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Monthly Archives: November 2022

The yearly burn ban for Lake County is over. As 8:00 am, you’ll be able to burn again with a permit and many caveats. Cal Fire says wildfire risk is way down due to recent rains, but you will need burn permits for all outdoor burning in the Lake County Air Basin, which you can pick up at your local Fire Protection District. There is also a Smoke Management Plan required for burns that you’re planning over several days, overnights or standing vegetation burns, whole tree or vine removal, burns over 20 acres, and any other burn where there might be a lot of smoke. Check out the Smoke Management Plan at the Lake County Air Quality Management District office. But call ahead for an appointment.

More than 200,000 dollars has been awarded to local animal welfare groups from the Community Foundation of Mendocino County. The Animal Welfare Grant Program from the Foundation donated $208,000 to support groups caring for pets and wildlife. The grants from $2,500 to $80,000 were based on the organization itself and how they operate. The money went to county shelters, private veterinary clinics, nonprofits, and state wildlife offices. Some of the larger organizations have been dealing with challenges like supply chain issues, staffing challenges, and lost revenue due to canceled fundraisers. The money made possible through the foundation thanks to the Jacob-Woods Animal Care Fund.

Less water for Agriculture use reported at the latest Redwood Valley County Water District Board of Directors meeting. On November 17th the Board met and said there is still enough water left for ag use which has to be used by the end of the year. Since we’re in for another dry year, they say it’s a good time to fill ponds for use for frost protection next spring. They say they’re working on better determining the amount of ag water customers are using in the future. They say some folks have contracts for more water than they use, but there’s been no way to track unused water. They also discussed the draft working document for the consolidation of water for the City of Ukiah, Redwood Valley, Millview, Willow, and Calpella Water Districts.

Cigarette maker R.J. Reynolds along with others are going to the U.S. Supreme Court to get an emergency order so California won’t ban flavored tobacco products after all. But the will of the voters is at stake here as they passed the ban in something of a landslide earlier this month. There was also a ban two years ago by the state legislature, but it never happened after tobacco companies petitioned to get it on a ballot. That backfired after almost two-thirds of voters approved of the ban of cotton-candy vaping juice to menthol cigarettes. It’s supposed to go into effect by Dec. 21st. But in their last-ditch effort, the cigarette manufacturers filed a federal lawsuit to challenge the ban, then the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the company’s emergency motion, so it’s off to the Supremes next.

Xmas is kicking off early in Downtown Kelseyville with the yearly Christmas in the Country and Parade of Lights. On Friday, the “Christmas in Toyland” celebration kicks off at 5:30 p.m. with the merchant open house. Then it’s the Parade of Lights tour through downtown. They’re having pictures with Santa, of course. That’s over at Lady Luck Garage until 8:30 p.m., featuring hot cocoa, cider and cookies, plus loads of food, including pizza, chili, tamales and more. 

The Noyo Food Forest needs the community’s help. They need volunteers to pop over to help pull weeds, plant seedlings, and perform other garden maintenance. The location is behind Fort Bragg High School.

The Food Bank is asking for help providing them with more bags. They ask if you have any extra Harvest Market bags to bring them back so they can be filled for the holidays. Staff there ask for them to be dropped off at the North end of Franklin.

A new report says over seven-thousand convicted pedophiles have been released from California prisons. The report of almost 55,000 convicted sex offenders since 2019. It showed many were released after serving under one year. And that goes for predators who were found guilty of continuous sexual abuse of a child. The data released also showed 76-percent of them committed crimes involving children. At last count there were almost 62-thousand offenders in the state.

That major strike going on at UC campuses statewide had a breakthrough, postdoctoral scholars and academic researchers reportedly reached a tentative agreement. That will give them more pay and cost-of-living increases. But apparently, they’re not jumping back into work so quick, instead they’re staying away from campuses in solidarity with around 36,000 graduate student workers still on strike. The union says they’re happy they were able to reach agreements for some, which will improve their quality of life, but now’s the time for UC to make concessions to Academic Student Employees and Student Researchers to reach fair agreements to recognize the contributions those workers make.

There was no Board of Supervisors meeting in Mendocino County last week or this week. But in the latest report to the Supervisors from the CEO, they got an update on recent labor negotiations. CEO Darcie Antle said all eight of the Memos of Understandings with labor unions for county employees were all expiring. She reported only three of the eight had reached an agreement with the county: the Deputy Sheriff’s Association, the Mendocino County Law Enforcement Management Association, and the Mendocino County Association of Confidential Employees. The report said many were looking for higher wages so the county doesn’t lose them and to attract new people, for which the County agrees, per Antle. But before it’s possible, Antle says they have to fix the salary system and health insurance and address other structural issues.

The relief checks going out to the middle class in California are up to more than $5 billion so far. The latest data is that 19 million eligible residents and their families got the stimulus money for inflation relief. The amount adds up to over half of the total payouts that are being made. The rest should reach bank accounts or mailboxes by the beginning of next year. The so-called Middle Class Tax Refund adds up to $9.5 billion dollars. As we reported yesterday, the payments are between $200-$300 for most, and up to $1,050 depending on tax filing status from 2020 income tax returns and whether or not recipients have claimed dependents.

The state Attorney General is warning the public about a scam to try to snag middle-income folks tax refunds. Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta says the Middle-Class Tax Refund is for one-time relief for those struggling as the cost-of-living rises. His consumer alert warns there are crooks out there trying to take advantage of Californians who will receive the refund in their bank account or with a prepaid debit card. He says not to be fooled. You can check with the California Franchise Tax Board to get an estimate of what you should get back, many will get between $2-300. Those in higher tax brackets won’t receive anything.

A warning from the Mendocino County Public Health Dept. about the trifecta, Covid-19, influenza, and RSV all circulating at high rates. The department warns flu season has arrived early and that means there’s been a jump in cases locally, especially in infants and children who have been visiting the emergency room at increasing rates. Public Health is warning the ER’s are filling up and there are long wait times. So, to reduce the burden on hospital staff, stay home if you are sick, especially young kids who may be vulnerable to RSV. There are flu and COVID vaccines available at several locations in the county, including county vaccine clinics, doctor’s offices, community health clinics, and pharmacies. Go to the ER if you feel shortness of breath, dehydrated or have a change in mental status.

Two women from Ukiah have been arrested after someone reported their car was broken into and a bunch of stuff was stolen. The woman told police a credit card was used at three different businesses. Cops found two women had used that card at Walmart. Angela Rivera and Veronica Orozco reportedly used the card and were detained. They were found with several grams of meth, 4 bank cards, a club card, and a CA driver license with different people’s names on them, along with other stolen property from the woman’s car who said it was broken into. The pair also had a concealed dagger. Then during a search of a motel room, that turned up more drugs, including heroin and fentanyl, a rifle and ammo. The two were booked into jail and held on $75,000.00 for Rivera and $50,000 for Orozco.

A new online holiday gift guide has been launched by West Business Development Center to help local businesses. The site is dedicated to products made here in Mendocino, included with that are also experiences, besides gifts and arts and crafts. The West Center says they recognized when the COVID lockdowns were happening they had a unique ability to help small businesses in Mendocino County during the holiday season. Their CEO says the marketplace helps the local small business community to bring in some extra revenue during the holiday season. She says they’re marketing it in Northern Calif., Sacramento and the Central Valley. This is the third year in a row for the marketplace.

Adventist Health Mendocino Coast is about to launch their new electronic health records. Starting Thursday, the Cerner system will be available for healthcare professionals which the hospital says will greatly improve the ease of providing care and the quality and safety of the care. Adventist Health put up about $12 million dollars for the program which they say is the standard in electronic health records and is used throughout Adventist Health. Having all the hospitals on the same system helps to provide best practices of care and makes sharing the records across facilities a simple task.

The Sonoma County Sheriff has been sanctioned by a federal judge, along with his department for not holding onto footage from an-custody suicide. The family of Nino Bosco says the loss was intentional because it was damaging to the county. A federal judge ruled officers lost critical footage about what happened to Bosco and instructed a jury to presume the footage was lost on purpose. But the Sheriff’s office says the loss of 14 minutes of video was not intentional. The 30-year-old man in Sheriff’s custody died in July of 2019 after he shoved a bologna sandwich down his throat, hours after trying the same thing in an attempt to asphyxiate himself.

A law firm that’s had experience getting money to landowners in the way of the Great Redwood Trail has reportedly filed a lawsuit for nearly 90 people. The firm announced the case against the federal government for 88 property owners with land across from the rail-to-trail conversion. The firm also says more are suing in coming days against the trail planned from San Francisco Bay to Humboldt Bay on the old railroad corridor. Those suing are in Eureka, Eel River Canyon, and Willits. It’s on the heels of another firm suing the fed for 170 other property owners in Humboldt and Mendocino counties.

It’s the third week of workers at UC campuses striking, which is reported to be the largest ever in the nation for higher-education workers. 48,000 workers are striking to get higher pay, but without more money from the state or federal government, there could be cuts in hiring grad students, cut into research and academic experiences, cause grant applications to be less competitive. Four United Auto Workers bargaining units at all 10 UC campuses and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are also complaining they don’t have enough money due to “administrative bloat”. And Academic Senate leaders say if the striking goes on, they may have to hire temporary readers or make final exams optional.

That standalone schoolhouse in Finley, that’s been vacant for some time is about to be restored. There’s been talk about refurbishing the 151-year-old schoolhouse on Finley Road East for a few years. Lake County News owners have formed a nonprofit, the Lucerne Area Revitalization Association to spur work on projects around Lake County. The non-profit nick-named LARA has been granted the old Kelsey Creek Schoolhouse with a 50-year lease. As part of #GivingTuesday, LARA has launched a fundraiser to start the renovation and restoration in 2023. The first thing they say they’ll do is remove old lead paint inside and out. They will then move to fix the windows and make other repairs including fixing water damage, well and septic tank testing; rewiring; and stabilizing the building.

For more information, contact LARA at 707-200-4709, or email Elizabeth Larson at or John Jensen at

A meeting of the Clearlake City Council this week will spend time on a proposal to expand the city’s sphere of influence. With that the council will also consider an annexation. The meeting is Thursday night, which will start in closed session with the appointment of a police chief. Then it’s off to the races with the rest of the meeting where public comment will be accepted and the discussion of annexing 302 acres on Ogulin Canyon Road. It would be the first annexation in over 40 years. They will also look to potentially adopt a resolution of intent to amend the city’s sphere of influence and general plan, adopt prezoning designations, prepare an environmental analysis and initiate proceedings with the Lake Local Agency Formation Commission for the annexation parcels which the owner, Lake Vista Farms asked the city for.

A couple from Fort Bragg have been arrested for leaving their kids with a stranger and going for a hike. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept. reports getting a call about possible domestic violence in the town of Mendocino possibly involving a small child. Deputies found the four-year-old girl with a good Samaritan by a church. The good Samaritan says they were approached by a couple who asked them to watch the girl, then they left. Then Flash Blanton and Amanda Dearth were located, the woman was the mom of the tot and said she didn’t know where the girl was. Deputies say she was drunk and couldn’t care for the girl. Also, Blanton is a sex offender who had not followed registration requirements. The two were arrested and booked into jail on $25,000 bail.

A woman out on bail and probation after a hit and run last year has admitted she wasn’t following the terms of her probation when she was found with a meth pipe. Gina Rae Bean of Fort Bragg was convicted for the hit and run, where someone died in September of 2021. She first denied she broke the law when she was found with a pipe last month. She had to go back to court because her original sentence for the hit and run was suspended. She was ordered to serve 210 days and another 60 days. With time served, she will get to serve that 60 in a probation-approved residential drug treatment program.

The Governor has announced money coming to some Native American Tribes for preventing and ending homelessness. $20 million is for homeless assistance grants from the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency for housing projects in 16 tribal communities across the state. There are also four Homekey awards from the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) worth $27 million to pay for 75 homes for members of four tribes, including homeless children. The Governor says it will help get people off the streets into safe housing. He also said another $20 million in tribal grants will be awarded in 2023. The Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians, Lakeport, the Cahto Tribe of Laytonville Rancheria, the Round Valley Indian Tribe in Covelo are among the tribes getting the awards.

A Northern Calif. lumber mill is being sued again, related to a wildfire that destroyed several dozen homes and killed multiple people. The lawsuit filed against Roseburg Forest Products Co. who is blamed for reckless conduct at their mill, operating in a manner that “caused an unreasonable risk of catastrophic fire.” The lawsuit filed November 18th is on behalf of 8 people who say the company was negligent and had several health and safety violations related to the Sept. fire. Those suing are homeowners in the area of the Mill Fire in Siskiyou County. One of the plaintiffs is an 88-year-old woman who, the lawsuit claims was hurt during her evacuation and continues to suffer from PTSD, and related emotional trauma.

Volunteers are needed for the Historical Society of Mendocino County (HSMC). The Society is accepting applications for the board of directors. They say it’s a great opportunity for those interested in local history and to help them further their mission of collecting, preserving and sharing the diverse history of Mendocino County. They go back to the mid-50’s and need to fill out their 9 member panel. Those with strategic planning, grant writing, fundraising and backgrounds working in nonprofits, at museums or library sectors or business management are highly encouraged to apply.

Wreaths Across America, the national nonprofit will be at the Kelseyville Cemetery this year as one of their official locations for their mission to “Remember, Honor, Teach”. The national movement includes dedicated volunteers who work in communities across the nation to honor our fallen heroes and thank them for their service, at the same time teaching our next generation about the sacrifices they have made for us to live freely. There are more than 3,000 participating locations this year where wreaths will be laid on December 17th by over two million volunteers. At the Kelseyville Cemetery, they’re also trying to raise money so they can place 519 sponsored veterans’ wreaths on the headstones of all the local heroes.

The Habematolel Pomo tribe of Upper Lake reports making a sizeable donation to the Northshore Fire Protection District to help them better respond to fires. The $662,000 donation is part of the tribe’s ongoing commitment to the community they say. The Fire Protection Chief thanked the tribe for their support to develop the new Northshore Fire Fuels Crew. The Chief says the Habematolel have always been a big supporter and with the latest donation they are hiring 11 new full timers who will get to receive health insurance and retirement benefits. The money will also pay for new equipment including, two F-350 crew cab utility trucks, one F-350 crew supervisor truck, a chipper with a trailer, six chainsaws, two pole saws and 11 sets of wildland fire personal protective equipment.

The National Park Service is reportedly taking possession of some mobile homes. Homeowners near Yosemite National Park say they have taped notes on their windows that say “this property is not abandoned”. But some say bulldozers mowed their homes down anyway and did not pay them, nor were they ever evicted. One woman there over 3 decades says they first turned off her power and threatened to imprison them if they didn’t get out. Several people living in the El Portal Trailer Park say they were forced to leave because Yosemite was concerned about power line safety, and because there were other plans for the area. Supposedly the 12 homeowners got 3 month’s notice to leave. That’s according to the Fresno Bee, per a Freedom of Information Act request.

California is reportedly trying to find out where racial discrimination exists in health care. Attorney General Rob Bonta says he’s looking into the way hospitals make clinical decisions, schedule operating rooms and their billing practices. He recently asked 30 hospital CEOs for a list of software programs they’re utilizing. He says that’s to see what algorithms may direct more attention and resources to white patients than to minorities. Bonta says “Unequal access to our health care system needs to be combated and reversed, not carried forward and propagated.”

No one is hurt and no homes or buildings are damaged after a Thanksgiving Day brush fire near Cloverdale. Dubbed the “Pine Fire”, it broke out just before 8am Thursday in the 38000 block of Pine Mountain Road and Cal Fire declared it contained at about 7 acres around 12:30 pm. But the winds kept the firefighters concerned: the Press Democrat reports when the fire started the wind was going between 8 and 12 mph but by 9am it was going around 18 mph at which point Cal Fire reported one home was threatened. But they kept a handle on it, and by the time the fire was contained the winds had died down to around 5 mph.

The trial has been set for a Nevada woman accused of setting a fire last year in Lake County. Nickelina Rose Williams was arrested by California Highway Patrol officers in October 2021 on suspicion of starting a fire along Highway 29 after she was seen walking away from the scene and an officer reportedly found a lighter and ignition material that matched evidence found at the fire. She is also accused of stealing a car and receiving stolen property. The Record Bee reports she has spent the last year undergoing court ordered psychological treatment and has been determined to be competent to stand trial. There are court conferences set for December and a jury trial in January. She has pleaded not guilty.

The Tree at the California State Capitol will be officially lit next Thursday December 1. Governor Gavin Newsom and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom will host the 91st annual California State Capitol Tree lighting ceremony which will include several musical and dance performances from across the state which the Governor’s office says will highlight California’s diverse holiday traditions, native heritage, and spirit of inclusion. The 65-foot-tall white fir was donated by the U.S. Forest Service and will be lit with 14,000 LED lights and decorated with traditional ornaments and handmade ornaments made by kids and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

There is still time to apply to fill a couple of vacancies on the Lakeport City Council but not much. Monday November 28 at 5pm is the deadline to throw your hat in the ring for the seats left open when Mireya Turner became the Lake County Community Development Director and Michael Green was appointed by the governor to the Board of Supervisors. You can find the councilmember vacancy application on the city website at the bottom of the home page. The individuals appointed will serve about two years with a term ending in 2024. You must live in Lakeport city limits, be at least 18 years of age, and be registered to vote in the City of Lakeport.

Rohnert Park is getting a new recycling and redemption center to get your California Redemption Value nickel or dime back for bottles and cans. On Tuesday the City Council voted unanimously to approve opening a recycling center at Flipside Thrift on Commerce Boulevard. The Press Democrat reports United Cerebral Palsy of the North Bay will operate the center through a partnership with Zero Waste Sonoma thanks to a $1 million grant from CalRecycle which is running a pilot program for putting in small CRV centers in underserved areas. The grant will keep this one open through 2026.

Kelseyville’s fourth annual Festival of Trees is set for next Saturday, December 3 at Sophie’s Day Spa on Main Street. The benefit for Hospice Services of Lake County includes a live auction of 25 exquisite Christmas trees designed and donated by community members as well as a silent auction. Proceeds support the Wings of Hope grief counseling program for children who have experienced the death of a loved one. You can get a free preview of the trees on Friday, December 2, from 4 to 8:30 p.m., before and after the Kelseyville Christmas in the Country & Parade of Lights. Get tickets online at or give them a call.

A couple of gas stations are reportedly on the proposal list for the Ukiah Planning Commission. The Daily Journal reports a developer has proposed a gas station and car wash with a convenience store on the site of the former Savings Bank building at 414 E. Perkins Street. Meanwhile Xpress Gas Station has put in a Major Use Permit request to resume operating a gas station 734 S. State Street. Other projects on the Ukiah Planning Commission’s list: a Mendo LEAP indoor recreation center at 203 S. State and an expansion for the Ford Street Project recovery center and transitional housing.

Visual art as storytelling; that is the theme of a new juried group exhibition being assembled by Deep Valley Arts Collective and MEDIUM Art Gallery in Ukiah. They are inviting artists working in all media to submit to the exhibition titled “Storytelling”. It can be pottery, song, dance, painting, photography, poetry, or any medium that can convey the theme. Applications will be assessed on three criteria: creativity, originality, and the visual/emotional impact of the image. There is no entry fee but there is a limit of five entries per artist. The deadline for entries is December 18. For all the submission information go to under Call for Entry.

As we head into one of the busiest weekends for travel, the CHP is once again beefing up patrols. The maximum enforcement period starts tonight around dinner time, at 6:01 p.m. ending 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27. The CHP Commissioner says with every holiday, they work to keep drivers safe as they head out to gatherings with friends and family, and that they’ll take necessary action or give help as needed for those who may be stranded on the side of the road. They’re also going to educate motorists and enforce laws across the state, as well as watch for unsafe driving, including impaired or distracted driving, unsafe speed, and people not wearing seat belts.

Poachers have reportedly left behind a couple of elk in an area where newly released Condors frequent. The Northern California Condor Restoration Program has x-rayed the elk which were illegally killed and says one of the animals had enough lead in it to kill several condors. They say if someone had not reported the poached animals as soon as they did, there might have been dead condors too. The manager of the program and Yurok Wildlife Department Manager says the condors could have consumed meat from the dead elk and died. He says at least four of the recently released condors were “less than a 10-minute flight” from where the poaching took place. All of the meat with lead in it was removed from the area.

After 3 major crashes a local trucking company has settled a case with the federal government. Steve Wills Trucking and Logging crashed on Hwy 20 between January of 2020 and December of 2021 causing raw milk to spill into waterways. In one of the crashes, the driver died. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the settlement for violations of the Clean Water Act. In the first instance, in January of 2020, a tanker with raw milk crashed near Glenhaven, overturned and went down an embankment, releasing milk into Clear Lake. In April of that year, there was a second incident near Clearlake Oaks, again releasing raw milk into Clear Lake, and in the third, also in Lake County a truck went down an embankment into Grizzly Creek. The drivers were cited in two of the incidents, the third is being investigated, as the driver was killed.

As we head into the holiday weekend, the Redwood Empire Foodbank reports an unprecedented demand. They say they’re also trying to meet family needs as the cost of food is rising. They say the number of households relying on the foodbank doubled between October of 2020 and October of 2021. In the year-plus since then, demand is up another 38-percent. Redwood Empire Foodbank is the largest hunger relief program in the North Bay. Organizers are expecting to spend 50-percent more money on food this year compared to last year.

The Lake County Public Health Office says they’re concerned of a potential for a major increase in respiratory illnesses this holiday season. They report more respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), flu, common cold, COVID, which they say can impact healthcare overall locally. The agency says they’re mostly concerned about all of the illnesses happening at once in young children or elderly members who may not be able to access care. The office says healthcare facilities should think about expanding their capacity for the evaluation and treatment of pediatric patients so any increase in patient volume can be managed.

Not a lot of meaty crab on holiday tables this year. There’s a temporary restriction on recreational crab traps, but it’s supposed to be lifted Monday. Perhaps in time for Christmas… The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says there were only three humpback whales in the area earlier this month, so the risk of entanglement isn’t as great. So, the crab trap restriction is being lifted for the northernmost parts of the coast, but it’s staying in place for other zones until the middle of next month, south of Point Arena. There were 39 humpbacks in that area just a couple weeks ago. They’re also looking at the quality of crab meat. If it meets muster, the fishery will open Dec.16th, with the obligatory 64-hour gear setting period starting Dec. 13th.

They’re adding two weeks onto the schedule of the downtown ice rink in Ukiah. The Community Services Supervisor says it takes up to four days to make enough ice for skating and since the city has all of the needed equipment to operate the rink, they only need to hire a contractor for electricity. There was a glitch with their Tesla chargers last week, but they’re online in time for opening day this weekend. It’s the seventh year they’re had the ice rink in town, and this year they’re opening early, instead of the first Saturday of December. And the season will continue until the middle of January.

The pandemic really did a number on enrollment at California State Universities which continues. Apparently, there are less transfers from community colleges even though freshman numbers have bounced back to near their pre-coronavirus pandemic levels. The Interim Chancellor says they have to give the challenge their immediate attention and be nimble and creative adapting. The latest undergraduate enrollment was off again, at about 404,820, down around 17,500 students than the year before. Besides less new transfer students, the Chancellor reported more full-time students were also changing to part-time.

Due to security reasons, we don’t know where the Governor and his family are for the holiday weekend. The Governor left Sunday for travel, but the location of where the Newsom family is was secret and won’t be revealed until he gets back. The California Highway Patrol made the decision not to divulge the family’s travel plans, but apparently, it’s out of state. The situation unfolded this way after his summer trip to see his in-laws in Montana. That’s one of nearly 2 dozen states for which California banned state-funded travel because of discriminatory policies for LGBTQ+ people. Newsom reportedly paid for the trip with personal funds, but did maintain a taxpayer-funded security detail.

They’re finally getting a new welcome sign at Woodland Community College’s Lake County Campus in Clearlake. Lake Co News reports the new college entrance sign will be constructed by a company out of Sacramento, who will also make the one for Woodland Community College. The signs will also include the ability to post digital messages for the public, students, faculty, and staff. The LED sign at Woodland has failed a bunch and doesn’t work anymore. And the one at the Lake County campus, is made of wood, peeling and fading. Plus there’s no way to post messages on it. The new sign will allow those driving along Dam Road Extension to see messages about upcoming events and important activities at the campus.

The new Kids of Caltrans campaign is starting and looks to spur drivers to slow down for Caltrans workers and help keep roads safe. The new public awareness campaign is supposed to be impactful. It started this week as part of a partnership with the California Office of Traffic Safety and the California Highway Patrol. There are pictures of children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews of Caltrans workers in the “Move Over” campaign. The video messages will be shown all across the state until the end of next January. It’s to also bring awareness to the highway workers, law enforcement officers, emergency personnel and tow truck drivers killed or injured along California’s roadways every year.

As we hit the two week mark from the General Election, the Mendocino County Elections Office says not much has changed. Susan Sher is still way ahead in the Ukiah City Council race. Sher had over 1,700 votes for about 22% of the overall vote, ahead of incumbent Mari Rodin who had 1,636 votes just under 22%. The other incumbent Juan Orozco was just behind Rodin with 1,585 votes for 21.05 percent. Those three will get seats unless it changes drastically in the next two weeks. Sher will fill Jim Brown’s seat. He was running, but was in fourth place and there were only 3 seats open. Also on the ballot, Measures O and P were passing. O had 60-percent “yes” votes and P had about 55-percent for “yes”.

Cal Fire has awarded some new grants to maintain healthy and resilient forests. The agency’s Wood Products and Bioenergy Team distributed $14 million in new grants to non-profits, family businesses, wood products manufacturing facilities, and county and local governments. The 10 grants to help those bestowed with the awards to build infrastructure to have the capacity to sustainably manage California’s forests as part of the state’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan. Since the beginning of the year Cal Fire has awarded $54 million through the program.  The grants come from the state’s General Fund. They are also accepting new grant applications. Visit CAL FIRE’s Wood Products and Bioenergy webpage for details.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors is in today, Mendocino Supervisors are off this week. In Lake, Supervisors are hearing an analysis on proposed new rates for Middletown sewer customers. The Board will be sitting as the Sanitation District Board of Directors and hear from the Special Districts Administrators on the new rate structure which they’ve adjusted since sewer rates were adopted in 1995. The rates were supposed to be adjusted and considered around the time the Valley Fire broke out, but it was postponed. There were several disasters after that. Last year they picked it back up again and will discuss at their meeting today and have a public hearing after Thanksgiving.

A man from Ukiah’s been arrested for drugs and having a flare gun. Police say they stopped a car in a Willits grocery store parking lot because of an expired registration, and other equipment violations. The driver, Steven Lawson admitted he didn’t have a driver’s license. So when the officer when to check his information his partner saw the guy playing with a plastic baggy with white crystal like powder on his lap. Lawson was then detained. Cops then found a live flare gun round in his pocket with ammunition for it too. Since it’s considered a firearm, and the white powder turned out to be 22 grams of meth, he was booked into jail for possessing a controlled substance, possessing a firearm, possessing a controlled substance while armed and being a felon in possession of ammunition.

Congress has passed the FEMA Improvement, Reform and Efficiency (or Fire) Act. Congressmen Jared Huffman and Mike Thompson, along with Zoe Lofgren, the Chair of the California Democratic Congressional Delegation and Jimmy Panetta celebrated the passage. It will update the Stafford Act which was passed to govern Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to improve wildfire preparedness and its response programs. That was one reason firefighters would be proactively deployed as red flag warnings are forecasted. Huffman says as climate change worsens the Fire Act is an important step forward. Thompson noted the state was on the frontlines of the climate crisis with wildfires and drought threatening communities.

A man from Ukiah has been arrested for carjacking and elder abuse. Police say Eric Norton Smith was the suspect in a carjacking yesterday morning behind Staples on Airport Park Blvd. A 78-year-old woman told police an unknown man demanded a ride to the hospital and when she tried to shut her car door, he stuck an aluminum baseball bat into the door, preventing her from closing it, then pulled her out of the car and took off. Someone randomly called the CHP at the same time to report a car driving erratically on northbound Hwy. 101 with damage that looked pretty new. The car matched the description of the carjacked vehicle. Officers caught up to Smith, a transient and took him to the hospital, where he was booked. He also had a warrant for his arrest.

Lake County’s unemployment ticked back up slightly. With the latest jobless rates, California has recovered all of the jobs lost during the COVID recession. October’s numbers showed Lake up to 4.5% in October from 4.3% in September. Mendocino was super low though at just 3.3% unemployed. The Employment Development Department reported all of the nearly 2,760,000 jobs lost in lockdowns are back. But most of the industries showed a reduction in force, but not in mining, logging or construction. There were an additional 56,000 jobs added in October, 30,800 jobs above the pre-pandemic total of February 2020.

More info on PG&E’s Fire Victims Trust has been released and Congressman Mike Thompson has updated us on that and his related legislation. Thompson reported on the Fire Victims Trust which had to be set up after the utility claimed bankruptcy a few years ago. It was to go to those most impacted by the wildfires believed to have been ignited by PG&E’s equipment failures. Thompson also said he doesn’t think fire survivors should have to pay taxes on their settlement funds, which is the cornerstone of his legislation. He says he’s been working with the IRS on the matter and says there are some existing tax provisions that can help defer or fully offset the Fire Victim Trust payment taxes.

Disaster declarations have been granted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for crop losses for various counties including Lake and Mendocino due to late freezes last spring. The Secretarial disaster designation also includes Butte, Glenn, Napa, Tehama, Trinity and Yolo. This means there are emergency farm loans for physical and crop production losses of up to $500,000 for the April freeze. Like the pandemic, there are also SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans available for small, non-farm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and most private non-profits of any size. The application deadline is July 5, 2023.

To apply: Contact the local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office in Ukiah at 707-468-9223. Hearing-impaired individuals should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at 202-720-2600.

Additional information can be found at the USDA website:

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is reopening some of its license sales offices for the first time since 2020 due to COVID-19. Hunters, anglers and others can go in person to any of the sales offices to buy hunting and fishing licenses, tags, report cards, hunt applications, lands passes, Warden Stamps and other offerings. License sales and customer service folks are available by phone, mail, fax, email and internet.

Locations and hours are available on CDFW’s website. But you may also be able to get them through an independent license sales agent, like a sporting goods store, large discount store, or bait and tackle shop.

The Mendocino County Public Health Office is reminding we are in flu season, and with that, a rise in cases of the flu, RSV, and Covid-19 cases are expected across the country. The agency says in Mendocino County flu and cold season is here early, and there is a rise in the number of infants and toddlers getting seriously ill. They also remind there are flu and Covid vaccines available at county vaccine clinics, pharmacies, community health centers, and doctor’s offices. A reminder the viruses affect everyone including very young children, and most severely for the less than 2 year olds.

A new housing development aimed at getting people off the streets in Fort Bragg, has opened. The rent-subsidized Plateau is housing nearly 70 people including families and the elderly. There are one- and two-bedroom stand-alone units and two-story duplexes for families. It also includes meeting and activity areas, including basketball courts. The development has “permanent supportive housing” and was about $27 million dollars. The rent varies for tenants from $452 — $1,048.month. Applications opened last spring and those chosen had to go through a rigorous process to be accepted. There are 300 senior applicants on the waitlist.

The Mendocino County Grand Jury’s report on the school district has shed a light on special education services. After interviews with some parents, the Mendocino Voice reported some kids just weren’t getting the attention they needed to succeed. Over the summer, the County’s Civil Grand Jury found the Special Education program was not up to par. The report said the district was not providing mandated services. Some families filed complaints, and the district settled with them, but the families who sued never got their settlements. The Grand Jury also surmised that the school district was disincentivized to give proper services to students with disabilities because it was complex and expensive. But the Mendocino Voice reported the district’s board disagreed and has yet to put into practice any of the recommendations.

The Mendocino Planning Commission has taken on short-term rentals, changing zoning regulations. Last week the 5 member panel voted to classify a single-family residence or accessory dwelling for transient living as ‘Transient Habitation – Lodging (Limited)’, which is actually a commercial use.  This means anyone renting their place needs to get a Major Use Permit. At the meeting we also learned about 3% of all homes in the county are being used as vacation rentals. It was also noted, due to the amount of vacation home conversions, less homes are being built, a net loss over ten years of about 200 homes built. Some at the meeting were urging more homes to be built to address the shortage.

California’s take from the sale of recreational cannabis is down for third quarter. As of last Wednesday, the total cannabis tax revenue for the third quarter came in at $242 million. That included the excise tax, which was pegged at about $128.4 million and $113.6 million in sales tax revenue. The total wasn’t folding in the outstanding returns, or any local taxes cities and counties collected. The second quarter for the year was just under $300 million, including the excise tax, cultivation tax, and sales taxes. The state has made $4.4 billion dollars since 2018 in total tax revenue from the sale of cannabis which includes the cultivation tax which the state stopped in July.

It was a record… Even though we were dealing with extreme heat and severe drought, the state had less of a fire season than some thought. An area of about 362,400 acres burned this year, compared to over 2.5 million acres last year. The Governor announced last week in Napa the end of the peak wildfire season. With that, the news, of smaller acreage burned, due in part to major investments in forest health and resilience projects and a bigger firefighting fleet. But some say it was more about a stroke of luck. And this year was more deadly. There were nine deaths in 2022, compared to three deaths in 2021. The biggest fire this year was the 77,000-acre Mosquito fire in Placer and El Dorado counties, compared to last year’s biggest blaze, the 963,000-acre Dixie fire.

The Gov. says yes to give $1 billion from the state budget to fund homelessness housing after pulling it from local governments he deemed unworthy because they weren’t being aggressive enough housing the un-housed. At a meeting Friday with mayors and other local officials, he set out the goals. Newsom said it was good to hear about all the progress being made, and the acknowledgment that the state needed to step up its game cleaning up the streets. Just a couple of weeks ago Newsom put the $1 billion dollars on pause telling cities and counties they needed better plans, and that the ones that he’d been sent were “simply unacceptable”. Those working to solve the problem said the pause was counterproductive.

Air quality officials in Calif have a new plan to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The California Air Resources Board has released a scoping plan, supported by the Governor and reflecting some of Newsom’s goals for cutting planet-warming emissions by 48% (compared to 1990 levels). Right now the law says the state has to reduce those emissions by at least 40% by 2030 and 85% by 2045. The plans come after months of public meetings and discussions. One issue though, wildfire smoke. The plan has a section saying there would be one million acres of forests, shrubland, grassland and other habitat where they would have prescribed burning and other methods, then 2.3 million acres by 2045. Right now we’re at 100,000 acres/year.

A man from Willits has been arrested after police say he ripped off a car and threatened others in Ukiah. Police in Ukiah say 41-year-old Ronnie Paschal was in a stolen 2007 Honda Civic with a female driver in a car reported stolen by police in San Jose. A cop on E. Gobbi St. followed the pair and reported to his colleagues who met them all in the DMV parking lot. They say the two were compliant and were arrested. The woman told police she believed she was driving the man’s car and had no idea it was stolen. She was released and Paschal was arrested as he had several warrants for his arrest. He’s held on $115,000 bail.

Since there were no candidates who filed to run for an open seat on the Ukiah Unified School District Board, they’ll fill it themselves. The Trustees announced the Area 6 seat was not filled in the November 8th election, so they’ll appoint someone to the board per the Education Code. Those interested can find an application online or call the Superintendent’s office to get one. You can also get an application from the County election’s office. They have to receive a completed application by January 23rd , then will interview all applicants in an open session at a special meeting on Monday, January 30th.

A fire in Covelo reported by firefighters. The fire in a single trailer which firefighters say was fully involved when they arrived and extended to a nearby field. The fire was reportedly contained quickly and mop up lasted about an hour.

Applications are being accepted for the Point Arena City Council after nobody was chosen in the General Election. The term is from the date the council appoints the person until December 2026. Those who apply need to be at least 18 years of age, live within the city limits of Point Arena, and be registered to vote in the City of Point Arena when they apply. Applications are due December 8th, but they have to be in by 4pm or you won’t be considered. The appointment should be made at their Regular Meeting on December 13th.

State Senator Mike McGuire says the commercial Dungeness Crab season is delayed north of the Sonoma/Mendocino County line. The season will hopefully start mid-December due to low-quality crab meat. And south of the Sonoma/Mendocino County line, they’re still set to start Thursday, December 1st.

A man from Fort Bragg has been found guilty of driving an RV drunk. A jury found Kevin Matthew Walters guilty of driving the motorhome under the influence of alcohol, driving the motor home with a blood alcohol .08 or greater, driving without a valid driver’s license, and without valid insurance, but not guilty for not being current on the vehicle registration.

Massive damage at the Lakeport Fire Protection District due to a car crash. Lakeport Fire Station 52 which was empty at the time because of budget issues had major damage to the steel framing on the building and the bay doors. The District says they’ve not gotten an official estimate to repair the damage, but they say their own conservative estimates put the damage upwards of $100,000. The report was that Saturday night a car driving at a high rate of speed crashed into the station because the car couldn’t negotiate an exit off Highway 29.

They’re trying to find a new chancellor for the Yuba Community College District which includes overseeing Woodland Community College and the Clearlake campus. The last chancellor Dr. Douglas B. Houston left the college last year and they’ve had an interim chancellor, Dr. James L.J. Houpis ever since. Their search committee has recently met and will meet again December 5th to review the pool of applicants and come up with questions for interviews which should happen sometime in January.

Several new trees are being planted in Anderson Marsh State Historic Park. State Parks staff have planted 100 valley oak seedlings at three locations at the park as part of a partnership with the State Parks Dept., city of Clearlake and Anderson Marsh State Historic Park. The seedlings came from a local nursery and were planted last week along Seigler Canyon Creek, along the North Flat area and in grassland around the park ranch house.

Congressman Mike Thompson says he has COVID. The announcement a couple of days ago that he tested positive after taking a regular PCR test, but since he’s fully vaccinated and boosted he has only mild symptoms. He says he’s working from home, but his office is fully open to serve the people of his district, which now includes all of Lake County. He reminded his constituents in his statement how important it is to get an updated COVID-19 vaccine and booster to “stay healthy and protect their friends and families”.

Free rides for all who like to take the bus. Mendocino Transit Authority is offering free rides on its fixed route buses this month. All Mendocino County residents are encouraged to give MTA a try for free. All buses are accessible to individuals with disabilities. For more information on MTA and its services – visit or (800) 696-4MTA.

A new exhibition is going up at the Mendocino College Art Gallery. The “Students Respond to the Figure” show will open tomorrow. The official reception is December 1st from 4:00-6:00pm with light refreshments. The gallery says the exhibition represents a cross-section of student work from Portrait Painting and Figure Drawing classes. There will be white chalk on a black mat board depictions and some mixed media mixed in.

A special holiday event is being planned in the town of Lower Lake. Hometown Christmas in Lower Lake is happening on Main Street. Friday, December 9th from 4 to 8 p.m. where you can shop with local vendors all night and enjoy special festivities too incuding the Xmas tree lighting at the museum, a visit from Santa and a light parade.

For parade or vendor applications, call Coleen 707-533-7363 or Teresa 707-898-4486.

The Calif. Coastal Commission has donated almost 2.2 million dollars to Mendocino County. The grant from Round 8 Local Coastal Program comes from an appropriation of $31 million for the Coastal Commission to support Climate Resiliency. The money is set aside for local governments and to support Coastal Commission staff administering the program and working with local governments on climate resiliency along the coast, including adapting to the impacts of climate change and sea level rise. With this the Mendocino County Department of Planning and Building Services and the Executive Office had applied for the grant funding. The county received the full amount it asked for.

A man from Ukiah has been arrested after another contacted Deputies. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dept. reports a man approached Deputies earlier this week to talk about a situation. They say the man said Dilan Gregory threatened harm against him. That triggered an investigation into Gregory with Deputies out searching for him. Once they caught up to the guy, he was arrested. Gregory’s held in jail on $20,000 for felony criminal threats.

A man from Covelo suspected of robbery has been found guilty. The jury returned from deliberations this week, finding 22-year-old Georgie Eugene Britton-Hoaglin guilty in connection to a robbery in August. He was also convicted for two sentencing enhancements one that he was armed at the time, the other that he had a previous strike on his record. That was for great bodily injury by personally inflicting the injury on a victim in 2017. Plus, there was another charge of criminal threats. Now it’s up to the probation department to come up with a sentencing recommendation for Britton-Hoaglin. He’s due back in court December 16th to hear his fate.

Adventist Health Howard Memorial has won an award for performance. The hospital says it’s part of the National Rural Health Day celebration that they were recognized with a 2022 Performance Leadership Award for excellence in quality and patient perceptions. The Chartis Center for Rural Health puts together the winners list for the Performance Leadership Awards for rural hospitals. They’re based on results from data compiled from the Chartis Rural Hospital Performance INDEX™.

A car has reportedly hit a bicyclist by the intersection of South State Street and Laws Avenue causing major injuries and bringing out an air ambulance. The first reports were that the bike rider may have died, but then they were taken to the hospital. Part of South State Street was blocked so emergency personnel could get to the scene.

A road worker had to be taken by air ambulance to a hospital after falling from a bridge on State Route 162 east of Hwy 101. Rescuers say the 36-year-old man fell 35 feet down from the side of a bridge. He was complaining his back hurt and he was having a hard time breathing. Apparently Caltrans had crews in the area of the Outlet Creek Bridge at the time.

Winter shelter vouchers are ready for folks in Fort Bragg. It was pretty cold earlier this week, but not cold enough to distribute any vouchers for motel rooms. They’re giving them out from November 15th to April 30th if the forecast low is under 40 degrees or if there’s a chance of rain at 60 percent or more. Tuesday wasn’t quite there, but pretty close. At the latest City Council meeting the police chief said there would be two changes to the shelter program, they were extending another month, that takes it to April, and those who need vouchers, wouldn’t have to go to the police department. Those in need will report to the homeless shelter, the Hospitality Center. And if there are no beds there, that’s when they can get a voucher, for one day only.

After several years of giant budget surpluses in Calif., we’re headed in the other direction. It looks like a $25 billion budget hole is likely next year. Those in the know say the state will be done with its historic run of surpluses. This is reportedly due to the amount of taxes the super-rich pay, as they’ve been making less as of late. That per the S&P 500 which is a key indicator of financial health and can be seen as a bellwether regarding the income of the uber-wealthy. It’s gone down over 17% since a peak in January. The latest report shows California revenues are $41 billion under what was expected, per the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office.

A man from Ukiah who was set to go to trial for setting a bunch of fires has admitted he did it. 34-year-old Alberto Vincent Acosta pleaded guilty to “willfully and maliciously“ setting 12 fires in and around Ukiah in August 2020. He admitted to at least one fire on August 12th of that year, then two others at homes where people were there at the time, and during a state of emergency. He also admitted there were some grass fires and wooded properties he set ablaze, also during the same state of emergency. Eight counts against him were dismissed as part of a plea deal to withdraw a not guilty by reason of insanity plea. He was however examined by a couple of mental health professionals who agreed he was indeed insane at the time. He agreed to go to prison for 272 months. He will be formally sentenced Dec. 8th.

A giant charitable donation has been made to the Mendocino Coast Healthcare Foundation from a local family foundation. $150,000 will be split up, $50,000 to help recruit and retain coastal caregivers through All In For Nurses and $100,000 for advanced MRI technology. The foundation and donors donate major gifts they characterize as being transformational to help
solve urgent, multi-faceted issues like the local nursing shortage. They also work to respond to urgent community needs, and donate to support the long-term success of coastal caregivers and students.

Some changes afoot regarding outdoor dining in Lakeport. When the pandemic broke out, ordinances were passed nationwide to allow outdoor seating as indoor dining was thought to be a super spreader for the virus. There were public hearings Tuesday at the Lakeport City Council meeting on the matter after city staffers received recommended changes from the council on wording related to zoning. The changes were in language as each year staff have their maintenance review for outdoor dining to be sure things are cleaned and maintained.

In Fort Bragg, a free thanksgiving dinner is being offered. First Presbyterian Church Of Fort Bragg is offering the traditional dinner with turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, cranberry sauce, a dinner roll, pumpkin pie, and juice. There’s no dining option though, but there is an option for home delivery, between Westport and Albion, or curbside pickup at the church.

To reserve a meal, order online, at, or call Eve at 707-478-7212 or the church office at 707-964-2316. You can also print out a “Meal Reservation Form” from their website. Reservations are required by 11 a.m. on Wednesday, November 23.

The yearly Giving Tuesday event in Ukiah is coming up. Next Tuesday the global volunteer movement will be observed locally. The campaign first came about in 2012 to “encourage people to do good”. It has become a worldwide movement now with millions giving each year and working together to celebrate generosity. The City of Ukiah will be working with local businesses and organizations on the community giving. They will be out at a either local trails or community gardens doing beautification work, planting trees, pulling weeds, picking up trash or covering graffiti. You can sign up on the smartphone app or online at and search Giving Tuesday – Ukiah. Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged. 

The Lakeport City Council has approved a new housing project which is part of a larger development. Lake Co News reports the council voted 3 to 1 on the Parkside Subdivision expansion which is next to Westside Community Park. The developer will add 128 new apartments and 48 homes on more than 15 acres. The development is three phases, first approved back in 2005. The approval at last night’s meeting means construction can start on 64 apartments and 48 “cluster” homes. The homes will probably not start construction until about a year and a half after the apartments go up.

The Sheriff of Tehama County says they have such a severe staffing shortage he will have to stop all daytime patrols. Beginning this Sunday, due to a “catastrophic staffing shortage” there will only nighttime patrols in the area. A news release from the agency says they’ve been having difficulties finding new people and retaining who they already have due to pay disparities. The Sheriff has reassigned Deputies to courts and the jail from the operations division. With the announcement came the news too, that if needed, the CHP will step up and help with any life-threatening emergencies when needed. Tehama County’s population at last count was about 65,000 or so.

The University of California system is out a bunch of workers. Tens of thousands are striking to get more money and protections. 48,000 academic workers began their strike this week disrupting research, instruction and grading. Heads of the universities are reaching out to get a “neutral private mediator ”, but union leaders want UC officials to get back to negotiations as soon as possible, and say their teams are at the ready, 24/7. For the union, they want to focus on more money, and the UC system spokesperson says they think their current offer is sufficient.

A new report shows less and less people in the state are recycling. The new data shows only 40-percent last year, down slightly from 2020.  CalRecycle gave the update during a meeting marking ‘America Recycles Day.’  The director says while this is disappointing, she views it as an opportunity to see how the population can do more, at the same time admitting people are recycling everything from tires to beverage containers at record numbers.

The Anderson Valley School Board has voted unanimously for a new skate park. The school board agreed they would have to sell the land next to the Health Clinic in the Community Park. But only for a buck. Now they have to get more money through grants to build the park. The Service Learning Team, Noor Dawood and other supporters with the Community Services District will get down to work. Over 90 Anderson Valley residents were at the public hearing in support of erecting the Skatepark. At the meeting the school board approved of filing the paperwork with the State Board of Education to transfer the land to the Anderson Valley Community Services District.

It’s that time. As we had previously reported that for now on, you’d be able to get a year round fishing license instead of them expiring at the end of each year. The new legislation says sport fishing licenses that are good for 365 days after the day you get it. Assemblyman Jim Wood’s bill was signed into law by Gov. Newsom in October 2021 and they will be ready for sale soon. Any licenses purchased after January 1st will be good for the entire year. Check out the California Department of Fish & Wildlife’s sport fishing page on the agency’s website. There you can read all about the changes.

Mendocino has landed on a travel website as one of the year’s don’t visit spots. The “No List” of travel destinations by Fodor’s Travels, a tourist info and travel company. Each year they publish their recommended places to see, and their places to reconsider. On this year’s “No List” was the town of Mendocino along with North Lake Tahoe. The no’s include natural attractions that could use a break in order to heal and rejuvenate; cultural hotspots that are overcrowded and have resource depletion; and locations around the world immediately and dramatically impacted by water crises. Lake Tahoe, the site says, has a people problem, droves have moved there since the pandemic hit. And of course Mendocino, the site admits, is a beautiful beach town, with enchanting cliffside trails and beaches, but due to the drought, it’s super expensive due to the rising cost of running water.