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A couple of men accused of pulling a weapon at Big River beach along the coast. The Calif. State Parks Chief says on Sunday a man pulled a single head ax on another man. Someone called and told a Fish and Wildlife Warden there had been in an argument with another man who had threatened him with a rifle. But upon investigating, they found it was an ax. The two men were separated, and the victim said they wouldn’t be pressing charges.

More doses of the coronavirus vaccine have reportedly arrived in Mendocino County. The county reports there will be several vaccination clinics held to distribute 1,400 first doses and 400 second doses of the Moderna vaccine. They have also received 300 first doses and 675 second doses of the Pfizer vaccine. So that means there will be six vaccination events this week. Members of the general public won’t be able to get vaccinations until late Spring or early Summer, but county staff will have more weekly clinics as more doses arrive. This week three vaccination clinics in Ukiah. Fire fighters, criminal justice personnel, law enforcement and crisis counselors, and 2nd doses for those who were already vaccinated. In-Home Supportive Service workers, food service workers and protective service workers, and more second Pfizer doses in the Ukiah Conference Center Thursday and Friday, back to the Fairgrounds for education and childcare providers and agricultural workers. Then on the coast in Fort Bragg there are two vaccination clinics for fire and EMS personnel Thursday and Friday.

The Dungeness Crab season has begun again in Bodega Bay. The fishing fleet dropped baited crab pots Sunday for the much delayed beginning of the harvest for Dungeness crab. Crabbers can start to haul pots out starting Wednesday. That’s about two months after the traditional Nov. 15th start to the season. The season was put off over a month as a protection for migrating whales in the fishing grounds. But commercial crabbers and wholesale buyers were then at loggerheads about how much to charge this season before they finally settled after two weeks of negotiations that ended last Friday.

Updated evacuation plans have been revealed to the Fort Bragg City Council. The City Manager with the presentation in the case of an emergency. The city manager also reminded anyone taking part in their last virtual meeting, the water and wastewater rate increase went into effect on New Year’s Day. The council discussed the winter shelter for which they approved more money for since there were no offers to hold the shelter due to the pandemic. That happened last month. Right now the shelter is at Trinity Lutheran Church, where they’re hosting about eight people every night. Next month a new location must be found. At another meeting Jan. 21st they should consider the next venue.

Teachers and other school employees will start getting the coronavirus vaccine in Calif. The first in Mariposa County. Up to 1.4 million teachers and other school staff are expected to get the vaccination, starting yesterday.  State officials were telling health care providers to get their staff members vaccinated so that the state could move to the next tier group which includes child care workers, elementary and secondary school personnel and community college, university and trade school staff members. The Governor reportedly wanted teachers up in the higher tiers who get access to the vaccine so that schools can reopen sooner, rather than later as part of his “Safe Schools for All” plan.

The former public health officer for the county has been acting as the deputy to Officer Andy Coren. The Board of Supervisors, except for one new member, has voted to keep Dr. Noemi Doohan on another year with Coren. But newly seated 2nd District Supervisor Maureen Mulheren voted against the $100,000 payment to keep Doohan on as Deputy Public Health Officer through the end of 2021. It had been noted previously that Doohan would not be needed this far into 2021. The county CEO says Doohan’s getting paid for 15 hours a week, but is actually putting in at least 30 hours a week. Supervisor Mulheren questioned the amount of money saying perhaps it’s better spent on one or two positions involved in vaccine distribution. But other supervisors said they believed Dr. Coren thought he still needed the support. So the contract was approved.

The Governor says he’s fine with the President being removed from office through impeachment or the 25th Amendment. During one of his press conferences, he was asked his thoughts on the subject and answered, “I’m all for it” then quickly changed the subject. He said though, that right now he’s focused on the pandemic and vaccinating as many residents as possible. At the same time the state Assembly has also passed a resolution calling for the President to resign or be removed. Independent Assemblyman Chad Mayes, a former Republican leader who switched parties last year, introduced the resolution saying reconciliation and healing can come after “accountability and repentance.” The vote was 51-6, all of the dissenting votes were Republicans.  

There’s no room at Hope Center, the new homeless facility in Lake County. Lake Co News reports Hope Rising’s executive director was at the Clearlake City Council meeting last week. She said the 20 bed center is full with 20 occupants and more on a waiting list. The center was built with $4.6 million in state and local grants. They’ve made major renovations to the old medical office and are just finishing up the kitchen because some needed items were on backorder. Of the people living at the Center, two people are from Kelseyville, two from Lakeport, one each from Lower Lake, Spring Valley and Middletown, two from Mendocino County, another who just came to Lake County from Washington and two apparently don’t have a city they consider home. They have had 3 people who were there already leave.

Lake County Supervisors considering a property swap for an affordable housing project. They’ll also discuss the controversial dissent against a water rate increase and hear from the county’s Public Health Officer on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The meeting this morning online only due to the pandemic and an agreement to close the council chambers. Written comments are being accepted on the agenda. The county property swap regarding the Lakeport Armory which is excess state-owned property and county-owned, undeveloped property on 18th Avenue in Clearlake. The rate increase for Golden State Water District is being discussed along with sending a letter to the Public Utilities Commission opposing it.

The Bay Area has low ICU capacity in light of the surge of COVID19 cases across Calif. The Lake County Health Dept. reported there’s less than 10% ICU capacity, and both county hospitals are typically at capacity these days. As of yesterday Lake County was reporting 12 people in the hospital, 246 active cases and two more people had died since last week for a total of 27 deaths and nearly 2,200 confirmed cases of the virus.  As of Sunday the county had 35% ICU capacity. Dr. Gary Pace reports it’s important to lower the risk, by staying home as much as possible, go shopping early in the morning or late in the evening to lower your risk of contracting the virus, work at home if possible, and to avoid socializing with people outside your immediate household. He says if people would follow those guidelines, the surge would start to go down by the end of January.

The 1st and 2nd doses of the Pfizer Vaccine for 975 residents have arrived in Lake County. There are also 900 doses of the Moderna vaccine. And 500 more thru community healthcare partners. The Public Health Officer, Dr. Gary Pace says they have no idea what the supply schedule but continue to set up clinics and outreach to healthcare providers. Residents 75 and older and some essential workers are eligible next week. Then teachers and school staff with in person students are going to be prioritized so more schools can open. Then childcare workers and essential workers in food and agriculture.

A new report says there has been a surge in suicides in Mendocino County since last spring. The Sheriff’s Office report says suicides were up since last May. 30 were reported between Jan. and Nov. but there were 19 during the same time period in 2019 and 17 in 2018. Sheriff Matthew Kendall says the pandemic has made people feel isolated. Redwood Community Services Crisis Response Services offers a 24/7 Crisis Hotline (855-838-0404). There’s also a so-called “Warm Line” through the county for support that’s not immediately critical (Monday-Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. 707-472-2311 or Toll Free at 833-995-2510). Redwood is also offering a Question, Persuade, Refer Suicide Prevention virtual training to learn how to intervene the right way if someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or attempts… and on the Redwood Community Services Facebook page.

A new report says it was wildfire smoke which caused as much as half of all health-damaging small particle air pollution in the western U.S. The report by researchers at both Stanford and UC San Diego says air pollution was down from things like car exhaust and power plants, but there were so many fires, that attributed to health concerns. The report says wildfires due to climate change were a growing public health threat.  Wildfires, the researchers say, should be top of mind, as we don’t really see sea level rise, or hurricanes that much, but we do see wildfire smoke from climate change. Researchers looked at data from 2016-18, not even last summer, when Calif. at least, had some of the biggest fires we’ve ever seen. The August Complex for instance was the first one million acre, or giga fire we ever had.

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