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Cal Fire has decided to suspend all burn permits for outdoor residential burning in Sonoma, Lake, Napa and other counties; authorities say that increasing temperatures and winds are drying out the annual grass crop and raising the fire danger. The suspension took effect yesterday and bans all residential outdoor burning of debris like branches and leaves. Since the beginning of this year, Cal Fire and crews across the state have responded to more than eighteen hundred wildfires.

This year’s recipient of the American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges’ Leila and Simon Peskoff Award is professor Leslie Banta of the Mendocino College math department. The award recognizes work in the area of teaching, participation in professional communities and a commitment to continued growth in mathematics.

The October wildfires are raising calls to add to the number of affordable housing units in Sonoma county; a new ballot measure aims to put limits on rent that landlords can charge. Rents have jumped a great deal from 2011 to 2016 and have increased further since last October, when wildfires destroyed more than 6,000 homes and creating a flood of people who were suddenly forced to find new places to live. A subsequent state order was intended to fight price gouging; the order recently prompting local officials to propose a new tax to support affordable housing.

Voters in the state may get a chance to make their voices heard in November on the subject of daylight saving time. The state Senate approving a measure to ask voters to repeal a 70 year old law that set a clock change twice a year in California. The measure would give lawmakers the ability to adjust the time with a two-thirds vote. However, the state can’t end daylight saving time until next year at the earliest. The legislation would require a second bill as well as federal approval. The Assembly passed the initial measure last year and should sign off again on amendments made in the Senate; the bill then heads to Governor Brown.

This Thursday is national Dump the Pump day, and the Mendocino Transit Authority wants you to join in by getting a free bus pass if you give public transportation a try. Everyone who rides an MTA bus gets a bus pass; one person will win a grand prize of a 16-trip bus pass. MTA general Manager Carla Meyer says that once people give bus riding a try, they’ll hop on board for life. She says there are several good reasons to take the bus, not only saving on the cost of gas, but reducing your carbon footprint. Again, Dump the Pump day is coming up this Thursday.

A reward of twenty-five hundred dollars is up for grabs to whoever helps police arrest and convict the person who started thirteen grass fires in Santa Rosa Saturday night. Police got a call about a fire around midnight and while crews were tending to that blaze, more fires were found in nearby areas. No buildings were damaged, and authorities say there were no injuries; the investigation is ongoing. If you’d like to submit a tip, call the Santa Rosa police department’s Property Crimes Investigation Team at 707 543 3575.

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