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[ category 94.5 K-Wine News]

All Crab fishing gear is being hauled to shore. Commercial fishermen have to grab their Dungeness crab traps, ropes, lines and nets a couple months early due to a settlement agreement between the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Center of Biological Diversity. The season is supposed to end officially April 15th so all gear has to be out of the ocean. It’s supposed to go to July, but a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity a couple years ago claims the state agency violated the Endangered Species Act and caused sea turtles and whales to get entangled in lines. And besides the early end to the season, some districts, south of Mendocino County and in Monterey Bay will have to end next season even earlier, April 1st, because they’re considered “hot spots for whales.”

The completed Mendocino Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance is headed to the Department of Planning and Building Services. It was a unanimous decision for the board of supervisors to amend the county code so the Planning Dept. will now oversee Cannabis permit processing. The county says this will help streamline the process just ahead of the next phase of the Cannabis Cultivation Application submission process April 1st. There are still 800 cannabis permit applications with the Agriculture Dept and many more are expected. The Mendocino County CEO Carmel Angelo says most of those working in the dept. will just move offices.

A community forum for the Ukiah Unified School District. The meeting tonight even though the schools superintendent says they normally don’t see a lot of people show up for the yearly event, they’re hoping to hear from “parents, staff, students and other community members” to brainstorm ideas to bolster student achievement. The school district has been trying to boost attendance and reading and math achievement. They’re also working on cracking down on vape use and bullying. The forum tonight at 5:30 p.m. at the UUSD office at 511 S. Orchard Ave.

A $3 million dollar loan for the Millview County Water District for well access. The loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development program so the water district can buy property for the access. The water district doesn’t own the water rights at four wells so they can’t service them. The money as a quote, “investment for infrastructure”. Previous loans in Mendocino County at as much as $35 million from the agency for homeownership and affordable apartments, business investments and re-lending programs to increase economic development and add support for improved infrastructure and community facilities.

Everyone agrees to pass a hazardous vegetation abatement ordinance in Lake County. The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously yesterday on the ordinance, so now it will go into effect in 30 days. It declares hazardous vegetation a “public nuisance” and part of a “preventative action plan” against any future wildfires in Lake County. It means property owners in unincorporated areas of the county get 30-day notices to get rid of any fire hazards on their land and if they don’t, it’s a misdemeanor, but it could mean daily recurring administrative fines and jail time.

The back and forth with PG& E on its plan to bonus some employees during its bankruptcy case as some fire victims are still in shelters. Objections in court yesterday after the utility company asked the bankruptcy court a couple of weeks ago to reward about 10,000 employees $235 million this year. The company already roundly criticized for a plan to bonus some for 2018, the year of the deadliest fire ever in Calif. history, which may or may not have been caused by PG&E equipment. The money could still be paid out in short term incentives. Lawyers for 3,500 wildfire victims are objecting. The trustee for the utility is requesting proof the incentives are essential and who is getting them, corporate insiders or rank-and-file workers.

Vaccinating kids may fall to state public health officials, not doctors, if lawmakers have their way. Legislation announced yesterday to allow state and county health officials to take away medical exemptions from doctors if they’re fraudulent or contradict federal immunization standards. Lawmakers say it’s needed because there are some doctors helping parents avoid vaccinations as there’s a near epidemic of measles outbreaks in New York, Washington and elsewhere. Some parents in Calif. though say the measure’s not needed because the state already has a high immunization rate. But non-medical immunization exemptions were supposed to stop in 2016. Legislators looking at the law in West Virginia where public health officials decide who qualifies for medical exemptions.

Approval for four new zones of benefit in Lake County to address vegetation and reduce wildland fire risk. The zones in the Kelseyville, specifically Buckingham, the Clear Lake Riviera, Riviera Heights and Riviera West. Supervisor Rob Brown got the plan together, talking to property owners in the four areas. They’ll make a onetime payment of $100 per lot of less than an acre, $200 for one to five acres, and $300 for five plus acres. The money that comes in from that would pay for the cleanup of properties deemed a high fire risk, then property owners would repay cleanup costs with liens against their land.

The brand new main spillway at the Oroville dam may be about to get in real life testing. This due to heavy storms expected in the Feather River basin. The Dept. of Water Resources is preparing for the use of the main spillway possibly as soon as next week. They have to first notify all regulatory agencies, local law enforcement and local elected officials ahead of its possible use. They’ve got to also take out construction equipment from the spillway chute and remove a temporary road under the main spillway which was being used during construction. They’ll also run temporary cameras and lights to watch the spillway up close as the first water comes down the chute.

A man in Hawaii is not allowed to drink any more Pepsi for a while because of his car theft arrest. 21-year-old Christopher Montilliano Jr. arrested in Maui last summer and told cops his cousin let him drive the car so he could go buy soda. But now he’s being punished for it, he’s not allowed any Pepsi for four years after admitting it’s his favorite soft drink. He also got 100 hours of community service and a $100 fine for the car theft after pleading no contest to charges of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and driving without a license.

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