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Oops, the California unemployment dept has accidentally released millions of Social Security numbers since the beginning of the pandemic. A state audit of the Employment Development Department showed the agency was not concealing sensitive information even though the agency had already been warned to do so, a year before. The California Auditor sent a letter to the Governor, calling on the agency to change its business practices after unnecessarily putting claimants at increased risk of identity theft. The auditor imploring the agency to immediately change the way it sends its three highest-volume mailers which include Social Security numbers for those who’ve filed claims. The agency previously said it would do that by August 2021.

The state has approved new regulations for businesses to put in safety measures to slow the spread of coronavirus. The Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board is approving an emergency temporary standard so companies teach their staffers how to prevent the infection, provide free personal protective equipment and offer free tests for all employees if there’s a group of three or more who get infected within a 2 week time frame. California is not the first state to implement the measures, it follows Oregon, Michigan and Virginia, which was the first in the country to approve temporary new workplace safety rules in July. Cal OSHA says it’s received over 8,000 complaints since August on lax workplace safety.

Special guests’ part of the latest Sherwood Firewise Communities Meeting on Zoom. Last Thursday, the 12th, the Brooktrails Fire Chief and Captain were on hand discussing the Oak Fire and home safety during the winter months. They also hosted an American Red Cross representative who went over local services and how they work with HAM radio. The fire chief thanked everyone for listening to evacuation orders and the fire captain talked about being prepared for emergencies in cold weather, making sure your house number is visible from the road and if you’re burning debris to maintain a safe space. They reminded to clear your fireplace and wood stoves of debris too and to have chimneys cleaned by a professional annually. The American Red Cross presented their work during the Oak Fire and their shelters to attendees as well and a reminder about smoke alarms and having a personal item, or go-bag ready if you have to evacuate.

Lake County looking to the governor to change back some of the stricter coronavirus rules. The Board of Supervisors has sent a letter to the Governor after he announced he was rolling back some of the reopenings due to the rapid spread of the virus across the state. 29 of California’s counties have been moved back to the purple or most restrictive tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, but not Lake. Then yesterday the Governor went even further with a curfew he’s calling a night-time stay home order for those in the most restrictive tier. The letter says the tiered system has impacted all facets of the community, but they’re trying to save businesses over winter months. It also noted a 500-percent hike in calls for substance use disorders and a 129-percent increase in mental health calls.

The Governor has ordered counties in the purple, widespread tier to institute a new stay home… at night order. The new order starts tomorrow and closes non-essential business and stops personal gatherings from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.  The Governor noting the virus is spreading faster than it has since the start of the pandemic and says the next several days and weeks will be “critical to stop the surge”. Newsom says he’s sounding the alarm that right now is the time to slow transmission and hospitalizations before the death count surges.  Right now 42 of the state’s 58 counties are in the purple tier.

Noyo Harbor Inn has reportedly had an outbreak of coronavirus. The business reported fully cooperating with the Mendocino County Public Health Office to slow the virus’ spread. So they’ve sanitized the facility, closed the restaurant until further notice, and are working with Public Health so the business is as safe as possible.  The manager of the Inn says there were 2 employees who tested positive but they have no serious symptoms. They are doing contact tracing thru the public health office.

There’s free testing in Mendocino County. Tomorrow in Fort Bragg at Mendocino Coast Clinic on South St. from  9:30 AM – 12:30 PM

The city of Ukiah is considering allowing changes to the Building Bridges homeless shelter permit so it can expand. The Daily Journal reports there was a long public hearing on the matter where the public was complaining about trash, loitering and other negative activities around the shelter. The Community Development Director as the city’s Zoning Administrator at the Nov. 17th hearing talked about the adverse activities after receiving pictures and descriptions from nearby residents who are looking for positive changes, like installing lights, hiring security guards and getting rid of the litter left around the shelter. All of the comments and photos will be added to the research submitted to the Planning Commission. The use permit first given to the shelter was for 4,600 square feet of the 7,000 square-foot structure, but since there’s a pandemic, they need more room for social distancing measures.

A proposed development in Hopland is getting pushback for wildfire risk and traffic safety. The Daily Journal reports there were several objections to the proposed Getaway House on 90 acres of rangeland along the Old Toll Road. The Hopland Municipal Advisory Council had their meeting Wednesday night with representatives of the project for a presentation and to hear questions. They’ve been trying to get the tiny cabin village developed for five years. The homes would be on wheels and placed far enough apart for privacy. They’re looking at putting in 45 cabins. Only one of the public comments was positive.

Human remains found west of Ukiah, so the Sheriff’s office is asking for the public’s help calling it a possible murder. The Sheriff’s Dept. says they got a call a couple of weeks ago to the 11000 block of Low Gap Road where someone called in the remains on a remote property about 10 miles west of Ukiah High School. Deputies also found other items they say may have been part of the findings, including clothing. The remains apparently strewn across the area and were in an advanced state of decomposition. The coroner did an autopsy confirming the remains were human, but they couldn’t identify the remains so they’re running a DNA comparison and analysis. They’re asking anyone who may have been in the 10000 block to the 15000 block of Low Gap Road from Sept. 15 through Nov. 4th and may have witnessed suspicious activity or person(s), to call the Sheriff’s Investigations Bureau at 707-463-4421, or the MCSO Tip-Line at 707-234-2100.

The upgrades at Rotary Park in Mendocino are moving along. The estimated cost to develop the park in just Phase one will cost $325,000 which includes purchasing land. The Mendocino Rotary Foundation has so far received nearly all of that, $275,000, so they still need to raise $50,000 for completion of the first phase. They’ll first grade the property, put in the proper drainage, build walkways, which includes laying down paving stones, put in electrical and water systems and a shed for all of the panels, pumps and equipment. There will also eventually be picnic tables, benches and a play area for kids. They’re looking for more donations and for that you might get an engraved paving tile that will go along the new path to Howard Street for $125, or for $2,500, you can buy a Founders Stone, laid in the Founders Patio. They’re also taking any amount of donations to complete the park.

Folks lining up in Sonoma County to get tested for coronavirus ahead of Thanksgiving. The state run testing sites are free in Santa Rosa and Windsor as the holiday season begins. The county’s trying to get test results out within 3 days, but they could actually take several days to come back. Sonoma County public health officials say there could be a false sense of security to gather and inside, because it could be quite cold next week. The Public Health Officer, Dr. Sundari Mase says sometimes the test results can take up to six days at the state run labs. She also says you could be negative in your test result, but then be positive two days after, so it’s not really a protection to meet with others outside your immediate household.

State Sen. Bill Dodd is joining the Governor getting blowback for going against restrictions due to the pandemic. This time it’s Dodd who went to Maui, participating in a four day legislative conference between lawmakers and lobbyists. The Press Democrat reports Dodd said on a phone call he wouldn’t apologize for attending the beachfront conference and called it “business as usual”. Some folks in the comment section of the newspaper’s article called him out, saying they’d also like some business as usual in their lives. It comes after Newsom, who just put 41 counties back in the purple tier, including Mendocino County, attended an indoor gathering for a friend’s birthday at the upscale French Laundry restaurant in Yountville.

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