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Monthly Archives: October 2021

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control plans to begin Phase 1 cleanup for properties impacted by Hopkins Fire on Tuesday. The Department, along with their contractor and Mendocino county staff, will perform assessments and remove household hazardous waste, bulk asbestos, and e-waste from the affected property. The job should take until the end of the week.

The Lake County Board of supervisors will hold the third of four 2021 Redistricting Public Hearings next week. Ahead of the meeting, draft maps have been prepared to show five potential sets of supervisor district boundaries. Those maps take into account feedback from the last redistricting hearing earlier this month. The upcoming session will feature a presentation from the consultant the county hired to help in the process. They will outline the pros and cons of the maps as drawn thus far. The meeting will be at 6:00 pm on Tuesday at the Board of Supervisors office. It will also be virtual on Zoom. The county government website has the information about signing up.

Wine Enthusiast magazine has nominated Lake County as one its of wine regions of the year. The magazine says outstanding high-elevation vineyards, simmering seismic activity, and one of the top 10 bass-fishing lakes in the United States make Lake County what it calls a unique wine region and travel destination. No surprise there, according to the Lake County Winegrape Commission. President Debra Sommerfield says the nomination affirms Lake County’s reputation as a premium wine-growing spot. This is the first time Lake County has been nominated. The other nominees are Santa Barbara in California, along with growing regions in France, New Zealand, and South Africa. The winner will be announced next month, and get a full spread in the magazine’s year-end issue.

A plane crash at the Ukiah airport has ended in one death. The National Transportation Safety Board tweeted about the crash last night saying they were investigating the Cessna 172 light plane crash. The fire department was on the scene after 1 pm and police were also reported to be at the crash scene. There was a report that one person died, but there were no immediate details to support that.

A federal contract to give permanent access to federally controlled water to the biggest agricultural water supplier was tossed out of court. Environmentalists said the deal for Westlands Water District from the fed was to benefit corporations not the environment or taxpayers. The deal was made during the Trump Administration by the Interior Secretary, a former lobbyist for that water supplier.

A Halloween warning from the state Attorney General Rob Bonta. Bonta says to beware of certain cannabis-infused edibles packaged to look just like regular versions of popular food and candy products like Cheetos, Oreos and Fruity Pebbles. The illegal and unregulated edibles could have dangerously high-levels of THC in them. Bonta asks you to report any of these your children may receive while out trick or treating, and to go thru their items to be sure they didn’t get any. He says it may seem harmless and fun, but there are dangers associated with unregulated and untested cannabis products.

If you encounter lookalike cannabis-infused edible products, please file a complaint with our office at ‪‪ and with the Department of Cannabis Control at or at

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing protection of over one million acres of habitat space for the Humboldt marten. The proposal for the North Coast in Del Norte and Siskiyou counties and in Oregon in Coos, Curry, Douglas, Josephine, Lane and Lincoln counties. The proposal would add over 1,413,300 acres of habitat for the tiny creature that lives in old growth Redwood forests. The Center for Biological Diversity has been pushing for the move. The Humboldt marten is a member of the weasel, mink and otter family, which are endangered due to logging practices and wildfires, rodent poisons from growing cannabis and being run down by cars.

After a Wednesday search for a missing Humboldt County man in Covelo, deputies say there’s still no sign of him. The Sheriff’s Office and Mendocino County Search and Rescue Team went out again Weds. in the area of Highway 162 at the 8-mile bridge in search of 48 year old John Davis who was out hunting and camping with his son and dog. A missing persons report was taken Sunday when he didn’t return to the campsite. Mutual aid Search & Rescue came in from across the region with no luck. He’s described as 5 foot 11, 220 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes, last seen in a camouflage rain jacket, and neon green pants with a reflective stripe.

3 Redwood Credit Union employees have been elevated to regional vice president. Jana Beaty-Andresen, Jose Alvarez, and Jenniffer Collins will oversee branches and their employees. Beatty-Andresen has been with credit union for 26 years. She’ll lead in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, and Sebastopol. Alvarez has more than 15 years of local banking experience and will oversee the Cloverdale, Lower Lake, Point Arena, Ukiah, Windsor, and Sonoma branches. And Collins has extensive experience in teambuilding and customer service and will be in charge of American Canyon, Napa, Novato, San Francisco, San Rafael, and the Mill Valley branches.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors has supported an agreement for the exchange of property the county owns in Clearlake for the Lakeport Armory, for the new sheriff’s office headquarters. They’ve been working on the deal almost three years. The Armory is next to the county jail, and has been excess state-owned property. The swap for a piece of land on 18th Ave. in Clearlake for a 100-unit affordable housing project. The property was supposed to be for veterans housing, but that plan fell through. It’s right near a big shopping center, hospital and college campus. There will also be a new transit hub there to service the Bay Area to Shasta County.

Congressman Mike Thompson says President Biden’s Build Back Better deal includes a piece of his legislation, the GREEN Act. Thompson says it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change. He says he met with the President to get an update on the infrastructure deal, saying it’s “a direct investment in the middle class” to support education for children, cut taxes for working families, help people get jobs if they’re still without and make a historic effort to address climate change. He says the GREEN Act will support renewable energy and decarbonization. It provides: Universal preschool, childcare, an expanded child tax credit, clean energy tax credits and investments in clean energy technology, manufacturing, and supply chains and more.

The first ever after school hub is being launched by Hope Rising in Lake County. The Smart Start | Bright Future initiative started earlier this month at Burns Valley Elementary in Clearlake for in-depth, enriching experiences for K-7th graders. They officially launched the campaign this past June working with First 5 Lake County to help parents and caregivers with services and programs for eligible children. They say they support youth in Lake County from birth to graduation and beyond.

It was a fire in an underground utility vault that caused some Clearlake residents to lose power. The Clearlake Police Chief Andrew White says the fire Wednesday happened in the Pacific Gas and Electric electrical vault. Two people walking by saw smoke and called 911. The Chief says they sent officers out, along with Lake County Fire and PG&E. The fire triggered a power outage on Lakeshore Drive and the surrounding area. PG&E told Lake Co News the power was off for almost 2,800 customers.

The Small Business Administration has approved a request by Mendocino County for a disaster declaration for the Hopkins Fire. So residents impacted by the fire can now apply for low interest disaster loans. They have until December 27th to apply for a loan and for an economic injury loan, that’s next July 26th.

Apply online at or reach out at or (800) 659-2955

The public is getting access to the three day meeting of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission. The meeting was posted online as it occurred in Los Angeles yesterday. It’s a day after the commission released so-called “visualizations” of how they see new maps playing out, something the Lake County Board of Supervisors was vehemently opposed to. The visualizations are the new boundaries for Congressional, State Assembly and the state Senate districts could be. They covered the State Assembly Districts for the North Coast region, that includes Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt, Del Norte, Trinity, and parts of Siskiyou and Sonoma counties. Lake has asked to be paired with Sonoma County. The meeting continues today.

The state has put out guidance on the COVID-19 vaccine booster and the shots for the younger age groups. Shots could become available for youngsters as soon as next week. The secretary of the Calif. Health & Human Services Agency, Dr. Mark Ghaly and the state epidemiologist, Dr. Erica Pan spoke on the boosters, which was followed yesterday afternoon by the Governor getting his Moderna vaccine booster at an Asian Health Services’ clinic in Chinatown in Oakland. The public health team said cases are stabilizing, except for those not yet vaccinated, who are nearly 7 times more likely to become ill, and 12 times more likely to end up in the hospital, and 18 times more likely to die.

A man accused in the shooting death of another man in July at a marijuana cultivation site in Laytonville will be held over for a jury trial. 23 year old Oscar Alvarez Ruiz had his preliminary trial where the judge found enough evidence to go to trial. Ruiz is accused of killing 27-year-old Edgar Alejandro Becerra-Almaraz last summer. He was seen running away from the scene and a third person, thought to be involved was freed. Ruiz was eventually caught and held on one million dollars bail for murder, but it was reduced to $800,000 bail, but he’s still in jail.

You might expect such torrential rains would end the drought, but not so fast. Even though Lake County’s season rainfall is now already, way above average, 300% to be exact, Clear Lake is up a nudge only. The Lake County Department of Water Resources reported the level had improved. But alas, more rain is on the way. Showers and possible thunderstorms are forecasted tomorrow and Saturday, then a whole lot more by Monday and into next week.

The body of a woman from Lakeport reported missing earlier this week has been found. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office reports 75-year-old Shirley Schield left her home early Monday morning. Her body was found yesterday, only about a quarter mile from her home at the Northport Trailer Park. They say they don’t think there was any foul play and an autopsy is planned. Schield was also known as Carol. Her family told deputies she may have had dementia. Deputies set out with Search and Rescue crews and Kelseyville High School K-Corp looking for her. Then yesterday morning the Marin County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue and the California Rescue Dog Association joined the search.

State Senator Mike McGuire’s bill for seasonal firefighters to enjoy the same workplace laws as full timers is now the law. McGuire’s bill protects these 1,600 seasonal workers under the Firefighter Bill of Rights. McGuire says they’re doing the same back-breaking work as their full time counterparts and put themselves in harm’s way fighting the biggest fires in the nation’s history on the front lines, so it’s time they get equal protections for equal work. The first Firefighter Bill of Rights, passed in 2007, and this updates it so that seasonal firefighters are taken care of after their first year of work.

Sonoma County looks to be over the COVID Delta strain surge. The Press Democrat reports the virus’s highly transmissible strain seems to be dying down. Last month 6 residents passed away though. But there were 38 in August and 25 in September. There are still several hospitalizations, but they’re way down too, to 20. Still the Public Health Department reported similar trends to last year with the peak in August, but hopefully it won’t also peak again in January since we have the vaccinations. As of this past Tuesday the daily rate was just about 8 new daily cases per 100,000 residents, the lowest since July.

Cal Fire says even though we had a lot of rain, the wildfire season continues. The agency says we’re still in peak season for dry, northerly winds and low moisture that follows with moisture out of forests and grasslands. And in Southern Calif., it’s the time of year where Santa Ana winds usually hit. The Mendocino Unit Chief for Cal Fire says it could just take one windstorm to whip up another fire. Cal Fire is also still fully staffed and probably won’t release seasonal firefighters for another couple months.

Clearlake Police have posted some disturbing information on Facebook about free distribution of glass smoking pipes. They say the group Any Positive Change (APC) is distributing the pipes, as they do with needles for IV drug uses. Police say late last year they posted something to get feedback on the proposed renewal of the syringe exchange program authorization for Community Outreach Matters (COM) and from the state Department of Public Health (CDPH). But the community was concerned. Police say the state also expanded the supplies given to include glass pipes, foil and copper wire filters for smoking meth, crack cocaine and heroin. The needle exchange program ended this past April, but Any Positive Change was still exchanging the items.  Police say they will be in contact with them, the City Council, Board of Supervisors and Public Health Officer about the expansion of the program. Meanwhile the Facebook post had gone viral and has hundreds of comments.

The wet weather trail closure in the Mendocino National Forest for the Grindstone District has ended. Forest officials have issued new a wet weather trail closure though, this one started this morning for the Upper Lake and Covelo Ranger Districts. Temporary wet weather trail closures start if there’s two inches of rain within one 24-hour period or if the soil is saturated. The wet weather off-highway vehicle (OHV) trail closures restrict the use of OHV trails when conditions are too wet to sustain use without causing soil loss, impacting water quality, damaging trail tread and putting public safety at risk. The closure stays put until there’s no measurable precipitation for 48 consecutive hours.

The license for the Potter Valley Project is up for grabs as PG&E doesn’t want to manage the project. Earlier this week we told you about a petition to get a meeting with Congressmembers Jared Huffman and John Garamendi on the project, as there’s a goal to close the Two Basin Partnership deal by April 2022. California Trout, Humboldt County, the Mendocino County Inland Water & Power Commission, the Round Valley Indian Tribes and Sonoma County Water Agency have asked for an extension on the license transfer application to work out how to remove the dam and restore the Eel and Russian river basins. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, commonly known as FERC, said no last month. Huffman told the Times-Standard, that wasn’t the end of the world and working toward the April date could be a better way to get there. But he also says if the partnership doesn’t get enough money for all the work and the application, the Potter Valley Project could be decommissioned.

An epidemic of business closures due to low staff or companies refusing to adhere to the state’s vaccination rules. This time in Contra Costa County. Public health officials indefinitely closed the In-N-Out Burger in Pleasant Hill for ignoring continued warnings to verify customers dining inside could prove they were vaccinated or were tested for the COVID 19 virus in the past 72 hours. Two other locations did the same and were warned or fined in Contra Costa too. In-N-Out continues to blow off the requirements, putting out a statement that they won’t be the “vaccination police”, calling it “unreasonable, invasive, and unsafe”. The In-N-Out in San Francisco was also shuttered for a few days for the same reasons.

Lakeport Police have formally partnered with Lake Family Resource Center to offer help to those dealing with mental health challenges and help the department with de-escalating certain situations. Last week the City Council approved an intervention responder program and gave the Police Chief and City Manager permission to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Lake Family Resource Center. That means a community crisis intervention specialist will be funded by Lake Family Resource Center and assigned to the Lakeport Police Department. They’re currently finalizing the memo and look to start the program officially Monday.

A man from Humboldt County we told you about who went missing on a camping and hunting trip near Covelo is still gone and his family is asking for help finding him. John Davis vanished on his trip Sunday morning. There’s a meetup to search for him this morning at 10 a.m. at the 8 mile Bridge on Highway 162 west of Covelo. He was reportedly out with his son and dog, who were found. Davis is described as a 48 year-old white man with brown hair and blue eyes, 5 foot 11, 220 lbs. He was last seen in a camouflage rain jacket and neon green pants with reflective stripes.

A man wanted for three warrants in Ukiah has been arrested. Police say an officer on patrol saw a car with an equipment violation and stopped it. The driver gave a phony name, but was identified eventually as Jesse Lucas, who had 3 misdemeanor warrants for his arrest. He was found with two others, a female named Nicole Sanderson and a man who was not involved in any wrongdoing. Lucas was detained after being found with suspected Fentanyl, then 131 grams of suspected methamphetamine and Fentanyl packaged for sale. There was also paraphernalia for their use. Sanderson was also detained but released with a citation for having a pipe. Lucas was jailed on $22,000.00 bail.

Police say they’ve arrested a man for driving a stolen car from Georgia in Ukiah. They pulled the guy over in a 2021 Nissan sedan for driving well over the speed limit on S. State St.  Two people in the car were removed. Charles Christian was found to be on parole for a felony. He said the car was rented from Enterprise in North Carolina, but he apparently never brought it back. He was arrested and held on no bail. The passenger was not found to be involved and released at the scene.

Police in Ukiah at the Jack in the Box on Airport Park Blvd., earlier this month for reports of a fight. A 911 caller said two men were in an altercation. One named, David Calvo, was found with a concealed fixed blade knife and detained without incident. Another man had visible injuries on his head and face and told police Calvo, an acquaintance of his, accused him of stealing his jacket, and he punched him trying to take the jacket off him. A witness yelled to stop. Calvo was also found with a glass pipe to smoke meth out of, and he had an outstanding misdemeanor warrant. He was arrested and held on 62,500.00 bail. The victim was checked out by medics and released.

Lake County officials have put out a statement after finding out the California Citizens Redistricting Commission had released potential District-based boundaries, which would alter all of Lake County’s present alignments. It happens each decade after the US Census, but the county was against the materials being seen by the public. Their press release said the proposed overhaul would be a great disservice to Lake County at a critical time. So the Board of Supervisors submitted a Letter of Opposition to the Commission, and is encouraging concerned Lake County residents, to make their voices heard too.  

To submit comments, visit and scroll down to “Visualizations Feedback Form.”  The commission is meeting again today.

The Fort Bragg City Council has put caps on business permits for cannabis dispensaries in the central business core. There is not a cap outside the area in the city though. They’ve capped it at three dispensaries, which will be given permits on a merit-point system instead of first-come-first-served. The council is looking to put local businesses first. Right now there are two cannabis dispensary business permits approved, one of which is in the central business district, but there are more pending. The city council is also looking to keep any dispensaries at least 100 feet away from youth centers.

It looks like the Employment Development Dept. is putting the scandals behind them and catching up with the scores of backlogged claims from when the pandemic first surfaced. The agency has admitted there may have been as much as $31 billion in fraudulent payments made and hundreds of thousands of backlogged claims for weeks at a time. Lawmakers took a meeting on the matter this week. The state auditor had a report from back in January that found EDD was unprepared for the pandemic. The head of the agency, appointed by the Governor around the same time says the department is “being transformed”. She also said the department has been working its way through 21 recommendations by the state auditor.

The yearly Lake County Burn Ban has been lifted. Cal Fire allowed for the move due to the lowered wildfire risk after recent rains. The Lake County Air Quality Management District says you must have a burn permit in order to burn outdoors and you can pick them up at your local Fire Protection District.

The water emergency in the city of Fort Bragg is over and at least one of the city of Mendocino’s wells has recovered. The well looks to be in recovery mode after severe drought that caused a trio of wells to run dry this past summer. The Mendocino Voice reports the town got over 4 inches of rain Saturday alone and the October rainfall total is over 8 inches, just shy of the ten inches the town needed for recovery in 35 wells that were either dry or underproducing. The news site also reports at the city council meeting in Fort Bragg on Monday, they rescinded the water emergency where the Noyo River was flowing nicely over normal for this time of year. Some areas of the county got between 4-13 inches of rain from the atmospheric river that dumped on us this weekend and Monday. There’s also a chance of rain today, but slight. And another system is expected Sunday into Monday.

Crews came out as the rain fell to protect the Russian River from debris that could have flowed from the Hopkins Fire burn area. After the National Weather Service forecasted four to six inches of rain for the Ukiah valley, the county moved to protect the river. The Board of Supervisors agreed to allow work around the burn scar for about $50,000. The California Conservation Corps jumped into help. The Russian Riverkeeper nonprofit also helped, bringing supplies along. The crews reported to the Mendocino Voice news site they were able to curtail as much as 95 percent or more of the debris out of the river.  The Board of Supervisors got a status report Tuesday after the rainstorms moved out, finding a small section of the riverbank collapsed but most of the work helped.

A search and rescue continues for a man from Humboldt County believed to be in Covelo. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and Mendocino County Search & Rescue are looking for 48 year old John Davis who they say disappeared in the area of Highway 162 at the 8-mile bridge Sunday morning. He was reportedly out camping and hunting with family members. His dog was found, but he was nowhere to be seen. They describe Davis as a White man, 5 foot 11, 220 lbs with brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen in a Camouflage Rain Jacket and Neon Green pants with a reflective stripe.

More information is being gathered by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office into two deaths in the Blue Lake area. However investigators released some info and say they’re not sure the deaths, that happened a month apart, are related. But since they were close to each other, they’re not ruling it out. The first on September 11th, a man was found near a trail in the Trinidad area. Eugene Steven Segal had been known as a local transient, who deputies say was murdered. The second death, 29 year old Harold Hernandez Howard, who was found October 10th, also murdered, and found near the Mad River Levee. He had been living as a transient in the Blue Lake Area. The cause of death in both victims was with held due to the ongoing investigations.

Police in Clearlake say a man has been found dead behind the Burns Valley Shopping Center. The body found a week ago Saturday night in the rear parking lot of the shopping mall. Police and Paramedics were sent to the area, finding the man down and tried to give him CPR, without luck. He was identified later as 44 year old Steven Chrisman of Clearlake, who had been assaulted. Detectives are investigating. No word on a possible suspect or motive.

A woman in Lakeport has been reported missing. Police say Shirley Schield left her Northport Trailer Park home on foot very early yesterday morning, during the storm. The 75 year-old was last seen in a light blue / pink sweater with light blue pants carrying a dog leash. They say she may have dementia and respond to “Carol” or “Shirley”. She’s further described as a White woman, about 5’ 6” and 130 Lbs with blue eyes and short white hair.  

Congressman Jared Huffman is on the lookout for a Wounded Warrior to apply to be a Fellow in his offices, in either San Rafael, Petaluma, Ukiah, or Eureka. It’s the first time his office is accepting folx into the program. The Fellowship program provides veterans a way to use their unique skillsets from service and helps them with a new career in Congress to start, and possibly beyond. Congressman Huffman says he’s “incredibly honored to be able to participate in this program and welcome a former servicemember to our district team”. The program is to offer jobs to veterans in the US House of Representatives. It’s a two-year fellowship which is offered in congressional Member District Offices nationwide.

Another death has been reported in a Mendocino County resident who contracted the coronavirus. The Public Health Dept. reported an 81 year old unvaccinated woman from Willits was the county’s 87th death. The agency continues to ask residents to consider ways they can protect themselves and their families from COVID-19. They say vaccination, masking, and social distancing remain the best tools for combating COVID-19. Those over 65 who are fully vaccinated may be able to get their booster shots too. And those over 50 with certain health conditions, also. Visit the Public Health website at:

Some homeowners in Ukiah were out before the rains, clearing out a culvert so they didn’t have to deal with flooding after finding out city crews couldn’t get out there until the rain was over. The citizens near their home on Lorraine Street Saturday after receiving a Friday Nixle alert about the potential for flooding. There was a Flood Watch issued by the National Weather Service saying the heavy rain and saturated ground would possibly flood some areas. And that low lying areas, creeks, streams, culverts, and parts of urban areas could experience flooding due to heavy rainfall. The neighbors told the Daily Journal they called the non-emergency line at the police station to report blockage of the culvert but was told city crews would not respond until Monday.

A man and his dog had to be pulled from Orr Creek due to fast moving flood waters. The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority reports getting a call to the Ford Street Bridge early Sunday morning for a man and his dog stuck in the creek bed. Apparently, he was asleep in a tent and awakened to find two feet of water. The water was reported to be rising rapidly to four feet high in some areas. He was taken to the hospital to be checked out. The fire department was warning people to stay away from waterways during heavy downpours and said they will be checking under bridges that they know people sleep under and tell those there to leave in heavy rain.

The final results are in for the Recall Election, showing a pretty identical showing as the 2018 General Election, Gov. Newsom winning with over 62% of the vote. The Secretary of State’s office released the certification results for the Sept. 14th special election this week. Almost 8 million residents voted to keep the Governor in office and 4.8 million wanted him out. Republican Larry Elder, a radio talk show host was ahead of all the other Republicans vying for the position. He won over 3.5 million or 48.4% of the votes. The second place winner just behind Elder was a Democrat, Kevin Paffrath. Former Olympian and Reality Show star, Republican Caitlyn Jenner was 13th with 1% of the vote.

A restoration project is planned in the Mendocino National Forest. The U.S. Forest Service announced the massive project on about 2,000 of 600,000 acres of forest land that was scorched by 2020’s August Complex Fire. Phase 1 of the project will be felling dead and dying trees on 2,163 acres to reduce hazards from possible falling trees, mostly near roadways; reduce the potential for more wildfires and recover any potential economic value from selling the fire scarred timber; and study the short- and long-term impacts of salvage logging.

The Gov. says developing new oil and gas leases near schools, hospitals and homes could create health issues. Last week he spoke about it in Wilmington, a town where there’s a lot of oil business. A proposal by state regulators to prevent new oil and gas wells was by the Department of Conservation’s Geologic Energy Management Division, but it could be revised. The Gov. says it’s about “morality… environmental justice and economic justice, public health, safety and dignity”. The president and CEO of the Western States Petroleum Association says the move is “an activist assault on California’s way of life, economy and people”. And environmentalists say it’s a “strong step in the right direction”, but doesn’t go far enough.

Fort Bragg will be selling lease revenue bonds to restructure some pension debt and buy part of a mill site. The city council approved selling the bonds to raise $11 million. The city intends to use the cash to restructure debt with CalPERS, and acquire the southern end of the Mill Site. The city’s going to investigate its General Fund credit rating in the next few weeks then begin the selling of the bonds. After that they’ll first dive into the CalPERS debt, which, if you didn’t know is the pension for California’s public employees. Fort Bragg owes $11 million, but it’s been discounted to somewhere between $8.4 and $9.8 million, so around $7.5 million in bond proceeds will go to that debt.

Once again Butte County is suing PG&E due to a fire. First it was the Camp Fire, which devastated the town of Paradise and killed 85 people. Now Butte and four other counties are suing the utility company because of the Dixie Fire. Plumas, Lassen, Shasta and Tehama are Butte’s co-plaintiffs. The same court has also heard cases for the North Bay, Kincade and Zogg fires. This lawsuit demanded the utility company pay the counties damages for injuries to public resources, natural resources, lost revenues, increased expenses, lost assets, injury to infrastructure, and more. The Dixie Fire burned over 963,300 acres and was just contained yesterday due to the rain.

Since we got hammered by rain in Northern California, Cal Fire announced the Dixie Fire, California’s second-largest fire in history, was fully contained. The fire burned 963,309 acres, that’s over 1,505 square miles. It was the state’s single largest fire, not a complex of merged fires. It straddled Butte, Lassen, Shasta and Tehama counties after starting July 13th pretty close to the Camp Fire ignition point. Those counties are all suing PG&E for the fire. The utility had already admitted they believed their equipment may have been to blame. The Dixie destroyed over 1,300 structures, including more than 700 homes.

Massive downpour has triggered a flood warning for the Russian River near Hopland. The warning was extended to this morning after several inches of rain fell across the county. The National Weather Service in Eureka reported the most rain in Yorkville in the county with nearly 13 inches as of around 11 pm last night. Redwood Valley was the next highest. Several roads are closed as the Russian River flooded over its banks, on State Route 175 near Hopland. The Navarro River was not forecasted to go over its flood level of 23 feet. Around dinner time last night Highway 1 was closed because the Garcia River was flooding. Yesterday afternoon the Sheriff’s office sent out a nixle alert for residents to prepare for possible flooding saying there were falling trees and debris, car accidents or vehicles off the road in Mendocino, Lake and Humboldt counties.

Prison guards on the staff of Calif. facilities in a health care setting have to be vaccinated. A judge in Kern County allowed the mandate for some, not all prison guards and staff. It comes after a public health order for guards and other prison and jail employees working in correctional health care settings, to get vaccinated. The Calif. Correctional Peace Officers Association is against the mandate. The judge is considering the order for other guards, but not other employees, so that could potentially also go into effect, or be tossed. The judge said the union’s arguments didn’t hold because something had to be done to address the global pandemic. 

Over ten thousand trees have to be felled due to the catastrophic fires this summer. Add in the drought, disease and age and the hazardous trees don’t stand a chance. It also means the closure of a road known as Generals Highway as the trees could fall on people there to see some of the tallest sequoias. The announcement by the Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks Friday the highway will be closed because of the KNP Complex. It will be blocked off after the fire is officially declared contained as crews cut down the trees and trim branches. The highway is where the Giant Forest comes off of which features the General Sherman Tree, considered the world’s largest by volume.

Investigations into unpermitted Cannabis grows ended up in hundreds of plants eradicated in Mendocino County. Code Enfocement officers were in Redwood Valley, Willits, Ukiah and Hopland. Any cannabis cultivation that was deemed more than the Medical or Adult Use exemption limit was considered to be commercial cultivation. And so at those locations, they were found in violation of Mendocino County codes. In all 436 plants were abated by those responsible from growing them.

Homecoming events for the Konocti Unified School District had to be adjusted as Lower Lake High’s football teams were in a modified quarantine due to possible exposure to COVID-19. Lower Lake High’s homecoming events usually occur on a weekend, but since both of their football teams were in quarantine with some who tested positive, they’re in the middle of contact tracing. They ended up quarantining 60 students on the football teams. They’re allowed to go to school, but cannot go to any after school events. The modified quarantine per the state is for students who have not been vaccinated but came into contact with positive cases. The homecoming rally happened, but the dance and football games are postponed.

A resident of Caspar has sent out an open letter to fellow community members. The letter from Jim Tarbell, an active member of the Mendocino County community published on  It’s about political boundaries that are considered every decade, after the US Census report comes out. Tarbell says his neighbors need to act now to stop a “well-organized, Mendocino-town based effort to have the Mendocino Redistricting Advisory Commission move the boundary between the Fourth and Fifth Supervisorial Districts from… Russian Gulch north to Caspar Creek”. He says it will damage community rebuilding efforts for the last twenty years. He says the community needs to remind the Redistricting Advisory Commission the move would damage the integrity of the Caspar community.

A new report says there are some Mendocino County governmental agencies operating surveillance drones. The report by the Mendocino Voice says at least six unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or surveillance drones per the Atlas of Surveillance, a project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The report says the Foundation aims to “document police tech in our communities with open source research.”  The report is entitled Public Safety Drones and comes from the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College. It’s not aimed at Mendocino County per se. The news site reports the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has five drones which the agency says they use for search and rescue missions. The DA’s office also reportedly has one, also for search and rescue.

Mendocino College says they’re going to be offering more classes, like they used to, before the coronavirus pandemic. They say they will continue their “safety first” approach with more in person classes after a year and a half of almost all online classes. The spring 2022 term starts January 18th and school officials say it will look a lot more like it did before COVID. But they will still have a lot of online and hybrid classes for those who like that better or who cannot attend in person for other reasons. They will require masks indoors. They have put in stronger filtration systems, air purifiers and are updating with touchless fixtures. They will also have enhanced cleaning, hand sanitizing stations throughout building entrances, and provide masks and wipes in offices and classrooms. There will also be an all-new Director of COVID-19 Response position. While vaccines are not mandatory, they are offering $100 gift cards for those who get their shots.  

Both Cal Trans and the Mendocino County Transportation Dept. report being out at accidents and helping remove debris from roadways due to heavy rain and flooding. Flood warnings were issued by the National Weather Service last night for the potential for small stream and urban flooding through last night, but it was extended to this morning for the Russian River at Hopland, the Navarro River and possible flooding also on HWY 175 and HWY 128. Highway 1 was closed near Garcia River at post mark 17.5 – 18.5 due to flooding. The agencies remind not to drive through flood waters and if you see a downed power line, assume it is energized and extremely dangerous, so don’t touch it or try to move it and report it immediately by calling 911. You can also call PG&E emergency numbers. The company is working to restore power as it happens.

The state attorney general has reportedly won a victory in court to get a Trump administration rule regarding the Clean Water Act tossed. Attorney General Rob Bonta argued the Trump-era rule illegally curtailed state authority under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act which provides states their own authority to approve, impose conditions on or deny certification for federally permitted projects so they would comply with state law. But the Trump Administration moved to restrict that authority in California, Washington, and New York, which all went to court to challenge that rule, and won. The District Court vacated the rule which basically went against the Clean Water Act.

The Lake County Public Health Dept. is reminding there’s still a pandemic. The agency says during the second week of October the daily Case Rate was 15.4 cases/100,000, which is way lower than over the summer, but still twice as much as the Purple Tier which meant closure of many businesses. The department also reported 41 deaths from the virus since the start of summer, which was almost half the amount of total deaths from the pandemic in Lake County. Public Health reminds to get tested, especially during cold and flu season if you think you may be sick. And that getting vaccinated is the best available defense, and approved COVID-19 vaccines are safe and appropriate for almost everyone.

There are numerous opportunities to access vaccination and testing in Lake County.  The most current information is available at:

If you want to get vaccinated, and are facing barriers, call 707-263-8174.

There’s a movement to get the Potter Valley Project managed locally, and now a petition to go with it. The Farm Bureau is trying to get talks going with Congressman Jared Huffman who they contend, is not behind the project. A former Mendocino County Supervisor has also written an opinion piece on the matter. The petition is circulating featuring a letter to Congressman Huffman who they say supports the decommissioning of the Project. Former Supervisor Michael Delbar says the project supplies water for fish in two river systems, green power, fire suppression, and water for over a half-million people in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties. Signature gathering is going on until Thursday to get meetings going with Huffman and North Coast Congressman John Garamendi.

Click to access a72ceb02-5606-483f-a6fb-263bf8dbd590.pdf

In his regular Friday address, the Mendocino County Public Health Officer says the summer surge of COVID19 seems to be waning.  Dr. Andy Coren said there were some new cases which impacted the county’s daily rate at 15 new cases/day, up from 13, as of October 22nd. He also talked about more cases being seen in kids between 5 and 11 and a new strain in the United Kingdom called Delta-Plus, which Dr. Coren says looks to be spreading amongst children. But there are no cases of the variant in Calif. Coren also spoke about more hospitalizations than last year’s winter surge. After his talk Friday, the county announced 19 new cases and 11 hospitalizations, including two in the Intensive Care Unit.

Ukiah has a new police chief. Current police captain Noble Waidelich has been promoted to the job to replace former Chief Justin Wyatt. Waidelich had been interim chief since September 19th. City Manager Sage Sangiacomo says the new chief has what it takes to lead the department and will bring in new ideas about how law enforcement can best serve the community. Waidelich has worked his way up the ranks since joining the force in 2005, serving as a sergeant, lieutenant, and captain. He says he is honored to lead the UPD and promises to work together with the city staff, community partners, and residents to keep Ukiah safe, pleasant, and prosperous.

Police say a man from Clearlake who died last week was assaulted. Police Chief Andrew White tells Lake Co News that 44-year-old Steven Chrisman was found unconscious behind the Burns Valley Shopping Center on Olympic Park Drive last Saturday night. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Detectives are looking at the case but they aren’t saying much yet. If you have any information about what might have happened to Chrisman you can contact Clearlake PD

The Middletown Unified School District has a new superintendent. Tim Gill will take over the top spot after the School board let go former Superintendent Michael Cox last month. Gill is currently the assistant superintendent of the Kelseyville district. He has ties to Middletown. His first education job was in Middletown, where he taught middle and high school math from 1990 to 2001. His sons are also graduates of Middletown High. New superintendent Gill’s first day in his new office will be next Wednesday. On September27th, the school board voted in a closed session to terminate its contract with Michael Cox after a performance review

The Cal Fire Mendocino Unit plans to lift the suspension of burn permits. Unit Chief George Gonzalez says as of Monday morning at 12:01 AM, people with current and valid agricultural and residential permits can now start burning on permissible days. CalFire must inspect agricultural burns, and others may be subject to inspection as well through the end of the peak fire season. Burn Permits are now available online from CalFire at The permission is only for residents who live in the State Responsibility Area, or where CalFire has jurisdiction. Landowners still have to check with local fire agencies to determine any additional requirements and restrictions. You will also have to check in with Mendocino County Air Management District to confirm that everything is in order and that it is a burn day. Fires are only allowed on those days.

The National Forest Service is getting ready for some controlled burns in the Mendocino National Forest over the next few weeks. The goal is to burn off dry vegetation and manage the risk of UNCONTROLLED fires. No specific dates for planned fires just yet because officials say it is a complicated process to get just the right time, depending on conditions like wind, air quality, moisture, and the availability of crews. So far, the Forest Service has identified two locations for the prescribed burns on National Forest Land: The Howard Mill Piles and The Pine Mountain Piles. You can get the latest in real-time through the national forest’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.

A story we told you about yesterday has a positive ending. Clearlake police say 74-year-old Katherine Jackson has been found and is safe. She had been missing since she walked away from her home Wednesday. A passerby recognized Katherine from a Nixel alert and called the police on Thursday morning. Police say she apparently got lost after taking a bus ride.

You’ll get another chance to have your say in new political maps in Mendocino County based on the 2020 Census. The five-member Community-based Advisory Redistricting Commission has been working for the past several months on that complex process. Now, members will hold another input session next Wednesday at 6:15 at the Board of Supervisors office in Ukiah. The county got the census data late, so time is getting short. The county has to turn in its redistricting plan to the state by December 15th unless the legislature gives more time. The county website has all the specifics about what’s been done and what comes next.

The Ukiah City Council is moving ahead with an ordinance to ban small canisters of nitrous oxide, known as whip-its. The gas has a legitimate use as a propellant and for anesthesia, but some people inhale the gas for a quick high. That can be dangerous. The Daily Journal reports that council members told staff at this week’s regular council meeting to write a measure to outlaw selling the containers within city limits. City Lawyers say any law would have to be specific and aimed at stores like smoke shops that sell nitrous over the counter. The stick could be a threatened loss of a store’s tobacco license. Officials admit getting whip-its online is easy, but a step to keep them out of the wrong hands is a step in the right direction.

If you have unwanted prescription medicines at home, you’ll be able to safely get rid of them this weekend. Several p[olice agencies, including Lakeport PD, will take part in the DEA’s National Drug take-back day Saturday from 10am to 2pm. The drive-up location is on the west side of the police station on Main Street. Covid safety protocols will be in effect. Law enforcement holds these take-back events twice a year as a way for people to get rid of unused meds so the drugs don’t fall into the wrong hands or make their way into the environment. There are a few rules. Pills have to be in a clear Ziploc bag so the medicine can be identified. Police will also accept vape pens or other e-cigarette devices from individual consumers only after the batteries are removed. The take-back will NOT take back street drugs, needles, inhalers, or aerosol cans.

Governor Newsom wants tougher rules on oil and gas wells near schools, hospitals, and homes. The governor says the rules are about public health and dignity for people who live and work near those wells. His plan is just a draft. It will get a review through the regulatory process and is subject to public comments. Some groups are already weighing in. The western states petroleum Association says the governor’s proposal is not based on science and could lead to higher energy costs. Others say it is a good start linking oil and gas well locations to social justice. The draft plan would impose a 3,200 foot limit between oil and gas development and sites like schools, hospitals, and nursing homes. Around 2 million Californians live in areas that could eventually be considered too close to oil and natural gas wells.

The US Geological Survey is out with a scary warning about what might happen to cell service after a major earthquake in California. The USGS says a big quake could take down communication for days or even weeks near the epicenter and beyond, complicating access to 911 and delaying the response to fire and EMS calls. The report says cell towers cold fall, and the electricity that powers them could go out. A worst-case scenario says only 7 percent of mobile calls would get through. The report specifically looked at risks along the Hayward Fault south of us in the San Francisco Bay area, calling the fault a tectonic timebomb. The USGS says a cell service meltdown is just one of many vulnerabilities it found studying how the big one anywhere in California could affect the whole state and even the rest of the nation for a long time.

Congressman Mike Thompson will hold a virtual town hall next week. His office says he will take questions from fifth district constituents online next Wednesday from 6 to 7 PM. There is a limit of 500 participants so if you would like to take part, you’ll need to contact the congressman’s office. Since the pandemic started, Thompson has held 20 similar sessions.

An emergency plan has been approved by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors to block debris from the Hopkins Fire from getting into the Russian River during upcoming and current rain. A staff member presented the supervisors with information on an imminent “public health and safety threat” to the watershed. And to nearly a dozen homes near the ignition point of the Hopkins. There’s been no mitigation work at the properties to keep hazardous materials, contaminants or debris flows from going into the watershed which could then impact hundreds of thousands of water users relying on the water out of the river in Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin counties. The supervisors approved a plan for immediate action at a cost of $48,000.

The driver of a jeep that crashed and burst into flames has been identified. 18 year old Giovanni Leon was the driver in the Jeep that crashed Monday in Redwood Valley. The CHP reports Leon’s 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee crashed into a tree just after 11 p.m. after he lost control. There was a 21 year old man with him, identified only as being from Covelo. A passerby helped the passenger out, but the flames were too intense for them to also reach Leon.

More personal protective equipment has been donated to the Mendocino County Library and County Museum. The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (CTTB), Dharma Realm Buddhist University (DRBU) and their parent company, Dharma Realm Buddhist Association (DRBA) donated the 6,000 surgical masks, 120 bottles of hand sanitizer and 10,000 vinyl gloves to the of library and museum staff and visitors. For the Library, all branches will receive the gear in Ukiah, Willits, Fort Bragg, Point Arena and Covelo and their Bookmobile. The president of the organization said they were honored to help.

After the US Census last year redistricting of political boundaries is taking place, but also for the Mendocino-Lake Community College District. They’re redistricting their seven trustee area boundaries and are inviting the public to help. You can go to a public meeting on the matter, the first is this coming Monday at the North County Center in Willits at 5pm. Another opportunity is October 28th at the Lake County Center in Lakeport, also at 5pm. And finally November 2nd at Mendocino College and November 3rd at the Coast Center in Fort Bragg.

For more information about the background of California Community College redistricting, criteria, key dates, and meeting information, please visit: https://www.mendocino. edu/redistricting.

$50,000 is being gifted to rural communities hit by catastrophic fires from Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) and the affiliated, Golden State Finance Authority (GSFA). The two agencies are working with the California Fire Foundation for the wildfire emergency relief for fire victims to buy needed items. The money in the form of gift cards for food, temporary housing, or clothing. There are 200 gift cards being distributed.

More info is available on the SAVE program is available at

Sonoma County has a plan to vaccinate 25% of all 5-11 year olds after approval of the Pfizer vaccine from the FDA. The county’s vaccine chief happens to also be a pediatrician. Dr. Urmila Shende says many parents are eager for their children to receive the inoculations, especially parents of children with chronic medical conditions. The FDA’s final approval is expected the first week of November. The federal government has promised to ship vaccine doses to as many as 25,000 pediatric or primary care offices, thousands of pharmacies and hundreds of schools and rural health clinics across the country as soon as the approval comes through.

Prescribed burns are planned by the Bureau of Land Management during fall and winter. The burn piles and broadcast burns in Humboldt and Mendocino counties as the weather and conditions allow. It’s all part of the BLM fuel management program using mechanical, biological, and chemical tools, and prescribed fire. The burns on up to 100-200 acres at a time locally. Projects on the Lost Coast Headlands west of Ferndale in the King Range National Conservation Area, and the Mike Thompson Wildlife Area, South Spit at Humboldt Bay. There are 55 fuel projects for the fiscal year 2021. So far the BLM has worked on almost 26,000 acres across Calif. to reduce hazardous fuels, modify wildfire behavior, create fire resilient landscapes, and protect communities and critical infrastructure.

Water infrastructure is getting a needed upgrade in Mendocino County since precipitation patterns are changing. County supervisors are working to modernize infrastructure and are trying to find money to do so. At their meeting this week, supervisors told staff to negotiate a contract of up to $25,000 with an environmental consulting firm. The same firm put the groundwater sustainability plan for the county together too. The Mendocino Voice reports grants could be available but they would go first to shovel ready projects. That’s where the consulting firm comes in. The payment to them will come out of the Pacific Gas & Electric disaster settlement funds the county got. 

A couple of new cell towers are servicing Round Valley. State Senator Mike McGuire along with District 3 Supervisor John Hashak and the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office worked with US Cellular to upgrade the network due to spotty coverage. The new towers in the Mendocino National Forest on Big Signal Peak were approved nearly a year ago. Senator McGuire’s office put out a statement about the upgrade saying for the last few years Round Valley has been hit hard by wildfires and had no cell service, making emergency response a challenge. He says the inconsistent and at times, inoperable cell service needed to be addressed. So two 150-foot towers were built by the Round Valley Indian Tribe and Spy Ego Media. McGuire says the project was a team effort and is now complete, He says neighbors will also have clear access to 911.

A 74 year old woman from Clearlake has been reported missing. Police say Katherine Jackson did not return after going out for a walk yesterday afternoon. She apparently didn’t say where she was headed when she left her home around 1:30 p.m. Police say she was last seen in a plaid cape, a red and black shirt, and black pants, walking with a cane and carrying a cloth bag, possibly with shoes in it.

The Governor has signed an executive order to prohibit price gouging for communities recently impacted by wildfires. The order goes through the end of the year in areas where he had previously declared a state of emergency. That was for the Fawn fire, Cache fire, Caldor fire, McFarland and Monument fires, Antelope and River fires, Dixie, Fly and Tamarack fires and the Lava and Beckwourth Complex fires. The state also wrangled grants from FEMA in response to the massive Dixie Fire, the Caldor, Monument, River and Lava fires.

A woman accused of lighting three fires in Clearlake has to be evaluated for mental competency. Kayla Renee Main’s lawyer told the court at her preliminary hearing he doubted she was competent to stand trial. Main faces charges of arson of property, possessing material/device for arson and unlawful fire. Plus she was on probation at the time for resisting an executive officer, violating probation and vandalism. The whole case is now on hold while a doctor checks her out. She’s due back in court November 9th. She was already checked out once, this will be an additional evaluation as the court found she was competent last time.

The driver of a car that hit a man in Fort Bragg last week has been identified. Police say it was a 91 year old man who hit Brandon Bazor in a crosswalk, but he said he didn’t know he hit anyone. The driver reportedly hit Bazor and left and Bazor ended up in the hospital with face and head injuries. Witnesses gave varying descriptions of the car. Surveillance video from over a dozen nearby businesses eventually showed three vehicles, unfortunately, all looking alike. The elderly driver was eventually connected to the accident, finding it was also a Chevy Bolt. The man said he was in the area the time of the crash, so the car was taken for evidence and the man’s driver’s license was revoked. His name was withheld with permission from the victim. Police have given the case to the DA’s office for further processing. There’s also a donation account set up for the victim at the Savings Bank of Mendocino County (referencing Account #04254355).

The Gov. has declared a statewide drought emergency. The action yesterday along with a statement urging residents to reduce their water usage as the state had its second driest year on record. Gov. Newsom asked individuals, families and businesses to cut back by 15% in July, but the state only saw a 5% reduction in water use. The proclamation also means local water suppliers will further implement water shortage contingency plans. The two largest reservoirs we count on in Calif, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, are at record low levels. We also get water from the Colorado River which had its first ever water shortage. Next year Arizona, Nevada, and Mexico will all have to cut their water use. 

The Mendocino County Public Health Office has released a study for the Board of Supervisors on the current state of the pandemic. It shows the county’s testing positivity rate was 4.4%, down to 200/100,000/day. There were nearly 14 new daily cases/100,000. And right now we have 9 residents in Mendocino hospitals. 5 Mendocino residents are in out-of-county hospitals for a higher level of care. 4 are in Intensive Care Units. So far 87 people have died from the virus. There are also currently 2 outbreaks, one at a skilled nursing facility, and another in Round Valley. As of Thursday about 80.5% of residents 12 years and older had received at least one dose of the vaccine. The summer and early fall surges are slowing.

There may be some mask guidelines changing in Sonoma County. Public Health officials are considering a plan to lift the indoor mask mandate for vaccinated groups, as the Bay Area plans to do the same by the end of the year. The Public Health Officer gave an update to the Board of Supervisors saying the mask rule may be changed for “stable cohorts of fully vaccinated individuals.” That would include offices and workplaces, gyms, fitness centers, employee commuter cars, religious gatherings, college classes and other groups meeting regularly. It would be for groups of less than 100, all vaccinated and gather on a regular basis.

Snow and rain coming which is a good thing, but it could be a headache in burn areas where water would flow over scarred earth. As much as 6-to-8 inches of precipitation could continue through early next week which would end fire season. But the drought would continue, because what’s forecasted won’t really help restore supplies as the ground is so dry, the rain will just be absorbed. Any that does accumulate as runoff will barely feed streams, rivers and reservoirs. There is no flash flood warning. The first of the two storms was due yesterday into today, with another due tomorrow into Friday, enough to reduce fire risks. Another Saturday and Sunday will bring an atmospheric river — the first one since January, with another 3 to 5 inches of rain in some of the wettest areas.

They voted unanimously to raise the sewer and water rates in Lakeport. The city council unanimously voted yes last night. They also voted to lease part of the Carnegie Library and approved a new crisis intervention program putting police together with a local nonprofit. There was a public hearing on the proposed water and sewer rate increases for city residents with zero protests. The city needs to use the money for debt and capital utility projects. So within five years the average residential customer would pay about $30/month more. As far as the police department and the nonprofit, that’s Lake Family Resource Center for a Crisis Intervention Responder Program which the council also approved to provide help for people in crisis.

The proposed cannabis farming and processing business in High Valley is on hold. The Lake County Board of Supervisors rescheduled a hearing on the proposed operation for next month. The Lake County Planning Commission approved Sourz‌ ‌HVR‌ ‌Inc./Aviona‌ ‌LLC’s ‌major‌ ‌use‌ ‌permit‌ ‌in July for the 1,640-acre‌ ‌High‌ ‌Valley‌ ‌Ranch, ‌the former PSI World property, ‌in‌ Clearlake‌ ‌Oaks. But neighbors quickly complained about the smell, water usage and more. The appeal was supposed to be heard yesterday, but the board chair tabled it because some records on the matter had not arrived. Plus the supervisor whose district the proposed business would be in was absent. The hearing was therefore moved until November 2nd.

Another death has been reported from COVID19 in Mendocino County. The Public Health Office reported on the 87th death last night. They say the death was in a fully vaccinated, 80 year old woman with multiple underlying health conditions.  The Public Health Office reminded about precautions to take for those vaccinated and not and that those who were not vaccinated to consider it, and those in the eligible group for the booster, to consider that. They also reported there was a positive case reported at the Home Depot in Ukiah. They say anyone who visited the business between Thursday, October 14th and Saturday, October 16th, that you may have been exposed to COVID-19, and should get tested if you’re unvaccinated, or be tested if exhibiting symptoms while vaccinated.

The Russian River water supply may stay low as a powerhouse that diverts water from the Eel to the Russian is offline. Pacific Gas & Electric says the Potter Valley Project will keep providing enough water for Potter Valley residents and the Russian River watershed. After the company claimed bankruptcy it said they no longer wanted to run the hydroelectric plant, so a regional partnership formed to explore buying it. PG&E says the powerhouse will take a year and a half to two years to be repaired. A spokesperson says it could cost as much as $5-10 million to fix. And since we’re in extreme drought conditions, the powerhouse wasn’t running this summer because PG&E couldn’t divert enough water to generate power.  During routine maintenance early last summer, the found the transformer needed to be replaced.

Crowds of people gathered on the front steps of the Capitol protesting the state’s vaccine mandate for kids to go to in person learning.  The mandate won’t officially start until vaccines receive full FDA, not emergency, approval. So probably next year. Still thousands of parents protested yesterday across the state shouting, “mid kid, my choice”. Many parents brought their kids with them too, keeping them out of school to make the point. The governor’s restrictions are some of the harshest in the country. He ordered the first stay home order after the pandemic first struck in March of 2020. He’s also requiring health care workers and state employees get vaccinated. Those against the student vaccination order were egging other parents on to stay home yesterday and sit out the day of school.

A man from Ukiah’s been accused of tossing Molotov cocktails into a home saying the victims in the home confronted him after his car broke down on Highway 101. Francisco Tafolla-Rivera is charged with attempted murder, arson and animal cruelty and possessing methamphetamine. Police say Tafolla-Rivera was told he had to move out of a home in Covelo because of suspected drug use, but then he went back to the home last week and tossed the explosives inside where eight adults, a 3-year-old and an infant were living. They say he was on the 101 when his car broke down by Willits and while waiting for help, he was approached by two of the men from the home and they got into a fight. So he called 911. One of the people from the home also reported the highway altercation. Tafolla-Rivera’s was arrested and held on $250,000 bail. 

A man from Covelo’s busted after a probation search of the guy’s home turns up drugs and a gun. The Mendocino County Sheriff Dept reports contacting Luiz Gonzalez who they say seemed to be under the Influence of drugs. They also found a gun without a serial number on it. He was arrested for being in possession of a loaded firearm while under the influence of a drug and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and held on $15,000.00 bail.

The state had its driest year in 100 years. Experts at the Western Regional Climate Center say average precipitation reported at each of its stations found under 12 inches of rain and snow fell in California in the 2021 water year which is about half what they say we should have in an average water year. The center looks at rainfall by measuring precipitation at the end of a water year, from Oct. 1st to Sept. 30th. So this is the second driest year since records were kept. The last time it was this low in 1924. And the hottest summer on record, was this year.

A body that was found in the trunk of a car along Mendocino Pass Road northeast of Covelo has been identified as a man from Mexico, Marco Antonio Barrera Beltran. The Sheriff’s office says he was a 51 year old man from Ceres, Calif., who hails from southwest Mexico.  Deputies have not said why he was in Round Valley and they continue investigating. His body was found in an abandoned vehicle October 3rd. Detectives in Covelo searching for information that may have been connected to the death. The Sheriff’s office described the case as a “body dump type of murder.”

Police in Fort Bragg say there was a vehicle of interest in the case of a hit and run case, but not a lot more info. Police investigating the case of Brandon Brazor hit on October 12th and receiving serious injuries. The vehicle of interest was called a white car, but then Sunday they said they no longer considered that car involved. Damages on the vehicle were reported to be “consistent with the hit and run collision” but officers spoke to the driver and will continue to do so. The sister in law of Brazor says he’s home from the hospital after four hours there and most of the injuries were to his head and face. The Fort Bragg Mayor has set up a donation account with the Savings Bank of Mendocino for Brazor’s medical expenses. 

A car that crashed off Highway 101 has burst into flames outside Hopland. The CHP reports it was a solo car crash north of Hopland on the 101 about 2:30 p.m. yesterday. The car caught fire and spread to surrounding brush. The driver was reportedly critically injured. Firefighters put the fire out and an air ambulance was called for the victim. No other info was made available.

Economic development is on the agenda at this morning’s Mendocino County Board of Supervisors meeting. West Business Development Center and the Economic Development Financing Corporation will be at the meeting this morning. West Center has a proposal for the county which outlines that over a third of the county’s small businesses closed in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. So they’re working on post-pandemic recovery and resiliency in case there are more economic downturns in the future. The board will also consider the budget for the Sheriff’s office to add a full time employee in information technology. 

Congressman Jared Huffman has co-hosted a town hall with Californians and New Yorkers along with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. The two touted the President’s $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill, Build Back Better and talked about how it can help address climate change. Huffman said it could be the last time in our lifetime we can do something historic about the changing climate. Huffman said there’s a false narrative about how his party is handling the negotiations. He says his colleagues, including Ocasio-Cortez, are fully behind the bill and there’s not a huge divide among Democrats. Although there are reported holdouts including West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema. Huffman said they’re standing in the way of doing something “really transformative”.

A man accused of carrying a firearm has pleaded no contest in a plea deal. Michael Anthony Dore was in court in Lakeport and entered the plea, admitting a special allegation. The court accepted the deal which now goes to the probation department for a sentencing suggestion. They will all be back in court next month. He was charged with carrying a loaded firearm in a public place, occupant carrying a concealable weapon in vehicle, maliciously shooting from a vehicle at a person and assault with firearm on person, all but the last charge were dismissed. This is the case where another man said guns were stolen and that Dore shot at someone at the Highland Springs Reservoir in Sept. of last year. He’s no longer in custody and will be back in court November 15th for formal sentencing.

Consideration of lifting the mask mandate is being mulled in eight counties of the Bay Area. At the beginning of the pandemic, the Mendocino County Public Health Officer said she had been following along with what the counties were doing. But no such announcement has been made. Just the same Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma have set protocols for when they will fully lift the mask mandate, with Marin the closest to hitting the requirements. The county has one of the lowest COVID-19 case rates and the highest vaccination rates in the region. The earliest they are considering is Nov. 3rd if things stay status quo. They have to be in the CDC’s yellow or moderate tier for three weeks to move forward. San Mateo is in yellow after Marin. The rest in Orange and Napa in red.

A white van that had several tanks of Nitrous Oxide aboard has overturned on Hwy 101. The accident at mile marker 75.9 north of Laytonville crashed into an embankment. The California Highway Patrol reports the driver left the scene but ended up somehow at the Leggett Fire station where he was then arrested for a DUI. There was one way controlled traffic in the area as Mendocino County Health went to the scene to evaluate and the vehicle and its chemical contents could safely be removed from the crash site. The van was seen off the side of the road and traffic was creeping through the area.

The CHP is still searching for someone they tried to stop on the northbound 101. They say the driver took off, driving too fast through roads and ended up crashing into a tree in the 6000 block of Branscomb Road near Laytonville. The car was reported stolen from Walnut Creek. Witnesses say the suspect went into a wooded area. He was described as a Black man with a bald or shaved head, about 6 feet tall, in his 20’s, wearing a navy blue hoodie, blue jeans and tennis shoes. The California Highway Patrol reports local residents were notified to lookout for the guy as he’s still on the run.

Two people traveling in Redwood Valley have crashed and burned a jeep. The pair in a 2017 Jeep Cherokee headed north on West Rd west of [Zahadoom] Way when the driver lost control and hit a tree. The CHP reported due to the fast speed and impact, the jeep burst into flames. A passing motorist got out of their car and helped the passenger out of the jeep, but because of the intense heat from the fire, they couldn’t rescue the driver. Firefighters came to the scene and put the fire out, but the driver died. The crash was being investigated and the name of the driver was not released by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office until their family was notified.

A woman from Lake County has been arrested in Jenner after driving a stolen car down an embankment then sleeping inside a stranger’s home. The CHP reports searching for the woman Sunday after a stolen Mazda 6 was driven off the side of Highway 116 along the Russian River. They say she got out and ran to the river. The Monte Rio Fire Chief jumped into help find the woman who they say was hiding in some bushes. They called off the search Sunday night. But the next morning someone found her asleep in their home in Jenner. She was identified as Miranda Swint and was arrested on a vehicle theft charge, but the homeowners didn’t pursue a trespassing charge. She was checked at a hospital, then booked into the Sonoma County Jail.


A retired firefighter and former colleagues on their toes as a controlled burn on his property in the Santa Cruz mountains got away from them. The retired Cal Fire battalion chief had more than a dozen current Cal Fire firefighters on his land supervising the burn, when sudden gusts of wind sent embers flying. The former chief says he and his son tried to help, but there were so many spot fires, hundreds of other firefighters had to be brought in to help. Firefighters from Mendocino County joined along with others from Placer County. There were also four air tankers and four helicopters on the fire Saturday. In the end the fire burned 148 acres near the Santa Cruz-Santa Clara county line. They reported it was under control yesterday, but only 35% contained.

It’s walnut harvest time and of course this time of year, a warning unharvested trees may be vulnerable to freeze damage as they still recover from last spring’s damage. Irrigated trees actually do better than trees that are dry, experts say and as the harvest is in full swing, some older orchards don’t have enough crop to harvest. Across the state walnut advisors have offered farmers advice on the freeze after last year. They have a survey regarding freeze damage so University of Calif. Cooperative Extension can get a better idea what’s happening statewide. And they’re having a webinar in the next couple of weeks with a panel of UC experts on the best practices for freeze mitigation and recovery. At the same time, the UC has received 32 million dollars from lawmakers to hire more advisors and staff, 2 will be in Lake and Mendocino Counties in Lakeport and Hopland.

More than 2 billion dollars has been set aside by the Calif. Transportation Commission to repair and improve transportation infrastructure across the state. The Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 is a large part of the money, $696 million of it. The Cal Trans director says the money is going to local and regional transportation projects “that carry significant community benefits”. $960 million to more than 600 cities, counties, and regional agencies, including 1,100 new projects/year. There are also 15 repair projects to extend the life of 76 bridges, prevent future costly repairs, and improve ride quality for the public. Two projects in Mendocino County include nearly a million in pavement work, barrier replacement, upgrading drainage and signs and lights on Route 1 north of Willits. The other is pavement and guardrail improvements on highway 101 near Willits.

A call to the Sheriff’s office leads to the arrest of a woman in Ukiah after a domestic dispute. Deputies say they found a man and Lateefah Glover at the apartments Friday, the two had been living together. Apparently an argument between the couple got physical and Glover was arrested. Deputies say she threw books at the man, and hit him with a metal rod several times, causing him visible injuries.  She was arrested and held on $25,000.00 bail.

A wrong way driver has reported caused a crash on Highway 29. Mendo Fever reports hearing on the scanner it happened in Lakeport at Hill Road and 2 people were killed. Two other people apparently had major injuries too. The accident last night closed the highway down as an air ambulance was brought in, but could not land, due to the weather. Early reports say one of the people in one of the crashed cars was trapped inside of it, another was ejected out. One of them was pregnant. No other information was immediately available.

Reports of a snake infestation under a home in Northern Calif. have gone viral. The photo of a pile of snakes after a woman called to say she saw a bunch of rattlesnakes under her house, 90 to be exact. The home in Santa Rosa visited by Sonoma County Reptile Rescue. The story made it to Associated Press National headlines. The rescue company crawling underneath the home finding the snakes. The company says they were at the home about four hours October 2nd. They say they took out 22 adult rattlesnakes and 59 baby snakes underneath the home in the Mayacamas Mountains. They came back again, finding 11 more snakes, and a dead cat and dead possum.

In the High Valley area of Lake County, County Supervisors consider a marijuana operation. The Lake County Supervisors are listening to an appeal of the project tomorrow morning from the Lake County Planning Commission for Sourz HVR Inc./Aviona LLC. The company owns the High Valley Ranch in Clearlake. A 1,640-acre piece of land that used to house PSI World. They want to put 80 acres of cultivation in, as well as a spot for processing and distribution on 649-acres of the ranch. The Planning Commission approved it already, but some neighbors are not into it, saying there’s potential problems with grading, air quality, odor, water availability and too much more to list here.

The Ukiah City Council is considering banning the sale of nitrous oxide canisters. The cans are sometimes used by folks to get high. The gas is used to sedate people getting medical procedures or dental work. But you can buy small canisters over the counter. There was a presentation for the council last month from the Ukiah Valley Youth Leadership Coalition. The hits of the nitrous oxide are referred to as “Whipits”. Some of the negative effects include breathing issues, dizziness and possibly a weakening of the heart muscle, and a Vitamin B12 deficiency which can block nerve impulses and cause paralysis.

Water and Sewer rates could be going up in Lakeport. The City Council is set to review rates at their meeting tomorrow night. They’re also meeting a new police officer and declaring October 2021 Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The public hearing for the rate increases will come after the other issues and could take effect as soon as Nov. 1st. But the full increase wouldn’t be felt until five years from now when an average single family residence would pay nearly $20/more per month. Later in the meeting the city manager will bring a proposal to the council for a one year lease for the Clear Lake Environmental Research Center to use the Carnegie Library building to develop an environmental research center along with labs and offices.

A bunch of new police dogs to be on patrol across the state with the Calif. Highway Patrol. The ten new K-9 teams were sworn in Friday. The ceremony happened in Sacramento for the teams after 400-600 hours of training. The CHP Commissioner said after weeks of “rigorous training”, the new teams were ready to get out on the streets. Commissioner Amanda Ray said the dogs were a huge asset to the department and are credited with improving safety and the effectiveness of their human partners and save time and money for the agency. All of the handlers have been CHP officers with at least four years of experience.
The graduating teams now are part of 48 canine teams deployed throughout the state.

As we’ve been hearing nationwide from Public Health Officers and even the federal government, get your vaccinations, for flu and COVID. Now the California Department of Public Health is urging residents to get your shots now to protect yourself and your friends and families. They are warning that the flu could cause a twin pandemic which could be devastating to Californians. Flu season generally starts in October and goes out until May. It generally peaks in late November or December. The vaccination generally takes effect about two weeks after the jab. So getting shots now is the best time to protect yourself, family and the community. They recommend the flu shot for all who are six months of age and older.

Absences aplenty in the Bay Area as parents and some teachers against vaccine mandates walked out. The sit-out was pre-planned after the mandate was first announced for in person learning. The vaccines for kids and adults have been approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and millions have received their shots. There’s a Parents of Freedom group on Facebook with all sorts of comments on the mandates, nationwide, many saying they didn’t appreciate the government co-parenting with them. The Gov. Gavin Newsom says our mandate won’t be in effect until the U.S. government has formally approved the vaccine for kids 5 to 15 years old. So it could mean students in 7th to 12th grade won’t need to be inoculated until next July.

Some people in the North Bay without power as a rainstorm barrels thru. PG&E reported nearly 12,000 were without power in multiple counties of the Bay Area this morning. Over 215 in the North Bay. The outages occurred last night about 7:30 p.m. with crews out overnight and into early this morning. At one point 20,000 customers were in the dark. The energy company said the rain caused fires to start on electrical poles and that shut down the power. They had workers out at multiple sites last night.

Kaiser Permanente has put thousands of workers on unpaid leave due to their vaccination status. It’s a nationwide mandate for staff to be fully vaccinated. They made the announcement in August and gave workers and doctors 2 months to get their inoculations across the country. The rate then went up from 78% vaccinated, to 92%. But as of today, there were still 2,200 workers nationwide who had not responded to the mandate. The healthcare company placed them on unpaid administrative leave until December and if they don’t comply, they will be laid off. The San Francisco Chronicle reports the company saying they hoped none of their employees would choose to leave their jobs, but they won’t know for sure until December.  They also said they’d continue working with staff to address any concerns about the shots and to avail them time to educate themselves.