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Congressman Mike Thompson in Sonoma County talking climate change. The Congressman at Sonoma State University Tuesday night with a standing room-only crowd saying climate change is the most important issue facing the US. He says there are other problems too, but if we don’t get on the warming planet soon, nothing else will matter. The Press Democrat reports Thompson was an early co-sponsor of the so-called “Green New Deal”. The newspaper reports the last four years have been the four warmest since the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration started record keeping 139 years ago.

A lawsuit’s been filed to stop a government program allowing the killing of predator animals. The lawsuit filed against the federal government for the program that allows trapping, poisoning and shooting animals including coyotes, bears and mountain lions. The lawsuit against the USDA’s Wildlife Services program which the Center for Biological Diversity and two other Bay Area groups say is cruel, outdated and ineffective. The program killing almost 1.5 million animals across the country last year alone, that includes more than 26,400 in California including coyotes, beavers, foxes, black bears and mountain lions and another 5,675 birds.

A man who spent almost three decades behind bars has been exonerated after new evidence is found. Bob Fenenbock was arrested for the death of Gary Summar who was beaten and stabbed to death at a Trinity County campground in 1991. Last Friday a judge found he was actually not guilty and reversed the verdict. The Northern California Innocence Project handled the case for Fenenbock. He was one of several people tried in the case and found guilty after a 9-year-old boy testified against him. But another man, Bernard MacCarlie admitted he was the murderer, out to avenge the molestation of his girlfriend’s daughter. He was found guilty and sent to prison but Fenenbock, was still held because of “post-conviction evidence”. Then the Innocence Project stepped in last year.

A rule on outdoor marijuana growing has been repealed by the Lake County Board of Supervisors, making it potentially easier for commercial growers. The requirement that growers have to follow strict commercial road requirements is no longer. The Board voted unanimously to repeal the resolution saying outdoor growing can be considered commercial, but under Calif. state law, it’s an agricultural activity. The resolution says it’s similar in nature to other agricultural operations in California, and they should be considered for appropriate fire safety measures. So new fire safety rules for all agricultural activities will include cannabis and hemp along with winegrapes, pears, walnuts and other crops.

Five new program directors have been hired by North Coast Opportunities around the time the nonprofit celebrates its 50th anniversary. They’ve also announced they’re expanding some of their programs that serve Lake and Mendocino counties low to moderate income households. There’s a new director for their Head Start Child Development Program, Miriam McNamara; Robyn Bera is the new director of Community Projects for Lake County; the new CFO is Anna Rozelski; Holly Madrigal takes over as the Program Director of Leadership Mendocino; and finally the new director of Communications and Administration is Menaka Olson.

NCO provides services in five counties: Del Norte, Humboldt, Napa, Solano and Sonoma. NCO also serves as the Community Action Agency for both Lake and Mendocino counties. NCO reacts and adjusts to community needs, including disaster response and recovery.

A companion bill to pay for training to help cops use less deadly force starting next year. The Governor signed the deadly force law last week, that goes into effect next year. It means new standards for the use of force so it’s only “necessary in defense of human life” instead of when an officer finds the use of deadly force “reasonable.” The Senate bill being considered now would pay for trainings as part of the Commission for Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST). The bill, if it passes, would set specific policy requirements on de-escalation, rendering medical aid and proportional use of force.

A groundwater agency to be set up in Lake County to keep local control of the watershed. Lake Co News reports the Board of Supervisors approved the formation of the Big Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agency following the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which is part of the California Water Code. The
Public Works Director Scott De Leon will oversee the new department. The news site reports he has been the interim Water Resources Department director and brought the agency formation idea to the supervisors sitting as the Lake County Watershed Protection District Board of Directors. Now the Board has to apply to the state to form the agency.

Beefed up highway patrol this holiday weekend. The California Highway Patrol and five other Western states with their Labor Day weekend campaign known as “No safe place for impaired drivers”. It’s an effort to get drunk and drugged drivers off the road. The CHP working with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the state patrols of Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington as the Western States Traffic Safety Coalition, with a joint message that driving under the influence is drugs and alcohol. The Maximum Enforcement Period in Calif starts Friday at 6 pm and runs thru Monday at 11:59 pm. Last year 36 people died on California roads and highways and more than 1,000 were arrested for DUI.

The burned materials after the Camp Fire have almost entirely been removed in Butte County. The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services has 95% of the debris out. 10,200 lots of 10,800 that signed up for the state-run removal program are done. And another 127 lots are being abated by the town of Paradise and the county. Some people who lost their homes have red dirt on the ground now and are apparently planning to live in trailers as their new homes are built. Only 56 percent of the lots have been officially certified as complete because after the debris is totally taken out, soil testing has to be done. The Chico Enterprise Record newspaper reports hundreds of Camp Fire survivors still live in temporary housing or have other living arrangements.

A warning to pet owners to keep them out of lakes, ponds and streams because of accumulations of blue-green algae. The Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians and Elem Indian Colony test Clearlake frequently. The latest testing results of Clearlake on more than 20 sites all below the Caution level. But still a warning about pets being at risk, especially dogs who can ingest cyanobacteria after contact with the lake. There has not been any confirmed death of a dog, but one died earlier this week after getting seriously ill after swimming in the Putah Creek area. So local officials are out with this reminder for residents and visitors to be careful around water bodies. Lake County Water Resources has sampled the water where the dog and its owners were recreating.

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