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Congressman Jared Huffman and a colleague from Mississippi have introduced a bill so fisheries can receive disaster relief quicker. Huffman and Congressman Steven Palazzo teamed up for the Fishery Failures: Urgently Needed Disaster Declarations Act — or the Fishery FUNDD Act, to expedite money coming from the federal government with a time limit the government would get to respond to a fishery disaster request and how long after that it can take to distribute money disbursed after a disaster. Right now fishing communities have to wait to get money from the fed until after fish populations decline, during closed seasons, or if they suffer losses due to other disruptions.

Some new board officers have been chosen for the Mendocino Coast Healthcare District. Just after the new year at a forum. Some had been waiting on potential developments regarding the Labor and Delivery department, but instead the new board President  announced the board fired their legal counsel and hired a new one who have specialized experience in hospital affiliation. As you may recall the hospital is going thru a potential merger with Adventist Health. There have been two meetings already since the new year. The president of Adventist was at one of the meetings.

Something of a Green New Deal in Calif as the Governor announces new programs including a loan program for recycling, low-carbon transportation and climate-smart agriculture projects. The so-called Climate Catalyst Revolving Loan Fund is part of Newsom’s new budget for low-interest lending for small businesses and organizations with green ideas but for one reason or another may not be able to compete for venture capital funding. This on top of the state’s many public climate projects.

First 5 Lake Commission has a new leader. Lake County District 4 Supervisor Tina Scott has been elected as the new Chairperson for the Commission. The position requires her to attend all meetings and has general supervision over the business and property of the Commission. They also execute all formal documents on behalf of the Commission along with its Executive Director. The new Vice Chair is Denise Pomeroy, the Director of Health Services for the County. Their next meeting is Feb. 12th at the Lower Lake Town Hall.

A couple of events in Lake County with Congressman Mike Thompson. Next Tuesday, Thompson will host “Coffee with our Congressman” at the Grinders Steep Coffee Shop at noon, in Middletown. Later, he’s hosting a town hall at the Tom Aiken Community Hall at Kelseyville High at 5:30. His office encourages all constituents of the Fifth Congressional District to attend. His district covers all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties.

An area of the Clear Lake’s wetlands is being purchased thanks to a state grant. Lake Co News reports a $675,000 grant was approved by the state Wildlife Conservation Board to pay for the 200-acre Wright property. The Land Trust has reportedly been eyeing the land for a decade and a half. The news site reports the grant money comes from various sources including the Habitat Conservation Fund and other bond measures that voters had previously approved to preserve and protect California’s natural resources.

The Governor’s trying to help bring prescription drug prices down, so his office has announced a program to start the state’s own generic drug label. The first law of its kind in the nation would allow the state to negotiate directly with drug manufacturers for select prescriptions. Apparently it’s not the only plan the Governor’s considering to bring down the cost of health care for Californians. His office released part of the proposal last week, but no cost estimates have been released to the public. The governor also working to get more rebates from drug manufacturers.

A community action plan had a group of Mendocino County residents talking. The group along with leaders from District 3 were at New Paradigm College last week discussing future land use and development rules after the Board of Supervisors asked for a general plan update last fall. That involves the county’s eight “local area plans” which are folded into the general plan which is state mandated. The meeting at New Paradigm was hosted by the chair of the Western Region Town Hall (a District 3 municipal advisory council)  and featured the chair of the Redwood Valley Municipal Advisory Council who noted getting the community action plan implemented as part of the general plan is not guaranteed. She says they’ll do everything they can to make that happen though.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors diving into the issue with the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office. Lake Co news reports the board’s going to consider responding to a letter the City of Clearlake sent to the county last year about the performance of the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office when it comes to selling tax-defaulted properties, which they say is lagging. The city’s calling out Treasurer-Tax Collector Barbara Ringen for not selling more tax defaulted properties which are supposedly worth millions at auction. The Lakeport City Council sent a letter of support regarding the issue too.

A car crash between three cars in the Blue Lakes area leaves one person seriously injured. The crash yesterday afternoon on Highway 20 happened in front of Blue Lakes Lodge. Lake Co News reports Northshore Fire and Lakeport Fire were on the scene. Two cars were blocking one of the lanes. The news site reported dispatch saying one of the vehicles had been reported prior to the crash as possibly being driven by an impaired driver. Four other people in the accident were uninjured.

A man from Sacramento’s been arrested for a DUI after being seen driving on 3 tires. Police say Martin Diaz Barajas Jr. was seen driving on 11th St in Lakeport with major right front end damage and a missing tire so he was pulled over. When cops contacted him, they say he said he had just crashed off the 11th Street exit from Highway 29 and he knew his tire was missing but thought he could make it home, driving on the rim. He went thru field sobriety tests and was arrested. His blood alcohol content was measured at .085%. He’s charged with DUI and was reportedly released from jail already.

A woman in Fort Bragg has been arrested after reports of a fight between a man and woman over the weekend. Deputies got a call Saturday afternoon and found the couple had an argument that escalated. They say the woman, Kelie Adams-Penrod, physically assaulted the man, using her hands and a large wooden stick. They say the man had minor visible injuries consistent with the assault.  Adams-Penrod was arrested after deputies found she was on active summary probation with a term she obey all laws.  She’s booked on Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Felony Domestic Battery and a Misdemeanor Violation of Probation. She was held on $30,000.00 bail.

Because of fires the last three years, the state’s in dire need of more firefighters. The latest state budget proposed by the Gov. Newsom has the state hiring as many as 677 new full-time staffers for Cal Fire, over the next five years. That’s nearly 11% more than the 6,280 full-timers already working for the agency. There are also almost 2,400 Cal Fire positions that are seasonal employees. Of all of those, there would be about 440 new front line firefighters. The new hires are expected to be approved by the legislature. The budget is expected to have a $5.6 billion surplus. They say more staff at Cal Fire will allow more pre-positioning of staff in coming years.

The Alder Stop bus stop has been opened by the Mendocino Transit Authority. Last Thursday the stop and shelter in Willits opened, replacing the old Brown’s Corner bus stop on the 101. It’s situated right behind Lumberjack restaurant in the Evergreen Shopping Center. The MTA general manager says it’s safer, since it’s off the main highway and it’s convenient for nearby seniors.



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