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The winter snowpack is showing drought. The measurements showed a far below average measurement after two very dry months. Even though we had major storms early this winter, officials say we will have to continue to conserve water. The statewide snowpack measured 63% of normal, with the snowmelt forecast at 66% of average. The manager of the Department of Water Resources snow surveys and water supply forecasting says the snowpack is not near enough to fill up reservoirs and since there aren’t any storms of significance on the way, it could be another bone dry year. Even though the statewide reservoir storage is at 73%, the state’s largest reservoir, Lake Shasta, is only 37% full.

The state Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Marine Enforcement Division says there have been a slight rise in the amount of underweight commercial Dungeness crab cases in North Coast waters since December. They say there were five cases of undersize crabs taken in Crescent City and a pair in Eureka. Crab anglers are supposed to measure their whole catch and only hang on to the crustaceans which are equal to or greater than 6 ¼ inches. That’s a tad more than the required 5 ¾ width by recreational crabbers. The seven cases were cited and the loads they caught were taken with the sales directly going to the Wildlife Preservation Fund. There were 575 crabs in the seven cases.

Reports of Mountain Lions along the Mendocino Coast. One person reported a large lion grabbing her cat and running off with it. Mendo Fever reports resident Shawnea Bowman who lives northeast of Caspar heard her dog barking, then saw the cat being abducted by the animal. Neighbors had also reported seeing mountain lions prowling around the area over the last several weeks. The news site reports a biologist for the Department of Fish and Wildlife in Mendocino County reported most of the entire state is considered mountain lion habitat. And that if there are deer around, then mountain lions won’t be far behind.

Since March is recognized nationally as Social Worker Appreciation Month, in Mendocino County, they’re being honored. The Deputy Director of Family & Children’s Services says “Social Workers play an important role in helping the most vulnerable members of our community. The agency says last year they reunited 73 children with parents who successfully addressed child safety issues, assessed and approved 45 resource parents to provide care for children in the foster care system and provided services and support to as many as 321 kids, young adults and families a month on average.

If you would like information on a career in social work with Mendocino County, please
visit our website at https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/mendocinoca.

The superintendent of Middletown Schools is out. After only being on the job for four months, Tim Gill, a veteran educator, has abruptly resigned. Lake Co News reports Gill confirmed the resignation yesterday after starting the job around Halloween. The School District Board President confirmed the letter of resignation was turned in Monday and no reason was given. He also praised Gill for his short turn as Super, saying his passion for education and the dedication he showed to bettering the district was unparalleled and he will be sorely missed. There was also a special board meeting last night to address the issue in a closed door session, followed by open session for the public to comment before the board voted to accept Gill’s resignation.

100 local governments and Native American Tribes are getting millions of dollars from the state. The latest round of Clean California grants announced by the Governor for underserved communities is at nearly $300 million dollars. The money pays to clear litter and clean up public spaces so they’re transformed into points of pride. There are 105 community projects the Governor’s office says will create about 3,600 jobs as part of Newsom’s Clean California initiative. The idea is to pay to beautify spaces with over 1 billion dollars over several years. The multiyear clean-up effort led by Caltrans will remove trash, bring about thousands of jobs and get communities excited about sparkly new public spaces.

The Governor making a statement of support for Ukraine at the same time protecting the interests of residents in Calif. The Governor sent a letter yesterday to the leaders of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, California State Teachers’ Retirement System and the University of California retirement system who together make nearly as much as 60% of Russia’s yearly gross domestic product. Newsom said the “brazen and lawless” military assault on Ukraine shouldn’t be tolerated and the state Constitution explicitly details our fiduciary duties on behalf of hundreds of thousands who invested in these systems. Newsom is looking to restrict Russian access to California’s capital and investments. More than $1.5 billion dollars in the state’s investments are held in financial instruments linked to Russia’s financial markets.

A seed sharing event at Little Lake Grange a couple Saturday’s ago brought the community out. There were tables that had free seeds, bulbs and gardening and seed saving tips were also shared. Vendors set up tables with plants, tinctures and treats to buy. There have been seed sharing events at various granges throughout the county. They also shared with attendees how important it was to be conscious of water use during the drought. They had a panel on drought gardening, which has since been posted on YouTube. The Willits Library has also been handing out free seeds, so if you missed the event at the Grange, you can head over to the Library.

A new survey says Fremont is the happiest place to live in the nation. The report ranked Happiest Cities in America in 2022 at the personal-finance website WalletHub. They looked at the 182 largest U.S. cities and focused on 30 “key indicators of happiness” including depression rates, income-growth rate and average leisure time/day. The Bay Area held three of the top five spots. After Fremont, were San Francisco and San Jose, at 3 and 4 respectively. Santa Rosa was 14th, and Oakland was 16th. The study noted how hard it was for most Americans the last two years due to the pandemic. Overall, California was the 4th happiest state, after Utah, Minnesota and Hawaii.

The Bullet Train’s price tag just got a whole lot steeper. An environmental report drawn up on the high-speed railway pegged it at about $19 billion dollars more, 40% more than the last draft. The latest cost report released last Friday. The price has continued to increase since 2008 when voters approved the rail line which was touted as providing riders a two-hour, 40-minute ride from Los Angeles to San Francisco. But there have been delays and cost increases that have gone from $33 billion to as high as $105 billion for the project. The latest environmental report is for one link in the rail line from the Central Valley to the Bay Area.

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