impact for others in the Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, and Sonoma counties. The three from Mendocino County honored Chris Ostrom, Tim Haywood, and Aaron Ostrom for keeping outdoor spaces free of litter and debris. They’re receiving the Environment Heroes award tomorrow. Tickets are still available for the breakfast​:​

redcross. org/CalNWHeroes2018.

A special seminar’s been held for Lake County Office of Education. Lake County Sheriff’s Sergeant Joe Dutra presented “Safety for School Professionals” last Friday for more than 2 dozen staffers from local K-12 school districts, charter schools and community colleges. They went over mass school shootings and discussed how law enforcement has evolved over the years in how they handle active threats at schools since Columbine back in 1999. There was a Q&A after the presentation. Lake Co News reports since the Valley Fire there’s been a stronger partnership between schools and first responders in case of a disaster or crisis. They’ve got a new emergency services/special projects coordinator in the school district who started last summer too.

Clearlake city officials telling those interested in growing cannabis they need the required permit. Lake Co News reports a permit’s required under an ordinance the city council approved last year to grow weed legally outdoors. You’ve got until Monday to apply at City Hall to be in compliance, with your $250 registration fee. Then if those growing want to sell what they’re growing they need other state and local permits. You can grow six plants on your own indoors, but the city ordinance in Clearlake says you cannot grow any more than six plants altogether. You just need a permit to grow outdoors.

Kelseyville schools have started making improvements after a bond measure was passed. Lake Co News reports they’re breaking ground on a new multi-use room for Kelseyville Elementary and Mountain Vista Middle School Monday. The news site reports that’s just one of the many projects the school district is working on with Measure U bond funds. The bond approved to pay for infrastructure improvements and modernization of old electrical, heating, plumbing and ventilating systems. They started work last year, including replacing portable buildings with modulars and putting in a new quad area where kids can hang out.

The October wildfires may be to blame for a new, but harmless aquatic weed on Spring Lake in Santa Rosa. County park officials say it may have been caused by fire retardant runoff. They say the plant called Azolla, or water fern, has been in the lake before. It’s said to look like brown carpet. It usually shows up in certain areas, but this year, there’s quite a bit more, which park’s officials say they’re monitoring. Apparently the weed can double its biomass in only three to ten days. There was about 2 million gallons of retardant dropped by Cal Fire on the North Bay wildfires, made up of 85 percent water, 10 percent fertilizer and 5 percent color, thickener or corrosion inhibitors.

Two measures have been approved by a state Senate committee authored by Senators Bill Dodd and Mike McGuire to help fire survivors get insurance money quicker. The Senate Committee on Insurance voted unanimously on the bills which now will be heard on the Senate floor if the committee chair agrees. Fire victims, developers, firefighters and others representing various community organizations and the Santa Rosa Mayor and a member of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors spoke before the committee. Some people were underinsured because of the massive wildfires. Insurance industry representatives say the two measures could mean higher rates for all customers and less competition.

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