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Monthly Archives: May 2020

The Ukiah Symphony Association has announced they’re postponing the entire 2020-21 concert season. The Association says the fact that Mendocino College deciding to mostly operate online for the next academic year and required physical distancing and shelter-in-place orders informed their choice. The Symphony Association President says they plan to resume performances for the 2021-22 concert season but says it’s impossible to predict what the reality will be next year. They are however, offering virtual events thru their social media pages. And you can check out their website too,

On Monday you may hear some sirens as the Lake County Sheriff’s Office/Office of Emergency Services is testing the emergency warning sirens in Loch Lomond, Cobb Mountain, Anderson Springs, and Middletown. It’s to make sure the sirens work ok and there may be some additional messages sent as a reminder beforehand. It’s to mark the beginning of the monthly test of the system, which will be the first Monday of every month at 11 AM. They say if there is an active response to local fires in progress, the test will be cancelled, and resume the following month. They remind you to get your email address to the Sheriff’s office, so you’ll get notified each month.

Following the three Sheriff’s in the Emerald Triangle, the Sheriff of Sonoma County says he’s not going to enforce the stay home public health order. As were reported yesterday the Emerald Triangle law enforcement officers were in alignment with the US Constitution, now the Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick says the local Public Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase’s order to stick to Phase 2 and not allow more openings for two weeks is not in line with the state and that she didn’t provide proof to keep restrictions on civil liberties in place. County leaders do not agree with the Sheriff, just this week, they back Dr. Mase after she said there had been local outbreaks, but left it at that. Essick is ordering deputies to consider violation reports against what the state’s guidelines are, and educate the public how to slow the spread of the virus, but not to book anyone in jail for solely violating the county’s public health order.

The Sonoma County Public Health Officer has release more info about why she’s holding back on reopening some businesses, only saying it was because of community spread and a nursing home outbreak. Now, Dr. Sundari Mase says there were several infections at a local winery, a water filtration plant and in a group of farmworkers. She didn’t say which winery, name the water plant or what crops the farmworkers had handled though. She said there had been a recent shift from households to workplaces as people move about more, not knowing they may have been infected with the highly contagious disease. Dr. Mase nor County leaders have answered any more questions on the matter.

Campfire restrictions announced in the Mendocino National Forest as we enter wildfire season. The Forest announced yesterday to protect the health and safety of employees and communities, starting today there will be no igniting, building, maintaining or using a fire except in developed recreation sites and wilderness within the Mendocino National Forest. Officials say these steps are to make sure firefighters are available to safely respond and manage incidents and that 95 percent of all wildfires are human-caused. The Forest Supervisor says there’s an above-normal fire season projected in much of the state, and the combined potential for wildfires and smoke could impact communities and firefighters, and it’s everyone’s responsibility to be fire safe at all times while visiting the Forest.

The Governor’s announced an accelerated reopening for churches and other Places of Worship along with in-person protests, so the Mendocino County Health Officer has issued another revised Shelter-In-Place (SIP) Order to reflect what the state is authorizing. Places of worship including churches, mosques, temples, and synagogues can have limited capacity, same for Funeral Services. Hair salons and barbershops may open for limited haircut-related services, following the outlined statewide guidance, and in-person political protests are allowed with modifications and must adhere to safety measures from the State and outlined in the Health Officer’s Order. Also very limited use of shared pools for pool-based physical therapy. All of this went into effect just before midnight last night.

The Lake County Public Health Officer releasing a statement about mask wearing. Dr. Gary Pace, says yes, there are those for health reasons, who cannot wear a mask. Maybe it’s due to breathing difficulty or other negative physical or emotional consequences, but the County’s latest health order encourages a doctor’s note if they get push back from local businesses. So he released an Addendum to the County’s health order for individuals unable to wear a mask, that they must help in other ways, with minimum physical distance of 6 feet between people, unless there’s protective shielding in place. And that businesses can lawfully refuse your entrance.

For Lake County-specific Coronavirus information, please continue to visit the Lake County Health Services Department’s website,

The Lake County Coronavirus Response Hub has additional valuable resources:

The plan for the state to make up a 54 billion dollar budget gap has some state Senators just saying no. The plan would mean permanent cuts for K-12 schools and community colleges if there is no money coming from the federal government after the outbreak. School districts say it would mean schools closing, mass layoffs and a delay to reopening in the fall. But the state Senate has a plan that says no to the cuts and instead tables $9 billion in payments to public schools for a year so school districts could spend money by borrowing or using their own savings then the state could pay them back later. Payments have been delayed in years past, like $10 billion when Jerry Brown was the Governor, but it was paid back over several years, this new plan, is just one year. The deadline for a plan in the state Legislature is June 15th for a new operating budget for the fiscal year starting July 1st.

From Mendocino County Public Health Office Facebook page:
“Public Health is confirming 5 additional cases of #COVID19 in Mendocino County. 3 of the 30 total cases are still under investigation. Please see the dashboard below for the demographic info we have available at this time. Join us for our live Friday Update tomorrow with Dr. Doohan for more information as it emerges.”

Deputies in Ukiah looking for the public’s help after several reports of shots fired in Ukiah. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office says they’re investigating an illegal discharge of at least one gun in the south end of the City. The MCSO went out to the 100 block of Oak Knoll Road early Sunday morning after multiple reports of shots fired. They say they were in touch with local residents who said they thought there was a car that left the area and headed north on South Dora Street afterwards, but they didn’t have a description of the vehicle. Deputies say they did find about 10 to 20 expended handgun casings on the street, but no bullet holes, strike marks or victims at any of the homes in the neighborhood. They’re asking anyone with further information to call the Sheriff’s dept. or anonymous tip line.  

The State of Calif. says it needs to raise at least $500 million for electronics for students since many could continue at home learning thru the end of the year, possibly into next year. The Superintendent of Public Instruction for the state Tony Thurmond calling on companies, foundations and individual donors to help get 600,000 computers and tablets, and 300,000 to 400,000 internet connections or hot spots so K-12 students will be able to continue distance learning due to coronavirus pandemic. The State working with T-Mobile, Verizon, Amazon and others to get 100,000 hot spots for students and 21,000 computers to districts.

Mendocino College announcing they’ll continue most instruction online in the fall. The interim Superintendent/President says they’ll be “primarily” online in the fall for the “health, safety, and well-being of students, faculty, staff, and community”. She says it was a tough decision, but after speaking with faculty leadership, deans, the vice president of academic affairs and others, they thought it would be best to decide sooner rather than later in order to have time for fall schedule planning.  She also says if there are any in-person activities, they will be with appropriate safety precautions like physical distancing and sanitation measures, and only in small, stable groups.

Mendocino College says some road work is done at an intersection near the school in Ukiah, making it safer after major upgrades. The Hensley Creek Road and State Street intersection, where the school says thousands of students, employees, and community members get to the college every week has a new traffic light. The college says that’ll loosen some of the traffic congestion and help stop accidents at the intersection, which were a concern for many years as enrollments continue to increase. The Interim Superintendent/President says they’ve been wanting to get the traffic light at that intersection for several years. They also put up a new digital sign at the intersection to help increase the visibility of the campus. The sign was paid for by the school’s foundation.

A man in Ukiah’s been cited for elder abuse after a man he cared for reported he was thrown on the ground and couldn’t get up. 73 year old told deputies he and his live in caregiver Terry Omler got into an argument and Omler pushed the man down, he landed on his wrists and could not get back up as Omler went to sleep and left him there. The man cannot walk well without help and crawled to his phone and called for help. He says it took him an hour to crawl to his phone. Deputies found Omler sleeping after alcohol consumption, saying he was heavily intoxicated. He’s arrested for felony elder abuse resulting in bodily injury and booked into jail, but it was zero bail due to the Governor’s stay home order. But a judge approved a $25,000 bail for which he was then held.

North Coast Congressmen John Garamendi working with colleague Dean Phillips of Minnesota have sent notice to both House and Senate leadership asking for a national contact tracing and testing program for COVID-19 in any new legislation in both chambers. The UNITE Act and the Utilizing and Supporting Evacuated Peace Corps Volunteers Act have both been introduced in the House. Garamendi says the pandemic has put an unprecedented strain on society, and that we need scaling of testing and contact tracing to flatten the curve and lift stay-at-home orders. Public Health officers across the country say we should have as many as 300,000 or more contact tracers. Garamendi and Phillips bills would use service organizations like the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps.

North Coast Assemblyman Jim Wood says the governor’s planned budget cuts are a mistake. During a special session of the legislature, lawmakers got to question the Newsom administration about a plan to cut various programs due to a $54 billion budget hole due to the coronavirus. Wood says actually eliminating programs and not just pausing them is a different thing. His comments after cuts noted for healthcare and senior nutrition programs, something Wood says would be devastating to older, poor or disabled Californians. Wood says without full Medi-Cal insurance, people will lose access to dental and optical care. The latest budget includes spending cuts to public education, health care and environmental protections.

Two more cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Mendocino County. The Public Health Office has confirmed there are now 25 cases. Yesterday we told you about two other new cases and that contact tracing had begun. Now the 24th and 25th cases, so for three days in a row, cases have been climbing. There were also nine new cases identified in Lake County. The Mendocino County Health Office reports the Anderson Valley Health center had confirmed a case from a test of 39 people last Thursday. There was only one positive result. All who tested were asymptomatic. There have been 101,000 confirmed cases in the State of California and more than 3,900 deaths.

Police in Clearlake asking for the public’s help finding a missing elderly man. 81 year old Lloyd “Jim” Wilborn has not been seen since Wednesday morning. He was in a 1995 Honda Del Sol and has mild dementia and leukemia, and is hard of hearing. Police say his daughter lives in Lucerne but the two have not spoken in five years. He also has no friends or businesses he frequents in the area, and mostly stays home. He also does not have a cell phone and was not reported missing in his past.

Cal Fire is reminding people, in the midst of the pandemic, that it’s critically important to create and maintain defensible space and home hardening to protect against wildfires. They’re sending out a flyer that has information on it about doing a defensible space self-assessment. It will have steps for homes and buildings, show how to harden your home to be more wildfire resistant and say it’s easy to follow. The agency says it helps their inspectors comply with social distancing while the agency collects vital information.

Sheriff’s in the Emerald Triangle saying they’re not going to follow the Governor’s stay home orders. The Humboldt County Sheriff Willian Honsel posted on social media last month he believes the order violated the constitution and wouldn’t be enforcing it. This came after the Governor ordered beaches to close. He says law enforcement is not bound to an order they feel are not lawful. Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall noted the constitution in his decisions too, but it was in particular to suggestions to him about how he handle the spread of Covid-19. He did say previously though that the County should be able to determine its own shelter in place protocols and that the Governor should have faith in locals. In Trinity County, Sheriff Tim Saxon said it’s not a one size fits all approach that works to stop the spread of the virus and that rural communities are different.

The Public Health Officer in Sonoma County says there will be no changes to her Shelter in Place order for two weeks. The Press Democrat reports Dr. Sundari Mase says it’s because there are new patients in the hospital and ICU and a new outbreak at a local nursing home, plus community spread from workplaces.  Dr. Mase says keeping the stay home order as is is going to protect health care workers from a surge and keep ICU beds available for serious patients. She has allowed restaurants, wineries and breweries serving food to resume outdoor dining with certain public health protocols. The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors is on board with keeping the Phase 2 reopening as is, in solidarity with the Public Health Officer.

A handful of churches in Sonoma County say they’re going against the Public Health order and opening anyway this weekend. The Press Democrat reports the Catholic churches are holding mass in defiance of county health orders prohibiting gatherings. The newspaper reports the Santa Rosa Diocese Bishop Robert Vasa says he is not going to stop parish priests if they want to reopen for Mass on Sunday but also says he’s told them they need to comply with directives from Sonoma County Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase. He added that most Catholic churches in Sonoma County will stay closed, but it’s up to the individual churches.

The Public Health Officer in Santa Clara County says the state’s moving too quick to reopen its economy. The Governor has said he’s looking at the percentage of positive cases, not the overall number of cases, but Dr. Sara Cody says allowing gatherings of up to 100 people for religious, political and cultural reasons is a bad idea, calling it a serious risk to spread the virus. Her comments on Tuesday to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. Cody is credited for helping come up with the Bay Area’s first shelter in place order. Also noted, Santa Clara had some of the state’s first cases and has not been able to open as deeper as other counties in the state.

Lake County looking for more local control is sending a letter to the Gov. for even more relaxation of shelter-in-place orders. After the Memorial Day weekend supervisors were questioning why more businesses couldn’t open. The next day though religious services, political protests, hair salons and barbershops were allowed to start once again. But Lake County supervisors want more. There’s a special meeting planned about the wording of the letter to get the Governor to allow the county its own permission when to reopen certain businesses. They spoke of opening gyms, and the Public Health Officer Gary Pace says if there’s a reasonable plan and other local governments sent similar letters it could happen. 

Legislation being considered by state lawmakers includes replacing PG& E with a non-profit company called Golden State Energy. The Senate Bill comes as the utility is about to emerge from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. It says if the disgraced utility does not safely operate in the future and is blamed for even more catastrophes, like wildfires or explosions, it should be replaced. The bill by state Senator Jerry Hill says nobody knows what the future will bring and they expect the best, but it’s best to prepare for the worst. The bill spells out how an orderly transfer of the company would go if PG& E’s certificate of public convenience and necessity is revoked.

The Gov. is allowing hair salons and barbershops to reopen, but some counties, like Sonoma, say they won’t go there quite yet. 47 of the 58 counties in the state have been cleared for the first bit of Phase 3 of the 4 phase reopening plan just as the state hits about 100,000 cases. The announcement about hair shops a day after the Governor announced churches could reopen with strict guidelines. Nearly a dozen counties will not be able to reopen though because there have not received permission to reopen other businesses like restaurants and shopping malls, those nearest to us include Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Tulare. Some lawmakers say they think the Gov. is moving too fast with the reopening, but Newsom says they’re focusing on the percentage of positive cases instead of the overall number. He adds it’s inevitable there will be more positive cases as the economy reopens and people begin to mix more frequently.

A mobile home in Ukiah has been gutted by a fire. Ukiah Valley Fire Authority reports it broke out yesterday afternoon in the Manor Oaks mobile home park on East Gobbi Street. The report said the home was totally on fire and others were threatened. When firefighters arrived they found it fully engulfed in flames and two nearby homes threatened. Nobody was in any of the homes at the time and there were no injuries. Firefighters contained it to the one structure only, but there was some heat damage to windows and blinds of the other homes. They say they’re not sure how the fire started, but it looks to have originated in the kitchen. The home was totally destroyed.

Lake County staying in alignment with Governor Newsom’s latest relaxation of some of the stay home orders, allowing hair salons and barbershops to reopen. Since Lake County has their variance with the state, the Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace put out an updated Public Health Order regarding coronavirus with guidelines about how local facilities can proceed with reopening. Dr. Pace says he too will allow hair salons and barbershops to reopen, with limitations though. The provider has to wear a mask, unless they have a health problem precluding it, same for their customers, physical distancing, temperature or symptom checking of employees and other workers, frequent handwashing and regular cleaning and disinfection and training of their workers on their reopening plan for prevention. They have to immediately respond to any new cases and potential infections in workplaces.

The Mendocino County Public Health Office has confirmed two more cases of coronavirus for a total of 23. Yesterday they confirmed the 22nd case with an unknown origin and contract tracing started. Later yesterday there was a confirmation of the Public Health Officers Facebook page of the 23rd case which was also of unknown origin. Public Health reports there’s no evidence of community spread. And while there is a new testing site, appointments must be made and there are no walk-ins for Optum Serve!

To get tested for COVID-19 by Optum Serve, you MUST make an appointment by visiting or by calling (888) 634-1123.

An award has been bestowed on Willits Charter School. The school is the 2020 winner of the Jack London Award for Educational Innovation. The award for the school’s Friday Academies Program. The school director says they focus mainly on Arts and Sciences. Students there go to their core classes and electives Monday through Thursday, and on Friday it’s their Academies Program where students go to their enrichment classes which are many times led by community members. They include Animals, Native American Club, Martial Arts, Set Design and Mock Trial. Two schools got the Jack London award of a $500 gift certificate, a certificate of recognition and a book authored by Jack London. It’s for “good ideas and great programs and the people who make them happen in our local schools.”

The Public Health Officer in Sonoma County says even though the Gov. has continued to loosen restrictions to the original stay home order, there will not be any shopping malls, barbershops, hair salons or in-person church services yet as there’s recently been more cases of coronavirus spreading in the community. Dr. Sundari Mase had just allowed restaurants, wineries and breweries to have outdoor dining, but is apparently not moving deeper into phase 2 or allowing phase 3 quite yet. She says it’s because of more than 200 new confirmed cases (including 48 over the holiday weekend) of COVID-19. She also noted some people in the ICU and on ventilators was also on the rise. And there’s a new outbreak of the virus at a local senior residential care center, but she did not reveal its name.

Several dozen contact tracers are being hired in Sonoma County to find people who may be infected with coronavirus. The positions are noted at the Sonoma County website under Community Health Worker I and II with starting hourly wages from the high teens to the lower twenties and a $1.15 per hour bilingual bonus. They need PT and FT workers to do contact tracing. You’ll have to attend a 20-hour online course and possibly go to an in-person orientation. They plan to hire about 150 trained contact tracers by June 15th and 230 by July 15th. They already have 75.

A special meeting’s called of the Clearlake City Council regarding the sale of two parcels of land that used to be the Austin Resort. There’s a virtual town hall this morning on the subject because of the current shelter in place order with Clearlake City Hall still closed to the public. They were accepting questions in writing by email or thru the city’s website, where you can also view the townhall starting at 9.  The main agenda is to talk about a buyer’s offer for the Resort, they’re looking to replace it with a destination resort. There are two parcels, one about 4.75-acres and the other, just under 3 acres.  A Letter of Intent for the sale has already been approved by the City Council. Total sale price, just over $915,0000.

Police are searching for a missing teen in Fort Bragg. 17 year old Morgan Rossiter is described as, a white male, 6’05”, 250 pounds with short brown hair and blue eyes. His mother reported he might be with his bicycle, a light blue long haul trucker, street bike and that’ he’s has Autism, but is high functioning. He was last seen yesterday around noon time taking the bike out and he apparently left a note saying he’d be back in a week. He also has a cell phone, but it’s not powered on. They say he might not speak, could be scared or nervous if he’s contacted by strangers and to call police if you see him.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors has given the go ahead to extend finances for a warming shelter for the homeless. Yesterday at the Board’s virtual meeting, they also discussed getting back to in person meetings. The Harbor Warming Center Project being used a COVID-19 homeless shelter in Lakeport. It’s in the old Record Bee building and was supposed to be shuttered this spring, but the Board gave their approval for more time so the homeless can shelter in place. The shelter also looking at transition plans out of the location soon. The board also allowing the Sheriff to allow businesses to use County property temporarily so they have more space for social distancing as they reopen, like restaurants with spill over into sidewalks or parking lots. The Board also agree to continue with live Zoom and Facebook streams, but the Board members would return to chambers for their meetings. They’re looking at a June 9th start date.

The Eastlake Landfill the subject of the Lake County Planning Commission’s next meeting. The Commission taking up the subject tomorrow if the landfill would conform to the county plan and meet environmental impact standards. The landfill near Clearlake has been the main solid waste dumping area since it was permitted back in the late 90’s and covers 35 acres. On an average day, there’s about 130 tons of waste brought there and about 47,000 tons per year. That can probably only last a few more years with the amount of waste increasing each year. The County looking to expand the landfill another 56.5 acres, 22 acres at a time. The Community Development Department recommends the Commission approve the expansion. The virtual meeting to be held tomorrow at 9 a.m.

State lawmakers back to the capitol picking up where they left off with in person meetings after their unplanned shutdown due to the virus. They have various measures to look at, including a proposed ban on flavored tobacco, including menthol. They’re also considering a bill to clarify general contractor licensing to protect homeowners who have to rebuild after a wildfire to guard against shysters. A new bill to get more information from nursing homes related to the amount of deaths from Covid-19 which was already unanimously approved in committee and goes now to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  

The Governor has once again released new shelter-in-place rules so that church gatherings can resume, but with safety restrictions in place. This means Mendocino County will have to change some restrictions. The new rules apply for in-store retail as well. Gatherings of political protest will also be allowed but with strict social distancing requirements in place. The County CEO says a new public health order will come out this week.

Phase 3 of the state’s reopening is beginning with hair salons and barbershops allowed to reopen in most of the state. But counties have an option to restrict further if need be. Already 47 of the state’s 58 counties fully opened into phase 2. The changes to the state’s stay-at-home order are not allowing nail salons to reopen though as it was noted earlier this month that the first case of community spread in California came from a nail salon. Phase 3 also includes gyms, movie theaters and professional sports without live audiences, but that’s deeper into this phase, not quite yet.

The Lake County Sheriff is allowing visitors at the local jail. Since the outbreak, the jail has been closed to visitors, but the public health office has allowed a gradual return to visitation, Live Scan services, religious and educational programs. The Sheriff’s Dept. reports progression into phase 2 and 3 are contingent on the status of community spread of Covid-19 and if there’s any staff and/or inmate infections. They have not determined a date yet to move into phase 2. The limited visitation and Live Scan services are considered phase 1 and start Monday, June 1st

Even though Humboldt County was one of the first to get the go ahead to reopen, the County is taking a slower approach to emerging from the stay home order. The County had more than 90 cases as of this weekend, and two employees at a nursing home recently contracted the infection. Businesses have to work with the Public Health Dept, the same as the rest of the state, in coming up with their reopening. But Humboldt County’s Public Health Officer says they could slow some certifications because of new cases emerging. 6,500 licensed businesses have applied to reopen, and the County’s website only shows 255 certified as of last Friday. Of the applications, around 100 restaurants, but not one had been approved to resume dine-in service.

Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall puts out a Memorial Day message to say there have been concerns directed his way about the public health order. He says there’s been suggestions from various sources about how the law should be enforced and that he will follow the US constitution. He says some suggestions were that people should be stopped if it seemed they were out of place and that they should provide their identification, others have suggested roadblocks to take identification and says he realizes there’s fear around the pandemic, but that these suggestions are in direct conflict with the constitution and that anyone entering Mendocino County has rights afforded to everyone in the United States so he won’t be caving to the pressure and start violating rights. The message posted on Facebook over the long holiday weekend.

The Lake County Sheriff acting as director of the Office of Emergency Services is helping businesses promoting physical distancing with their repenings. Sheriff Brian Martin has issued a Directive allowing temporary use of County-owned and private properties for modified business operations, like for restaurants to spill outdoor dining onto the street. The order is effective as of this morning and has to be ratified by the Board Of Supervisors which they were supposed to consider at a 1 pm meeting today. If approved, businesses owners have to get a free, Temporary Use Permit from the Department of Public Works. There are requirements that go with it, which you can see at Lake Co News.

A smartphone app is going to be required for anyone who works for Sonoma County to make sure they have no coronavirus symptoms or have possibly been exposed to someone with COVID-19 before showing up to work. The Press Democrat reports the County hired IBM to develop their COVID-19 Check app which has already come out and is available at the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Employees will be able to screen themselves for symptoms and exposure, then their employer has a parallel feature on the app to verify their wellness check before they start work for the day.

A massive turnout at the Russian River to beat the heat this holiday weekend. Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach had hundreds of revelers as the temperatures started to creep into the upper 90’s inland. Sonoma Park Rangers patrolled beaches and watched to make sure people were keeping their distance from each other. There’s no sunbathing, picnicking and barbecuing at river beaches. Also, they were not allowing umbrellas, shade structures, tents, coolers or beach chairs. And people were stopped if they were found with any of that. Parking lots were also closed along the coast, so many visited the river.

Some new cases of Covid-19 have turned up in Lake County. The Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace says with more testing, two new cases have been identified, but the local infection rate is still low, and there are no hospitalizations. Dr. Pace says probably because things are beginning to reopen and there’s more community activity and more availability, new infections are probable. There were 4 new cases last week and an impromptu testing site was created last Friday to follow-up on contacts from a previous case. The results of 40 tests came in and two were positive, 55 are still pending though. The Public Health Office says the new cases are stable and isolating at home, and further contact tracing has begun. Dr. Pace says all previous cases, 12 of them are doing well, and one who was admitted to the hospital is home in good condition.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors having a special meeting related to funding the COVID-19 shelter for the homeless. The meeting today at 1 pm. held virtually can be seen on the Board’s website. The Public Health Officer will be first up, delivering his weekly update on the virus, then the board will consider going back to in-person meetings. They will also look to ratify an order issued by Sheriff Brian Martin, who’s the acting director of the Office of Emergency Services, to allow businesses temporary use of county property in Stage 2 of the state’s gradual reopening from the pandemic. And they’ll consider the Harbor Warming Center Project for the homeless.

Places of worship can start to reopen across the state with new guidelines. The California Department of Public Health made the announcement yesterday and local health departments have to approve it. So there can be religious services and funerals with limited attendance at 25 percent of capacity or as many as 100 attendees, whichever is lower. Most large gatherings are still off the table during the state’s current stay at home order. There are also new guidelines though for protests and gatherings for political expression, with the same plan, 25 percent of an area’s maximum occupancy – or up to 100 attendees.

The Lakeport City Council to decide if an area of the downtown core should have a road fixed. They’ll consider the “Eleventh Street Corridor Multimodal Engineered Feasibility Study” so traffic flows better for not only drivers, but pedestrians and cyclists. Plus there would be new safety measures such as street lighting and crosswalk signals. If the city approves the study, then it goes to the Planning Council, and if it’s further approved, the city will go after grant money to pay for the improvements. It’s been a plan since 2017. That could come to fruition on Eleventh Street from Highway 29 to North Main Street.

Another case of coronavirus has been confirmed by the Mendocino County Public Health Office. The 22nd case of COVID-19 was announced on the Public Health Officer’s Facebook Page. The post says they’re not sure yet how the infection was contracted and they’re in the process of investigating with a thorough contact tracing being conducted by Public Health too.

More than 59 volunteers are helping try to find a missing man from Fort Bragg. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office got a call that 77 year old Luther Jackson disappeared from the Fort Bragg Senior Center. An employee of the center called to say Jackson was not there so they went to the Center and also could not find the man. They searched a nearby property as well. He’s described as a white man, about 5 foot 9, 175 pounds, with blond and gray hair and blue eyes. Mendocino County Search and Rescue personnel has been looking for the man, utilizing ATV’s, drones, ground searchers, and dogs. Yesterday 54 people went out looking for Jackson again from several law enforcement agencies with no luck.

A man from Eureka says he had to fight off a 16 to 18-foot long shark this holiday weekend while he was on his kayak in Shelter Cove. A spokesperson for the Shelter Cove Fire Dept. told the Outpost news site that Michael Thallheimer was fishing off the coast and was attacked. He was alone and had just caught some fish and was hoisting them onto his kayak. Apparently the blood from the fish was leaching out into the water and the shark became attracted to it and appeared out of nowhere. He told them he had to fight it off by punching it, but it punctured his boat and he began taking on water and called 911. He got lucky, after dropping his phone and keys in the water, a cop was on the coast looking and saw him clinging to his sinking kayak. He was pulled out by other fishermen and taken back to the marina. He had no injuries, but was hypothermic.

The Mendocino County Public Health Officer with the latest on the County’s attestation and the latest cases of COVID.

Up until this morning there have been 15 cases in the County, the 14th case confirmed last Friday was at the Assembly of God church in Redwood Valley, 3 people at a virtual service had all contracted the virus. There were more tests done after that, this past Tuesday after Lake County residents came forward to say they were affiliated somehow with the church, two were positive cases, one ended up in the hospital and that’s when the church was publicly named by residents.

More than 330 people tested at a drive thru site – 6 additional cases are connected to this Church, for a total of 9 people – 7 from Mendocino County, 6 identified today, one last week from our County, 2 in Lake County. The new cases are all in isolation.

Before these six cases, the County confirmed a 15th case contracted at their workplace in Sonoma County. 55 other people from Mendocino County work at Sonoma County workplace. The County is offering all who may have been in contact with the 15th case, and the 6 other new cases free testing.

500 new contact tracers in Calif. The Governor announced they will start to call, text and email people who may have been exposed to coronavirus. The Governor’s office says they will encourage those potentially exposed to quarantine or recommend they seek medical care. The Governor’s office also announced a media blitz, radio, television and billboard campaigns to bring more awareness to contact tracing and urge people to call. They’re being called the “CA COVID Team” and are being managed by the California Public Health Department. All information is confidential and will not be shared with outside entities. The state hoping to eventually hire 10,000 contact tracers across Calif.

The Avenue of Flags is happening in Lake County for Memorial Day, but on a smaller scale. Lake Co News reports there are usually almost 1,000 American flags placed at the Hartley, Kelseyville, Lower Lake and Upper Lake cemeteries, but this year, while they almost canceled, they decided to just put 50 flags up only at the Lower Lake Cemetery. Organizers say the display will be from the front gate to the George Mitchell Building and the service poles. A small gathering at the cemetery that morning will then disperse and put up the flags Monday. If you want to help, they say you’re welcome with a facial covering on.

Mendocino County got the go ahead from the state to reopen deeper into phase 2 of the governor’s 4 phase plan to open California. The County got the green light Wednesday to reopen more businesses, including dine in restaurants, retail and more. The county had to show they’ve met certain criteria to reopen including a low case count of COVID-19, proof they have the infrastructure to detect and safely isolate new cases and personal protective equipment for front line healthcare workers, amongst over requirements. The County has had 15 cases, no hospitalizations and no deaths. The Public Health Officer has issued a new shelter-in-place order that goes into effect at noon today, allowing limited dine-in restaurants, in-person shopping at retail stores, preventive dental care, limited use of shared pools for child care units, children’s extracurricular units and work groups. Salons, hotels, airbnb’s, bars, winery tasting rooms and public pools are still not allowed to reopen.

No college entrance exams will be needed for some higher education campuses in Calif. The UC Board of Regents cut SAT and ACT in their applications for admission by California high schoolers for the nine undergraduate campuses in a unanimous vote. The regents agreed with president Janet Napolitano’s idea to phase out college admissions testing. She said it was because of the “correlation of the SAT and the ACT to the socio-economic level of the student” and sometimes, their ethnicity. The testing had already been removed due to the pandemic, but this makes it permanently, test optional after the pandemic too.

More patrols will be out, even though there have been less cars on the road, for the Memorial Day weekend. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is also encouraging essential travel only and physical distancing if Californians do leave their homes. They say if you do plan to travel you should be in touch with the county or state where you’re going to find out if there are any local restrictions or directions for people from outside the area. They are conducting their yearly Memorial Day Maximum Enforcement Period too. The CHP Commissioner says it doesn’t matter what changes in the world, the people of Calif. can count on them to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security.

The state of California quickly paid back almost $1.4 billion dollars to the federal government needed to pay out a huge spike in unemployment claims due to the coronavirus pandemic. The state borrowed nearly $350 million in April and almost $1.1 billion earlier this month. The state paid back the money with money from businesses who paid their taxes to cover unemployment. The Unemployment Dept. reported it was the highest period for receiving the yearly employer contributions and the department had asked the state for authority to borrow up to $10 billion between April and June.

With the state’s approval or not, more than 1,200 pastors in Calif. announcing they’re going ahead with in-person services May 31st even though they haven’t been given approval or any guidance on reopening. A lawyer who represents one church is suing on behalf of the more than 1,200 pastors who he says all signed a “declaration of essentiality” announcing they would open their doors again May 31st, but that they would have physical distancing and other precautions so they don’t risk spreading coronavirus. The lawyer says there are pastors who represent more than one church and he expects at least 3,000 churches would have in-person services on May 31st.

Any public school child in the Ukiah Unified School District classified as eligible for the free/reduced price school meals will be getting up to $365 for their family. The money comes in a debit card, a Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer card, to be used at the local Farmers Market or at grocery stores. Kids eligible for the meal program at schools are getting the extra food benefits to help their families during the coronavirus emergency. They’re being automatically sent to students enrolled in a school meal program after the state verifies their eligibility through other state databases like Cal Fresh and MediCal. If it has not arrived by today, families are encouraged to go online to: or call 877 328 9677.

Lake Tahoe still discouraging people from heading there, and now just before the Memorial Day weekend, non-residents face a $1,000 fine for visiting. There is Phase 2 reopening in both Truckee and South Lake Tahoe but no hotels or short-term rentals are open to the general public, only those who have to travel for business or essential reasons.  Those with second homes in South Lake Tahoe are now allowed, they had been discouraged before. But now the city says they’re welcome in city limits to their own property, but no lodging is available for short-term renters or patrons at this time. And South Lake Tahoe Police say not in Tahoe this time, for anyone else after the city passed an ordinance allowing $1,000 fines for violators of the travel ban.

CHP and the Shasta County Sheriff’s office have rescued a bald eagle from the middle of a road outside Redding. Drivers spotted the injured mature bald eagle on Interstate 5, south of Redding on the southbound side. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife had a picture of the bird up online sitting on the highway. The CHP and the sheriff’s office on the scene and moved it out of traffic and waited with it for a wildlife officer to get there.  The Dept. of Fish and Wildlife says it had no obvious signs of injury, only some blood on its mouth. They rescued the 9-pound eagle and it was transferred to the Defiance Canyon Raptor Rescue.

The University of California will have in person classes in the fall. The president Janet Napolitano reported yesterday all classes would be open with instruction this fall. The Cal. State Univ. system announced all online instruction in the fall. The Univ. of Calf. system reported a $1.2 billion loss due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Napolitano says she thinks most, probably all of the campuses will be in a sort of hybrid mode, a mixture of virtual and in person. The same is happening across the country as schools have high touch areas and physical distancing could be a challenge. It goes like this, lectures are moved online, and small classes and labs are held in person.

Beaches in Mendocino County and state parks have reopened for local use ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. More than 20 sites along the coastline and some inland properties have opened with restrictions in place to keep the spread of coronavirus down. The Chief Ranger of the Sonoma-Mendocino Coast District says they’re monitoring and if appears it’s becoming unsafe, without proper social distancing, or they see a potential health hazard, they’ll address it. The re-openings do include most restrooms and parking lots, but not at campgrounds, the parking however, is limited. Visitors are encouraged to walk or bike.  State parks on the Sonoma Coast remain closed.

Lake County’s moving deeper into Phase 2 of the Governor’s Roadmap to Recovery. This means this will be outdoor dining at restaurants and in person shopping allowed. The state approved the Public Health Officer’s attestation yesterday. The criteria from the state is that a County has a low rate of infection, sufficient testing capacity and the ability to trace and isolate new cases. Dr. Gary Pace spoke to the Board of Supervisors the last couple of weeks about the attestation and confirmed Monday he was applying for a variance this week. There have been 12 COVID-19 cases in the County, four are new. As far as the reopening goes, car washes, pet groomers, tanning salons, landscape gardeners and outdoor museums can also reopen and only Church offices, that’s for one-on-one religious counseling, but no services yet. Also childcare services with 10 or fewer children. Customers and employees of the businesses that reopen must wear facial coverings. After two weeks a reassessment to see if there can be indoor dining, day camps and afterschool programs to resume.

A new report from the CHP says since more people were at home, traffic accidents were also off, and so were arrests. The CHP Commissioner says people were listening to government stay at home orders for non-essential travel, so there was a significant reduction in commuters. The data from their traffic records system said there was a 75 percent decrease in crashes from March 19 to April 30 compared to a year ago. Plus records showed 88 percent less people died on the roads and 62 percent less were injured in crashes. They made 42 % less arrests for DUI, from March to April there were 4,223 in 2020, down about 3000 from the same period a year ago.

The 12th case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Lake County. The fourth this week as the county gets ready to go deeper into Phase 2 of the Governor’s 4 phase reopening plan for the state. The Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace says the 12th case was confirmed during community testing and contact tracing has begun to make sure it doesn’t spread into the community. He says the confirmed case is at home in isolation. Earlier in the week 2 other cases popped up, they too are at home in isolation. And the fourth new case is in a hospital in Ukiah. Only two cases needed to be hospitalized during the pandemic. Eight earlier cases have all recovered. Pace reminds that as restrictions are lifted, they expect some community spread, and reminded about the importance of social distancing and those who are vulnerable to stay at home.

The Lakeport Police Dept. beefing up patrolling after recent incidents. Lake Co News reports police say they’re seeing more DUI’s; and dangerous driving has been reported to police. They say as the County reopens after strict shelter in place orders, traffic is increasing and there’s been some poor driving on the roads and DUI crashes last weekend. The Chief reminds to drive safe and don’t endanger other people’s lives.

It’s nearly summer and with that Yosemite National Park could soon reopen, but due to the pandemic, there will be changes: visitors have to have a reservation and it will be limited to about half capacity of the past. That’s to slow the spread of coronavirus. Park officials need to get the approval of the federal government before reopening. Several other major national parks including Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and Joshua Tree have already reopened in a limited way. Some of them don’t have lodging open and restaurants are mostly closed. Yosemite Park officials have not confirmed an exact reopening, just sometime in June, probably in coming weeks they say. There will be no shuttle buses, and visitors will be encouraged, but not required, to wear masks. Trails may be one way only and there will be signs up reminding about social distancing at nearby grocery stores and gas stations.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors says as businesses reopen they won’t be that strict about restrictions, and will be more about education. At the latest Board meeting the Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace asked for ideas about how to enforce his new public health order which allows lower-risk businesses to reopen but with written plans by business owners about how they’ll help to slow the spread of coronavirus with social distancing, disinfection and other practices. Pace supported more education for the public on how to follow the guidelines and less citations and fines. He says he’s already noted most businesses want to do the right thing, and reopen safely.

Businesses still struggling due to the pandemic are getting a helping hand from Pacific Gas and Electric Company. The Utility company is offering support to businesses dealing with financial hardship by offering temporary loan deferrals. It’s for business customers with an On-Bill Financing (OBF) loan under PG& E’s Energy Efficiency Financing program. The customers can defer the no interest loans for up to six months.  The loans have been made for business customers to trade old, worn-out equipment for energy efficient models. Those interested will get a reduction in their monthly OBF loan repayment to $0.01 during the 6-month deferral period, then the loan will just be extended six more months.

A union that represents 100,000 RN’s in Calif. is condemning a vote by a legislative committee regarding infectious diseases. The California Nurses Association’s condemnation came after the state Senate’s Labor, Public Employment, and Retirement committee said no to the bill that would have made nurses and other direct-care healthcare workers automatically eligible for workers compensation for infectious and respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. The author of the bill says it could have brought “gender and economic parity” to nurses, a female-dominated profession, given that California police officers and firefighters, male-dominated professions, already have presumptive eligibility for a whole host of illnesses and injuries.

A man in Ukiah’s been arrested after a fire was started inside the airport, damaging three cars, a motorhome and a boat. Police report they got a call to the Ukiah Municipal Airport Tuesday morning reporting they saw people running from a fenced area by the runways.  Cops say they heard noises like somebody throwing rocks against something and found a man inside the fenced area trying to pull a trash bin up a hill. 33 year old Justin Malugani covered in a white powdery substance that comes from fire extinguishers. They say they saw broken windows and he said there was a fire on the property. They searched and found cars were sprayed with the white powdery stuff. He was arrested after being found to be on probation for other fire-related incidents. He was being held on $30,000 bail.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife are making new plans for the crabfishing industry, with possible early closures. The agency says if there are too many whales and sea turtles in the Pacific Ocean, the state can close the season early. This comes after a lawsuit by an environmental group. The Center for Biological Diversity looking to avoid Dungeness crab gear entangling whales off the California coast. The public still has a month and a half to comment on the proposed regulations which come after a settlement between the agency and the environmental group to avoid humpback whales from getting caught in the gear, something they say prevents the endangered animal from recovering.

Mendocino Coast District Hospital is not taking pregnant mothers in because of coronavirus, to give birth, so Mendocino Coast Clinics has partnered with the hospital to deliver babies. The Executive Director for the Clinics says they’ve worked with the hospital for years and know they hold the same high standards, so they will take care on for mamas at 28 weeks and once the child is born, they can continue care for them at the clinics. The pregnant patients getting their prenatal care at Mendocino Coast Clinics create a birthing plan at 20 weeks’ then at 28 weeks, the plans are transferred to the hospital for delivery. The patients have to go to Willits or Ukiah for exams; but some can be done on the phone during the pandemic and deliveries take place at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley.

There’s a new website for Mendocino County after the state of California moves into Stage 2 of business reopening. In partnership with West Business Development Center businesses can use the site to make sure they’re in compliance with reopening protocols. has information and resources for businesses who are eligible to open in Stage 2 so they can develop a Business Reopening Plan, which is a requirement to reopen in Mendocino County using a Safe Operations Business Protocol checklist so they can follow health and safety protocols for their workplace. There are worksheets there for various business sectors, such as manufacturing, retail, childcare, construction, and others. Those are the only businesses right now who can reopen in Stage 2. Once you come up with your Reopening Plan, you can self certify it using the site and download a certificate. That gets posted at your business site.

The County also requests that business owners complete the business impact survey, which will provide information on the total dollar amount of economic impact of the pandemic crisis. The survey can be accessed at

The County of Mendocino encourages all small businesses in the County to visit their website at

For business-related support with loans, employee relations and digital commerce, contact West Business Development Center at

The City of Willits has announced the County was approved for reopening in Phase 2, the state has approved its attestation. So a new Shelter In Place Order should be forthcoming. We should hear more from the Public Health Office, for sure tomorrow. It generally means eligible businesses, including restaurants, can reopen deeper into Phase 2 of the Governor’s 4 phase plan, the Roadmap to Recovery. The businesses can use the new County website to self-certify. The City of Willits also says the City’s Chamber of Commerce is at the ready to help any businesses who may need help with their reopen plan. They can be reached at 459-7910.

Parks have been open across the state without parking so that only locals could go. Now the parking lots are starting to re-open at some parks. More than two dozen state parks and beaches in Santa Cruz, San Benito, Sonoma, Riverside and Orange counties, plus in Lake Tahoe, parking lots opened. Mostly they are only half opened to allow for social distancing and hopefully, lower capacity because of the continuing pandemic. There are 36 state parks still closed in Calif. Officials say the state reopened some lots last week in consultation with local and state health officials. They also say they think visitors won’t travel across county lines, and they’ll only visit their local parks until more restrictions can be relaxed. The state is reminding people to stay close to home to slow the spread of the virus.

Because of a loss of billions in the state budget, some healthcare benefits may be cut. The Governor had proposed expanding Medical which was cut in the 2008 recession, but now that’s probably not going to happen, in fact in the Governor’s recently released post coronavirus budget, it has cuts in services and provider rates, and rescinded expansions. There’s a cut to coverage expansion for older Californians — including undocumented seniors — and cuts for some adult dental services. It also says they want to cut payments for hearing exams, speech therapy, eyeglasses, podiatry, acupuncture, occupational and physical therapy, pharmacist services and diabetes prevention program services.

Napa is opening deeper into Phase 2 of the state’s 4 phase plan. The state has found the County met the attestation benchmarks. That means there’s a low case count of COVID-19, expanded testing and evidence a county has the necessary infrastructure to detect and safely isolate new cases. Napa has recorded 92 cases, with half still active. They’ve lost three residents to the disease, the most recent death was May 10th. They can reopen schools, and businesses with social distancing in place, but wineries and tasting rooms are still closed. Residents are still being told to stay home unless they can maintain social distancing while participating in allowed activities

A 15th case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Mendocino County. The Public Health Office released the news on their Facebook page late last night with little information. The post says the infected person is a man between 35 and 49 years of age from the Ukiah Valley, and in isolation. They go on to say they’re investigating the source of the infection and are performing contact tracing. As far as the recent case of a traveler nurse in Fort Bragg, more tests were performed and the hospital reports no other cases have been found so far. Mendocino Coast District Hospital reports no evidence of community spread of COVID-19 after testing more than 150 people. 14 tests are still pending.

Another case of COVID- 19 in Mendocino County has been announced and now much more testing was made available. Not a lot of info except it’s a man between 35-49 years old in the Ukiah Valley in isolation. Now even more at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds in Ukiah. The OptumServe machine will start next week. The Mendocino County CEO Carmel Angelo reported yesterday at the latest Virtual Board of Supervisors meeting the testing will happen for the public Tuesdays through Saturdays from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. First responders will get the first set of appointments in the morning, followed by emergency operations staff, and departmental response staff, then the public will get access in the afternoon. There will be a website up soon for appointments to be made, plus a phone number for those without access. The City of Ukiah is also offering free, drive-thru testing at Mendocino College.

Sherwood Firewise has their meeting regarding fire safety in Brooktrails online. It’s fire season already. The group met last Thursday over Zoom and more than 2 dozen residents were online discussing the past and future of fire safety. They discussed SafetyNet, a local incident notification system, where residents can register online for emergency notifications. They’re also getting address signs which have been approved by CAL FIRE so they can be found in the case of a fire. The area was also recently awarded a $12,000 grant from North Coast Opportunities so they can get a paid part-time Program Coordinator and another $70,000 grant for Roadside Fuel Reduction and Chipper Days. And the group also won a third grant of $500 for Firewise work.

Schools in Lakeport are going to continue providing free meals for kids under 18 until at least the end of June. The Record Bee reports the School District has been offering meals since the stay home order was issued by the governor’s office. Before the outbreak there had been free or reduced priced meals for students in this program, but now they are all free whether they’re enrolled in a local school or not, no questions asked. The U.S.D.A. is helping kids across the country during the pandemic, just last Friday there was an announcement of extensions of waivers so food programs could continue into summer.

Mendocino County is not getting a new Public Health Officer after all. The Board of Supervisors reportedly decide against hiring Dr. Joseph Iser in a closed door session yesterday. The Mendocino Voice reports the County instead will look to the state for help and potentially extend or modify the current public health officer, Dr. Noemi Doohan’s role even though she moved to San Diego and has been working remotely. Iser looked to be a shoe-in, but apparently there was concern about why he left previous positions, reputation and press reports there had been problems with the doctor at his last job in Nevada. The Board made the announcement last night in public session and directed the CEO to ask the state for mutual aid.

Lakeport will approve the sale of safe and sane fireworks but there will be no fireworks display. The City Council voted against the annual celebration but agreed fireworks could be sold the first week of July. The City Manager asked the Council about the matter, there are normally a handful of nonprofits that sell the safe and sane fireworks, the only kind allowed in the city. The City Manager says the approvals would be contingent on the current health crisis. At the same time reports that the Lake County Public Health Office has approved a social distancing plan for the sale of the fireworks.

The work is nearly done on improvements at Library Park in Lakeport after the seawall came down in flooding. The park should be all the way open by the beginning of June as stay home orders are lifted in the County. Lake County News reports the $800,000 dollar project was done by a contractor out of Oregon. And the final work by another company for the promenade for an additional $400,000.  The City Council has accepted the final construction and authorized filing a notice of completion.

A Middletown High School Senior has been chosen for a scholarship from Mediacom Communications. The $1,000 to Alessandra Diaz recognizing a student for outstanding leadership and academic accomplishments. They pick 60 graduating seniors each year for the scholarships to support their post-secondary education. It’s the 19th year they’ve funded the World Class Scholarships for students in areas served by the cable and broadband company. About 1,200 students usually apply for the scholarships each year. Those who win have to go to an accredited two-year or four-year college, university or technical school within the United States.

Ukiah’s got its community testing site set up after the Governor announced more than 80 new COVID-19 community testing sites coming across the state for underserved communities. The site at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds. More details released today that it will be situated in the Carl Purdy Hall and starts this Saturday. The testing this Saturday from 7:00 am – 7:00 pm. Tuesdays – Saturdays after that from 12:30 pm – 7:00 pm. As we previously reported, this is through a partnership with OptumServe. It’s by appointment only. The Mendocino County CEO thanked Senator Mike McGuire and Assemblyman Jim Wood for their help making it happen.

Mendocino College doing their best to bring their 2020 graduates a commencement to remember. It was supposed to be in person Friday, but then a survey went out to graduating students about what they wanted instead, due to the pandemic. They all said they wanted to postpone and not have a virtual ceremony. The Mendocino College Foundation is gifting each student with a $50 dinner voucher to be used Friday at a local restaurant so they can still celebrate on the actual day of graduation. The Foundation also put up money so banners could hang in the district, including over State Street in downtown Ukiah and yard signs for students.

An 11th case of COVID-19 has been reported in Lake County. The Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace reported the positive test was confirmed thru one of the County clinics. The infected person is reported to be stable at home and isolating and they’re conducting contact tracing. It’s the third case in less than a week. Two others were from the Redwood Valley church service on Mother’s Day, where Mendocino County also got its fourth case. It comes as both counties have reported they intend to apply for attestation with the state to reopen deeper into Phase 2 of the Governor’s 4 phase plan to reopen non-essential businesses.


Dr. Doohan, the Mendocino County Health Officer says they’re doing surveillance testing after the cases in Covelo with 1191 tests altogether, 270 pending, 152 negative, 2 positives. The Attestation paperwork is done, and the state gave a positive review. It goes 2 weeks, then they have another attestation to send to the state. The business community will be reopening in phase 2. As we reported with the so-called social bubbles for families and children to attend day care and work units at places of business that has a hard time with virtual work off site. Graduation Day is coming and graduations will be done in processionals in cars.

The state is allowing more lenience for counties to move faster into attestation, a process where the County Health Officer attests they meet several benchmarks to reopen, in phases. The California Department of Public Health has started to accept new variance requests this week because of the capacity across the state and in local jurisdictions for hospital preparedness and stability. The new attestation allows counties to move thru state 2 at their own pace, but they have to attest to the state that hospitalization and test positivity rates are stable or going down, are prepared with testing, contact tracing, personal protective equipment and for a possible hospital surge; and have adequate plans related to county-wide containment. The Gov. says it’s because Californians have done incredible work flattening the curve and slowing the spread of COVID-19

Lake County’s Public Health Officer says he’s drafted the local variance to show to the Board of Supervisors so they can reopen some businesses with restrictions and according to the state’s guidelines. The businesses that reopen would be low risk. Dr. Gary Pace says there have already been meetings with State Public Health Officials and he feels confident the plan will be approved. Some of the items include daycare openings with ten children or fewer with proper precautions and disinfection, outdoor dining at restaurants, but no gaming areas or bars, and with limited seating to promote social distancing and other precautions, other low risk businesses like car washes, pet grooming, tanning facilities, and landscape gardening, outdoor museums and open gallery spaces. Masks will be required in all businesses except for people with breathing issues in a facial covering and with a note from the doctor. Each 2 week period there will be a reassessment.

A large party in Covelo busted up after an altercation. Police say several females gathered for a party and one was hit with a baseball bat, then some shots were fired soon after. Deputies reported to the home early Sunday morning finding a 55 year old man had been shot, and a 21 year old woman was hit with the bat. The female victim was uncooperative, and the man was unable due to his injuries. They were taken to a hospital. Deputies had spoken to other people there who said several family members were together and several females got into an altercation. When other relatives got involved shots were fired, but nobody said who shot the weapon. No arrests were made.

Two men are recovering and one died after a stabbing attack in Fort Bragg. Police say they don’t have a suspect in the attack. A 32 year old man died and the other two victims were 22 and 23 years old. They say it happened in Noyo Harbor, or possibly just outside the city limits. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports getting a call to a home, but it was empty. The three victims had already been taken to a hospital. California Department of Justice crime lab team members from Eureka were headed to Fort Bragg to help with the investigation. They had also scheduled an autopsy for tomorrow.

The name of a church has been revealed where at least three people have tested positive after a Mother’s Day service. The service was attended by few, and was streamed online, with singing. It turned out the 14th case of Covid-19 in Mendocino County and 2 cases in Lake County. The Public Health Dept. is asking anyone who was either at the church service at Redwood Valley Assembly of God or in contact with anyone who was, to come forward to be tested. Public Health has announced free testing in Redwood Valley today at Eagle Peak Middle School until 2:00 pm and at Mendocino College, just outside Ukiah, until all of the tests are gone. The health dept. says there were only three people there, the pastor, Jack McMilin who lives in Lucerne, a female singer and whoever was filming. The three are all now infected. The pastor is in the hospital at Ukiah Valley Medical Center. In the online service, it looks like the singer was separated from each of them with more than six feet of space.

If you have to go to the dentist and find yours has not opened due to coronavirus, you’re in luck, in the case of an emergency. Mendocino Community Health Clinics (MCHC) in Ukiah, Willits, and Lakeport have emergency availability. The Mendocino Voice reports other dental clinics are also open for emergencies and if you’re in need of essential follow up care. There’s also the possibility of seeing a dentist thru tele-health, if you can believe it. The stay home order closed dental offices across the state or reduced their services for emergencies only. The news site reports many closed to avoid the use of personal protective equipment which was in desperate need for front line workers across the country during the pandemic. Community Health said they already had all of their employees coming in daily and they were using personal protective equipment. So they just added emergency dental care for other dentists’ patients, because it was the right thing to do.

The Lakeport Speedway got the go-ahead for a “test and tune”. This Saturday, May 23rd and Sunday, May 24th, the Public Health Officer gave the green light for practice from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. And the events will be sanctioned by the Northern California Racing Association. There are some restrictions, including signing a standard waiver and another Covid-19 related waiver, teams will pit 10 feet apart, pit crews are not allowed to comingle, those in attendance have to stay in their pit area and adhere to social distancing requirements, and there will be those allowed in the spectator area. No more than 3 cars on the track at a time. There are no grandstands and concessions will be closed to spectators. The Public Health Office says they’ll monitor to make sure there’s compliance so more events like this could be considered in the future.

The proposed urgency ordinance on a moratorium on industrial hemp will be considered again by the Clearlake City Council. The council meeting online again due to the County’s Shelter in Place order. Emailed comments and questions are being accepted and the virtual meeting will stream live on Lake County PEG TV’s YouTube Channel. The questions will be read aloud by the mayor or a staff member. The emergency ordinance is being considered again because the pandemic did not allow city leaders to consider whether industrial hemp cultivation should be regulated by the City or not. Staff is therefore recommending the City extend again for ten and a half more months.

The first death from COVID-19 has been announced in Humboldt County.  Kym Kemp reporting the resident of Alder Bay Assisted Living died over the weekend at a hospital. The County had just applied for a variance, attesting there had been no deaths in recent days.  The County may have to wait a couple weeks before getting that variance now. There had been 22 new cases in the last 2 weeks as well. The County Health Officer had sent in the attestation that the County had met or exceeded the Governor’s guidelines this month. The death was a 97 year old woman.

Police in Fort Bragg updating a cold case disappearance. Police say family members called to report Michael Miller was missing one year ago on May 15th. They say Miller was on parole and was listed as a missing person in the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. They say he has an active felony warrant and if you see him, to call police immediately and not to contact him. The last he was heard of was on the phone from the Hospitality House. He also had not accessed his bank account since about that time. His family says before this contact, the last time they spoke to him was in November of 2018. They say from November 2018 to January 2019 they think he was with friends or camping in Fort Bragg. They say he could be in Ukiah, Nevada, or Montana and they thought he might have been at the Ukiah winter shelter. He responds to the name “Chico” and the last time family saw him they say he weighed between 140-150 lbs. He’s 5’08” tall with brown hair and brown eyes with multiple upper body tattoos.

Similar to the latest micro break out from Mendocino County where people at a church service have tested positive. A similar case in Butte County, also on Mother’s Day. One person tested positive after 180 people went to church service. The positive test came back the next day. The public health dept. in Butte County issued a statement warning people not to gather, saying that could cause a major setback and close the county down again. Butte being one of 22 counties who received variances to open sooner than most. Health officials doing contact tracing to let everyone who was at the church service know so they can self-quarantine. They’re also working with local healthcare partners to get tests for all attendees.

Two new cases of coronavirus in Lake County and one in Mendocino County all three believed to have been due to a church service Mother’s Day.  The Lake County and Mendocino County Public Health Officers out with information about the outbreak. A 14th case in Mendocino County Friday night led to an investigation into its origin. Contact tracing started immediately to make sure asymptomatic contacts were quarantined and symptomatic contacts were tested and isolated. The case in Mendocino is an elderly man in Ukiah who had reportedly been in close contact with two people in Lake County who were diagnosed with COVID-19 on Saturday. The three people apparently at an inland Mendocino County church where a virtual service was also attended by some in person. There was singing at the church. Both public health departments are trying to find anyone else who may have either also been there, or been in contact with the three cases. One of the Lake County residents now in the hospital here in Ukiah. The other two cases are isolating at home. Mendocino’s Health Officer says they’re trying to talk the church leaders into revealing the name of the Church so anyone else who may have been in contact with anyone there can be contacted and possibly tested. The office didn’t say what precautions may have been taken for singing at the Mother’s Day service, but did remind there should be plexiglass between the singers and physical distancing.

The Governor announcing low risk workplaces could open in Phase 2 of the 4 stage plan to reopen the state. But in Lake County, the current changes are staying until the Board of Supervisors hears from the Public Health Officer about opening any sooner. Waterways are open with social distancing, low risk retail is open for phone and online purchases and curbside pickup. This follows the state order for reopening. Later phases of Stage 2 include shopping malls and swap meets, personal services, limited to: car washes, pet grooming, tanning facilities, and landscape gardening, dine in restaurants, no bars, outdoor museums and open gallery places, government offices that were deemed non-essential and some children’s activities and childcare. Lake County is asking for a  local variance to the state’s orders. Dr. Pace says if approved, the first day of new openings wouldn’t happen before the Tuesday after Memorial Day weekend.

The Shelter in Place order in Mendocino County has been revised to match modifications allowed by Governor Newsom’s Stay-At-Home Order. The new order went into effect Friday and will not be amended until June 8th.  Now limited group activities can start with groups of no more than 12 referred to as a “Social Bubble” from either a Household Support Unit, a Childcare Unit, or a Children’s Extracurricular Activity Unit. This means there can be an interdependence of people in smaller rural communities like seeing family from other homes, helping with carpooling, childcare, recreation, religious services, etc. There is no need within the Social Bubbles for social distancing during activities permitted in the order but following other restrictions like staying home while sick and obeying quarantine and isolation orders. The Social Bubble units are separate, so you can only be part of one. Other changes include outdoor museums, galleries and botanical gardens can open, landscapers, gardening services, some limited services that can maintain social distancing like laundromats, dry cleaners, car repair shops, car washes, pet groomers, and dog walking. Business where telework is not possible, consider Work Groups, like a Social Bubble, where groups of 12 work together for four weeks at a time. There are more orders on the Health Officer’s website.

The Health Order and a summary of the major changes are available online at order is enforceable by imprisonment and/or fine thus we urge all residents to closely read the order and follow it.

A protest at the Mendocino County Courthouse, like many in America, wanting to reopen their businesses. The Daily Journal reports the protest in Ukiah Friday ahead of the Public Health Officer’s announcement about new allowances made to her Shelter in Place order. The County, Dr. Doohan says will not immediately apply for a variance or what’s being called “Attestation” where the County can verify it can meet the required readiness criteria, low number of COVID-19 cases, adequate protection for essential workers, hospital readiness for a possible surge in cases and testing capacity. Dr. Doohan says they’re already working on it…

Dr. Doohan says she was surprised at at least one Board Supervisor saying he wished she would move faster. She says she’s allowed a significant amount of limited reopening and wants to see what effect is before moving deeper into Phase 2 of the Governor’s 4 phase plan. Dr. Doohan says she’s working as quickly as possible to get the attestation done so the County can move into Phase 2 by this Friday. However that was before the new case popped up in Ukiah connected to a church in Mendocino County… and two Lake County cases linked to the same Church, with one of the infected now in the hospital in Ukiah.

The remainder of Low Gap Park has reopened to the community. So the Ukiah Skate Park has also reopened. Restrooms, tennis courts and the playground at the entrance are still closed, but you can now park at the park in the lot. Dog parks are still closed, but hiking trailers and disc golf are allowed once again. The Skate park is only open Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. with a city employee keeping capacity at only 12 at a time with proper physical distancing.

A man in Fort Bragg has been arrested after an unrelated burglary call from Point Arena. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports while investigating they found a person of interest in Terry Kelly who they say was on active felony probation in Amador County. He was found parked after reports of a stranded driver in Fort Bragg. His car found packed with miscellaneous property so he was searched. There cops found packaged, unopened consumer goods which they say had recently been stolen from an Amazon Fulfillment Warehouse. They also found he had stolen a dump truck trailer parked in Irish Beach, in Manchester. He was then arrested for possession of stolen property and booked, but released with zero bail due to the pandemic.

Many people in Calif. for filed for unemployment have still not received benefits. People in Southern Calif. have been told their debit card is in the mail. Apparently the Employment Development Department has been only using EDD debit cards. So if you didn’t get one, but have within the last three years, you would just get that reloaded. New debit cards that went out but expired will get a new one. A new report has some people applying the end of March and still not getting any money from the state. The EDD released a statement saying there may be a many different reasons someone had their payment delayed and are best mitigated by the unemployment claims analysts.

The Sonoma County Health Officer is coming up with that County’s reopening plan to loosen restrictions due to the pandemic. But Dr. Sundari Mase says the plans need to be approved by the state. The plan has not been made public or whether she would apply for a variance or attestation. The Board of Supervisors is asking Dr. Mase to draft a waiver. During a press conference on Friday, she said she’s not necessarily seeking a variance, but instead a phased reopening plan, tailored to that county and getting guidance from the state.  There was a new health order announced Friday though with certain businesses being allowed to reopen, Mendocino County is following closely, including pet groomers, dog walking services and car washes, laundromats, dry cleaners, car repair shops and landscapers.


The Sheriff’s Office reports an investigation of a burglary turns up a dump trailer they say was not connected, but also suspicious. The trailer found in the 44000 block of Pomo Lake Circle in Irish Beach. They say it was probably stolen, but they’re not sure who owns it to begin with. They’ve posted a picture on the Sheriff’s Facebook page asking for the public’s’ help. They say it may have been taken from Airport Road in Fort Bragg, but they don’t know an exact time. It was recently spray-painted so any identifying marks were hard to see or totally removed. They ask if you know who may own the trailer to call the Sheriff’s office.

A limited reopening for some Mendocino County Parks, but of course there are many public health requirements in place. Social distancing must be followed. Some city and state parks have also started a limited re-opening today. Also the Mendocino County library has opened branches with limited curbside service. And the Mendocino National Forest has begun some reopening of campgrounds and other areas tomorrow with social distancing restrictions as well. The Mendocino National Forest will has released a list of all parks that are opening, you can check their website for those.

The state has passed 75,000 Covid-19 cases as the state eases some of the stay-at-home restrictions. There have also been more than 3,000 deaths and more than ½ are in Los Angeles County. There are some stricter rules in place there like mandatory face coverings while outdoors except on the water or if there is nobody nearby. Many rural areas have not really been affected. Almost 30% of counties have been certified they have contained the spread of the virus so they can begin opening restaurants to dine-in service, plus shopping malls and other businesses with certain regulations.

A bunch of people in Ukiah celebrate their neighbor on his 94th birthday, with a  drive by parade.  Al Bascou turned 94 May 11th, so the Early Iron Car Club of Ukiah got to work. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, they couldn’t do an in person party. On Facebook they went, and people responded, they too wanted to participate…The birthday boy living at Mountain View Care Home now was walked to the sidewalk with a few friends and watched. A car enthusiast and former firefighter, with family in Ukiah.

The Lake County Public Health Officer reminding that the County is not reopened all the way and they stay aligned with the Governor’s stay at home order until further notice. There is pickup at retail businesses and restaurants, the Lake is open with social distancing restrictions. The County has started the process of applying for a variance so they can move into later phases of Stage 2. As we reported yesterday there are benchmarks to meet like tests per day, deaths, and preparedness for a surge. The Public Health Officer says he wants to wait to make sure there’s no surge in cases since Clear Lake was reopened. The proposal for the accelerated reopening is being actively developed this week with the final plan to go to the Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

The Public Health Officer in Lake County says the first day of new openings looks to be the Tuesday after the Memorial Day weekend with a partial re-opening of businesses, and the full opening of Stage 2-approved businesses no sooner than two weeks after that to be sure there is not a surge in cases. There are already about 20 counties across the state in the accelerated reopening phase but Dr. Pace says there are counties just next door with active new cases.  Sonoma and Napa, which both had a COVID-related death this week. He says with travel between the counties for work and shopping very common, we need to be careful not to allow the virus to get a firm foothold and start spreading throughout Lake County.

A new mobile Covid-19 testing site is now in Lake County. The Lake County Public Health Officer has announced Verily’s Project Baseline arrived in Lake County this week. And residents can make an appointment for testing as the mobile site travels thru the county. You can visit a website and be screened to see if you’re eligible, based on certain public health guidelines. Those being tested must be at least 18 years old. If you are eligible, you must make an appointment, you can’t just show up. After you’re screened and if you become eligible, they will tell you where to access the site. Appointments are made 48 hours in advance, Monday-Friday with results usually returned in 2-5 days.

For more information on Project Baseline, please

The Community Foundation of Mendocino County is offering Zoom accounts for those who cannot afford it. The program made possible thanks to a grant from the Rebuild Northbay Foundation. If you’d like to use Zoom to teach a class or connect with family and friends, there’s a monthly fee, to attend class or join another person’s Zoom meeting it is free. It’s like Skype, Facetime, Go To Meeting or Web Ex where you can have face to face meetings. These scholarships by the Community Foundation offer one year of Zoom service for free. The grant worth $5,000 for Zoom subscriptions during the Covid-19 pandemic offered on a first come, first serve basis.

The Governor has released his new budget and gone is money to help homeowners pay to retrofit older homes in high risk fire zones. There had been $101 million set aside, but the coronavirus pandemic has left the state with a giant budget gap, so the program is dead for now. The Governor says the deficit has hit an estimated $54 billion so the state cannot expand programs during the COVID-19 Recession. The state was supposed to put up $26 million and the rest would come from the federal government. The new budget does still have $200 million set aside for Cal Fire and the Office of Emergency Services as was proposed in January.

The US Army Corp of Engineers reports day-use facilities at Lake Mendocino won’t open until after Memorial Day. The Lake Mendocino Supervisory Park Ranger says the South Boat Ramp and some nearby parking will open Tuesday, May 26th and the water will be open for boating, but high touch areas and the campgrounds will stay closed for now. She goes on to say there probably will be no camping at all this summer. Hiking trails will also have to wait until after Memorial Day but nearby parking will be closed. Same for disc golfing, after Memorial Day. But Lake Sonoma will start to open this weekend and Clear Lake opened last weekend.

Out of towners descend on Clear Lake taking their boats onto the water even though it’s supposed to only be open to locals. The lake reopened last weekend. The Lake County Water Resources Director says monitors at the boat ramps looking for possible Quagga Mussels count who enters and found 252 resident boaters and 36 non-residents. The lake had been closed for seven weeks to help slow the spread of coronavirus. It was partially reopened last month to locals to fish from the shore and boats without motors could launch by hand. The Lake County Public Health Officer said in his most recent shelter in place order on the reopening of the lake, that it was for Locals only and that “Non-Essential Travel Remains Restricted.”

The graduation for Woodland Community College will be virtual. The virtual ceremony is today. The College President says because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event would be online and says normally there are multiple celebrations at the end of the academic year, but because that can’t happen he’s congratulating the 2020 graduating class for their tenacity to finish. The community is invited to watch the video on the college website. The keynote is on Empowerment.

Many organizations are giving grants and loans to small businesses because of the pandemic, the Mendocino Voice is one. The news site reports getting a Facebook Community Journalism Fund grant for $100,000. The grant was awarded to 144 local news organizations. They had more than 2,000 applicants. The news site reports the money will help them expand staffing and coverage, improve their website and help them find new ways to connect with their readers. The grants were selected by the Local Media Association, the Lenfest Institute for Journalism and other news organizations.