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A controlled burn is planned in the Mendocino National Forest on under 100 acres. The targeted control burn for undergrowth west of Lake Pillsbury and north of the Eel River this week. If the conditions are good for the burn, they’re looking at today and Friday for the work with crews on site the whole time and into next week. They say rangers will reintroduce low-intensity fire which can help thin hazardous fuels, restore forest ecosystems and improve safety of local communities. They remind to stay away from the burn area. Smoke could impact nearby roads, so you’re warned to slow down, use your headlights and be cautious of fire trucks and support vehicles.

Local art at the Grace Hudson will feature a pop-up show for Adele Pruitt’s paintings. From Friday, for nearly three weeks, the artist’s work will be on display from personal collections of Ukiah residents, showing off Pruitt’s range of technique. Besides her oil paintings, there will be work from her early career with watercolor and starch. The opening is on during the April First Friday Art Walk and the Adele F. Pruitt Memorial which is April 10th at the museum.

Preparations are being made for all who wish to attend. Please RSVP and direct questions to Katarzyna Rolzinski: 707-468-9003 / katarzyna@pacific.net.

California law enforcement groups are spending money on the primary and general elections for 2022 with over $1 million on campaigns for the state Legislature and statewide offices. The latest CalMatters analysis of giving shows just under $1.2 million, the amount the groups gave in 2020. They’re donating big money to the state attorney general’s race, mostly to oust the current Atty. General, giving to Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert. The Republican looking to oust Attorney General Rob Bonta. Other contributions include the reelection of the state treasurer and several Assembly and Senate races.

The Coyote Band of Pomo Indians have held a protest at the state Capitol to speak out on climate change. Last Friday, March 25th. the “Global School Strike for Climate” was held on the West Steps at the Capitol building. It was co-hosted by the Tribal Chair and the Mendocino County Youth for Climate. It was set to coincide with the international Global School Strike for Climate the same day to not only address global warming, but restoring Native American Land Rights. There were 200 people in attendance including folks from the Sierra Club, the California Native Plant Society, Sacred Lands Native Hands, and others.

Another hat in the ring for the open Middletown Unified School Board seat in June. The special election has attracted Bryan Pullman who is so far only running against school volunteer Charise Reynolds. The special election after a petition to remove a member placed in the seat last year when nearly a dozen candidates were interviewed for two open seats including Pullman and Reynolds. One of the appointed members was challenged by a petition, so now they’re holding the special election. Until then, the seat is unfilled. Pullman has been at many board meetings as of late, and has been critical of COVID-19 mandates, including mask wearing.

The Governor has ordered water suppliers to strengthen their drought response but is not calling for more conservation or rationing from residents. Even though some water experts say that should happen, the Governor is leaving the conservation up to water companies and major water wholesalers. It should not be an issue for agricultural water providers or smaller water systems. He did give suppliers an idea to think about: banning irrigation of decorative lawns at businesses and other institutions. The reservoir storage in the state is at 2/3rd’s what it should be. Along the North Coast and in Central Calif and California deserts, it’s bone dry.

A bill to expand the COVID vaccine mandate in California is being put on hold. As the pandemic numbers wane, Democratic Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks announced she was holding Assembly Bill 1993, which would have required all state workers to be vaccinated by the end of the year. Wicks said the recent drop in COVID cases means there can be more conversations about the bill and the concerns raised by opponents.

The Mendocino County Skunk Train is hosting a fundraiser for Ukraine. The “Train for Ukraine” event this Saturday, April 2nd. There will be two train runs with 100% of the proceeds going to the International Committee of the Red Cross. The routes from both Fort Bragg and Willits, and refreshments will be available. Those riding will get assorted Ukrainian candy and specialty alcoholic Ukrainian beverages are available for those over 21. Riders can get off the train in certain turnaround spots for a half hour or so to relax or play games.

Tickets are $75 for ages 13 and up, $30 for ages 2-12 and $10 for children under age 2. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.skunktrain.com/train-for-ukraine/

The winter snowpack is really not much. Another year of historically dry weather, and less than 50% snowpack. Record breaking early spring weather melted much of the snowpack which measured at 46% of normal for this time of year. The chief of hydrology for the Calif. Dept. of Water Resources says “the snow has been roasting in the dry and sunny conditions”. The snowpack was measured in the Feather, Tuolumne and San Joaquin watersheds last Friday. There were mostly sunny skies that day, with summer like weather in some mountainous areas. There is a late season storm coming this weekend though, but that may just be a couple inches of snow for the Sierra Nevada.

Adventist Health Ukiah Valley is welcoming seven new doctors aboard their Family Medicine Residency Program. Starting in June the residents will be counted as the fourth class to continue their medical training at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley. The Director of the Family Medicine Residency Program says they are joining a “robust, rural medicine focused program”. The program started in 2019 to offer new physicians hands-on experience across multiple areas. During their three-year program, they complete rotations in family medicine, obstetrics, intensive care, and other specialties, including sports medicine, plus pediatrics through a partnership with UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. They will also work with a first in the country program for homelessness and addiction.

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