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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.

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