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Monthly Archives: January 2020

Some students from the Ukiah Unified School District have a lot to be proud of. Teams from the Pomolia Middle School and Ukiah High School have come home as winners from a pair of regional Science Olympiads in Los Angeles and in Portland, Oregon. The team of 6 high schoolers won top honors in LA for competitions in Detector Building, Gravity Vehicle, and Geological Mapping, while the younger students brought back six medals for their efforts in science-related competition in Portland. Teachers and school administrators say they are proud of the students – and their parents – for what they have accomplished. They say the teams had to overcome a lot of obstacles, including some last-minute transportation snafus on the way. Science Olympiad is a nationwide team competition that brings together kids to learn about scientific disciplines like biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering. The district says the most recent winners show the strong commitment schools are making to kids interested in science, technology and math fields and that more students will take part in similar challenges throughout the year.

Fishing season is just around the corner and anglers who want to take part in this year’s Clear Lake Bass Tournament can now sign up. The 33rd edition of that tournament is on March 21st and 22nd and early-bird entrants will be among the first to toss their worms into the lake to try to snag the biggest fish. Last year more than 130 teams took to the water, with the winning team reeling in more than 50 pounds of fish. The event is one of the most popular of the season on Clear Lake. Sign up is at the Chamber of Commerce Office in Lakeport.

Lakeport police now carry some new equipment to use in an emergency and it didn’t cost the department a dime. Lake Co News reports that the department has won an Automated External Defibrillator—or AED—from a company that makes those devices. AEDs shock the heart back to life after someone has a heart attack, and doctors say the units can be lifesavers if used quickly on someone whose heart has stopped. Lakeport police have been training to use the new gear for the last couple of years as portable AEDs have become more common. Now, officers will have one available in a patrol car and chief Brad Rasmussen says he hopes to buy more of them to put in the field and at city facilities where they could be used by any trained bystander. The devices cost between $500 and $2,000. The American Red Cross has more information about AEDs and how you can learn to use one, on its website,

The state says it has wrapped up work on several projects to help reduce the risk of wildfires, including a couple in Mendocino County. One of them is the Ukiah Emergency Fuels Reduction Project, which is meant to reduce wildfire speed and intensity along 700 acres of ridgelines around the city of Ukiah and nearby communities. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says the work will protect vulnerable infrastructure and give firefighters a leg up on any fires that start. The other project involved a 15-mile fire break and a 550 acre planned burn in the Willits area. The goal there was to improve roadways and evacuation routes and to create a control line to protect both sides of the Willits Valley. A longer-term project involving almost 12,000 acres in the Willits area is also in the works. The state says 34 of the 35 emergency protection projects identified last year are now done, with the last one due to be finished in the spring.

The Lake County Chamber of Commerce hosting a forum next week for residents to learn more about some of the candidates running for the Lake County Board of Supervisors in the March 3rd primary. The meeting will be on Thursday, February 6th at 6:00 PM in the Board Chambers in Lakeport. The 4 candidates running for supervisor in the 5th district are expected to be there. The deadline to register for the March primary is coming up on February 18th and if you want a mail-in ballot, you’ll have to request one by February 25th.

A new study says the state’s Dungeness crab fishing industry is at risk from rising acid levels in the Pacific. Until now, that threat was thought to be a long way away but now scientists conclude it may be a problem much sooner. Scientists say developing crabs off the coast are already showing signs that their bodies are being damaged by more acidic water, which could mean big trouble ahead. One coastal fisherman tells the Press-Democrat that the finding is discouraging and that he wouldn’t want to be a younger person just starting out in the industry. The Dungeness crab brought in 47 million dollars to the state economy last year—much of that to already struggling fishing communities along the central north coast.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors wants 5 volunteers for the County Board of Appeals. That board does the important work of taking cases that have already been decided if property owners or builders disagree. There is one opening in each of the county’s five districts and applicants must live in the district they want to serve. You can put your name up for consideration at the Lake County Board office in the County Courthouse or by going online to the county website. The appeals panel was established in 1987.

The Superbowl is Sunday, and whether you are pulling for the 49ers or the Chiefs, CHP says your plans should include a designated driver or a safe way home if you’ll be drinking before, during, or after the game. They are also warning party hosts too, who could be liable if someone leaves and gets into a drunk driving crash later. Officers say people who drink and drive put themselves and others at risk and if they’re caught, they will get no sympathy. There will be more patrols out through Sunday looking for impaired drivers as well as drivers who speed or aren’t buckled up. Last year three people died in alcohol-related crashes and another 140 were hurt. 187 people were also cited for DUI.

A group involved in redwood conservation is kicking off the public phase of its 120 million dollar fundraising campaign, with some of that money planned to establish a new redwood park in Sonoma County. Save the Redwoods League has already raised 80 million dollars in private donations for its Centennial Vision for the Redwoods Initiative. One of the goals of the project is to create the first new state Redwoods Park in 40 years in the Richardson Reserve, which has more than 300 big trees—one of them estimated to be more than 1600 years old.

An inmate at the Mendocino County Jail was found earlier this week unconscious in his cell due to a drug overdose. The 26-year-old man was found during the routine check. A nurse evaluated the man and determined that he had overdosed. She administered the opioid-reversal drug Narcan. Mendocino County deputies noticed that there were several empty plastic bags lying near the man. The sheriff said that Narcan had to be administered two more times before taking the man to the hospital.

An earthquake was recorded early Wednesday morning near Ukiah was measured at 3.5 according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake was centered a mile west of Redwood Valley and struck shortly after 4:30 am. The majority of those who felt the earth move under their feet were in Mendocino County with over 130 folks who said they felt it. Fifty-six in Redwood Valley, 53 in Ukiah, and 17 in Willits said they felt the tremor. One person in Santa Roda reported feeling it, as well as one person in Mountain View.

Two Ukiah teens were arrested for the drive-by shooting that happened last November. 18-year-old Alexis Navarrete and an unidentified 17-year-old male have both been charged with attempted murder. Narvarrate was also charged with conspiracy and possession of illegal weapons. The other teen was already in police custody at the Mendocino County Juvenile Detention Center for an unrelated incident; he has been charged with attempted murder and conspiracy. The two teens allegedly opened fire on Observatory Avenue near Helen avenue around 9 pm on November 11th. Ukiah police say that the incident was from a confrontation that happened that evening and was likely gang-related.

The California Highway Patrol reports that a 26-year-old man from Redwood Valley died when his motorcycle crashed into a tree early Wednesday morning near Ukiah. Officials say that the man at around 3:30 a.m. was driving eastbound on Masonite Industrial Road near Kunzler Ranch Road. The man somehow lost control of his bike and went down an embankment and smashed into a tree. The man was thrown from the vehicle due to the force of the impact. He died at the scene.






DAN + SHAY – 10,000 HOURS






























A state proposal for as much as $1 billion in federal tax credits spread out over 10 years because of wildfire devastation may be diverted for homeless housing, at least some of it. The Press Democrat reports the money would go to help 13 counties affected by fires in 2017 and 2018 and state officials say only the unused tax credits would help with homeless housing.  Sonoma County officials say it should all go to housing for fire impacted areas especially in the North Bay and Butte County. Congressman Mike Thompson says the money is supposed to be spent in natural disaster devastated areas, and the language in the bill is unequivocal. The newspaper reports the state treasurer’s office released proposed guidelines to also use the money for federal low-income housing tax credits. Thompson has written a letter of concern to the treasurer.

A proposal from a state senator for residents 19 and under in trouble with the law to be tried as juveniles. Right now teens 16 and 17 can be tried as adults for certain crimes. Sen. Nancy Skinner says that should go up to 19 because brain research shows a part of the brain inhibiting impulses is not fully matured yet. The California Chief Probation Officers of California is supporting her bill.

A joint meeting of the Ukiah City Council and Planning Commission on the city’s General Plan. The Daily Journal reports the meeting will begin to flesh out the vision of the document after another joint meeting ended with the General Plan last year. City staff have been gathering input from the public from the city’s new General Plan website, Some of the ideas that have been put forth include, more housing for the working class, more energy efficient and affordable housing, possible rent control, senior housing and much more. The staff report says the reason for this second workshop is a status report on the General Plan and next steps. The meeting today at 5:30 in Council chambers.

A man from Ukiah has died in a car crash on Highway 20 near Redwood Valley. The CHP reports 32 year old Joseph Denson was killed yesterday morning around 7:45 as he approached Road A and the Mercedes he was driving lost traction and crashed into a Jeep Cherokee. The other driver Christian Hunt of Lakeport had moderate injuries and was taken to a hospital. The highway was closed for a couple of hours after the crash, which is being investigated, but the CHP reports they don’t believe either drugs or alcohol were factors.

A massive recycling fraud ring has been busted up in California. The Calif. Dept. of Resources Recycling and Recovery aka CalRecycle working with the state Dept. of Justice. An arrest happened in Southern Calif. earlier this week, essentially stopping the multi-million dollar scheme that was reportedly happening in Nevada and Arizona too. Nearly a dozen people were arrested for felony recycling fraud, conspiracy, and grand theft. Those arrested are accused of taking out-of-state empty beverage containers and bringing them to California to defraud the state’s Beverage Container Recycling Fund of more than $2 million. In Nevada and Arizona, residents don’t pay deposits on beverage purchases so the containers are not actually eligible for California Redemption Value.

Caltrans and Konocti Conservation Camp workers honored by the Board of Supervisors for work reducing the wildfire risk in Lake County. Lake Co News reports the Board presented a proclamation to representatives of the two agencies. Supervisor Rob Brown delivered a speech along with the presentation, reminding those in attendance of the great work over the last five years and that some crews were working to clear areas of Bottle Rock Road at the same time. Brown said he helped with cleanup personally in the same area as part of the “1,000 Hands” project.

Several hundred people at the state capitol protesting a new law they say threatens their livelihood as they survive on the gig economy. Truck drivers, exotic dancers, and singers, massage therapists, sign language interpreters and freelance journalists at the Rally to Repeal Assembly Bill 5 yesterday. It was sponsored by a Republican Assemblymember from Lake Elsinore who’s looking to overturn the law sponsored by a Democrat last year and signed into law by the Governor. Many gave speeches at the rally against the new law that set strict rules for how businesses now have to work with independent contractors. Democrats and Republicans alike at the rally say they want the new law repealed. One bill introduced since would overturn parts of AB5, and another to exempt certain workers, while leaving others behind. The new law means freelancers are only allowed to take on 35 assignments a year then they have to become a part-time or full-time employee.

Five women from Northern California including one from Lake County are being honored for their outstanding contributions to agriculture and their communities. Lake Co News reports on the 2020 Common Threads North Award. The awards presented at a dinner at Hotel Winters April 1st. This year, Marilyn Holdenried is one of the recipients. The Kelseyville resident is one of those being recognized for their work in agriculture. All demonstrating their service to the field and to their communities by volunteering and donating. Denise Carter of Colusa County, Sarah DeForest of Butte County, Yvonne Koehnen of Glenn County and Nita Vail of Sacramento County are all also receiving the honor.  For more info, visit

An out of state advertising agency hired to help Lake County with tourism has been re-upped for another run. Lake Co News reports Cubic Creative of Tulsa, Oklahoma has created a brand identity for Lake County as part of the Lake County Tourism Improvement District. The District collects a 1.5 percent tax from lodging facilities to bring in even more tourism. The county and Lakeport and Clearlake joining in the effort to attract more visitors. The advertising company hired last year for the branding and logo effort, and now again for a tourism website. The company will also help target audiences regionally to visit Lake County thru so-called micro-targeting.

The Treasurer-Tax Collector / Court Collections Office wants the public to know they’re renovating. They’re apologizing for whatever inconvenience it may cause to the public as they visit the office. But they say they’re doing the work to increase efficiency and accessibility so they can provide better service to customers.  They also say they’re working to limit negative impacts whenever possible; but because of the nature of the project, noise and accessibility issues may come up. And at times, office and phone hours will need to be adjusted to accommodate certain phases of the project.  

Information can be obtained by visiting our website at or by telephone at (707) 234-6875.  Emails sent to will be responded to within two (2) business days of receipt.

A ceremony to mark the future Great Redwood Trail is set this week with State Senator Mike McGuire. This Friday the official opening of part of the trail in Ukiah which will be part of a 300 mile long recreational mixed-use trail running from the San Francisco Bay Area to Eureka. When it’s done, there is supposed to be bike and foot trails, a long forest like area stretching from Cloverdale, or Willits, to Eureka where the old Northern Railroad used to be. Senator McGuire will be there for the ribbon cutting with Ukiah officials. McGuire sponsored the legislation to make the trail happen. It all starts at noon at the corner of Clara and Mason Streets.

A new Undersheriff has been named in Mendocino County. After former Sheriff Tom Allman retired, his former Undersheriff Matthew Kendall was promoted to Sheriff. Now Kendall has named Darren Brewster. He’s been with the department 30 years, starting at the jail, then he was a lead training officer. His last position before becoming the new undersheriff, was in the major crimes unit. So now he will be running the department including operations over clerical work, jail operations, dispatch and budget and finance.  Brewster says they’re focusing currently on property crimes, burglary, violent crimes, and getting deputies out on patrol.

The Native American tribe who owns the Graton Resort & Casino says they’re donating $1 million to help renew the SMART train sales tax. They’re putting up money to go against the opposition who don’t want taxes. The Press Democrat reports the tribe is supporting Measure I, their single largest political contribution since they opened their casino. A developer in Windsor is reportedly giving hundreds of thousands to the opposition, Others who support the tax renewal have also donated $125,000 more.

Some illegal marijuana vapes confiscated in LA had additives in them blamed for lung disease. State officials say the illegal vapes taken in raids last month in Southern Calif. were also not as potent as advertised, with just a fraction of the THC noted on their labels. The Calif. Bureau of Cannabis Control’s chief says dirty or dangerous vape pens turning up at unlicensed cannabis stores shows consumers should stick to legal retailers instead because they have to meet state requirements. The state ran tests on a random sample of thousands of illegal vapes finding thickening agents and added potentially dangerous and undisclosed additives.

A man accused in the shooting death of another man in Rio Dell has been arrested in North Dakota. Police say Demetrius Coleman has been caught, but another person suspected in Johnny Mack Renfro’s murder last August has not been caught, Miriam or Alma Ahumada. Apparently Rio Dell police got word Coleman might be in North Dakota and called local police who found him in the town of New Rockford. He was with a woman who ran from police. Coleman refusing to be extradited back to Calif., so it could take several months to transport him back.

Unemployment numbers staying steady both in the state and in Lake County. Lake Co News reports Lake County’s December number was up to 5.1% from the 4.5 percent it was in November. A year ago it was 5.6 percent. California’s number at a record low of 3.9 percent where it hasn’t been since the late 1980’s even though there are a lot more people living here. The nation’s unemployment at 3.5 percent for a second month in a row. Mendocino County was at 3.7%, Napa at 2.9%, Sonoma at 2.4%.

A proposal to annex some Middletown Rancheria land has been approved by the Lake Local Area Formation Commission. Lake Co News reports more than 109 acres of land going to the Callayomi County Water District as a safe, reliable source of water. The approval a couple weeks ago at the Commission’s meeting. The commission has members of the Board of Supervisors, city councils for Clearlake and Lakeport, special district representatives and members of the public. The news site reports the rancheria property has the Twin Pine Casino and Hotel on it, along with a government administration complex, homes for tribal members and commercial property. Besides the safe drinking water for tribal members there will also be water for fire protection.

Population down in Lake County, but a lot more people in California overall. More than a dozen counties had less people living there, but more than 141,000 moved to the state from July of 2018 to July of 2019. The State Dept. of Finance increased the population number in the state to just under 40 million, 39.96 million. Some of the other counties with a loss in population include Nevada, Shasta, Sierra, and Trinity. The next census is happening this year, and since the last in April of 2010, the state’s population has been steadily rising at a yearly rate of about 0.75 percent.

The Governor moving to the next phase of a promise he made while campaigning to end euthanasia of adoptable pets. There’s $50 million set aside in the latest budget for five years for shelters to keep pets alive. About twenty years ago the state passed a law so all healthy and medically treatable animals in shelters could be adopted, not put to their deaths, but the state didn’t set aside cash for it. Then the state cut shelter money in 2009 due to the recession. The Governor has named a vet from UC Davis to head the program, Dr. Kate Hurley, who says there’s no spay and neuter services at some shelters, which could now change. The state is not making euthanasia illegal, just looking to help shelters so they can adopt more pets out.

The Governor’s new budget includes spending billions on the environment. The Natural Resources Agency stands to receive as much as $6.7 billion for departments including Cal Fire, where about half of that money looks to end up. The budget sets aside money so almost 700 new Cal Fire staffers can be hired. More than half of them would be full-time firefighters. The budget also sets aside money for investments in the Department of Fish and Wildlife for ecosystem diversity, expanding oil and gas production regulations under the Department of Conservation, creating at least one new state park and a proposed climate change resiliency bond.

The man in a standoff with police last year will be checked out by two doctors to see if he’s competent to stand trial. Lake Co News reports 31 year old Francisco Morales-Gomez was arrested last November after a long standoff with police where they say he was holding his 6-year-old son hostage. He was set for trial at the start of the New Year, but his lawyer told the judge he was concerned about Morales-Gomez’s mental competence. It all comes after his wife said he pulled a gun at their house. Then Clearlake Police and SWAT teams from Lake County and Sonoma County came to the house and nearby homes were evacuated. Turns out he only had a bb gun. He was charged with false imprisonment of a hostage, false imprisonment by violence, child abuse, and resisting an officer with violence or the threat of violence. He’s due back in court February 11th and two doctors will report on his mental health.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors will present a proclamation after wildfires last year. The board meeting as usual in the morning tomorrow at 9, will present the proclamation to recognize Caltrans District 1 and Konocti Conservation Camp Crews for fighting fires last year. They will also hear an update on the Lake County Tourism Improvement District. The district is a marketing arm for the County, charging a tax that ultimately pays for marketing and to attract visitors to increase tourism with overnight stays. The District first formed in October 2018.

A man from Lakeport has been arrested after being found on Terrace Middle School grounds with drugs and a knife. Police say the man, 34 year old Michael King had no reason to be there Friday morning. The School Resource Officer found him on campus and made contact, seeing a folding knife in his possession.  Cops say the Resource Officer found he was illegally in possession of the knife and no actual reason he was there. He was charged with possession of a weapon on school grounds and misdemeanor charges of possession of suspected methamphetamine, possession of about a half pound of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was booked on $15,000 bail.

A man from Oklahoma has been arrested after a break in at an auto parts store in Covelo. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports getting a call after the Napa Auto Parts Store alarm went off, they found a broken front window. The business owner told them someone had stolen a Honda Generator from the store. After deputies spoke to witnesses in the area, they found someone had seen a white man carrying a generator nearby. The man identified as Daniel Batten was found in downtown Covelo. Police found the generator and arrested him near Hidden Oaks Convenience Store on burglary and felony vandalism charges and held him on $15,000.00 bail.

3 major political parties in Mendocino County have reportedly informed the County Elections Office they’ll allow those with no party preference to cross over and vote on other ballots in the primary. Last October, on the 135th day before the Presidential Primary, the American Independent Party, the Democratic Party, and the Libertarian Party notified the Secretary of State they’ll allow non-affiliated party voters the right to “crossover” to their political ballot. Those voters were sent Vote By Mail info to see if they wanted to choose a certain political party ballot or stay the way they were. They’ll take changes until Election Day or the last possible mail in ballot day. If you want to vote on the Republican, Green Party or Peace and Freedom ballot, you have to re-register with that deadline at Feb. 18th.

More water allocations are being put into the 2020 State Water Project. Last Friday the State Department of Water Resources announced the increase to 15 percent of requested supplies, up the 5% initial allocation announced Dec. 2nd. They take a look each month after getting reports on snowpack levels and runoff. Water from Clear Lake runs into Cache Creek then into the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a source for the State Water Project. The Dept. of Water Resources Director says after some big storms in December, but not so much this month, the snowpack is below average.

There’s a new State Director for the Bureau of Land Management. Last week Karen Mouritsen took the helm of the agency. She joins after being the State Director for the BLM Eastern States Office. There she oversaw BLM lands and minerals in 22 states along and east of the Mississippi River. Kym Kemp reports Mouritsen also worked in the Nation’s Capital in key leadership roles including senior level as the BLM Deputy Assistant Director for Energy, Minerals, and Realty Management, BLM Budget Officer and BLM liaison to the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management.

A legislator from Calif. looking to get a bill passed regarding wildfire disasters and lost school time. State Senator Bill Dodd has a new bill called the “Disaster Relief Instructional Recovery Program” that would fund summer school to make up for lost days due to fires, other natural disasters and intended blackouts. There would be no requirement for schools or students or teachers to participate, a school district would just choose to opt in. Districts as well as charter schools would be able to join programs if they had lost five or more days of school because of disasters during one school year or as many as 10 instructional days over two out of three consecutive school years. So far this school year because of fires and intentional power shutoffs, 800,000 students were affected with school closures.

Two people in Southern California have reportedly become the third and fourth people in the U.S. to officially be diagnosed with a sometimes deadly virus circulating in China. The Centers for Disease Control says someone traveling from the Chinese city of Wuhan — the heart of the epidemic — tested positive for the Corona virus. One patient in Orange County in isolation in a hospital and said to be in good condition. The second case in LA County. It’s also in Washington State and Chicago. Effects like pneumonia, include fever, coughing and wheezing. It’s said to be closely related to the deadly SARS and MERS viruses.

Prescription drug costs are part of the Governor’s work this year, now including insulin. Word that the governor wanted to start the state’s own drug label, now insulin. The Governor’s office has not said what the cost differential would be if the state gets to into the business of selling prescription drugs. The Governor says they’re currently negotiating ways to lower prices on drugs like insulin, which he says is at the top of the list. The Sacramento Bee newspaper reports about 7.4 million Americans use insulin. There are only three companies controlling the insulin market in the country. The financial analyst for the legislature says lawmakers should be cautious, adding it’s not a bad idea, but it could also increase costs over the long term.

The Bureau of Land Management is looking for public input finding lands where the public is allowed to recreate, fish and hunt, but where there’s no public access. The BLM will be posting the first priority list online by the middle of March. They’ll keep updating it biannually, for ten years. They’re asking the public to identify parcels to be included on the list before the end of February. And it’s a leap year, so you have until Saturday, February 29th. The agency says it’s worked tirelessly with other federal and state agencies, public and private partners to continually find public land access issues proactively. The land has to be managed by the BLM and be on at least 640 contiguous acres with either restricted or no public access.

The Mendocino County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office reaching out to the public for help identifying a young man hit by a car and killed. The Sheriff’s office says a Hispanic man between 18 and 25 years old was hit on the 101 last Sunday night between ReTech and Ukiah, in Mendocino County. The man is further described as about 5′ foot 2″ to 5′ 5″, about 140 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. They’ve posted pictures of the clothing the young man was wearing to see if anyone could recognize them and help identify who he is. The pictures are posted on Lake Co News website.

A new Cannabis Program Manager has been named for Mendocino County. Yesterday the Mendocino County Planning and Building Services Director announced Megan Dukett as the Acting Cannabis Program Manager. She was the County’s Cultural Services Agency Program Administrator for the County Parks and County Museum and before that had worked for different historic sites, museums, and parks as a program manager and has worked for years in project management. In her new position, Dukett will be coordinating the implementation of County policies, getting the Cannabis Program implemented and help the public in the application and permitting process.

After the deadliest fire in history in Calif, Camp Fire survivors are still regularly visiting a food bank. The Contra Costa and Solano County Food Bank reports still supplying local food banks and helping survivors impacted by the fire. The food bank reports serving about 1 in 9 residents in both counties as part of an arrangement to help Northern California food banks after a natural disaster. It’s all part of a membership with Feeding America which is a national network of food banks. They started right after the Camp Fire in November of 2018, saying they’ve served more 2.5 million pounds of food to Camp Fire survivors last year.

The Ukiah Valley Sanitation District and City of Ukiah are reportedly working to pay off upgrades made to the Wastewater Treatment Plant back in 2006. The Daily Journal reports the City Manager saying the two are trying to make deals with banks and others and have gotten some offers to lower the interest rates on the debt.  The City Manager says the refi won’t take down the principal, but the interest rates would be lower, something they’ve been working to for a few years. A special meeting set for Monday by the Sanitation District on the refinancing of the bonds.

Cybersecurity on the agenda at the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors meeting. Earlier this week the Board heard about ways to protect against cyberattacks and something to be improved over the long-term. Staffers told the board the number of threats last year went up drastically and the attacks will continue. With that staff told the board the county needs more protection. And that more portable and mobile devices have increased the threat levels. So staff told the Board, more trainings are in the works, up-dated tools are needed and more awareness from employees is also needed.

The City of Willits has a bunch of job openings needing to be filled. At the City Council meeting this week, Council members and staffers talked about future goals, but they say it may be limited because there’s a lack of qualified staff in place. The City is looking for an assistant engineer, two accountants, some police officers and dispatchers and a new police chief. The City Manager says the city’s asking for help from nearby cities for shift coverage until more police officers can be hired. The City has placed all of the jobs on the website with descriptions and requirements.

A man from Lakeport who was arrested last fall for the murder of another man had the charges dropped. Daniel Ford was being held for the murder of Nicky Dale Smith of Lucerne, but the DA announced the charges were dismissed, but that they’re still investigating and charges could be brought again in the future. The murder November 23rd and Ford arrested the same day. Another man, Michael Shaffer of Upper Lake was also arrested for the murder. Smith died from blunt force trauma and gunshot wounds. There’s still forensic testing going on of evidence found after the murder. The DA says she’s dropping the charges against the men because there’s not enough evidence, even though they’re the prime suspects.

Logging can continue in the Mendocino National Forest. A federal judge said no to an argument by an environmental advocacy group to stop logging on thousands of acres so that more environmental impacts could be studied. But the judge said no to the nonprofit Environmental Protection Information Center’s preliminary injunction for the logging on the Ranch Fire burn scar. So the projects can move forward. The Director of the nonprofit told the Record Bee they’ll continue trying to get the National Forest to follow the law.

Clearlake city officials still working to get thousands of tax-defaulted properties sold at auction. Lake Co News reports the City Manager gave the City Council an update regarding the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office at the Board of Supervisors’ Jan. 14 meeting. At the meeting the Board stood by the Treasurer-Tax Collector Barbara Ringen and said she needed more support. But the City Manager said the discussion at the board meeting was “particularly frustrating.” The City Manager says they have a 25 percent rate of all properties being at some level of tax delinquency.

A green light’s been given to a new transportation hub in Clearlake. The Lake County Board of Supervisors is supporting the new hub and approved selling a piece of land the city owns to Lake Transit for the project. Last week the board unanimously approved the county property being declared as surplus and to sell part of the surplus land to the Lake County Transit Authority. The Board also approved sending a letter of support for a grant application for the project. A report to the board says there’s currently a bus depot in a parking lot between a couple of big box stores, which is unsafe. And that the land to be declared surplus was surveyed and split. Besides the depot, there will be office space for Lake Transit.

The Gov. says no to the PG&E deal to get out of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Gov. Gavin Newsom says he wants the judge managing the case to scrap Pacific Gas and Electric’s plan to get out of bankruptcy. He’s also still saying there should be a way instead for the utility company to be a government-run operation. The governor’s office reportedly sending a letter to the court about PG&E’s plan as the company tries to make a June deadline to emerge from the bankruptcy after devastating wildfires, mostly blamed on the utility’s equipment. If the plan is approved, the company can draw money out of a special insurance fund the state created so utility companies can recoup possible future losses after wildfire emergencies.

Alternative energy at the forefront for the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. The board has approved a partnership with Sonoma County Energy and Sustainability on multiple energy projects in Mendocino County buildings. That agency is under Sonoma County’s General Services Department coming up with energy management programs. Mendocino County began work on sustainability projects about a year ago, auditing what could be changed. No word on what it will cost for the audits and if it pays to make fixes.

No anatoxin has been found in Blue Lakes after positive tests last month. It was very low levels of the toxin with caution signs going up in the area. Those signs have been taken down after more tests were taken the middle of last month and again on January 7th showing no signs at all of the toxin. Because two tests came back negative usual activity in the area can begin again. The Clear Lake cyanobacteria monitoring program is managed by the Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians and Elem Indian Colony. They pay for the routine tests at the Upper Blue Lakes.

Another $400,000 dollars has been approved to close down the old landfill in Ukiah. The City Council has approved the expenditure to close the old landfill at the end of Vichy Springs Road. The Daily Journal reports the Public Works Director reminding the City Council last week that the landfill was at capacity in the late 90’s. A firm was hired then to close the landfill, that being a cap and gas collection system. City staff have been working ever since on officially closing the landfill. The Public Works Director says they are still about $1 million short of the needed funds and they’re waiting comments on the final environmental impact review.

An admitted gang member going to prison after waiving his right to a jury trial in a couple of felony cases. The Mendocino County DA reports 26 year old Gabriel Diego was then convicted of attempted witness intimidation and admitted a special allegation of trying to intimidate a Good Samaritan witness on behalf of the Sureno criminal street gang in Fort Bragg. He was also found guilty of inflicting traumatic injury on the mother of his children, another felony, and for  domestic violence while out of jail when his attempted witness intimidation case was pending. In yet a third case, he’s guilty of witness tampering related to the others. The case has been forwarded for a sentencing recommendation to the Probation Department. He’s due back in court for judgement and sentencing February 19th.

More transparency as the city of Ukiah makes website fixes so residents can see where tax dollars are being spent on street repairs. The Deputy City Manager told the City Council the website could have been more user friendly so staff members were making fixes regarding Measure Y dollars, which pay for street repairs. You can navigate now to a tab called Residents where there are contact numbers so you can report potholes, graffiti, non-working traffic signals and road hazards. The page explains to residents just how the city decides on that streets to fix with maps. There’s also a summary of how the money is spent which is also going to be put into a flier and delivered with future utility bills.

A meeting in Lake County on the eradication of an invasive plant called hydrilla. The California Department of Food and Agriculture is having a town hall regarding the statewide Hydrilla Eradication Project next Wednesday at Lakeport City Hall. The invasive aquatic plant can form large mats disrupting oxygen levels in Clear Lake. The state’s been working to get rid of the plant with success in 15 counties. But Lake County is currently impacted by an infestation. The state looking to help get Lake County to 100% eradication. The California Department of Food and Agriculture is taking public comment on a new environmental impact report until Feb. 16th. The meeting next Wednesday starts at 3:30pm.

A man in Northern Calif. reportedly scamming his insurance company connected to the massive Carr Fire. The fire burned through Redding in July of 2018. Now Stephen Cortopassi is facing nine felony counts of insurance fraud, scamming himself into a payout of $43,000 after he claimed the fire destroyed his home and vehicles. But he was apparently already getting more than $1 million for legally insured property after losing his home and four cars. He reportedly bought a new insurance policy the day after one of his cars was destroyed, and liability on the others, all worth $43,060.

PG&E and other utility companies that run public safety power shutoffs could be responsible for lost wages and spoiled food if some lawmakers have their way. The Press Democrat reports State Sen. Scott Weiner of San Francisco has introduced a bill to require investor owned utilities to pay their customers and local governments back some of the costs connected to intentional power outages. The utility companies say it’s to protect the public. Massive blackouts were put in place last fall. 2 million customers were in the dark in October, closing schools and businesses and making life a challenge for those using medical devices that can’t work without electricity. Weiner’s bill would require a utility company’s shareholders, not customers, to stash cash in a fund that would be used to reimburse customers within two weeks of a blackout. The California Public Utilities Commission to be in charge of the fund.

A new labor law being considered would take freelance writers and newspaper carriers out of another new labor law already passed that’s got lawsuits piling up to stop it. A bill introduced by now Senator Patricia Bates would require workers to be treated as employees not independent contractors. It comes after a law started January 1st that gives salary and benefit protections for those who work as independent contractors. Many are suing against it, including journalists, truck drivers and others. The January 1st law was focused on ride share companies like Uber and Lyft. But many freelancers are now unemployed.  Bates says her new bill would help preserve quality journalism.

3 people have been killed in snow related accidents in Lake Tahoe. So much wet snow, the first death in an avalanche at Alpine Meadows last weekend. Another man, from Carson Valley was killed in a snowmobile accident at Blue Lakes, then the third, Christopher Nicholson was injured on the expert run at Heavenly Mountain Resort near South Lake Tahoe. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.

The Clearlake City Council considering transportation for the most needy. The council heard from the Lake Links manager from Lake Transit Authority earlier this month about the need for special transportation options in Lake County. The manager told the council there are major needs for the large vulnerable population in Lake County, but there are major limitations he says. They are already making hundreds of trips per year for the homeless and thousands a year for those who otherwise couldn’t get to their destinations. They’ve also received an $800,000 federal grant for mobility services and have applied for a second grant. They have other options too, including a reimbursement program and a new program called Medi-Links that runs between Lake County and Santa Rosa for medical appointments.

The Lakeport City Council applying for a grant to finish the repairs needed on the two bathrooms at Library Park that still need replacing. The Public Works director asking the city council to approve a $184,000 grant application to the state which will pay without a city match. The director says they haven’t applied for grants for a while from the Division of Boating and Waterways which helps. So the council voted unanimously to approve applying for the grant.

More cops on the streets of Lakeport. The police chief says they’re in a mandatory training today so they’ll be more patrols on the streets. Chief Brad Rasmussen says Clearlake police are also coming over the help with the training. Lake Co News reports police, sheriff and California Highway Patrol help each other out during trainings. And likewise, Lakeport cops have helped Clearlake in the past.

State Senators Bill Dodd and Mike McGuire have drafted legislation regarding disaster insurance claims after devastating wildfires the last few years. Dodd introduced the bill yesterday which he says will help move residential insurance claims thru in a smoother way for disaster victims. Dodd says insurance companies need to act so living expenses for temporary housing and other costs get to victims faster. He also says they shouldn’t have to be inundated filling out forms. The legislation is also sponsored by the state Insurance Commissioner. It expands what it means to get additional living expenses for homeowner losses in a state of emergency.

The meet and greet with Congressman Mike Thompson was a success even in the rain. More than two dozen showed up yesterday at Grinders Steep. There was standing room only at the event. He spoke about the impeachment, calling his approval, a sad vote. He also touched on healthcare, the national debt, and gun control. All in response to constituents comments and questions. Thompson noted that the House has been passing legislation, including expanded background checks on gun sales, but that the senate is sitting back, not acting. He says members of the public need to call, write and email their representatives repeatedly to show support and help get legislation passed.

A former city councilmember in Ukiah says she’s running to be on the Board of Supervisors. Mari Rodin is also a grant writer and former member of the Mendocino County Local Agency Formation Commission. She says some of her ideas include development by the city center and downtown, helping with the homelessness issue with programs of outreach and intervention, adding that Measure B passing can help with that. She calls homelessness a humanitarian issue. She’s a supporter of recreational marijuana sales and wants the government to support Fire Safe Councils.

It’s still an emergency. That word coming down from the Ukiah City Council calling the repairs needed at the Wastewater Treatment Plant after flooding nearly a year ago an emergency. The Public Works director at the council meeting last week saying the ponds at the plant are still in “somewhat horrifying condition”, adding they can’t stop the flows until it’s drier out. There is work scheduled once there’s a dry spell of a week or more. The ponds damaged last February during heavy rains. The work to be done at a cost of about $320-thousand dollars.

A local non-profit bringing more family physicians to Mendocino county says it’s moving into a donor advised fund. Family Medicine Education for Mendocino County announced the transition and its management by the Community Foundation of Mendocino County. The president of the fund says they’ve inspired more than $350,000 in donations from sponsorships, matching funds, and ticket sales to Rural Health Rocks. Their original goal was for $100,000. The organization started in 2015 in response to a nationwide shortage of physicians in rural areas.

Uber in Calif. tests a new feature where drivers get to decide how much they want to charge. The test is only at three airports in Calif. and something the company says is in response to a new law regarding independent contractors. So the drivers at the Santa Barbara, Sacramento and Palm Springs airports will have the ability to come up with fares based on a multiple of Uber’s base, time and distance rates. Then those who need a ride are paired with a driver that offers the lowest rate. Drivers who want to make more will then have a longer waiting period. The company says it’s a way for them to keep the work flowing for tens of thousands of California drivers.

A vote to raise tuition at the University of California has been tabled for now. The UC President’s office released a statement yesterday saying it was moving the vote by the UC Board of Regents on the two tuition proposals but didn’t say when it would take place. It comes after the governor took issue with the proposed hikes, either for new students or current ones, that would keep going up each year they attend. The Governor’s office also released a statement saying he put money into higher education in last year’s budget, and was planning the same for next year’s budget. So he thinks the proposed tuition increase are unwarranted.

The Mendocino County homeless count is happening next week. The Homeless Services Continuum of Care yearly Point in Time Count is next Thursday, January 30th. It’s a requirement to continue receiving Federal and State funding for housing and homeless services. Volunteers will fan out across coastal and inland areas of Mendocino County, working in teams, to count children, families and individuals on the streets. The Continuum of Care works to help those who are unsheltered. There’s still time to volunteer, please contact Garry Colson: 707-463-7763 or email

A sexually violent predator who goes by the name of Pirate is reportedly back on the streets of Redding. 40 year old Daniel Selovich, who’s picture is posted on the Record Bee newspaper’s website got out of prison in Nevada last year. He was arrested for raping a disabled woman in a motel room in 2004. He’s easily identified because of a tattoo that practically covers his face.  He was released from prison in 2015 and ended up in Alaska where he was then accused of holding a woman against her will, torturing and sexually assaulting her. But she died of a drug overdose and the charges were dropped. DNA in that case linked him to an attack in Las Vegas for which he pleaded guilty and got five years, but was released last year. A concerned Alaskan posted pictures on Facebook and he ended up back in Redding.

PG&E is testing the Humboldt Bay power plant to see if it can generate enough energy to handle outages. The low load emission tests at King Salmon in the case of a power outage to see if the utility company can get permits in the case of an actual outage. It comes after the public safety power shutoffs last fall. The utility company reportedly working with Redwood Coast Energy Authority to get the plant to be able to supply power by the middle of this year, or before the next fire season. The old nuclear plant deactivated in the late 2000s. The Record Bee newspaper reports the plant now produces gas-powered energy, operating at only partial capacity.

The Willits City Council back at the drawing board on Mobile Vending machines. The Ad Hoc committee met last Thursday and about 20 people were there speaking up on the city’s Mobile Vending Ordinance. The City Council can still hear input from the public, decide to change the wording, hear more changes, then officially enact it or amend it. The Ad Hoc Committee can also still get recommendations from City Staff too before the ordinance is sent back to the City Council for approval. The vending machines could be with special events, sponsored for a day by a local business or be out multiple days. There’s an ordinance in place for about seven years that says food trucks/vendors are not allowed within a block of Commercial and Main streets, except for special events. One more meeting will happen before the City Council takes up the matter again.

The American Pickers are headed back to Calif and filming in Willits. Apparently the Chamber of Commerce got a call by a casting person on the antique hunting documentary series. Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz will be here in March to “recycle and rescue forgotten relics.” The show further saying the Pickers hope to “meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items”. The show is interested in leads if you know of a local hidden treasure, you can get in touch with them directly: provide your name, phone number, and a location and description of the collection with photos to, or call 855-OLD-RUST.