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Governor Newsom vowing to fix the way the vaccines are being distributed. Newsom says instead of what we’re doing right now to roll out the shots, the state will move to a system where age is your eligibility. But first front line workers, including health care workers, food and agriculture workers, teachers, emergency personnel and seniors 65 and older will get their shots. Counties are varying their approaches though which has been a challenge to a seamless rollout. Gov. Newsom said yesterday his administration is working to simplify and standardize the process so all eligible Californians are vaccinated in a timely fashion. He’s launching a pilot program in a couple of large counties so residents get a notification when it’s their turn. So far the state has administered over 2.4 million of 4.5 million doses shipped.

The Gov has a plan for those who cannot afford their rent or their back rent when a moratorium went into place. The moratorium didn’t call for rent or mortgages, for that matter, to be wiped. Now the Governor along with the two legislative leaders are promising to pay off as much as 80% of most people’s unpaid rent. That’s only if landlord’s agree to wipe the other 20%. The legislature has to approve the plan because it will cost billions of dollars, but the money could come from federal relief dollars. It would also extend a law that’s supposed to end next Monday, February 1st that bans landlords from evicting people as long as they pay at least 25% of their rent.

We’re getting walloped winter storms lining up one behind the next. So Pacific Gas and Electric says customers should be prepared in case of weather-related power outages. They’re not planning any public safety power shutoffs but their meteorologists are warning the storm series will be an atmospheric river-type event including widespread heavy rain, gusty winds, and heavy, low-elevation snow. The first in the series due this afternoon and the system will continue thru Thursday. PG&E says it will be across their service area, but mostly in the Sierra foothills. If you’re in need of help for a weather related emergency, try calling 811.

The latest from the California Employment Development Department on scams that have plagued the agency along with a backlog of claims since the COVID-19 pandemic started. They’re running investigations and Lake Co News reports in Lake County the state found cases of unemployment benefit fraud too. There have been tens of thousands of cases that add up to at least $11 billion, even as high as $30 billion. That includes money going to prison inmates and other countries. The California District Attorneys Association says there’s “rampant and large-scale pandemic unemployment assistance fraud” and asked the Governor to get personally involved.

Since the state has lifted the regional stay at home orders it means both Lake and Mendocino, and more than 50 other counties across the state are back to the purple tier. After the Governor changed the state back to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, many of the state’s counties went to the strictest tier, but they can reopen outdoor dining and nail and hair salons. The change over the holidays was tied to ICU capacity. If a region was higher than 15% capacity they didn’t need to close those services. Tier updates are provided today and every Tuesday. The Lake County Public Health Officer says the county will stay in the purple tier today and that northern counties have had fewer restrictions than the southern areas.

Governor Newsom has launched a new ten day plan to get the state’s vaccination plan ironed out. At his press conference yesterday he said he’d be simplifying the way the vaccines are being distributed after all frontline healthcare workers get their shots. So far the state has been doling out over 40-100,000 vaccines/day. Thus far, the state has administered more than 2.4 million vaccines. The state is continuing through 65+, health care workers, and prioritize emergency services, food and agriculture workers, teachers and school staff. Then it’s going to age-based eligibility, so the state can start to vaccinate a whole lot more people, a whole lot faster, something Newsom says will get the vaccine to disproportionately impacted communities.

School teachers and other staff fall below front line workers on the vaccine schedule and with changes being made to how the vaccinations are being rolled out it’s a crap shoot as to when schools across the state will open. Education Source reports interviewing county schools’ chiefs and district leaders shows major differences in how schools are getting their staff vaccinated. The Governor has agreed to get teachers up higher on the priority list. And the California Teachers Association is saying getting school staff vaccinated is important, along with mass testing and contact tracing, improved ventilation systems and cleaning school campuses. In Sonoma County they report vaccinating medical workers still and no school staff. It’s up to local departments of public health to roll out the distribution of vaccines.

Congressman Mike Thompson working with a colleague from Pennylvania so expensive technology is more accessible for some. The Access Technology Affordability Act sponsored by Thompson and Congressman Mike Kelly to help make sure those who are blind can get access to the high-cost access technology so they can get jobs. The bill will offer a refundable tax credit for blind individuals so they can purchase items like screen readers and Braille embossers not normally covered by insurance. Thompson says the bipartisan bill can help blind individuals remain competitive in the workforce.

More than a dozen parent groups joining forces to get kids back to in person learning. Open Schools Calif includes parents from Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Richmond and other cities who want their kids to go back to campuses across the state. They say distance learning is a disaster for most students. So they want Calif. to work harder on safety measures to allow campuses to reopen for in-person instruction. The group, had been several separate parent organizations. They say they found they’d have a bigger impact if they worked together and lobbied at a statewide level. The say the parent voice is missing in the work to reopen schools.

Info on one of the latest deaths from COVID19 in the county. The 36th death was that of a woman over 75. The Mendocino County Public Health Office says a 77 year old White woman from the Ukiah area died at a hospital. There’s been 11 deaths the last month.

The owner of a gas station in Laytonville says someone drove off with the gas pump still in their car. Phil Gravier owns a Chevron station. He’s reaching out to the public to find his missing pump after a customer took off with it still attached to their van. Surveillance footage shows a man in a white Chrysler Pacifica van with California plates get gas, then take off with the nozzle still firmly inside his gas tank. The owner posted on Facebook they were last seen headed north away from the gas station. He asks if anyone happens to see the pump on the side of the road to please be in touch.

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