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The Lake County Grand Jury says raising taxes to fund local fire districts is more of a bandaid, then a cure. The Record Bee reports continued financial troubles need more than just more taxes slapped on. Three of six fire districts have passed tax measures since 2017, but the jury says that’s not going to solve budget gaps since there are other issues that need long term solutions. So far the Lake County Fire Protection District, South Lake County and Lakeport fire districts all passed parcel tax hikes and Northshore had a tax hike proposal fail last year, but is trying again this November. The jury says un-repaid ambulance services, unpredictable pension liabilities, suppression of major wildfires, and replacing old equipment are all add ons that won’t be fixed with a tax hike. Instead they recommend some of the districts add more fees to ambulance bills, change some of the makeup of management, and develop a new tax structure.

A grand marshal has been named for this year’s Lake County Fair. Dr. Brian Grey, a long time fair supporter will take the mantle. Qualifications include exceptional leadership skills, longtime involvement with the fair and a life of service to the community. The CEO for the fair says the doctor is the epidemy of what they look for in a Grand Marshal, and that he’s an outstanding member of the community with a long history with the fairgrounds, especially supporting the kids at the Junior Livestock Auction. Grey will lead the opening night parade August 29th with the Fair Board and will cut the ribbon, officially kicking off the 2019 Fair.

A fire has caused evacuations in some neighborhoods between Ukiah and Hopland. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s office reports the fire started last night around 6 along Moose Road near Bus McGall Road and blew up to 85 acres pretty quick. Residents on both streets and Valley View Drive were ordered to leave their homes. The Press Democrat reports a column of smoke could be seen as far out as Windsor. Cooler temperatures and calm wind helped firefighters after earlier 20 mph winds were reported. The fire is burning in a remote area on Moose Road. The Hopland Fire Chief said crews were making good progress. The fire’s 25% contained. No word how it started. Cal Fire, Mendocino County fire agencies, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and Pacific Gas & Electric were on the scene.

An update on PG&E’s planned power shutoffs from the Mendocino County CEO who says the long term outages could be a strain on the county. The county looking for a way to stay open with critical county services and keep the public continually informed. They’re coming up with plans for several departments such as juvenile hall, the jail, child welfare, and adult protective series. There are ongoing preparedness meetings happening too with various agencies, including the Sheriff’s Dept., Auditors office, Health and Human Services, and Office of Emergency Services. The county will keep their website constantly updated, utilize social media to get the word out on power shutoffs and send emergency notices. They will also have a list of places to get food along with open gas stations on their website. And temporary power generators will be put into the Ukiah Administration Building and other generators will be rented for other buildings. For more info: and

A Highway 101 project between Eureka and Arcata has been given conditional support by members of the state Coastal Commission. The $70 million dollar, years long project to help with traffic hazards in the safety corridor. The commission however wants Caltrans to start planning for a sea level rise across the highway and wants yearly reports on progress with a full report to be submitted by 2023. They’re also requiring Caltrans to do more than just add sediment to ocean banks or build a wall. Once the project is finally done, there will be an underpass, a new signal, closed off medians and longer acceleration and deceleration lanes where vehicles merge onto the highway.

A strike by public school teachers in Forestville three days ahead of when kids come back for the new school year. Apparently they cannot reach a new contract agreement after 11th hour negotiations for pay and health care contributions. Some staffers say they just want a half-percent raise during the third year of their proposed three-year contract for about $6,000 from the Forestville Union School District. The district reportedly saying no, they’ve done all they can. Right now they’re at a 5% raises for two years and the union wants 3% for the third, but the School District says they can’t do more than 2.5%.

The PG&E bankruptcy case may include an offshoot case regarding the Tubbs fire. This comes after Cal Fire claimed the deadly October 2017 fire was caused by private power equipment, not PG&E’s. But apparently there are several victims of the fire who don’t believe that and want to contest Cal Fire’s findings saying state investigators didn’t see or possibly ignored some key evidence they say shows there was a blown fuse on one of the utility’s power poles that dropped hot metal on dry grass below. Lawsuits regarding that were stopped in January after the utility company filed for bankruptcy. The survivors are going to ask the bankruptcy judge tomorrow to allow them to go after the utility company for liability related to the Tubbs fire.

Thousands of Kaiser Permanente union workers have voted to strike. The Service Employees International Union workers voted to picket in October, potentially affecting as many as 1,600 Kaiser workers in Sonoma County. The union represents almost 40,000 workers in Calif. The union says it’s because of staffing shortages and low wages. The hospital giant says the union’s just trying to gain leverage in current labor negotiations as their contract ends in October. A spokesperson for Kaiser says they’ve offered “solid wage increases” and their average salary is “already higher than market averages.”

The states of California and Massachusetts say they’re going to fight the Trump administration’s recent changes to the Endangered Species Act. This comes after an announcement by the federal government about how it’ll enforce endangered species protections. The state attorneys general fighting at the same time several conservation groups had said they will also go to court. The Trump administration announced changes to blanket protections for animals deemed threatened related to the cost of protecting that species. Conservation groups say that disregards impacts from climate change.

The Moose Fire outside Hopland has grown overnight. Early this morning we were reporting the fire was 85 acres and 25% contained. It’s now 225 acres with the same containment. There are ten homes threatened and several homes between Ukiah and Hopland have been evacuated, west of Highway 101. Fire officials say it’s burning in a rugged, hard to reach area mostly in brush and oak woodlands. The fire started yesterday afternoon, just after 5. One firefighter had a minor injury, but no other injuries have been reported and no structures have burned. Officials said earlier they were planning an air attack this morning with five tankers and two helicopters.

Those impacted by the wildfires in October 2017 and 2018 are able to file for assistance and other needs with PG&E finally. The Press Democrat reports the utility company has a link on their website under their wildfire assistance program. A judge in their bankruptcy case approved a $105 million fund for victims of the Atlas, Camp, Nuns and Tubbs fires. You have until November 15th to apply. Lawyers also say victims can join the bankruptcy lawsuit against PG&E, that deadline is October 21st.

Four areas have been reported to be infected with cyanobacteria in Clearlake. The higher levels found during routine water testing by the Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians and Elem Indian Colony who test the water regularly. Lake Co News reports the results from last week show concerning levels of cyanotoxins, which come with blue-green algae. But when readings hit 20 micrograms per liter, it means it’s danger level. In Lily Cove, Austin Park Beach, Sulphur Bank Mine and Cache Creek Shady Acres were all at higher than normal levels. And at Redbud Park, there was a higher level that actually went down last week. A reminder to those using boats or recreating on the lake not to have direct contact with waters containing cyanobacteria in Lake County.

A special meeting called by the Lakeport City Council regarding the annexation of an area of South Main Street. The council will also discuss forming a new underground utility district. The meeting tonight looking at authorizing the Lake Local Area Formation Commission, 136 acres along South Main for the South Lakeport Annexation project. There are 50 land parcels there, said to be a very high end commercial corridor in the unincorporated county. The annexation’s been disputed for several years but is in the city’s so called Sphere of Influence. And also up for discussion the city council’s looking at forming an underground utility district along 11th Street and North Main Street.



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