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California may soon stop “hidden” court fees referred to as civil assessment fees, or cut them down. The extra cash is sometimes added to traffic tickets and minor violations and can be ten times the amount of the initial offense. The fee is tacked on for those who don’t pay their ticket by the imposed deadline of if the don’t come to court. You can get charged as much as $300 for a jaywalking violation which might only cost $35. Debt Free Justice California says Calif has some of the highest civil assessment fees in the country. The state gets around $100 million a year from the assessments with the courts getting 50%. And a recent report shows people of color are disproportionately impacted by the fees. The Governor has proposed cutting the fees to a max of $150 in his latest budget, but some lawmakers and Debt Free Justice want them banned entirely, especially since the state has a projected $68 billion budget surplus.

The state reports we could be short on energy needs for over a million homes during peak summer months. The California Public Utilities Commission, the California Energy Commission, and the California Independent System Operator all agree the state will have about 1,700 less megawatts of power than needed during high demand, when it’s the hottest and driest. Add on the drought, the potential for extreme heat and wildfires, and the supply chain and regulatory issues, that’s a hot mess as far as energy reliability this summer. The state can buy power from other states to avoid blackouts and residents can use less power during peak hours of heat. The Governor’s office says they’re looking at a “range of different actions.”

A new member has been appointed to the Ukiah Unified School District Board of Trustees. Fred Keplinger won the seat at a special meeting last month. He’ll serve until the term is up at the end of the year. The seat will also be on the general election ballot, this November.  For his part, Keplinger said he was always interested in community service, especially anything to do with children. He’s a Ukiah native and an Emergency Management Coordinator for the Redwood Coast Regional Center. He’s a dad and retired Ukiah Police Officer whose provided hours of community service for adults and kids alike.

The Superintendent of Fort Bragg schools is supporting a candidate for Mendocino County Schools Superintendent. Becky Walker wrote a letter to the editor at Mendo Fever that says as an educator herself for the last 25 years, she feels Nicole Glentzer is the right person for the job. Walker says Glentzer has “a strong moral fiber; she speaks the truth; she uplifts those around her; and she is a true leader with integrity”. She added over the last few years with the pandemic and more, it’s been extremely difficult for students and educators, but there have been leaders like Nicole, who have risen to the occasion, offered help to others, and prioritized students.

Over one million dollars is going to Native American Tribes in Calif for historic preservation. The announcement by Congressman Jared Huffman of the Second Congressional District. He says his district is home to multiple Tribes and their culture and history have been a deeply important part of the fabric of the community since time immemorial. He says the funds will help preserve places of cultural significance, “ensuring America’s diverse history is protected and celebrated”.  The money is going to 17 Tribes in his District including Hopland Band of Pomo Indians, Pinoleville Pomo Nation, Sherwood Valley Rancheria and the Yurok Tribe.

Downtown Lakeport will be the scene for a ceremony to honor first responders. On Friday, the Lake County First Responder Memorial Ceremony is being held at Lake County Museum Park. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is hosting the event, starting at 5:30 pm. They are inviting the public to join to honor and memorialize those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their community in the line of duty and service.

For more information, contact Deputy Cynthia Radoumis at 707-262-4200.

A new report says the state’s spent or committed billions to help children in grades K-12 with mental health challenges but has not done nearly as much for kids 5 and under. This is something advocates say is needed, so they’re reaching out to the Governor to set aside $250 million in the state budget for mental health services covering infants, toddlers, preschoolers and their parents and caregivers. That’s about 25% of all Medi-Cal recipients 21 and younger without a proportionate share of health and mental health care as compared to older youth. The study by advocacy group Children Now who say this group cannot express themselves. And that about 43% under 5 have experienced at least one adverse childhood experience.

It was one day, but a milestone, nonetheless. On April 30th, 2 Saturdays ago, Calif. was 100% powered by clean energy. Energy demand across Calif. was at 18,672 megawatts at the peak hour of 2:45 pm, and there was 37,172 MW available. The state reported 101% of the power came from clean energy. The California Independent System Operator who oversees the bulk electric power system, transmission lines, and electricity market reported the exciting news. The Desert Sun newspaper reported about 70% of the energy needed came from solar power, and the rest was from wind, geothermal, and other renewable sources. The achievement lasted just about 15 minutes before lowering to about 97% renewables.

A bill to finally do away with forcing an investigation into a child’s stillbirth has passed an Assembly committee. Currently coroners have to investigate the deaths. Last week the Assembly Health Committee voted 11-3 to pass the bill as several hundred protesters against abortion were also at the Capitol, opposing the bill. Any fetal death at or after 20 weeks has to be investigated and treated as an “unattended death”. Since so many counties have Sheriff/Coroners, that means law enforcement are involved. Groups working with OB/GYNs say it’s dangerous because it could make pregnant people less likely to get medical help.

A man from Clearlake Oaks accused of stealing a piece of heavy machinery is going to state prison. David Archuleta was seen in December of 2020 taking a generator out of a Toyota Rav4 in the cover of night, while it was parked in front of his home. A police officer knew there had recently been a similar generator reported stolen nearby and confronted Archuleta. The officer got a search warrant and found stolen property from two homes burglarized a few days apart. Deputies also found a loaded Glock 9 mm pistol, and since Archuleta had a criminal history, he was not allowed to have firearms or ammunition. He was arrested and released on his own recognizance, but more charges were soon filed against him. Since he had a previous strike on his record, he got 17 years and four months in state prison.

3rd District Supervisor John Hashak commenting on the upcoming election with his update to the County. The Supervisor’s notes on Mendo Fever talking about the upcoming Primary Election. The Elections Office said they had sent ballots out yesterday for the June 7th primary. There are Supervisorial seats and the Superintendent of Schools with only two candidates for each position.  Also Hashak reminded the Sheriff, Assessor/Clerk/Recorder, District Attorney, and Auditor-Controller/Treasurer-Tax Collector have only one candidate running, the incumbent, so if nobody runs against them, they keep their jobs. Hashak’s seat is up for re-election too with a debate coming Sunday at the Willits Grange. The two running for County Superintendent of Education will also debate Sunday.

The FBI has decided not to pursue confiscating over $1 million in cash taken from armored cars moving money for state-licensed marijuana businesses in California. The money was returned to the owners, a 360 degree turn with a different US government in place, showing the Justice Department taking a less aggressive stance on operation of legal marijuana businesses that are still technically violating federal law. The FBI had said the $1.1 million taken last year from armored cars in San Bernardino County was part of a federal drug or money-laundering scheme, but never charged anyone. The company who owned that armored vehicle and another in Kansas with a similar seizure, got a court order earlier this year to get the Justice Dept. to stop the practice, unless they had evidence of illegal activity.

Police in Ukiah are asking locals to help them, by registering home surveillance cameras to document illegal activity. If the cameras point outside their homes or businesses, they can be registered so the police dept. has the ability to review the footage. Mendo Fever reports a camera registry system could help police catch criminals, they say it’s like neighborhood watch. The news site reports a suspected graffiti vandal was caught by footage cops got from multiple surveillance cameras which caught the criminal tagging multiple locations in Ukiah. And just a few months ago surveillance footage was used to confirm a robbery victim’s statement to police.

For more info, call Lieutenant Phillips at (707)463-6254 or email him at aphillips@cityofukiah.com

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