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Monthly Archives: June 2021

If you lost power in Ukiah Monday it’s because a suspected drunk driver slammed into a utility pole near the corner of Washington Avenue and South Dora Street. About 1,200 customers were knocked out around 11pm after police allege 19-year-old Jose J. Flores Lopez ran a stoplight and ended up knocking the pole and power lines across the road. Two ambulances responded to the scene and while one was for Lopez police did not make public who the other patient was. After getting medical treatment Lopez was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and booked into the Mendocino County Jail. Ukiah Electric Utility crews got half the homes back up and running within an hour, but the other half took until mid-morning Tuesday.

Cal Fire has a new chopper in it’s firefighting arsenal. The Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit says their new Sikorsky S70i Fire Hawk has arrived at the Boggs Mountain Helitack Base. The new chopper replaces a Vietnam-era in-service UH-1H Super Huey that has been in service with Cal Fire since 1990. The purchase came from a 2018 approval from the Governor’s Office for Cal Fire to buy 12 new Sikorsky’s to replace the fleet of 12 Super Hueys with Lake County News reporting that four of them will arrive this year. The Fire Hawks can carry a dozen people and deliver a helitack crew for ground firefighting and then transition to dropping water or foam. And they can carry up to 1,000 gallons of water or foam, Super Huey had the maximum of 324 gallons.

Three buildings are said to be destroyed from a wildfire that broke out Saturday afternoon in Kelseyville. Firefighters were called around 3pm on reports of a ¾-acre fire and a structure in flames on 5th Street near Church Street. The Record Bee reports it had started one block west of Main Street and spread to several structures with evacuations called for, although residents were able to return within a few hours after firefighters got it contained. At the same time there was a nearby fire across the street from Hillside Honda in Lakeport which was also contained.

The City of Fort Bragg and Fort Bragg Police have laid out some of the rules for the 4th of July Fireworks Saturday night. Officers will be out on Noyo Beach and the surrounding areas cracking down on illegal fireworks, open fires and public drunkenness. And they remind you Pomo Bluffs Park, Noyo Beach, and Noyo Headlands Trail are considered City parks so you have to follow their rules. As for parking, the Pomo Bluffs parking lot and South Coastal Trail parking lot will be open for vehicles with disabled parking placards but not RV’s oversized vehicles or trailers even with disabled plates. Also there is no parking along Ocean View Drive and the various north/south roadways off of it. And when the fireworks are over, they will block off the 100 Blocks of N. Harbor Drive and South Street to stop traffic through there.

Despite the down economy the Community Foundation of Mendocino County says the generosity of the community has allowed them to award nearly $285,000 in scholarships to 77 students across Mendocino County this month. They say that that amount broke their previous record by awarding more than $69,000 more in scholarships than last year. Working remotely, Foundation staff, volunteers, and board members evaluated over 200 applications to select the 77 students for the scholarships which range from $500 to $20,000 with the average about $3,000.

The jobless rate keeps inching down for Lake County. The California Employment Development Department says Lake County’s preliminary May jobless rate was 6.9%, down from 7.5% in April. This time last year it was as the pandemic started peaking it was 14.2%. EDD says farm-related jobs had a nearly 28% increase from April to May, with wholesale trade jobs up 22% and federal government jobs up 17.6%. There were also increases in Lake County jobs for fInancial activities, state government and leisure and hospitality. The only job sector down in Lake County from April to May was business and professional services, down 1.4%.

Manzanita Services reopens tomorrow after a year-long closure. They are having a “Grand Re-Opening” at both their Willits and Ukiah locations on Thursday July 1st there they will introduce the public to new executive director LaSara Firefox-Allen who started three months ago. Manzanita Services has been a skeleton crew since the pandemic started with staff working from home to continue providing a large array of mental health services and support with about 30 people serving about 316 clients but starting Thursday their drop in and other services will return. Manzanita Services Willits is located inside the Willits Methodist Church. Manzanita Services Ukiah is at 564 S. Dora Street.

If you have pets, the July 4th weekend can be tough for them if they are afraid of fireworks and a freaked out pet could bolt away from you in the middle of the night. Fort Bragg Police are reminding you to make sure your pets have a collar with tags with your latest contact information and if they are microchipped that information is up to date and also have some current photos of them ready. Also tiring them out earlier in the day can make them more relaxed at night. Police also suggest keeping pets inside for the evening, maybe confined to a crate or a bedroom and turn on the TV or some music to distract them from the noise.

A big chunk of change is coming to Sonoma County thanks to the state’s budget surplus. With revenue up by reportedly more than 27% thanks to federal pandemic aid and stimulus money, the state has an extra $76 billion to dole out as part of the $262.6 billion budget for next year. Sonoma will reportedly get $3.5 million toward fire prevention, $1.7 billion for schools, $16.5 million to remove the North Coast Rail Authority to build the Great Redwood Trail along the Eel River, $20 million toward affordable housing, and $1.1 million to expedite legal cannabis business permitting.

Mendocino deputies find a sex offender who’d been living in the county for nearly a decade without registering his new address, which is illegal. A Deputy reportedly found out about Troy Mihalcean who has lived in Calif. since 2013 without registering after moving here from Illinois. Apparently the man is a registered sex offender there and was told he had to register within 3 days of arriving, but never did. So Mihalcean was arrested for failing to register as a sex offender and booked into Mendocino County Jail, He was released though because of the zero bail restrictions with the pandemic. 

A man on parole in Mendocino County in trouble again as deputies find he had cut off his electronic ankle monitor. The Sheriff’s Dept. reports on Friday Travis Bonson was arrested again in Willits. He was found in his car and his parole officer was called. They requested Bonson be arrested for violating his parole terms. He was booked and held without bail.

Another week of illegal marijuana cultivation gardens gone bust. The Sheriff’s Office reports a fourth week of enforcement turned up over 500 plants in Willits, which were eradicated. The growing was happening in non-permitted structures, without a County Cultivation Permit, or State Cultivation License.  Those responsible reportedly voluntarily got rid of the plants to avoid penalties. At one farm, they yanked out 345 plants and the second, another 129 plants were abated. Last week they were in Laytonville and found the same, non-permitted structures and no permits, and that person pulled out 450 plants to avoid further trouble. Another 1371 non-permitted commercially cultivated cannabis plants were discovered, and voluntarily abated too.

A man in Ukiah’s busted by deputies for domestic violence. A woman called dispatch to say her boyfriend, Fredy Reyes-Rubio had kicked and punched her while she was on the bathroom floor. When they arrived they found the couple had gotten into an argument while he was drinking whiskey, and he punched the woman in the head, then hit her in the head with a small portable speaker. She got to the bathroom, where the attack continued. The woman was able to call 911. Deputies say she had visible injuries so they arrested Reyes-Rubio for domestic violence battery and booked him into the Mendocino County Jail where he was held on $25,000.00 bail

The Sheriff’s office says they’re out looking once again for that red-bearded man accused of twice ripping off the same house in Elk. The Sheriff’s Office says yesterday they went out searching again for William Evers, described as a 40 year old white man, 6 foot 1 inch tall, 180 pounds with brown eyes, brown hair and reddish facial hair with either a skull or a multiple skulls tattoo on his right upper arm, “Demon face” tattoo on his upper left arm and unknown prominent tattoo on his chest. He’s considered armed and dangerous. This was a planned search over multiple days so residents will see law enforcement in the area. He’s wanted for a string of local home burglaries.  Anyone with info is asked to call the Sheriff’s office or the Sheriff’s office Tip Line.

A man has drowned in Lake Berryessa. The Napa County Sheriff’s Office sent rescue divers out Sunday and found the 25 year old man who drowned while swimming at the lake. The man identified as Marcos Salvador Grijalva Pocasangre of Guatemala. The second person to drown there in two weeks. The latest man was apparently an experienced swimmer. His friends said he was trying to swim from one end of a cove to another. His body was found about 15 feet from shore near McKenzie Ridge about 2½ hours after he disappeared in water 12 to 15 feet deep. Police say they’re not sure why he drowned or if he may have been impaired somehow. It’s nine days after a 22 year old man from San Jose died in the reservoir. Billy Dy was also described as an experienced swimmer.

Several volunteers showed up to help clean up the Clear Lake shore. Lake Co News reports it was a hot day last Saturday when a couple dozen people showed up for the Water Resources Department’s AmeriCorps CivicSpark Fellows event. It went for about four hours and included Lake County Special Districts, the cities of Clearlake and Lakeport, C&S Waste Solutions and Lake County Public Services. The agencies led the volunteers to Library Park in Lakeport, Redbud Park in Clearlake and Lucerne Harbor Park where they collected over 1,300 pounds of waste. The city manager of Lakeport said they were thankful for the help.

CalFire is reminding about the misuse of “safe and sane” fireworks. The fireworks go on sale in hundreds of communities across the state today. The safe and sane fireworks are allowed in the city of Lakeport, but only from Thursday to Sunday. If they are not considered safe and sane, like sky-rockets, bottle rockets, roman candles, aerial shells, firecrackers and other types that explode, and go into the air, or move on the ground uncontrollably, fines in the tens of thousands can be imposed. Plus, there could even be jail time. As we’ve been reporting the state has zero tolerance for the use and sale of illegal fireworks and you could be held responsible for a fire, including fires starting by safe and sane fireworks.

The City of Willits reports both of the reservoirs are at normal capacity for this time of year. The Willits Public Works Director says they’re at 83%, which is an average year. Both the Centennial and Morris reservoirs send water to residents and businesses in the city limits and to some others outside the city. They allow zero recreational activities at either reservoir. They are south of town and part of the Eel River Watershed. It’s the third biggest watershed in the state of California with headwaters in Lake County, forks also flow through Mendocino and Trinity counties before the river pours into the ocean in Humboldt County. Water gets pumped by new solar panels that operate the city’s water plant from the lower reservoir, Morris, to the treatment plant before getting into town.

The Mendocino County Grand Jury has come in with a report on the Parks and Rec department. After a citizen’s complaint an investigation was launched into the agency and an alleged loss of about $2,995,000 in grant money. The money for work on Hwy 20 on land owned by the department for use as an off highway vehicle park. The review regarding matching funds and a contract for work on fencing. The grant funding has now been pulled and a suggestion made that any board member involved in the grant applications should resign. There had been a planned 18 hole public golf course on the land in question, but there were problems that turned up in the environmental impact report. But apparently parks and rec decided to move forward anyway, but with the off road vehicle park instead.

No masks or social distancing required at the latest Fort Bragg City Council meeting, and those there say it felt like normal times again. But for the hybrid format with residents allowed to Zoom in like they did all during the first days of the pandemic. The meeting had all your normal times event mentions like the fireworks show which is happening off the Noyo Headlands parking lot this weekend. They also talked about the new ball courts at the C.V. Starr Community Center and rebuild of the old gym, or East Gym at Town Hall. The council also approved of some new electric vehicle charging stations, updated a bunch of city pay plans and engineering services connected to the city’s economic development of the old mill site.

The recall election against the Governor is moving forward, but maybe sooner than we expected. Republican legislators say it’s unfair though, that their counterparts from the Democratic party are trying to get the election moved up. They say Democrats acted unfairly by passing a bill to get the recall date at least a month sooner than under state law. So now it’s on the Governor’s desk for signature to change existing state law. For their part, Democrats say it seems like something the recall supporters would want. They gathered the needed 1.7 million signatures to get the recall on a ballot, which was supposed to happen later this year. Without the recall, Newsom would have been up for re-election next year.

Several ambulances have been called after reports of a disturbance in Willits. Police called to the scene, along with deputies. There were reportedly 2 people with injuries after the incident, but they refused help. Mendo Fever reports hearing on the scanner there was a juvenile who came out of a home and said someone was bleeding inside the home. A responding police officer told dispatch there had been a large crowd there when they got there and a woman was heard screaming. 

A kayak found near Van Damme Beach along the Mendocino Coast with nobody inside triggered a search. Before 3 pm yesterday the water rescue started after the empty vessel was found in Little River. The kayak was reported to be blue, there was a paddle inside, jacket, and water bottle, but no pilot. Fort Bragg Fire, Mendocino Fire, the Coast Guard, State Parks Dept., and an air ambulance were called to the scene, but several hours later they were called off after nothing was found.

A fire started in the northern Hoopa area spurred residents to evacuate. The Fire Dept. and Office of Emergency Services ordered the evacuation with residents told to shelter at a neighborhood facility. At the time of the request it was over 100 degrees outside. Cal Fire was dropping water at the scene and 3 tankers were on hand also. The fire burned about 5-7 acres and the evacuations were lifted after about 4 hours. The fire chief said the fire appeared to be human caused. There was one heat related injury.

Free after school programs are being offered by the Ukiah Unified School District. In partnership with the City of Ukiah, and Near & Arnold’s School of Performing Arts & Cultural Education (SPACE). They partnered at the height of the pandemic too. They’ll be offering free after-school programs for any student ages 5 – 18 through the City’s Summer Safari program and SPACE camps. They say it will be their priority for a safe, fun, and relaxing experience for students and a much-needed break for parents. They are 5 days/week for six weeks at Frank Zeek, Grace Hudson, and Nokomis Elementary Schools. There is exercise, arts and crafts, activities, and games, directed by local teens and young people employed by the City of Ukiah.

There is a new Transition Director for the Public Health Branch of Health & Human Services. Anne Molgaard has more than 30 years’ experience in health and human services in nonprofits and government sectors. Mendocino County CEO Carmel Angelo says as Public Health and Health and Human Services are separated to two departments “Anne will lead Public Health through the transition”. She says she’s known for her organizational analysis and practical approach to public service. Public Health includes programs like WIC (Women, Infants, & Children), Nursing, Community Wellness and Environmental Health and the county’s COVID Pandemic Response.

More info for the public per Cal Fire regarding the Jackson Demonstration Forest. They’re inviting the public for a community meeting on the way this forest and others are managed. Jackson is the largest state-owned forest in California. The meeting on Zoom and the Cal Fire Mendocino Unit Facebook page and in public tomorrow night at the Willits High School baseball field at 6:30.

It’s like before times in Clearlake where they’re having the full Independence Day celebration this year, including a carnival, concert, parade, festival, fireworks and worm races, like in years past. Lake Co News also reports the Lakeshore Lions Club of Clearlake is sponsoring the 64th annual Redbud Parade and Festival this Saturday, starting at 11 a.m. The theme of the parade is “Stars and Stripes.” There will be locals marching along with a marching band, decorated floats, vintage cars, parade and show horses, fire and police vehicles, and more. At Austin Park after they will set up vendors and arts and crafts, along with games and entertainment. The famed worm races are sponsored by the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce.

Arrests in Clearlake during a special traffic enforcement operation. There were several traffic stops for the operation with 3 tickets given out for speeding, four tickets for moving violations and eight citations for mechanical violations. 2 arrests were made because the drivers had active warrants. 2 others got tickets for driving on a suspended license and one for driving with no license. An arrest for DUI, the driver was also in a stolen car. Police remind that speeding, not wearing seat belts and distracted driving can put you and others in danger.

In Lake County, they’re holding a Countywide Community Visioning Forum. The Forum’s Planning Committee is holding their second meeting, on Zoom tomorrow from 6 to 8 p.m.  The county announced it like this: residents from Lake County’s richly diverse communities saw as the Board of Supervisors unanimously proclaimed “Promoting Tolerance, Respect, Equity and Inclusion” among their utmost priorities. They promised meaningful actions and activities that will build bridges where there may be walls; fostering tolerance, respect, understanding, equity and inclusion; promoting non-violence and non-violent conflict resolution; focusing resources on underlying causes and conditions that lead to inequitable resource and justice distribution; and relevant solutions for any social injustices, as they may come to light.

The Gov. working with legislative leaders in the Senate and Assembly then announced an extension of the state’s evictions moratorium, and an infusion of more money in the rent relief program, all related to the coronavirus pandemic. The proposals would mean $5 billion in federal rental assistance will go to state tenants and small landlords and also protect vulnerable households from eviction. The National Housing Law Project works with lower income communities and says people in rentals still face financial obstacles so the moratorium will help. Plus it will help landlords too.

Grad students at Univ. of Calif. campuses may soon unionize. Student Researchers United, a committee of graduate student researchers, has filed a petition to get certified as a union for their 17,000 or so members. Those organizing say they want more money and healthcare benefits, to be protected against harassment and discrimination and have a formal grievance procedure. Right now the graduate student researchers are part-timers under a faculty member or principal investigator receiving anything between around $1,800 to $3,500/month. They get UC-provided healthcare.

The Gov. says Calif. is roaring back from the coronavirus pandemic, and now reports say, so is the real estate market. The industry basically closed in March of 2020, but then started to ramp back up last May to October. The North Bay Real Estate market inventory including Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Solano and Sonoma Counties was at around 40% of what it was last May, but 10% above last month. There were more than 1,900 sales last month, 17% higher than a year ago.  In Mendocino County at the end of May there were about 140 homes for sale as opposed to 236 a year ago. There were 70 sales last month, 32% higher than a year ago.

Even though the state is fully reopened after the worst days of the pandemic, senior centers across Lake and Mendocino counties are staying closed for in person meals and other services, but are opened for some. The Area Agency on Aging’s Governing Board had a meeting last week. They manage the senior centers. Money set aside for last year because of the pandemic. Some of the facilities reported less money this year though. There were increases in minimum wage and food and gas for Meals on Wheels employees. In Fort Bragg, they’re serving meals and are opened for congregate dining. The Lakeport Senior Center are meeting next month to assess, but they’re looking at a September reopening. And at the Highlands Senior Center they’ve re-started activities like Zumba and other fitness classes, which are not that big so they can distance themselves. There were two seniors there who reported positive COVID tests. They’re waiting until after the Independence Day holiday to assess what else might open. They are doing Meals on Wheels deliveries, which are up.

Cal Fire is reminding that fireworks are illegal in Mendocino County. They’ve been sending notices out to remind residents to do their part to have a safe holiday and help prevent wildfires and injuries caused by fireworks. As a reminder too, two out of five fires on the 4th of July are caused by fireworks, more than any other cause of fires. The agency says the state has zero tolerance for the use or sale of illegal fireworks. CAL FIRE is working closely with local law enforcement and firefighting agencies to take away illegal fireworks and prosecute those found in possession of them. In Mendocino County, all types of fireworks are illegal and their use is punishable by law. Anyone possessing, transporting or using fireworks in Mendocino County is in violation of the law. The costs are in the hundreds of thousands and sometimes, millions of dollars to fight fires and you will be responsible for that and any damage caused by a fire. 

There’s a new threat to water bodies in the state. So there’s a request if you’re an avid angler to help prevent allowing invasive Quagga and Zebra Mussels in the ponds at Mill Creek County Park. When they are introduced into water bodies, they negatively impact fish and waterfowl populations, increase maintenance costs to drinking water and dam infrastructure, and alter ecosystem functions in detrimental and unmanageable ways. There are not any Quagga or Zebra Mussels in North Coast waterways, including Mill Creek Ponds, Lake Sonoma, or Lake Mendocino. So the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District is doing surface monitoring to make sure it stays that way. They will be there Saturday, on Free Fishing Day. The day anglers do not need a fishing license to fish in California.

2 men in Ukiah have been arrested after a traffic stop turns up weapons. The Sheriff’s office reports a patrol deputy pulled a pickup over Monday morning for expired registration, finding two men inside. The driver, Lawrence Ortiz and his passenger, Luiz Gonzalez who was found to be on Pre-Trial Release with terms for search. The deputy found he had a methamphetamine smoking pipe, meth and a weapon. There was an electroshock weapon and a baton with an electroshock device at the end. The driver was arrested for being in possession of the stun gun, possession of a billy club and drugs. He was let go on zero bail due to pandemic restrictions. Same for Gonzalez who was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

The Lake County office of Emergency Services is having a meeting for the community ahead of fire season to be prepared. They say it’s an effort to better communicate with residents and businesses during evacuations or emergencies. They will have an interactive map to show which was launched online to provide important emergency info during an event. All of Lake County has been divided into specific zones which will be used for now on to identify areas affected by whatever event is happening. The meeting is this Tuesday night from 5:30pm and 7:00pm on Zoom and the Sheriff’s office Facebook page.

Meeting ID: 984 5261 8853 Passcode: 897589

A man in Willits has been arrested after an ATV from the city’s Waste Water Treatment Plant was stolen. Police say they got a call to the plant earlier this week and looked at surveillance footage. They say they also questioned community members who identified a possible suspect. They came to find the guy was arrested in Sonoma County on an unrelated charge and was being held for a warrant out of Willits.  Then they turned up leads about where the stolen ATV was so they went to a home and found it, and confirmed it was the same suspect who probably took the ATV. They returned the vehicle to the City of Willits Waste Water Treatment Plant. Brandon Langenderfer of Willits has been identified as the man who took the ATV. 

A fight between a man and woman in the town of Mendocino reported but no arrests are made. The Sheriff’s office on scanner traffic said they were responded to a domestic dispute where a woman hit a man with her truck and in turn the man hit the woman’s truck with a sledgehammer. The scanner traffic confirmed the woman was driving a green Nissan pickup truck with a damaged windshield and left the scene.

Sonic Drive-In has made a huge donation to teachers during the pandemic. The company says as teachers had to maneuver the ever-shifting learning environment, they put up $1.5 million for teacher requests on a national education nonprofit site, DonorsChoose. The donation was made on Teacher Appreciation Day, May 4th as part of the fast food company’s Limeades for Learning initiative. They say the donation funded over 7,000 teacher requests across the country including teachers in Redwood Valley at Peak Middle School, Ukiah, and at South Valley High. The company says their Limeades for Learning has allowed them to donate over $19 million to public school teachers, helping over 36,000 teachers, impacting almost 7.4 million students in public schools nationwide since 2009.

A new law, if the Governor signs the bill could help students who were impacted by the pandemic. An Assemblywoman from San Diego wrote the bill. It’s to protect kids she says who had low grades, and instead change them to a pass or no pass option, waive local graduation requirements that are higher than the state credit and course minimums for students who were juniors or seniors in the 2020-21 school year. And students could officially request their school allow them to repeat a grade. It passed the Legislature Monday.

The recall effort against Gov. Gavin Newsom keeps moving along. The Secretary of State’s office reports there were only 43 people who asked for their signatures to be withdrawn. There are still well over 1.7 million signatures on the petition, over the amount needed to trigger the recall election later this year. The news comes as CapRadio and NPR’s California Newsroom report said the Gov. had exaggerated the state’s progress on fire prevention. But the Cal Fire chief took the blame for progress the Gov. was touting, saying he didn’t communicate correctly to the public or the Governor’s office.

A new report says there’s a shortage of transporation options for those who don’t drive in Mendocino County. The Daily Journal reports the elder population is the biggest chunk of folks in the county. The report says in less than 10 years one out of 4 residents will be over 65. And the 85+ crowd will more than double by then. The report says the MTA’s Dial A Ride is in Ukiah and Fort Bragg and is only for those 62 and older. The Ukiah Senior Center also has a bus to take folks to medical appointments, to run certain errands and shop. There’s an MTA bus ride in Willits that also moves through town from senior housing, the senior center, hospital and health clinics, city hall, downtown and Evergreen shopping areas, and Sherwood Valley casino.

Lawmakers have passed a new bill so that statewide elected officials will be referred to with gender neutral names. Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan says while the Gov. was searching for a new Attorney General this year, she looked up the job requirements and found there was a lot of use in the state code of “he” and “him” and “his” regarding the attorney general and other statewide elected officials. Bauer-Kahan’s bill passed the Legislature yesterday so laws about statewide elected officials will be updated with gender-neutral terms. The bill heads to the Gov. to be signed into law.

Ca Fire reports having a townhall to discuss the ongoing work at the Jackson Demonstration Forest. Emphasis on Demonstration. They invite interested citizens to meet at Camp 20 at the State Forest this Saturday, June 26 at 10 a.m. They say it’s to allow community members an opportunity to express themselves and their ideas about forest management and for CAL FIRE to provide information and education about how they manage the Jackson Demonstration State Forest. It comes after activists all but stopped a logging operation by being on foot and asking loggers to stop their work. The manager of the loggers said they had to stop for everyone’s safety and they’d have to wait for either Cal Fire or law enforcement to step in and help.

The Delta strain of coronavirus which first surfaced in India has made its way to Calif. We told you it was in Sonoma County earlier this week… now we hear it’s in Trinity County. The Trinity County Public Health Office says it’s working with the state Dept. of Public Health and local healthcare providers, and laboratories to contain any positive cases, then share info on any strains identified in the county. They say all residents not yet vaccinated should do so. They say especially the Pfizer and Moderna variety are effective against the highly contagious and possibly deadlier strains. The department also says those who get an mRNA vaccine, that’s Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, are less likely to have asymptomatic infection or to transmit COVID to anyone else. 

The Gov. said 90,000 acres of land have been managed to protect against possible wildfires. But Capital Public Radio investigated and says it’s actually only 13% of the 90,000 acres. The gov. toured the state before the pandemic promising that he had started 35 high-priority forest management projects. The Cal Fire Chief is taking the heat though, saying Cal Fire did not do their job educating the public or the Governor’s office about the completed work. The Governor has not responded to the report or the Chief’s statement in response to it. But the Natural Resources Agency says the Chief spoke on his behalf.

More mandatory water conservation measures have been put in place in Sonoma County. As we are in another historic drought, the city councils in Petaluma and Sonoma followed Cloverdale, Healdsburg and Rohnert Park to approve the mandate to reduce the use of water plus restrictions on how water can be used and at what time of day. In Sonoma they’re asking residents to conserve by 20% of their use from 2018-2020. The five communities are asked to limit landscape irrigation, washing cars and other vehicles, filling swimming pools, wash down pavement and sidewalks, using potable water for dust control, using ornamental fountains and more.

An appeals court is looking at several gun laws in the state including large capacity magazine that have over 10 rounds of ammo. It could topple California’s 32 year old military style rifle ban which a district court overturned earlier this month. The ban was instituted after an AK-47 and large-capacity magazines were used at a school yard in Stockton where five children were killed in 1989. The democratic justices on the panel argued, among other things, that less people are killed if a shooter in a massacre had to stop to reload a gun, citing cases where people were able to escape; or if a shooter was caught as they tried to reload.

A woman in trouble with the law and the Mendocino County Superior Court evacuated after a bogus bomb threat. The Ten Mile Branch of court had to be closed and evacuated yesterday for about 45 minutes after a woman threw a bag inside the front entrance to the court. She reportedly told security officers there were explosives in the bag and fentanyl, before she left. A police officer from Fort Bragg went towards the bag, opening it and confirmed no bomb. The suspect was apparently a known homeless person with mental health issues. And since the county does not have a bomb sniffing dog, the officer took a chance. They’re still searching for the woman to arrest her for the fake bomb threat.

Several fires over the last week in Lake County look to have been caused by lawn mowers and cars. Lake Co News reports the Pomo Fire last Thursday burned 42 acres near Nice. That one started by a car fire but they’re still investigating. Another fire near Blue Lakes burned less than an acre was started by a tractor that ignited brush. The Hill Fire Sunday in north Lakeport was three fires that burned into one and blackened an acre after a car passed by, it’s being investigated as maybe being involved somehow. On Monday a bigger fire we reported on burned 25 acres. The Wilkinson Fire triggered evacuations and cars and motor homes were involved. With that firefighters remind, it’s hot and early in the summer which means we could have a potentially busy fire season. Be careful with lawnmowers that can hit rocks and spark fires.

A special Clearlake City Council meeting’s called for to discuss bringing on a new finance director. The meeting this morning at 10-30 with limited in person capacity, and the rest on the city’s Zoom account. You can catch it on YouTube too. The council’s considering hiring Kelcey Young as the city’s director of finance starting July 18th. She would make about 120,000/year plus relocation help and other benefits. Andrew White, the city’s police chief has been the acting finance director in the interim.

It’s not gone, just smoldering. That’s what the Mendocino County Public Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren had to say about the Covid-19 pandemic to the Board of Supervisors Tuesday. Dr. Coren says there have been clusters of cases in local businesses, schools and churches and more cases since Memorial Day, Father’s Day and graduations. He also warned the July 4th holiday and summer travel are around the corner, so his priority is to get more people to get their vaccine. The county is averaging about 5-7 cases/100,000 people at the moment, with the most cases Coren says in Ukiah, Redwood Valley and Willits where the lowest vaccination rates have been recorded.

An urgency ordinance is in place in Humboldt County after their Board of Supervisors extended the hemp cultivation moratorium for the coastal zone. It’s for another six months until the county gets feedback from the California Coastal Commission. The board initially passed a permanent ban on industrial hemp cultivation instead of a temporary moratorium, but they reportedly intended on amending the ordinance one day to allow for research into noncommercial hemp cultivation. Also the College of the Redwoods was interested in some growing for educational and research purposes.

It’s not always easy filling county positions, so the Lake County Board of Supervisors has given the go-ahead to increase the incentives for jobs that have been hard to fill. That could include a potential sign on bonus, for some jobs, it might be as much as $10,000 which will come from cannabis tax revenue. The positions are many that could get that high signing bonus, including for lawyers, engineers, licensed medical staff, mid/senior-level managers and social workers, and mental health and substance abuse professionals. There are incentives for the sheriff’s office too of up to $10,000 for deputies. The sheriff said though that retention is just as much of a challenge as recruitment.

After the 2020 Presidential Election there were concerns raised due to All-Mail-in-voting, which was of course, due to the pandemic. The Mendocino County Grand Jury investigated the All Mail In Ballots and how they were distributed and how the County’s Elections Office ran for the November 2020 election. The jury also looked into the county’s participation in the Voters Choice Act of 2016 and computer systems installed for the 2020 Primary and General elections and found the results were reliable. The jury’s report said the county can rely on the election results as reported by the Elections Office of Mendocino County to assure accurate vote tallies. And the report said there wasn’t much of an impact on the workload for the local county Elections Office staff and volunteers from prior elections.

Environmental restoration of tribal land can resume. Back in January the previous federal administration declared areas in Calif. that had been damaged by construction and the operation of the Central Valley Project were done, meaning no more money for restoration after the 1992 Central Valley Project Improvement Act, so water and power contracts would continue. The project did harm the Hoopa tribe says to the Trinity River basin and the fishery the tribe has relied on for decades. The Hoopa tribe also brought up to the newer administration that the Trump administration assigned as much as $400 million to be paid to central valley contractors instead to their interior secretary’s personal clients.   

An ex-Marine Sergeant who received the Purple Heart during the Iraq war and has a business in Willits has pleaded guilty to federal firearm charges. Jonathan Cuney apparently had a storage shed in Redway where he kept ghost guns and ammo along with other firearms and ammunition. He pleaded guilty in the State of New York. Once he was a war hero for seeing a grenade in Fallujah near his comrades and detonated it to his own detriment, being wounded by flying shrapnel. He was also previously convicted of gun trafficking and pleaded guilty then too. The items he had in storage were shipped to Willits and Rhode Island. He then made non-serialized handguns, rifles, and silencers. He faces ten years in prison and 3 years post release supervision.

Lakeport police are partnering with the company Ring, who makes doorbell cameras and will also take part in the Ring Neighbors App. The online program will allow owners of the Ring system to help cops track criminals in the neighborhood as crimes are committed.  They liken it to an online Neighborhood Watch. The app has millions using it already. Users can log in and watch their neighborhood in real time, then automatically share crime and safety related videos, pictures and texts. They can also get texts from their neighbors, local police and other selected crime and safety news sources in real time.

As the drought gets even worse in Calif., construction crews are finishing a $10 million emergency project in the Delta to preserve water supplies. The rock barrier is being built in Contra Costa County. It’s 800-feet long, 120 feet wide, and in the water 35 feet down. The idea is to block salt water from the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay going too far east and in turn tainting state and federal pumps near the town of Tracy. They are tasked with sending fresh drinking water south to 27 million people all the way from San Jose out to Los Angeles. It also goes out to millions of acres of farmland in the Central Valley and beyond. The drought barrier at False River would essentially keep the salt water away from the pumps, or they’d have to be shut down.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors gives the thumbs up to workplace regulations for county employees, following state guidelines that changed last week. On Thursday the Cal/OSHA Board updated safety regulations to be in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health. On Tuesday Lake County followed as they’re the largest employer in the county with around 1,000 employees. With that, those vaccinated can go maskless, they will self-certify. So far, they’ve had about 400 certifications. Those who have not been vaccinated will have to continue to socially distance and wear masks. Those who are fully vaccinated don’t have to wear masks unless on public transit, in school and health care settings, correctional facilities and detention centers, homeless and emergency shelters, and cooling centers. The county must provide masks to anyone who requests them.

Some funny money is circulating in Lakeport. Police warning businesses and the community at large to watch out for counterfeit cash circulating locally. Police say they were contacted by vendors at the farmer’s market that they received phony $100 bills. The two vendors said those who gave them the bills were described as a man in his 30’s with medium complexion, and two lines tattooed under one eye, and the other suspect was a woman with a light complexion, with one or more missing front teeth and an A-line hairstyle.

A new campaign in Western States called “a dozen reasons not to speed” is joined by the CHP. State patrols or law enforcement in California, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming are looking for people speeding. The campaign from this Friday, June 25th until Sunday, June 27th. The CHP commissioner says “excessive speed and unsafe driving are a threat to everyone on the roadway” so they’ll be out with state partners this weekend the commissioner says, “with the common goal of saving lives through speed enforcement.” It comes after over 500 people died in speed related car crashes last year and another 57,000 were injured in crashes caused by unsafe speed.

A fire we reported about in Clearlake earlier this week is surrounded, but apparently still smoldering. A Facebook post yesterday said the fire which started Monday evening blackened 20-25 acres. The fire is believed to have started by a car fire that spread. Firefighters were there overnight into yesterday mopping up and stomping out hot spots. There were also fire engines and other equipment in the area. Some 2,600 or so lost their power because of a power down for safety reasons, but that’s been restored. There were also mandatory evacuations for a couple of hours, then downgraded to an advisory. The National Weather Service reported 10 mph winds at the time of the fire, with winds gusting up to 20 mph.

A fire just outside Mendocino County in Redwood Valley is out after it destroyed two outbuildings. Cal Fire reported the Kirk Fire burned 23 acres and destroyed two outbuildings. There was also a third building damaged.

A lawsuit has been filed by three people along with the Animal Legal Defense Fund against the National Park Service after several dozen tule elk at Point Reyes National Seashore died from starvation and dehydration. The group says the animals couldn’t move beyond a fence the Park Service put up so they wouldn’t compete for food and water with cattle. The lawsuit claims the Park Service was negligent and more animals may die if they don’t provide them food and water during the drought.

While fireworks are illegal in Mendocino County, and many other spots in Calif. due to tinder dry, drought conditions, or other reasons, now there’s concern there may not be enough to meet consumer demand. Many local charities benefit from sales. They’re supposed to start next week but some of the stands were reportedly concerned they would sell out immediately. There’s been a holdup with the supply chain as many fireworks are stuck offshore and there’s been reduced manufacturing due to COVID.

Some who renewed their drivers license in Calif during the pandemic will be eligible for a free upgrade to Real ID. The DMV reports allowing anyone 70 or older who has reached the limit for out-of-office renewals to renew online or by mail, but they still needed to make an office visit to get a Real ID card. Now the DMV says it’ll waive the application fee to upgrade through the end of the year. The agency reported issuing over 5 million licenses and ID cards that were not Real ID for those eligible for one since last year. The Real ID will be required in May 2023 to travel within the US or to get into federal facilities or military bases.

The county’s general plan has been updated by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. The board mostly focused on safety issues then moved to cannabis agriculture and proposed caps on cultivation site size and fines for illegal water hauling. They looked at the Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan, The Climate Adaptation Vulnerability Assessment and Development and Resource Management.

A special meeting held by the Fort Bragg City Council was a breeze. They only spent 10 minutes, before unanimously approving buying a desalination and reverse osmosis machine. Staff had requested $600,000 be set aside for several drought related work and equipment. The machine will cost just over half that amount. The city’s main source of water in summer and fall, the Noyo River is very low, below the worst drought year on record, 1977. Trucking water in from Ukiah or Willits is not really an option, so desalination was recommended  to take water from the water treatment plant which can provide almost 300,000 gallons a day.

A wildfire that exploded in size in Clearlake seems to have calmed overnight. Firefighters on the scene of the windswept Wilkinson Fire around 5 last night. Cal Fire crews had it 75% contained around 4 hours later and were there all night putting out hot spots and mopping up the contained areas. There were mandatory evacuations that abated overnight, but an evacuation center was set up at Kelseyville High School. A few streets were closed off and the evacuations were lifted after a couple of hours. Cal Fire tweeted the fire was probably caused by a car fire that spread. There were reports that one structure burned, but we’ve not independently verified that. The fire reportedly burned 15 acres. And no injuries were reported. Power lines were not down, but power was cut to nearly 2,600 people as a precaution.

A fire in Redwood Valley destroyed two homes pretty quick in tinder dry conditions. Cal Fire Mendocino reported the 23 acres burned in grass and oak woodland in the 5700 block of Kirk Dr. There were also evacuations on Black Bart Drive where the two homes burned and another was damaged. The fire was named the “Kirk Incident”. There were ground and aerial firefighters on the scene. That included several helicopters dumping water and air-tankers dumping fire retardant above Highway 20. And the Redwood Valley Fire Department, Brooktrails Fire and Cal Fire Mendocino unit fought back the flames as the California Highway Patrol, and Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office assisted where they could. There was also a reverse 911 call that went out for the evacuations.

Bizarre incident reported in the 500 block of School Street. Early yesterday reports of a car upside down in the middle of the road next to a damaged truck and SUV. Mendo Fever reports police say they think the person driving the car was under driving age, but they left before they got there. They were found soon after though, injured at a nearby hotel. They were taken to a hospital and cited for the incident. The hotel apparently called police who contacted the juvenile who said yes, he was the driver and he was intoxicated. The CHP reported it as a hit and run in Covelo where a juvenile and a female went to the hospital. The female had a head injury according to the CHP Incident Page.

A new budget has been approved by the Clearlake City Council for fiscal year 2021-22. Lake Co News reports it’s the largest ever budget since the city first incorporated because of investment in infrastructure. The city manager and mayor commented on the size of the budget and its historic nature. It’s for nearly $57.5 million in spending, another 53.5 or so in revenue and the general fund comes in at a little less than $8 million. The projected revenue is at about 3 times what the city got last year, but is also helped by grants and settlements. The infrastructure projects will cost the city about $36 million. The city manager says the capital improvements will have a dramatic effect and some will start next spring.

The state Legislature is working on protecting people who still cannot afford their rent due to the pandemic. Rental eviction protections were supposed to come to an end, but lawmakers are working on an extension of emergency rental aid which will cover all of their rent over the course of the worst of the pandemic. The Press Democrat reports renter advocates are worried if there’s no statewide moratorium on most evictions continued then many won’t be able to stay in their homes. Some chatter in Sacramento is that lawmakers will work to extend the moratorium at least thru September or maybe until the end of the year.

18 cases of the highly transmissible coronavirus strain known as Delta have been confirmed in Sonoma County. Public health officials say the mutation of the virus spreading fast across the United States has some European officials reinstating or extending pandemic restrictions. This is the strain first detected in India. The Press Democrat reports an infectious disease expert at UC Berkeley says the strain is more transmissible than anything we’ve faced so far. Across the pond, it’s causing a spike in cases in those not vaccinated or under-vaccinated. The Delta strain is about 7% of the infections that have been confirmed in Sonoma County this week. Last week it was at just about 1%.

There will be live in person concerts returning to Ukiah. The Daily Journal reports the Ukiah Community Concert Association is starting back up in September with a slate of shows thru next May. They begin with Classical Pianist Lindsay Garritson on Sept. 26th and next year the Professional Pianists Concerts will be back.  For more information, visit:

To get ready for the July 4th festivities in Fort Bragg, the city’s allowing folks to remove driftwood that’s washed ashore on Noyo Beach. In the past it was removed by the city or burned or by people who got permits to take the wood. This year they’re allowing it with just a beach permit, but weekdays only from 7:30am – 5pm. You have to look at the signs posted on the beach and follow the rules. They ask those taking the wood to do a site cleanup when you’re done and only use hand tools. You cannot drive onto the beach either. You do have to prove you have liability insurance so you can get permission to take the wood.

It’s happening again, a massive backlog of unemployment claims in Calif. Claims up at more than a million, one hundred thousand the week of June 12th. And the backlog of claims was up 1,100 from the week of June 5th. The Employment Development Dept. reports claims for unemployment benefits that require over 21 days to approve or reject were at over 222,500 June 12th, up 1,200 from the week before. Then there are the claims that are just out there in limbo to get certified, there are over 900,000 of those which was down about 100 from a week before. Over 2.5 million people filed claims as the pandemic broke with about a 52% recovery from a year ago, or around 1.3 million jobs regained.

If you’re cruising through Fort Bragg, be ready for some alternate routes. The city has a major storm drain and alley rehabilitation project ongoing. The city announced starting the Maple St. project which continues though the middle of July or so. They’re replacing about 1,000 feet of storm drain underground and putting in new pavement, so there will be some bottleneck driving in the area. Plus they’re putting in some new curbs that are Americans with Disabilities Act compliant and repairing bits of sidewalk. Look out for detours if you’re new to the area.

UUSD Food Distribution New Hours: 6:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

We are excited to offer FREE FOOD for every Ukiah Unified student and ANY CHILD 18 years or younger every Wednesday at Ukiah High School, from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 

Items may include corn dogs, chicken, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, salad, cereal, bread, cheese, and milk. Some menu items are limited, and the selection may vary.

From Mendocino County Public Health Office

The risk for COVID-19 exposures and infections will remain in California beyond June 15th, and the continued use of face coverings helps prevent COVID-19 transmission. California’s updated Face Coverings Guidance is summarized below. The purpose of this guidance is to protect those members of our community who are still vulnerable (those who are not vaccinated, children less than 12 years old, and those who are immunocompromised). For those people, wearing a face covering properly protects themselves and others, particularly in indoor settings.

Current Orders for Mendocino County follow the state guidelines:

  • Everyone must wear face coverings in the following settings:
    • On public transit and in transit hubs
    • In healthcare facilities where vulnerable individuals may be present
    • In hospitals
    • In nursing homes and long-term care facilities
    • In homeless shelters, emergency shelters, and cooling centers
    • Indoors in K-12 schools, childcare, and other youth settings

·       Unvaccinated individuals are required to wear face coverings in indoor public settings and businesses such as retail, restaurants, theaters, meetings, and state & local government offices serving the public

  • Fully vaccinated people do not need to wear face coverings in these settings.[NT1] Any business may still require face coverings if they choose

Business owners/operators and venue operators have 3 choices to comply with this Order and they should post whichever method they use:

  • Require everyone to wear face coverings
  • Allow vaccinated people to self-attest that they are vaccinated
  • Use a method of verification for vaccinated people such as showing their vaccine card, a photo-copy or digital proof

No person can be prevented from wearing a face covering.

People who are exempt from wearing face coverings include:

·      children less than 2 years old

·      people who have a medical or mental health condition or disability

·      others (including hearing impaired) for whom a mask would cause an  increased risk

In workplaces, employers are subject to Cal-OSHA COVID-19 Standards, and should consult those regulations for additional requirements.

2 people in Ukiah are arrested after a traffic stop turns up drugs and paraphernalia. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept. reports one of their deputies stopped a car for a code violation. Laura Adams, the driver and Leartis Caradine, the passenger. He was on parole with a felony warrant for his arrest. And Adams was on probation from Mendocino County and seemed high so she was searched. The Deputy found 4 separate bags of suspected Fentanyl, another bag with heroin and 2 smoking pipes and a digital scale. The 2 were arrested for crimes including parole violation, having drugs for sale and transporting them. Adams was released with a promise to come back to court and Caradine was held without bail. 

Passing phony checks will get you in trouble with the law like a man from Santa Rosa found out in Ukiah. A Mendocino County Deputy saw a man acting weird near a car so he approached. He says the guy gave a phony name, but he was identified as Michael Munoz. He was found to be on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) from Sonoma County, plus he had a warrant for violating his release terms. He had a meth pipe, those checks from businesses throughout Sonoma County that were stolen. The checks were written out with high dollar amounts with fake signatures. So Munoz was arrested for possessing fraudulent checks, violating the terms of his release and an outstanding arrest warrant. He’s held without bail in the Mendocino County Jail.

The Governor is said to be okay, after being attacked by a man during a visit to a barbershop and pizzeria in downtown Oakland. The CHP reports Newsom was walking to the businesses in Old Oakland to promote small businesses last Thursday when an “aggressive individual” approached him. The CHP is like the secret service for the governor, guarding him when he leaves Sacramento. They took the Governor away from the 54 year old man and arrested him. The East Bay Times reports the Governor joked and said some people just have different ways of saying hello. A woman called a reporter though saying the man arrested is her brother. She says he’s homeless and has severe mental health problems. And the way he reportedly acted was “consistent with his past behavior.”

A man from Sacramento found in Redwood Valley with a bunch of drugs and paraphernalia. A Mendocino County Deputy at a traffic stop Thursday and contacted Nicholas Rea, and his female passenger and while talking to the driver saw drug paraphernalia on the center console of the car and a container, used for heroin storage. Rea was on probation and had previous felonies on his record so a search was conducted and a loaded firearm was found under Rea’s seat. There was suspected heroin, methamphetamine, paraphernalia and a loaded, .38 so he was arrested and booked on zero bail due to the pandemic. The charges include: Convicted Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Possessing a Controlled Narcotic and Paraphernalia.

A man in Point Arena’s busted for indecent exposure and burglary. Police say Pete Rose, Jr. from Point Arena was found sleeping on the street in front of a business. A deputy found he had a warrant for his arrest and recognized him, knowing he had a warrant for burglary and another for indecent exposure, so he was arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail on $25,000.00 bail.

A drug addict found to be in possession of a short, barreled shotgun has been arrested in Covelo. Early Saturday Deputies saw a car driving in a creek bed, then stop and turn their lights off. When approached the driver, Luiz Gonzalez was seen with an open container of alcohol, so they searched and found a loaded 12-gauge shotgun under the front seat. It was under 18 inches long, thus illegal. Deputies also say the guy seemed high and found his driver’s license had been revoked for DUI. They also say the man was addicted to drugs and not allowed to have weapons. He also had a warrant for the DUI arrest. He was booked into jail on $35,000.00 bail.

A man from Redwood Valley spotted driving the wrong way has been arrested. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s office reports a patrol vehicle tried to stop a driver who sped up and passed a car on the right shoulder. They also passed another and drove over solid double yellow lines, then drove in the wrong lane of traffic. They were going about 100 miles per hour before crashing into a tree, then driving off again, through some vineyards, and ditching the car and running away. He found a boat and took into onto a pond, but couldn’t swim so well so firefighters were called. They tried to get him out for two hours. His boat capsized though and he swam to shore so he was arrested there. He was identified as Nathan Feliz who had two active felony warrants for his arrest for possession and manufacturing of assault weapons for $60,000.00 bail. He had other charges tacked on for evading at $210,000.00 bail. 

If you’ve been vaccinated and need proof there’s new technology for that. You can upload if you’ve been inoculated for COVID-19. After getting your vaccination record from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can turn it into digital proof. The state Dept. of Public Health says you should keep the paper card, but they thought some would like to have an electronic record. The state has a special website for this where residents can upload their personal information and phone number. They will then get a personal identification number to be used to access a digital copy of your vaccine record with a scannable QR code.

A man from Ukiah and a teen have been busted for having drugs, nitrous oxide containers and a gun. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports contacting two people last Wednesday morning at the South Boat Ramp. They were found with several nitrous oxide canisters. They gave deputies phony names, but the deputy found the driver was a 17-year-old from Covelo and his passenger was 19-year-old, Bryan Sanchez of Ukiah. The deputy also found about a half ounce of suspected cocaine in one baggie and less than a gram of suspected heroin in another baggie in the pants pocket of the 17-year-old, (and) a loaded semi-automatic handgun in the glove box, and nitrous oxide all over the car. The teen went to Juvenile Hall on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance while armed with a loaded firearm, carrying a loaded firearm while not the registered owner, giving a false name to an officer and possession of nitrous oxide. And Sanchez was booked for giving a fake name and possession of nitrous oxide and released at the scene.

A man from Willits has been arrested for an alleged violation of his probation after some sort of altercation by the Highway 101 Willits Bypass. According to Sheriff’s deputies they went to some state property under the bypass after reports of a man and woman in an argument there. They say Tate Madson and the woman, who’d been living in the vacant field had an argument. Then they say he gave them a fake name because he had two felony arrest warrants for violation of probation. He was arrested for violation of probation and for giving a fake name to the deputy. He was booked in jail on $45,000 bail.

A planned horse park is trotting along. The Westside Community Park Committee reports completing an encroachment from Highway 175 by the entrance into the eight-acre site where they’ve planned the horse park on the north side of the highway near Lakeport.   A community member did the encroachment for free with the help of the Public Works Director and a Foreman. Another community member hauled asphalt there and the asphalt was purchased at a big discount for the horse park entrance. And Westside Community Park Committee members volunteered for traffic control while the paving was being done. 

The Lake County Board of Supervisors will be finalizing the new guidelines after the state reopening and Cal OSHA’s new safety guidelines. It’s all in alignment with CDC protocols for the fully vaccinated. Their meeting tomorrow morning after county staff and supervisors talked about the federal and state health guidance. Lake Co News reports fully vaccinated county employees can self-certify with human resources so they don’t have to wear a mask. The board will also present a proclamation commending Dave Deakins for his 33 years of service to the residents of Lake County and to Jeff Rein for 30 years of service.

Since the state reopened and Cal OSHA announced modifications to mask wearing and social distancing for fully vaccinated individuals, the Lake County Superior Court reports its changing rules in the court and for employees. The presiding judge’s order from earlier this month is being modified as of today to eliminate physical distancing requirements and end the face covering requirements, but only for fully vaccinated people. The order in place before will stay in place for those not fully vaccinated. So they have to keep wearing a mask at all times in the court unless public health directives change.

The logging that was going on in the Jackson Demonstration State Forest has stopped because of the protesters on foot there. The logging company’s president says since protesters have been in active logging areas while trees were being cut, they had to stop for safety reasons. The Caspar 500 Timber Harvest Plan was ongoing, but some against the logging were in the area where the work was being done. The president of the company says he thinks they’ll have to depend on law enforcement or Cal Fire to restart their work. More protestors were expected at the site today.

A man in Lakeport had his preliminary hearing and will now face trial for assault with a deadly weapon and threatening a school officer, amongst many other charges. Morgan Matthew Jack will be back in court Tuesday on several of the charges, like threatening to kill his girlfriend in Lakeport. Deputies reported to the home they lived in and Jack was arrested, but he would leave the home. They say they heard him fiddling with a gun, then he fired a rifle in their direction. They called out SWAT teams and other backup and after a couple hours he was arrested. A police K-9 from Clearlake helped take the guy down. He and a few officers had minor injuries after the incident. A pellet gun was found with him.  The man had previously been charged with a murder in 2008.

As expected, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or Cal/OSHA has updated workplace COVID safety rules. Fully vaccinated people don’t have to wear masks and it’s on employers to make sure those not wearing a mask are actually vaccinated. But they can also allow people to just say, ya I’m vaccinated. For those who are not, they must continue to wear masks or respirators indoors, and socially distance themselves away from others. Employers have to have masks available too. No masks are required of anyone outdoors unless there has been a virus outbreak. Then all workers must wear masks and social distancing must be maintained. No more barriers anymore though, again unless there’s an outbreak.

Mendocino Coast Healthcare Foundation reports finishing a fundraiser to build a Physiology Lab classroom on the Coast. The $72,000 was bolstered with a $30,000 grant so next spring, students who take the Physiology course, which is mandatory for nursing, they’ll be in the new classroom. The college reminds the country is facing a healthcare crisis, and with that a projected shortage of nurses, especially in rural areas. Some students have had to travel 3 hours or so for classes, but now the trip will be shorter.

Cal Fire reminds fireworks are illegal and if you are caught using them you could be fined or jailed. The Mendocino Unit of Cal Fire’s chief says everyone should have a safe holiday and help prevent wildfires and injuries caused by fireworks. Anyone in possession or caught transporting or using fireworks in Mendocino County is in violation of the law and they have zero tolerance. They’re working with local law enforcement and firefighters to take fireworks and prosecute those found in possession of them. You could also be held liable for firefighting costs and any property damage costs.

A car fire sparked some brush in Upper Lake. The fire quickly grew to over 40 acres yesterday afternoon near Highway 20 and the Reclamation Cutoff. Around dinner time Cal Fire tweeting that the fire had stopped forward movement and was 80% contained. And there were no reports of injuries or damaged buildings. The CHP had closed a portion of Highway 20 near Nice and Lucerne, but the highway had reopened by 7 p.m.

Another Flex Alert has been called by the Calif. Independent System Operator, Cal ISO. Last night was the first alert ahead of summer. From 5-10pm last night they were asking for reduced use of energy. And tonight, from 6-9pm, the same. The excessive heat warnings across the state had Cal ISO asking for voluntary conservation, things like setting your thermostats to 78 degrees or higher and avoid using washers, dishwashers and other major appliances. The Governor has also signed an emergency proclamation so certain permitting requirements are waived. This allows power plants to do what’s necessary to meet the demand for electricity. It states there is “extreme heat peril” facing the state this week.

The California Fish and Game Commission has voted for summer steelhead to be listed as endangered in four North Coast watersheds. The proclamation for the Eel, Mad, and Mattole Rivers, and Redwood Creek as Endangered under the California Endangered Species Act. The move after a petition circulated by the Friends of the Eel River. The agency has also listed Klamath spring Chinook as Endangered after a petition by the Salmon River Restoration Council and the Karuk tribe.

Summer School should be packed after months of at home learning during the pandemic. Cal Matters reports over $4.5 billion dollars was sent to schools from the state, they’ve seen summer enrollment numbers jump by ten times the normal amount of kids. Some schools are offering summer programming for the first time ever. The state’s two largest districts, Los Angeles and San Diego are offering in-person summer learning for all students. In Los Angeles, a bunch of classes are already full and in San Diego about a quarter of all students enrolled for summer school.

A new report from City Staff in Ukiah says about half of all residents eligible have been vaccinated against coronavirus. The city’s Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Tami Bartolomei said about 60 percent had gotten their first dose too. Anderson Valley was amongst the highest in the county. Along the coast they were in the median to high range, but out in Elk and Casper it was much lower. Also at the latest City Council meeting they discussed tossing to the state’s color tiered system, no more masks in many indoor spaces for the fully vaccinated and other changes to the state’s emergency orders put in place at the height of the pandemic.  Bartolomei also told the council there will be a cooling station during these hot days at the civic center from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. where they will have water and socially-distanced chairs for people to sit in.

A state of emergency is in place due to the excessive heat. The Governor signed the order as residents are being told for the second day to voluntarily conserve energy during the early evening hours. The emergency proclamation suspends some permitting requirements and allows power plants to operate at a higher capacity if needed to meet the demand for electricity. Cal ISO said earlier this week if people follow the voluntary energy reduction there may not need to be any rolling blackouts. Last August there were 2 days of power outages impacting over 200,000 people, the first rolling blackouts in 2 decades.

The Governor says it’s time to get back to work. Those who are receiving unemployment after losing jobs due to the pandemic will have to prove they’re actively seeking work in order to continue getting benefits.  Federal law says the unemployed must actively look for work to be eligible for unemployment benefits, but it’s waived due to the pandemic as businesses were ordered to close. Not anymore, as coronavirus cases are falling and more people are getting vaccinated. And many state employers, and indeed nationwide, say they’re having trouble finding workers.

A bunch of illegal cannabis grows descended on by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. The office reports going out from June 4th to the 9th in Covelo and Albion. One of the Covelo properties came in to deputies as a tip where they found nearly 4,200 plants and 76 pounds of processed weed.  Then another Covelo property turned up almost 3,100 plants and 36.5 pounds of processed bud, the third brought over 2,330 plants and a fourth where 4 men were seen in hoop houses, take off when they saw police presence. Deputies eradicated over 5,130 plants on clear cut tribal land, a bunch of guns, 2,200 pounds of drying bud, 600 pounds of processed weed and assault rifle ghost guns, a rifle and one semi-automatic handgun. Finally in Albion, they found 12,615 growing marijuana plants, a rifle and $5,000.00 in money orders. No word on any arrests.

A man in Lake County has been arrested after a mom reported her 15 year old daughter had been sexually assaulted. The victim told a deputy in February she met a man on a social media site who said he was 21 years old. They had sex a bunch she says, and he gave her drugs for the sex. The deputy told the girl to contact the man on the app to meet her in Middletown. The deputy went up to the guy who gave a fake name and denied knowing the girl. But the victim positively id’d the man who admitted he did know the girl, but thought she was 18. 31 year old Trevor Reynoso of Murrieta was wanted in Texas for possession of child porn and arrested and booked on the Texas warrant in Lake County. He faces more charges here including Lewd Acts with a Child, Unlawful Sexual Intercourse with a Minor, Arranging to meet a Minor for Purposes of Sex and Soliciting Prostitution from a Minor. He’s held on no bail.  

A red bearded man wanted for a burglary in Elk has been spotted again, inside the same house he’s suspected of burglarizing. Word went out last month that a 40 year-old white man with a red beard and brown hair with a skull or several skull tattoos and a demon face tattoo was wanted and considered armed and dangerous. On Monday while a homeowner was out, they saw William Evers in their home on a live-time footage security camera. Cops say that’s the same home he’s suspected of ripping off in May. Deputies from across the region and 2 SWAT teams descended on the home and he got away again.

A Flex Alert has been called for by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) due to extreme heat. The alert from 5-10 p.m. tonight. Cal ISO asking for voluntary electricity conservation because of the current heat wave, to make sure there’s enough energy to meet power demands, and not to have rolling blackouts. They ask to have your air conditioning set to 78 degrees or higher, use large appliances less, and turn off unnecessary lights and other small appliances.

The Sheriff has put out a public statement regarding communications he’s had with the Board of Supervisors. Sheriff Matt Kendall says there’s been talks about the budget and serving the public. He warns there’s a limit to how efficient the department can be, which the public “demands and deserves”. So Kendall’s IT department, vehicle replacements and other items he says are extremely critical to the operations of the Sheriff’s Office are being reviewed. He says his office expense can be a drain because of consistent drug abuse which he calls a major factor in psychological well-being and a direct contributor to crimes including burglaries, assaults and crimes against persons. He says the county needs to pay now, or we’ll all pay later.  He says he’s confident in his talks with all parties, that they’ll be able to strike a balance.

Some people protesting at Jackson Demonstration Forest say loggers felled a tree a little too close to them. Mendo Fever reports the logging started early yesterday as part of the so-called “Caspar 500” timber harvest plan in the forest. They were taking down huge redwoods, protestors say, within about six feet of them and someone trail riding on a bike. They also say they sounded a horn to let the loggers know they were there. They even walked up to the loggers to try to plead with them to stop but they were refused by a supervisor. The news site reports it led to a tense stand off with the protestors and the bike rider talking to 3 loggers, talking them into stopping. The news site also reports some concerned community members have asked the Cal Fire State Forests Program Director to stop the logging while people are in the woods. They’ve responded that it’s okay for folks to be in the forest at a safe distance. But they claim tree sitters were demanded they leave, and the Sheriff was called. And it looks like it will all continue.

The state is telling thousands of water users to stop diverting water from the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta watershed, from Fresno to the Oregon border due to the drought. The users, 4,300 of them, were notified by letter because the water supply is not sufficient and “not lawfully available” to some users. And they’re warned, if they don’t stop pumping, they could receive a cease and desist order and face fines of as much as $1,000 a day. The notices reportedly came from the State Water Resources Control Board and compliance is considered voluntary. They went out to those who have claims to the water from after 1914 — “junior” water rights holders. 1914 was when the state enacted its water rights law.

It passed overwhelmingly and Congressman Mike Thompson signed on to designate June 19th as the Juneteenth National Independence Day, a new federal holiday. It marks the day when Union Troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to announce the end to the Civil War and an end to slavery, many slaves didn’t find out until that day in 1865. Many states have recognized the day already, California started in 2003. Thompson put out a statement saying Juneteenth is the day the last enslaved people were freed… and two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. The bill heads to President Biden’s desk for signature next.

Lakeport police have received a commendation… the Gold Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement Policy Management. The Police Chief Brad Rasmussen says they partner with Lexipol for up-to-date policies on law enforcement response and actions. He went on to say we’re all well aware of recent national events which created calls for police reform and changes in policing policy. He says they had already updated their policies before the events and updated their best practice policies, putting them in line with changes the public was seeking. Some of that included use of force issues.

Following the state and federal government mandates, the Mendocino County Public Health office has updated the mask requirements related to COVID19 in the county. The office says the risk remains in Calif so they would like the continued use of facial coverings to slow the spread in the most vulnerable people in the community. Masks should be warn on public transit and in transit hubs, healthcare settings, nursing homes and long-term care facilities, homeless shelters, emergency shelters, and cooling centers and indoors at public schools, childcare facilities and other youth settings. Anyone not vaccinated has to continue to wear a mask indoors at businesses at in local government offices serving the public. Fully vaccinated people do not need to wear face coverings in these settings. Individual businesses can still mandate masks if they want.

In Lake County, the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to lift the mask mandate for vaccinated employees when the state rules are revised. Cal OSHA is meeting today to discuss the mask mandate and other safety requirements as it relates to the pandemic. And the Governor has signaled he will follow what they say and may adjust state requirements, and sign an executive order. On Tuesday the state scrapped the Blueprint for a Safer Economy and it’s social distancing and mask mandates for members of the public who are vaccinated, but in businesses employees are still required to wear masks. Cal/OSHA, the state’s workplace regulating agency will vote today on whether to allow vaccinated workers to remove their masks. Unvaccinated workers would still have to wear masks. Supervisor Bruno Sabatier motioned to “unofficially” lift mandates Friday and “officially” next Tuesday at the board’s next meeting.

The same day there was a confrontation between activists and loggers at the Jackson Demonstration Forest in Casper, the activists reportedly opted not to meet with a couple of county supervisors because they invited Cal Fire to join. Mendocino Voice reports the activists were to meet County supervisors Dan Gjerde and Ted Williams to tour the forest but just before the planned walk thru, the groups led by the Mendocino Trail Stewards decided not to go with Gjerde because he invited Cal Fire reps. It’s all happening during a timber harvest plan, well under way and managed by Cal Fire. The news site says the activists said the largest trees shouldn’t be logged because of the amount of carbon they take from the atmosphere. Cal Fire says they have to log, to maintain the forest and after all it is a “demonstration forest” where logging practices are demonstrated.