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Millions at risk of identity theft because of the Unemployment Dept. The state auditor released a report yesterday after a reporter from CBS 13 in San Francisco dug into reports of possible identity theft by the Employment Development Department. Now the TV station reporting lawmakers are citing her stories to investigate further. The state auditor worked inside the department for five months. Some of the items noted were the department printing entire social security numbers on documents mailed to millions of Californians who get unemployment, disability, and maternity leave. But the report also notes state law prohibits printing full socials on mailed documents. The department says they have to because of the Federal Social Security Act. The auditor now asking lawmakers to amend state law to protect Californians.

Piles of debris are being cleaned up at Riverside Park, the former sewage treatment plant. The City Council’s been discussing how to pull the years of debris out which have become habitat for random wild animals including foxes, skunks and rabbits. The Daily Journal reporting the director of community services telling the council they will be leaving some of the debris as habitat for the creatures, but also taking out as much as possible so the city can win grant funding of about a million dollars. The grant from the California Urban Rivers Grant Program. The restoration project to bring the park back to its natural state. The project to be complete in a couple of years.

The schools in Lake County that have won the Attendance Challenge have been announced. School district officials announced with almost 10,000 students participating, the winners picked on the highest average attendance over two separate weeks the 2018-2019 school year. Kelseyville Preschool with about 93.5 percent, then Upper Lake Elementary at 97.3 percent, Terrace Middle School with 95 percent, Konocti Education Center 92 percent, Clear Lake High at 96.6 percent, and Hance Community School had the best overall improvement in attendance.

A public meeting’s announced to start the process of choosing the Climate Action Advisory Committee. The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors agreeing for the first public meeting April 16th where they will gather information and input. The committee then will work with county staffers and the public to find ways to fight climate change. The Daily Journal reports it’s expected they’ll figure out ways to allocate money, what the structure of the panel will be exactly and what the long-term goals and plans are. There will also be public meetings and county meetings with the Office of Emergency Services and Mendocino Fire Safe Council on projects and planning.

The longtime Public Works director is leaving Clearlake. Lake Co News reports there was a reception for Doug Herren last night before the Clearlake City Council meeting. Herren in the job since 2001 was hailed by city leaders, staff, county officials and community members. This comes, the news site reports after the city manager, Greg Folsom also left. Herren is leaving Clearlake, retiring with his wife to Idaho. He was presented with a proclamation and got a standing ovation from the full council chamber.

The Clearlake Civic Center to get a facelift. The City Council has unanimously voted to have Granite Construction, the only company to submit a bid, work on the Burns Valley Civic Center Enhancement Project. The work to be in the half million dollar range. The new City Manager Alan Flora also has approved ten percent more on the contract in case of unforeseen amendments. There will be pedestrian improvements like higher visibility crosswalks, retro-reflective signs and striping, rapid-flashing beacons and other pedestrian/bicyclist improvements. There will also be sidewalks added along with a new bike path.

More than 63 million dollars awarded by Cal Fire for healthy forest projects. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has announced grants for 16 projects on almost 200,000 acres of private, state, and federal forestlands in more than a dozen Calif. counties. The Climate and Energy Dept. in Cal Fire says 13 grants are targeting about 150,000 acres in many ways including thinning dense and pest-impacted forests; using prescribed fire to reduce hazardous fuels; and planting trees in forests that have naturally thinned due to fire, drought, insects and disease. There are three other grants to protect more than 40,000 acres in Napa, Placer and Siskiyou county forests from urban and agricultural development.

The Gov. Gavin Newsom is looking to charge as much as $10 a month to California water customers to pay to clean up contaminated water in low-income and rural areas. As many as 1 million Californians reportedly have some sort of contaminated or dirty water in their taps that could be a health hazard. The governor says it’s a, quote “moral disgrace and a medical emergency.” The same idea in the legislature last session, failed. There’s also a democratic proposal by a state senator to use extra money from the state surplus to start a trust fund to pay for water improvements.

The Gov. Gavin Newsom is going around some environmental regulations so fire officials can clear dead trees and brush before the next wildfire season. The order as part of his declared state of emergency. Newsom says the amount of dead trees across the state is “creating extremely dangerous fire risk.” It comes after two of the worst and most deadly fire seasons in state history. The governor set to make the announcement today that the increasing wildfire risks can’t wait until the next fire starts. Some environmental groups against the plan though say the regulations the governor plans to bypass protect water, wildlife and people. The governor’s order for 35 projects on almost 141 square miles Cal Fire has noted as critical to protect against fire threats.

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