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If you’ve been affected by the storms, you may be able to get a deduction on your taxes for a disaster loss. You will also have more time to file your taxes. The Governor announced the state is working to get people back on their feet as quickly as possible and help communities recover. Several counties are disaster areas including Lake and Mendocino, Glenn, Napa, Sonoma, Humboldt and Yolo. Those living in areas covered by the Presidential disaster declaration may claim a deduction for losses triggered by the storms which caused widespread flooding and mudslides. Taxpayers are being told to write the name of the disaster at the top of their tax return and if filing online they should follow the software instructions related to disasters.

A man from Mendocino County and last known to be in Gualala is wanted for assault with a deadly weapon. The Sheriff’s Dept. says Anthony Pinola should also be considered armed and dangerous. He has a criminal record including crimes like possessing a concealed weapon, obstructing an officer, being drunk in public and suspicion of child endangerment. No word on why he’s wanted for an assault at this time, but the Sheriff’s office says anyone who’s seen him should call them.

The Mendocino Public Health Department says it’s investigating health and human safety issues related to the Creekside Cabins and RV Resort. The agency says a giant sinkhole that opened December 30th has not been repaired. They say residents have not been able to access the road since the sinkhole appeared and are stuck. So, the county’s worried about septic tanks not being able to be emptied for monthly processing and whether garbage has been taken from the resort since. The county has given the landlord the names of several contractors to help with temporary access and permanent repairs, but no work has started.

After several years of severe drought in Calif., Mendocino County is warning there might be a bunch of potholes after the onslaught of wet weather. The Mendocino County Maintained Road system has crews out investigating and working on the issue but warns there could be delays. They are also slammed with the re-opening of roads which were blocked by trees & debris due to mudslides from the severe weather. They say as conditions continue improving crews will patch potholes, prioritizing main collector roads. Also, a warning that if heavy rains continue, some of the work could be washed out again. A reminder to slow down on rough roads and stay in your lane of travel. You can report potholes and other dangerous road conditions to the Mendocino County Department of Transportation.

It’s happening again near Big Sur… Highway 1 is closed after another rockslide was reported in Monterey County. The report by Caltrans is that there’s “significant instability” after the recent rain. There are sections of concrete barriers that have been put up at Paul’s Slide to prevent more slipping after mud and debris moved into the center of the highway. Caltrans also says there are several areas in the closure spot that are weakening the road. There have been on and off again closures since last month. The agency says since the weather should be clear midweek, they intend to get the road cleared up by contracting more crews.

The disaster declaration from President Biden means those impacted by the string of storms in California may be able to get temporary housing, home repairs and low-cost loans. The Major Disaster Declaration is for counties devastated by flooding, mudslides, and landslides. The Governor was out touring Central Calif. this weekend and spoke to local officials and those who cannot live in their homes because of severe flooding. Governor Newsom put out a statement yesterday thanking Biden for his” swift approval”. The money from the fed also covers tribal and eligible local governments, along with some private nonprofits.

The state is reporting Coronavirus activity is down. The statewide rate of the virus was at 14/cases per 100,000 residents, off 10% from a week before. The California Department of Public Health says the positivity rate is down about 3 percent and hospitalizations were also declining from the previous week. They say the cases from winter holidays and gatherings have peaked similarly to what happened in 2020 and 2021. Just the same, the state is headed to a bleak milestone, 100,000 deaths from COVID.

After the severe storms that pounded Calif. the Lakeport City Council is looking to ratify their emergency declaration. At their meeting tomorrow night at City Hall, the council will hear from the City Manager, Kevin Ingram, who’s also the director of emergency services. He declared a local state of emergency which must be ratified per city municipal code. Also on the docket, a proclamation to designate January Human Trafficking Awareness Month and consider the county’s request to renew the Lake County Tourism Improvement District to include Lakeport. The council’s also supposed to receive the 2022-23 first quarter financial update.

Someone in Lakeport has been injured in a hit and run, and the driver’s been caught and arrested. Al James was nabbed yesterday after the crash Saturday night on N. Main Street. Police say James took off after hitting an elderly woman, who was conscious and alert. She ended up in the hospital after she was taken by an air ambulance out of county. A witness told police they saw a silver-larger sized SUV near the crash scene. James was booked into jail for felony hit-and-run, with bail set at $10,000, but apparently bailed himself out.

A community meeting is being held for residents in Lucerne. The town hall is set for Thursday at Lucerne Elementary and on Zoom. The chair of the Lucerne Area Town Hall is moderating as they pick up the discussion again of the proposal by the Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians’ to buy the Lucerne Hotel to use as a shelter for out-of-county homeless youth and young adults. Last month the Town Hall said no to the idea. Also at the Town Hall, neglected county maintenance and a chat about the possibility for the need for self-determination for the community of Lucerne.

The state Attorney General Rob Bonta says they’ve settled a case regarding wildfire risks and greenhouse gas emissions that could come from the proposed Guenoc Valley development project. The idea is for a low-density, luxury development, but it would be situated in an area at high-risk for widfires in Southeast Lake County. The settlement happened after the Lake County Superior Court vacated the County’s EIR certification, approving the project. But that including a supplemental environmental review regarding evacuation plans in order to be approved. The settlement is for a smaller project that would reduce wildfire risk which also includes more ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The project would be in an area which was burned by fires at least 10 times, including as recently as 2020.

High flow releases are going to be carried out by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from San Francisco from the Coyote Valley Dam at Lake Mendocino. Starting today the releases will lower the reservoir levels and improve downstream conditions on the Russian River. It comes after a series of Atmospheric Rivers poured rain down in the state, massively increasing reservoir levels into the flood control pool at Lake Mendocino for the first time since 2020. The levels have stayed at or around flood stage for communities along the Russian River. Today’s high-flow release is to hopefully restore conditions in case there’s another round of significant rainfall.

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