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A Special Election on November 5th will give voters a say on the proposed Measure “N”, a special tax on parcels of real property to be used for the costs of funding local emergency medical & fire services, hiring firefighters, and replacing outdated fire equipment and apparatus. October 21st is the Voter Registration Deadline. Lake County voters can register online at www.registertovote.ca.gov or pick up forms at the Registrar of Voters office, public library, DMV, post office, or other local government offices. More information about the upcoming election can be found online at www.lakecountyca.gov/rov.

Lawyers for wildfire victims say that PG&E’s deadline of Oct 21st to submit claims for losses is too rigid, and say that it’s being used by the company to end up with smaller numbers of claims, so investors can keep more money. According to the New York times, about 30,000 have filed claims with the help of lawyers, and1500 victims have filed on their own. By some estimates, there are an additional 70,000 eligible for compensation that may not make the deadline to file, and if they miss it they will get nothing. A statement by PG&E says that the company is focused on doing what is right by the customers and communities they serve and that they have mailed out 6.2 million claim forms and flyers to potential victims. Lawyers point out that many victims are still living in tent cities and on the streets, and may be confused about the process or traumatized by their losses. PG&E has set aside $8.4 billion dollars for payouts to victims as part of the bankruptcy filed in January.

As a housing crunch drives up costs across the state, a bill that would bring more auxiliary dwelling units to more backyards is waiting for the Governor’s signature. The legislation includes changes to laws governing the units, cuts permit fees and allows for more units on larger properties. It also gives enforcement power to the department of housing and community development, which would be able to flag city codes that slow the construction of the units. Governor Newsom has until the 13th to sign the bill.

An unprecedented announcement today as PG&E warns customers to prepare for at least 48 hours without power as windy conditions and potential fire risk forces the utility company to shut down power for safety. Lights could go out as early as Wednesday morning for several counties including Mendocino, Lake, Butte, Glenn, Sonoma and many others across the region. Critical fire conditions are expected to continue through Thursday afternoon. According to the National Weather Service Sacramento, gusts exceeding 40 mph are possible. A Fire Weather Watch for vast portions of Northern California has been issued for midweek.

Gas prices in Northern California have been creeping up. $.20 over the last week, but there may be some relief coming. Analysts say that prices at the pump may be nearing a peak. Statewide, the average is $4.18 a gallon compared to $4.02 last week. Nationally, prices are averaging $2.65 a gallon.

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