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A big homeless camp in Ukiah is being torn down north of the airport. The City is cleaning up the area along Hastings Avenue and posting notices for those living there that they have to clear out by Monday, June 8th. The Deputy City Manager told the City Council they posted “preliminary notices” regarding the upcoming clean-up in the airport’s Runway Safety Zone. The area has to be cleared out for safety reasons and because there is a paving project underway. Apparently there was a holdup with the County due to the pandemic and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saying homeless encampments should not be broken up, but the County ultimately siding with the City to support the decision to break up the encampment.

The former Mayor of Ukiah and current City Council member Maureen Mulheren trying to get more donations for the Ukiah Food Bank. The Daily Journal reports Mulheren is using her birthday, which is tomorrow, to get more community contributions. She says she sent a citywide email out and posted in the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Facebook group, noting several area nonprofits that could use support. Mulheren says North American Organics donated $500 to shop for the Ukiah Food Bank. She says she had been planning a street party for her birthday and a fundraiser for the Caring Kitchen Project, but that all changed due to the pandemic.

The Willits City Council discussing how the City will reopen businesses and how to deal with people who violate public health orders. The meeting held over the telephone May 27th to discuss a possible Urgency Ordinance that would include penalties for violations. But the Council ultimately decided to table the idea after a couple of members said they didn’t understand how it could be enforced and didn’t like the way it was written. The mayor said they should reconsider and bring it back in the future. Some agreeing there should be some consequences. Also, the city manager says the city was trying to get information out as quickly as possible, but that they didn’t have the time or money to translate everything happening with the pandemic into Spanish.

For the second week in a row a fire’s started at the large Gibson Creek tunnel under South Orchard Avenue. The Daily Journal reports the area’s frequently used as a temporary shelter. Yesterday, the second Wednesday in a row, the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority and Ukiah Police Department were in the area after at least two callers reported seeing smoke billowing out of a creek bed. Police are looking into the fires as arson and someone was being counseled against smoking cigars in the creek.

The Sonoma County Health Officer is speaking out about the protests and how they could wreck the work done to slow the spread of coronavirus. Dr. Sundari Mase is reminding those protesting after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis that coronavirus is still active in the community and to be careful, wear a mask and be sure to physically distance themselves as much as possible. She warned those at higher risk of contracting the virus not to go to places where you cannot protect yourself. Mase did not say if anyone has contracted the virus at any of the protests over the last couple of days. 

Even though the general election is months away, the Gov. has announced several hundred polling places will be added across the state for in person voting. Gov. Gavin Newsom says they’re committed to protecting Californians during the continuing pandemic, but also says he recognizes some citizens want, or need, to vote in person. He had said in the past that every person in the state would get a mail-in or absentee ballot, but national Republicans had criticized the move calling it abuse. The President also weighed in and has repeatedly said there’s widespread cheating with mail in voting. Even still the Gov. was criticized for his recent decision by a Republican Assemblymember in Rocklin who says it’s unlawful and another reason to take away Newsom’s broad emergency powers during the virus outbreak.

The Lake County Public Health Officer not committing to moving deeper into Phase 3 of the Governor’s 4 phase plan. The Record Bee reports the State Public Health Officer told local public health officials that there’s a two step process for phase 3, if the County has been approved for a variance, which Lake County has.  So it’s up to the County to reopen certain sectors if they’ve been given guidance from the state and the local health officer gives their approval. Dr. Pace says as he receives more guidance from the State, then he’ll decide what comes next, and that Lake County has to be stable enough for further relaxation. He says the state had been looking at reopening gyms and fitness centers but there’s been no guidance on that. They’re closed along with bars and nightclubs, entertainment venues, large public events and gatherings, convention centers and nail salons. Non-essential travel is also prohibited.

A protest to honor the life of George Floyd who died while being held by Minneapolis police has been held in Middletown. Several community members out yesterday downtown for a peaceful protest. Reports of about 150 people showing up for the Black Lives Matter gathering which was organized by 3 Middletown High School graduates. Protesters lined the sides of Highway 29 and chanted, then towards the end, they kneeled in silence for nearly nine minutes. That’s the amount of time Floyd was reported to be under the knee of a police officer who’s been charged with second degree murder. Several county officials, including the Sheriff Matt Kendall and Board Chair Moke Simon.

Congressman Mike Thompson’s holding an online forum regarding the protests across the Country. The town hall today at 4:30 with fellow Calif. Congressional member Rep. Barbara Lee of Alameda County. The discussion on racism and injustices in America. They are expected to discuss possible congressional action, including legislation Rep. Lee is introducing for a United States Commission on Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation.  To join you have to get in touch with Thompson’s office and ask to be added to the Zoom conference, which has a limit of 500 participants. Those confirmed will get an email with instructions.

A possible bond measure for California in November to bring broadband infrastructure to rural California. During the pandemic, it’s shed a light on how many families are without, even a hotspot, to log onto the internet. Chromebooks and iPads were given out to students across the state after leaders went direct to companies for free service for students for long distance learning. But some kids couldn’t even take class because they couldn’t log on. So Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi of Torrance is sponsoring the California Broadband Infrastructure and Distance Learning Bond Act. It looks to bring in between $3 billion to $4 billion and construction of fiber cables and other necessary infrastructure in remote parts of the state. It could also pay for computers and professional training for teachers on how to effectively use technology for instruction.

You are invited to all Ukiah Unified School District 2020 Graduation and Promotion Celebrations, which will be held virtually over the next several days! Please join us in celebrating this monumental achievement that so many have worked so hard to achieve.

Watch the celebrations on Comcast Channel 3, or the UUSD Live YouTube Channel here:


Pomolita Middle School – Thursday, June 4, 2020, 6:00 pm

Eagle Peak Middle School – Friday, June 5, 2020, 6:00 pm

Big Picture Ukiah – Thursday, June 11, 2020, 6:00 pm

UISA – Friday, June 12, 2020, 6:00 pm

Ukiah High School – Saturday, June 13, 2020, 6:00 pm

Billions in budget cuts for schools and healthcare are a nonstarter. Legislative leaders said no to the governor’s deep cuts to public schools and health care services because of the pandemic. The Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed ways to close the $54.3 billion dollar budget gap. The state had a surplus before coronavirus reared its ugly head. State revenues have gone way down since March when the Governor’s shelter in place order went into effect to slow the spread of the virus. And after that more than 5 million people filed for unemployment. The Governor has also been asking, along with the state legislature, for congress to shore up finances, with no luck. The latest state spending plan from the Governor would take billions from public schools and cut out health benefits for some unless the state gets money from the Fed by July 1st.

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