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A revised bill in the state Assembly has been approved, but without a provision for folks who were victims of last October’s fires. The Assembly’s Insurance Committee approved the bill drafted by Sen. Bill Dodd so policyholders who lost their homes after the declaration of a disaster area have more flexibility in getting their benefits fulfilled. There had been retroactive benefits put into the bill, but those were taken out in a version revised back in May. That would have meant that insurance companies had to renew policies for at least two years for victims, now carriers can cancel the policy after one year. The new bill covers only those who lose their homes or property in the future.

New rules put in place after last October’s wildfires may be helping firefighters on the Pawnee Fire in Lake County. The Press Democrat reports the chief of Lakeshore Fire says his nearly 2 dozen full time firefighters had help this time around who were ready to work. Cal Fire had prepositioned 195 fire engines and had 100 hand crews at the ready across Northern California in case of a fire last weekend, which there was. The fire broke out Saturday and quickly blew up in dry, windy conditions. There were more firefighters staffed up in the agency’s Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit, which was hit hard last October by the most destructive wildfires in state history.

Some evacuees have been allowed to go home after being evacuated due to the Pawnee Fire. So far the fire’s burned 13,700 acres and destroyed 22 structures. It’s 30 percent contained. Evacuees in Spring Valley and other areas accessed by New Long Valley and Old Long Valley Road North of Highway 20, got to go home yesterday afternoon. And evacuations were lifted earlier yesterday for areas east of Walker Ridge, North of Highway 20 accessed by Bear Valley Road, Bear Valley and Brim Road, and Leesville and Bear Valley Road. There are still evacuation orders in place in Spring Valley. Check with lake sheriff dot com. Lower Lake High is still the Red Cross shelter, and the Clearlake Oaks Moose Lodge also has a shelter.

A local assistance center for Pawnee fire survivors is opening. The Lake County Department of Social Services along with several local nonprofits, and county and state organizations opening the center today after the first mandatory evacuation orders were lifted. The center will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and tomorrow and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Spring Valley Community Center. Those who need food, medication and more should visit the center which will be staffed by those from several organizations including the American Red Cross, North Coast Opportunities, Lake County Animal Care and Control, the Social Security Administration, Habitat for Humanity and Hope Animal Response.

Congressman Mike Thompson has visited one of the facilities for minors illegally crossing the border with their parents, then being separated from them. Thompson says he and Congress colleagues Doris Matsui, Jimmy Panetta and Brad Sherman went to a private nonprofit in Virginia since the Trump Administration started enforcing its “zero tolerance” policy.


The Congressman released a video after visiting the facility, with he and the others calling for the children to be reunited with their families immediately.

A man from Clearlake’s busted after a red-tagged building was set on fire earlier this week. 19 year old
Jason Olson Jr. was arrested after Clearlake police got a call to a building on fire Monday. They say the abandoned red-tagged building on Lakeshore Drive was engulfed in flames, so they jumped into action so the fire wouldn’t spread to nearby brush. Then witnesses reported a description of a potential suspect seen leaving the building before the fire started. Then witnesses identified Olson from a photo lineup. He was arrested Tuesday morning and said he accidentally started the fire while doing meth. He’s charged with unlawfully causing a fire with bail set at $15,000.

The Purple Pipe Project has begun in Ukiah. 40,000 feet of pipe. The director of water and sewer for Ukiah tells the Daily Journal it’s probably the largest water project since the dam was built which is being constructed along East Perkins Street. The pipeline being laid under agricultural properties first then city streets. The newspaper reports the pipe being laid south of the Ukiah Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant and should be moving north to the softball fields on River Street. New lined ponds for treated water will also be set up to hold 66 million gallons. The project to reduce, and one day stop sending discharged water from the Wastewater Treatment Plant into the Russian River.

More personnel and equipment sent to the Pawnee Fire in Lake County with both the acreage and the containment growing. The fire now at 13,700 with 30 percent containment. There are now more than 3,000 firefighters on the fire with more than 230 engines. 27 structures affected, including 12 gutted homes, 10 destroyed outbuildings and 3 homes and 2 other outbuildings with minor damage. Firefighters had better conditions yesterday to dig lines around the fire. That also meant lifting evacuation orders in the Spring Valley Lakes subdivision, but they’re still in place for the Double Eagle Ranch and the area of Walker Ridge. Lower Lake High is the Red Cross shelter. Roads still closed: New Long Valley Road at Highway 20, Old Long Valley Road at Highway 20, Walker Ridge at Highway 20 and Mule Skinner Road at Highway 20.

The Ukiah School’s Superintendent has had her employment agreement extended four more years. The Ukiah Unified Board of Education has ratified an addendum for Superintendent Deb Kubin’s contract unanimously. The extension after a satisfactory performance evaluation, apparently the highest mark to be received for an evaluation. She’s been the superintendent for 6 years with 20 years of experience in education, including several years in the Willits Unified School District and she’s been a principal, assistant principal and teacher.

A special meeting’s being held by the Ukiah City Council after an appeal against construction of an apartment complex near the corner of Norton and North Main streets. The 35 unit Main Street Village complex won a permit from the Ukiah Planning Commission at the end of May, but then City Council member Steve Scalmanini and a neighbor near the proposed building filed an appeal. Councilor Scalmanini said at the time he wasn’t totally against it, just that he thought it could be three-stories instead of two and more parking. And the neighbor who also signed the appeal says she was concerned about her property value after the building goes up and that it could block sunshine on her garden and that it could be impacted by chemicals sprayed on their proposed landscaping.

A multi-million dollar road project has been approved for a four lane expressway on Highway 29. The four-lane expressway has money now from federal, state and county resources and construction bids should be starting next year with completion of the $165M project in 2022. The project east of Diener Drive near Lower Lake for a raised highway about a half mile west of the junction with Highway 175, and about four miles south of Kelseyville. There will be a 36-foot median to divide cross traffic. There will be left turn lanes and new frontage roads, two wildlife crossings will also be built underneath the new road. Apparently this project only covers a third of the eight miles.

A man living like a hermit, alone on an island has been told he has to leave. Masafumi Nagasaki lives naked on the Pacific island, but is reported in ill health, so police picked him up. The 82 year old living by himself on the remote island of Sotobanari for almost 30 years to be alone. He told his family he wanted to be killed in a Typhoon on the island, but police got reports he looked weak and sick. He was found by a documentary filmmaker 4 years ago. And probably had the flu, but now is not allowed back to the island where he’s been since 1989 and nicknamed the naked hermit.

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