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A special meeting planned by the Ukiah City Council on land-use policies and planning. The city’s Community Development Director says it’ll cover the future of the city’s development in the valley and annexation. At the last City Council meeting, it was noted the policies could become part of the general plan, so there will be some recommendations for the council at the meeting. Later the Planning Commission and the City Council will have a joint meeting on the General Plan. But for tonight’s meeting, the so-called “Plan for the Future” will touch on the goals for the Ukiah Valley Area Plan, the city staying with the current sphere of influence and the annexation plan for ten years for unincorporated areas of the city. The meeting tonight at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.

A new report says we had the warmest year ever for oceans. The journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences released the report called “Record- Setting Ocean Warmth Continued in 2019”. It showed record heat over the last five years, calling the ocean heating irrefutable, and said is was key to the Earth’s energy imbalance. It goes on to say an excess of greenhouse gases in the air traps more heat inside the climate system and drives global warming. The report also said the 2014-16 marine heatwave devastated kelp forests, and in Northern Calif. we lost more than 90% of our kelp in one year. The report also says kelp is being replaced by urchin barrens and says Sunflower stars are extinct locally after they got sea star wasting syndrome.

PG&E is warning about the current storm being a doozy, so they’re sending crews out to Mendocino, Lake and Humboldt Counties to respond to outages quickly. A spokesperson for the utility company says fast moving wind and rain, along with snow in higher elevations is expected. They say they’re fully staffed with equipment ready. They will also have generators in rural areas and if power fails, they’ll also activate Operations Emergency Centers in Eureka, Ukiah, Clearlake, Fort Bragg and Fortuna.

A shout out to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex by Sherwood Valley Casino. The casino announced they contacted the Royal Household of The Duke and Duchess, Prince Harry and Meghan to partner up in business and philanthropy. Casino representatives say it’s no joke. They heard Megan was talking to Disney about charitable work, so the Casino’s General Manager said they wanted to make an offer as others had been doing after the Royal couple said they were stepping back from official duties and wanted to also make their own money. The Casino team actually contacted the couple with an offer. They say they think Mendocino County is a great place for their new home… we shall see.

Congressmembers Mike Thompson and Jared Huffman have publicly come out for the impeachment of President Trump. The two voted to forward the articles of impeachment against the President to the Senate. Thompson says there’s no doubt President Trump committed crimes and should be removed from office for trying to work with a foreign government to be re-elected. Huffman says he believes there’s growing pressure on senators. There only needs to be four Republican senators voting for witnesses to be brought forward.

The state’s considering raising taxes on big companies in alignment with how much the highest paid executives make opposed to what other employees make. Democratic state Senator Nancy Skinner’s bill has bigger tax penalties for companies with bigger pay gaps between leaders and other employees. The bill has passed out of the first committee and would only affect companies with at least $10 million of taxable income. Disney is one of the companies that could be impacted. Its CEO made more than $65 million in 2018, more than 1,400 times the median pay of a regular Disney employee.

It’s finally happening, the new seawall at Library Park in Lakeport’s being rebuilt. Starting in just a couple weeks the project that was supposed to start last month gets underway. The City Public Works Director told the city council last month the contractor was getting some of the supplies needed by last week, but there was a delay until the end of January. You may recall the cinder block seawall crumbled in winter storms in February of 2017. A company out of Oregon is doing the work at about $800,000 dollars. The city had estimated it would cost about a million.

Beefed up patrols looking for parking violators in Lakeport. Police say they’ll be enforcing parking rules downtown after multiple complaints. The police department says there’s been a lack of staff resources for some time so they’ve not been able to enforce the two hour parking rule for a while. But since there have been complaints downtown and around the courthouse affecting local businesses, police will be handing out more parking violations. They also may hire a parking enforcement company to hand out tickets so businesses don’t lose money because of parking violations.

Six women from Lake County are receiving cash rewards as part of the Live Your Dream awards from the Soroptimist Club. The cash awards between $500 to $2,000 for the women who are the primary wage earners in their families and are going to school to continue to grow and improve their lives. It’s happening at the Aroma Café at the Woodland Community College campus in Clearlake noon on February 13th. Lunch will be provided for $20. The Soroptimist Club mission’s to improve the lives of women and girls with programs leading to social and economic empowerment.

A man with a gun reported at East Lake Elementary in Clearlake Oaks turned out not to be true, but a couple of unrelated arrests were made nearby. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office says they got a call to the school yesterday with reports a man was pointing a gun at kids on the campus. Students told school staffers about the gun, and the school resource officer was called. A lockdown was initiated and several law enforcement teams descended on the area. A woman was arrested for a warrant and a man near the school laying in thick brush with an ax and meth in his possession was also arrested.

The Governor is restarting the massive underground water tunnel project. The Governor’s office says the San Joaquin Delta project is on, issuing a Notice of Preparation for the project. But it won’t be overnight, it’s just the first of many steps to be taken for the environmental review. A similar project under Governor Brown featuring twin tunnels was stopped by Governor Newsom. The new project will be one tunnel and will carry less water but serve the same purpose. The cost projection has not been released yet. The director of the Calif. Dept. of Water Resources says the project is to help “safeguard a vital source of affordable water for millions of Californians”.

PG&E’s troubles not over as a member of the State Assembly is calling for a thorough review of the California Public Utilities Commission to see if state regulators were lax in their oversight of the troubled utility. Assemblyman Adam Gray wants the review to see if the state enabled neglect by Pacific Gas & Electric which ended up triggering wildfires, the ensuing bankruptcy and public safety power shutoffs. The utility company has submitted its plan to emerge from bankruptcy, but it has to be approved by the Commission and the judge in the case by the end of June to take part in a fund the legislature created to help state utility companies recover losses if their equipment’s found responsible for starting more devastating fires. Gray wants the state auditor to investigate the commission who he says knew about PG&E’s outdated infrastructure.

A bunch of cars stuck in Lake County as the first real winter storm barrels thru the North Bay. Several cars were stuck on Highway 175 between Hopland and Lakeport this morning awaiting snowplows to clear the road. Caltrans was also there and did not need to close the road. There were also reports of heavy snow and poor visibility on the 101 this morning thru the Ridgewood area north of Ukiah. The National Weather Service reported snow overnight below 1,000 feet in areas of southern Mendocino County. The Press Democrat reports downed trees throughout the North Coast and some spotty power outages were reported by PG&E.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office has announced one of their officers graduated from the FBI’s investigations academy. Captain Norm Taylor completed the training in Quantico, Virginia in December. The FBI Training Academy is where they train their new special agents and intelligence analysts. The Sheriff’s Dept. says it’s the world’s premiere law enforcement executive development and leadership program, known globally for its academic excellence in communication, leadership, and fitness training.  Taylor was one of  258 men and women from 49 states, the District of Columbia, 37 countries, four military organizations, and 6 federal civilian organizations that took part.

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