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The vaccine is on hold in Sonoma County. The county’s Office of Education was supposed to be administering local school employees with 1,100 doses of the Moderna vaccine yesterday, but the county’s 40 individual school districts and some private preschool providers, private schools, charter schools and colleges heard they were not getting the vaccines. Calls went out and 500 appointments were made by Friday. Then county officials rescinded the allotted doses for educators and others because self-serve appointments for the 75 and older group were being filled by others not in that age group.  The county’s calling it a miscommunication. The Press Democrat reports it follows Mendocino County’s Public Health Office announcing schools can reopen and Ukiah has a target date to get back to in person learning, something Sonoma County can’t do now if they’re not vaccinating school staff. The Public Health Office says those the worst off should get doses first and the county’s vaccine chief says schools will get a delayed allotment of 1,100 doses in two weeks.

The pressure’s on for schools to reopen in Calif. The Governor reportedly telling school officials to “pack it up” if they don’t restart in-person classes soon. But teacher’s unions are fighting back saying their members don’t want to come back to school before they get a vaccine. There is some in person learning elsewhere in the country, but in California, most schools remain closed, almost a year after the pandemic started. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had a study out recently showing little evidence of spread at schools if proper precautions are taken, like mask wearing, physical distancing and proper ventilation. The Gov. says he won’t force public schools to reopen and proposed a massive plan to reopen but superintendents, unions and lawmakers aren’t biting.

The California Attorney General’s Office is reportedly supportive of a lawsuit against a major new south Lake County resort and residential development. Lake Co News reports the Atty. General has filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit against the county’s approval and certification of an environmental impact report for the Guenoc Valley Mixed Use Planned Development Project, or Maha Guenoc Valley. The company Lotusland Investment Holdings has proposed a 16,000-acre project near Middletown. It would include 1,400 new homes, multiple hotels and almost 1,000 resort and hotel rooms.

State Sen. Mike McGuire says he’s got a way to get the ailing travel and hospitality industry back. He and his co-author Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva have introduced a bill to earmark $45 million for Visit California. The money would pay for a massive media and jobs recovery campaign so people come to Calif. for vacation or business travel. It would help boost the hard hit industry including restaurants, hotels, and local destinations. The money would be poured into newspapers and broadcast media, which have agreed to match the funds from the state. McGuire says the coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on so many Californians, and “some of the hardest hit are those 600,000 employees who lost their hospitality jobs”.

Several people have applied for one open seat on the Fort Bragg City Council. After former mayor William Lee left a seat open, nine people have applied. That means the city council will hold a special meeting tonight for public interviews for the nine. Someone has to be appointed by the end of March for the rest of a two year term. Town Hall is closed due to the COVID19 pandemic, so a special meeting’s on Zoom. The invite’s included in the City Council Agenda for which you can sign up to be notified about.

The Governor is asking Blue Shield of California to help with the massive task of vaccinating Californians. The nonprofit insurer has been approved with an emergency authorization, which cuts red tape with a lengthy and customary bidding process. Kaiser Permanente, the state’s largest health plan, is going to manage the effort and give any extra help. Blue Shield will put together a statewide vaccination network. The California Health and Human Services agency reported the change as the vaccination rollout has been something of a mish mash of county to county fending for themselves and no centralized system to manage the distribution.

The Ukiah High School Principal speaking to the Daily Journal says as kids continue to do distance learning there have been three issues, covering curriculum, engaging students, and caring for social and emotional health. Principal Gordon Oslund tells the paper it’s been hard for teachers too, using new ways to teach, but he says it’s getting smoother after feedback. But he says there are still students who don’t participate, turning their cameras off. He says many teachers have had issues with kids turning their cameras off, so they don’t know if the students understands what they’re presenting. They’ve started a new program though so students get free counseling during lunch period to make sure their emotional health is also being tended to.

The yearly point in time count in Lake County looked different, but organizers say more surveys were turned in this year. Because of inclement weather and the pandemic, they used digital surveys for the first time. The Point-in-Time (PIT) Count is required by the federal government and has to be done in the last part of January to count sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness. The chair of this year’s count says they won’t be totally done for several more weeks, but nearly 500 surveys were done by last week and they thought they’d get more too. So far it showed the county had 386 unsheltered and 200 homeless sheltered people. Last year there were 332 people were surveyed.

The state agency that oversees workplace safety, Cal OSHA is reportedly understaffed and apparently undercounting how many people across the state have gotten seriously ill or died because they got coronavirus as a result of their work or while on the job. Only 1,600 serious worker illnesses or deaths have been reported to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health since the start of the pandemic until the middle of last December. And only 779 of serious or deadly infections were contracted in the workplace. That’s out of more than 3 million people who have tested positive in California. It also only makes up less than 2% of over 41,000 who’ve died. The agency goes by employers reporting workplace infections, something lawmakers and health officials say is problematic in getting to the real count and the real risk from on the job infections.

Cal Osha has fined the Alameda County Sheriff for COVID violations after a deputy died. The $2,440 fine is for four non-serious violations. It doesn’t have the deputy’s name on the citation. It was Deputy Oscar Rocha who died after contracting the virus at the Santa Rita Jail. There was an investigation two days later, last July, and the fine was imposed last month. The Sheriff Dept. has since started a COVID Compliance Unit after being sued by a civil rights company advocating for better mental health and health care at the jail and the sheriff’s office. There’s a consultant on the case too, they were hired after the lawsuit was filed and reportedly found some COVID-related problems at the jail, but says the Sheriff’s Office is improving its coronavirus-related safety protocols. 

The Board of Supervisors Cannabis Cultivation Ad Hoc Committee is having an online town hall. The two Mendocino Supervisors John Haschak and Ted Williams are hosting the meeting a week from tomorrow at 4pm Zoom. They’ll be discussing working with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) on the State’s requirement for site-specific California Environment Quality Act (CEQA) review so that applicants can become eligible for a State Annual Cannabis Cultivation License.

How to attend:

To join via Zoom, click the link: https://mendocinocounty.zoom.us/j/88027314543

To join via phone, dial: +1 669 900 9128  and enter the webinar ID: 880 2731 4543

The webinar will also be streaming live on the County’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/mendocinocountyvideo) and the County’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/mendocinocounty/).

For more information, please contact Mendocino County Planning and Building Services Cannabis Program at (707) 234-6680.

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