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The latest Grand Jury report on Measure B, the Mental Health Treatment Act is in. To summarize, the jury says there was a slow start getting the funds funneled into the right areas, but now it looks as though there have been healthy contributions to mental health services for Mendocino County. Two facilities that had been planned out of a trio, are done and operating. The designs for a Psychiatric Housing Facility are nearly done. The jury says the Behavioral Health Department should be commended for their efforts regarding finishing up the other two projects, the Behavioral Health Training Center (BHTC) in Redwood Valley and the Crisis Residential Treatment Center (CRT) in Ukiah, also known as the Phoenix House. There is also now a Mobile Outreach and Prevention Services (MOPS) Dept. and National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI) trainings are also happening.

Good things to say from the latest Grand Jury report on the Community Corrections Partnership (CCP), a little-known committee put together after an Assembly Bill became law to tackle prison overcrowding. Sentencing laws were amended then, and the committee began work with law enforcement to ensure local public safety. The committee basically oversees the distribution of money under that Assembly bill. The Chief Probation Officer in Mendocino County oversees the spending. But the jury says there should be a county supervisor of the county CEO should also be involved in the committee meetings. The jury also wants to see the Chief Probation Officer staying a court appointed position in this regard.

Another dry day, another fire. The Bell Fire in Bell Springs is all but out, but another one breaks out, the Meadow Fire. The Meadow is burning in grass and timber and has burned almost 17 acres so far, it’s 65% contained and destroyed two structures. Firefighters making quick runs around both fires. The Bell Fire burned about 43 acres and is 100% contained. The much larger Electra Fire near Yosemite National Park is nearly out too. The massive inferno that was threatening Giant Sequoia trees burned just under 4,500 acres. It’s 99% contained. Now there’s a new fire near Yosemite too. So one of the main ways to get into the park is closed. The fire started after a car crash and has burned 421 acres. The Agua Fire is about 30% contained.

A solo car crash near the Hopland Cemetery has injured at least one person. Mendo Fever reports the CHP reported the car went off Old River Road near the Cemetery last night then hit a tree in a ditch. The CHP says the car went about 15-20′ down and both people in the car got themselves out.

The man heading the California National Guard is out. After multiple scandals at the agency, the Governor’s office reported Maj. Gen. David Baldwin had resigned. It comes after a Los Angeles Times investigation which includes allegations of abuse of authority, homophobia, antisemitism and racism. Baldwin’s been at the helm for over a decade and reports directly to the Governor. Newsom issued a statement after the resignation thanking Baldwin “for his steadfast leadership and nearly four decades of committed service to our state and nation.” Maj. Gen. Matthew Beevers is now the deputy adjutant general. The Governor will consider a permanent appointment to replace Baldwin.

The quarterly meeting of Sherwood Firewire Communities covered the proposed sales tax in Mendocino County. The meeting on Zoom last week with District 3 Supervisor John Haschak and the Mendocino County Fire Safe Council (MCFSC) County Coordinator. It was Supervisor Hashak that spoke about the proposed tax for fire services which he says doesn’t really change because there’s about to be a reduction in the mental health sales tax. The new tax would be one-quarter of a cent for fire services which would bring in around $4 million/year. The first reading of the proposed tax was passed by the Board of Supervisors. A reminder too that free home hardening inspections are available to folks living in the region. Their next quarterly meeting is in October.

Health insurance premiums are going up for those using the state marketplace, Covered Calif. The increase will be about 6% more next year, the biggest in about 4 years. They’ve mostly been about 2% higher each year over the last three years. Some counties will get hit harder, with a nearly 12% hike for Imperial, Inyo and Mono counties. And no change at all for Fresno, Kings, and Madera counties. The amount of subsidies a household gets is based on income, which may offset some of the bite. Those who make more than the requirements for the subsidies would have to pay the whole rate increase themselves though.

Fort Bragg has hosted the latest hearings of the Coastal Commission that cover the entire Calif. coast. But in town, they did spend a good chunk of time on Fort Bragg, discussing the mill site and the recent purchase of the site by the Mendocino Railway. They got an update from Harbor Master and the Noyo Center Executive Director, then walked the Noyo Headlands, heard a presentation from the Nature Conservancy and toured the new Noyo Center. During the presentation on the mill site purchase over a dozen speakers said why they were opposed. The commission also got a petition with more than 600 signatures for a site cleanup. There were also some railway representatives there to state their case. The City of Fort Bragg has gone to court to get a declaration that Mendocino Railway does not have the power of eminent domain, and is subject to all permitting requirements. The Chair of the Commission told those in attendance the skunk trains are not considered public utilities.

Part of Highway 53 had to be closed because of a crash that killed a pedestrian. Lake Co News reported the crash early this morning triggered the road to be closed down on the northbound side. Then the coroner arrived for an investigation.

There’s a new midwife at Mendocino Coast Hospital health centers. Certified Nurse Midwife Kate Hylan is taking on new patients which includes healthcare, including prenatal care and childbirth support for patients in Lake and Mendocino Counties. Hyland is an East Coaster, but lived in Southern Calif. last. She says after spending a lot of time in Eureka and Fortuna during her training, her family wanted to make the move. She also said she wanted to work for this health care system and patient population.

State Health officials are saying the new Covid wave could surpass the winter surge.  This is because coronavirus levels recently tested in San Francisco’s wastewater were at higher levels than during the winter. Health experts at Emory University revealed the results after the C-D-C said the newer B-A-5 subvariant was potentially more infectious than the mother omicron strain. State officials also say they think at-home testing was skewing Covid data as many cases were not officially being logged.

The Bureau of Land Management is asking for more public comments for the Wild and Scenic River Eligibility Report. The report notes which areas of northwest California rivers and streams could be folded into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The BLM uses the eligibility report to come up with their Northwest California Integrated Resource Management Plan. The plan is the guiding factor for BLM public land managers in northwest California for the next 20 years. The agency already manages 2,700 miles of wild and scenic rivers in the United States. The job to protect free flow, water quality and other remarkable values like scenic quality, recreational access, fish and wildlife habitat and more. The last report from 2018 focused on various public lands managed by the BLM’s Arcata and Redding field offices in Shasta, Trinity, Butte, Siskiyou, Tehama, Del Norte, Humboldt and northern Mendocino counties.

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