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Money available thru the Lake County Continuum of Care to help those at risk of losing shelter. The group has received California Emergency Solutions and Housing (CESH) grant funding for the most needy in the county. The money distributed has to be in alignment with certain state policies, and it has to be to help those without shelter into permanent housing and help them maintain permanent housing. The money available is over $415,000 and has to be split between two recipients for outreach on the street, health and safety education, criminal justice diversion programs, prevention services, navigation services, and operating support for short-term or comprehensive homeless services.  The money can also go to rent help or to subsidies like housing vouchers, rapid rehousing programs, eviction prevention, and housing relocation. 

For more information and how apply, please go to: https://www.lakecoc.org/cesh-grant.

The shellfish safety notice has been lifted by the state Dept. of Public Health put into place in November. It covered sport-harvested mussels, whole scallops, and clams in Mendocino County due to dangerous levels of naturally occurring paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins that can cause illness or death. The latest tests showed the toxins were at a safe or non-detectable level. But there’s still a warning not to eat any sport-harvested bivalve shellfish (including mussels, clams, and scallops) in Marin County. It is however safe to buy them thru commercial outlets.

Covered Calif. reports over 1.5 million people have purchased health insurance, that’s 200,000 more than a year ago. The deadline is January 31st to buy insurance. The Executive Director of Covered Calif. says he anticipates more people than ever will sign up as people have lost their jobs. The insurance marketplace had dried up some over the last 3 years, then when the pandemic hit enrollment went way up. There was also a new state law that started where the state was taxing people without insurance but the state put up millions to help middle income residents pay for their insurance.

The county has received over 2,700 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine this week. Mendocino County officials say there are continued vaccination events this week including first and second shots for those in priority groups. As we reported yesterday three clinics are happening in Ukiah at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds this week, it will include first responders, criminal justice personnel and crisis counselors and second doses for healthcare workers. Teachers, childcare workers, in home support workers, food service and agriculture workers on next. The county has put together a new Mendocino Ethics Covid Ad Hoc Committee working with the Public Health Office to decide on distribution and transparency.

There’s a new permanent president for Adventist Health in Mendocino County. It was made effective Dec. 18th that Judson Howe is taking the helm for the three Adventist Health hospitals in Fort Bragg, Ukiah and Willits, plus he’s overseeing some medical offices and other services in the county. The CEO of Adventist says Howe’s a dynamic leader who has a passion for quality, innovation and excellence with expertise and knowledge of the community and their hospitals. Howe’s already been working for the company as their finance and strategy officer. Before that he was the head of finance and strategy for Adventist Health Howard Memorial.

A new report says Latinos turned out to vote this past election because of the way the President spoke about their community. Voter registration was up dramatically for Latino voters in Calif, which some voter registration advocates say was because of the political climate in the Trump era. The non-partisan social justice group Riverside for Mi Familia Vota said the president’s “rhetoric against immigrant communities” backfired, and did not get younger voters out to register to vote. The group says instead the community’s voter registration was boosted by competitive elections, mobilization by political parties and activists, and perhaps automatic motor voter registration.

Lake County’s putting up more affordable housing after a vote by the Board of Supervisors to sell county land. The board voted yesterday to approve the exchange of the National Guard Armory with state owned property in Clearlake for 100 new affordable housing units. Lake Co News reports State Sen. Mike McGuire was involved in discussions on the project. For the swap the state requires at least half of the units being built are categorized as affordable, including 12.5 percent being very low, 12.5 percent – low, and 25 percent – moderate. The units will be between one and three bedrooms. The vote for the exchange was unanimous.

Congressman Mike Thompson continues his series of virtual meetings on coronavirus. This Friday the meeting’s topic on relief for small businesses. It’s around lunchtime, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will be on Zoom and stream live on the Congressman’s Facebook page. His office is inviting all constituents in the 5th District to take part. It’s the 2nd webinar Thompson has held since the 2nd stimulus package was approved.

MacGruder Ranch is providing beef to those dealing with food insecurity in Mendocino County. The ranch in Potter Valley raises organic beef, lamb and pork. MendoLake Food Hub had been in touch with the ranch with grant money so they could buy ground beef for the senior center in Fort Bragg. There was also a match from MacGruder with what the Food Hub had in grant money for a donation of 75 pounds of for a total of 150 pounds. Plus the Daily Journal reports the ranch also donated another $500 to the Food Bank in Ukiah. The ranch has been providing meet to the Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op and Harvest Market in Fort Bragg, butcher shops and restaurants here locally and in the Bay Area.

The Community Foundation in Mendocino County has grant money for nonprofits dealing with the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Grants of up to $100,000, depending on various criteria, are available. They are taking into consideration the nonprofits can prove they have less funding, and more demand for their services due to the pandemic; have a plan to reopen, following public health guidance; are of benefit to the general public or a broad sub-population; have the energy and organizational capacity to adapt and continue to have a sustainable, longterm influence in the community. The deadline to apply is Jan. 15.

The Ukiah Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan is in the midst of being reworked. Walk & Bike Mendocino, a partnership of North Coast Opportunities, and the City of Ukiah are working on the update and welcome community input. The plan helps the city work on bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, like where to have bike routes and lanes, crosswalks and close sidewalk gaps. The last plan was 5 and a half years ago. They hope to wrap up the update by this Spring.  

For those interested in participating with this advisory group, please respond by calling Walk & Bike Mendocino at (707) 467-3217 or email walkbike@ncoinc.org.  

The next tier of vaccine recipients teeing up in Lake County. The Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace says the next group are those over 75 and educators. The county has reportedly offered the vaccine to the first tier of healthcare workers, emergency responders and residents and staff of long-term care facilities. But the slow rollout of the vaccine across the country means we may not see everyone in Lake County vaccinated until the end of 2022. Pace says about 25,000-30,000 people in the county want the vaccine, but the county was only getting 300-400 doses a week through the health department.

The homeless shelter in Fort Bragg may continue in its current space.  Trinity Lutheran Church offered its space for a shelter towards the latter part of last year. The city took the church up on that, so they started to offer shelter to those without on New Year’s Day. They say there have been about eight guests/night. The church has offered to run the shelter thru mid-February, giving the city some time to find a new location after that, but now Trinity says they might be able to continue for another month, so the city would just need to get a space for the last 2 weeks of March. Mendo Voice reports last year the shelter continued beyond March. Hospitality Center puts the shelter together each year, an overflow situation from the year round Hospitality House facility. The Mayor telling the council Monday he had visited the church and the Pastor said they might be able to go thru March 15th. So there will be a meeting on the matter next Tuesday.

As the county announced there were several hundred doses of the coronavirus vaccine and six clinics this week, there has been confusion about who goes next. The county announced first and second doses, the seconds for those in the first tier who got their shots in December. There are still many more folks in the first tier of 1a and 1b who get to get their shots. Since the county announced the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds would be the site in Ukiah, there was a big line-up of folks there to get the shot this morning. In misty, cold weather, some in the over 75 group showed up, saying they had received a call from either their doctor’s office or the county Public Health Office. I called the Public Health Office and was told they were making calls to residents over 75 and telling them they could get the first shot at the Fairgrounds on a first come, first serve basis. One of our team members showed up after getting one of the calls, only to turn away after seeing hundreds lined up in the rain.

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