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There will be face to face summer school offered in Kelseyville. The School District announced they’ll have in-person summer school weekdays July 6 to 30 with classwork from 8:00 am – 12:00 noon, then a half-hour lunch and dismissal at 12:30 pm. There will be on-campus COVID safety protocols including mask wearing and social distancing. Any parent interested in enrolling their child has until May 17th to do so. You can visit the school district website to register or you can call your student’s school for more info.

Lake County has finally caught up to some of its neighboring counties, hitting the Orange Tier in California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Yesterday the California Department of Public Health released their data for each county, announcing Lake County advanced to the Orange Tier, this means bars can reopen outdoors, there are no restrictions are retailers, museums, zoos and aquariums, churches and movie theaters can be at 50% capacity. Gyms can be at 25%, same for wineries, breweries and distilleries. The state also announced its new “Activity and Business Tiers” chart.  It shows what businesses can be open, at what capacity and if guests can be closer together if they’ve been tested or fully vaccinated. Over 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine now having been administered in California. The Gov. announced earlier this month the state should fully be able to reopen by June 15th.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors had a special meeting on Cannabis Cultivation and Cannabis Facilities Ordinances. The board is asking the public to do its part by weighing in on the ordinances but says not everyone interested in speaking up will be able to. The board has set another special meeting on the topic too but says there’s heightened public interest so public comment may be on a first come first serve basis. The Board Chair says there’s been a lot of talk between the Board, county planning commissioners, and county staff at dozens of public meetings on the terms and conditions for permitting the regulated portion of the cannabis industry and that this past Monday and next Monday’s public hearings are a continuation of many years of deliberations.

The Governor says he’s prepared executive orders on drought ahead of what could be another devastating fire season. There’s a hustle to get thinning in the forests done, buffer zones cleared and recruit more firefighters. As expected Newsom signed a massive early action package ahead of the heat of the season, $536 million for mitigation efforts. That’s about $200 million more than Newsom was asking for. He visited an old burn scar with firefighters in Oroville yesterday and signed the legislation in a photo opp on the step of a firetruck. Over 4% of the state burned last year and 33 people were killed as massive infernos destroyed almost 10,500 buildings.

A group of protestors parked it on a logging road near Caspar. They said they’d barricade the road to stop logging on the Jackson Demonstration State Forest. CalFire has a timber harvest plan and the protestors want to stop it from starting. Mendo Voice reports protesters saying they want to continue talking about the plan and pause the logging work. But they have not demanded anything. The news site reports there are some who are calling for the entire western section of the Jackson Demonstration State Forest to be redesignated as a preserve, not an active working forest.  Mendocino Trail Stewards and the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians have been discussing the logging work with CalFire for months. But CalFire says they’re going ahead with a half dozen projects. Jackson is not a state park, it’s a working forest owned by the state. That means CalFire is charged with thinning to show the best sustainable forestry practices.

A huge grant comes to the city of Lakeport for road safety projects. Lake Co News reports over $227 million has been made available by Cal Trans for safety projects to reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries on city and county roads. The money comes from the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program which the city applied for last year. Lakeport is getting a good chunk of change, $261,000 to replace 547 signs like yield, curve and slippery road conditions. The state agency chose 266 projects to spend on safety enhancements like new traffic signals, roundabouts, turn lanes, rumble strips and guard rails. But that’s only about half of the 469 grants applications submitted.

A fire that started as a controlled burn near Willits got a bit out of hand. Firefighters from CalFire and the Little Lake Fire Dept. went to the scene outside Willits yesterday for what they eventually started calling the Wild Incident. When they got there, they reported a slow rate of spread. The fire was reported on Wild Iris Lane, east-southeast of Willits and was quickly contained after burning about a ½ acre of land.

Assemblyman Jim Wood speaking about the Governor’s wildfire package, which was just signed into law. Wood says as fire season is looming, he’s glad work was done to get the critical funding deal together. It includes money Wood requested three years ago after the October 2017 firestorm across Northern Calif., $278 million. Another $25million for home hardening projects, of which the state can apply to FEMA for matching funds, and $50 million more for the Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program. Wood says with a possible drought year ahead, we have to do everything possible to avoid another catastrophic fire season.

Students learning English as a second language are reportedly not much into getting back to in-person learning in some Calif. school districts. CalMatters reports many continue to stay home because their parents are concerned about the risk of COVID-19 infection.  It’s been over a year since online learning became a thing. But CalMatters reports school officials and researchers say they’re concerned English learners are some of those with the highest levels of learning loss in distance learning. And a recent report from Policy Analysis for California Education, out of Stanford University, shows between fall 2019 and fall 2020 English learners and low-income students in California were falling behind more compared to others.

A distracted driving campaign is on in Lakeport. Police are trying to educate drivers not to use their mobile device while driving and to concentrate on the road. This entire month police in the city are trying to get out and talk to drivers about the dangers of distracted driving and will be enforcing the distracted driving law. It’s illegal to drive with your phone in hand. And newer teen drivers, those under 18, aren’t allowed to even have their phone on, including hands free. Lakeport police remind if you have to send a text, pull over to a safe location first. Also, don’t scroll on a smart phone while driving.

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has announced its new Community Microgrid Enablement Program. The energy company says it’s to help communities “identify, design and build permanent, multi-customer microgrids serving critical facilities and vulnerable customer groups.” It’s basically a stand alone electric system that works independently from the central energy grid. Just approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), PG&E is putting up the technical expertise and the cash on a first come first serve basis for the most qualified projects that are centralized in areas with the greatest energy resilience needs. The company reported they’re dedicating funds to help disadvantaged and vulnerable communities.

After reports of widespread unemployment fraud in Calif., a prison inmate has admitted she conspired to rip the state off of as much as $100,000 in unemployment benefits. The money was earmarked for those who lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic. The state reportedly lost over $810 million to such fraud cases. 45 year old Alana Powers, an inmate at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla, and 51 year old Jason Vertz of Fresno each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and aggravated identity theft. The pair were nabbed after phone calls were recorded showing Powers and other inmates provided Vertz with their personal info for unemployment applications.

Childcare providers in the state of Calif. have reportedly still not received a promised stipend from February. The Governor said the stipends would be for $525 per child which could help childcare providers stay open. The money by way of the federal government and distributed to state agencies and local organizations who directly pay the providers. Social Services says the money should go out this month to those local organizations who have one month only to get the money out to providers. And the Department of Education reported their contractors were mailing the money out yesterday and providers should receive it sometime between April 30th and May 15.

More revelations about the mayor of Windsor as yet another report that multiple women had accused him of rape. The Press Democrat reports a resident in the town told officials she had heard that many women accused Mayor Dominic Foppoli of rape and he was not fit to serve, but police didn’t take action.  The resident, Patty Wallace wrote to town officials on the matter which had been at least the second warning to officials about alleged sexual misconduct over three years. There was another email back in 2017 which was not hearsay but a more detailed first person missive on the mayor. Something that had happened at a party back in 2013 at Foppoli’s winery including getting employees drunk without their consent and having them remove clothing articles. No criminal investigation was ever opened. But now there is after the San Francisco Chronicle posted a story last week that four women accused Foppoli of rape or harassment over 16 years.

The California secretary of state’s office is still awaiting a couple million dollars from politicians, lobbyists and campaign donors who filed disclosure reports late. CalMatters reports some of the bigger fines they uncovered were not dealt with yet after years of no action. The list is published online on the secretary of state’s site showing each of the outstanding fines as of April 1st. It includes 26 state lawmakers and 21 superior court judges, former legislators, losing candidates, ballot measure campaigns, Democratic and Republican clubs and corporate and labor-backed political action committees. Some are lower than $100, but 45 of them are over $10,000. Some of which are over ten years old.

A letter has been sent to the City of Fort Bragg by a union representing government employees. The letter was reportedly sent to the Mayor and City Council with the title, “harassment of City of Fort Bragg staff.” It was reportedly written by a field representative of Service Employees International Union, Patrick Hickey and the President of the City of Fort Bragg Chapter of the union, Alden Ramos. It said they were concerned about ongoing harassment and “borderline stalking” that city staff have been dealing with from a community member with an unhealthy fixation on the city staff members. They accuse Jacob Patterson of visiting city staff’s homes and taking pictures and wonder about his mental stability.  

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