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The Lake County Board of Supervisors has approved the next phase of a feasibility study about a potential community aquatic center—or centers. The action means the county consulting firm can move ahead with its work. That includes looking at the results of a public survey, looking over design ideas, and coming up with a final report for the supervisors. Phase two of the study will cost 92,000. The county is paying its share through the Cannabis Internal program. The consultants have already identified four possible sites–Burns Valley Park in Clearlake, Westshore Swimming Pool, Quail Run Fitness Center, and Westside Community Park in Lakeport. The final decision will come after the consultant report is in and derails about how the project would be operated get worked out.

Mendocino County Resource Conservation District wants to help county residents get through the drought. The Agency is holding a Drought Drop-By Event for Free Water Conservation Supplies later this month in Ukiah. They will have kits with a one-gallon bucket, a low-flow showerhead, a faucet aerator, toilet leak detection tabs, plus other items related to water conservation. It takes place Saturday, August 21, at the Lucky Supermarket on East Perkins Street. The district website, mcrcd.org has more information about the event and other tips about water conservation.

Cal Fire continues to battle the huge Dixie Fire. It has now burned more than 515,000 acres and destroyed `1,109 structures. Another 14,000 structures are in danger. There are 4 people unaccounted for. 43 others earlier reported missing has been found safe. Governor Newsom toured the ruins of the small town of Greenville today. His office announced the state has secured a grant from FEMA that will reimburse up to 75 percent of local, tribal, and state costs related to the fire.

Back to the worst days of the pandemic in Mendocino County. The county public health dept. reports 95 new COVID cases, a new record for the county. The most ever before this was last December, when we had a high of 57 cases. Over the last seven days, the county had 319 new cases for a total now of over 5,200 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Public health reported fourteen people are hospitalized and eight are in the ICU. The most cases reported yesterday were in Ukiah. Then it was the North Coast and North County. The Director of Public Health also says in Fort Bragg there’s been a spike in new cases, above the previous daily case rate. 

Fort Bragg Police beefing up their traffic patrols. Starting Monday, the department is conducting a special Traffic Crosswalk Safety Enforcement Project which they say is considered a Maximum Enforcement Event where they will hand out tickets. They say it’s to bring attention to crosswalk safety for all Fort Bragg Schools. They will conduct the event throughout the City, with cops mostly focusing on crosswalks near school zones. They say since it’s been nearly a year since kids have been physically at school, they’re going to be there to keep them safe. The department also says they “hope no citations will be needed!”.

The Bureau of Land Management has more fire restrictions for public lands in place for the Arcata Field Office in Humboldt, Mendocino, Del Norte and Trinity counties. This means a ban on campfires, barbecues and any use of open flame, including camp stoves until further notice. It’s to prevent the possibility of starting new wildfires at any campground, developed recreation site, dispersed camping area and recreation trail, including the Lost Coast Trail in the King Range National Conservation Area. The Northern District BLM office says it’s due to the ongoing drought and extremely dry vegetation, making fire danger, extreme.

Detailed information on the updated Arcata Fire Prevention Order can be found online here. The BLM- California fire restrictions and statewide order are available online here. Information and helpful tips on preventing wildfire can be found at www.readyforwildfire.org.

For more information, telephone the Arcata Field Office, 707-825-2300.

Anyone living in Cloverdale now has to cut water use by 35% from last year’s levels. The City Council discussing the new mandates Wednesday after the city began to hit the 25% target that was set a few months ago, but only on five days in all of July. It’s not as much of a curtailment as what the State Water Resources Control Board ordered earlier this month for those on the upper Russian River. Residents in Cloverdale tend to use about 117 gallons a day on average, and will now be limited to 65 gallons/person per day. Lake Mendocino supplies all of the upper Russian River water is at its second lowest storage level in history and could run totally dry this winter.

A new report says Pacific Gas & Electric had promised after the Camp Fire it would start a safety campaign to fend off further disasters. The utility’s equipment sparked the massive fire that killed 88 people and ravaged most of the town of Paradise. Now its blamed once again for another fire, the Dixie, the largest single fire in California history. The company said it planned to bury some power lines to reduce the further risk of new fires, one of them was for a 10-mile stretch near the Dixie fire’s ignition point. The fire has burned hundreds of homes and charred nearly 516,000 acres. It’s 35% contained. The company admits it was probably their equipment that started the fire. The company’s spokesperson says the work to be done is caught up in bureaucratic red tape.

Renovations at City Hall in Willits on hold. The cost around $72,000. The city manager’s proposal will include furniture and construction, which he says will provide better public access.  But the city council is holding off for now because, A. they have no finance director and B. the city’s not sure where to pull money from at the moment to pay for it. The city manager says to reduce costs they’ll use recycled products and salvaged windows. After the finance director is in place, they will finalize their budget and present it to the city council again.

A buoy has been placed in the ocean in Caspar to monitor the cove area. The buoy launched by Aqualink and Sofar Ocean in partnership with the Nature Conservancy. The conservancy says they decided on Caspar Cove as an “initial target site” because of the “rapid and intensive ecosystem shift” from kelp forest to urchin barren. The buoy is a solar-powered smart buoy that relays top and bottom water temperature, wind speed and direction, wave height, period and direction in real-time, and is updated hourly. 

The last time the Lake County Planning Commission met it was to discuss an urgency ordinance for water reporting rules. At the time they tabled a discussion on a cannabis project, but as of yesterday they approved it. It’s the first Northshore dispensary approved under Lake County’s 2019 cannabis zoning rules. It also comes after the Board of Supervisors approved new rules last month requiring hydrology reports. The project looks to accommodate 10 customers/day and 35 deliveries/week.

Considering a vaccine mandate for the Yuba Community College District. The District Board is in charge of the Yuba and Woodland Colleges. They took no action because the subject didn’t appear on the official agenda, but they all decided to ask the interim Chancellor and staff to see what other districts in the state are doing, then present it at a special meeting in coming weeks. Lake Co News reports before the latest meeting three school employees asked about vaccines being mandatory, 2 were in favor, the third didn’t want it because some people cannot get the shots.

A fire that broke out in Ukiah earlier this week has been determined to have been caused by arson. The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority Battalion Chief says they ruled out all other causes, leaving only, human cause. They were at the scene of the fire in Ukiah Wednesday near the intersection of the 101 and River Street near the city’s water treatment plant. The chief says there are signs of encampments around the area so they’ve been trying to contact people who may have seen the fire ignite, or any suspicious activity. The fire burned 30 acres, triggered evacuations and burned 2 outbuildings.

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