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A bit of a mess at the latest Mendocino County Board of Supervisors meeting. Supervisors talking finances and the new jail taking too long. Supervisor Ted Williams said the CEO’s office should get in touch with the state controller for help. The board discussed the jail construction documents delaying the project as the state examines them. The new CEO said she didn’t know why it was taking so long either. Also on the docket why some county workers are still without a new contract. SEIU Local 1021 workers want a raise, but that’ll cost the county over three million dollars. Williams called for financial transparency, including incorporating recommendations from an outside auditor. Supervisor Glenn McGourty said the county needs properly trained financial minds, then the board agreed to ask the state for more money for the jail and ask the state controller to step in and help with finances.

They say they’ve won. The Forest Protectors of Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) say the California State Board of Forestry has put an indefinite “hold” on all operations, awaiting their Government-to-Government talks. The activist group says they demanded a moratorium at the forest until there was government-to-government Co-management. The publicly owned 47,000-acre forest is under an outdated CalFire management plan. That triggered a campaign last year with protestors on forest property, interrupting logging operations of old redwoods. Things heated up after CalFire approved a timber harvest near the small coastal town of Caspar. Letters, phone calls and petitions circulated to stop it, with no luck until now.

Packed Mendocino Coast Healthcare District Board of Directors meeting. Last week the board discussed their new website, last year’s minutes moving to the site without approval and sending a letter regarding the Adventist Health – Anthem insurance partnership. There was some contention about the minutes being posted online without the board’s review, and board members became frustrated with each other about that. The board chair shared the new website’s migration of old information to the new site had some items not noted as draft documents. The board decided to pull the minutes from the website then took up the matter of Adventist Health and Anthem Insurance contract negotiations. The president of Adventist Health Mendocino Coast was on hand assuring they don’t want to split up.

Members of the public at the latest Willits City Council meeting have requested an update to local tobacco retail licenses to ban flavored vape products. They heard about statitistics in youth vaping and potential flavor bans, retail restrictions near youth friendly locations and product placement and advertising. Also during the meeting the Third District Supervisor John Haschak was there to talk about the tax proposal for fire services. And the council all voted yes for a Mutual Aid Agreement with six municipalities, four in Mendocino County and two in Lake County to exchange certain equipment, staff overlap and materials to be shared as needed.

We’re still not doing as good as we can conserving water. The latest report says there was a tiny improvement from July 2021 to this past May. The Governor last summer asked for a 15% reduction when he declared a drought emergency. We saw an 8.5% reduction in May, but not so much in Southern California where it was only 2.2% less. That meant the entire state average was only at a 3.1% reduction compared to May 2020. It may mean a mandatory reduction if it keeps up. A spokesperson for the Governor says businesses and residents need to step up. She says the administration will continue monitoring the conservation numbers, especially the early June numbers before they see if they need to make further changes.

A fire in a Ukiah creek is being reported as arson. That’s the word from the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority on yesterday’s fire in Gibson Creek near South Orchard Avenue. Some witnesses reported seeing the fire around mid-morning near a big tunnel. One police officer responded using a fire extinguisher as the UVFA Battalion Chief got there. A crew came down too to make sure it was doused, hosing it down. The chief said it was definitely “human-caused” and that the tunnel is used a lot as temporary housing. He says a large log was burning and was not being used for cooking or warming up. They have no suspects and are trying to see if there are any local surveillance cameras that caught anything.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is in Lake County pruning and felling trees, so they don’t come into contact with power lines. It’s the last bit of work to prevent wildfires in high fire-risk areas along about 94 miles of overhead power lines. Those in Cobb and Cobb Mountain, Clearlake Oaks, Glenview, Kelseyville, Lower Lake, Loch Lomond, and Morgan Valley may encounter folks inspecting power lines and preparing trees to be taken down or trimmed. PG&E workers will go out to customers and share their plans with the community. The company says they’ll work individually with any customers needed if there’s safety work to be done on their property.

A great success is what the Lakeport Home Wine and Beer Makers’ Festival is being called. The event at Library Park, also known as Winefest is the biggest annual fundraiser for the Lake County Symphony Association (LCSA). A lot of the money raised helps to support youth and community programs like music lessons and scholarships. That pays for things like transportation and lodging costs for non-local musicians. This was the first in person event in a couple of years because of the pandemic. The event’s been happening for more than 20 years as a way bring in regular funds for the Symphony.

A fond farewell to an old hospital. A gathering is being planned for folks to come together and share stories, pictures, or anything else related to the old Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits. The organizers plan to sit in the shade on the back lawn along Poplar Street. They’ve not confirmed a date yet, but say there will be refreshments and time to reminisce about the old, beloved hospital that was part of the community since 1928.

The state has settled with one of the country’s largest rent-to-own companies, Rent-A-Center. A $15.5 million dollar settlement has been agreed to after claims the company misled and overcharged tens of thousands of customers. The Attorney General Rob Bonta reported yesterday after an investigation into the company’s “kiosk” business in furniture stores. They found since 2014 the company was inflating their cash prices about 15% higher than the true retail price, along with other supposed violations related to over 100,000 contracts through the company’s Preferred Lease line.

A man who lost his home and potentially four pets in the massive McKinney Fire had a glimmer of hope. James or “Mac” Benton found his 3-month-old Pitbull pup, Patches. The puppy had a moment of fame when it was found in the desolate remains of a neighborhood. Benton says he was escaping the fire Friday in the town of Klamath River and thought his animals were all accounted for, but when he noticed they were not, he turned around, but the flames and smoke overcame him, and he had to leave. Benton lived with several other people on his property and one he has not been able to get in touch with. Four people have died in the fire so far. Around 100 homes or other buildings burned in the fire. Meanwhile, Patches was found at the Rescue Ranch, a nonprofit dog rehab and adoption center in nearby Yreka.

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