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The Mendocino Cannabis Alliance has put out a statement about the Commercial Cannabis Activities Ordinance recently adopted by the Board of Supervisors. They say they’re against both changes, one which removes a provision for large-scale cultivation expansion and the other looks to totally nullify the ordinance. The alliance says there’s been a lot of talk around the move by the board, but says they believe the referendums endanger existing licensed businesses in Phase 1 and 2. So they say to protect their members they’re publicly opposing the referendums. 

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is looking for more information on a shooting in Clearlake Oaks. The department reports getting a call to a home where they found a dead man. A woman ended up in the hospital after admitting she shot the man who assaulted her. Police say the woman was cooperating in their investigation and the man’s injuries were consistent with the story.

A fire in Redwood Valley has quickly spread and burned 80 acres. The fire was not moving anymore after firefighters established control lines. There were several homes in the area evacuated. The fire is 20% contained with more very hot weather on the way.

Sonoma County once a hotbed for COVID19 spread, is once again seeing a spike in cases along with heat-related sickness. The county’s ICU beds are filling, currently hitting 72%. 44 patients were being treated for the virus in the 6 hospitals in the county, 13 are in an ICU. The Sonoma County Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase says the numbers are about where they were at in February.  Reports say all of the ICU cases are in unvaccinated individuals. County officials say it’s at where we were last summer, and not as bad as the surge they experienced over the winter months.

An environmental group is suing Sonoma County over the county’s permitting policies on drilling groundwater wells, something the group says could harm Russian River stream flows. California Coastkeeper, under the umbrella of the Russian Riverkeeper and several other like-minded organizations filed the lawsuit late last month. The group looking to stop the county from issuing more drilling permits and to put new rules in place for various assessments on the effects of well water extraction on the Russian River and its tributaries. It comes with a threat too, if the county doesn’t take appropriate measures, they’ll be considered in violation of their “public trust duty” to safeguard certain shared natural resources against adverse impacts.

As if it’s not been hot enough this early in summer, there’s a new excessive heat watch coming. The National Weather Service issued the warning starting this Saturday with temps expected in the 90’s and triple digits. Monday should cool off, but still be in the upper 90s and low 100s. But they say there’s no worry about increased wildfire risk. Also, there’s no red flag warning for the weekend.

A bunch more marijuana projects are being mulled by the Lake County Planning Commission. There’s a meeting this morning on the matter in Board chambers which will include discussion on a rather large operation in High Valley. Folks can be there in person, but like many other meetings during these times, it’s also on Zoom, the county’s Facebook page and on the county of Lake Youtube page. The High Valley Ranch operation on property recently sold for several million dollars. The company who purchased it filled out forms saying they were owners and managers of real estate. But one of the managers is apparently involved in various cannabis businesses around the state.

The state says since the pandemic has not gone away, school districts will have to still offer distance learning or some sort of independent study option. The Gov. and some lawmakers had previously said schools should fully reopen this fall for face to face instruction, but some kids and their parents are not prepared to get back to in person learning. So for this year only districts are mandated to offer students online learning through independent study, which has always been around as a voluntary model for districts pre-pandemic.

Tens of millions of dollars has been awarded by Caltrans from the state and federal government for cities, counties, tribes and transit companies in the state to work on improving the state’s transportation network. The $34 million in grant money is partially paying for sustainable transportation projects which were approved in a senate bill a few years ago. The infrastructure work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve the state highway system, enhance access to safe walkways and bikeways, and for natural disaster preparedness. About $700,000 goes to tribes, agencies and local governments for transit and active transportation projects. Sustainable Transportation Planning Grants were awarded to Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake and Mendocino counties.

Not looking good for wildfire season. So far, at least up until July 4th, from the start of the year, there were almost 4,600 fires in Calif, a lot more than the amount last year. Cal Fire reports there were about 3,850 fires during the same time period last year. And by the end of 2020 there had been just over 9,900 fires that scorched more than 6,650 square miles and damaged or destroyed nearly 10,500 structures. And 33 people were killed. The fire agency says this year so far 91 structures have been damaged or destroyed. There are two fires that have been burning for over a week, one is nearly totally surrounded, while another fire, the Salt Fire north of Redding is only 35% contained and has already burned over 12,640 acres.  The broiler fire here locally has burned 80 acres and has jumped to 60% containment from 20% in one day.

The state Attorney General says they have some new protocols to follow for police agencies after the death last year of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Atty. General Rob Bonta made the announcement yesterday that there will be investigations by the California Department of Justice into officer involved shooting deaths. The agency will work by itself, not in concert with investigations by local agencies. The new law was co-authored by Bonta when he was an Assemblyman and it went into effect July 1st. He says the department will ensure that every Californian is treated equally. Some police agencies though say they’re being undermined by the new law. There will be 33 special agents between northern and southern Calif. along with supervisors that will be able to call in crime analysts, forensic experts and others as needed. They’re looking to make sure shootings are justified.

A helicopter that had been contracted to work on a fire in the Northern California city of Weed made an emergency landing, but the pilot escaped unharmed. The U.S. Forest Service reports no injuries or damage and that the pilot either walked or swam out of Lake Shastina where they landed. There are nearly 1,000 firefighters on the Lava Fire which sparked by lightning June 24th. It has burned more than 25,000 acres and is just about 70% contained. 

Masks are mandatory again at the state Capitol after at least nine people tested positive for coronavirus. Four of the people who tested positive are considered break through cases since they are fully vaccinated, thus a return of to mandatory mask wearing for lawmakers and staff. The masks had been required still in hallways, committee rooms and legislative chambers, but anyone who was fully vaccinated could take their masks off in their own offices. That is no longer the case since the outbreak. Additionally, and already in place, those who have not been vaccinated need to be tested twice a week.

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