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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, ukiah2040.com. 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 CommonThreadsNorth.com

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 www.mendocinocounty.org/ttc or by telephone at (707) 234-6875.  Emails sent to ttc@mendocinocounty.org will be responded to within two (2) business days of receipt.

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