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An auto repair shop gets its permit to open in Ukiah. The Planning Department said yes for Jeff Yokum of Willits, for an auto body shop that will perform repairs, towing and car rental services in a now empty 7,000 sq. foot building on Talmage Road at Airport Park Boulevard. There used to be a muffler shop, welding shop and a towing company at the location, which closed late last year. Yokum has another auto body business in Willits which he’s been operating since 1991. The building will share the aesthetic of the neighborhood. There’s a condition on the permit approval, that since it’s a visible location, drawings of the design had to be submitted to staff. And since that happened, the plan doesn’t have to go to the Design Review Board.

A Climate Action Advisory Committee has been approved by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. The board meeting with a large audience of community members who wanted to see the climate committee become reality. The Climate Action Advisory Committee will also have public meetings, partner with the Mendocino County Office of Emergency Service and Mendocino Fire Safe Council, and come up with priority projects to work on lowering GHG emissions and to increase carbon storage, help develop a climate-caused disaster preparedness plan, and get community members involved in planning too. The committee will work to get community and public support, and find ways to prioritize gas emissions reduction and carbon storage projects, and explore potential funding sources.

A unanimous vote for more leeway for cannabis growers in Lake County. The Board of Supervisors approving the second reading of two amendments to the county’s cannabis cultivation code which will happen Tuesday. The first to let those who want to grow marijuana to apply for permits if they’re enrolled in a state or regional water quality control board by October 1st. The second one to take out language from the existing code requiring those who apply to get a certification of compliance with Lake County marijuana cultivation code before being considered for early activation. The community development department is also reportedly working to streamline the permitting process.

Three people who lost their homes in the October 2017 fires filing a class action lawsuit against some companies who were doing debris cleanup. The plaintiffs filing suit against Ashbritt International and Tetra Tech on behalf of residents in Sonoma, Mendocino, Napa and Lake Counties saying the two government-chosen firms permitted debris haulers to take out too much dirt from their properties to make money off of it. The lawsuit apparently outlines how the Army Corp of Engineers hired contractors and subcontractors who took out more than 2 million tons of debris after the wildfires and over-excavated with the intention to capitalize on it.

California is calling the National Guard back from the border so they can be prepared to help ahead of the next wildfire season. More than 100 California National Guard troops are going to get 11 days of training on using shovels, rakes and chain saws to thin trees and brush. Cal Fire reports they’ll be divided in teams that will travel across the state to clear and reduce trees and brush. Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger brought in National Guard troops as firefighters in 2008 for lightning started fires.

New voting machines coming to Lake County. The Board of Supervisors approved the touch-screen vote counting machine. The current voting system has been place since 1983 and is no longer serviced. The new equipment will cost the city more than $275,000 for which the County will pay half of and the state will pay the other half. The money from the state as part of a requirement that outdated voting systems be replaced by 2020. The state had put aside $134 million for matches of this kind. All counties in the state have to get new voting systems which will meet new testing and certification standards by the March 3, 2020 presidential primary election.

The state of Calif. has its first wildfire technology summit. After last year’s deadly wildfires, lawmakers, policymakers, scientists, fire officials, and tech experts and companies came from across the state, nation and beyond at Sacramento State University. The summit after two years of devastating wildfires in California that killed 138 people. Some of the items discussed include: how technology might help in forecasting, prediction and prevention of wildfires, and ways to improve response, decision- making and communication with first responders and the public. IBM, the California Office of Emergency Services, Sacramento State University, UC San Diego were on the steering committee for the event.

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