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The fire near Yosemite National Park is still burning but slowing. A Strike Team from Mendocino County, led by the Hopland Fire Chief headed to help last Saturday. At the same time, controversy as militia members in camouflage went to help evacuate folks out of the tiny town of Mariposa. The local Sheriff’s department was praising the group, but locals, not so much. They accused the California State Militia 2nd Regiment, as they call themselves, of exploiting them. No matter as the members set up a mobile kitchen for evacuees over the weekend in the parking lot of a lumber store in Mariposa. Earlier this week almost 4,000 people had been ordered to leave their homes as the Oak Fire burned nearby. The fire has charred nearly 19,000 acres, destroyed 74 homes and other structures and is only 36% contained.

Mendocino County has released the latest on Measure B expenditures and progress made. There’s a new podcast called “Mendo Mental Health Matters” to help reduce the stigma around mental health challenges and share local resources. Measure B funding continues to help locals who’ve historically not had access to crisis after care services. The Phoenix House is open and operational and has been receiving clients who are only referred through Redwood Community Crisis Services. So far this year they’ve served 17 individual clients. In Fort Bragg, Adventist and the Coast Hospital are looking for an alternate location for housing of the EMT crew and they’re working on zoning and permitting issues. There’s also a mobile crisis response team seven days a week in the county. For the Fiscal Year 21/22, there were 375 calls. The Mendocino County Acting Auditor-Controller is expected to attend the next
Measure B meeting with audit results.

CalFresh has been expanded in the state for those who are not legal citizens, ages 55 and older. The state is also considering coverage for low-income undocumented people of all ages. The Food4All initiative is working on removing restrictions on age or immigration status. State Assemblymember Miguel Santiago praises the governor and Legislature for the expansion but says it’s unacceptable that some families still go hungry in California: the fifth largest economy in the world.

:10 “We were able to succeed in getting 55 and above who aren’t documented into the CalFresh program. That’s just one step of a long journey of a longer fight to feed people.”

Tag: Nourish California estimates that CalFresh keeps nearly 700-thousand Californians out of poverty every year, including more than 300-thousand children. The expansion will benefit 75-thousand undocumented seniors but 690- to 840-thousand Californians remain ineligible for CalFresh solely due to their immigration status.

Second Cut: Benyamin Chao with the California Immigrant Policy Center says CalFresh mitigates poverty, hunger and suffering.

:13 “It intervenes in a vicious cycle. Having difficulty affording food results in families and households making hard choices, poor nutrition outcomes, poor health outcomes, and that makes it more difficult to escape from food insecurity and poverty.”

Third Cut: Mar Velez with the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California says the need is urgent.

:13 “There are 2.3 million undocumented residents in our state. And two in five, or 45%, experience food insecurity. And nearly two and three, or 63%, of undocumented children experienced food insecurity.”

A woman from Covelo has been labeled a person of interest in the death of a man in the East Bay. 69-year-old Richard Hendrix was living in an RV in the El Sobrante area. Last April his landlord noticed he had not been around and called the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office to report him missing. Deputies entered his home and found his body inside. They asked local businesses and others if they’d seen anything, or anyone. Bay Area News reports 39-year-old Pauline Dungan of Covelo is now the lead suspect. Apparently, she was seen driving Hendrix’s car before his body was found. She was detained by local cops for outstanding warrants out of Mendocino County, then let go. Detectives say Dungan beat Hendrix and strangled him, then tied him up. Her DNA was found on zipties on the man’s body. She was found in Oregon after being arrested for a DUI.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors met with the Public Health officer to hear about the latest surge of COVID19 cases here, and across the state. The Board also heard the latest on Measure B, cannabis, and labor. Dr. Andy Coren was on Zoom telling the supervisors he recommends indoor mask wearing again, and that folks really should gather outdoors again instead. There have been eight recent deaths, mostly in Ukiah. Those who passed were between 67-91 years-old, mostly with other underlying health conditions. Then the board talked about recent negotiations between the county and the union for most county workers. They also heard from the Mendocino Cannabis Alliance and the latest Grand Jury report. And on to Measure B, where the local Behavioral Health Director talked about recent work with the Sheriff’s Dept. the mental health training center and more.

After a traffic stop in Ukiah, a man is arrested who led cops on a chase. The CHP reports trying to stop a suspect for a traffic violation on the northbound side of the 101 near the Plant Road overcrossing. They initially pulled over the right shoulder, then took off, but crashed around a turn, crashing off the road, into a tree. The driver, identified as Ryan Loomis had to be taken to the hospital. He was then taken to Santa Rosa Memorial for further evaluation and should be charged after he’s released with driving under the influence and evading arrest.

A woman from Ukiah, who’s been in the San Francisco area for some time with mental health struggles, and whose family has been searching for, apparently turned up on a surveillance camera at a local convenience store. Mendo Fever reports the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said a San Francisco store owner saw the article on their website and said Kassandra “Sandy” McKee had been in his store the same morning the write-up was published. McKee’s mom has been searching for her and had not heard from her since June, when she was supposed to get on a bus back to Ukiah. She was officially reported missing on July 4th. Sandy’s mom Heather is reportedly on her way to San Francisco to try to find her.

Portola Redwoods State Park is temporarily closing the campground due to the drought. The closure begins next week, on Aug. 5th with no plans to reopen through the season due to low flows of its main water source, Peters Creek. A state parks spokesperson says the water included for campers in the restrooms, showers, drinking water and for fire suppression will not be available. It’s not the first time this has happened. It was the same situation in 2014, 2015 and last year too. But San Mateo County Park is staying open with its 18 miles of trails for day use. There is also a trail camp for backpackers which remains open for overnight use with a reservation. (The campground closes every winter, from Nov. 1 to April 1.)

It’s been about ten years since the old Ukiah Post Office closed. Now the building has been listed for sale again. The Daily Journal reports the city manager says it’s an “incredible opportunity for the right developer”, even though admitting she and others were surprised to see it up for sale again. The U.S. Postal Service sold the building right after it closed up for good, but apparently it’s remained vacant all along. The same owner has had it since then, but the newspaper reports the North Oak Street building was recently foreclosed on. It’s been back on the real estate market for about two weeks for $975,000.

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