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Monthly Archives: September 2022

Pomo artists are being featured at the Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah. Starting tomorrow at 11am, Pomo artists Katie Williams-Elliott, Donna Ramirez and Eric Wilder will be at the museum with their various works to talk to art enthusiasts. The painting, drawing and photography will be part of the exhibit, “Gathering Time: Pomo Art During the Pandemic.” There are 15 different contemporary Pomo artists from 10 Pomo tribal groups from Mendocino, Lake and Sonoma Counties. The artist’s work harkens back to the lockdown and the associated heartbreak the COVID pandemic wreaked on all of us, and their cultural traditions. Admission to this panel is free with museum admission. The Grace Hudson Museum is
located at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah.

For more information, call (707) 467-2836 or visit the website at

The Lake County Board of Supervisors has discussed hiring an auditor to look over the contract with the Elijah House due to some grant money used for the former homeless shelter and the abrupt dismissal of residents there. The Board was questioning whether the management of the former shelter were following the contract, using grant funding appropriately and reporting the usage. The administrator for the Elijah House was at the meeting over Zoom, but the board ultimately decided to hire an unbiased outside auditor. The Board also looked at getting a lawyer to make sure PG&E was providing the appropriate wildfire mitigation. They agreed to spend up to $50,000 only and potentially work with the same lawyer other groups have already signed on with for their own beefs with the utility giant.

The Governor is set to sign two bills that will use under-used or vacant commercial buildings as housing. The deal came about through some affordable housing groups and labor unions. The two bills, one originating in the Senate, the other in the Assembly look to put housing in buildings that had been zoned for large retail and office buildings because of a massive shortage of housing. The pair of bills guarantee union-scale wages for builders and have a clause to expedite the construction of the conversions. They also have to be close to city centers so the state can still meet its environmental goals and avoid sprawl.

More shocking details have emerged about why former Ukiah cop Kevin Murray was being investigated in the first place. Details have been released to the public for 60 days outlining the Sonoma County Probation Department’s sentencing recommendation which had asked for a much stricter sentence than the suspended sentence he received along with probation. He was charged with rape, burglaries and drug possession. The notes say he raped a woman at gunpoint, had meth on him at one point he said was evidence he forgot to book in. There were another couple of sex assaults, but the Sonoma County Probation Dept. says they didn’t get responses needed from the Mendocino County District Attorney’s office, which was prosecuting the case.

A man from the Ukiah area has been sent to prison for starting a fire at a group home with people inside. 32-year-old Travis Joseph Humphrey will be locked up for 9 years after the December fire. Witnesses apparently gave police and fire investigators enough information that they interviewed Humphrey. They say he set a fire in the room he was assigned to, left the room, closed the door and took off. Then he was seen looking into a window from outside. At the time of the fire, Humphrey was also on probation for being an accessory to the reckless setting of a fire by another person last year. But the fire he set was a felony.

Someone found sleeping on the steps of a business in Ukiah ended up being a man wanted for several warrants. Police say Scott Faber also had meth on him, so they arrested him. After search of the man, police say they also found ammunition on him. Faber was booked into jail for Unlawful Possession of Ammunition, Misdemeanor – Possession Controlled Substance and the Misdemeanor Arrest Warrants and held on $25,000.00 bail.

After cruising around on routine patrol, a Sheriff’s Deputy has arrested a man after a traffic stop for possessing drugs. A search was on because Edward Blakeley was found to be on Post Release Community Supervision out of county. He was found on the 200 block of KUKI Lane in Ukiah with a personal use quantity of suspected methamphetamine and a methamphetamine pipe. He’s charged with possessing a controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and held without bail.

Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire has announced the Governor has signed his bill to hurry and underground electricity lines to keep communities safe. The Governor signed the bill into law yesterday. McGuire says it’s about time and added that PG&E has failed to keep Calif. safe and “underfunded modernization, line hardening and wildfire safety efforts for decades, which has had devastating impacts in communities throughout the utility’s territory.” The undergrounding of electric lines is thought to be one of the ways to solve the wildfire crisis by about 99%. And it could also reduce carbon emissions by stopping mega-fires before they start.

A man in Fort Bragg running to be on the City Council has bowed out after a particularly uncomfortable interaction with a drunk guy and a Ukiah police officer. Alberto Aldaco says Officer Jarod Frank performed a probation search of a man who had been drinking, but was not allowed because it’s against his probation. Aldaco reportedly told the cop off, then the officer’s body camera caught Aldaco peeing on the ground on a public street. Mendo Fever and Kym Kemp are reporting Aldaco said he would no longer be running for city council because he’s not the best person he can be currently. The city clerk in Fort Bragg has confirmed the 25-year-old dropped out of the race.

There’s a massive hole in Mendocino county’s multi-million dollar health plan. The self-funded plan’s a deficit after about two and a half years adds up to about six million dollars. That’s even after the Board of Supervisors moved over $4.5 million from one of the COVID stimulus packages over to the plan budget. So the real deficit was around the $10 million mark. The Board also says the former auditor borrowed money to cover the deficit, but they didn’t know. At their meeting the Board members sounded off on the shortage. They also heard there had been a surplus a few years back but the then Auditor-Controller said it was too high and they should spend it down. The new CEO told the board they had reported a wrong number, but nobody who knew the actual number came forward to correct it.

The Yurok Tribe and California State Parks have cemented their deal, signing an agreement for co-management of Yurok ancestral territory on Calif. land. The milestone is called the Global Memorandum of Understanding and Traditional Tribal Gathering Agreement. It means Yurok Tribe members have access to state parks in the North Coast Redwoods District and within Yurok Ancestral Territory so they can work the land without a permit. That includes gathering plants and minerals, participating in tribal activities like religious, spiritual, ceremonial, recreational, and research. The Tribal Chair spoke at the signing, saying he was grateful for the correction of the longstanding injustice on the tribal land.

The Mendocino County Prevention, Recovery, Resiliency, and Mitigation Division (PRRM) is reminding there’s not much time left to fill out the disaster recovery and resiliency survey. The survey is open to all residents, past or present, not just those who sustained direct impacts caused by the 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2021 wildfire disasters. The deadline is tomorrow at midnight.

To complete the survey, please visit: State

Sen. Bill Dodd has announced the Governor has signed his bill to beef up wildfire prevention by creating a $20 million prescribed fire claims fund. Dodd says the increasing destruction and loss of life from climate-driven wildfires means the state has to “ramp up prevention – and prescribed fire is a proven way to do that”. His bill not only sets money aside for the state to use prescribed fires or controlled burning, but also protects landowners and prescribed fire managers so they don’t have to pay for fire suppression, unless they acted with gross negligence. The Nature Conservancy supported the bill, saying to restore forests, there needs to be less barriers for prescribed burning.

Mendocino County has several events taking place in support of National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. The events to remember those lost to overdose, to acknowledge grief of family and friends who have been left behind and renew the commitment to end overdose and related harms. The Overdose Awareness, Education, and Resources Options Events are happening every weekend in October. There are five of them on Saturdays, each from 10:30am-1:30pm in different locations in the County. The events are sponsored by Consolidated Tribal Health Project, National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Sovereign Nation of Pinoleville, the City of Ukiah, and Mendocino County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services.

October 1st at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville, October 8th at the Gualala Community Center, October 15th at the Fort Bragg Town Hall, October 22nd at the Ukiah Alex Thomas Plaza, and October 29th at the Willits Recreation Grove Park.

For questions or additional information, contact (707) 472-2300, or if you, a friend, or a family member need help, call the Beacon Call Center at 1-855-765-9703

A pay hike is coming for California Highway Patrol officers. The 6.2% raise this year negotiated by the union with the state of Calif. The state Human Resources Department put the salary up on the annual survey on the state website which was used to calculate the new salary. That means some will make almost $111,000 per year. Plus it will be paid retroactively to July 1st. CHP raises are somewhat different than their other law enforcement counterparts. They’re in alignment with the pay of five local police departments: San Francisco, Oakland, San Diego and Los Angeles, where there are two departments.

The Ukiah Garden Club’s fall fundraiser features planting kits for kids again, but this time they’re in tiny teacups. Last year kids got a small packet of fertilizer, along with a spoon, so children could mix them up. There were 70 kits made last year for the sale. 40 were sold and the rest went to Lake County for their sale. This year kids are getting the teacups, wooden chop sticks and tiny spoons and fertilizer packets. The sale is happening next weekend, Oct. 8th and 9th from 9am – 4pm Sat. and until 2pm Sunday.

The Governor has signed a bill into law so agricultural laborers can join unions. The Governor had said he was against the bill which was hardily supported by the United Farm Workers. Union workers and supporters walked 335-miles from Delano to Sacramento, then camped out on the steps of the State Capitol for several weeks. President Biden even got involved, putting out a Labor Day statement urging Governor Newsom to sign Assembly Bill 2183 into law.

The levees in Upper Lake were the subject of a workshop due to community concern. The Western Region Town Hall was at the Habematolel community center where about 40 people showed up, most of them Upper Lake residents. There was a Q&A with officials from the county and the Lake County Water Resources’ consulting company. Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry also had representatives at the meeting via Zoom. The levees were built by the Army Corp of Engineers back in the 1950s but turned over management to the state of California in the 90s. There are about a dozen solutions being offered that have been whittled to three, but the state law keeps evolving which has put a wrinkle in moving forward.

The Governor has signed Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry’s bill to update the authority of Resource Conservation Districts in ways to better fight climate change. The districts or RCDs were created in the 1930s as a liaison with state and federal conservation programs due to the central valley’s dust bowl. There are now 95 RCDs to help with natural resource needs of rural, urban, and suburban communities. Aguiar-Curry says they’re doing important work to address climate change in her district, but many in smaller regions have tiny budgets. Her bill would make it easier for them to get grants and continue to be updated. The last update was in the 70s.

The Fort Bragg City Council has passed a new anti-bullying policy. At their meeting Monday night they heard from the city manager who said she noticed a lot of bullying and hostility at city hall. The policy is not legally enforceable, but City Manager Peggy Ducey said she was concerned that the nastiness toward City employees could become physically violent. She provided info to those in attendance about shootings in city halls around the country, showed some of the abusive letters some staffers had received and said they’ve had no recourse until now. But some of the public at the meeting said the policy would get in the way of free speech and would mean less public participation, one saying, “criticism isn’t bullying.”

A man from Chico is facing prison for some time after charges he lived with a dead man whose identity he used. The Butte County District Attorney’s office charged David Pirtle with identity theft and forgery for writing checks from his 4 years dead roommate Kevin Olson. Cops started investigating after several of Olson’s relatives reported not seeing him since about October of 2018. Detectives went to his home after finding about 50 checks had been written to Pirtle. An autopsy is planned and Pirtle is in jail on $165,000 bail. Police say Pirtle was paying the mortgage on time each month.

The Save the Redwoods League has acquired hundreds of acres of redwood forest at Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve. The Atkins Place Forest is across from the reserve. The League partnered with California State Parks to make improvements to the park. The purchase by the League adds on to other purchases to protect over 37,500 acres. Save the Redwoods has moved to protect almost all of the 2,743 acres in Montgomery Woods. The head of the League says it’s an important area of the coast redwood range, “for both recreational visitors and conservation”

The Agriculture Department is trying to get a handle on how much cannabis is growing in Mendocino County so they’re looking for producers to fill out surveys. The state’s not given the county info on the METRC reporting system so this survey will help the County give the state needed information. The survey is for the 2021 Cultivation Season and can be filled out then returned directly to the Department of Agriculture. The info they collect is anonymous and used only for compilation of the annual Cannabis Crop Report.

The Governor has signed a law to protect women from paying more for feminine products and other items. The “pink-tax” is now illegal in California. The Governor’s wife and first partner, Jennifer Seibel Newsom along with the Legislative Women’s Caucus were with the Governor when he signed the law along with a package of bills to advance gender equity and protect the rights of women. The pink tax law was brought forward by Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan of Orinda. It bans companies from tacking on higher prices for products based on gender. Companies who violate the new law can be fined thousands.

The Governor is poised to sign a bill that many say will slow the massive fires we’ve been experiencing for years in Calif., undergrounding power lines. Those against the idea say it would get in the way of regulatory oversight of energy companies and could mean higher power bills for consumers. Utility customers who are not in PG&E territory have reportedly been asking the governor to veto the bill. The bill passed the Assembly unanimously and was 31-9 in the Senate. But the Senate Majority Leader, Mike McGuire says year over year the Northern Calif. region has experienced massive utility caused wildfires and “undergrounding electrical lines reduces fire starts by 99 percent.”

Planners in the City of Ukiah are continuing their work on the city’s General Plan. At their meeting tonight, the Planning Commission will hear public comments, which they will continue to consider until they complete the document. They released the draft Environmental Impact Report for the 2040 General Plan with notes for tonight’s meeting. One of the commissioner’s, Rick Johnson also requested more info on the plans to be able to provide enough water, especially with the likely decommissioning of the Potter Valley Project. He said it could mean shifting primarily to aquifers for the city’s water, instead of the Russian River. He questioned how the city could continue providing water without the hydroelectric plant running.

The state is dealing with a major affordable housing crisis, and it’s spilling into dorm rooms and apartments for college students. Ed Source reports most of the colleges across the state which are UC or Cal State are not guaranteeing you’ll find housing over four years. Just a handful of community colleges have on-campus housing. But now the Legislature is heeding the call. The budget lawmakers created for the year carved out about $1.4 billion for more student housing at five UC campuses, nine CSU campuses and 12 community colleges. But it will reportedly take years to impact the shortage and won’t help current students, some of whom are taking to sleeping in their cars overnight.

Another bill passed by the Legislature this session would make solitary confinement a thing of the past. The so-called “California Mandela Act”, named after former political prisoner Nelson Mandela would limit the use of the tiny cells in all California prisons, jails and immigration detention facilities. It won on a party line vote with Republicans saying it will just cost too much. There are not many restrictions on how the practice is used in the state, but it usually means 22-23 hours in a day in a single cell. The bill the Governor is getting would ban the use for anyone under the age of 26 or over the age of 59 entirely. Also pregnant people, or a mother who had a miscarriage, just gave birth or people suffering from some sort of physical or mental disability.

A trio of students in Northern Calif have received the PG&E Better Together STEM Scholarships. The energy company announced 40 students in all of their service areas are getting scholarships worth $250,000 from the 2022 Better Together STEM Scholarship Program. There are some in Lake and Mendocino counties. 20 scholarships were distributed worth $10,000 and 20 for $2,500 for students who want a degree in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Locally, the winners were Brody Breeden of Kelseyville, whose attending California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and pursuing a degree in Computer Science; Ronan Williams, from Boonville, attending University of California, Irvine and pursuing a career in Biology; and Brayden Martinez, from Ukiah, attending Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and pursuing a degree in Engineering.

The drought is taking a toll on Lake Oroville. The level is so low and what rain we have received has not been enough to get the level back up so three of five ramps there are closed. Two ramps are still open to the public to launch boats. The Department of Water Resources says the two which are still open should stay that way because they run very deep into the lake. There have also been a lot less visitors and some houseboat owners have been having an issue accessing them, taking shuttles out to access them. Elevation over the weekend at the lake was just under 700 feet, just 35% of the lake’s total capacity, and 64% of the historical average.

Since nobody filed to run for an open spot on the Ukiah Unified School District Board, they will be appointing someone. The opening was for Trustee Area 6 and was supposed to be on the November 8th ballot. But the board is appointing someone. So any registered voter who lives in Area 6 can apply online at the District website. You can also call the Superintendent or Board offices to get the application. They need to get your completed application by Thursday, October 27th. Then the current Board of Trustees will interview the applicants in open session, Monday, November 7th. They will announce the new trustee after and they will be sworn in at the Board’s organizational meeting on December 15th.

Anyone interested may contact the Mendocino County Office of Elections at 707.234.6819.

There are no more routine testing mandates in Mendocino County. The Public Health Officer, Dr. Andy Coren has sent a revised health order that ends the mandatory tests for unvaccinated workers along with mask recommendations. Those will stay in place in all healthcare settings though to stay in alignment with the state Department of Public Health’s Covid restrictions set Sept. 14th. Coren stated health employees in general and psychiatric hospitals, adult care facility workers, and school employees who remain unvaccinated must still be tested under federal law. And Coren is still strongly recommending masks since the county is at low community spread. The county is still getting about 5 new, reported Covid cases/day. The county has also had 136 deaths to date.

The Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off is back in Ukiah. Next month, a celebration for All Hallow’s Eve with live music, food, activities for the kids and a parade with the winning pumpkin atop a float. The entry forms are now available for the mid-October event. The winner gets $1.50/lb. That meant nearly a thousand dollars for last year’s winner which weighed 644 pounds. The weigh off this year is October 14th with PumpkinFest events October 15th and 16th.

Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off entry forms are now available at the City of Ukiah Civic Center Annex at 411 W. Clay Street in Ukiah or on the web at

Please call the Community Services Department at 463-6231 for more information.

The Westport Village Society is getting hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money from the California Coastal Conservancy. It was a unanimous vote at a meeting of the Conservancy in Fort Bragg to give $845,000 to the Westport Village Society so the nonprofit can acquire property at DeHaven Creek Headlands to preserve public access for critical coastal lands. The 26 acres can be enjoyed by the 200 or so residents in Westport for even more coastline. The Mendocino Voice reports a lot of the residents there are considered disadvantaged with a median income of $39,000.

Congressman Mike Thompson has announced his Public Safety Heroes including 2 in Lake County. Cory Smith and Officer Juan Altamirano are in the group in Thompson’s district. They were named the 2022 Lake County Public Safety Heroes for going above and beyond the call of duty. He says Smith is a proven leader as both a paramedic and Fire Marshal, whose “coolness and skill under pressure led to the safe evacuation of multiple endangered citizens during the Cache Fire”. And he added Officer Altamirano was an exemplary officer and demonstrates “important values of respect and commitment to duty”. His accolades came after he responded to a suspicious car report.

The state’s task force on reparations is considering money to pay anyone back who’s been the victim of forms of racial discrimination, generational pain and suffering as Black Americans in the state of Calif. Consultants are working on the amounts now. It could add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars for Black Californians that are descendants of slaves. But there are some against the idea saying it will be hard to prove who should get what and a major challenge to get the Legislature on board. The nine-member panel deciding with economic experts met over the weekend at the California Science Center after first releasing a 500-page report on the state’s history of slavery and racism in June. The task force is set to meet again in Oakland in December.

PG&E could be in hot water again. The US Forest Service is investigating if the giant utility company is responsible for the massive Mosquito Fire, the largest so far this year. The federal agency reportedly took a PG&E transmission pole and other equipment from the ignition point in the Sierra Nevada foothills earlier this month. They said in a regulatory filing with the fed that the fire started in the area of a PG&E power line on National Forest Land. The Service says their initial assessment led them to conduct a criminal investigation into the fire. It comes after the company was held criminally liable for fires in 2015, 17 & 18, and most recently for the massive Dixie Fire last year.

A new report reminds, the unsheltered can still vote in California elections. The Bay Area News Group reports it’s a common misconception a physical address is needed to vote. A study about a decade ago showed just about 10% of recorded homeless individuals voted. Whether they live in a shelter or a homeless camp, there are ways they can vote in local elections. First they must register and be at least 18 years old. Some counties do require identification or the last four digits of their social security number. They can register on paper at libraries, government buildings and polling places on election day — or online at

The word squaw is no more in California on monuments and for place names. The Governor was joined in ceremony by Native American tribal leaders Friday and signed a bill to remove the word from almost 100 geographic features and locations across the state. One of which was the unincorporated town of Squaw Valley, but some residents there said they didn’t want the name to change. But apparently the Dunlap Band of Mono Indians liked the idea. Their ancestral home is part of the area. In Fresno County, there is Squaw Lake and Squaw Leap, which will also get new names. Towns and officials have three years to remove the name.

A recently released report that was part of the reason former Ukiah policeman Kevin Murray got a light sentence, has been released. Mendo Fever reports it shows the Sonoma County probation dept. couldn’t give a stronger sentencing recommendation for jail time because they never received key background criminal reports. There was a one year jail term recommended but it could have been more if they had more information before coming to their final conclusion on sentencing. The report they didn’t receive reportedly included the investigative reports of a second alleged rape. But the charge was dropped, along with three other sex related charges against him, if he pleaded no-contest instead to two lesser charges.

A fire that burned a home in Ukiah has been deemed arson. Investigators say the fire Sunday night was deliberately set. Ukiah Valley Fire Authority Battalion Chief Justin Buckingham told Mendo Fever they found the fire was intentionally set by someone unknown so far. The home had been abandoned. There were items inside that showed there could have been squatters living there. That had been a problem several times in the past too. But firefighters found nobody inside when they got there. They say the fire didn’t start because of a an “unattended warming or cooking fire.” The fire started near the Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op.

The inaugural policy summit on Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) is planned. Next Tuesday, October 4th is the 1st Annual Northern California Tribal Summit on  MMIP. They expect to have tribal leaders, law enforcement officials and MMIP survivors along with state and federal lawmakers, academic researchers, and victim advocates all working together to find ways to end the crisis. The summit is being held in Arcata at 8:30am at the Arcata Community Center. The Yurok Chair Joseph L. James says the crisis has gone on too long and has touched every tribal citizen in the state and across the country. He adds, that it has gone on long enough and the time to “take action, is now”.

The Mendocino County Health Department has removed the “strong recommendation” that people mask indoors in favor allowing individuals to decide what’s appropriate, including in schools and on public transportation, following guidance from the California Department of Public Health to do so. In a letter to the community this (Monday) morning, County Health Officer Dr. Andrew Coren says most California counties, including Mendocino, are now in the low CDC Community Risk Level for Covid-19. Universal indoor masking will however continue in healthcare settings including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and outpatient clinics. Non-clinical gathering places like correctional facilities, and emergency fire shelters can also be on an individual basis as long as we stay in the low risk category and there are no outbreaks.

A new city recreation center is on the agenda for the Clearlake Planning Commission when they meet tomorrow. It’s part of an overall public hearing as the commission considers a resolution involving the Burns Valley Development at 14885 Burns Valley Road. Lake County News reports the development includes a new recreation center, new Public Works Department facility, sports fields, police department storage facilities, vehicle and equipment storage and public facilities. The commission meeting starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Clearlake City Hall. You can attend via Zoom or watch on the City of Clearlake’s YouTube channel.

The U.S. Forest Service has reportedly launched a criminal investigation into whether some PG&E equipment might have been involved in starting the Mosquito Fire. The fire that started September 6 in the Sierra Nevada foothills has burned more than 76,000 acres in Placer and El Dorado counties. Last week a group of residents filed a lawsuit alleging PG&E was responsible for the fire due to what they call “poorly maintained utility infrastructure”. Officials say the Forest Service has confiscated a PG&E transmission pole and other equipment from the area where the fire started. PG&E had already notified state regulators about a power-line failure around the time the fire was reported. The Mosquito Fire has destroyed 78 structures and as of this afternoon was at 85% containment.

The former principal of a Cloverdale middle school put on paid leave earlier this year has reportedly been put on unpaid leave in a step toward maybe being fired. Former Washington Middle School Principal Mark Lucchetti confirmed his status to the Press Democrat, saying he continues to fight what he calls baseless allegations that he failed to properly investigate and report accusations from female students about the behavior of a male PE teacher. Lucchetti claims all the steps he took were in concert with the superintendent. The district has not commented to the newspaper. The incident with the PE teacher at the center of the issue is reportedly under a police investigation.

Lake County has its first confirmed case of Monkeypox. The Health Services Department confirmed it Friday and said they are doing extensive contact tracing to prevent any more cases. They say the patient had recently traveled and later became aware of their exposure and is recovering and isolating at home. Officials say there is no evidence of community spread in Lake County at this time. Monkeypox is rarely fatal and has symptoms similar to smallpox but milder, including a fever and blistery rash.

Thousands turned out for the return of the Kelseyville Pear Festival Saturday. The 28th annual event was back after a forced two-year pandemic break with a parade, music on three stages, several vendors with food, and pretty much every version of pears in sweet and savory dishes you could imagine. Lake County News reports they also partnered with the Lake County Horse Council for the Horse Faire which included several horses and ponies, horse care information, and riding demonstrations.

The Potter Valley Cemetery District and Auxiliary are hosting a Living History Luncheon on Saturday, October 8. The goal is to raise money for maintenance at the burial site of many of Mendocino County’s settlers. Organizers tell the Daily Journal they will be serving a beef and local lamb BBQ, with vegetarian options, as they present stories of Potter Valley’s history as recreated by performers portraying ten of the dearly departed who inhabit the cemetery. Tickets are $25 and are available only in advance.

A proposal to build a giant surfing lagoon in the Coachella Valley desert has been shot down. Late last week the La Quinta City Council unanimously rejected the idea with the mayor saying while it sounds fun on paper for somewhere in California, it’s an inappropriate use of water during a severe drought. The land in question was originally envisioned as a residential development with a golf course but the developer asked the council for a zoning change to create the 16-acre 18-million gallon wave pool.

Lakeport Police are holding their National Night Out Against Crime next week. It’s Tuesday October 4 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Library Park. The idea is to bring police and other local government agencies and community members together under positive circumstances in an effort to reduce crime. The Lakeport Kiwanis will be serving up hot dogs and movie theater popcorn, there will be games for kids along with Safety Pup, Chipper and McGruff the Crime Dog and raffles including new bikes and fishing gear.

The Clean California initiative has hit a major milestone. The litter removal program launched by Gov Gavin Newsom less than 15 months ago has now removed more than one million cubic yards of litter from the state’s roadsides – enough to build two stacks of trash from the Earth’s surface to beyond the International Space Station 250 miles in orbit. Clean California is a sweeping $1.1 billion, multiyear clean-up effort led by Caltrans to remove trash, create jobs and engage communities to clean public spaces.

Two teens have been arrested for arson for an August fire near Costco in Ukiah. The fire broke out August 22 in a dry field east of Airport Road. The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority quickly contained it and no structures were damaged. But Ukiah Police say witnesses saw someone fire a distress flare into the field from a car with three teens in it and then take off. Using their FLOCK license plate recognition camera system, police found the car a few days later and arrested a 17-year-old for arson during a state emergency and conspiracy. This week a second suspect, 18-year-old Gabriel Ruiz, was arrested by Mendocino Deputies on unrelated charges but Ukiah Police added arson and conspiracy. The third suspect – said to be a juvenile – has not yet been found.

Bower Park in Gualala will be getting much needed upgrades thanks to a $2.2 million cash influx from the State. Mendocino County has been allocated the money to address what they call critical needs that focus on the park’s safety such as hazardous tree removal, fire mitigation, ADA improvements, and installing electricity. While that work gets underway, the County will work on the next phase of the improvement plan by doing community outreach to see what upgrades the park users would like to see. Assemblymember Jim Wood of Healdsburg says he helped get the budget allocation done after learning from a local resident that Bower Park had been closed because of safety issues forcing residents to drive nearly an hour to the next closest park.

The 94th Annual Mendocino County Fair and Apple Show gets underway today at the fairgrounds in Boonville. The fair is open from 9 a.m. to midnight with tickets $10 for adults, $8 for juniors 13-18, $6 for children 7-12 and free for children age 6 and under. Tickets for seniors 65 and over are $6 and today only all kids 12 and under will be admitted free. Events include the Apple Bowl Varsity Football game tonight at 5 p.m. the C.C.P.R.A. Rodeos Saturday night at 8 p.m., the Sheep Dog Trials Sunday at 10 a.m. and the parade will be Sunday at Noon along Highway 128.

The Lucerne Elementary School District is getting a piece of nearly $34 million in state funding to upgrade early education facilities across the state. The State Allocation Board announced the funding for 11 projects within 11 school districts across the state with Lake County News reporting Lucerne Elementary will get just over $2 million. The Superintendent says the money will go to build two new kindergarten classrooms.

The Mendocino College Art Gallery is hosting a Faculty Art Exhibition next month. The exhibition highlights the diverse talents of the College’s instructors with a dynamic selection of sculpture, ceramics, painting, drawing, mixed-media, photography, and woodworking. 18 faculty members, representing the college’s four campuses and the Krenov fine woodworking school are participating. The opening is on Tuesday, October 4th although Ukiah Symphony ticket holders get early access on October 1st and 2nd.

There’s a free Harvest Sharing at the Willis Grange on Sunday. It’s from 9:30 a.m. to Noon at the Little Lake Grange which is at 291 School Street. The Harvest sharing is a free event being held at the same time as the Grange Pancake Breakfast. The Harvest Sharing will be outside in the back of the Grange with tables ready for donations of food related items to give away to all who need it, and you can bring extra harvest from your garden as well as food related items like extra dried or home canned goods. There will also be a table for herbalists to swap culinary and medicinal herbs.

California is getting some wildfire risk prevention help from the federal government. On Thursday, the Department of the Interior announced that it is using $7.5 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed earlier this year to support projects to mitigate risk and rehabilitate burned areas on nearly 10,000 acres across California. It will also increase support to the Joint Fire Science Program which is an interagency partnership with the USDA Forest Service that funds wildfire science research projects.

The California Department of Public Health is asking school leaders to be on the lookout for “rainbow fentanyl”. In a letter to all superintendents and charter school administrators this week, CDPH warned that “rainbow fentanyl” is the same potentially fatal drug that has been wreaking havoc over the last year but this new version comes in bright colors and different shapes that could attract kids. CDPH says so far “rainbow fentanyl” has been found in at least 18 states. They are recommending educators and parents learn to recognize the signs of opioid overdose and consider learning to administer naloxone which can counter the effects of an overdose.

A woman from Willits has been arrested after a traffic stop in Ukiah. Deputies say Brittney Bouley was the owner of the car but was not the driver. She approached on foot to check on the driver and was arrested because she had a warrant for her arrest. She was being held on $25,000.00 bail.

The Veterans Stand Down event is being held in Lake County. Vet Connect are hosting the yearly event so that local vets and active military personnel who are homeless, experiencing uncertain housing or are vulnerable in other ways get the help they need. The event today from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Lake County Fairgrounds. Veterans need to show their ID cards and Lake Transit is offering veterans free rides to the Stand Down. Lunch is also being served by Vet Connect volunteers. The resources being offered include disability services, DMV, housing, homeless assistance, emergency preparedness, substance abuse counseling services, employment help and child support assistance.

A man from Nice has been arrested after a routine patrol turned up a load of crimes. Deputies say they tried to stop the car for code violations September 12th, and say the driver pulled into
dirt turn out and got out of the car. Deputies identified him as Thomas Stricklin who did not have a valid driver license and his registration was expired. Inside the car was suspected methamphetamine, marijuana and a large amount of cash. They say he was probably going to try to sell the drugs, so they towed his car, and arrested him. He’s charged with various crimes, including Felony – Possession and Transportation of Controlled Substance for Sale, Misdemeanor – Possession of Marijuana for Sale and Felony – Possession and Transportation of Controlled Substance. He’s held on $25,000 bail.

A sex offender in Ukiah has been arrested for not registering and violating his parole. Deputies arrested 41-year-old Kenneth Dewitt after a call about illegal camping in a motor home. Deputies say they had to leave because they got another call for service, at the same time dispatch informed Dewitt was a sex registrant who had not followed the law and registered where he was. They found him later, believing he did not meet the deadline for his annual registration and also a 30-day registration as a transient. He was also on parole so he was arrested and held without bail for being a Sex Offender who Failed To Register, Sex Offender Failed To Register Transient and for violating his parole.

A group of wineries all involved in one organization; WineAmerica have released a new study on the industry that says it will bring in over $276 billion to the American economy this year. The new study by an economic research firm and co-sponsored by WineAmerica was touted by Congressman Mike Thompson along with Congressman Dan Newhouse of Washington. The two are Co-chairs of the Congressional Wine Caucus. The study also says the industry has 1.84 million jobs and pays over $90 billion dollars in wages. The study shows wine is produced in all 50 states. Thompson says it also provides unique tourism opportunities and contributes to local economies.

Intro: California needs tens of thousands of workers over six years to continue building a broadband network that brings high-speed internet to underserved areas. The federal government is awarding almost 6 million dollars to the Communications Workers of America to supercharge their workforce training program. Frank Arce with the C-W-A says the union is partnering with the Chabot-Las Positas (shuh-BOW las poe-ZEE-tus) Community College District in the Bay Area to expand their apprenticeship program.

 :09  "We're planning on focusing on underserved communities, really making sure it's a locally based workforce, people of color, women, veterans, and young people. "

Tag: The plan is to open three more paid apprenticeship training programs over the next few years in the Fresno, Chico and L-A areas. The state is set to allocate more than 5 billion dollars to extend high speed internet in rural areas. And the Infrastructure Act will send hundreds of millions in federal funds to bolster the effort.

Second Cut: Arce says the grant also will allow C-W-A to partner with employers to lift up working families.

 :12  "It’s a great opportunity for people to get some skills and set themselves into a solid middle-class job. We're taking advantage of this opportunity that we're building our infrastructure in the country to see if we can get some Californians out to work."

Tag: Arce says in the past, unscrupulous subcontractors working for telecom companies have cut corners and treated workers poorly. But he adds, this publicly funded program will raise the standards to require high-quality materials, workmanship and employee benefits.

That crazy heatwave a couple of weeks ago made history, as we know. Ukiah was 117 one day, an all-time high. Plus, it stayed over 100 degrees for days on end, it seemed in inland Mendocino County. The Mendocino County Public Health Office is warning it could happen again. Mendocino Voice reports Social Services staff made hundreds of calls to make sure those without shelter, those getting in-home support, at-risk youth, foster families, and PG&E medical baseline customers were contacted. Public Health told the news site they were concerned mostly about lower-income families and individuals and finding ways to stay in touch with them. There were cooling stations during the hottest hours of the day but only if there are more than 3 days above 100. The news site also reports the state is coming up with new protocols for these heatwaves, which are sure to continue.

That woman from Redding who faked her own kidnapping is going to prison for 18 months. Now that the sentencing occurred video has been released of Sherri Papini and her husband with detectives at the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office from Aug. of 2020 when she was found to be lying. Detectives told Papini who supposed kidnappers, 2 Hispanic women would not be found because she was actually with her ex-boyfriend who she asked to come get her in Redding and bring her to his home in Costa Mesa. And that he told detectives was the real story. After that her husband left the room. He filed for divorce this fall and has sole custody of their kids. Papini was charged with lying to the FBI and fraud.

The massive Mosquito Fire is still burning, but the rain that came down has helped build more containment. More residents have also been allowed to come home after the fire burned over 76,400 acres. There was a risk of flash flooding early this week though — over the burn scar. The fire is 49% contained with acreage mostly holding. At one time over 11,000 residents were evacuated. There are still several thousand firefighters on the scene putting out hot spots on the fire which started two weeks ago. There is warmer weather coming today, so Cal Fire reports being cautious. The Mosquito is California’s largest fire of 2022 so far. Nearly 80 homes have been destroyed and 13 others were damaged.

A man riding his bike on Main Street in Willits had major injuries after an accident. Police say the man was headed south, then snaked quickly across the street getting clipped by a car. He was thrown from the bike and hit his head on the ground, sustaining major head injuries. The bicyclist is still in a coma at a hospital in Santa Rosa. At the time kids were going to school so the street was pretty busy. Baechtel Grove Middle School posted on social media that some students saw the accident happen and they were providing counselors for any student in need. Police said the man was known to cruise around town on his bike and they had no permanent address for him.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors has released their response to the latest Civil Grand Jury Report saying they didn’t agree with all of the recommendations, but they valued the work done. The report on the Mt. Konocti Fire Tower which needs work. With that the Board said they may re-lease it or acquire it from Cal Fire if the state won’t fix it. They said they may make it a fixture in the park for its historic value and since the state has been putting billions of dollars into fire work, staffing the tower is not that expensive. There were also many other sections of the report on cannabis income, managing feral cats, and buying a mobile van for animal shelter staff for vaccination and sterilizations. The report also covered local disaster agencies which the Board of Supervisors also didn’t entirely agree on how to work within the requested changes.

The Federal Government’s stimulus after the start of the pandemic will be used to build a sustainable fuel processing facility for the Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians. The Department of Commerce is distributing $5 million from the American Rescue Plan to the Scotts Valley Band of Pomos in Kelseyville to help the tribe with renewable energy through the American Rescue Plan’s Indigenous Communities program. The money to pay for site work and buying equipment for a woody biomass processing facility. The work to bring the community firewood, pellet-based fuels, and other bioenergy products. The governor says the investment will help the tribe bolster their community’s economic and climate resilience.

An investigation is being requested in Lucerne into the Elijah House. The Record Bee reports the shelter which had been operating out of the old Juvenile Hall had residents from various Northern California counties including Mendocino cleaning highways as part of their Back 2 Work Program for transitional residents from local shelters. The program was apparently in partnership with Caltrans and the Butte County Office of Education. But Lake County was not listed as being part of the program, even though Elijah House workers were transported from Lakeport and Ukiah to work on the highways. The Lucerne Area Townhall is asking their chairman to file an official complaint with the Civil Grand Jury about this, the official paperwork on the Elijah House nonprofit being out of date and reports they may have mistreated crew members, which included claims of sexual harassment and wages withheld.

After reports a couple of people were seen looking into cars and checking their doors, two people have been arrested. Mendocino County Deputies say they got a call by a couple of victims, a man and woman who heard shots fired and saw people looking into cars. The two people who called in the incident say they were home with another woman who said her car was broken into, so the man checked his surveillance cameras and saw two or three people getting into two cars on their property. He tried to locate the suspects, but says he heard loud noises and saw flashes from gunshots or fireworks, but still caught the 16-year-old who was found with stolen property. Another teen, 18-year-old Gabriel Hailey-Ruiz, was found with a gun. The two were arrested for several crimes including carrying an unregistered firearm, conspiracy to commit a crime and discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner.

Because of complaints about wild pigs causing damage across California, the California Fish and Game Commission and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) are hosting a virtual public forum to find ways to stop it. The forum is tomorrow on Zoom from 9am – 1pm. Those hosting will discuss wild pigs with experts in the field and look at possible solutions. They say they’re looking forward to a respectful discussion and meaningful dialogue with residents, hunters and all others who are interested or have concerns about the animals.  There will be two discussions on issues and concerns, then possible solutions.

Commission website ( to learn how to join the forum.

A woman from Fort Bragg and two youngsters with her have been injured in a solo car crash due to wet roads. The CHP reported Highway 20 was soaked after a downpour and the female driver slid off State Route 20 Sunday, falling more than 100′ down an embankment. The woman is in the hospital with major injuries. The CHP says it happened west of James Creek. The driver was headed west and slid across the double yellow lines. The car then flew off the highway and down the embankment. CAL FIRE and the Little Lake Fire District responded and sent down a hoist for rope rescue. The two kids in the car had minor to moderate injuries. All three were taken to Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits.

After the controversy about the Florida Governor flying migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, now we hear there were a group from Venezuela flown from Texas to Sacramento. Reports say the 8 of them arrived with, not a lot of money, some without shoes, and some said they had no idea who paid for them to fly to Calif. They had apparently crossed the border into Laredo, Texas, thinking they were headed to New York, Florida or Utah. They also say they have no contacts in California. They were also supposedly sent to a closed office building in Sacramento, not a shelter, by I.C.E. The Governor of Texas says his office had nothing to do with the transfer.

Plowshares is hosting a community dining event. The Empty Bowls event is happening in 3 weekends, Saturday, Oct. 8th. Each fundraising ticket is $75 and includes a hand-crafted bowl by a local artist, a bottle of wine or pack of beer, soup, tri-tip dinner, and dessert for two. You can also purchase a VIP ticket for $100 with the bowl created by Jan Hoyman, along with all the same as the lower priced ticket. All of the money raised goes to support Plowshares’ programs and to help fulfill their mission “that no one in our community go hungry.”

For tickets or more information, visit the website at or call the office (located at 1346 S. State St) at 707-462-8582, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Those running for Ukiah City Council will be on a panel for the public to hear their platforms. The Candidate Forum is next Monday, Sept. 26th. Those in attendance will also hear from a representative for each of Measure O and Measure P which will also appear on the November ballot. The forum is co-sponsored by the Mendocino County Women’s Political Coalition and the American Association of University Women. Wendy DeWitt will be the moderator. The Event at the Ukiah City Council Chambers at 6 p.m.

It’s been a minute… what was the biggest fire in the state of Calif. at one time, is almost totally contained. The Six Rivers Lightning Complex is now 97% contained after burning nearly 41,600 acres. Fire officials say they don’t expect what had been a massive inferno to grow anymore. The rain last weekend helped, along with cooler temperatures and almost 100% humidity. Firefighters will stay on scene to mop-up and watch for hot spots, but say they don’t expect any explosive growth as we head into fall. There are also no more evacuation warnings or orders in place. The fire started August 5th around midnight.

A young man from Cobb is facing prison time for attempted murder and various other crimes. 23-year-old Hunter Christian Toles faces two counts of attempted murder, three counts of assault with firearm on person, battery with serious bodily injury and abuse after a June incident where a woman reported being shot and identified Toles as the suspect. The woman had non-life threatening injuries and Toles was found at a home nearby and jailed on $3,085,000 bail. The next court date is next Friday and the preliminary hearing was set for Oct. 5th. The case was continued after Toles’ lawyer asked due to outstanding discovery.

A Charter School in Lake County’s having a fundraiser ahead of their opening next year. The Waldorf-inspired Shade Canyon School will be free for students. The Harvest Dinner and Silent Auction is one week from Saturday, Oct. 1st at the Peace and Plenty Farm in Kelseyville. The founders were introduced by a mutual friend who knew the two wanted to create this type of school in Lake County. Morgan Chinnock and Savannah Mitchell both have backgrounds in education and say their programs will meet students where they’re at, focusing on community, relationship-based learning, and nature connection.

There’s an open seat on the Lakeport City Council no more. The council appointed a former member Tuesday night to fill an opening, then moved on to business. After they briefly met with Bob Rumfelt and George Spurr, they went with Spurr for the seat Mireya Turner just resigned from so she could become the permanent Lake County Community Development Department Director. Rumfelt was on the council 16 years, last in 2010. And Spurr was on one term which ended in 2020. Spurr was appointed for three months. Those interested in running in November will have to be write-in candidates and have until Oct. 25th to sign up.

After that giant rainstorm over the weekend, we could see more. The National Weather Service reported heavy rain near the Mendocino and Sonoma County line and in some places as much as 3.5 inches fell. Forecasters say the Yorkville area in southern Mendocino County saw the most. Along the coast much less rain fell, but the welcomed moisture was as much as 2 inches in some spots. The Airport got nearly 2 inches and was just below the record rainfall for Sunday’s date. The Weather Service is also predicting more potential rain with thunderstorms into tomorrow.

The latest Calif. Coastal Cleanup Day was a success. Tens of thousands of residents across the state came out last Saturday for the 38th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day. It’s said to be the single biggest yearly volunteer event. The California Coastal Commission has been sponsoring the event which was back to pre-pandemic work. Over the last two years it was self-guided. Not this year though as there were over 600 in-person cleanup sites across California and they were reported to be near or at full capacity. They were plucking tons of trash off beaches, shorelines, and waterways in almost every one of the state’s 58 counties.

State Senator Mike McGuire is applauding the package of bills the Governor signed investing in climate action. He commented that the bills the Legislature passed along with setting up a $54 billion climate action budget, will speed up the state’s clean energy policy goals. McGuire spoke at a press availability last Friday with the Governor and other legislators in Vallejo. McGuire did say however that more work is needed but what Newsom signed last week was, “some of the most consequential action taken by this state to tackle the climate crisis in decades”.

Those in California suffering through the high gas prices could soon see relief. After several months of waiting, the state is offering a tax refund. The one time payments could total up to as much as $1,050 for some. The $9.5 billion rebate package will be distributed between next month and January. The Governor and Legislators agreed to a deal for the rebates this summer as gas prices exploded and inflation took hold. Governor Newsom reportedly wanted to start the payments sooner, when gas hit an average of over $6/gallon, but lawmakers continued working on who could get the refunds and how much they would be.

The state is working to align marijuana use with alcohol, by telling businesses they cannot use a workers offsite or outside-of-work use for hiring or firing decisions. On Sunday the Governor signed a bill into law which says employers may not discriminate against staff members who use marijuana outside of work hours and away from the workplace. It goes into effect in 2024. California will be the 7th state in the nation to put a similar law in place, prohibiting employers employment decisions to be based on a drug test that does not show they’re currently impaired. Some advocates say urine tests are a highly offensive invasion of a worker’s bodily privacy. The law does however still allow drug screening to be used for hiring at some jobs.

The old Eagles Hall in Fort Bragg is being refurbished by the Skunk Train operator. Efstathios Pappas and his wife Miranda are apparently going to live there after giving the old building a major facelift. They could also offer it for recreational use for rent too. They closed escrow on the property last week. The General Manager of the California Western Railroad and the Skunk Train since April apparently saw the building and plunked down the money. The hall goes back to the early 1900’s. It was the local chapter of the Socialist Party of America at one time. It was built with materials paid for with “comrade loans” and constructed by volunteer labor.

Tissue samples have been taken from a dead humpback whale that washed ashore near Glass Beach in Fort Bragg last week. Scientists from the NOYO Center decided not to remove the 25 ½ foot long animal, instead they took a fin which is currently composting to allow some of it to deteriorate and later display the bones and flipper at the Center for Marine Science. Mendo Voice reports there was a team from Mendocino Equine and Livestock at the site too. They brought an X-ray machine for the fin to help the Noyo Center know how to properly position the bones. And CalPoly Humboldt researchers did a necropsy to see how it died.

After an armed robbery report in Garberville, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s office reported chasing a couple of suspects over the Humboldt/Mendocino County line but didn’t catch them right away. Someone called to report the crime and gave deputies a description of the car the pair were in. Deputies tried to stop them, but they kept going and Deputies lost them because it was unsafe to keep up. More Deputies at the home where the crime happened found a guest had been there from Los Angeles and assaulted the resident, holding him at gunpoint. Corey Brim and Daylen Hamilton were later identified as the two men who were on the run. Cops from Mendocino and Lake Counties were involved in the pursuit of the suspects’ along with the Highway Patrol. The two were finally arrested in Lake County by the CHP on various charges including assault with a firearm, battery with serious bodily injury and resisting or reckless evading of a peace officer.