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Two more cases of coronavirus have hit Mendocino County. A day after a major surge of ten cases. We are now at 74 with both the new cases people between 19 and 49 in the Ukiah Valley. The Mendocino County Public Health Office reports more than 50% of all cases in the county are now among Latino people. Tuesday saw ten more, the largest single day spike we’ve seen so far, they too, were all in the Ukiah Valley. The last day before that with more cases, Monday, eight new cases. The Public Health Officer says all of the new cases are disproportionately affecting Latinos.

Testing is open to the public at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds in Ukiah, Tue. – Sat. from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Call 888.634.1123 for an appointment or go to lhi.care. You can also call the Mendocino County COVID hotline at 707.234.6052 and the County’s “warm line” at 707.472.2311.

And surveillance testing is happening for residents of Point Arena and the greater south coast at the Point Arena City Hall for free. Redwood Coast Medical Services, Mendocino County Public Health, and the City of Point Arena are working together to provide this service. 

Several projects by the Conservation Corps come to a close with work at the Willits Municipal Airport in Brooktrails for a fuel reduction project. The Project Manager says they’re using money from their Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and from the City of Willits for the fuel reduction project which happens to also be an evacuation zone. Crews worked around the edges of the airport to clear and also burn brush for wildfire protection. They say the probably cleared about 22-27 acres over a two and a half month period.  The corp may move their headquarters from Ukiah to Willits as they bought some land there, but are waiting to get their budget approved before they can start development of the new center.

Lake County poised to use the old juvenile hall facility for the homeless during the pandemic. The facility has been closed for four and a half years. The Board of Supervisors heard from the County Administrative Officer, Carol Hutchingson, who’s also a member of the County Space Use Committee then approved a request for proposals for daily operations and fiscal management for a temporary support shelter for the chronically homeless. A committee tasked with finding use for the space is recommending it be used for temporary homeless services, then they will continue discussing long term use of the facility.

More than 500 food deliveries during the pandemic from Lake County’s Community Food Drive Project. The new partnership with several local organizations working with North Coast Opportunities has just been at it 11 weeks and has delivered food to as many as 60 homes a week.  So since the County has slowly reopened, the project is stopping their deliveries, the final one is next Thursday, July 2nd. The project was for those who had lost their jobs, had no car, were at risk to get COVID if they left their homes, or if they had a positive test. The case manager for North Coast Opportunities says they were grateful to serve during the crisis, but since the County’s been reopening and people were slowly heading back to work, they decided to suspend operations.

More info in Sonoma County about the recent upsurge in cases and where they’re coming from. The County Health Officer, Dr. Sundari Mase says in the first three months of the pandemic, they saw only about a dozen infections at senior care facilities, but since the beginning of June, 40 cases have turned up. One in an elderly man who died Sunday after contracting the virus in Sonoma, at a skilled nursing facility. The forty cases are in 21 residents and 19 staff members. Dr. Mase says the cases are happening because staff members were becoming infected outside the work setting, may be asymptomatic, and are then bringing in and infecting their elderly patients.

The State Superintendent of Schools says they’re in need of school resource officers and he’s looking at a new way to utilize police officers in schools, to protect students’ safety. Superintendent Tony Thurmond says they’re needed in the case of school shootings or bomb threats but they’re no longer going to be able to discipline misbehaving students. He says data shows when police are on campus there are more suspensions and arrests, “particularly for African American students and other students of color.” He says moving forward schools that still want on officer on campus will get cops who want to be there and have been trained on implicit bias. He now has a task force made up of legislators, researchers, law enforcement officials and advocacy groups to figure out how to address security issues at public schools.

A ban on affirmative action policies in the state more than 2 decades ago may be reinstated, if that’s what voters what. The issue to be on the November ballot. Voters will say whether they want governments, public colleges and universities to consider race when making hiring and admissions decisions. The issue was banned back in 1996 by voters with a 55% majority approving of a constitutional amendment to make it unlawful to give preferential treatment based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin. The state Senate has now voted to repeal that, but it has to go before voters first.

The Governor is threatening to hold back as much as $2.5 billion in the new state budget from local governments who are not complying with mandates on facial coverings, testing and other rules he says will help slow the spread of coronavirus. With strong words yesterday, Gov. Newsom says he’s heard from people who just don’t care and that he’ll use the budget as leverage. The money he says he’ll hold back helps governments pay for services related to the pandemic, but the money’s attached to whether counties follow emergency orders and enforce safety measures when reopening their local economies. The state had more than 7,000 cases yesterday and 5,000 the day before, contributing to a 69% increase in new cases this week.

A whole new world for the Lake County Board of Supervisors as the chamber is reopened to the public. Next week the board will be in person, mixing virtual and physical platforms. Supervisors, county staff and some members of the public can be physically present and they’ll also be able to interact with others who are in attendance virtually by way of a large video projection screen. The meeting will be accessible thru Zoom, Facebook Live or the county’s online streaming platforms. They’ve also remodeled the chambers because of the pandemic with plexiglass between folks.

The state is reimagining its cap and trade carbon program in the midst of the pandemic and the state’s recession. The Press Democrat reports the state’s carbon trading program has hit almost half the greenhouse gas reductions it promised by 2030. But now the state will reportedly re-examine if it can meet the goals by that due date. The state’s EPA Secretary says due to the crisis and the collapse of the world oil market, and the May 2020 Auction, they will carefully reconsider the program, which was the first of its kind in the country, and now one of the biggest pollution markets in the world.

After a closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is getting back to business. Gardens are open for all to see the end of the spring bloom and the start of summer blooms during limited hours. Tuesday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. But they’re closed Fridays and Saturdays. If you’re not a member, no worries, you can buy a ticket online. They are capping capacity for social distancing requirements. Current members do not need a reservation. They do warn however, there’s limited access to restrooms, and that all water fountains will be turned off, and no picnics are allowed.  For more information: http://www.gardenbythesea.org

The State Senate has unanimously passed legislation from Sens. Bill Dodd and Steve Glazer so critical facilities like hospitals, fire stations and water treatment plants can stay online in the case of a public safety power shutoff as we saw last summer by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. Dodd says as we have a possibility of more wildfires and power shutoffs on the horizon, it’s essential for these important facilities to stay operational. The bill allows most essential facilities to stay online during intentional power downs with emergency backup generators. And for electricity to stay on to pump and treat water during such outages, protecting public health and safety. The bill is also sponsored by the California Municipal Utilities Association and the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District.

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