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Lake County’s annual burn ban starts Sunday. The ban covers all open fires, but there are a few limited exceptions for agriculture, controlled burns, and public safety. The restriction has been around since 1986. Since then the County Air Quality Management District says the program has been successful reducing the risk for out of control fires and keeping the air clean. The Air Quality District says public cooperation is important, but if you violate the ban, you could face consequences. Among them: citations, fines, and orders to pay for the response to put the fire out or other damages. The ban remains in effect until CalFire declares the fire season over.

If you have a Lake County Library card, you can now check out a free pass to a California State Park. The three-year pilot program program allows library patrons access to a limited number of free passes, valid for a certain number of days, which get you into more than 200 state parks. Parks include Clear Lake State Park in Kelseyville, Anderson Marsh State Historic Park in Lower Lake, and Robert Louis Stevenson State Park south of Middletown. County Librarian Christoper Veach calls it a great way for people who use the library to discover the California’s great outdoors through its biggest-in-the-nation state park system. You can find more information on the library website or at any branch library.

California will allow some immigrants living in the state without legal permission to access Medi-Cal health insurance benefits starting this weekend. Immigrants over 49 who fall below certain income limits will be able to apply for full coverage from the state version of Medicaid beginning Sunday. Officials estimate that adds up to about 235,000 people. More than 220,000 others under 25 without documentation are already enrolled. The Department of Health Care Services, which administers Medi-Cal, is working with county officials, consumer advocates, and the state health insurance exchange to reach the newly eligible immigrants.

An investigation has been launched by the state attorney general about how fossil fuel and petrochemicals contribute to California pollution. Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta reported yesterday his office subpoenaed Exxon Mobil to uncover how the company may have covered up the public’s understanding of the harmful consequences of plastic. Bonta said for years the plastics industry has been deceiving the public saying recycling can solve the plastics crisis. But Bonta says instead fossil fuels like oil and gas are the raw material of most plastics and that’s been piling up and crowding waterways and oceans, making marine life ill and threatening human health. The state is also looking to do away with single use plastic for good, as one way to reduce plastic pollution. Bonta says about 90% of plastics end up in landfills, burned or flushed into the ocean.

Two teens in Mendocino County are missing. The Sheriff’s Office says they got a call the two 13 year olds, Legend Findsthefeather and Maria Kinsman vanished from Point Arena last night. The two reportedly took a bus to Coddingtown Mall in Santa Rosa and were last seen there around 3:30pm yesterday. The Sheriff’s office says they had conflicting info there was a white SUV somehow involved. Santa Rosa police sent out a Nixle alert for the two, but neither has any family in the area. A Be on the Lookout alert has been issued and police are asking anyone who may have seen the teens to call dispatch.

California’s with over a dozen states trying to coax the U.S. Postal Service into commissioning more electric vehicles so its eventually all electric. The states are suing to get the Service to stop buying gas-powered trucks and modernize the fleet instead. Three lawsuits were filed yesterday by the 15 states and environmental activists here in Calif. and in New York for a more comprehensive environmental review before the Service buys more vehicles. Those suing say the gas- or diesel-powered delivery vehicles could harm the environment for years. The delivery trucks have been in service since the late 1980’s and early nineties.

It’s finally here, the Crisis Residential Treatment facility for mental health. Measure B, the Mental Health Treatment Act funded much of the new facility which had its official ribbon cutting ceremony last year. But the construction wasn’t done yet due to COVID supply chain issues. This past January most of the facility was done, except they were waiting for a generator. Now the eight-bed complex is available for adults “experiencing a psychiatric crisis” for up to a one month stay. They are still waiting for that generator though. The Phoenix House will offer treatment, in a safe, welcoming, non-institutional residential setting.

Plans to build the Grocery Outlet have moved a step closer as three companies have submitted proposals for the environmental impact review. The Fort Bragg City Council approved of an agreement earlier this week for Best Development to get the review going, they’re paying for it. The company doing the review had a leg up since they were already doing work in the city. There were some objections though about the amount of work and how much time the company was reportedly committing to the review. The company says they’ll use some older studies, but some members of the public at the meeting spoke out against the idea. But the city council approved of the company for the review, De Novo, unanimously. The mayor recused himself though.

The state has a new plan to beat back climate change and be more proactive in the face of
extreme heat emergencies. The idea for lawmakers to fork over $300 million for an Extreme Heat Action Plan across California. And the Natural Resources Agency secretary says the extreme heat is a public health challenge and we need to take action to protect people. Some of the requested money would go to build emergency hot weather shelters so folks can go cool off and charge their electronics during heat storms. Other money to plant trees to create shade, green schoolyards so kids stay cool and encourage folks, if they can, to buy solar and energy-efficient appliances with help from the state. And even repaint your home with heat-reflective paint.

Somehow PG&E had a banner year so far. The company reports tripling their first quarter earnings for 2022 over last year’s. The company raking in over $475 million of profits. Some wildfire survivors are asking the company to use the take to underground powerlines quickly, before we see anymore catastrophic wildfires. The company announced in a recorded meeting they would work to underground powerlines. The profit may have come from raising customers rates.

Reports in Calif. say thousands of residents continue to struggle with mental health crises and many don’t have access to needed treatment. State Senator, and Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire has a new bill to make sure all Californians with insurance have access to the so-called Coordinated Specialty Care. That means they have access to a personalized treatment plan with needed services, like guaranteed/longer term mental health care, access to housing, and help with educational and vocational goals. Currently many of the private health insurance companies and health plans cover the treatment. McGuire’s bill was approved in the Senate Health Committee unanimously. It would mean a patient would have a team with their regular doctor, a psychiatrist, and a case manager.

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