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9 more cases of coronavirus added in Mendocino County. The Public Health Office dashboard has to total up to 155, with no hospitalizations and 57 people in isolation. There’s no longer a recovered tab on the county’s Covid-19 dashboard, now it says there have been 98 people released from isolation. The most cases 19-34 age range, then 35-49 year olds. The Hispanic community has been hit the hardest with 89 of our total cases. Most of the cases in the Ukiah Valley, 111 or them.

Ukiah high will be distributing food once again for kids 18 and younger. This morning until 1 pm, at the high school. Children don’t have to be with their parents to get the meals. They’re giving out plums, cantaloupes, and potatoes as part of the distribution this morning. You can also get farmers boxes, a Farmers to Families Food Box with 20 pounds of pork and 20 pounds of cheese. They remind to please wear a mask and practice social distancing when you pick up food. 

North Coast legislators working to protect the press. Senator Mike McGuire has put up a bill to protect Freedom of the press which he says has been under attack especially as of late during protests. Reporters being hit by rubber bullets, hit with batons, sprayed with tear gas, and even arrested. SB 629 looks to protect reporters who McGuire says risk their lives at protests and rallies to get the public needed information. The Press Freedom Act is to allow journalists to perform their duties and be protected from law enforcement who intentionally assault, obstruct or interfere with their duties to gather news. The bill moves to the Assembly Public Safety Committee in the coming weeks.

Another lawsuit against Pacific Gas & Electric as the company just emerges from its Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. The company already sued, and has to fork over billions for the October 2017 Northern Calif. wildfires and 2018 Camp Fire. Now those who were impacted by the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County last year are suing. The fire, the largest in the county, ever. The Press Democrat reports the Mayacama Golf Club, three wineries and four hotels are part of a lawsuit with more than 20 businesses and several individuals going after damages from PG&E after the 78,000-acre wildfire. It has not been pinned on the utility company as the fire’s still being investigated by Cal Fire. The fire last October sparked in windy weather in a rugged area of the Mayacamas Mountains. The Press Democrat reports the ignition point near high-voltage power lines that carry electricity generated by The Geysers geothermal field.

The latest Lake County Grand Jury report says there was a dramatic under counting of the homeless. The report says there’s also a large void in affordable housing which is making it worse for that population. This part of the larger jury report, “Assessing the Homelessness in Lake County” says there are not enough warming centers and beds for the homeless in the winter, that the Point in Time Count and self reported homeless were off, and there are multiple problems that nonprofits are dealing with, instead of the county, including for mental health, substance abuse, food and nutrition and reproductive health.

There are still several hundred thousand unemployment claims unpaid in Calif. Since the onset of the pandemic, a backlog of unemployment claims has plagued the jobless. The Employment Development Department is getting hammered by complaints with first time claims still unpaid for many. Senator Mike McGuire and Assemblyman Jim Wood say they’re also getting inundated with calls for help. Wood says his 3 district offices in Eureka, Ukiah and Santa Rosa are getting daily calls with fear and frustration. McGuire says they’re getting hundreds and hundreds of calls, emails and Facebook messages from people desperate for help.

Kids in Ukiah have a choice, in person or 100 percent online learning. The word from the Ukiah Unified School District board of trustees. The board voted yes on the reopening plan for schools in the fall. Families get to choose which way to go if they have medically fragile children, or even those who want to self-quarantine. The school district has to now negotiate with the teachers union and their classified employees. The board president says the goal is to keep everyone safe and healthy, at the same time maximizing instructional time and quality learning students deserve. The new plan can be viewed on the district’s website, www.uusd.net.

Relay For Life in Mendocino County is on. For now, the night of Aug. 29th luminaria will be lit and a circle will be formed at Todd Grove Park in Ukiah in honor of those fighting or who have had cancer. Relay for Life has the events across the country, this year, the park luminaria will be lit from afar so everyone can view from their cars. You can make a donation for your own luminaria or in honor of a loved one to The American Cancer Society. There will be an online program August 30th too.  To help someone on a team or to form one of your own, go to: http://www.relayforlife. org and enter our zip code.

With the surge in new Covid-19 cases across the state, the California Health and Human Services Secretary says they’ve got new plans for testing.  Dr. Mark Ghaly says not only will there soon be updated testing guidance, but new requirements for health plans to cover testing, and new co-chairs for the Testing Task Force. He says testing is a critical tool to help diagnose and treat those infected. It also shows how it’s moving in communities. There will be testing of people in the hospital who have signs or symptoms and those not in the hospital, but that are in high-risk categories, including employees or residents in nursing homes, homeless shelters and prisons and healthcare workers. The Testing Task Force led by the founding chief of the California Department of Public Health’s Center for Infectious Diseases, and the senior vice president and chief health officer for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc.

As cases continue to rise in Lake County, the Board of Supervisors has voted to stay with a hybrid meeting approach. There will be limited in-person participation by the public and online. Clearlake and Lakeport City Council meetings will be all online. The Lake County Board had all virtual meetings for three months, then during the height of the lockdown, they reconfigured board chambers for the “hybrid” version of meetings. There are plexiglass partitions up to separate the supervisors from each other and staff. There’s audience seating for only 25 so social distancing can be maintained. There’s also a new online comment platform for the public to weigh in. Clearlake also has a new town hall page for community input and Lakeport is using GoToMeeting and allowing for live public comments and questions.

Foster care children applying for aid thru the federal government in California more than others. The info from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. It shows 64.5% of high school seniors in foster care submitted their FAFSA, compared to 56.6% of all high school seniors.  The nonprofit, John Burton Advocates for Youth says they think it’s because of a FAFSA Challenge created three years ago and ended in March. It encouraged education offices to work with high school counselors, probation officers, social workers and the California Student Aid Commission so foster kids would apply for federal and state student aid.

In just a couple of weeks the Willits Center for the Arts will reopen . On Friday, July 31st the Center says they’ll be certified to open from the county. They say they’ll have safety measures in place such as mandatory mask wearing, hand sanitizer put out, only six people at a time in galleries. The first show they will have is a Ceramics show with Ileya Stewart, paintings by Peter Onsted and a Willits Photography Club showing. They will be open on the weekends only.

After almost thirty years, Roundman’s Smoke House and Butcher Shop is closing up shop. The owner says he’s ready to retire and sell to a new generation. Steve Rasmussen and Steve Scudder have owned the business for a quarter century.  They’ve put the business up for sale, so they’re not out of the shop quite yet. The shop is USDA approved, and has about 20 people working there. They also sell their products in grocery stores across the state. Scudder tells the Advocate newspaper they were planning to retire before the Coronavirus pandemic closed businesses. But they say they’ve been doing quite well.

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