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A judge in Mendocino County Superior Court has ruled the City of Fort Bragg can move forward with a lawsuit against Mendocino Railway claiming it’s a public utility so its regulated differently. The Railway is calling it a frivolous lawsuit so that it can control the Railway instead of the Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”). The Railway claims the city has no legal standing to sue and says they’re pursuing an emergency request for an appeal. The president of the Railway says the City Council “is determined to waste hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to pursue its relentless quest to destroy the railway”. They also say the City’s trying to sabotage the Railway trying to get a $21 million Railway Rehabilitation and Improvement loan.

A woman from Redwood Valley has reportedly lost control of a U-Haul truck and crashed into a concrete bridge. Mendo Fever reports Kimberleigh Myers was driving the 26-foot truck Sunday on Highway 101 north of the Reynolds Road over-crossing when she lost control, crossed the road and hit the concrete bridge railing head-on, then drove on top of the railing, rolled off the landing, and onto the truck’s side. She was stuck inside for about 90 minutes while emergency responders made their way there and extricated her out of the vehicle. She was taken by air ambulance to a hospital out of county for treatment of major injuries.

After an altercation between a couple of men in Ukiah, one of them was stabbed, the other ended up arrested. Police say it happened Sunday in the parking lot of a gas station and Express Mart on S. State St. They say 21-year-old Caleb Devine Gomes was hauled to jail for assault with a deadly weapon. The two men in the confrontation are unsheltered, one had a knife and slashed the other in the forehead. They were treated by paramedics and released. The arrest happened about a quarter mile away from the altercation, near Hertz Car Rental.

After a couple of California condors were taken to an area where they used to fly to introduce them back to the wild, they did it, they both took flight. The Press Democrat reported yesterday morning, for the first time in over a century, two captive-bred birds were released in Redwood National Park, their historic habitat in the Pacific Northwest. The two males were taken to a staging area, a gate was opened from their cage, and they meandered out, then took flight. The Yurok Tribe was behind the historic event, running a stream of the event on Facebook Live and their own website. The last time the condors were seen in the park, was 1892.

Water drilling permits are on hold because of the drought. The Governor had issued an Executive Order several weeks ago after some of the driest months in the state’s modern history. Gov. Newsom’s order allows local water suppliers to change to level two of water shortage contingency plans, that means they have to do everything they can to conserve water. Also, the State Water Resources Control Board is looking at ordering no more watering of decorative grass at businesses and institutions. Anyone looking to drill a new well will be out of luck.

Kelseyville Riviera could soon be a Demonstration Community by Cal Fire and the state’s Office of Emergency Services, or CalOES. The former Clear Lake Riviera has been lucky when it comes to wildfire and has been working on defensible space and other Firewise practices with their Community Association. The area is now being considered for the California Wildfire Mitigation Program’s (CWMP’s) innovative Home Hardening Initiative. This means the state’s coming up with a plan to harden, retrofit and create even more defensible space for homes which could be at high risk for wildfires. The state would also provide financial assistance for low- and moderate- income households in the community. As much as $23 million could be invested to harden Kelseyville Riviera with work potentially starting this fall. Right now, the work is in the environmental review stage and that could take several months. Then homeowners would apply.

Since Mendocino County has been declared a disaster by the federal government due to the drought, applications for loans are available. As we reported yesterday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture declared the disaster, not only for Mendocino, but all California counties with drought intensity levels of D2, D3, and D4. Emergency farm loans for physical and crop production losses are available up to $500,000 with the application deadline in December. These are the same sort of loans many got due to the pandemic, Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

To apply: Contact local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office in Ukiah at 707-468-9223. Hearing impaired individuals should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at 202-720-2600. Additional information can be found at the USDA website: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/farm-loan-programs/index

And small businesses include those that do business directly with the growers, such as truckers and suppliers of agricultural equipment or services.

To apply: Contact SBA at 1-800-659-2955, or visit SBA’s website at: http://www.sba.gov/disaster, or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov

Intro: Leaders of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus say they’re working to protect the right to an abortion after a leaked draft opinion showed the U-S Supreme Court is ready to overturn ‘Roe v. Wade’ this summer. That would turn the matter over to the states. Abortion is and will remain legal in California, but now, some lawmakers want to cement that right by putting it into the state Constitution. Caucus Chair Assemblymember Cristina Garcia says if the Supreme Court issues the ruling, it would be an unprecedented rollback of people’s rights.

 :09  "Overturning Roe vs. Wade is not going to stop abortions, but rather it's going to lead to unsafe and deadly abortions, especially for our most marginalized and vulnerable communities."

Tag: If the constitutional amendment passes both houses of the State Legislature by a two-thirds margin, it would be placed onto the November ballot. The author of SCOTUS’ draft opinion, Justice Samuel Alito, argued that the privacy rights and the due process clause don’t apply to the termination of a pregnancy. Other opponents cite religious objections.

Second Cut: Jodi Hicks, president and C-E-O of Planned Parenthood of California, says low-income women of color from conservative states would be disproportionately affected.

 :06  "People that are denied access to abortions are four times more likely to end up in poverty."

Third Cut: State Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins says the state should establish a fund to accept private donations to help people from other states travel to California for abortion care.

 :16  "California will continue to be a beacon of hope for women and families who need access for reproductive care and abortion, here in our own state and across the country. We will not leave the women and families impacted by the backwards, reckless policies of other states without options."

Tag: Earlier this year, state lawmakers passed a bill forbidding insurance companies from charging a co-pay for abortion services.

The Lake County Registrar of Voters Office has a reminder that all registered voters will be getting their primary election ballots in the mail. The election is next month, June 7th. The vote by mail ballots are going out, no later than Monday, May 9th. There will also be supplemental mailings after for newly registered or re-registered voters. They remind also to make sure all of your voter registration information is up to date. You can update that by registering again, or calling the registrar’s office. Once you fill everything out, mail it back, no postage is needed, or drop it off at any official ballot drop box location.

Visit the following website at https//caearlyvoting.sos.ca.gov/ or call (707) 263-2372 for locations.

Mendocino College students are back with their biggest, and by far, most popular exhibit of the year, for the first time since Spring 2019. In the Mendocino College gallery, you can view students ceramics, sculpture, photography, painting, drawing, and mixed media works. They report this year, there are 97 students exhibiting 147 artworks. Much of the artwork is for sale and all proceeds go to the student artist. It goes through May 15th, and the reception for the works is this afternoon from 4 to 6 p.m. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday, 4-6 p.m., Wednesday, noon- 4 p.m., Thursday 2-4 p.m. and by special appointment. For more information, email Gallery@mendocino.edu.

You can register now for the yearly Mendocino Coast Writer’s Conference. After two years of it being online, the 33rd annual conference is in person on the Mendocino Coast. The Executive Director of the Conference says they have a great lineup of acclaimed teachers for this year’s conference. They will have their first-ever Mystery Workshop and there will also be a Memoir Master Class. Registration ends June 30th and writers of all ages and experience are encouraged to register. You will need to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination to attend, and masks have to be worn at all times indoors. The complete schedule is at http://www.mcwc.org.

A top COVID doctor in the Bay Area says he’s wearing his mask again.  As new variants of omicron have started circulating around the state, Dr. Robert Wachter, chair of the UCSF Department of Medicine says he’s seen triple the cases in the last few weeks then he has in some time. He says about 1 in 30 people have tested positive but are asymptomatic. He says he has been less careful indoors at places like restaurants but has started to mask up in crowded indoor places after the Centers for Disease and Control renewed its recommendation for folks to mask up on public transit due to an increase in positive cases.

A group of legislators approved giving schools in Calif. billions more in funding. The Senate President pro tempore put out a spending plan which gives schools and community colleges $24 billion more in one-time and ongoing funding the Governor had also forecast in his budget in January. The so-called Putting Wealth to Work plan would send $5 billion of the earmarked cash to schools and it would eventually hit the $10 billion dollar mark by 2024-25. Separately in the state Assembly, leaders approved of legislation for another $11 billion a year by allowing more low-income students to get money. That would be major revisions to a nearly decade old funding formula former Gov. Jerry Brown was instrumental in getting adopted in2013.

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