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The governor is looking at a purchase of a nearly 51,000-acre cattle ranch above Livermore that is situated in four counties. The land to be the state’s newest park is featured in the latest budget by Governor Newsom, which was introduced last week. $20 million will go towards buying the land after 17 lawmakers egged him on, sending a letter to him last week, nudging him towards the N3 Cattle Company Ranch. It’s listed at more than $70 million. The Nature Conservancy and The Trust for Public Lands are kicking in $30 million. The ranch is on land in Alameda, Santa Clara, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties where they all intersect. Much of it in the Alameda Creek watershed which  provides drinking water for the Bay Area and California residents.

Several thousand dollars provided by Sutter Lakeside Hospital to Westside Community Park to help Lake County residents stay in shape. $7,000 will help add exercise equipment to the fitness trail running along the Rotary and Jane Barnes athletic fields and make the trail extend further into the western portion of the park. The hospital had donated $2,000 in the past, and that was spent buying the first three pieces of trailside exercise equipment, installed in 2016 by the Kiwanis Club of Lakeport.

A man from Willits has been killed in a car crash on Hwy 20. The California Highway Patrol reports on the Sunday afternoon crash of a 1991 Toyota Tacoma pickup near the Blue Lakes Lodge. They say the driver swerved into oncoming traffic, spun out, then continued rolling and hit another car head on. A third car behind him with two passengers also crashed. The man from Willits did not have on a seat belt and was seriously injured then taken to the hospital where he later died.  The CHP says they suspect alcohol was a factor in the crash.

A no parking zone is being considered in Ukiah on West Stephenson. The City Council is expected to take up the matter at their meeting today after the street was converted to two way for better traffic circulation downtown. City staff notes to the council say there are issues when School Street is closed for the holiday ice rink, the weekly Farmers Market and other special events. The Public Works dept. removed an on street parking space to allow for better traffic flow during the holidays, which is apparently something now being considered.

Another lawsuit against PG&E. This time Sonoma County says it’s retained a lawyer to take on a lawsuit against the utility company for the Kincade fire which cost the county as much as $620 million. The county reportedly going after money from PG&E in its bankruptcy case where the utility company is still negotiating ways to pay off liabilities from wildfires, including the 2018 Camp fire and the 2017 October firestorm that killed several people and destroyed thousands of homes in Sonoma County. The lawsuit also seeks to get compensation for a series of public safety power shutoffs this past October and November.

Two women reportedly shot by a man in Clearlake are in critical condition. Clearlake police are looking for the alleged shooter, 30-year-old Gabriel Cardenas Diaz. They say Diaz went into a home to confront his girlfriend and shot a handgun several times, hitting three women inside. One of them who was pregnant and is listed in critical condition. A third woman was treated and released from the hospital. Cops say there were several people inside at the time of the shooting, including children.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors considering what to do about the letter it received from the City of Clearlake about tax-defaulted properties the city thinks should have been sold. The City Manager brought the issue to the board last fall and the City Council ended up sending letters to several state agencies including the controller’s office, the California Board of Equalization and the California Attorney General’s Office. The city asking for Lake County Treasurer-Tax Collector Barbara Ringen to be investigated. She and a staffer at the Board meeting yesterday along with the city manager and other city leaders. There’s apparently as much as $9 million worth of delinquent properties in the city. Ringen says she will work hard to solve the issues and the Board asked her to make it happen and promised resources to help.

Profit being blamed for a rise in health care costs in the State. The Department of Managed Care released a report showing the premium costs from insurance companies. Back in 2018, they doubled their profits, and then some. Profit noted in the report at as much as $2.75 billion over $1.01 billion the year before. The report shows there weren’t many factors that drove up the price of healthcare for residents, besides profit. But taxes and fees were up there too, and prescription drugs were also a contributing factor, but not by that much. Taxes and fees were up 30 percent over a year before and prescription meds were up under 5 percent.

A new Assistant City Manager has been named in Lakeport. Lake Co News reports it was only a week after the City Council approved the job classification that the new staff position was filled. The first ever assistant city manager job is being filled by the Community Development Director Kevin Ingram. He’s been in his current position about five years. Last year the City Council approved of the new position, which is touted as a training opportunity for those interested in being the city manager sometime in the future. Ingram will be responsible for supporting the city manager on major projects; be the point of contact with elected officials; develop and/or help implement city-wide goals; support boards, commissions and community groups; and fill in as the city manager if they’re unable to work or are away.

A vegetation management project is planned in the burn scar of the Ranch Fire. The US Forest Service reports they’ll be putting down herbicide and pulling invasive species, but they first are seeking public comment before next Tuesday, January 21st. The project is on 54 acres at 15 different sites in Glenn, Colusa, and Lake counties. The 2018 Ranch Fire caused invasive species to spread over 15 sites. The mostly young plants will be sprayed with herbicide and the older plants will be pulled mechanically. There won’t be any herbicide applied in the Snow Mountain Wilderness and no aerial application of herbicide is proposed.

A proposal by an Assembly woman from Arleta would require school aged kids to learn all about climate change. Assemblymember Luz Rivas says her bill would call for climate change education as a requirement for students from 1st grade the 6th and there would also be a graduation requirement for students in grades 7 through 12, starting 2025. If it passes and the governor signs it into law, schools would have to add it to their curriculum no later than the 2021-22 school year.




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