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Monthly Archives: March 2021

A man has died after falling off a cliff near Albion. The Mendocino County Sheriff Office reports an elderly man slipped and fell about 60 feet into the ocean and died near the small community on the Mendocino coast. He was apparently visiting from out of state with family where they were staying in a rental on the bluff. Dispatchers sent rescuers yesterday afternoon around 4, including the Mendocino Water Unit, the Coast Guard, and a Reach air ambulance.

The Willits City Council has voted to pull out a Giant, dying Sequoia in Babcock Park. The council voted unanimously to fell the tree after it started to show signs of “failing health and distress” about two and a half years ago. A forester and arborist came out and examined the tree and a report was given to the council on the findings. The report said the tree, native to the Central Valley was sitting in saturated soil and had been compacted into he earth from activity at the park. He also said there were other trees looking similarly distressed at the park. The city surveyed residents on social media and the city website and got over 52% wanted the tree to be removed and only 11% against it. So more trees will be planted in its place.

It’s been a while since we’ve had an update on Measure B since the Board of Supervisors has been dealing with the pandemic for the last year. The board heard an update on the Crisis Residential Treatment Facility being built on South Orchard Avenue next to the Ukiah Post Office. There will also be a Mobile Crisis and Response Team the county is working with the Sheriff’s Office and the Ukiah Police Department on. They’ve hired a staff member for the team who will work with the Sheriff’s office.  They will also offer a Crisis Assessment and Psychiatric Hospitalization Aftercare Program through Redwood Community Services and a Psychiatric Health Facility. There will be 16-beds for 24/7 services, but there’s no physical facility for that yet.

Three people have been killed in a fire at a home in Clearlake Oaks. The Lake County sheriff’s office reports the fire in the Clear Lake Keys in a two story house where they believe two men, and woman possibly from the same family died. The fire yesterday morning gutted the home. North Shore Fire is investigating where the ignition point was and how it started. They have not officially identified the bodies, as they have to await a forensic examination for an official identification. The Sheriff’s office is asking anyone who may have information to call them or the Northshore Fire Protection District.

Health officials in Sonoma County voicing concern as thousands of students return to in person learning. The Press Democrat reports officials are asking residents to be cautious and vigilant with health and safety protocols. Some area private schools have been back to face to face learning for months, but public schools had been closed as the county sat in the purple tier in California’s Blueprint to Reopen the Economy. The newspaper reports almost 20,000 students at 30 different schools are either coming back to in person by the end of this week, or before April 15th. Santa Rosa schools are the largest in the county and open to thousands of kids tomorrow. The county’s head of vaccines says other school systems have pulled it off, and they’re hoping people understand how important the health measures are to keep case rates low.

The Lake County Public Health Officer has sent out a notice to encourage all residents to get the COVID19 vaccine as soon as they’re eligible. Dr. Pace says variants of the virus have been found in the county and people are more active now, but with restrictions loosened, it doesn’t mean the risk is lower. Dr. Pace says the virus is prevalent in the county so residents should still follow strict health protocols, wearing a mask, frequently wash or sanitize hands; and practice social distancing in all interactions with people outside of your household, especially those not fully vaccinated; and get the vaccine. He says the vaccines available have all proven to be quite effective, even against new strains. They’re conducting drive through vaccine clinics in Lakeport on Mondays and Clearlake on Tuesday thru Thursday. He says many appointments are still available this week for first and second doses. Schedule yours thru the state site  Anyone over 50 can get the vaccine starting tomorrow, then anyone over age 16 after April 15th.

A man from Ukiah’s been arrested after a parole search at his home turns up some marijuana and weapons. Last Friday Sheriff’s deputies conducted a warrant service and parole search at Larry Wolfe Jr’s house because there was a warrant for his arrest for a Parole violation. When they knocked, they say they could see him inside, but he wouldn’t answer the door. He finally surrendered and they went inside, finding a commercial quantity of processed cannabis packaged for sale. They say he also had a semi-automatic 9mm pistol with a loaded magazine and a collapsible, 9mm assault rifle, and a loaded high capacity 9mm magazine. That was concealed in a laptop computer case where there was a bunch of ammo too. So the guy was arrested on several charges including having ammunition as a prohibited person, unlawful possession of an assault weapon and possessing cannabis for sale.  He was held on $110,000.00 bail.

A man from Covelo’s been arrested after a fight with the mother of his child. Witnesses told deputies 21 year old Oscar Martinez was in a relationship with the 27 year old woman who he had a child with. There had been a physical altercation between the couple. She says Martinez punched her in the face, two times. Deputies say there were multiple injuries on the woman’s face. Martinez was not there, but they put a BOLO alert out for him for Domestic Violence Battery. He was caught later that morning and arrested on $25,000.00 bail.

A new doctor has started at Mendocino Coast Clinics. They put out a notice to welcome Dr. Patti Chico, a family medicine physician who they say is a perfect fit for the coastal community. She touts herself as a healer, a health coach and patient advocate as much as a doctor. She says she’s focused on patients’ physical and emotional needs. She graduated medical school five years ago and has worked in various settings, urban and rural.

The Clearlake City Council has decided after a year of closures due to the pandemic, they would reopen their meetings to the public. So, starting with their meeting tomorrow, the public can come back in person, but it will be with limited capacity, masks are mandatory as well as social distancing mandates. You can also catch the meeting on the city’s YouTube channel or PEGTV. They’re also offering Zoom participation. Tomorrow they will have some proclamations to read, hear an update from the Hope Center and hear discussions about a new Bus Stop Renovation and Promenade Improvement Project which has been bid for a half million dollars. The council will also hear a resolution from the Members of the measure V Citizen Oversight Committee.

Ukiah Unified School District Superintendent Debra Kubin has been named the 2021 Woman of the Year for Assembly District 2. Assemblyman Jim Wood says Kubin led an “amazing effort” during the pandemic not only to continue educating Ukiah’s students, but making sure over 3,000 students who needed food support got daily meals, including students even at charter and private schools. She also helped kids without computers secure Chromebooks as well as 150 hot spots for kids in remote areas of the district. Kubin has been the Superintendent for nearly a decade and has almost 30 years of experience in education.

Congressman Jared Huffman and other members of California’s congressional delegation are calling on the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors to reconsider a 10-year contract with Oshkosh Defense for up to 165,000 Next Generation Delivery Vehicles, which only a fraction of would be electric vehicles. Huffman had also introduced legislation to replace 75% of the postal service’s fleet with electric vehicles as part of the Postal Vehicle Modernization Act. Huffman put out a statement saying the delegation was dismayed to learn Postmaster General (Louis) DeJoy said there would only be 10% electric vehicles, and they heard even that amount was highly questionable because the manufacturer of the vehicles had little experience manufacturing electric vehicles.

Another year of drought like conditions has left little water storage in area lakes. The Press Democrat reports the extremely low rainfall has meant low levels in Lakes Sonoma and Mendocino. The lowest, the paper reports, for this time of year since the reservoirs were filled decades ago. The water is especially low in Lake Mendocino which provides water for municipal and rural users in Ukiah and is responsible for producing flows in drier months for the Upper Russian River. Lake Sonoma was at about 63% of its storage capacity and Lake Mendocino had around 45%. The two lakes provide drinking water for over 600,000 people in Sonoma, Mendocino and Marin counties.

Two people are dead after a giant redwood tree fell on top of their car in Northern Calif. The CHP reports the 175-foot-tall redwood fell on Jessica and Jake Woodruff’s car while the two were on a road trip along the California coast. It happened last Thursday in Del Norte on Highway 199 outside Crescent City. The CHP reports the couple, celebrating Jennifer’s 45th birthday were driving along part of the highway in a very forested area near Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.  A GoFundMe was started for the couple’s five children. There was about $80,000 raised as of yesterday.

The 2 U.S. senators and nearly two-dozen congressional representatives for Calif. are asking the Agriculture and Interior departments to change the state to a year round firefighting force due to the amount of fires, how long they last, when they start, and when they end. Saying there are no longer traditional fire seasons in the state so they want to reclassify more seasonal federal firefighter positions as permanent. A letter was sent to the two new Biden administration officials, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland signed by Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla and 21 members of Congress which came after another devastating wildfire season last year in Calif.

Forest land management strategy top of mind for Mendocino National Forest staff. They’re discussing what moves they’ll make after the massive 2020 August Complex fire that burned for 2 months over more than 1,030,000 acres. As a reminder, the meeting is online Thursday through Microsoft Teams ( or by calling 202-650-0123 (conference ID: 377 848 755#).  The forestry staff have come up with a phased approach to remediate the land where the fire scorched the earth, removing dead trees, thinning the forest and trying to reduce the risk of more catastrophic fires in the future.

A new woodchipper will help with fuel reduction and hazardous tree removal in Mendocino County. An announcement of the purchase by the County, Mendocino County Resource Conservation District, Mendocino County Fire Safe Council, and the Redwood Valley-Calpella Fire Department. The purchase was made through a Hazardous Tree Removal grant provided by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection with California Climate Investments funding. The County was able to win the grant in partnership with the Resource Conservation District and Fire Safe Council. The chipper will be used for fuel reduction mostly in Redwood Valley and supporting other projects in other parts of the County when not needed in Redwood Valley.

A massive controlled burn is planned by CalFire in Mendocino County. The burn is planned throughout the week until next Monday south of Yorkville, near Upper Rancheria Creek in the southeastern section of Mendocino County, south of Highway 128, and north of Cloverdale. As a reminder, you may see aircraft and smoke in the area. Weather permitting they’ll be working as part of the Vegetation Management Program to reintroduce fire as a natural element of the ecosystem.

For prescribed burning notifications, residents are encouraged to follow the CAL FIRE Mendocino Unit on Twitter:, Instagram and on Facebook:

Money is coming to some Lake County Indian Tribes from the federal government to fight coronavirus. Lake Co News reports the Indian Housing Block Grant funding comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. $450 million is going to tribes across the country and $31 million will go to California tribes.  It will go to help tribes with affordable housing and to protect the safety and health of tribal members and communities. These types of grants are generally used for low-income American Indian and Alaska Native families. It’s for use for housing development, operation and maintenance, modernization of existing housing, housing services to eligible families and individuals, housing management services, crime prevention and safety activities and more. The news site reports all 7 of Lake County’s tribes will get funds.

More schools are beginning to reopen in Lake County now that they’ve entered the red tier in the state’s COVID-19 Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Only two new school districts had opened in January, Upper Lake and Lucerne Elementary which are all in hybrid learning. The Lake County Office of Education reported schools were open since last August for in-person classes. Same with the Lake County International Charter School.  Konocti Unified opened for kindergarten through sixth grade Feb. 22nd and seventh through 12th just came back March 22nd, a month later. Kelseyville’s kindergarten through fifth graders returned March 8, and sixth through 12th last Monday.  Lakeport reopened March 8 with younger kids, phasing in the older students and the same for Middletown schools which started phased reopening at the beginning of March.

Discrimination, hate crimes, and micro-aggressions after COVID-I9 surfaced have been directed at Asian Americans and Mendocino College has put out a statement to denounce it all. The college says since the outbreak of the virus in Wuhan, China, the infection has grown and it’s not due to ethnicity. The statement goes on to say the World Health Organization has cautioned against using geographic descriptors because they can fuel ethnic discrimination. The virus has been referred to as the “Chinese virus,” and “Kung-Flu” which the college says is inaccurate and stigmatizing, can incite fear and xenophobia, and may put Asian Americans at risk of retaliation. The college joining cities, counties, and states across the country affirming its commitment to the safety and well-being of Asian Americans and to fight hate crimes targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Congressman Mike Thompson has announced Crystal Martin and Carol Huchingson are the 2020 and 2021 Women of the Year in Lake County.  Thompson honors women from his Congressional District annually who he finds have made exceptional contributions to the community. This year Thompson announced both 2020 and 2021 women of the year because last year’s celebration was cancelled due to the pandemic. Crystal Martin, Thompson says “is a dedicated and tireless advocate for justice”. She is the Lake County District Attorney’s Victim-Witness Program Administrator and the 2020 Woman of the Year. For this year, he announced Lake County’s Administrative Officer, Carol Huchingson, who he called “a bedrock of Lake County”.

Congressman Mike Thompson has had another of his online meetups for constituents regarding the pandemic and the economy. His latest, was to cover the latest stimulus package. This, the first under the Biden Administration, the American Rescue Plan. He was joined by the Lake County Public Health Officer, Dr. Gary Pace; along with other officials and business owners throughout the 5th Congressional District. He talked about what was in the plan, including money to distribute vaccinations, direct payments to individuals and families, money for schools, states and cities and businesses. Dr. Pace says there will still be surges of the virus, but deaths and severe illness won’t happen the same way because the most vulnerable people are now vaccinated and protected. Pace says “the more people we get covered the more we’re going to be able to get back to normal, and the less suffering there’s going to be.”

The Ukiah Library is reopening. Starting today after a year of curbside service, in person service reopens. It’s this afternoon from 1 to 5, same with Thursday.  For the last year, there have been virtual programs online, curbside pickup of books and other library materials by appointment, e-books, audiobooks, films and music recordings available 24/7 for free to county residents with a library card. The reopened Library thanks to the county entering the red tier in California’s Blueprint to Reopen the Economy. You may have to wait in line to get in due to social distancing. Facial coverings are required, and there will be no seating or available restrooms for now. Also, no shared computer access.

Five more vaccination clinics are planned in the county. Mendocino County Public Health has set the clinics up this week, today is the Pfizer second dose event at the Ukiah Fairgrounds from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for those who got their first dose March 9th and had their second-dose appointment set at that time. Tomorrow it’s the Moderna event at the Fairgrounds from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. You are eligible if you got your first dose March 3rd. Again on Thursday for Pfizer from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for those who got their first dose March 11th or 13th. And for Moderna again, but at the “The Woods” in Little River Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for those who got the first dose March 4th. Friday again for Pfizer second dose at the Caspar Community Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for those inoculated March 12th.

A man from Clearlake has been arrested in Willits after being found with drugs while having a warrant out for his arrest.  The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office id’d Joseph Fitzgerald and they knew the woman he was with, Allison Strout from previous contacts. Fitzgerald was arrested as they found about 5 grams of suspected heroin in two containers, meth in a backpack and a scale. Strout was on formal probation with a search term and found to have a warrant for her arrest from Humboldt County. They found 2 grams of suspected meth on her, two used glass pipes, a measuring spoon with a black/brown substance in the spoon and burn marks on bottom of the spoon. Also 20 small unused clear plastic baggies and two cell phones. The two were arrested for various crimes including possession of a controlled substance for sale and conspiracy to commit a felony. Fitzgerald was booked on $27,500.00 bail, but Strout was released due to the pandemic.

A man from Nice has been arrested for driving erratically in Ukiah. Deputies say Mark Nielson was arrested last Friday after he suddenly pulled to the side of the road. While speaking to him, the deputy found the car had been stolen from Lake County.  He was arrested for being in possession of a stolen vehicle and while being searched three blue tablets were found on him. They’re commonly referred to as “M30” or “Fetty” and contain Fentanyl.  “M30” pills, and Fentanyl in other forms, have been identified as the cause of many drug overdose medical emergencies and deaths throughout Mendocino County.  He’s booked into jail for possessing a stolen vehicle and possession of a controlled narcotic. Due to the pandemic he was released with a promise to appear in court at a later date.

A man is in Mendocino County Jail facing arson charges after Fort Bragg Police say he started three fires over the weekend. It started with a report of a structure fire in the 300 block of North Harbor Drive Friday morning that was determined to be arson. Then Friday evening, an officer responded to a report of a prowler in the 300 block of Perkins street, where they chased a man along the railroad tracks near Rose Memorial Cemetery. That officer discovered a fresh brush fire before catching the suspect. Police say they then discovered 47-year-old Robert Fielden on surveillance video taken at the home on Perkins showing him attempting to set a third fire there. When he was arrested, officers found he had butane torches, methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia on him. Fort Bragg Police ask that you check your surveillance video between 7:30 to 9:00 am Friday morning to help identify Fielden’s location. You can find video of him on their Facebook page.

Lake County is celebrating a milestone. At least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine has been distributed to one third of residents age 16 and older. Vaccine eligibility will start to extend this week with people age 50 and older able to receive the shot starting Thursday. All who are 16 and older will become eligible on April 15.

Ukiah Unified School District begins its Spring Break today and students don’t have to report back to class until next Tuesday. The district is holding a special COVID-19 testing clinic on Monday, April 5 for those who traveled over the break or who gathered in groups. It will be open from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Pomolita Middle School Library.

The Mendocino County District Attorney history series continues with George Abram Sturtevant. He served as the county’s 13th D.A. Before becoming a San Francisco Superior Court Judge, Sturtevant served two terms as D.A. In the1890s. His family has a road named after them in the Hopland area and a home he built still stands to this day on the grounds of Dan Fetzer’s Jeriko Estate Winery north of Hopland.

A man stopped for a traffic violation in Ukiah has been arrested on drug charges and resisting arrest. The Sheriff’s Dept. reports a deputy pulled Lewis Dishman over after midnight last Sunday morning and when Dishman opened the center console to get his ID, the deputy saw meth pipe and told the guy to get out of the car and he was being arrested. The man became agitated, but was handcuffed and when the deputy walked Dishman to his patrol vehicle, he says he shoulder checked him and tried getting away. He was taken down on the ground and backup officers showed up to help. Dishman was arrested finally for possession of drug paraphernalia, violation of probation, and resisting or threatening an officer and held on $15,000.00 bail.

A man from Willits pulled over for a traffic stop by a deputy has been arrested for being in a stolen car. Deputies say, not only that, but Martin Briggs also first took the deputy on a chase. With lights turning and sirens blaring, Briggs drove recklessly, even crossing into the opposing lane of traffic as the deputy pursued him. He crashed head on into an overpass support pillar and was arrested for having the stolen vehicle, evading a peace officer with reckless driving, and evading a peace officer by driving on the wrong side of the highway. Because of the pandemic emergency court order though, his bail was set at zero and he was released.

A man from Covelo has been arrested for a warrant. A deputy stopped Augustine Frease and his passenger, Kathy Genet. They found Frease was also on Mendocino County Post Release Community Supervision probation (PRCS) so he was arrested for the warrant. The deputy then searched the car and found drugs attached to Frease’s keys, a meth pipe in a pocket on the driver’s side door and a meth pipe in a bag on the front passenger floorboard.  Also, on Genet, the same. They found a meth pipe on her and drugs in her possession. Frease was taken to jail and held on $25,000 bail, but Genet was released with a ticket to appear in court.

The Mendocino County Public Health Officer reports the county has identified different strains of coronavirus in samples taken last month. The random samples were specifically for variant testing, and Dr. Coren of the office, says they found 4 different strains. Just Wednesday, the public health office was alerted they found the B.1.4.7 (West Coast Variant), B.1.4.9 (West Coast Variant) and the B.1.2 category, which are U.S. variants. The West Coast variants have shown to have a 20% higher transmission rate and were a little more resistant to antibody therapies, which Coren says should be of “significant concern for Mendocino County residents”. He says scientists are still trying to figure out if the variants are resistant to the vaccine though. He reminds to keep up with the public safety guidelines, of continuing to wear a mask, social distancing and good hand hygiene. 

Some impacted by wildfires in Calif. are getting fresh help. ReCoverCA is offering help to wildfire survivors from the 2017 and 2018 disasters. With that, the California Department of Housing and Community Development is doing a 2018 Disaster Housing Assistance Survey for victims of the 2018 wildfires and will replace a single family or manufactured home for the 2017 or 2018 qualifying disasters. Homes that were either destroyed or damaged in the 2017 firestorm could bring $150,000 to the victim to build and for the 2018 disasters, up to $200,000. They say those in the low to moderate income category will get priority.

To see if you qualify to participate in the ReCoverCA Owner-Occupied Housing Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program, please take the 2017 or 2018 Disaster Housing Assistance Survey.

It won’t be long until anyone who wants a vaccine in California can get one. Next week, those over 50 will be eligible, then over the age of 16 two weeks later. The Governor made the announcement yesterday that will mean no rules or limitations for eligibility as the state starts to ramp up distribution. The state of Calif. is expecting 2.5 million doses a week next month, and 3 million a week towards the later part of April. Right now, we’re at about 1.8 million doses a week. So far the state says, they’ve administered more than 15 million coronavirus vaccines. And that they say has led to less infections in recent weeks after a winter surge, and another last summer.

A new rule could change the way courts decide bail. The state Supreme Court has ruled Thursday that judges need to decide if a suspect is able to pay bail, before they set it. That could mean those without shelter or work would just be released until their trial date. They can however seek electronic monitoring, regular check-ins with authorities or make sure the suspect stays in a shelter or goes thru drug and alcohol treatment. But the court said if a financial condition is necessary a court has to consider the ability of the person who was arrested to pay the stated amount of bail. But to protect the community, a suspect cannot be released, but the court would have to provide “clear and convincing evidence that no condition short of detention could suffice.”

Planned upgrades for sidewalks in Ukiah have been approved for safety reasons. The Daily Journal reports after the city council had a presentation from the associate director of the Ukiah Valley Association of Habilitation/Mayacama Industries, who help those with various disabilities, changes needed to be made. She said there had been some close calls at the crosswalk in the 900 block of South Dora St. near St. Mary of the Angels Catholic School where cars almost hit people. So at the council meeting last week they agreed to upgrade sidewalks and put in speed reducers. There will be added curb extensions on both sides of the cross walk, median speed reducers and improved crosswalk striping for about $45,000.

Several bills have been introduced by state lawmakers regarding hate crimes, but CalMatters reports many have died in committees. A new study shows after some highly visible hate crimes against Asian Americans, lawmakers are bringing some of those old bills back again even though they had been rejected in the past. CalMatters reports that Democratic Assemblymember David Chiu of San Francisco has reintroduced his bill from 4 years ago saying he believe there was not the sense of urgency then that there is now. His bill would require the state attorney general to have a toll-free number so hate crimes could be reported. He says the mass murder that happened two weeks ago in Atlanta was a wakeup call for “what those in the Asian American community have been experiencing for quite some time.”

Hope Rising says they’re strengthening their programs to fight opioid drug abuse. They gave out over 1,600 Narcan kits in 2019-20, the drug reverses an overdose. That went to not only community members, but also to Native American tribes, and local businesses who they say were directly connected to 40 overdose reversals and lives saved. The program through SafeRx’s prescribing guidelines which Hope Rising’s executive director says they’ve been also depending on for their Youth Opioid Response Initiative., a website and related Instagram account have gotten more than 2 million media impressions since its inception. https://findyourwayca. com/lake-county.

Some cattle on the road made a mess of things on the 101 near Hopland. Mendo Fever reports hearing on the scanner yesterday mid-morning several law enforcement agencies were on the scene where a cattle transport truck reportedly lost several animals. One of them died and two ran loose. Responding officers said there were three cows over a one mile stretch of the highway near mile-marker 3.97 in the northbound lane near Frog Woman Rock.

An executive order meant to help victims of wildfires against price gouging has been announced by the governor’s office.  Governor Newsom issued the order yesterday that he says will further help communities recover from fires that burned across Calif. last year. The order lengthens the amount of time businesses can raise fees for those who may have been impacted by various wildfires in August and September 2020. The order calls it the most destructive wildfire season in California history where nearly 10,000 fires scorched over 4.25 million acres of land and destroyed or damaged more than 10,000 structures, including more than 5,000 homes. So the order says the price gouging protections put in place last September are extended.

CalFire’s Mendocino Unit is planning a big, prescribed burn near Yorkville and the Upper Rancheria Creek in the southeastern portion of Mendocino County. It’s also outside Cloverdale so aircraft and smoke will be visible across a large swath of land. It’s happening all next week, Monday thru the following, Monday, March 29th to April 5th from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, weather and air quality conditions permitting. The burn will be conducted under very tight restrictions for the personal safety of firefighters and area residents. They say if it appears at all it cannot be conducted in a safe manner, due to high winds or local fire activity, the burn will be cancelled. The goal is to reintroduce fire as a natural element of the ecosystem and improve wildlife habitat, plus forest thinning.

Drought warning for the west has both state and federal officials sending warnings about California’s summer water supply. The warnings for farmers and others from the Department of Water Resources. The agency changed its forecast for water deliveries to both cities and farms that are part of the State Water Project that there will only be a 5% allocation of contracted supplies. That’s down from the 10% forecasted in December. Water for farmers in the Central Valley Project mostly comes from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. They said because of current hydrological conditions, the 5% water allocation that had been promised south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is no longer available. The Gov. has not officially declared a drought, but some state agencies are said to be preparing.

Visitors are being allowed once again at California state prisons after a year without. Limited visits begin again on April 10th after the virus killed over 215 inmates and 26 corrections dept. employees.  Public health restrictions will be in place like temperature taking, symptom screening, virus testing, physical distancing, face masks, and limits on how many visitors can come into facilities and how long they can be there. It’ll be up to individual prisons to decide if there will be visits throughout the facility, or just sections. And opening dates may vary depending on virus activity. The worst outbreak was at San Quentin which has spurred a lawsuit after a transfer of inmates, not necessarily all tested, who went to the prison and infected others, 25 inmates and one correction officer died there.

Counties hear every Tuesday if they get to move ahead in the Blueprint to Reopen the Economy in California. The Department of Public Health has confirmed that Trinity County will enter the Orange Tier. That means restaurants are opened indoors with 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is less, wineries and tasting rooms at 25% or 100 people, whichever is less, bars, breweries, and distilleries are still only outdoors, retail is indoors at full capacity, churches and other places of worship, indoors at 50% or 200 people, whichever is fewer, Hotels, Resorts, Lodging Entities are open with certain modifications, gyms at 25% capacity, indoor pools can reopen, but hot tubs, saunas, and steam rooms have to stay closed.

It was only a test, but half of the Tsunami Warning Test notifications didn’t work in one county. Yesterday 12 sirens were supposed to go off, only six did in Humboldt County. A spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office says they’re activated remotely, so they need to make sure they function if they’re turned on manually, and if not, they may have a motor or electricity issue. Apparently, they’ve not had a consistent funding source for maintenance of the sirens. Mendocino and Trinity counties also ran the warning system tests yesterday. No word so far if there were any glitches in either of those counties.

A healthy real estate market is one result of the COVID19 pandemic in Lake County. Lake Co News reports it’s a sellers’ market. Homes pretty much selling right away and close to what the sales price is pegged at. The news site reports there were less days on the market for the homes for sale last month. There were 120 homes for sale, down nearly 60% from 2020. The median price for single family home in Lake County is $327,000, up almost 40% from last year. And the news site reports the median amount of days homes sit on the market, was just over one month. But in Kelseyville, almost 2 months and in Clearlake only 2 weeks. And data showed homes in all cities went for pretty close to their selling price. 

The federal government’s prescription drug take back program is happening again in Lakeport. The Police Dept. taking part this year in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. It’s happening Saturday, April 24th between 10 and 2 at the police station. They’ll have a drop off site there. They require those turning drugs in to adhere to pandemic guidelines, by wearing a facial covering and making sure to physically distance from others. You will also have to stay inside your car. They’ll accept all over-the-counter or prescription meds that are in pill, tablet or capsule form. They have to be outside of their containers in plastic baggies though. They will also collect vape pens or other e-cigarettes, but the batteries need to be removed. They’re not accepting any illegal drugs, needles, inhalers and aerosol cans.

Officers in the Ukiah Police Department won honors for the last year including a pair who helped a man who collapsed in a grocery store parking lot. The Daily Journal reports officers Alex Cowan and Patrick Infante were at the Lucky supermarket last July in the 500 block of East Perkins Street for reports of the man down. Paramedics were called to the scene by the two officers who found the man with a “weak pulse, shallow breathing and unresponsive.” The two officers used an automated external defibrillator on him. He was then taken to a hospital. Apparently, he did have some sort of heart condition. Chase Rigby was Officer of the Year as well for his daily duties within the department, working to remove illegal drugs from the street and find stolen vehicles too.

There’s been loads of reports throughout Northern Calif. of overdoses from methamphetamine pills laced with Fentanyl. According to the Mendocino County Public health Officer, Fentanyl can take many forms, as a pill, in powder or liquid and is highly addictive. Dr. Coren says even a small dose can easily be fatal. So the Mendocino County Public Health and Mendocino County Behavioral Health & Recovery Services (BHRS), Substance Use Disorders Treatment (SUDT) are working to help residents addicted to opioids and remind them of the dangers of substance use. The county reminds it has resources to help anyone wanting it. They can call 707-472-2624. Also if you think you may have ingested the substance, please reach out immediately to your local emergency room, or call 911. And if you have some, to avoid physical contact with the substance and please contact your local law enforcement.

The Lake County Public Health Officer says the demand for coronavirus vaccines is waning. Dr. Gary Pace at the Board of Supervisors regular meeting Tuesday saying they’re not filling all available vaccine appointments. He says now that we’re using the state’s website to find an appointment, it may be due to that, because it’s been confusing switching to the state’s MyTurn vaccination appointment system. As of this week, those over 50 years old are eligible, but there were technical issues Tuesday causing some to not be able to get an appointment. He did say however that the supply is improving and the county should do outreach to those who may be hesitant to get the vaccine.

A bill has been introduced in the Calif. Legislature after the mass shootings a week apart in Colorado and Georgia. Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel has introduced the measure requiring law enforcement to use guns manufactured with microstamping technology showing a unique mark on bullet casings linking them to a specific firearm. The bill, if it passes, would follow another from 14 years ago requiring all new semiautomatic pistols be made with that microstamping technology. But it’s apparently not taken seriously because there have been no new handgun models since then.

A case of Deja vu turned out to be nothing. Several dozen heavily armed police officers responded to the Veterans Home of California in Yountville after a report of a possible active shooter. But there were no shots fired, nor a suspected shooting or gun anywhere on the complex. It all happened yesterday, a day after a mass shooting in Boulder, CO and a week after another in Atlanta. There was also a mass shooting at the Yountville home in 2018 where three staff members were killed. The campus is a nonprofit residential treatment center for veterans who have been traumatized. The mayor of the town says thankfully, nobody was hurt, after reports that a woman was on campus with a long gun. The campus went on lockdown for about 4 hours until they had the all clear.

A reminder of a tsunami warning test along the coast. This morning at 11 and for the next hour after there will be sirens sounded throughout Del Norte, Humboldt, and Mendocino counties. There will be radio, TV and weather station alerts. They are testing to make sure all are in working order. There is nothing to do, and nobody call. Also a reminder, that it’s a test, and you do not need to evacuate your home or business.

Levels in both Lake Mendocino and Lake Pillsbury are very low for this time of year and there’s really no rain in the forecast in coming days. Earlier this month there was also a reduced water supply alert for the Russian River Flood Control and Water Conservation Improvement District. They send water to several areas including Willow, Millview, Redwood Valley, and Calpella. Yesterday the California Water Resources Board released a “dry year letter”. In other words, the continued dry conditions may threaten water supplies, impair critical habitat, reduce recreational opportunities, and create uncertainty for all water users.

A request for proposals is being offered to farmers in Mendocino County for a two year industrial hemp cultivation pilot program. The deadline to apply is this Friday. The county can have five applicants for the program, and so far, as of yesterday, there were zero who even applied to be part of the program. The county’s Agriculture Department had a representative at a recent Board of Supervisors meeting. Then Supervisors unanimously agreed to proceed.  So if they end up getting applicants, they’ll be part of a 2 year program who registers with the state department of Food & Agriculture who have to pay a $900 registration fee, and possibly other related fees. They need a minimum of a 10th of an acre, but they could scale up during the program.

After a year of having their physical doors closed, the Willits Library is reopening. It will be a phased-in approach starting Monday. It comes because the county has finally hit the Red Tier in California’s Blueprint to Reopen the Economy. Staffers are still working on the hours and expect to announce that soon. They will only open with 25% capacity or about 12 people at one time two afternoons a week. Photocopiers and printers are open to the public and computers and bathrooms are not available so folks don’t hang out too long.  There will be installed air purifiers, air filters in the HVAC system and hand sanitizer, and you must wear a mask inside at all times.

The Lake County Public Health officer has reported to the regular Board of Supervisors meeting on the vaccine rollout. Dr. Gary Pace says so far, so good and told Supervisors the state was going to help, by sending personnel to staff vaccination clinics. It was the first Supervisors meeting in some time with members of the public allowed in person. It’s because the county’s now in the Red Tier. Some were still on Zoom, as was one supervisor. Dr. Pace says case numbers of COVID19 continue going down. The positivity rate is now at 1.7 percent, the lowest since the start of the pandemic.

A North Coast legislator is a new dad. Senator Mike McGuire, who covers Lake, Trinity and Mendocino Counties, and his wife, have brought their first child into the world. On Sunday, McGuire’s wife Erika gave birth to a baby boy. McGuire posted on Facebook that his son was healthy, happy and nursing like a champ. He also said they’re sleep deprived. McGuire represents the Second Senate District.

Four people are needed by Lake County to be on the new committee just created to plan community visioning forums to promote tolerance, respect, equity and inclusion. It comes after the Board of Supervisors, who each read a provision from the proclamation that their upmost priority would be to promote tolerance, respect, equity and inclusion. The vote was unanimous. The board is working on listening sessions for the public now. The four volunteers will be tasked with making sure the forums are inclusive and effective.

Looking ahead to a plan for affordable housing in Calif. as state lawmakers work on ways to help those at risk of homelessness, especially now during the pandemic. The state is in need of nearly 2 million new housing units within 4 years, but the Dept. of Housing and Community Development says so far there are only about 80,000 being built each year as the amount of shelterless individuals in the state was at over 161,000 before COVID-19. Housing  Calif. is working on a 10-year strategy which they’re releasing to the public tomorrow, saying it goes beyond bills in the Legislature, and would help remove any obstacles to get construction going in places with little or no union labor.

The Mendocino County Public Health Officer says there’s no evidence, so far, of any known Covid-19 variants locally, but there have only been two tests conducted. The Daily Journal reports Dr. Andy Coren told the Board of Supervisors yesterday that the county cannot yet automatically have tests for variants, that they need to be manually sent with that intention. He also told Supervisors since schools are reopening, there’s been a slight increase in new cases, that were connected to those associated with schools, both teachers and students. As far as the vaccine goes, Dr. Coren says, there’s not enough for first doses this week, so they’re only doing second doses at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley after they secured doses from a sister hospital in (Los Angeles) last week for the clinic.

A man from Ukiah’s been killed in a solo car crash on Hwy 23. The CHP reports the man was in a Mazda Miata convertible on the highway Sunday when he went over the double yellow lines for some unknown reason near Mile Marker 12.75, then traveled back into his lane, then left the road, hit a dirt embankment and overturned, landing on its roof. He’s been identified as 80 year old Herbert Elmore Henrickson of Ukiah. The CHP reports they’re still investigating, and said it was unclear whether drugs or alcohol were involved.

After last year’s historic August Complex Fire, Mendocino National Forest staff is having a town hall on their current forest land management strategy. The fire was started by lightning and burned an astounding 1,032,648 acres from Aug. 16 through Nov. 12 across several counties. It’s the first Gigafire the state has ever had, the largest in California’s recorded history. Inside the Mendocino National Forest, the fire burned more than 612,000 of the forest’s 913,300 acres. Forestry workers have a phased approach to help the forest land recover, including taking out dead trees, thinning concentrations of more dead trees so there are no other severe wildfires, replant, then assess watersheds for further restoration.

The meeting will be available online next Thursday from 4-6pm through Microsoft Teams ( or by calling 202-650-0123. Presenter slides will only be visible to online attendees.

Meeting attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions about the forest’s strategy as well as the Plaskett-Keller Project. The virtual meeting will be recorded and posted on the forest’s August Complex Restoration webpage at

The Lake County Board of Supervisors has unanimously agreed they will make “Promoting Tolerance, Respect, Equity and Inclusion” among their utmost priorities. Each supervisor read part of the new Proclamation, and affirmed they were committed to have Community Visioning Forums to come up with priorities in the categories to “build bridges, where there may be walls; foster tolerance, respect, understanding, equity and inclusion; promote non-violence and non-violent conflict resolution; focus resources on underlying causes and conditions that lead to inequitable resource and justice distribution; and find relevant solutions for any social injustices, as they may come to light. They’re now coming up with listening sessions and are looking for four community members to help ensure they are inclusive and effective.

Two people in a travel trailer in Ukiah have been arrested for burglary. The Lake County Sheriff’s Dept. say they got a call from Ukiah police about a possible burglary where someone was ripped off in Lucerne. Deputies reported to the travel trailer and found John Buckhanan and Rochelle Slaybaugh. Buckhanan had a felony arrest warrant from Stanislaus County for stolen property, so he was arrested. They also found stolen items in the travel trailer from a rip off in Stanislaus County. They found tools too, stolen from the victim in Ukiah. They also found a short-barreled shotgun, a handgun, and ammo for various guns, miscellaneous rifle parts, burglary tools, and Heroin and Meth. Buckhanan was charged with various crimes and Slaybaugh for being under the influence. More charges could be coming.

People are needed to sit on the 2021/2022 Mendocino County Civil Grand Jury. Applications are being accepted at Superior Court for consideration. The Presiding Judge of the Civil Grand Jury made the announcement. The application deadline is Friday, May 28th. Then the Grand Jury will be sworn in at the end of June. They will have 19 members for one year. They’re tasked with investigating the operations of county, city and district governments; they provide civil oversight of local government departments and agencies; and respond to citizen complaints. They set their own agenda and meeting schedule. Jurors get paid $25 per full panel meeting, $10 per committee meeting and committee attendance at public meetings. They also get their mileage reimbursed at the current County of Mendocino rate.

A man in Fort Bragg has been arrested after reports of a teenager being raped. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports getting a call last Tuesday from the mother of a 16 year-old girl who said her daughter was raped a day before. Apparently she was given booze, got too drunk to provide consent and was sexually assaulted. Police served a search warrant at a home and found Robert Devito Jr. and arrested him. He’s charged with rape of an intoxicated person, oral copulation of an intoxicated person and statutory rape of a person with more than a 3-year age difference. He was being held on $100,000.00 bail and the Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who may know anything about this incident or other incidents involving Devito to call them.

The Mendocino County Public Health Dept. reports over 40 percent of adults in the county have had at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, and almost 20 percent have had both or are fully vaccinated. The Public Health Officer, Dr. Andy Coren said about a quarter of the eligible population has been given at least one shot. In Ukiah, officials say the vaccine supply is coming slower than expected, so they’re focusing on the second dose in the county. The Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been given to inmates and will also be directed toward the homeless since it’s just a single dose.  So far there have been 3,920 cases and 46 deaths in Mendocino County.  There are currently 2 people in the hospital, one in the ICU.

Vaccine eligibility is starting to loosen in Calif. Some counties are filling appointments by allowing those 50 and older with or without underlying health conditions to get the vaccine. That’s happening in Contra Costa County as of yesterday. And in Solano County where they had open appointments. But in the Bay Area the eligibility is restricted to residents 65 or older, people 16-64 with disabilities and certain health conditions and employees in certain industries, especially schools, in healthcare and public facing jobs. The last week there have been millions more who have become eligible, but there’s still not enough supply to meet the demand.

The legislature is considering a new rule to end a distinction in language outlining spousal rape as opposed to other forms of sexual assault. Twin bills are being considered on the matter, that would go against what the law is now, that anyone convicted of spousal rape can be eligible for probation instead of prison or jail, and they might not have to register as a sex offender, but if it’s rape of another kind, they would have to register. So spousal rape is not treated as harshly, according to the author of one of the bills, Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia who says, “Rape is rape, regardless of marital status.” California is one of less than a dozen states still drawing a line between spousal rape and rape.

There are issues once again with the state’s unemployment benefits department. The Employment Development Dept.’s website reports “intermittent issues” which has meant it’s taking longer to certify those applying and others to continue to get their benefits. Those who get benefits have to sign in every couple of weeks. On Sunday, there were problems logging in. The agency reports anyone unable to certify were told to “check back a little later.” But they reported other areas of the website worked fine.

Former Democratic Governor Gray Davis who was recalled is speaking out about Gov. Gavin Newsom and the intended recall against him. Davis interviewed by New York Magazine said there was a communication problem when he was recalled regarding the electricity crisis at the turn of the millennium which led to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger unseating him. He says voters should forgive Newsom for his French Laundry dinner debacle, saying you get one pass. And that Newsom fessed up immediately and admitted his error in judgment. There are already 3 challengers to Newsom if the recall gets onto a ballot. He’s started a PAC to raise money to fight it.

Museums in Lake County are reopening after being closed for months due to public health restrictions related to the pandemic. So the Historic Courthouse Museum in Lakeport, the Schoolhouse Museum in Lower Lake and the Gibson Museum in Middletown are all reopening to the public today. They will of course have public safety guidelines in place like masks needing to be worn all the time and social distancing required. The museums closed when the county entered the purple tier. But now that the county moved to the red tier, various businesses were able to reopen. With that the museums will be open weekends, from Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Call boxes are being renovated in Lake County. Lake Co News reports the Lake Area Planning Council has approved upgrades. They’re the local entity that maintains the county’s call boxes. Most apparently work thru cellular service, but the service provider has changed its technology from 3G to 4G. And since the insides of the callboxes can only work with 3G, the systems need upgrading or they may not work at all. So they’re working with the cell provider and technicians to make it happen. There’s a short supply of the new radios though, so it’s taking a minute for the upgrades to happen. They’ll be monitoring for any out of service call boxes, and ask the public to report them too.

The Zogg Fire that broke out in Shasta County last year has been officially traced back to a tree hit by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. equipment. The fire started last Sept. 27th and blackened more than 56,300 acres, burned over 200 structures and killed four people. The fire burned in both Shasta and Tehama counties. Cal Fire says their investigation showed a pine tree contacted electrical distribution lines owned and operated by PG&E. The utility company has issued a statement saying it’s tragic and they recognize, “nothing can heal the hearts of those who have lost so much”. They also say they have not seen the report and look forward to reviewing it. The company also says they filed an Electric Incident Report with the California Public Utilities Commission a couple weeks after the fire burned. The Cal Fire report has been sent to the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office.

The Lake County Public Health Office has an update on vaccinations. The Public Health Officer, Dr. Gary Pace says community members have been through a really difficult time and is spreading the word about the benefit of getting immunized against the virus. Dr. Pace says nearly 30% of Lake County residents have gotten their first dose and more than 50% of the highest risk group, those 75 and older.  He says the county is expecting more vaccines soon so more people will become eligible. And the more people who get vaccinated, the faster things can get back to normal times. There have been no infections at any of the three nursing homes since the vaccinations started. There have been no serious reactions to the vaccine reported in Lake County. And all of the approved vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are being administered and proven to be very safe. 

New Vaccination Clinic Schedule Starts Monday (3/22)

  • Mondays 10am-4pm at Lakeport Auto Movies (52 Soda Bay Road, Lakeport)
  • Tuesdays-Thursdays 10am-4pm at Redbud Park (14655 Lakeshore Drive, Clearlake)

 Visit to Schedule Your Vaccination Appointment

The Mendocino County Deputy Health Officer and former fulltime Public Health Director, Dr. Noemi Doohan, has been appointed to be the co-chair of the Health Equity Committee for the California Conference of Local Health Officers (CCLHO). The Conference advises the state Department of Public Health and other state health agencies on all public health matters. Dr. Doohan says it’s her goal to make sure health equity is strongly represented in state public health policies. The County’s current Public Health Officer, Dr. Andy Coren congratulated Doohan and says she’ll bring the needs and perspectives of rural counties forward, while continuing her long standing advocacy and support of health equity throughout California with an awareness for the diversity of needs of counties such as Mendocino.  

Lake County public offices are reopening to the public. The Public Health Office working with the county is allowing more in person services starting today. The county is finally in the Red Tier after almost 4 months in purple. They ask that you try to call first before showing up to be sure you are sent to the right person. Plus the county is understaffed due to health and safety protocols, so appointments may be required to meet some customer needs.  You should be able to get in touch with all county health departments Monday-Friday from 8am – 5pm. The in person hours start April 2nd. They ask that you follow public health guidelines by wearing a face covering, maintain six feet away from others, and sanitize hands frequently.

A woman reported missing from Fort Bragg last November is still gone. Police put out a statement over the weekend about the disappearance of Brittany Adkins last fall and say she had not been in contact with family members for about six months. They say she had been living in the Fort Bragg area for about a year and has no physical address or telephone number at the moment. She’s been added to the Missing and Unidentified Persons System (MUPS). As of last week she was officially still considered missing. The police department reports interviewing all of Adkin’s known family members, friends and associates. They say she may be with someone name Forest.  She’s described as White, 5’ 9”, 165 pounds with brown hair and green eyes. She has a tattoo of a fairy on her right back shoulder blade.

The Red Abalone Season has been canceled and won’t be happening for some time. The Calif. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife closed the fishery until April of 2026 as red abalone stocks are impacted by large scale die offs due to the collapse of the bull kelp forest, the mollusk’s main food source. The Fish and Game Commission extended the closure at their meeting in December for five more years after a closure in 2017 due to the red abalone populations dying from environmental stressors. They noted the die off from a heatwave and El Niño in 2014-2016, the local extinction of sunflower sea stars due to disease and a population expansion of purple sea urchins. That meant little kelp and more starvation and mass mortalities of abalone, which need kelp to survive.

It was unanimous, the Clearlake City Council voted to approve new five-year contracts and salary bumps for the Police Chief and City Manager. Chief Andrew White and Manager Alan Flora both got 7.5% salary increases and 3% increases each year starting in July of 2022. Flora has been the city manager for one year in a two year contract and will now make $165,432. The Chief is making $152,364 and has been the police chief for Clearlake nearly three years. Besides them, the finance director position is getting more money to bring in more applicants. The police chief has been the acting finance director parttime. So whoever gets the position permanently will make between $93,000 to 119,000.

Vaccines are being administered across jails and prisons in the state without restrictions. So it doesn’t matter the health or age of inmates under new guidelines by the Department of Public Health, updated last week. Californians in any congregate residential setting can be vaccinated now, that includes jails, prisons, immigration detention centers, behavioral health facilities and homeless shelters. There have been severe outbreaks at times in the state prison system. Over 2,200 inmates at San Quentin got infected over the summer. 28 inmates died.  Over 49,000 cases have been reported in California prisons. The state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says they’re prioritizing vaccine distribution, offering it to all corrections employees and inmates. As of last Sunday, the 14th, over 26,000 corrections staff and almost 43,000 inmates had at least one dose.

All branches of the Lake County Library are opening. As of tomorrow you can go in for a browse, but wear a mask and remember to practice social distancing. There will be hand sanitizer throughout the building. The staff says they’ll monitor the amount of people inside, so they don’t go over capacity per the state’s current public health guidelines. They’re also asking people visiting to limit the amount of time they’re inside so others can get in too. They’re offering access to computers and internet with proper social distancing. The library has been open but for pickup, contactless service. And they reported digital checkouts were up over 60 percent compared to the year before.
Learn more about the Lake County Library at

The Lake County Board of Supervisors is getting back to hybrid, but in person participation from community members. Starting with tomorrow morning’s meeting, since the county’s currently in the Red Tier, the board will have Zoom and in person participation at board chambers in the Lake County Courthouse. They’ll start off like every week with their weekly COVID19 update from the Public Health Officer, Dr. Gary Pace. Later in the meeting they’ll get a report from the Lake County Tourism Improvement District on what they’ve been up to this past year and consider an agreement between the county and Visit Lake County, California for administration services at a cost of $78,000.

The Governor’s announced every adult in the state will be able to get vaccinated before summer. Gov. Newsom announced last Friday residents should be able to get their COVID-19 vaccination appointment before the end of next month, that is about when the federal government said all adult’s getting vaccinated before May 1st. The Gov. made the announcement Friday along with more vaccine doses on the way. He says before the end of April, the state can totally get rid of the eligible tiers as everybody “across the spectrum” will be able to get it because of an exponential increase in the amount of supply. Right now those over 65, people with severe medical conditions and employees in certain sectors including food, education and health care are eligible.

The CDC put out new guidance on social distancing in classrooms and Calif. is following the advice. Children can sit 3 feet apart instead of 6 if they’re not in a high risk area. The announcement came over the weekend. The desks also don’t need plastic barriers. Students and teachers must wear masks. It’s up to individual school districts what they do. Younger children in low risk communities can be 3 feet apart, but older kids, where spread has been more likely, still need to be six feet apart. But in Los Angeles, the school superintendent said it won’t change how they reopen. The positivity rate across the state the last seven days has been under 2 percent.

There could be more changes coming in Mendocino County for the cannabis cultivation permitting program. The Planning Commission is meeting on the issue today, which you can catch on the county’s YouTube channel. Mendo Voice reports it may mean a new permitting process from what 1,100 applicants already went through. Right now new growing businesses are capped at 10,000 square feet. But on Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors agenda, they’re considering a delay for any changes to the cultivation permit ordinance. The Planning Commission though is taking up public comment at their meeting today, then will send their report over to the supervisors. There are no new permit applications being accepted in the county.

Stormy oceans. The National Weather Service is warning we could get larger than 20 foot waves along the North Coast this morning. The warning says the biggest will be west to northwest bringing larger breaking waves. It’s a reminder for anyone on the beach to be cautious and stay off rocks and jetties, or a good distance away from waves, and not to turn your back on the ocean. There have been sneaker waves or falls off rocks during these types of events, just this January, there was a death during a high wave event near Mendocino.

2 hour delays are expected on Last Chance Grade. Drivers are being warned from 9am to 6pm today there are just 30 min delays, but after those hours, there could be 2 hour waits as work continues on the 101 south of Crescent City. They’re taking out some trees, and that could continue over the weekend.


A stabbing’s been reported in Upper Lake and deputies are searching for the stabber. A victim ended up at Sutter Lakeside, then was taken to an out of county hospital. But they had non-life threatening injuries. Wednesday afternoon deputies got a call to a gas station where they say the suspects, Jerrica and Moses Reeves, both from Nice got into an argument with the victim, which turned physical with Jerrica assaulting the victim.  They say then Moses jumped in. Soon after the victim ran inside the gas station with pain in his back. They say Moses Reeves stabbed the victim. Deputies say they don’t know what the motive was. They’ve arrested Jerrica, but she was released due to the pandemic and Moses is still on the run.

Over a foot of snow blanketed the Brooktrails Township this winter. Fallen trees and other debris left behind was the topic of the Sherwood Firewise Communities special meeting last week. It was discussed it could take years to cleanup the mess left behind by 14 inches of the white, fluffy stuff. But it also took down trees and messed with public roads. The Mendocino County Department of Transportation has cleared the way on an easement sitting on both sides of the public roads, but apparently have to plan to take out downed trees. The County is reportedly working with Cal Fire and the Resource Conservation District to clear away a lot of dry fuel. They may also try for a grant to help pay for the work. And they discussed using volunteers like Team Rubicon, a disaster response group or Americorps to help.

A new scholarship has been announced by the Mendocino College Foundation. The Ricardo Stocker Scholarship comes through a donation from the Stocker family. Ricardo was a drug and alcohol counselor who offered bilingual counseling through Nuestra Casa, Anderson Valley School District, Project Sanctuary, the Youth Project and Neuesta Alianza; he was also a storyteller at Juvenile Hall and at elementary schools in the area too.  He was part of the team at Mendocino College for more than two decades, and very popular with students.

It’s official, we have a new state Attorney General as Xavier Becerra has joined the Biden Administration as the new Health and Human Services Secretary. Becerra tendered his resignation yesterday. He chose Matthew “Matt” Rodriquez to be his chief deputy attorney general and now he’s the interim replacement until the Governor’s nominee is confirmed. Becerra says it was an honor to serve the people of Calif. and he was proud of what his team accomplished. Chief Deputy Rodriquez was also interim chief deputy attorney general for former Attorney General Kamala Harris when she became a US Senator.

The Ukiah Police Dept. has honored several members of their staff for their outstanding achievements in 2020: including the Officer of the Year – Officer Chase Rigby, Dispatcher of the Year – Dispatcher Christopher Pittman, Life Saving Award – Officer Patrick Infante and Officer Alex Cowan. They had to cancel their yearly awards dinner again due to the pandemic but awarded the team with social distancing protocols in place. The department was also recognized last year by the Lexipol Connect program in the Gold level for consistently and effectively disseminating policies to officers, issuing timely policy updates as laws change, and ensuring officers are trained on policies.

Some state colleges and universities desperate to keep students in the state and not traveling, encouraging staycations with incentives. Spring Break is next week or the week after, there are some local events for students including outdoor hikes and scavenger hunts, so students stay local and don’t hop on an airplane to faraway places. Because public health officials say it could mean another surge of Covid-19. The UC Berkeley Chancellor sent a message to students to do their part not to spread the virus. UC Santa Cruz is offering Grubhub gift cards to students who go on their on-campus scavenger hunt. UC Davis is giving students who stay in town $75 gift cards. The CDC Director pleading with students not to gather in large groups and noted pictures circulating of revelers in Florida maskless enjoying spring break festivities.

The Gov. and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction have announced work with the California COVID-19 Testing Task Force and the California Department of Education to get 3 million rapid COVID-19 antigen tests to return to in person learning in the most disadvantaged school districts. Gov. Newsom and Superintendent Tony Thurmond announced the tests will go to the hardest hit regions of the state as there are more high-risk students and families there. Like households dealing with poverty, farmworkers and communities of color. Thurmond will help coordinate the effort. The tests are the size of a credit card and turn up results in 15 minutes.

Congressman Mike Thompson joining colleagues to change the current federal government payback in disasters to states and communities from 75% to 90% instead. Thompson, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Chair Peter De-Fazio of Oregon, Reps. Lucille Royball-Allard, Doug LaMalfa and Jimmy Panetta, all from California together introduced the Increase Federal Disaster Cost Share Act. It would be for any federally declared disasters in 2020. The representatives all represent districts hit hard by bad fires during the Coronavirus crisis, what Thompson calls a double crisis.

The  Gov. has admitted he made mistakes while dealing with coronavirus last year. The Gov. says when reflecting back he realizes when communicating with counties and businesses and the public, they could have done a much better job informing the public exactly what the restrictions on activity meant. He says he also will be expanding the list of who’s eligible to get the COVID19 vaccine in coming days as organizers for the recall against him say they have enough signatures to get the effort onto a ballot. The last Gov. to be recalled in the state was also a Democrat, Gray Davis. He was replaced by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Newsom was interviewed by the Associated Press yesterday ahead of the one year anniversary, today, of the state’s stay home order, the first in the country after the pandemic took hold.

Lawmakers have voted to expand paid sick leave. Nearly 10 and a half million workers in the state could get up to two weeks paid time off if they have coronavirus symptoms, need to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine or care for someone, like their child, who is distance learning. If it becomes law, it would only go until the end of Sept. but would also be retroactive from January 1st. It’s only for companies with at least 25 employees. Many can get reimbursed by the federal government thru things like payroll tax credits of up to $500/day for every employee who takes the paid sick leave. It’s for those who make $60/hr or less.

A man wanted for the stabbing of another man at a gas station in Upper Lake’s been caught. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports on the arrest Moses Reeves for public intoxication to start with after the assault at the Pomo Pumps Gas Station Wednesday night. He was arrested by a Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy and taken to jail and booked on Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Battery.   A woman with him was arrested the night the stabbing was reported. A victim says Jerrica and Moses Reeves attacked him. When he ran into the gas station for help, he had pain in his back. He was flown to an out of county hospital with a stab wound, that was described as non-life threatening. Jerrica was released for her part in the incident due to the pandemic.

A crash on the 101 in Cloverdale has killed a man from Upper Lake.  The CHP reports the crash happened yesterday morning just north of the Highway 128 offramp and ended up blocking the northbound lanes of the freeway for almost five hours. The patrol reports the man who died had been driving a Kia Forte, hit a guardrail and rolled after losing control of the vehicle. There were two passengers in the small car too. Then apparently another vehicle slammed head on into the Kia as the men were emerging from the car, the driver was thrown to the ground. He was pronounced dead on the scene. His name has not been released. His passengers were taken to the hospital, one with moderate injuries and the other with major injuries, but not life-threatening.

A burglary has been reported by a Chiropractor in Ukiah. The police dept. reports getting a call from Barr Family Chiropractic Tuesday that they had been burglarized, vandalized and money was taken too. Police say an outside door was forced open that morning, $2,000.00 was taken and the business had been ransacked. When police went and checked other businesses they found a couple others also had their doors forced open. Body Glow Tanning had surveillance equipment running at the time their business was also ransacked. Police say the footage from their video cam showed a man inside. He’s identified as Donald Morin who they say used a crow bar to break into desks and cabinets and take items worth about $1,000.00. They found a third business was also hit. They eventually arrested Morin and found he had the stolen items. He’s booked into jail for burglary/looting during a state of emergency and held on $45,000.00.

A woman in Covelo’s been arrested after a routine vehicle check where she was found slumped over. Deputies say they saw a suspicious vehicle and contacted the driver, Shareen Marrufo, who was having a difficult time staying awake.  They spotted a booze bottle and conducted Field Sobriety Tests. Sheriff’s Dispatch told the deputy the woman had a warrant, so she was arrested. They found pepper spray on her and couple of used glass pipes, usually used for methamphetamine. She’s booked into jail for possession of pepper spray and possession of drug paraphernalia and held on $15,000.00 bail.

A 60 year old man from Willits has been arrested on weapons charges. A Mendocino deputy conducted a traffic stop and found Jerry Degurse and a female passenger. He was found to be on probation and not allowed to own or possess firearms or ammunition. A search of his car ensued since he was also found to have 6 arrest warrants. The deputy found an ice chest filled with a bunch of ammunition in various calibers. So he was arrested for all the warrants and additionally charged with being in possession of ammunition by a prohibited person and held on $72,000.00 bail.

A man in Calpella has been arrested for creating mayhem. The Sheriff’s office reports 37 year old Jose Villela from Kelseyville was stopped for a vehicle code violation. It was found he had warrants for his arrest, and was on probation. The warrant was for Mayhem out of Lake County with Clear Lake Police. He was arrested and held on $1,000,000.00 bail.

Lookout for a Tsunami warning. The communications test is next Wednesday at 11 am in De Norte, Humboldt and Mendocino Counties. The Sheriff’s Dept. reports there will be emergency interruptions of TV and Radio programs and activation of NOAA Weather Radios and Outdoor Sirens. It’s just a test and not a real emergency. You’ll hear a voice telling you it’s a test, like the old emergency broadcast interruptions. There will not be a cell phone alert though.

Assemblyman Jim Wood is speaking out after it came out that some Eureka Police officers had been sending vulgar and violent texts back and forth. Wood called the revelation in the Sacramento Bee newspaper despicable. The Police Chief has started an investigation and put the two officers on leave. The newspaper reports Sgt. Rodrigo Reyna-Sanchez and Officer Mark Meftah are accused, but it’s not known how the paper got ahold of the texts which featured violence against their own teammates including women and their body parts. They also texted about homeless people, the mentally ill and imagined them being shot in the face. There’s an independent investigation into the texts and the police chief says none of the texts reflect the values, they’ve been hammering home, to police with respect, calling it a slap in the face.

The first case of COVID19 reported one year ago this week in Mendocino County. The Public Health Dept. announced the case March 17th while the county had already been sheltering in place as the virus spread rampantly across the state of Calif. Schools and businesses closed to slow the spread. The first case the Public Health Officer at the time said, was not a shock and they’d been preparing for it since January, as many surrounding counties had already had cases and community spread. Since yesterday, there have been 46 deaths to the pandemic and almost 3,900 cases. Half in the Hispanic/Latino population, and 65% were in the Ukiah Valley.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office is getting inmates at the jail vaccinated. The jail’s medical provider, NaphCare, is inoculating those who want the vaccine, it’s not mandatory. They’re getting the Johnson and Johnson single dose vaccine from the Mendocino County Public Health Dept. Extra nurses were brought in for the inoculations, then correctional and jail nursing staff monitored the inmates and an ambulance crew was there too in case of any allergic reactions. They reported 111 inmates and two staff members got their vaccinations.

A high speed chase in Middletown ends in the arrest of a man from Oakland. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office reports trying to stop a black Mercedes sedan for a traffic violation when they noticed a silver Saab behind the Mercedes.  The deputy activated his lights and the driver of the Saab slowed, but the Mercedes took off on Hwy. 175 towards Cobb at speeds reaching 100 MPH.  The deputy went after the car, then stopped in Cobb. Then he saw the Saab again and stopped it. The driver Daniel Anton Bennett said he was not connected to the other car, but he was arrested for DUI of a controlled substance.  Deputies found meth, and arrested him, but he was released from jail with no bail due to the pandemic.  Later the Mercedes was seen again driving too fast, they tossed spike strips and Hannah Joy Mizner-Welch of Kelseyville was arrested. That was a stolen car. She was also texting the other guy who was arrested and found her with meth, heroin and pot, plus cash. She’s arrested for various charges and held on $35,000 bail.

The county’s officially been in the Red Tier nearly a week, and with that secondary schools are allowed to start. As of today, the Ukiah School District allowed hybrid learning for older kids. The school district put out the word last night and thanked community members for their patience throughout the process. 

Second year Mendocino College Nursing students helping to get the vaccine out, working with nurses from Adventist Health and other health care providers. They were involved with administering 1,000 COVID-19 vaccinations. Each nursing student got to inoculate 50-75 people themselves while being supervised by one of their instructors from the college. The Director of Nursing, Peggy Goebel says the students did a great job and they were complimented by staff from Adventist and by several community members who got their shots. The CDC says all students administering vaccinations have to complete their vaccinator course online and also got their vaccinations themselves at least two weeks before the clinic. They’re continuing at Friday clinics through mid-May. 

California corrections officials are being sued related to the spread of coronavirus inside San Quentin that ended up killing nearly 30 inmates and a correctional officer last year. Daniel Ruiz was in for four years for possessing drugs for sale and for being a felon in possession of a firearm, he died July 10th, but was set for release this fall. The lawsuit claims he had several underlying conditions including asthma, obesity, Hepatitis C and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. The family says when they found out Ruiz had contracted the virus, he was already in an ICU for two weeks, on a ventilator, and near death. There’s already a class action lawsuit regarding the same, another inmate who got sick and 1,400 others infected in a transfer to the prison. Ruiz lawyer says the transfer was “the worst prison public health debacle in California history”.

A fire that started in a remote area of Anderson Marsh State Historic Park is being allowed to burn out on its own. The fire was started by State Parks staff to burn dry fuels on Slater Island near the ranch house. Lake County News reports the fire was 60 acres Tuesday night, but was up to 340 acres last night. They’re working with Cal Fire and the Lake County Fire Protection District and say the fire is not a threat, calling it a good time of year to do a controlled burn and will eventually provide good protection from wildfire this fall. Parks staff say it has good containment all around it, and water on some sides of the fire.

State Sen. Mike McGuire is hosting another of his virtual town halls to discuss the pandemic. The meeting online tonight at 6:30 p.m. He’s having guests, Dr. Timothy Brewer, from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and Geffen School of Medicine, and Lori Nezhura, deputy director of planning, preparedness and prevention from the State Office of Emergency Services. Nezhura is also co-chair of California’s COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force.

The state is looking at ways to continue standardized testing looking for a waiver from the federal government so they can do localized selected tests. The State Board of Education has voted unanimously for a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education so schools can bypass the Smarter Balanced statewide assessments, that are required by state and federal education law. The federal government requires the yearly tests in reading and math for kids in 3rd to 8th grades as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Plus California has the Smarter Balanced tests every spring. Last year testing was paused due to the pandemic.

A $10,000 grant has been awarded to the Robinson Rancheria of Pomo Indians for their local gardens as food work. The grant from the First Nations Development Institute of Longmont, Colorado for work on the “Good Earth Medicine” Garden Collective. The project is to help provide the tribe with healthy, nutritious, organic vegetables and fruit, and as support for food security. It’s mostly for elders in the tribe who will run the program and in the fall they will have a harvest feast for the tribal community, with what they’ve grown in the garden.