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Because of a massive surge of cases of coronavirus, public health officials in seven Bay Area counties, and the city of Berkeley are ordering masks to be worn by everyone inside, vaccinated or not. From the beginning of the pandemic, the Mendocino Public Health Office has said they’re following what Sonoma County does, but they’ve not mandated masks again here. The mask mandate in the Bay Area includes Sonoma County. It started overnight. The Sonoma County Public Health Officer, Dr. Sundari Mase says since we know that masks work to slow the circulation of the virus, and because of the contagious variants spreading, “it’s become clear that mask wearing is again necessary”. She also said vaccinations are another important tool to end the pandemic. That the shots are safe, effective, free and widely available.

As man as 1,500 water rights holders in the Upper Russian River watershed are losing the ability to get water to try to save as much storage as possible in Lake Mendocino. The order came yesterday for grape growers, ranchers, small water districts, towns and rural property owners and starts immediately under emergency regulations from the State Water Resources Control Board adopted in June. If water is taken anyway, water rights holders could be fined as much as $1,000 a day or $2,500 for each acre foot diverted. And if the rights holders are still in violation, there could be cease-and-desist demands ending in fines of up to $10,000 a day. The agency is expected to put even more curtailment orders in place before next week for another 310 water claims in the lower river watershed.

Mendocino Supervisors will spend some time with Public Health at their next meeting. This morning Supervisors will take up a discussion and take possible action on essential services in the county and discuss being prepared and responding to the pandemic as the latest surge in cases inundates the state. They will also take up Associated Countywide Economic Impacts due to the pandemic. They’ll also take up the controversial matter of the Sheriff Matt Kendall using an outside lawyer for services if there’s a conflict with County Counsel. This has drawn much public comment already, on Facebook, at least. And the Board will also get an update and possibly accept some recommendations from the County’s Drought Task Force Ad Hoc Committee.

A firefighter working near McKinleyville has been injured. Kym Kemp reports the firefighter was working on the Azalea Fire and received 2nd degree burns on his lower leg. He was transported to a hospital by ambulance. The news site reports forward movement on the fire has stopped and it only burned about two acres. Firefighters were in the mop up stage yesterday when the injury was reported. Cal Fire was joined by Arcata, Westhaven, Blue Lake, and the Humboldt Bay Fire Departments. 

The ER at Sutter Lakeside Hospital has reported they have over a dozen coronavirus patients. The hospital reported they only have 14 beds usually, and now have 18 COVID-19 patients. According to the CDC yesterday morning about half of all Lake County residents who are eligible to get a vaccine have had it, but another 41% haven’t even had one dose. So in the Board meeting this morning, District 5 Supervisor, Jessica Pyska, is sponsoring an Extra Item: an Urgency Ordinance for masks, so employees and the public are not exposed in County-operated facilities. This is essentially taking 12 steps back to a mask mandate for everyone. It needs to get a four-fifths vote. It’s only for county facilities.

A public outing of those in Lakeport delinquent on their utility bill. The City Council is having a bunch of meetings on the matter to approve the utility bill delinquency list to be sent to the County Auditor-Controller to be included on the property tax roll. Account holders had until today to pay their bills off. They cover from May 31st until now. The City Council is also discussing a recreation feasibility study with an architect to finish Phase 2 of that study. That includes getting the public involved in picking places in the city for recreational purposes, the layout and design and a look at what they already have in the city too.

Clearlake City Officials will get a first glance at the feasibility study for a county recreation and aquatic center. Lake Co News reports the phase one recreation center feasibility study was presented to the Clearlake City Council last month by the architecture firm. The same firm working on Lakeports Recreation Feasibility Study. The Lakeport City Council will take a look at their report today, then the Board of Supervisors will see it next week.  This all started after the Lake County Recreation Task Force started their regular meetings and site tours this past spring.

Almost a pound of meth found on a man in Clearlake, send him to jail. Police say Michael Mitchell was arrested yesterday about noontime after an officer on routine patrol caught a glimpse of the man in a silver 2007 BMW parked on the side of the road. They knew he was on parole for drug trafficking in Idaho. And when Mitchell saw police, they say they saw him throw a backpack to try to hide it. They contacted him and searched the backpack which had two large plastic baggies with suspected methamphetamine. There was also a digital scale and a large amount of cash. He’s arrested but initially was not booked in jail, but officers went to a judge, and he ended up getting bail of $250,000.

Another protest is planned for the Jackson Demonstration Forest. The Cal Fire Jackson Demonstration State Forest Advisory Group is supposed to be meeting in Fort Bragg tonight at Fort Bragg Town Hall and some youngsters are planning to march from Oak St. and Highway 1, starting at 5 p.m., to town hall to protest logging in the forest. The advisory group works with Cal Fire and the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection. They’re planning updates on the operations at the Forest and the planned government-to-government consultation with local tribes. The meeting is supposed to be covering the public’s outcry about commercial logging in the state forest. 

Several hundred Vietnam veterans, including a couple dozen Californians and one from Ukiah are being inducted into the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s (VVMF) In Memory Program. The program is to remember those who lost their lives in service to their country, but after returning home from the war. The 2020 ceremony is being hosted this coming October. There will be 591 honorees read aloud. The Ukiah resident is Michael Robert Moore who graduated from Ukiah High, then went to college in Sacramento. He was in Vietnam from 1971-72, but died in July of 2017 from Agent Orange complications.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company is going to start sending crews out to pick up wood that was cut down last summer after the Oak Fire and August Complex Fire. Crews and contractors for the utility company were trying to get power back to customers and had to cut down hazardous trees risking safety or their electric equipment. They chipped wood less than four inches in diameter, then spread those chips around and some was left behind. But they had complaints so they’re coming back to pick up the wood and dispose of it. The work will start next week or the week after.

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