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It’s a no from the Lake County Board of Supervisors to enforce the current Public Health order for mandatory mask wearing and social distancing during the pandemic.  The board spoke on the issue yesterday during their meeting with a bunch of people in on the online meeting telling supervisors it’s a bad idea, others all for it. But none of the supervisors moved on a motion for the draft ordinance to get a vote. Lake Co News reports the issue was raised at the meeting last week to have Code Enforcement Officers help the Public Health Office educate and enforce public health orders.

A man from Ukiah has been killed in a car accident on Highway 175 near Hopland. The man’s name has not been released, we only know he’s 32 years old. The California Highway Patrol in Ukiah says Justin Jimenez of Willits was headed east on Highway 175 and for some reason his Ford F-250 pickup veered off onto the right shoulder, then crossed back over onto the other side of the highway and into the victim’s 2002 Honda Civic. The Ford reportedly rolled, landing in the middle of the Highway. The Honda driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The passenger of the Honda and Jimenez both had major injuries.

Litter an issue on the side of state highways, but now the state Department of Transportation and the CHP starting a campaign to get rid of the trash. They had stopped litter cleanup on the side of the road after the stay home order in March. The Caltrans director says the litter can increase the risk of fire, plus it pollutes waterways, threatens wildlife and costs taxpayers millions of dollars to remove. They ask residents to be more mindful of the issue as Caltrans maintenance workers work with industrial hygienists on litter removal during the current health crisis.

Red Flag weather but no notice of a public safety power down. Cal Fire is temporarily banning outdoor residential burn permits in Sonoma, Lake, Napa, Solano, Yolo, and Colusa counties. And last night the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued the red flag, or high-risk fire weather conditions alert until tomorrow for all inland areas of the state, east of Sonoma County. The fire agency’s burn permit suspension after several dry months, including in February, the driest in the state since the 1850s, which Cal Fire warns is a devastating reminder of the potential for a dangerous summer, where dry, hot weather can fuel fires like years past.

The statue of Christopher Columbus that’s long been the centerpiece of the California Capitol rotunda is being removed. The statue there since 1883 is being taken out after a decision just yesterday by legislative leaders saying it’s hurtful to indigenous populations. But the statue being removed now after massive protests about racial injustice after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Other statues coming down across the country, including in Kentucky, the statue of Jefferson Davis, the only president of the Confederacy, and the former capital of the Confederacy, Virginia, will take down the statue of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Here also in California, Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento took down the John Sutter statue, he was a slave holder of Native Americans.

The CHP reports their work to respond to protests across the state has cost them $38 million. That means the state’s now spent as much as $63 million across various law enforcement agencies. The CHP reports nearly a half million hours of unplanned overtime between May 28 and June 11 with 12 hour shifts for some officers after the CHP Commissioner declared a “tactical alert” that officers had to act on, “threats to the immediate health and safety of persons or property throughout the state.”

New coronavirus case counts show the latest cases are in younger folks. A new report released this week shows almost half of the new infections are in those 34 years old or younger, 44% as opposed to 29% a month ago. The drop in cases of older folks from 46% to 30.5% in the past month. Middle aged Californians stayed the same, not a spike or a decline. The state does not report trends, this info is from the Calif. Dept. of Public Health. It shows those between 18 and 34 years of age make up the largest chunk of new infections in Calif. It’s also not known if its due to more testing, statewide protests over the death of George Floyd or ignoring mask wearing and social distancing measures.

As expected the Grand Jury has indicted PG&E for repeatedly ignoring warnings about it’s decrepit equipment, which we now know caused the Camp Fire in Paradise. The report from the Grand Jury investigation says the utility company exhibited “a callous disregard” for the life and property of residents, that they failed to inspect declining power lines and performed inadequate inspections, all to focus on profits and that the company was not interested in learning from past catastrophes. The CEO of the company earlier yesterday pleaded guilty on the utility’s behalf to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the deaths in the Camp Fire. Although 85 people died. The fire destroyed Paradise, gutting more than 18,000 homes and other structures. This comes after the utility company was also convicted 4 years ago for the San Bruno explosion which killed eight people.

Lakeport Police have reported procedures to the City Council at the same time protests start to go from a boil to a simmer across the country. The police chief says they have been getting questions from residents about their policies, training and if they will follow Campaign Zero’s “8 Can’t Wait Project” which changes eight areas of concern regarding police policies. Chief Rasmussen says he was happy to report the 8 areas were already in alignment with the department’s policies and that the agency has a long history of working in partnership with community members to ensure equal justice and protecting and respecting the rights of all individuals.

The Bullet Train program looks to be tabled. The state Assembly passed a resolution to put the final contracts for the long awaited project on hold. The legislature has to set aside $4.2 billion in state bonds for the project, but right now continuing the project is not feasible. There’s already been one segment under construction for several years in the San Joaquin Valley. But the Governor has not supported the project since his election, but then added money to the project after taking office.  The Assembly Transportation Chair Democrat Jim Frazier has been critical of the project and says the Legislature has to be consulted before any future appropriations.

Hospitals in Mendocino County connected to Adventist Health are restarting elective surgeries and other non-essential procedures. As part of the County reopening in Phase 3 of the state’s stay home order, the president for Adventist Health for Mendocino County announced the edict. Jason Wells says they’ve looking forward to reconnecting with patients and to continue their mission of caring for the community. He also says they’re ready to provide care in a “very safe environment.”  They’re also saying it’s okay to go to the emergency room. Many across the country have been staying away from ER’s as we were told to in case we had coronavirus. But as many are doing that, others who really need to get to the ER in case they’re having a stroke or heart attack should go. Patients will have to go thru a screening process for symptoms, and it’s mandatory to wear face-masks and practice social distancing. 

PG&E’s hosting a webinar on wildfire safety and prevention for residents in both Lake and Mendocino counties.  The webinar topic: how to reduce the size and duration of the Public Safety Power Shutoffs, plus other wildfire prevention efforts.  The utility company will talk about improvements they’ve implemented and progress on wildfire prevention work here locally. Customers will be able to ask questions of company representatives and give feedback. Some of the work they’re doing includes installing new grid technology, hardening the electric system and enhanced vegetation management.  To join tonight’s meeting at 5:30, first register at this link, or listen live by dialing 866-501-6088and using this conference ID: 6866675. 

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