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Monthly Archives: July 2019

PG&E has issued a statement in response to a Wall Street Journal article that suggested that the company knew of the repairs needed on equipment that caused the Camp Fire and that the company had deferred maintenance that would have addressed those conditions. The statement was ordered by a court supervising the company’s 2016 felony stemming from a deadly gas explosion in San Bruno. According to PG&E’s statement, the Journal’s claim was based on nonroutine work that PG&E was planning on the Caribou-Palmero transmission line, which wasn’t meant to replace work out or broken parts, but to address clearance between transmission line conductors and from the conductors to the ground. The Utility company says they strongly disagree with the claims made in the Wall Street Journal report.

Mendocino County will be moving ahead with the purchase of a regional behavioral health training center and sheriff substation in Redwood Valley now that their offer has been accepted. Up next, the county will do inspections before cutting a check for the $369,000 purchase, funded by $258,300 in Measure B Funds and $110,700 from the Sheriff’s Office according to the Daily Journal.

As of this morning, over 300 firefighters battling the Usal fire in Northern Mendocino have the blaze 65% contained. The wildfire had trapped 100 campers that had to be escorted to safety and is thought to have been started by fireworks. Over 130 acres have been burned so far.

Working towards the goal of making it easier for public employees to get health care at an affordable price and streamlined workers’ compensation, the Mendocino County Public Employers Health Care Partnership was created with the City Of Ukiah, Mendocino Collge, Mendocino County, Mendocino County Office of Education, Ukiah Unified School District, Adventist Health Ukiah Valley and others. The daily journal reports that the members will meet every quarter to discuss issues and review solutions that work towards helping employees access quality care and lower costs for the employees and their employers.

A new report by Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education casts a shadow over the golden years of Californians. According to the study, which looked at data from the US Census Burea’s population study and surveys on Income and program participation from 2014. About half of private-sector employees in the state aged 25 to 64 have no savings stashed away for their retirement at all. The lack of savings along with the rising cost of living has some experts warning about a looming retirement crisis in the state. Part of the problem, according to the report is the fact that about 7.4 million in the private sector have no access to workplace retirement plans.

If you are free on August 17th, Lake County Supervisor Rob Brown is asking for volunteers to reduce wildfire risk in Lake County. The "1000 Hands to protect lake County Homes" effort will see around 500 volunteers clean up vegetation that can fuel wildfires along the Soda Bay Corridor from the end of Highway 281 to Soda Bay. Those that can make it will meet up at Riviera Elementary School in Kelseyville. Water will be provided along with gloves for those that don’t own a pair, hats, sunscreen and long shirts and pants are advised. More information and the volunteer agreement can be found at http://www.lakecountyca.gov/Assets/Departments/Administration/Docs/1000Hands.pdf

A trade relief package announced by the United States Department of Agriculture will bring some relief to walnut growers hurt by retaliatory tariffs in an ongoing trade war that has dropped prices by 50%. Farmers can begin applying for the aid on Monday at their federal farm service agency. The program runs through Dec 6th.

A proposal being considered by lawmakers would automatically expunge criminal records for those that have served their sentence and finished probation, and for those arrested but never convicted of a crime. The reason behind the bill are 8 million residents in the state of California who have a hard time finding employment, getting into college, finding housing and getting public benefits because of previous criminal convictions. The bill will go before the Senate appropriations committee on August 12 and has a deadline for passage in mid-September.

An arson arrest has been made in connection to the July 28th Rancho Incident. Kristina Loraine Doll of Clearlake was arrested on Sunday and charged with burning of a forest as a result of malicious arson. Calfire and North Shore Fire Protection District responded to a vegetation fire along highway 20 and Rancho Vista Road and were able to quickly put out the fire.

Results of tests done on July 22nd by the Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians and Elem Indian Colony, show six areas of Clear Lake with high levels of Blue-Green Algae which poses health risks, especially for children and pets. The six areas are Austin Park Beach, Redbud Park, Cache Creek Shady Acres, Lilly Cove, Jago Bay, and Buckingham Park. Boaters and recreational users are advised to avoid direct contact with the waters containing the algae blooming in the Lower Arm of Clear Lake.

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A man from Ukiah recovering after getting caught in a fire in his home. The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority reports getting a call Sunday night to the home in the 300 block of Warren Drive by the residents. They say when they got to the home they found the front room of the house, fully involved with flames coming out of the garage too. One of the residents hair was burned, but he didn’t want medical help on scene. A man in the home told firefighters he heard a noise in the garage and opened the garage door, finding flames. He and others inside ran. Firefighters worked to save the home, but apparently much of it was lost. Neighbors were protecting their own homes with hoses. No word what caused the fire.

A fire west of Leggett near the Mendocino Coast closes a road. The fire at Usal Creek started late Saturday night, closing Usal Road. The Usual Fire was last recorded at 130 acres and 45 percent contained with no structures threatened. Some people were seeking shelter at the Usal Campground but were allowed to leave yesterday morning. The fire’s burning in hilly terrain, burning in heavy timber and slash. There was also an Excessive Heat Watch this past weekend warning of hot and dry weather.

A response from Mendocino County to the 2019 Grand Jury Report that criticized leadership and communication by the Board of Supervisors with the public. Some of the highlights, a long term strategic plan, no written succession plan for the CEO, not a lot of information in the CEO report, issues on the County website, tracking directives given to the CEO, and that issue with public and board of supervisors communication. The grand jury had suggestions for the County and the CEO has now responded. She agreed with website issues, but mostly disagreed on all other points. She says as far as succession, some department heads or key staffers could take over. For more details, visit the Board of Supervisors website.

The Pinoleville Pomo Nation has received money to put in a new solar energy project. The funds from the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund which is a tribal-led initiative started with money from Wells Fargo to expand solar energy and solar job opportunities in tribal communities across the country. With that the Pinoleville Pomo Nation says it’s going to put in a 15 KW solar array on top of the roof of the Tribal Youth Education Facility. They say that will give them more than 1000 percent of the total electric usage for all the tribal governmental buildings. Plus they will hire four people for 300 hours of solar installation training and they’ll also certify two of four trainees as solar installers for workforce development.

PG&E has requested a $2 billion gas and electric rate increase so the utility can pay for wildfire safety measures. The issue the topic of a couple of public hearings in Santa Rosa. The town halls on the rate increase because they have to be approved by the California Public Utilities Commission. The 6.4% increase applied for by the utility last December. It would mean another $10.50 or so a month on a typical gas and electric bill next year. The company says the money it brings in will pay for improvements to their gas and electric facilities, pay to trim millions of trees and add the weather stations and hi def cameras. The money is not going to any wildfire claims or lawsuits from the past.

The townhalls can be seen on Youtube.

They will be webcast at http://www.youtube.com/user/CityofSantaRosa or http://www.facebook.com/cityofsantarosa, available on a listen-only phone line 1-877-937-0554 passcode 7031793 and broadcast on the Government Channels Comcast 28 or AT&T 72.

There could be a verdict soon in the manslaughter trial of the two men accused in the deadly Ghost Ship warehouse fire. Closing arguments started in the case against Derick Almena and Max Harris after the December 2016 fire at the Oakland warehouse that killed 36 people. The pair are accused of converting the building into an artist work space where some artists lived, packing it with combustible materials that eventually trapped those who tried to run from the fire. Almena was the master tenant. Court papers say there were no smoke detectors, fire alarms or fire suppression system. No cause was ever determined for the fire. The two men face several years behind bars. The jury should be getting the case in the next few days or next week.

A woman in Mendocino’s been arrested on domestic violence charges. Deputies responded about a week and a half ago to a call and found Joey Lyn Harmon and her husband were in a fight over a cell phone and at some point, the woman hit her husband with her fists and bit him. Deputies say the man had injuries consistent with the claim so they booked Harmon into the Mendocino County Jail for felony domestic battery and held her on $25,000.00 bail

A woman in Fort Bragg’s been arrested for domestic violence. Deputies reported to a disturbance last week finding Crystal Adele Bucher and a 45 year old man, they say are married, and had an argument. The man says Bucher hit him with her fists. Deputies say he had visible injuries on his body consistent with the reported assault, so she was arrested on felony domestic battery charges and booked into jail on $25,000.00 bail

Volunteers are needed to remove brush this fire season in the Soda Bay area. Lake County Supervisor Rob Brown trying to round up as many as 500 volunteers to donate part of the day Saturday, August 17, to remove hazardous vegetation along County roadside in the Soda Bay corridor, from the end of Highway 281 to Soda Bay, including areas of the Black Forest.  Brown says most wildfires are caused by roadside vegetation and that this area is one at the greatest risk.  The meeting place Riviera Elementary School in Kelseyville that morning at 6 am. Bring your own tools.

Volunteers can sign up by completing our Volunteer Services Agreement.  Copies are available from the County Administrative Office, Human Resources Office and Department of Public Works, and the form is posted online, at:

http://www.lakecountyca.gov/1000HandsAgreement/

Contact Supervisor Brown with questions at (707) 349-2628 and my email address is Rob.Brown@lakecountyca.gov.

A man arrested after a fire burned in Clearlake Saturday has been identified. Police say it was 28 year old Adam Miller who started the fire. Witnesses told cops it was Miller who set the fire near a shopping center and apartment complex. He was arrested a couple hours after the fire was set in a field behind the Cache Creek Apartments, and near the Tractor Supply and Big 5 Sporting Goods stores. There were evacuations of the apartment building, but no injuries were reported. Witnesses told police on the scene they saw Miller start the fire and chased and confronted him as someone else called for help. Police arrested Miller soon after. He was being held on suspicion of arson, with bail set at $100,000.

About 3,000 acres have been donated by a nonprofit to protect Northern Calif. Steelhead. The Trust for Public Land along with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation working together to buy the last 8,800 acres in the nearly 12,000-acre Sanhedrin Acquisition Project. Lake Co News reports the land purchased with Land and Water Conservation Funds and private philanthropic donations. It’s in the Middle Fork Eel River watershed, and will help protect critical habitat for the threatened Steelhead. This last 3,000 acre gift supported by donations from the Wyss Foundation and the landowner, Coastal Forestlands Ltd.

PG&E is looking for potential problems with their equipment, flying low over the North Coast for the next few months. Choppers flew last week in Lake County, are currently flying over Mendocino County, and will head to Humboldt next month. The helicopters will be about 300 to 500 feet above ground using LIDAR technology, using light detection and ranging to find trees or other vegetation that could fall into power lines. This is all part of the utility company’s expanded and enhanced vegetation management work since the 2017 and 2018 wildfires that destroyed thousands of homes and killed more than 130 people. Besides their ground inspections, the LiDAR helicopter inspections will cover more than 25,000 miles of distribution lines in areas deemed at elevated or extreme risk of wildfire per a California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) High Fire-Threat District Map.

The Calif. Attorney General’s office is posting a warning about an eBay scam hitting Calif. The auction site has a messaging area for buyers and sellers to communicate, and for users to receive updates from the app. Scammers now using that area to fake they’re a seller and try to manipulate buyers. The bogus seller gets in touch with someone bidding on a product telling them they lost the bid but sends a link to make the purchase anyway. The victim then pays for something that doesn’t exist. The Attorney General scam warning says to stay with eBay and not leave for any link. And to also not wire money or send checks to someone outside of eBay.

A new report after the Camp Fire and others in Northern Calif. shows residents are concerned most about global warming bringing bigger fires. The Public Policy Institute of California’s survey of just over 1,700 adults across the state had 71% saying they were “very concerned” about rising oceans and hotter temperatures. But they were less concerned about climate change than wildfires. Only 25% of those polled approved of how President Trump was handling environmental issues, and they had the same approval rating for Congress on the issue. The Gov. Gavin Newsom also didn’t get great numbers, about 45% of those polled approved of his environmental issues record.

 

Several million student records have been breached. An online security firm out of Great Britain says there was an online cloud authentication method that led to almost 7 million student records possibly being stolen after someone put the K-12 database online and forgot to set a password. It was found at the end of June by the company Comparitech, and the leak was secured about a week later, it was announced to the public July 10th. The info breached included names, ages, and genders of students and where they went to school. But another onlite site, K12.com says it wasn’t that serious, and more like 20 thousand or so students affected.

Applications are being accepted by the Ukiah City Council for those interested in being on the Measure P Oversight Committee. Measure P was a ½ sales tax paying for more Public Safety. The deadline for applicants has been extended to Aug. 9th. The City Council authorized a resolution related to Measure P for an oversight committee to report on Measure P money raised and what it’s being spent on every two years. This would be the second committee appointed to oversee money earned and spent. Applications are available at the Ukiah Police Department, or at the city’s website.

Two homes burn in Hidden Valley Lake. It happened early this morning just after midnight with Cal Fire and South Lake County Fire on the scene in about 10 minutes. The fires were reported to be threatening other nearby homes so firefighters were protecting the other homes and nearby brush. Within an hour, firefighters said they were making progress and stayed several more hours. PG&E was also on the scene, securing power lines. No word so far how the fire may have started.

Applications are being accepted for the Lake County Planning Commission. Those interested would be part of the team advising the Board of Supervisors on land use decisions, then put actions in place as ordered by the supervisors per state law. There are five members on the commission appointed by the Board of Supervisors for a two-year term. They’ve been meeting the second and fourth Thursday of the month in board chambers and sometimes other times too. All of their meetings are open to the public with agendas online for a week before a meeting.

A man from Lower Lake’s been arrested after a drive by shooting in Clearlake. Cops say Michael Wagner was arrested Saturday morning on several charges after another man was injured. Police say they had a report of a shooting Friday night and think Wagner was on a three wheeled motorcycle and had a verbal altercation with the other man who was a passenger in a car next to the gas pumps. When they went to drive away, Wagner pulled a gun and shot a single bullet at the passenger, hitting him in his torso. Witnesses say they saw Wagner take off afterward. He was arrested Saturday with the same gun on him. Since he’s a convicted felon and not allowed to have guns or ammo, he was arrested on probable cause for attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, carrying a loaded firearm with the intent to commit a felony, and a convicted person in possession of a firearm and ammunition and held on $200,000 bail.

A possible arson fire at an apartment building in Clearlake. The building had to be evacuated Saturday night after a field behind the complex caught fire. Police say it was not accidental, saying the arson fire was burning in heavy brush toward the Cache Creek Apartments. Fire officials say between 150 to 200 people were evacuated. Police got reports of a man seen near the fire and some got pictures of him. The fire burned about 4 acres and no apartments were damaged.

An ex Department of Motor Vehicles employee is going to prison for accepting bribes for driver licenses. 40 year old Kari Scattaglia of Sylmar and another woman Lisa Terraciano of North Hollywood were both working for the state DMV processing licenses for those who drive passenger buses and tractor trailer trucks. The FBI says the women accepted payments to get into the DMV database and altered records showing folks had passed the written tests, when they either failed or never took them to begin with. Agents say Scattaglia altered at least 68 applications and Terraciano did 148. Terraciano will be sentenced in September. Scattaglia got 2 and a half years after admitting conspiracy to commit bribery, identity fraud, and unauthorized access of a computer.

Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office at the Graton Casino telling folks not to worry about immigration sweeps. The Chair of the Graton Rancheria apparently invited the Sheriff, Mark Essick to the casino. The Sheriff assuring folks they had nothing to fear from the ICE raids. The Graton Rancheria Chairman Greg Sarris says hearing it from the Sheriff himself has more of an impact. Everyone at the Casino and Resort this weekend for a music event got a flyer so they would know their rights. The Sheriff reaffirmed they’re committed to limiting enforcement of ICE raids locally.

A man from Willits has been arrested after a domestic violence incident. The Sheriff’s Dept. reports getting a call Friday from a woman who says her boyfriend, Anthony McCoy “head butted” her on the nose, giving her a bloody nose, then pushed her to the ground, causing her to have bruising on her arm. McCoy was arrested for felony domestic violence battery and since he was on probation at the time, he was charged with violating that and held in jail on $25,000.00 bail

A woman from Redwood Valley, has also been arrested for a domestic violence crime. Deputies got a call last Thursday to the incident finding a 37 year-old man who says he and his wife had a physical altercation, and the woman, Tashina Ray punched him in the face with a closed fist, twice. The man had bleeding and visible swelling.  So Ray was arrested for felony domestic violence battery and booked into Mendocino County Jail on $25,000.00 bail.

 

 

 

 

DA’s and Public Defenders are planning to strike in Mendocino County. The Mendocino County Public Attorneys Association negotiating a new deal with the Board of Supervisors since last fall, their contract ended this past January. The union says it made an offer to the county’s negotiating lawyer and got no response until last month, but negotiations have mostly gone nowhere. The union says while the board gave itself a 17 percent raise last year, public servants continue to struggle as the county continues to pay out of market rates, 35-45 percent less than comparable markets. The union says it thinks they’re at an impasse. The union says the latest offer was for 4% more, and that’s unacceptable.

Police have arrested a man in Fort Bragg after a couple of shootings they say were to lure young people. Police say the shootings July 10th and 11th didn’t hurt anybody, but some buildings were hit. Police collected evidence there and went around the neighborhood looking for probationers and parolees with possible gang ties. They arrested one person for a parole violation who they say may be involved in six shootings since March. They say 32 year old Harry Mila was trying to get youngsters to engage with him in gang-like behavior and warn if you see him around your kids, it’s not good.

A wildfire we told you about in Napa is fully contained. The Canyon Fire was 100% contained yesterday after breaking out Monday afternoon on Wragg Cyn Rd and Hwy 128 at Lake Berryessa. Another fire, the Marshview fire in Solano County started yesterday on I-680 and Marshview Rd. near Cordelia. The two fires together burned 64 acres. The two fires are under investigation.

Nuisance vehicles in Fort Bragg are going to be pulled, but there’s still no ordinance on public camping. The City Council said yes to the first reading of the “nuisance vehicles” ordinance in order to remove cars from city streets. Vehicles abandoned, unregistered and inoperable or used for storage or camping can be cited. And the council tabled a vote to ban most camping in town, and ban sleeping in cars in the Central Business District, and other rules. But the Mayor pulled it from the agenda saying they’d return to it again in the future.

A packed Lakeport School Board meeting with parents, students and others discussing what should be done with leftover bond money. There’s more than 1.3 million dollars left over in the fund. The Record Bee reports some speaking wanted a pool, or others wanted a fitness center. One estimate for a new pool came in at just under 2 million, that was without locker rooms and American Disabilities Act accessibility bathrooms. Some at the meeting complained there could be no swim team without a pool, and others simply wanted air conditioning added to the gymnasium. The board president speaking to the standing room only crowd saying the discussion on air conditioning should be talked about, but later. The board also discussed their budget and the possibility of laying off some people, including a high school counselor, computer tech, crossing guard, and special education para-professional.  

The three investor owned utility companies in Calif. have all said they’d be open to putting money into a new fund to cover the costs of future wildfire disasters associated with their equipment. San Diego Gas & Electric already agreed to put money into the $10.5 billion dollar fund and Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric agreed yesterday. It’s not agreed yet what each will put up yet, because rules for the plan it depends on the company’s individual risk of catastrophic wildfire and prior history with safety. P,G&E is reportedly paying more than the others, but only after it gets out of bankruptcy. And San Diego Gas & Electric will pay the least.

Updates by Pacific Gas and Electric in another town. We’ve been reporting on various meetings with the utility company as representatives travel across the state with town halls to talk about minimizing fire risk and increasing safety. They’re warning folks to get ready for possible power shutoffs this fire season of up to 5 days at a time. The Lake and Sonoma county representative, Herman Hernandez in Clearlake last night at the city council meeting. He went over the company’s Community Wildfire Safety Program, including the intended Public Safety Power Shutoffs. He says the work they’re doing now comes because of climate change, the mismanagement of infrastructure and giant wildfires in recent years. As we’ve been reporting the utility company is also installing 1,300 new weather stations to monitor fire weather conditions along with hi def cameras in some spots too.
Power outage preparation:
www.pge.com/beprepared

To receive alerts:
Update your contact information at www.pge.com/mywildfirealerts

To learn more about the Community Wildfire Safety Program:
– Call 1-866-743-6589
– Email wildfiresafety@pge.com
– Visit www.wildfiresafety.com

To see if you are in a high risk fire area, visit the California Public Utilities Commission fire threat map:
https://ia.cpuc.ca.gov/firemap/

Nearly 500,000 homes in California are said to be at a high or very high risk of wildfire damage. The real estate site Zillow also shows the homes are worth as much as $268 billion dollars. The properties have been noted by the U.S. Forest Service as in danger. They’re only about 5% of the total homes in Calif. with an average value of $550,000. The real estate site analyzed the wildfire risk in four major metropolitan areas in California: Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego and Sacramento with Riverside with the most at-risk homes, but the ones flagged in Los Angeles had the highest average value, at more than $1 million. Federal officials say this year could have even more destructive wildfires than last year, the National Interagency Fire Center has predicted “above normal significant large fire potential” in parts of California this year.

DA’s and Public Defenders are planning to strike in Mendocino County. The Mendocino County Public Attorneys Association negotiating a new deal with the Board of Supervisors since last fall, their contract ended this past January. The union says it made an offer to the county’s negotiating lawyer and got no response until last month, but negotiations have mostly gone nowhere. The union says while the board gave itself a 17 percent raise last year, public servants continue to struggle as the county continues to pay out of market rates, 35-45 percent less than comparable markets. The union says it thinks they’re at an impasse. The union says the latest offer was for 4% more, and that’s unacceptable.

Police have arrested a man in Fort Bragg after a couple of shootings they say were to lure young people. Police say the shootings July 10th and 11th didn’t hurt anybody, but some buildings were hit. Police collected evidence there and went around the neighborhood looking for probationers and parolees with possible gang ties. They arrested one person for a parole violation who they say may be involved in six shootings since March. They say 32 year old Harry Mila was trying to get youngsters to engage with him in gang-like behavior and warn if you see him around your kids, it’s not good.

A wildfire we told you about in Napa is fully contained. The Canyon Fire was 100% contained yesterday after breaking out Monday afternoon on Wragg Cyn Rd and Hwy 128 at Lake Berryessa. Another fire, the Marshview fire in Solano County started yesterday on I-680 and Marshview Rd. near Cordelia. The two fires together burned 64 acres. The two fires are under investigation.

Nuisance vehicles in Fort Bragg are going to be pulled, but there’s still no ordinance on public camping. The City Council said yes to the first reading of the “nuisance vehicles” ordinance in order to remove cars from city streets. Vehicles abandoned, unregistered and inoperable or used for storage or camping can be cited. And the council tabled a vote to ban most camping in town, and ban sleeping in cars in the Central Business District, and other rules. But the Mayor pulled it from the agenda saying they’d return to it again in the future.

A packed Lakeport School Board meeting with parents, students and others discussing what should be done with leftover bond money. There’s more than 1.3 million dollars left over in the fund. The Record Bee reports some speaking wanted a pool, or others wanted a fitness center. One estimate for a new pool came in at just under 2 million, that was without locker rooms and American Disabilities Act accessibility bathrooms. Some at the meeting complained there could be no swim team without a pool, and others simply wanted air conditioning added to the gymnasium. The board president speaking to the standing room only crowd saying the discussion on air conditioning should be talked about, but later. The board also discussed their budget and the possibility of laying off some people, including a high school counselor, computer tech, crossing guard, and special education para-professional.  

The three investor owned utility companies in Calif. have all said they’d be open to putting money into a new fund to cover the costs of future wildfire disasters associated with their equipment. San Diego Gas & Electric already agreed to put money into the $10.5 billion dollar fund and Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric agreed yesterday. It’s not agreed yet what each will put up yet, because rules for the plan it depends on the company’s individual risk of catastrophic wildfire and prior history with safety. P,G&E is reportedly paying more than the others, but only after it gets out of bankruptcy. And San Diego Gas & Electric will pay the least.

 

Another town hall with PG&E sheds more light on their public safety power shutoffs, this one in Upper Lake. A utility company representative says if there’s an active fire, there’s no public safety power shutoff, it’s only to prevent fires in certain weather conditions. The PG& E Representative for Sonoma and Lake Counties in town Tuesday talked about their intended 48 hour notice ahead of any shutoffs. The utility company says the shutoffs would help reduce the risk of their equipment starting fires after their infrastructure was blamed as the ignition point for multiple destructive fires in California the last couple years. The rep says they’ll work with Cal Fire who will instruct them which direction an active fire is moving and they will shut down power in that direction.

The Gov. Gavin Newsom signs a bill to have a new Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund that would put money into local water systems so they have safe drinking water. The Gov. says more than a million Californians don’t have access to clean drinking water at home, work or school impacting their lives every day. The latest state budget puts $130 million to pay for safe drinking water projects and instructs the State Water Resources Control Board to come up with a spending plan to find which water systems are failing and have solutions to bring safe and affordable drinking water to those areas.

A man in Ukiah’s arrested for the attempted murder of his stepdad. Ukiah police say 24 year old Rafael Maldonado-Mata was arrested after his stepfather ended up in the hospital with stab wounds. The victim tells police he was preparing to go to work when Maldonado-Mata started stabbing him without provocation. He was hit three times, then took himself to the hospital. Police arrested the 24 year old on suspicion of attempted murder and for violating his probation.

The body of a man from Talmage has been found floating in Mill Creek Dam. Police say 43 year old Victor Delgado was found yesterday east of the city of Talmage near the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. Deputies say he was found by someone fishing nearby fully clothed. Police say it didn’t seem like he was there swimming, but there were no apparent signs of foul play. An autopsy is planned to determine the cause of death which will include a Toxicology analysis.

Is a strike imminent by a Mendocino County labor union. The Mendocino County SEIU Local 1021 chapter had an informational picket in front of the Mendocino Administrative Building in Ukiah. They’re trying to get higher wages for county workers. They have 800 members in the chapter. The informal picket amid a delay in negotiations. The union says some members have to have second jobs, or they quit for better paying jobs, or some suffer in low staffing jobs so they’re overworked and work overtime. The union says they told the county what they needed in May but have not received a counteroffer. Their contract expired June 30th.

Mendocino Coast District Hospital is down to one suitor. The struggling institution reportedly had a board meeting Monday on the matter where it was announced  American Advanced Management Group was no longer a candidate for taking over the hospital. This after an investigation into the company by the state Attorney General. The decision to reject was unanimous. One board member said he thought the whole thing was tainted somehow. Now Adventist Health is the only contender to purchase or lease the troubled facility.

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors is reportedly considering divesting from major banks that have been in business with those involved in migrant detention centers along the U.S.-Mexico border. The Press Democrat reports protestors placed cages outside the county’s main administrative building with stuffed animals wrapped in thermal inside them, to replicate conditions of detained migrant children on the border. Several people from the public spoke at the meeting urging the board to divest from Bank of America and Wells Fargo. Each own shares in some private contractors managing detention facilities at the border.

It’s a challenge to keep waterways in Calif from getting infested with invasive mussels. In Lake Tahoe two boats were recently stopped from going into the water because they were infested. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency says the two boats were being quarantined until they could be decontaminated. Inspectors reportedly found up to 100 invasive mussels, some they say may have been alive, in the hull of a powerboat from Lake Pleasant, Arizona, that one still quarantined. Another smaller boat launched after about 20 dead mussels were plucked off that vessel.

Police are looking into reports of a dog biting people in Lakeport. Police working with Lake County Animal Care and Control after complaints of a vicious dog in Library Park and downtown Lakeport the last couple of months. The male red and white Australian Shepherd seen Monday night near the Lakeport Yacht Club. Two reports of a similar dog or the same one biting a woman last week and a man July 7th, both incidents at Library Park. The dog being held by Lake County Animal Care and Control during their investigation. Reports say the same dog bit another person May 27th.

Nearly 900 acres of land in the Eel River watershed near Potter Valley is now permanently protected a decade and a half after PG&E’s 1st bankruptcy. The Mendocino Land Trust and the Potter Valley Tribe with Pacific Gas & Electric and the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council announcing the agreement. It comes as part of PG&E’s 2003 bankruptcy settlement. The lands were donated to the tribe and the conservation easement was agreed to forever. This means the Potter Valley Tribe and Mendocino Land Trust will protect the area and its attributes including fish and wildlife habitat, open space, public view-shed, forest ecosystems, historic and cultural values and public access.

The next National Night Out is around the corner. Folks across the country are asked to turn their lights on Tuesday, August 6th and spend the night outside with neighbors, friends and public safety workers. In Fort Bragg, Police and Neighborhood Watch are hosting the National Night Out at Bainbridge Park at 5. There will be treats and prizes for the kids as you get to know your community and Public Safety personnel. It’s sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and locally co-sponsored by the Fort Bragg Police Department and Fort Bragg Neighborhood Watch.

A federal judge is allowing the state of California to take a couple weeks to decide on proposals to take over control of Pacific Gas & Electric to get the utility out of its latest bankruptcy. This one because of massive wildfire claims. The judge in this year’s bankruptcy allowing the two week wait after lawyers for the Gov. and state regulators asked for time to consider the best plan, looking to come out of its bankruptcy by next June. PG&E can submit their exclusive plan to pay off debts and reorganize finances, but then a group of insurance companies and another group, of PG&E bondholders, also get to present proposals. The insurers are claiming PG&E owes them $20 billion in reimbursements for wildfire claims and the bondholders say they’re owed at least $16 billion to pay wildfire claims.

It’s almost back to school time and schools in Paradise are getting ready after the Camp Fire. In 3 weeks schools are set to reopen. Water was turned back on last week at the high school and the elementary school is ordering play structures. All hazardous trees near the schools have been removed, but there are still ominous signs from the deadly fire left behind. Almost two thirds of the student population in the Paradise Unified School District are enrolling out of the district, many to Chico and Oroville. Buses will be available for children displaced by the fire. The lowest teacher to student ratio ever is expected with 136 teachers for around 1,200 to 1,400 students, compared to 3,300 before the fire.

 

ED SHEERAN – I DON’T CARE

BILLIE EILISH – BAD GUY

SHAWN MENDES – IF I CAN’T HAVE YOU

PANIC! AT THE DISCO – HEY LOOK MA, I MADE IT

LIZZO – TRUTH HURTS

TAYLOR SWIFT – YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN

KATY PERRY – NEVER REALLY OVER

SHAWN MENDES & CAMILLA CABELLO – SENORITA

DAN + SHAY – SPEECHLESS

5 SECONDS OF SUMMER – EASIER

POST MALONE – GOODBYES

THOMAS RHETT – LOOK WHAT GOD GAVE HER

BRYCE VINE – LA LA LAND

LEWIS CAPALDI – SOMEONE YOU LOVED

DJ KHALED – JUST US

ONEREPUBLIC – RESCUE ME

SHAED – TRAMPOLINE

MAX & QUINN XC11 – LOVE ME LESS

CHAINSMOKERS & BEBE REXHA – CALL YOU MINE

JONAS BROTHERS – ONLY HUMAN

MARK RONSON – FIND U AGAIN

FITZ & THE TANTRUMS – 123456

ED SHEERAN – BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE

MARTIN GARRIX – SUMMER DAYS

BAZZI – PARADISE

MILEY CYRUS – MOTHER’S DAUGHTER

ELLIE GOULDING & JUICE WRLD – HATE ME

ZARA LARSSON – ALL THE TIME

MARSHMELLO & KANE BROWN             ONE THING RIGHT

Virus-free. www.avast.com

After several search warrants in Mendocino County, several thousand pot plants have been removed and hundreds of environmental crimes averted. Operation Clean Sweep is done in Mendocino County after 28 search warrants are delivered in Covelo, Dos Rios and Laytonville. More than 42,000 plants were removed, 603 environmental crimes were observed, as well as pollution to water quality and water rights crimes observed and hundreds of California Department of Fish & Wildlife violations were also observed, but no arrests have been made.

Assemblyman Jim Wood’s bill to make sportfishing licenses last a year no matter when they’re purchased is taking a minute. The bill passed the Assembly, but Wood yanked it while the Senate was considering it to take another look at policy and marketing strategies to increase fishing and hunting in California. The bill could then include incentives for those who purchase fishing and hunting licenses in California. In the last 4 decades state fishing license sales are way off, up to 55%, so the bill looks to reverse that trend. A sportfishing license is about $50 and they last, no matter when you buy them, until Dec. 31st of the year.

A search is underway for a man from Santa Rosa last seen Friday and believed to be in Mendocino County. The Sheriff’s Office reports searching north of Pieta Creek in southern Mendocino County for 25 year old Derek Weidner. The man’s 2015 gray GMC Denali pickup at around mile marker 6.7 on the 101 in Hopland last weekend. Then the search started Monday and continued all day yesterday. The man seen last at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds RV Park in Santa Rosa. He’s described as 6 foot 3, 290 pounds with brown eyes, black hair, and a heavy build with a beard.

A Wildfire Safety Open House has been presented by PG&E in Willits. The presentation at the Willits Community Center last Thursday to answer questions about the proposed Wildfire Safety Program and Public Safety Power Shutoffs. There was information for the public to look at up close and personal and a chance to ask questions and hear the utility’s plans for this fire season. They mentioned again that power lines that pass thru high fire-threat areas may be turned off for safety reasons. They say they’ll make sure they let customers know within 48 hours of the planned shutoff, but that extreme weather conditions may mean less notice.

A man wanted in Ukiah for several crimes. Bryan Andrew Martin wanted on several warrants by the Sheriff’s Dept. The Sheriff’s Dept. says Martin is wanted for committing a felony while out on bail, possessing drugs, drug paraphernalia and for disobeying a court order. His picture is posted on the Sheriff’s Dept. Facebook page under Warrant Wednesday. He’s described as a 50 year old man, about 6 feet tall, 170 lbs with blonde dreadlocks and blue eyes. They’re looking for anyone who may have seen Martin to report him to the sheriff’s office.

PG&E still working to install equipment ahead of this fire season. Workers seen yesterday in the Mayacamas Mountains east of Geyserville installing a solar-powered weather station. The utility company is installing cameras around the state too after the fires of 2017 and 2018. They plan to install at least 600 weather stations in high-risk fire areas from Bakersfield to the Oregon border in Calif. Within the stations will be 100 high-def cameras that can zoom in on fires and home in on their locations.

A lot of money finally pouring into the state nearly four years after a cancelled Dungeness Crab season. The nearly $26 million dollars from the federal government after a toxic algae bloom ended the commercial crab season in 2015-16. The federal package includes about 23 million in direct aid for crab fisherman and seafood processors with about half for 570 Dungeness crab permit holders who will be paid by the amount of crab traps they had permits for in the 2015-16 season.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors has given the formal go ahead for the purchase of several backup generators in the case of PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs. Yesterday, the board gave the green light to staff to buy the generators. Lake Co News reports the board asked the Public Services Dept. to get bids on generators for only two weeks. The county says they opened bids to electrical contractors separate from installations Monday, and are evaluating those now. So far the lowest bid for generators and transfer switches was around $200,000. They would be going into Animal Care and Control, Behavioral Health Dept, Child Support Services, Social Services Administration and Victim-Witness.

A meeting’s planned regarding the old Geothermal landfill in Middletown. The site on Butts Canyon Road on part of a 460-acre property owned by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. There’s a 15 acre closed landfill on the property. The site had been used between 1976 and 1986 by various entities as a dumping ground for nonhazardous drilling wastes from exploratory drilling, geothermal well development, and plant operations. Then from 2003 to 2006, PG&E started to close the area off so there would be no human contact with the waste, but then concentrations of certain chemicals were found in shallow groundwater near the landfill. The town hall meeting on the matter, August 13th after the public comment period ends. That started July 15th.

Comments can be sent to Brad Shelton, P.G., Central Valley Water Board, 11020 Sun Center Drive #200, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670, or via email at Brad.Shelton@waterboards.ca.gov .

A sinkhole in the area of the Nice-Lucerne Cutoff should be fixed today. The giant hole found yesterday under part of a bridge crossing the Rodman Slough. The cutoff had to be temporarily closed. The Lake County Department of Public Works sent out an alert to the community about the closure yesterday. Lake Co News reports the Road Superintendent says the issue came after mass flooding in Clearlake this winter. The last time the Cutoff was closed was in February 2017 during a rainy winter. That time the roadway was closed for almost ten days.

Some Calif. insurance companies apparently interested in taking over Pacific Gas & Electric which owes them billions after wildfires believed to have been started by the California utility’s equipment. A group of insurance companies has reportedly filed court documents to try to bring an end to PG&E’s exclusive right to file a reorganization plan as part of their bankruptcy proceeding. The companies want to submit their own plan for wildfire victims and other PG&E creditors. The insurance companies say PG&E owes them as much as $20 billion in wildfire losses and they would like their to be converted into stock so they would own a major part of the company and could then come up with a trust for wildfire victims. They call this idea a viable path to PG&E emerging from bankruptcy. PG&E has until Sept. 26th to submit its plan.

A man who went missing on Lake Mendocino after his father also died on the lake, has been laid to rest. Carlos Soto apparently had a heart attack or stroke and his son Vincent was missing a month before he was found July 15th by kayakers on the lake. The younger Soto was found after his family kept vigil at the Lake daily since the two men went out on a fishing trip. The Press Democrat reports Soto’s brother, Daniel Garcia said they had the funeral last Friday. The family carried him to his grave site which is consistent with their tradition.

The Governor says the DMV’s issues could take more time even as they try to improve customer service. The department will start to accept credit cards, upgrade its website and offer clearer instructions for residents to get the federally mandated REAL ID after two hour wait times last summer. The Governor says the work to improve wait times is ongoing, but that it will still be tough next year because of an expected surge in people getting their new federal ID’s. The governor’s comments after a report on the DMV was released about how the agency would improve services. The Gov. has also appointed a new DMV director, but he has to be approved by the state senate.

 

One person had to go to the hospital after a car hit them on Highway 1. Fort Bragg police report it happened near the Hare Creek Bridge near the City of Fort Bragg. The victim was taken to the hospital. The Advocate newspaper reports it’s the fourth serious car-versus-pedestrian incident on a ten-mile stretch of the Highway from Fort Bragg to Mendocino in about two weeks. Two of the accidents had fatalities.

The state of Calif. now will have regulations for those who work on wildfires due to their exposure to unhealthy air. The new regulation from Cal OSHA says employers have to have respirators for their employees who are exposed to the unhealthy air. Employers already have to protect their workers from hazards including unhealthy air, but now Cal OSHA is looking to further strengthen requirements to address fine particulate matter from wildfires. The rule is only for a year, temporary now, as they refine the rule to pass it permanently.

A threat that we could lose the Potter Valley Project the subject of a meeting of the Mendocino County Farm Bureau in Ukiah. PG&E was selling the hydro-electric dam that brings water flows into Lake Mendocino, then claimed bankruptcy and halted the sale. The meeting tomorrow at 6pm in the Ukiah Valley Conference Center to talk about continuing the year round, dependable water supply. Apparently if the dam is not re-licensed, it could be powered down, resulting in no diversion from the Eel River.

Two men from Ukiah have been arrested in separate stabbing threat incidents. The Daily Journal reports cops got a call last Friday morning to a report a man was threatening a security guard with a knife. Marciano Piceno apparently approached by the guard who was on patrol and threatened the guard then left the area. Cops found him and arrested him for suspicion of making criminal threats. Then the same morning someone called to complain a man with a screwdriver was threatening folks and tried kicking in a door. That man, 19 year old Alwood Smith was arrested for suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and for making criminal threats.

It’s been just over a year and Hardester’s Market is on track to reopen before the end of the year. The fire last Memorial Day weekend that destroyed the family-owned grocery store. The co-owner Ross Hardester says they should be reopened around Christmas time, if all goes as planned. The company transferred most of their employees to their other stores in Hidden Valley Lake and Cobb after the fire broke out in Middletown. The new store will be larger than the burned down store, by about 3,000 square feet.

A $700 million dollar settlement reached in the Equifax breach. Several million people in Calif. had personal information including their Social Security numbers and home addresses exposed after a 2017 security breach at the credit-reporting agency. The California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said it affected 15 million Californians who can get a piece of nearly $19 million the state will receive as part of the deal between Equifax and the Federal Trade Commission. Each claimant can file to receive as much as $20,000.

Community members are being asked to give their two cents on ways to improve transportation in Lakeport. The Lake Area Planning Council and W-Trans working with the city of Lakeport on ways to improve transportation on 11th Street to benefit bikes, pedestrians, buses and other ways we travel besides vehicles. The report being called the 11th Street Corridor Multi-Modal Engineered Feasibility Study. Lake Co News reports the study is being funded by Sustainable Communities Planning Grants from Caltrans for one of the main entrances into the city. It’s narrow, has no bike lanes and has narrow sidewalks on one side of the road surrounded by homes.

Local sales tax revenue off in Clearlake. The City Manager Alan Flora reported to the City Council a couple weeks ago that growth is slow. Flora says there were major drops in retail and car sales and that affects Measure P tax money that goes to police, and Measure V money, for roads. He did say there are a couple new businesses that have helped keep things in the black, specifically Big 5 and Tractor Supply. There’s also the new cannabis delivery company, the Clearlake Growth Fund, which has helped.

3 people arrested in Clearlake after traffic stops near a school. Last Wednesday a patrol officer near Pomo Elementary monitoring traffic and saw Vincent Hassenzahl littering out the passenger seat of a car window. He and Brittany Thorstenson, and the driver were contacted and searched. The cop found a loaded handgun on the ground near several homes and a resident found meth under their car. The two were arrested for multiple felony firearm and drug violations and the driver, for probable cause for driving on a suspended license.

A 65 hour training on domestic violence and sexual assault volunteer and response is coming up and it’s free in Upper Lake. Lake Family Resource Center offering the training for interested community members starting August 22nd thru the first week of October every Tuesday and Thursday night and Saturday morning at the Running Creek Casino. Those who finish successfully get their domestic violence and sexual assault counselor certifications and can potentially work or volunteer for Lake Family Resource Center.  For more info call at 707-279-0563 and reserve your spot.

Police in Lakeport reaching out to the public to find out who robbed a local nonprofit. Police say someone broke into Redwood Community Services office yesterday morning and swiped computers, gas cards, a 2009 Gold Toyota Matrix car, another car, a 2011 White Toyota Corolla and went thru desks and damaged a safe, they tried prying open. Police say they found items they believed were used to break into cabinets. They’re not sure if there was more than one person who broke in. They also say the windows and doors were locked and undamaged, so they don’t know how the crook got in. Anyone who may have seen something is asked to call Lakeport Police.

A vote on the City of Ukiah’s camping ordinance has been tabled after changes were suggested. The Assistant City Attorney explained to the city council last week about a precedent in an Idaho court invalidating a similar anti-camping ordinance. She went on to say that homelessness cannot be considered a crime, but a ban on camping in certain areas or even sitting somewhere the city doesn’t like, could be considered constitutional. The city’s currently considering a camping ordinance to ban all camping in creek beds or other waterways or on sidewalks, and during certain hours. The council will take up the matter again at their next meeting August 7th.

A young man on a skateboard in Mendocino County has been hit by a car and died. The CHP reports it happened near the village of Mendocino last Thursday night. They say they got a report of a pedestrian hit at the intersection of Highway 1 and Little Lake Road and that the car left the scene. Officers say the front end of the car hit the 21 year old then took off as the skateboarder died at the scene. Cops are looking for anyone who may have witnessed the crash. So far there’s no description of a car or the driver.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. is coming for a discussion with the Clearlake City Council on the utility’s plans for public power shut offs in high fire danger weather conditions. The shutoffs could go as long as five days at a time and could happen more than once in a fire season. The city manager says it’s a manmade emergency and that the city will lose money because of the shutoffs. The Record Bee reports the council will also consider a new policy requiring tobacco retailers to be vetted before selling certain products to try to reduce sales to minors. Last August the city adopted an urgency ordinance so no new tobacco-related businesses could open in city limits. The meeting this Thursday 6 pm at City Hall.

The Lucerne Area Town Hall spending a major chunk of time saying anyone wanting to work on the Town Council should be able to, effectively removing residency requirements. This is due to people who rent homes in the area and aren’t property owners. Discussion then about revisions to bylaws to allow those who not only own property in Lucerne, but also those who own businesses and rent homes there to be on the advisory board. But apparently the Board of Supervisors would have to make any necessary changes. Another meeting is set for next Monday afternoon.

A couple of fires in Lake County over the weekend, someone killed in one of them. Cal Fire got a report yesterday afternoon of a fire in Cobb that was first thought to be an explosion. They arrived and found a structure completely on fire with one person inside. The fire spread to nearby brush, but it was out in a few hours. They’re investigating. Another fire in Lower Lake got close to the town, but no damage was reported. This one started yesterday afternoon as well. It burned in grass and brush and burned six acres. There were 2 structures damaged but nothing totally destroyed. This fire is also under investigation.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors considering bids for power backups due to PG&E’s intended power shutoffs in high fire weather. The meeting tomorrow morning with the board considering bids for emergency standby generators and transfer switches. The generators for Animal Care and Control, Behavior Health, Child Support Services, Social Services Administration, and Victim-Witness.

Lake Tahoe’s blue and full. A water master in Reno, NV says Tahoe has been about an inch away from its maximum surface elevation of about 6,229 feet above sea level. He told the Reno Gazette Journal newspaper, the lake’s level is rare. He says it’s unique that it’s staying full, probably because there was so much snow this past winter. He says there’s good water supply there for three years and that the lake will reach equilibrium soon, as the snowmelt slows and the rate of evaporation increases.

Nine people hurt after a crash in a pickup truck that hit a large mountain lion then slammed into an SUV in the opposite direction in Lake County. The CHP reports the crash happened Friday night on State Route 29 near Kelseyville. The Press Democrat reported the Ford F-150 had four people in it when it hit the animal, then it swerved to the left and into the path of the Lexus SUV. They say four out of nine people in the vehicles were seriously injured, and two were not wearing a seatbelt, the mountain lion was killed.

Insurance in fire prone areas is becoming more difficult in Calif. CBS 13 in the Bay Area with a report that insurance rates are going up thousands for some folks. The Placer County Board of Supervisors are working with residents after one homeowner reported their insurance rates tripled. One supervisor says they can’t control the rates, but they can speak up about it. CBS 13 reporters asking the Dept. of Insurance if they can do something, for which they say if an insurance company proves the rate increase is warranted, they’d probably approve the rate increase.

Two Pacific Gas & Electric customers are suing to get the judge in charge of the utility company’s bankruptcy to disregard a new California law that says customers along with utility companies contribute to a fund to help mitigate some of the costs to the utilities in a wildfire disaster. The lawsuit filed last week claims the new law is unfair, putting the company’s rights above utility customers and taxpayers so that the companies can more easily raise rates to pay for wildfire damage or claims caused by power company equipment. The new law demands electric utilities meet new safety standards at the same time they pass the costs of wildfires onto customers raising rates to pay for that unless the company proves to regulators it acted sensibly — a higher standard.

A couple of men in Humboldt County have been arrested after a traffic stop turns up drugs . The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Dept reports the stop in McKinleyville finding the driver, Anthony Workman was on parole, so he was taken in for DUI. His passenger, Travis Anderson, was also on probation with two outstanding felony warrants for his arrest. When cops searched the car, they found a loaded firearm, ammunition, suspected MDMA, and suspected cocaine which they connected to the passenger, Anderson. He’s charged for possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance while armed, felon in possession of a firearm and ammo, plus for the outstanding warrants.