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A group of Democratic lawmakers and advocates are urging the passage of an Emergency Food Assistance Bill.  Assemblymembers Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), Mike Gipson (D-Carson), Carlos Villapudua (D-Stockton) and Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) had a press conference on the bill which has passed the Assembly. It would provide $600 of emergency food assistance to low-income Californians impacted by the pandemic. The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), California Association of Food Banks (CAFB) and the Western Center on Law and Poverty (WCLP) are all sponsors. The lawmakers say the pandemic and resulting recession have left many in Calif. challenged to pay their rent, buy groceries and take care of other basic necessities.  

On Memorial Day weekend, it became clear, Lake Sonoma, was hit by the drought. The Army Corps of Engineers reported 400 vessels on the water body this past weekend. They had new regulations though because the lake is at historically low levels, exposing underwater hazards, in some cases, almost above the surface. The Corp. has extended the no wake zones to all areas, except where it’s wide and deep behind Warm Springs Dam. So it can get crowded in the only areas where water skiers, wake boarders and other users wanted to go at a high rate of speed, Dry Creek arm.  Same over at Lake Mendocino, but it’s closed to motorized boats and has been since last August. Lake Sonoma is at 57% of its seasonal capacity.

State Senator Scott Weiner of San Francisco is looking to get certain drugs decriminalized so they can be used for research and medicinal purposes. Wiener wants to decriminalize psychedelic drugs; he says because they’ve been shown to be able to aid in mental health issues and addiction. His bill, introduced in February, covers several drugs including psilocybin or magic mushrooms, DMT, mescaline, LSD, ketamine, and MDMA. The bill would legalize the drugs for anyone over 21 but could not be used or possessed on school grounds. It also looks to put together a research panel to hold hearings on projects that look at the use of cannabis or hallucinogenic drugs.

A driver in Ukiah pinned under his car had to be helped out by firefighters. The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority reported the driver got stuck after rolling into a ditch after a crash. He was found by a local, off-duty paramedic. The car had to be hoisted onto blocks, then rescuers used the Jaws of Life to free the man. The CHP reports the 34 year old from Ukiah had major injuries and had to be airlifted to a hospital in Santa Rosa. The crash is not being blamed on alcohol or drugs and the driver is not in trouble with the law.

Another car crash, but the people who were in the vehicle split the scene. The CHP reported it overturned in Covelo bringing out patrol officers, Covelo Fire, and Round Valley Tribal Police. A tow truck was called to remove the car from a ditch.

The Lakeport City Council has heard about the problem with wild pigs at the city’s sewer property. The city council considered the issue at their meeting last night, looking to enter a contract with the Department of Fish and Wildlife through the Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement, or SHARE program. The agreement would allow the city the right to have wild pig hunts on the Sewer District property which was grassland watered with treated wastewater where cattle had been grazing. The city council decided they’d continue to look into the solution before agreeing to the hunts. But the pigs have reportedly been tearing up the area and triggering neighbor complaints.

After the former mayor of Windsor resigned due to multiple sexual assault, abuse or harassment claims against him the Town Council will meet for the first time. Former Mayor Dominic Foppoli resigned last week after the latest complaint, this one from a reality star living in Florida, who says Foppoli raped her. The town council meeting tonight will feature a brief nod to the resignation then they will decide how to fill the spot, either an appointment or a special election. If they decide to just fill the spot, then whoever is chosen will no longer be a town councilor, so that spot will also need to be filled. Then applications would have to be accepted and so on. They could also appoint the second place finisher to the Mayor’s race last time.

Even as the state looks to fully reopen businesses in a couple weeks, Sonoma County will remain, until that time, in the orange tier. When the state reopens June 15th, there will be no more tiered system. Sonoma County is currently dealing with a moderate rate of COVID19 transmission. The Sonoma County Public Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase says there’s been a recent uptick in cases from young adults not vaccinated. She says it sends a message to get the vaccine since all of the cases are in those who are unvaccinated between the ages of 18-to-34. She does say, other than that, that the outlook is positive. Almost 60% of the county’s population is fully vaccinated and 12% more have had at least one shot. Mase says that has greatly reduced virus transmission in the county.

Senator Alex Padilla on an infrastructure listening tour has visited Calif.’s power grid in Folsom. Last summer were more intentional power downs and blackouts so there’s a campaign to stop it. Padilla at California ISO Tuesday talking up the so-called Power On Act, which could mean funds to improve the power grid. The California ISO reportedly added around 3,500 more megawatts to supply capability this year though. The agency says this will address the lack of power when it’s needed.  Padilla says so if there have to be public safety power shutoffs, over time, it can happen in more targeted areas, not such wide swaths of the state.

As we head into the driest part of the year and deal with another year of drought, a reminder from the California Water Board, if you divert water from any water body and put it into a truck you have to have a valid water right. The agencies say, if you don’t, you could be fined and cited. The fees range from $500 to $1,000 a day during a drought year, and $2,500 per acre-foot of water diverted—by the State Water Board and the Department of Fish & Wildlife. The penalties include up to a year in jail, and a $2,000 fine. The water board doesn’t generally act as law enforcement unless it impacts water quality and water supply.

Just like every year gas prices go up around Memorial Day and tend to come back down around Labor Day or the end of the holiday traveling season. But a new report by AAA says gasoline prices are at a seven-year high with a gallon of gas averaging just over $3/gallon across the country. Up about .15¢ from a month ago and nearly $2 from a year ago. But here in Calif. we’re at about $4.20 a gallon. Hawaii’s just behind us at about $3.93 a gallon and other West Coast states are pretty high too, including Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Utah. The cheapest in the south, under 3 bucks in places like Mississippi, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

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