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Monthly Archives: March 2023

A new task force has been formed in the US House, that Congressman Jared Huffman is the Vice Chair of tackling clean energy. The Accelerating Clean Energy (ACE) Task Force will be led by Huffman to develop investments in clean energy. The task force will take on the challenges of getting clean energy projects started, work with the Biden administration and other stakeholders for reforms to permitting so that new renewable energy projects are brought forward faster. They will also work to modernize the electrical grid to help Biden reach his promise of reduction of carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2030.

A driver in a silver jeep on Highway 101 headed south near the Ridgewood scales crashed due to slippery road conditions. The CHP reports the driver could not keep control of the vehicle and ended up on the northbound side of the highway, driving into a silver Hyundai. Each of the drivers had major injuries, but the driver of the Hyundai, died. The other driver was taken to
Howard Memorial Hospital for treatment.

The City of Ukiah has been awarded more than $7 million dollars to fight wildfires. The grant from the USDA Community Wildfire Defense Program to harden areas against possible wildfires, maintain fuel breaks and build new ones, along with other fire prevention efforts. The five year “Ukiah Valley and Mendocino Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project” will mean building more defensible space, and inspecting what’s in place, putting in fuel breaks in shaded and non-shaded areas, prescribed burns and staying in touch with potentially impacted communities. The work to be done in the Ukiah Valley area and across Mendocino County.

The Clear Lake hitch has long been in trouble, but may have just been given a lifeline. A coalition of Tribal, local, state and federal entities are reportedly working to support the minnow like fish which can only be found in Clear Lake and its tributaries. It spawns every spring then returns to the lake. There were once millions of the fish, but now they are endangered. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is getting onboard with a list of commitments to protect spawning and rearing grounds, to make sure they have appropriate stream flows, take out barriers for their migration and reduce predation.

The sunflower sea star may be about to be listed under the endangered species act. The marine animal which is familiar to folks in Mendocino County has been slowly disappearing the last decade or so. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is considering getting the sunflower sea star (Pycnopodia helianthoides) listed as “threatened”. Public comment is open until May 15. Scientists have been trying to figure out what caused the Sea Star Wasting Syndrome that hit the animals in 2013. That triggered a loss of kelp in California, which has in turn messed with underwater ecosystems.

The Boys & Girls Club of Ukiah raked it in at their crab feast earlier this month. The Mendocino Voice reports about 350 people showed up at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds March 4th for the club’s 17th annual crab feast, raising well over $50,000. Besides crab, they enjoyed pasta and salad and mini cupcakes and cookies. There was also wine and beer and other refreshments. Retired Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman was the MC of the night. The Boys & Girls club has programs to help kids with studies, leading healthier lifestyles and avoid unsavory behavior, and help build character and good citizenship.

After the homeless encampment in Santa Rosa was broken down and moved to Sonoma County owned land, a couple of journalists chronicling the events say they were barred from the new camp. The reporters from the Press Democrat say they went to the camp Wednesday with no problem, but yesterday their access was revoked to cover the story. 70 to 100 people are supposedly living on the county owned land. The newspaper reports the county’s health services director said they had complaints from site managers and some living there about them being there. The executive editor of the paper says this infringes on the reporters First Amendment rights, and it’s a breach of the county’s duty to be transparent to its taxpayers.

Some ski resorts in Lake Tahoe are staying open through summer because of all the snow they got. Palisades Tahoe reports getting over 55 feet of snow and will stay open through July 4th. This comes after Northstar said they two will stay open longer, but not quite as ong, just until April 30th. Heavenly Mountain says they’re staying open extra weekends too, until mid-May. It’s the second snowiest season since measurements started in the mid 1940’s. The Central Sierra Snow Lab reports 677 inches since October 1st and up until this past Monday.

The state of Calif. may be punishing oil companies for spiking gas prices. It could be the first state to do so, after the Governor urged lawmakers to pass a bill to penalize the companies from profiting off higher gas prices. It comes after prices hit the mid six dollar per gallon range last summer. Some places were charging as much as $8/gallon. Governor Newsom started attacking the oil industry, he then asked the Legislature to pass a new tax on the companies profits. At the time, he said it would protect consumers by preventing price spikes.

Some nursing home staffers in Lakeport are trying to unionize. Lake Co News reports the employees of Rocky Point Care Center are unionizing under SEIU Local 2015, the largest long-term care workers union in the country. The center employs almost 80 full-time and part-time CNAs, RNAs, housekeepers, dietary workers, laundry workers, activities assistants, and nursing assistants. The president of the union says managers at the center have recognized the decision. The union calling it an exciting time for the employees, and a benefit for the entire nursing home industry. The next move for the workers is to form a bargaining team and get their first contract.

You’ll soon be able to consume cannabis at the site where you buy it. The Ukiah City Council voted to allow on-site consumption at permitted retailers. The Daily Journal reports Councilmember Susan Sher said it’s time to recognize the biggest money drivers in the city are intoxicants, wine and weed. She also said if we allow folks to drink in a bar, or go wine tasting, and nobody is concerned about it, it’s hypocritical not to do the same in dispensaries. They did discuss driving while impaired, addiction and all manner of things related to drug taking. They’ll take up the matter again next month for adoption.

After retiring as County Counsel, The Lake County Board of Supervisors commended Anita Grant for her 3 decades of Service. The proclamation to Grant Tuesday for her 31 years of service to this county with a plaque and many accolades from the community. Grant was county counsel for 17 years before retiring. At the same meeting the board also considered starting a fishery for the Clear Lake hitch. The program would have to get $1 million dollars to begin, then more money for continued operations. The Board agreed they would continue discussing with the state and others.

The state auditor is investigating the Labor Commissioner’s Office due to a continued backlog in workers’ wage theft claims. CalMatters reports the audit won’t start until this fall, if there’s no investigation before that. The Joint Legislative Audit Committee has asked for the audit after the state’s largest labor unions objected saying it was unneccesary. And the Labor Commissioner agreed saying her office had already put many reforms into place to catch up with the backlogged work. The work includes claims about employers not paying the minimum wage, overtime premiums, or giving employees meal and rest breaks.

Congressional members Mike Thompson, Adam Schiff and Jimmy Panetta of California and their counterpart and Congressional Bike Caucus Chair Earl Blumenauer of Oregon are trying to get more people to use e-bikes. The group is reintroducing the Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment (E-BIKE) Act to give e-bike riders a consumer tax credit. Senator
Brian Schatz also introduced companion legislation in the US Senate. The act would cover 30 percent of the cost of the electric bicycle, up to a $1,500 credit, applying to new electric bicycles that cost less than $8,000 and is fully refundable, allowing lower-income workers to claim the credit.

After cops got wind of an illegal marijuana business in Clearlake Oaks, they uncovered human trafficking, so many weapons and drugs, and cash, but no arrests. Detectives served search warrants in Clearlake Oaks, Clearlake, Lower Lake, Kelseyville, Middletown, Sacramento, and West Sacramento and found drug laboratories with volatile chemicals to make hash oil. They also found more than 200 pounds of hash oil, 7,000 pounds of processed marijuana, over 600 marijuana plants, and an assault rifle, and three victims of human trafficking. All of this at just one location. At another location, more of the same and another trafficking victim. In West Sacramento there were tens of thousands of cartridges of ammo, firearms, more hash oil, weed and $300,000.00 cash. No word on any arrests.

Lower cannabis taxes are coming to Mendocino County. This week, the Board of Supervisors gave the thumbs up for an ordinance for lower cannabis taxes, and to allow those who haven’t pay their taxes to enroll in a payment plan. They also approved amnesty on penalties and interest. Now the minimum cultivation tax will be 1.25%, half of what it was. For now it’s for this and next year. Supervisor Mo Mulheren reportedly came up with the plan. There are nearly 300 applicants who have not been able to get their permits for various reasons, including not paying taxes. Mulheren says the county can gather over $4 million allowing the new plan to take effect. The Board voted 4-1 on the plan, but Supervisor Ted Williams said no.

The Board of Supervisors has another headache, collecting property taxes. At their meeting this week the Board spent a chunk of time on the new cannabis tax, but also found out there was at least a million dollars in outstanding property taxes, due apparently to a new software system added two years ago. The Assessor’s office says the software has been a headache and it needed to be straightened out before the county could do anything to collect about $1.2 million in taxes from 2015-2017. The money deferred until the new collection system was in place, but the county never circled back to get it.

As the state continues dealing with massive, unprecedented and destructive wildfires, the legislature has overwhelmingly passed a bill to fine arsonists more. State Senator and Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire’s bill easily passed the Senate Public Safety Committee. He says those charged with aggravated arson should be more harshly punished, saying it’s one of the “most heinous acts” to inflict damage and destruction on purpose. He says he’ll continue fighting for stronger punishment alongside firefighters and public safety personnel and District Attorneys.

The superintendent of the Kelseyville Unified School District has won the Region 4 Administrator of the Year Award. Dr. David McQueen was honored with the award by the Association of California School Administrators. Each year they give out the awards to recognize educators for outstanding performance and achievement. Dr. McQueen has been the Kelseyville Unified School District’s superintendent for the last 14 years. He’s retiring this year. His successor says it’s a well-deserved accolade, that he cares deeply about the district and helped steer the district through the rough years of the pandemic, shining a light on mental health.

The end of an era for homeless folks in Santa Rosa, and a clean walking trail for others. The Joe Rodota Trail is being cleared once and for all of rows and rows of homeless camps. The unsheltered moving their belongings to county owned property to clear the public trail between Santa Rosa and Sebastopol. 90 tents were counted Monday, with over 250 people counted as camping in the area before the pandemic. The move comes after the Board of Supervisors declared a shelter crisis in February and gave the greenlight to the new outdoor camp. They expect up to 100 people to move there this week.

The family of the singer aboard the Skunk Train is reaching out to the public for help with treatment for cancer. Greg Schindel’s wife says he’s been going through tons of tests and was recently diagnosed with Stage Four, Metastatic Prostate Cancer, which has spread to his chest, pelvis and spine. He’s been the Skunk Train singer since 1988. He also plays guitar, autoharp, and harmonica. He was also the Visual and Performing Arts Director and a substitute teacher for the Willits Unified School District. Greg needs help supplementing his MediCare, so they are accepting payments on his behalf. Visit, or make a check payable to Greg or Donna Schindel and send to: PO Box 1376, Willits, CA 95490

The Mendocino Land Trust is searching for a former board member as they get close to their reunion. The Former Board Member Reunion event is planned for April 29th, but they can’t find Sheila Tracy. She was on the board from 1988-1989. So the board’s chair is reaching out to the public to see if anyone who knows her can help them find her so she can be invited…

Some homes red-tagged due to the December earthquake in Humboldt County are free of water and sewer bills piling up. The Rio Dell City Council voted to allow the more than 80 red-tagged homes still getting water bills to not pay… they couldn’t receive the water service anyway. Some told the council, they even got late fee notices, even though they were no longer living there. The city council unanimously waived the sewer fees. And city staff have also put a form up for homeowners to file for waivers for sewer bills for as long as 6 months after the earthquake and aftershocks. And residents will be able to get back 100% of what was paid. Some at the meeting said their homes won’t be ready to live in in six months, for that, the mayor says they will re-evaluate at that time.

A new report says home prices in half of the six counties in the North Bay are bouncing back. The report by the Calif. Association of Realtors showing Mendocino and Marin counties leading the recovery. The median home price for Marin single-family homes was almost $1.5 million in February, up a whopping 20% from January, still down from a year ago. In Mendocino County, the median was $495,500 last month, up almost 30% and only down about 2.7% from last year. In Sonoma County, the median was down 1% though, to $774,500 and Lake County’s was $305,000, down 1.6% and 15% from a year ago.

A new study shows California State University faculty get pay pretty close to those at similar universities nationwide, but staff are unhappy with their pay, just the same. The study released yesterday by an outside consultant showed professors, instructors, librarians, counselors and coaches in the 23-campus system were being paid similarly, but some were underpaid depending on the job, the discipline and where they live. The salary study was part of a presentation at the latest CSU board of trustees meeting. The chancellor’s office is apparently next going to meet with the California Faculty Association to bargain. Some faculty members Ed Source talked to though, said the study didn’t take into account the high cost of living in the state.

The Big Read in Lake County is ending. With that, they have a Poets Laureate Reading as their final event. The Lakeport Library in Lakeport is inviting the public this Saturday from 1-2 pm for the reading with Lake County’s Poet Laureate for 2020-2024, along with the state’s, Lee Herrick. There are other Poets Laureate joining, including from Ukiah, Alameda and from Kansas state. They will each share their own work. The 2023 National Endowment of the Arts Big Read is supported by several community and business partners, and supporters.

After a full on economic and community impact report was done, Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire says the Great Redwood Trail will have major impact. McGuire says outdoor recreation is one of California’s biggest economic drivers. And that the Great Redwood Trail will have a lasting positive impact on local communities. The study shows yearly benefits of more than $102 million dollars from tourism, recreation and retail. And tax revenue for the state will add to almost $5.5 million dollars. They have two community meetings on the master planning process coming up, tonight in Fotuna and tomorrow in Willits.

Fortuna, March 22, 2023: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. River Lodge Conference Center.

RSVP here:

Willits, March 23, 2023: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Willits Community Center.

RSVP/Location here:

A man has been arrested in Fort Bragg after he landed in the hospital. Police say they got to Adventist Health Mendocino Coast after a call for help about an agitate man, fighting staff. They say the man was able to get ahold of some medical shears in the ambulance and somehow freed himself. They say he was chasing people with the sheers. When cops arrived, they saw the man running and ordered him to stop, but he threatened him and wouldn’t listen to their commands and ran off. He kept running towards officers threatening them and tried getting into homes in the area. Officers fearing for the safety of neighbors shot a TASER device successfully, and arrested the man who was having a mental health evaluation. They say drugs may have been a factor.

There’s a new US Attorney for the Northern District of Calif. The president announced he had nominated Ismail J. Ramsey, who took the oath of office this week. He was nominated last November and was confirmed by the US Senate March 7th. He was the Assistant United States Attorney in the same office until 2003, then in 2006, he went into private practice in Berkeley. He’s also been an adjunct professor at the University of California at Berkeley School of Law. He went to Harvard for undergrad, got his MBA at the Haas School of Business and his law degree is also from Harvard. He’s also a veteran of the United States Air Force.

The state Assembly is considering a bill to expand rat poison restrictions to help protect kids, pets and wildlife. Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Burbank) is pushing the California Ecosystems Protection Act of 2023 which would extend a current moratorium on second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides to add in a deadly first-generation anticoagulant rodenticide. She says California wildlife such as mountain lions and eagles are still being “needlessly poisoned”, and more needs to be done.

The first day of spring brought showers with it. The latest atmospheric river drenched an already waterlogged California. The storm mostly pounded the central and southern parts of the state, with sheets of rain reported in some areas, runoff and mountain snow. There was hail also reported at the state capital. Trees and power lines were down and one man in a sewer truck in the Bay Area was hit by a falling tree and died. Santa Cruz County clocked wind gusts up to 80 mph yesterday and a massive oak tree fell across Highway 12 in Santa Rosa. Utility companies were working to get over 200,000 customers lights back on, mostly south of San Francisco. This was the 12th atmospheric river since late December. Mammoth Mountain announced they’d stay open until the end of July!

A teacher from Redwood Valley spent nearly two weeks hiking through snow and ice to get to a car so she could get to school. Eighth grade science teacher Paula Abajian spent thirteen days trekking in the snow and through ice last Monday the first day she could drive out of the area due to the snow falling in her neighborhood since late February. She lives in the mountains with her family near Willits and the road to her home is covered in snow, which then froze over because of all the wet weather. The roads in and out were impassable for almost three weeks. Her home is also solar powered, so they had some challenges.

Another earthquake has hit Humboldt County. The temblor yesterday afternoon was measured at 4.6 magnitude. The U.S. Geological Survey pegged it at about 7 miles west southwest of Ferndale at 4:20 pm. Experts say it could be an aftershock of the earthquake in the area December 20th. A local earthquake expert told the Times Standard newspaper, there was no tsunami threat. But about 100 people called the USGS with shake reports from Eureka and Arcata mostly.

The Red Fox Casino has closed for good. The casino posted “it is with a heavy heart” the closure of the gaming facility as of Sunday. The casino has been in the Mendocino County community for the last two decades. The Cahto Tribe of the Laytonville Rancheria says even though they are closing the casino, they are still pursuing other economic opportunities.

A lot of road damage has occurred due to all of the rain and snow in Lake County. That means Elk Mountain Rd. in Upper Lake is being closed indefinitely. The Mendocino National Forest says the road which is also referred to as Forest Road M1 was hit hard by the storms and has been closed since the start of the month. The problem with that is, there’s now only one way in to Lake Pillsbury from Potter Valley. The Lake County Public Works Department posted to their Facebook page the road was closed down by the Forest Service March 1st and the Forest Service says the County closed the road above the Middle Creek Campground. Public Works crews are there working to get another access open from Potter Valley to the Soda Creek Store.

Cracking down on how much money can be donated to certain political candidates is on the docket at the state Legislature. State Senator Bill Dodd introduced a bill to put limits on how much money people can donate to candidates running for school boards and special district offices. A Senate committee approved the bill yesterday, which Senator Dodd says will put a cap on donations to ensure fairness and encourage a more diverse field in local elections. Right now, unlimited contributions are allowed through most of the state. Dodd’s bill sets the individual donation limit to $5,500, and it also allows local governments to set their own limits.

A man from Ukiah has been arrested after someone reported stolen lottery tickets and other items. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports deputies got a call to a burglary at a business in the 1400 block of Lovers Lane two Sundays ago. The business reported “Scratcher” Lottery tickets were taken. Surveillance footage showed a man on camera after business hours taking the tickets, cigarettes, and beer. They identified him as 34-year-old Lorenzo Cruz of Ukiah. Deputies found him in a car with the items. He apparently cashed in some winning Lottery tickets and was arrested on suspicion of felony burglary and booked into Mendocino County Jail on $15,000 bail.

This year the Lakeport Rotary Egg Hunt is on. The yearly tradition is on April 9th at the Lake County Fairgrounds, for its 97th year. It started back in 1926. They’ll be hiding nearly 3,000 eggs and 300 of them will be “Special Pay” eggs. Kids 1 month to 12 years are welcome to join. They’ll be separated into age groups and directed to certain areas to match their group. The gates open at 1:15 pm, with the hunt starting at 1:30 pm.

A Tsunami test is planned in a week. Next Wednesday between 11 am and noon, the National Weather Service will be conducting a communications exercise in Mendocino, Humboldt, and Del Norte counties. Not only will they test the Emergency Alerting System on TV and Radio, but they will also activate NOAA Weather Radios, and Tsunami Sirens. The Civil Air Patrol will also fly the coastline testing their public address system. It’s all just to make sure everything is in working order, it is only a test.

A new report says Mendocino County is one of America’s “worst in government transparency”. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Muckrock, an investigative news platform, gave the county a “Foilie” award related to legislation they passed last year for imposing fees to access public records, which is against state law. The awards regularly showcase “outrageous public records fees” they say are clearly aimed at discouraging specific records requests. The award to Mendocino County is based on what the award givers see as a way to discourage anyone requesting public records. The Foundation says the ordinance is on shaky legal ground too.

More crazy weather on the way with snow at low levels, more rain and fast-moving wind. The storm is forecast to hit today into tomorrow. Another atmospheric river will just drop light rain at first, then start pounding the ground with gusty winds and possible higher elevation snow in Sonoma and Mendocino counties. The National Weather Service reports there could be wind gusts of up to 40 mph which can of course take down trees and power lines due to already extremely moist ground. Most of the rain is expected this morning into the afternoon or early evening. There could be snow on Mount Saint Helena, in Sonoma, Napa and Lake counties. Mendocino County is expected to get less than a half inch of rain.

Even though we’ve been drenched by rain and snow, the Biden administration is girding for fire-weather. Vice President Kamala Harris has announced her home, and others are getting millions in new federal grants to harden high-risk communities against wildfires. Over 100 communities in 22 states and seven tribes are getting money for firefighters and housing for fire personnel. The North Bay is getting 29 grants. Clear Lake Environmental Research is getting almost $10 million, the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians is getting nearly one million and the City of Ukiah is getting over $7 million.

After weeks of being closed to the public, Yosemite National Park reopened. Some roads in are still closed due to damage from storms and snow. Hiking trails are still covered in snow so officials say you should be prepared and wear waterproof hiking books with traction devices attached to them because it could also be icy. They don’t recommend accessing the trails at all actually. They are however open 24 hour/7 with some overnight lodging. But campgrounds remain closed because they are buried in snow and debris. The park closed nearly a month ago due to storm damaged roads and buildings.

The 50th anniversary of Mendocino College is planned. This Saturday the celebration is happening on the Ukiah campus with a Community Fair from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. A fun-filled day is planned for the whole family, featuring live performances, kids’ activities, workshops, and more. The Superintendent/President of Mendocino College says it’s their goal to showcase the many wonderful resources and programs available to students and community members and to thank the community for its ongoing support over the last 50 years. The event is free and open to the public. The schedule of events at

A Calif. lawmaker is trying to protect newsrooms across the state with Legislation to make news companies share ad dollars. Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks of Oakland is introducing the California Journalism Protection Act. The California News Publishers Association is sponsoring Wicks’ bill. It says the majority of people get their news online and digital ad dollars are taking money away from newspaper advertising, which in turn has shrunken newsroom staffs. Wicks’ bill, if it becomes law, would mandate tech platforms pay publishers a “journalism usage fee” depending on how much advertising revenue the platform receives.

The Governor has released his master plan to fight fentanyl and opioid overuse. Yesterday Newsom paid a visit to the San Ysidro Port of Entry and made the announcement of a $1 billion dollar investment in the state to find ways to beat back the ongoing crisis. He says expanding the California National Guard led to a 594% increase in seized fentanyl. The new plan adds to that by strengthening the overdose prevention efforts, holding the drug making industry accountable, fighting drug dealers and raising awareness about the dangers of opioids, and distributing more NARCAN.

Almost $800 million dollars is being paid in pension money to retirees from CalPERS related to long-term care insurance in the late 1990’s. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, which is the largest public pension fund in the nation, had sold long-term care insurance with inflation protection to protect members from spikes in premiums, but their premiums were raised no matter, and at times to as much as 85% more. A lawsuit ensued and the settlement was approved this month which was based on a 2012 fee increase. But payouts won’t happen until plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit vote on it. That is supposed to happen sometime between April and early June.

A mistake made in a press release by the Mendocino County Public Health Dept. said if you get COVID, it’s recommended you isolate for five days. Now they say, it’s actually mandated, and they erred. The new COVID orders came out after the California Department of Public Health ended many of the health orders in place since the pandemic started three years ago. Mendocino County was following what the state did and last week released new orders. If someone tests positive they should isolate. If they’ve been exposed, they should test as soon as a day after, unless they had COVID within 30 days, then they don’t have to. Healthcare workers do need to test no matter what, 1, 3 and 5 days after exposure.

The Mendocino Cannabis Alliance is celebrating as the Mendocino Board of Supervisors voted to accept an offer from the State Department of Cannabis Control to help streamline applicants’ permits. Though the licensing process is new, leaders are hoping for a collaborative effort with the state. The Executive Director of the Mendocino Cannabis Alliance is hopeful for an extension to the July 1 deadline for processing state permits.

Rep. Mike Thompson named his selection for the 2023 Lake County Woman of the Year Sunday, in recognition of Women’s History this month. He chose to honor the tribal chair of the Pomo, Sherry Treppa, based in Upper Lake. Every March, women are chosen from California’s Fourth District to recognize their contributions and efforts over the last year.

Today, there is tree work in Albion from Albion Little River Road to Little River Airport Road and Route 1 Road work in Willits at Franklin Avenue also happening today with One-way traffic from 9 a.m. to 5:30 for both streets.

A Sonoma Valley student was arrested Saturday on suspicion of threatening school violence on social media. Police started investigating the incident Thursday after Sonoma Valley School officials alerted police to the threat to Altimira Middle School posted on social media along with a list of students to be targeted. The student who posted the threat confessed and was arrested. The Sheriff’s Office said there is no remaining threat to the school. Sonoma Valley students are scheduled to return to school today from spring break.

Ukiah Unified School District announced that Dr. Analese Alvarez has accepted the Ukiah High School principal’s job beginning on July 1, 2023. Dr. Alvarez earned her master’s and doctorate degrees in education, and has been teaching and leading for over two decades.

Governor Gavin Newsom just announced that CalRx has secured a contract with a pharmaceutical manufacturer, Civica to make insulin and sell to Californians who are in need of the drug for $30.00. The announcement will bring down the price of insulin by about 90%, saving cash-paying patients between $2,000 and $4,000 a year for the prescription.

It’s the annual spawning run for an endangered species, the hitch. Thousands of the fish have been spotted locally. With the rising water levels, flooding is pushing the fish into nearby fields. Lake County Water Resources and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife remind anyone who encounter stranded hitch to call Lake County Water Resources at 707-263-2344.

Ukiah’s first ever Lowrider Festival is happening next Friday. Big Picture Ukiah and La Familia Market are bringing the new annual festival to Alex R. Thomas Plaza and will feature live local music, food, vendors. The Lowrider Festival will be awarded in several categories. The $20 fee will support the community with scholarships and grants. Email Erica Gonzalez, at egonzalez for information, to register or if you would like to be a vendor.

An astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics said that he’s confident the streaks of light witnessed over northern California Saturday night. The shooting stars were wreckage, space debris that was about 40 miles high, going thousands of miles per hour. The equipment was a satellite that was retired and jettisoned from the International Space Station in 2020. The U.S. Space Force confirmed the re-entry path over California for the Inter-Orbit Communication System.

A Lakeport man has been arrested following a search last week that uncovered weapons and ammunition he is prohibited to have. 57 year old Paul Kenneth Jones, was arrested on Thursday, according to LPD. police said two loaded handguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition were seized. He was booked into the Lake County Jail with a $1,000 bail.

Two Larkfield-Wikiup residents were evacuated over the weekend, following a house fire. According to authorities, Saturday night smoke coming from a home on Manka Circle was reported by a neighbor. The fire caused about $150,000 in damage to the house. The home was determined to be uninhabitable. Fire investigators determined the fire was caused by hot coals from an outdoor barbecue, which had been used earlier Saturday.

Today, there is tree work in Albion from Albion Little River Road to Little River Airport Road. Also, Route 1 Road work in Willits at Franklin Avenue is also happening today with one-way traffic from about 9 a.m. to 5:30 for both streets.

California has seen some wild weather; sometimes harsh circumstances show the grit of the community. A teacher at Ukiah Unified School District didn’t let rain and snow stop her from getting to school. In the mountains above Willits for nearly a month, the snow and ice froze residents in place at home, unable to drive anywhere. Paula Abajian, a middle school teacher, spent thirteen days hiking nearly 2 miles to school, and 2 miles home. She is a science teacher at Eagle Peak Middle School.

Former Ukiah Police Chief Noble Waidelich is accused of sexually assaulting a Mendocino County woman last summer, in a federal lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Eureka. Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall was notified of the alleged assault at the woman’s Ukiah home last June. Kendall referred the allegations to Sonoma County authorities for an outside investigation. So far, the investigation has kept details quiet, and only lists the woman as “Jane Doe.” The lawsuit, filed by a Los Angeles law firm, alleges that Waidelich showed up at the woman’s home armed, and in uniform when he demanded sex.

The public is invited to the 37th Annual Mendocino County Science and Engineering Fair & STEAM Expo on Saturday from 10am to 3pm at Mendocino College. Admission is free for everyone. The event highlights the achievements of third- through 12th-grade student scientists, promoting and encouraging their interest in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM). This year’s fair has expanded to include a STEAM Expo, themed “Mendocino Resilience.” There will be an awards ceremony at 4 p.m. to announce Mendocino County students who qualify to advance to the 72nd California Science & Engineering Fair, on April 11.

The Lake County Office of Emergency Services is holding a 2023 Local Hazard Mitigation Plan Update and invites the public to learn more. A meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 23, at the Hidden Valley Lake Community Services District on Hartmann Road. By breaking the repeated cycle of disaster damage and reconstruction, hazard mitigation planning forms the basis for the community’s long-term strategy to reduce disaster-related losses, There will be a presentation followed by discussion and a chance for public input and feedback.

Officials say Porter Creek Road between Calistoga Road and Franz Valley Road was closed early Friday due to a mudslide. The road northeast of Santa Rosa was closed just after midnight, according to the county’s road closure website. CHP does not have an estimated time of reopening.

Caltrans closed the Avenue of the Giants Thursday overnight. They tweeted that Route 254/Avenue of the Giants section of roadway will reopen Friday at 8 a.m. A slipout undercut the Avenue Thursday morning causing Caltrans to close it. At about 2 p.m., Caltrans began allowing one-way controlled traffic through the area. For the most current information, visit

The City of Ukiah is teaming up with Caltrans, the County of Mendocino, and Castle Tire to provide residents to dispose of tires. On Saturday, March 18, residents may bring their used tires to a site off Airport Road in Ukiah where they will be recycled by Castle Tire. Identification will be required for proof of residency. Residents may bring up to nine passenger car and light truck tires for disposal. No tires from businesses or bicycle tires. The free tire disposal takes place on Saturday, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Flood water is being monitored in Lake County by the Health Services Department around the Lake and other flood-prone/low-lying areas because of all the rain we’ve been getting. More rain is coming Sunday, and the agency is worried about possible flood conditions around the lake. So as a way to prevent potential sewage contamination, community members around these areas are being asked to reduce their drain flows and use strict water conservation measures so they can be sure their drains are not backing up.

At Thursday’s Clearlake City Council meeting, Clearlake Animal Control and local police announced their monthly shelter update. 10 dogs have been transferred to North Bay Animal Services’ Petaluma shelter last week, bringing 108 dogs into the shelter since the start of the year. The shelter, still thriving at a 99.9% live release rate.

Redwood Waste Solutions (RWS), the company now under contract to manage waste and recycling in the city of Fort Bragg and much of Mendocino County announced CalRecycle will decide on participating in a California Redemption Value Pilot Project that would allow RWS to operate a mobile buyback center at multiple locations along the coast. If approved RWS expects the mobile buyback center to be open within 30 days.

PG&E says it will keep the gates open at Scott Dam from now on because of seismic safety concerns: Lake Pillsbury in Lake County will never completely fill again, even in a wet year. The utility usually closes the dam gates in April, allowing spring runoff to raise the water level for summer recreation and water releases during drier parts of the year. Updated seismic analysis suggests a higher level of risk, prompting the change in operations. More water will be allowed into the Eel River this spring instead of keeping it behind the dam.

Last weekend, Clearlake Police Officers responded to the Walmart on Dam Road with reports of an assault with a hammer outside of the garden department. The victim, the suspect’s father, was taken to Adventist Health and later transferred out of county for further medical treatment. Officers identified the suspect as 29-year-old Cobb resident, Peter Guerrero, the son of the victim. Guerrero peacefully surrendered and was taken into custody. He admitted to having the hammer with intent to kill his father in public. Peter was booked into the Lake County Jail for attempted homicide, according to the Clearlake Police social media post.

An arrest has been made in Ukiah after a call to Lovers Lane. The Sheriff’s office says there were reports of a burglary Sunday morning and when they got there, an employee said a bunch of stuff was missing. Security footage from overnight showed a man at the back door of the business when they were closed. On the video, they saw him enter, take several items, and leave. Store employees apparently knew him, identifying him as Lorenzo Cruz, a local homeless guy. The man was found, and Deputies say he matched the description of the man on video. He also had some of the stolen items with him, so he was booked into jail and held on $15,000.00 bail.

The Governor has backed away from a proposal to squeeze oil companies who make a bunch of money. Yesterday, Newsom’s office said they had an amended bill coming to create a watchdog agency as part of the California Energy Commission who would look into possible price gouging by the oil industry. It would also give permission to the commission to set up where and when profits would be penalized. The Governor’s chief of staff says the changes being made come after several months of consulting with lawmakers who said penalties should be determined by industry experts.

Plans have been approved for more housing for University of Calif. students. The board of regents gave the greenlight to some residential projects to add almost 8,000 beds across five campuses. It’s not going to happen fast though, and one UC official said it may be a bit optimistic because of the obstacles in just getting housing built, sometimes including lawsuits which try to stop projects. Just the same the regents’ finance committee approved over 3,000 beds at UC Santa Cruz and more than 2,400 at UC San Diego. Projects were also approved at UCLA, UC Irvine and UC Riverside.

Since the state has ended most public health orders related to COVID-19, Mendocino County has changed its orders too. A day after Lake County did the same. But Mendo is following the state with recommendations, no longer mandates. As of this past Monday anyone with a close contact with no symptoms should get tested if they’re exposed, within one day. If they test positive, they should isolate, but if it’s within 30 days of a prior infection, no test is necessary, unless you’re a healthcare worker. Isolation is for five days. Vaccines and boosters are not required but are recommended. Same for masks. There are no new orders for schools except to follow Cal-OSHA regulations. And you don’t have to report results of home tests, but should call a doctor if you get seriously ill to protect others.

The Mendocino County BOS find at their mid-year budget review there was a multi-million-dollar reporting error. Apparently, the Mendocino Cannabis Department not only erred on their calculations, but also projected being over-budget by over $660,000. There are five county departments over budget in the mid-year report. After the Cannabis Dept., it’s the Sheriff’s Dept. The projected overage there was just over a half million dollars. Animal care, facilities, and the Executive Office all followed. The report which covers July-September of 2022 had county sales revenue off over 5%. The Cannabis Dept. overage could have something to do with a $3.2 million reporting error in the state report on grant funding. Something the county found out about this week.

Fort Bragg police are looking for a woman they say was involved in a hit and run Tuesday. The City has put a picture up of the woman the police dept. says was suspected of being connected to the crash 100 Block of Hazel Street [Tuesday] morning. They ask anyone who may have seen something to call their non-emergency line at (707) 964-0200.

After reports of an assault at the Walmart in Clearlake, cops put out the word they were trying to find a resident of Cobb. Police say they had a report Sunday of a man-on-man assault outside the garden dept. One man hit with a hammer ended up in the hospital. Cops say Peter Guerrero surrendered in relation to the altercation. They say the victim was walking into the Walmart and was attacked from behind. It then came out the two were related, the suspect had hammered his dad, and had admitted he wanted to kill him. So, he’s charged with attempted homicide.

There’ a new county counsel and interim director of Behavioral Health Services in Lake County. After a closed door Board of Supervisors meeting, the board unanimously agreed to appoint Senior Deputy Counsel Lloyd Guintivano to take over for County Counsel Anita Grant whose last day is one week from tomorrow. She had apparently told the board about a year ago she was planning to retire. The county was recruiting for the position, and Guintivano and another deputy county counsel, Carlos Torrez, were filling in for Grant at meetings. Guintivano has been with the county almost 15 years. During the same closed session meeting the board chose Assistant County Administrative Officer Stephen Carter as interim Behavioral Health Services director. The previous director, Todd Metcalf was with the county 11 years. He’s moving to Hawaii to retire.

The giant crack that turned into something of a sinkhole on Highway 101 at the Humboldt County/Mendocino County line is getting a permanent fix. State Senator Mike McGuire says the “corridor is slumping into the river”. Caltrans says the one-way traffic there will continue for the “foreseeable future”, and to expect 15-to-30-minute delays. The recent weather conditions have added onto an already sketchy stretch of highway because of its proximity to the South Fork Eel River near Milkyway Loop Road. Caltrans is considering many solutions, but all require dry weather. Senator McGuire says $20 million has been set aside for the project.

The mayor of Fort Bragg says he’s running for a seat on the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. Mayor Bernie Norvell announced his candidacy for the 4th District Supervisor seat in 2024. He says it comes after a lot of careful thought on the matter, and consultations with community members and current supervisors. Norvell has been the mayor the last two years and a city council member since 2016. He says all of his accomplishments as the mayor will be brought with him if he’s elected supervisor. He says he believes he will be able to create an even greater impact on the board as the county faces budget issues, an increasing cost for the jail expansion, cannabis production and programs, housing needs and water resiliency.

Even though we started with a pretty normal to above-normal water year, the spillway at the Scott Dam at Lake Pillsbury is not closing this spring. PG&E had previously closed the gates around early spring so that lake levels can increase and store additional water from the spring runoff for later in the dryer months. So more water can flow into the Eel River, but less for Lake Pillsbury in the summer and fall. PG&E reported this was the plan out of an abundance of caution and for community safety to reduce the possibility of risk related to seismic performance. The Vice President of Power Generation for the utility company says the risks to the dam are very low, but storing less water in the reservoir lowers the water load on the dam, and any risk after a seismic event.

The National Marine Fisheries Service is being called out for not coming up with a plan to protect humpback whales from commercial sablefish fishermen on the West Coast. The fisheries service has to have a plan to reduce how many whales are hurt or killed by the fishery, per the Endangered Species Act. A judge ruled the Fisheries Service broke the law because they never had a plan. They also admit they kill at least one humpback whale a year. The Center for Biological Diversity sued the Fisheries Service related to the issue last year.

The Mandala Springs wellness retreat center announces they’re working with indigenous community members and a community redevelopment group to restore Kelsey Creek. The former Glenbrook Resort is located on the creek in the Cobb Watershed. They are working with the Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians, the Tribal Eco Restoration Alliance (TERA), Flow West, and others to bring the area back to its natural state. They’re also looking at wildlife habitat, water quality, and reintroducing native plants that were previously a part of daily life for the Pomo population locally.

Flood water is being monitored in Lake County by the Health Services Department around the Lake and other flood-prone/low-lying areas because of all the rain we’ve been getting. More rain is coming tomorrow (Friday) and the agency is worried about possible flood conditions around the lake. So as a way to prevent potential sewage contamination, community members around these areas are being asked to reduce their drain flows and use strict water conservation measures so they can be sure their drains are not backing up. Contaminated sewage can of course, spread disease.

The city of Ukiah is looking to add community members to openings on their Diversity and Equity Committee. Those qualified, looking to help make a difference in the community, who are interested in serving, are encouraged to apply. The city says those involved help improve diversity and equity in the City’s workforce… by helping to put together the city’s Equity Action Plan, provide an annual review and update to the City Council on their progress, propose revisions to the plan, as needed and engage with underrepresented groups in the community.

Those who were affected in Mendocino County by winter storms at the end of December all thru January only have a short window left to register for help with FEMA. The FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers in Mendocino are closed, but residents can still register for assistance on the phone or online. They have multi-lingual operators and help for those using video relay, captioned telephone service, or other communication services. Tomorrow is the deadline for a loan from the SBA and FEMA help.

You can also register through or the FEMA mobile app. Or call, 800-621-3362. The FEMA Hotline is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. The SBA’s Customer Service Center is: 800-659-2955 or email for more information.

A bunch of environmentalists say Caltrans didn’t follow the California Environmental Quality Act by moving forward with the Richardson Grove highway improvement project. The groups have filed a case against the state agency which has been trying to start the Highway 101 project expansion through Richardson Grove to allow larger commercial transportation trucks through the area. But the environmental groups say the project would harm nearby old-growth redwood trees and local ecosystems. The Center for Biological Diversity says the root system of the trees could be disturbed, causing health problem or trees falling. Caltrans says the project will help improve movement of goods in and out of the area.

An investigator has been hired by the Yurok Tribe to look into new or existing cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People in the North Coast. Julia Oliveira has about a quarter century of experience and is a member of the Wyandotte Tribe herself. She also worked for the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office for two decades. She has personally conducted missing persons and child sex abuse cases and is still part of the Sheriff’s Office Crisis Intervention Team. Her most recent work was as the leader of the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribal Police Department. She says she applied for this job because she was “very passionate about this subject”. The Yurok Tribe declared Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons an emergency in December 2021.

As the nation deals with a possible banking crisis, the Savings Bank in Willits has announced a closure for a remodel. This is just for one day to transform their lobby. They close March 31st and reopen April 3rd. The branch’s walk-up and drive-up ATMs are available 24/7, plus their drive-up Video Teller is also available. Hours of operation are the same. The new lobby will have no more physical barriers between staff and their customers, which they say will bring a more open, comfortable space to do business in. Savings Bank of Mendocino County says they are a strong, independent financial institution providing Mendocino and Lake Counties the dependability of a local community bank.

The continued winter storms have dumped so much heavy snow that several dozen homes and businesses in the greater South Lake Tahoe area have been damaged. Since late last week fire officials say they’ve been pounded with winter weather, and there’s more rain and snow on the way for the mountains and lower elevations. Cal Fire was out with over 200 crew members across their Amador-El Dorado unit inspecting buildings for damage and helping those stuck due to “extreme” winter conditions. Crews have inspected over 120 structures since last week, two-thirds were damaged. Of those nine have been red-tagged. On social media, South Lake Tahoe city officials said their two Raley’s supermarkets were temporarily closed. Their local T.J. Maxx was forced to close “due to structural issues” and ski resorts had to close because there was too much snow and wind was rocking chair lifts so they couldn’t run them.

They’re celebrating a milestone at Operation Tango Mike. It’s been twenty years for the group which has supported thousands of military personnel. It started with a few friends who had deployed to Afghanistan in 2003. Operation Tango Mike is military slang for Operation Thanks Much. The nonprofit sends up to 100 care packages a month to troops overseas. They also support military families with home repairs, transportation and more. They also give emotional support and welcome volunteers to help prepare the care packages. Their mantra, “forget politics, support our troops”.

For more information or to add someone to the care package recipient list, please call
707-349-2838 or e-mail

As a result of the non-stop, pounding rain, the Garcia River has reached flood stage and is spilling onto State Route 1. Caltrans has closed the highway in both directions in Point Arena. Elsewhere the state agency closed State Route 175 in Hopland between Highway 101 and Old River Rd. because the Russian River was flooding. It reached minor flood stage at 15 feet yesterday afternoon and was expected to crest last night. State Route 128 in Navarro also flooded yesterday, which is typical when we have continuous rain. There have also been reports of mud and rock slides and downed trees across Northern Calif. The National Weather Service Eureka is also warning to be alert for “excessive runoff” and flooding of rivers, creek, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone areas.

A quarter million or so PG&E customers are without power in the Bay Area. As of dinner time last night the utility reported over 258,000 households had no services. Yesterday earlier in the day there were nearly 300,000 in the dark. The National Weather Service reported winds were taking down power poles and lines and damaging PG&E equipment.

You can report downed power lines by calling 911 or PG&E at 800-743-5002.

A man hit by a tree as he worked with a crew along State Route 128 is “responsive”. Caltrans District 1 reported a staff member was hurt last Saturday as he worked on a tree hazard project. The injury is being investigated. The Anderson Valley Fire Department Battalion Chief told local media the accident occurred after the tree the contractor was cutting split down the middle, something called “barber chairing”. He had to have advanced life support to help him breathe, then he was taken to a hospital in Santa Rosa.

A man who was wanted for bringing an automatic rifle into a restaurant in Santa Barbara has been caught and arrested in Mendocino County. Police say in July of 2020, Jaime Soto Hernandez went inside a restaurant with an “AK-47-type assault rifle.” Witnesses called 911 saying the guy was pointing the weapon at a woman and pulled the trigger, which fatefully malfunctioned. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s dept. reports catching him and booking him into prison for “attempted murder of a peace officer”. He’s held on $1 million bail. Santa Barbara police say what Hernandez did was a form of “domestic assault violence” since he and the woman he confronted “exchanged words at a restaurant table”, then he pulled the gun and tried to fire it.

Clear Lake is officially full. For the first time in quite some time, the lake hit, 7.56 feet Rumsey Tuesday. Lake Co News reports it’s the first time since May of 2019, a flood year. And even more rain is coming so the Lake could even hit the monitor stage of 8 feet Rumsey, 9 feet Rumsey is flood stage and that happened in March of 2019. As a comparison, last year, on this day, the Lake was at .43 feet Rumsey. But all of these atmospheric rivers that have been lining up since late last year have helped fill it back up.

The Public Health Emergency related to COVID19 in Lake County is officially over. The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously at their regular meeting yesterday to end the Resolution enacting the emergency three years ago. In the county, there have been over 13,660 cases so far and 157 people have died due to the virus. Across California over 11 million people have been infected and well over 100,000 people have died. The former Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace declared the Public Health Emergency and the board ratified it. The then Sheriff, Brian Martin also then proclaimed a local emergency. At the time though, there were no cases of coronavirus in the county. The first confirmed case was April 5th, 2020.

The Lakeport City Council’s having a special meeting to try to get several million dollars in funds from the federal government. The meeting tonight at 6pm is open to the public, with masks highly encouraged along with social distancing. The council will consider asking Congressman Mike Thompson to request two Community Project Funding infusions. The congressman’s office has informed the city he can only ask for a total of 15 Community Project Funding requests and there’s obviously no guarantee the city will receive any money. One request is for nearly $2M for a homeless help center in Lakeport; and the other is for nearly $32M for a recreational center in Clearlake.

State Route 162 added to the list of road closures due to the winter weather. The highway was closed, but reopened about an hour later after a mudslide. The CHP reported yesterday afternoon they had closed the road and had no anticipated time to reopen it, but then crews from Caltrans cleared the debris. At the same time there was only one way traffic on Highway 101 due to a collapse and possible sinkhole. That was just north of the Mendocino/Humboldt County Line. One lane of traffic is open while it continues to be safe to travel through the area. Caltrans will continue to monitor the area.

Salmon season is up in the air as the state considers ways to keep a slimmed down season afloat. Regulators are expected at a week-long meeting starting April 1st. The alternatives being discussed as rumors circulate the fishery was totally done for all of 2023. Mendo Voice is reporting sport salmon fishing groups and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA) said the season should be canceled and after that there was a recommendation to try for a federal disaster declaration to help anglers. It comes after temporary closures of part of the season.

The ten-year extension of the Lake County Tourism Improvement District is now in place. The Lake County Board of Supervisors approved of the move for Visit Lake County CA through Dec. 31, 2033. The Board had hearings on the matter in January, including the city councils of Lakeport and Clearlake. Each of the councils voted unanimously to extend the District another decade. The extension includes an increase in the room night assessment to 2.5% starting next January. Visit Lake County CA touts bringing more traffic to the website from 6,000 to 86,000 since beginning in 2018. They’ve also beefed up their presence on social media and have had a good amount of press coverage ever since.

A boy from Clearlake has been reported missing. 11-year-old John Clemence was last seen Sunday in the town. Police describe him as a white male juvenile, 5 foot, 110 pounds, with dirty blonde short hair and blue eyes. He was last seen in a black Champion sweatshirt, black sweatpants and brown shoes. They’re asking anyone who may have seen him to call police.

Assemblymember Jim Wood says major utility companies should make sure customers get electricity in a timely matter. AB 50 looks to improve planning and communication processes around sharing electricity with other parties. Wood says the state “won’t be able to reach its housing and climate goals and expand local economies if utility companies can’t meet the demand for electricity when it is required.” Wood explained when introducing the legislation that when someone is trying to get new service they have to pay a lot of money and just get a letter from a utility they will be served. He says the “will serve” letters aren’t adequate.

We should get a couple days of sunshine midweek, but continued treacherous weather is forecasted with possible thunderstorms and strong wind. We are not out of the woods though, the National Weather Service is forecasting a flood watch for today, encouraging folks to monitor the weather and if you have outdoor furniture, to make sure it’s secure as this will be one of the strongest days so far this winter. The rain was expected early this morning then taper off later today, but windy conditions were forecasted for some regions of Central and Northern Calif. Scattered showers may last until tomorrow morning before clearing out until Friday, when the next system moves in.

The man accused of starting the Hopkins Fire a year and a half ago will be tried in Marin County. A judge in Mendocino County ruled Devin Lamar Johnson, who was seen in photographs at the scene of the Sept. 21 fire in Calpella, will be tried outside the county due to publicity. The fire destroyed 30 homes and blackened almost 260 acres near the Russian River and Lake Mendocino. 200 people had to leave their homes after the fire broke out. Johnson was arrested a couple days later. And during jury selection, many remembered the fire. The judge ruled Marin would have a better pool of jurors.

A man in the Brooktrails area apparently had a confrontation with a bear. Mendo Fever reports Ryan Ballou’s family has seen a family of bears in the area of their home in the Blue Lakes Drive area, but last Saturday, he says a bear he’s seen before was acting in an aggressive manner on his front porch. He tells the news site the bear charged at him through his windows, and his dog accidentally opened their front door. Ballou says as he went to shut the door the bear swiped at him and drew blood. The man told the news site he had no intention of contacting Fish and Wildlife to report a human-wildlife conflict.

The Ukiah Unified School District has voted to enter negotiations with the Rural Communities Housing Development Corporation (RCHDC) to possibly buy the old Redwood Valley Elementary School property. The School District had put out a Notice of Offer to sell the property. There was a window of two months for offers from Dec. 18, 2022, to Feb. 16, 2023, with the negotiation period of 90 days. If the deal cannot be closed by June 7th, then the school board will offer up the property again related to Education Code and selling surplus real estate property.

Cal Fire has a planned burn at the Jackson Demonstration Forest. The agency says it’s to continue to celebrate and learn from traditional cultural practices while honoring the stewardship and heritage of tribal partners. This comes after a burn near Fort Bragg earlier this year, which Cal Fire says was the first part of their long-term restoration project to improve acorn health and harvesting potential in the area. The forest is managed by CAL FIRE, which characterizes their work there as a living laboratory for “restorative ecological research and landscape for interested local tribes to practice Traditional Ecological Knowledge, with support from state partners”.

An appeals court in Calif. has ruled Prop 22, which was on the 2020 ballot allowing side hustle work to be classified as independent contractors, is mostly constitutional but part of the measure doesn’t work. The court ruled the distinction between employees and contractors is quite different as employees can get benefits and certain protections that independent contractors don’t. But the appeals court didn’t agree with the lower court ruling that Prop. 22 was unconstitutional on the whole. The part struck down was a definition of the legislation related to unions for gig workers as amendments to the Proposition.

Several dozen school districts across Northern California are going to be on hand at an employment fair in Sacramento. The Pre-K-12 employment fair from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday will feature sixty local education agencies looking for teachers, language, speech and hearing therapists, mental health clinicians, and paraeducators, and classified positions, like office, technical, facilities, and food service staff. The event is co-hosted by the California Center on Teaching Careers, the Tulare County Office of Education and the Sacramento County Office of Education. Participants can also join virtually.

For more information and to register, go here:

Two students have been arrested on suspicion of bringing knives to Santa Rosa’s Montgomery High School, where a student was stabbed to death earlier this month. A 15-year-old and 17-year-old student were arrested last Friday, but police didn’t announce that until yesterday. Police first said a younger student had a weapon on campus, which they found out on social media. Investigators didn’t reveal why the kids brought the knives to school, but say they were not linked to the fatal stabbing March 1st. They have a police officer stationed at the campus. Also, we found out the principal and assistant principal were put on leave. That update was posted on the district’s website but had no other details.