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If you live in Lake County and you want to observe part of the recall election ballot count, you’re in luck. The Lake County Registrar of Voters Office says observers and members of the public can watch a public manual tally of a minimum of 1% of randomly selected precincts from the September 14th recall 2 weeks after. On Tuesday, September 28th, you can head to the office at 9:00 a.m.  The selection of the precinct(s) in the manual tally will be randomly chosen on the same day before the tally.

Another death has been reported in Mendocino County due to coronavirus. The Public Health Dept. reports being notified of the elderly woman who is the 59th death in the county. The 88 year old Covelo woman’s death was confirmed by Public Health who reports she was also not vaccinated.

In Sonoma County, they’re reporting three more deaths from the virus. Their Public Health Dept reports the deaths are part of the summer surge of infections and hospitalizations which may be mostly to blame on the highly transmissible delta strain. The Public Health Officer, Dr. Sundari Mase reports there are more young people getting ill and most of them are unvaccinated. She also says she’s very concerned about the deaths, because they too, are predominantly in the unvaccinated, and, she says, they are tragic preventable deaths. The latest deaths were in people with serious underlying medical conditions, two of them were unvaccinated. One was a man between 18 and 49, the other was a woman between 50 and 64, who both died at a hospital. The third was in a 64 year old vaccinated man who also died at a local hospital.

The Calif. state epidemiologist says she sees signs the virus is waning again. Dr. Erica Pan, says they’re hopeful with the latest overview of the virus in the state looking like it’s either peaking, or plateauing. She says it looks a lot like last summer. But serious cases are on the upswing with over 8,200 people hospitalized and almost 2,000 in intensive care across California. Dr. Pan says the state saw one of the highest daily surges in new hospital admissions last week. The state is also predicting as many as 2,000 people could die in the next three weeks. The rate of hospitalizations is leveling off though and ICU admissions should follow.

The Clearlake City Council gave the greenlight to bringing in more taxes… they voted unanimously to buy the city’s old water park so they can erect a giant commercial development instead. They’re working with Burbank Housing and Development in Sonoma County, paying $1 million for 11.28 acres on Old Highway 53 where the Outrageous Waters water park has sat dormant since 2005. The land was gifted to the development company 4 years ago. The company develops affordable housing but wasn’t planning anything in Lake County so the city, which is developing land nearby, will now have 40 acres to work with.

After the devastating Cache Fire burned over 50 homes last week, the city of Clearlake and local agencies and the state are opening a Local Assistance Center. The center is a central location where those impacted by the fire can go get help, food and water. It’s located at the Clearlake Senior/Community Center on Bowers Ave. in Clearlake. They’re open this afternoon and again tomorrow and Friday, odd hours, so check with them.  Anyone who lost their home or had it severely damaged will be able to get help with debris removal, hazardous materials cleanup, utility assistance, driver’s license and car registration/title replacement, and emotional support programs.

PG&E is adding some weather stations in Lake County. The utility company is adding 13 more stations as part of its work to position the stations in areas of potential fire danger, so they can continue to work on their public safety power shutoff events and prepare for severe weather. So far they’ve put up a couple hundred stations in 2021. In Lake County, there will now be 43 and Pacific Gas & Electric plans to have 1,300 weather stations up and running by the end of this year.

Since the town of Mendocino has been long suffering with very low water, the Board of Supervisors has given the greenlight to truck water into town. The board approved a resolution yesterday for a water hauling assistance program to bring in water from Ukiah to the Summer Lane reservoir in Fort Bragg that will then be treated, then trucked to Mendocino. It comes after stories went viral about the tiny tourism hamlet impacted by the drought. The board says they’ll apply for a state grant to cover most of the cost for residential uses, but they haven’t quite figured out the business piece yet. The trucking of 50,000 to 75,000 gallons of water from Fort Bragg to Mendocino each day stopped as Fort Bragg’s water was too low to supply to Mendocino. There were no other water sources available until now.

The Governor sent a letter to the president for a Major Disaster Declaration due to massive fires burning in the state this summer, and it’s already been approved. The Presidential Major Disaster Declaration was sent Monday to respond to the wildfires and send more support to Lassen, Nevada, Placer and Plumas counties. The Governor commented yesterday the state’s grateful for the President’s “swift approval” of the request and the continued work of “our heroic firefighters and emergency responders to protect communities across Northern California”.  So the declaration can free up resources like housing assistance, counseling, medical services and legal services.

UPPER LAKE, Calif., August 23, 2021— The Mendocino National Forest Upper Lake Ranger District office will be closed Aug. 25 and Sept. 2 and 3 to support wildfire response and management throughout the western United States.

“We regret limiting our public service at the Upper Lake District office,” Mendocino National Forest Supervisor Ann Carlson said. “But as the state and greater region continue to have critical fire support needs, we’re committed to assisting in any way we can.”

In July, former Forest Service Chief Victoria Christiansen issued a memorandum requesting all Forest Service units prioritize personnel and resources to support wildfire response.

Due to the extreme conditions across the nation and the dynamic nature of mobilizing support resources, the public is encouraged to check the Mendocino National Forest website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/mendocino for the latest updates on office and forest closures.

For more information or immediate service needs, please contact the Mendocino National Forest’s headquarters in Willows at 530-934-3316.  

The Fort Bragg Telstar Charter boat somehow got loose and was found adrift in the Pacific Ocean. Apparently the vessel’s steering capabilities failed so the Coast Guard Station Noyo River responded, sending help to bring the boat back to shore. Mendo Fever reports the station got news of the boat adrift about three miles south of Noyo Harbor after losing its steering. The Coast Guard sent a 47-foot motor lifeboat to help those aboard. The boat was side-towed in and moored by the Sea Pals restaurant. 

The now temporary, and former public health officer in Lake County, Dr. Gary Pace, says it seems like the coronavirus is stabilizing. Dr. Pace at yesterday’s Board of Supervisors meeting helping out as they try to find a new health officer. He reported there have been a total of 72 deaths in the county so far and just under 5,100 confirmed cases since the pandemic first surfaced in 2020. The positivity rate is at 42 cases per 100,000 people, 11th in the state.  But Pace says there have been several outbreaks in schools and at the county jail where 52 inmates and seven staffers caught the virus. There was pushback from public participants after the doc said to wear masks and get vaccinated, at which time the Board Chair reminded the last three people who died of COVID were unvaccinated.

In the face of the pandemic continuing in Lake County, the fair will go on. The Lake County Fair is happening Labor Day weekend, opening on Thursday, Sept. 2nd. It starts with a grand opening Blue-Ribbon Dinner and then the grandstand event “Guns N Hoses”. The headline act on Friday is Mud Boggs and on Saturday, it’s the Destruction Derby and Sunday is Fiesta Day.

Ukiah is considering a developing in the Western Hills. The Planning Commission will hear a plan tonight at their meeting for the city to annex approx. 700 acres for which they are looking to develop about 50 acres. Staff reports say the city is looking to hold some of the area for open space preservation, the rest would be for low density residential development on the easternmost acres. There had been a hearing set on the plan in May, but staff asked for more time for public comment review and response.

The Planning Commission meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Aug. 25. To join the virtual meeting go to: https:// global.gotomeeting.com/ join/678443853 Or call +1 (408) 6503123; Access Code: 67844385

The numbers are in… money made from the recreational marijuana market. The state Department of Tax and Fee Administration says for the second quarter of the year, the state made just over $172 million and the state cultivation tax brought in $40.4 million. The total sales tax revenue was $120.5 million for the same period for the sales of cannabis, cannabis products, and other tangible personal property. Since the law passed in 2016 and the market was set up a couple years later, the state has raked in $2.8 billion, $1.4 billion in cannabis excise tax, $347.4 million in cultivation tax, and $1.0 billion in sales tax.

The local Economic Development & Financing Corporation reports getting over a million dollars in pandemic stimulus money. The Ukiah based agency says it got $1.3 million in Covid relief from the federal government from the Community Development Financing Institutions Rapid Response Program. There were 68 agencies who received the money in Calif., and the EDFC was one of 41 Community Development Financial Institutions to get money. The agencies lend money to small businesses. The agencies mission is to “connect money and ideas with entrepreneurs to create sustainable prosperity in Mendocino, Lake and Sonoma Counties.”

For more information, visit edfc.org/loan-programs or call 707-234-5705 for more information.

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