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A new program to help millions of Californians without a pension has arrived. Cal Savers is a state sponsored auto enrollment retirement savings plan for companies who don’t offer pensions. The program started last month to supplement Social Security. A new report by the Retirement Security Program at Cal Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education says around half of those 25 to 64 working in the private sector don’t have any savings for retirement. The state is 45th of 50 as far as access to retirement plans and a reported 7.4 million private sector employees are without some sort of retirement plan.  CalSavers or a similar plan is required by private sector companies with five or more employees.

Another meeting in Ukiah regarding the potential for public safety power shutoffs by PG&E. The meeting tonight to help residents prepare for the power downs in fire weather conditions. Officials with the utility company have said power shutoffs could last up to five days at a time. And Ukiah’s manager of emergency services has previously said residents should be sure to have non-perishable food, water, batteries and flashlights and figure out how to open garage doors without electricity and get battery or solar- powered devices to charge cell phones or other electronics. There will also be cooling stations set up by the city, but no location has been solidified yet.

The Board of Supervisors has also approved spending dough on backup generators. They’ve authorized capital improvement energy projects ahead of power downs to reduce wildfire risk from the PG&E’s equipment. The work at the Administrative Center. The projects in the case of power shutoffs include backup power, electrical intersects and renting standby generators for three months. Right now the backups are under $130,000, but a long term solution could cost one million.

A new online Safety Action Center is being opened by Pacific Gas and Electric. The website is being touted as a one stop to be prepared for a wildfire or other emergency. There will be how to videos and other ways to workshop safety on the site like how to escape your home, how to prepare an emergency kit, creating defensible space around your home and update your contact info so PG& E can reach you in the event of a Public Safety Power Shutoff. The website is: http://www.safetyactioncenter.pge.com.

Fort Bragg police on their toes responding to two dozen calls or incidents regarding kids using drugs, smoking around the skate park or acting in a disorderly fashion. Police report they had to conduct extra security checks and follow-ups to previous calls as well as respond to a couple of serious incidents involving people at the Starr Center and Skate Park. They say one was a younger man showing folks a gun at the park, making threatening comments before driving away. Then in an unrelated incident reports of a female juvenile assaulting another female in the park. The victim hit, kicked, threatened with a knife and hit with a skateboard. The female suspect and her boyfriend took the victim’s backpack and assaulted the victim’s boyfriend as they tried to get the backpack. The pair arrested and the skate park closed for a time to regain order.

An invasive aquatic weed detected in Clear Lake. Hydrilla found in the Clear Lake Keys area so the Lake County Water Resources Department is working with the Lake County Agricultural Commissioner and the California Department of Food and Agriculture to survey the area. The weed found first last Thursday during an invasive species prevention program inspection. During previous inspections, they’ve not seen Hydrilla. A copper product and another organic pellet is used to eradicate the weeds and any of its fragments that might float off to other areas of the Lake. Hydrilla is known to cause damage to the environment and native marine life.

The latest Lake County Grand Jury report says the continuing staff shortage at the Sheriff’s Department needs to be a priority, calling it a public safety issue. The Record Bee reports the 2018-2019 Lake County Civil Grand Jury says the Board of Supervisors needs to make sure there is adequate staffing levels in the Sheriff’s Office because the agency cannot provide the security the County’s residents deserve. The report also noted a recent salary negotiation between the board of supervisors and deputies. The Sheriff says since a new agreement was reached they’ve had better luck attracting new hires. The report says the Sheriff has been “proactive in attracting new recruits”, but that the agency was still understaffed.

A new sign to finally be erected at the entrance to the Coffey Park neighborhood after the devastating Tubbs Fire in 2017. The Santa Rosa area decimated by the fire, and the wooden Coffey Park sign that stood there three decades being replaced. The new Entryway project spearheaded by neighbors in the area. The say they’ll add new landscaping and trees. Cherry trees to be planted in memory of those who died in the fire. The project won’t be done for several months still, is put up with a grant from the United Way of the Wine Country. A local landscape designer is donating services and a local church has also donated to the cause.

Deputies in Northern Calif. responding to a reported drug overdose and crash into a bear. The bear fell onto the passenger side hood of the patrol car and the car slammed into an embankment and rolled. The patrol car then caught on fire in the area of Orleans. The deputy escaped harm, but vegetation along the embankment started to burn too. Firefighters stomped out the small fire and the CHP was also on the scene to investigate.

Tens of thousands of Kaiser Hospital workers have been offered a pay raise a week after they started voting on whether or not to strike. The company announced they’ve offered to boost salaries, keep health benefits in place and fix staffing shortages.  The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions is reportedly getting the proposed labor agreement in the coming days, but no word so far from the unions on the deal. Kaiser says they hope the offer will be well received, the coalition of 11 unions say it’s a media play and they’ll negotiate at the appropriate place, a bargaining table, not in the media. They added the deal has not been formally proposed to their elected bargaining committee, and what they are presenting to the media is deliberately deceptive.

An explosion of Tule elk in the Point Reyes National Seashore means they can now be hunted to bring down their population. The National Park Service has a new plan that says it won’t be put in place until next year. The Service manages the 71,000-acre national park. It’s not a done deal yet as there could be court action after a similar situation dealing with an oyster farm in a Pacific Ocean inlet in the seashore. The new plan has cost one million dollars to work on over two years. The Service reportedly considered six options, with the shooting of the elk as their “preferred alternative” which also allows area ranchers grazing rights for twenty years.

 

 

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