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After reports of a motorcyclist down between Ukiah and Hopland earlier this week, more details emerge about the crash. The accident on Sunday morning happened, the CHP reports, after a white SUV tried to merge onto the 101 south at Talmage Rd. when a blue Harley Davidson was also at the onramp. The SUV apparently headed the wrong way onto the highway, hitting the motorcycle. The motorcyclist was killed, and the driver of the SUV was uninjured. They stayed on the scene though. Reports say that drugs and alcohol were not considered to be factors in the crash.

If you need records from Mendocino County, you’re going to pay for it. The Board of Supervisors has approved charging money for records requests. But get this… after some local media complaints about the costs, the Board approved of a separate fund of grant money to cover those requests. Mendocino Voice, which was one of the organizations speaking out reports the ordinance is not legal per the California Public Records Act. If you’re requesting records from the county, it’s $20/hour for a search of records considered to be public domain, which up to $150/hour for records that may need redactions. And the county will have to give the requester a good faith estimate of how long it’ll take if it’s over $50. The first hour is free, but only once a month for the same person or organization. Apparently the county’s following guidance by the state attorney general.

A church that ignored pandemic related safety restrictions by continuing to hold mass gatherings and accrued $200,000 in fines is off the hook. A state appeals court ruled Calvary Chapel San Jose and its pastors who were held in contempt of court and ordered to pay massive fines because they violated indoor public gathering limits in 2020 and 2021. The Appeals court ruled to overturn the lower court decisions after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the state’s ban on indoor worship as COVID-19 continued raging across the state, saying it violated freedom of religion. But Santa Clara County says they’ll still be going after $2.3 million in penalties from the church for breaking COVID safety rules in late 2020.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors looks poised to take up concerns by the Grand Jury about mismanagement and delays of the equity cannabis grant program. The General Government committee, which meets monthly will now oversee the program, something Cannabis advocates have wanted for a while. The state funded program is to help folks in the cannabis industry who were impacted by the federal government’s war on drugs. The board asked to approve an amendment to an agreement with Elevate Impact for work they did last year and weren’t paid for. It all comes after the Grand Jury report entitled “Building the Airplane While It’s Flying”. At the meeting Tuesday the county counsel said the board could end the program it wanted to.

After a shooting on Highway 20, the name of the victim who died has been revealed. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports 52-year-old Daniel Martin Shealor of Fort Bragg was murdered Friday morning. He apparently got himself to the hospital somehow but died at the hospital that day. No other info was released. Mendo Fever reports a friend of the victim has set up a fund for his cremation because she’s $750 dollars short. Donations are being accepted for the cremation through Cashapp at $crystallaviletta.

The kelp forests off the Mendocino coast are starting to recover with improved environmental conditions – and thanks to a conservation program that sent divers to remove 45-thousand pounds of invasive purple sea urchins. The urchins have devastated the once massive bull kelp forests, leaving a lifeless barren behind. Dan Abbott with the Reef Check Foundation says this is the first large-scale kelp-restoration project of its kind in northern California.

 :10  “It’s not back to where it was, say pre-2015. It’s still only about 20% of the historical average. But again, it’s only like a year and a half in. And it’s a very encouraging result.”

Tag:  The purple sea-urchin population has exploded in the last eight years or so, partially because a wasting disease has decimated their chief predator, the sea star. In addition, the area has no sea otters to keep the urchins in check – because the otters were hunted to extinction in the early 19-hundreds.


Second Cut: Sheila Semans with the Noyo Center for Marine Science in Fort Bragg says the kelp forests are crucial habitat for hundreds of species.

 :14  “The sea lions hunt in it, the abalone eat it, the rockfish hide in it. There’s just so many ecosystem services that it provides. On top of that, it sequesters carbon, and it buffers wave action along the coast. “

Tag:  The Noyo Center also is working to create a new fishery for purple urchins, which can be fattened up in an aquaculture facility and sold. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says it plans to develop a comprehensive statewide Kelp Recovery and Management Plan over the next 5 to 10 years.

After inmates jailed in Lake County during the pandemic triggered changes in the system… the Grand Jury has adjusted their reporting. The report “Confinement During a Pandemic: A Report on Inmate Health” was revised to show changes have been made at the jail, especially the report outlines, in the area of behavioral health. The cost of healthcare for inmates is over $2,500,000/year in the county. But the Grand Jury said even still they were getting feedback about maltreatment of inmates. The report showed the main problem was with the company providing healthcare for the inmates, Wellpath. They found there was no in person psychiatric counseling available nor were there any group sessions due to the pandemic. The jury report says counseling sessions need to be done in person, plus there needs to be follow up care for patients, and better management. They request the Public Health Dept. oversee healthcare agreements at the jail.

The Legislature is considering a bill so labor conflicts at fast food chains, falls to the corporation, not individual franchisees. Something that would be a first, in the nation. The bill says workers would be allowed to name the chain as the responsible party if a worker claims minimum wage violations or unpaid overtime at a franchise location. And also the franchisee would have a path to sue a restaurant chain if their contract had clauses so they had no choice but to violate labor law. It looks to appease unions who want fast food businesses more strictly regulated. There could also be a state-run, fast food council that would set wage and labor standards across the industry.

The California Department of Justice is not saying it its reviewed body camera footage of a deputy-involved shooting near Geyserville. A Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputy shot and killed an immigrant farmworker who they say was armed with a hammer, a gardening tool and a rock. The Department of Justice says they’re not investigating the July 29th shooting but didn’t say they decided against it after reviewing body-cam footage from the involved deputies. A state law that went into effect last year says the California Attorney General and Department of Justice have to investigate law enforcement officers who use deadly force against unarmed civilians. The DOJ says the man who was shot and killed did not appear to be unarmed.

More fraud regarding payments that went out in the state during the lockdown. A review of California’s Rental Assistance Program by the State Controller Betty Yee shows widespread fraud. Just like the Employment Development Dept. Documents released by the Controller on the Housing and Community Development’s payments last year showed potentially fraudulent applications worth as much as 18 million dollars and about seven million was disbursed. The assistance program was put in place in March of 2021 to give eligible residents financial help with rent and utilities amid the COVID pandemic.

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