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Schools in Lake County are starting to research the best date for reopening for in person learning. The Record Bee reports Middletown and Lakeport Schools discussed possible start dates last week, with Lakeport coming up with March 8th, in 3 weeks. In Middletown they’ve been preparing, buying masks, and other personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies and sanitizer, portable hand washing stations and air purifiers for every classroom.  Lakeport is doing a lot of the same, following the last members of staff being vaccinated. The Middletown High School Principal said they should be reopening due to mental health and motivation, saying even a fraction of the interaction the students are having now is necessary. They’re also planning to start sports.

Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry has introduced legislation for the olive oil industry. Similar to wine and cannabis, Aguiar-Curry’s bill establishes when the word “California” can be placed on product labels and marketing. The Assemblywoman says it will protect California olive growers and manufacturers. The bill was introduced last year, but due to the pandemic, many bills were tabled so they could work mainly on COVID-19 related emergency legislation. Calif. produces about 4% of the world’s olive oil and apparently some of the products are from outside the state and have the word California on their labels with as little as 14% California olive oil in their blends.

After another marathon meeting of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, they hear from the public health officer and discuss forming committees. The board considering a new Public Safety Advisory Board but didn’t consider a recent piece of legislation so the county could also form a sheriff oversight board, so they put the item aside for now. They discussed with the Public Health Officer, Dr. Andy Coren four outbreaks of COVID19. One is pretty serious at the Mountain View Assisted Living Facility in Ukiah where 140 individuals have been infected. There was also an outbreak in Fort Bragg associated with 7 restaurants. Dr. Coren says their contract tracers were not getting far. So far the county has administered more than 11,000 vaccine doses.

The parents of a 12 year old boy say he ran away. So the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Search and Rescue teams are looking for Austin Darnell near Hidden Valley Lake. His mom posted on Facebook yesterday the boy had not been seen since that afternoon northeast of Hidden Valley Lake. They called police after about 4 hours and over 20 people started searching for him in rough terrain. They will continue today in what’s supposed to be a cold, rainy day.

A former planning commissioner from Lakeport is being honored by the City Council. The council is meeting tomorrow in closed session to discuss ongoing labor negotiations before presenting Ken Wicks, Jr. with a proclamation for years of service to the city. Lake Co News reports that includes almost ten years on the planning commission with his final term ending at the end of 2020. The city manager will also discuss working with a contractor to keep businesses in town and bring new ones in. The contract with the contractor was on hold due to the pandemic.

Sonoma County Supervisors are asking the Sheriff’s Office why there have been no citations for public health violations since the summer. The Press Democrat reports the Sheriff has also not turned in any records to the county since summertime on any formal actions. The newspaper reports after getting a public records request through, they found the sheriff had not sent data to the county since the early days of the pandemic when they issued over a dozen public health order warnings and cited or arrested eight people back in April. In May there were a handful of warnings and arrests related to criminal activity that included some violations of the health order. There were also complaints about a church that a deputy said weren’t there which went against a code enforcement write up. The Board of Supervisors cites numerous complaints and not a citation to match them.

The state can start to administer more vaccines as tier groups open up, but doses don’t come in. Starting the middle of March, anyone 16 to 64 with some kind of underlying condition could get the shots. Supplies are limited though, so it’s up to local jurisdictions to decide. Some parts of the state are not vaccinating some groups because they don’t have the inventory. Some vaccine sites were even closing in the state due to a lack of supplies. The Press Democrat reports almost 220,000 doses arrived last week and half are needed as second shots. The federal government has announced buying 600 million doses of both approved vaccines which we should have in hand before the end of July.

It’s been a minute since the Ukiah Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agency’s board met. 3 months ago, to be exact. Last week they held their first meeting of the new year which included adding new board members, adopting some new rules and a discussion on getting access to a couple of parcels of land so the groundwater monitoring network can be expanded. By state law they have to be prepared to fully regulate and manage groundwater usage by June 2022. The water, which comes from wells, has in the past been treated as private property. But that’s all changing so that aquifers and well water are managed locally and with the California Department of Water Resources (DWR).

Police in Ukiah report on a recent uptick in car theft attempts … Mendo Fever reports there was a string of attempted vehicle burglaries on Crestview Drive last Thursday night. Police reminding residents to keep your cars locked and to call them if you see anything suspicious in your area. They’re asking anyone who may have seen something or if you have video of the same to give them a call. Your call can be anonymous.

Ahead of Valentines Day PG&E was reminding to be cautious with metallic and other balloons. Apparently if they get close to overhead power lines, they can disrupt electric service, cause property damage and could lead to serious injuries. Last year there were over 450 power outages related to balloons, none of those in Lake or Mendocino counties though. But they were in PG&E territory, a 30 percent increase in balloon-caused outages from 2019. The utility company reported balloon-related outages in their top 5 cities of distribution were Bakersfield, San Jose, Oakland, Stockton and San Francisco.

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