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An agreement is reached between Mendocino County and a construction company for the jail expansion. The Daily Journal reports Vanir Construction Management is being hired for the $1.5M dollar project being paid for by the Jail Expansion Project budget, which apparently has already been earmarked. The vote was unanimous by the Board of Supervisors for the contract which goes thru June 2023. The construction company has experience with this sort of work across Northern Calif. The Board of State and Community Corrections put forward money for the 21,000 square feet housing unit too. The construction company will stay in close touch with Supervisors on the timeline, design and handle sub-contractors and manage costs and risks.

Several wildfire related bills have been signed into law by Governor Newsom. Two of them sponsored by state Sen. Mike McGuire. Senate Bills 560 and 670 to improve communication between parties if there are power outages that could affect work being done by first responders. One will require utility companies to notify law enforcement, fire and medical responders and telecommunications providers if they plan a “Public Safety Power Shutoff” like PG&E has been doing. And the other requires telecommunications companies to be in touch with the California Office of Emergency Services faster if an outage would affect 9-1-1 emergency systems.

Congressman Jared Huffman is speaking out about the SAFE Banking Act so cannabis-related businesses can work with banks in states and territories where either recreational or medical marijuana use is legal. Huffman’s a co-sponsor of the bill which passed the US House 321-103. Huffman says Congress took an important step so there aren’t harmful repercussions due to federal marijuana prohibition. The Act also helps with the inequities in the cannabis industry, Huffman says, so anyone legally operating under a state law can get traditional credit union and banking services. Huffman is also supporting or the co-sponsor of other bills which remove marijuana from a list as a narcotic under the Controlled Substances Act.

Road closures planned in Willits. There’s a large road project being done Monday for the Pine Street and Vicinity Utility Project. They’ll be grinding and paving thru next Thursday so some streets will be totally closed with no way in except for emergency vehicles. If you’re in the area, heads up on Spruce Street (between W. Mendocino Avenue and Pine Street), Pine Street (between Spruce and Maple streets), and Maple Street (between Laurel and Pine streets). The work from 7am to 6pm. Engineers asking that residents park outside the work area too, and walk home. For more info: (707) 459-4605.

Gas prices don’t look to be on a downward trend any time soon. Usually around Memorial Day prices start to creep up, then lower back down at the end of the summer. But a new report says four refineries had outages in the last week. Gasbuddy reporting normally one will be having maintenance, but four is unusual. That and high taxes and a carbon tax, brings it to about $4.00 a gallon. About a dollar a more more than most other states. There were also recent attacks on major oil fields in Saudi Arabia which didn’t help. They supply about 20% of the oil California gets.

Local governments can start their own banks according to a new Calif. law. The Gov. announced the law co-authored by Assemblymen David Chiu of San Francisco and Miguel Santiago of Los Angeles was signed yesterday. The two legislators say they came up with the plan because public banks don’t really need to worry about profit for their shareholders and can invest in whatever they like and can also hold back on some investing, like for affordable housing and infrastructure. So the new law which starts January 1st for new public banks. There’s a catch though, only two can be approved in one year and there’s a cap of 10 total.

The city manager presenting info to the Clearlake City Council on plans in the event of a public safety power shutoff this fall. City Manager Alan Flora in front of the council last week on the matter after Pacific Gas and Electric warned they may cut power to thousands of Lake County residents, which didn’t happen. Flora says there was a communication breakdown by the utility with local agencies. He says there was conflicting information but eventually the communication improved. But he says it was difficult to plan a response. A PG&E spokesperson says every time they conduct a public safety power shutoff they find areas where they can improve in the future. Flora says PG&E says there could be about a dozen shutoffs before the end of the year in their service area.

The Trump administration is accusing the city of San Francisco of violating the federal Clean Water Act. A notice went to the city yesterday. This after the president warned there might be a violation notice after he was in town and said the city was allowing needles and human waste to go through storm drains to the Pacific Ocean. City officials say that’s just not the case. The letter to the general manager of the city’s Public Utilities Commission said the EPA found violations in the city and county wastewater treatment and sewer system, accusing them of improper operation and maintenance allowing raw and partially-treated sewage to flow onto beaches, into the ocean and sometimes into streets and homes.

Cops in Eureka bust a guy they say used a machete while riding a bike. Police say they got a call Wednesday morning to a fight with weapons. Apparently a City of Eureka Code Enforcement officer witnessed the whole thing, saying the main aggressor in the fight was armed with a machete. Kym Kemp reporting officers responded and at the same time the two separated and the suspect took off on his bike. Police detained the man with the machete who was identified as 41 year old Brian Mello. They investigated more, finding Mello approached the victim and threatened him, then robbed him of that bicycle. The victim saw him soon after and tried to get the bike back but he was hit by the machete. He was not injured though. Mello arrested for robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. He was booked into the Humboldt County Jail and was being held on $55,000 bail.

Some red liquid tossed on the floor of the state Senate has been found to be human blood. It happened last month, delaying proceedings on the floor for several hours on the final day of the session. Police say a woman threw the blood from the public gallery and some landed on senators. It was not infected with any pathogens though. Lawmakers moved to another room to wrap up the session. Rebecca Dalelio was arrested after the incident, but she has not been formally charged in the case yet. She’s due back in court Nov. 18th. The chamber was cleaned and has been reopened to the public.

 

 

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