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Ukiah firefighters are warning people to get ready for fire season.  The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority tells the Ukiah Daily Journal that residents should trim trees and clear your yard of extra vegetation that will dry up and fuel any wildfires.  The rain helped delay the fire season, but it may burn hotter and faster with the extra growth.  An engineer and fire inspector says keeping your grass and weeds mowed and your trees trimmed you can reduce fire danger to your property.  Notices to those who don’t keep up their lawns will go out after the state bans burning.  The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority does spring and fall inspections to make sure codes are enforced. They say to mow in the mornings, before it gets hot and dry.  Tree branches should be 6 feet from the ground and get ride of brush piles. You can check out the Fire Safety tab online on the city’s website.

A reminder that there is a prescribed burn is scheduled for today and tomorrow.  Cal Fire is conducting the burn north of the Chamberlain Creek Fire Center off of Highway 20 east of Fort Bragg. In MendoVoice online, Cal Fire hopes to improve wildlife habitat with the burn, to help introduce new growth and reduce fire fuels.  You may see smoke with the burn planned through 5pm tonight and on Wednesday.  Cal Fire will cover about 100 acres in burn plots, and leave islands of unburned areas for small animals. 

The Mendocino National Forest has limited access to recreation areas after some damage after this winters storms.   During Memorial Day Weekend, a forest supervisor says crews are working on downed trees, plugged culverts and washouts after fire damage and storm hazards continue.  Some roads have lingering snow pack, so these paths should only be driven on by four wheel drive vehicles, trailers and RVs are not advised. While crews continue working on roads and debris, visitors should not camp under dead trees or hanging limbs.  Forest officials say to stay alert, know where you’re going and carry emergency supplies. Cell service is not the best in the area, so be sure to check ahead of time for closures and conditions.

PG&E is warning people of scammers who call people wanting money. The utility reports in KymKemp Online that up and down the coast, in the first few months of this year there were more than 600 scamming attempts.  If you get a call from someone threatening to disconnect you, hang up and call PG&E or log into your account and have customer service confirm where you are in the billing process.  Reports show customers lost over $340,000 from January through April this year.  PG&E will never demand immediate payment, accept prepaid cards or ask for your personal financial information for a rebate over the phone.  Anyone who has been a victim of fraud should contact local police. 

Fort Bragg Police investigated a home on Digger Creek Drive after reports of drug sales.  Last Friday, Fort Bragg and Mendocino County Sheriff’s found 12,000 pills ready to sell.  Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, Ambien, Adderall and suboxone strips were just some of the illegal pilss they had ready to distribute, according to a report released on MendoFever online.  Brian Grizzle and Elias Rutherford were arrested on the scene for felonies including possession, conspiracy, intent to sell and more. Police think some of the pills may contain fentanyl.  The suspected dealer had just received narcotics in the mail, and had an estimated street value of $50 to $60 thousand dollars.

Geiger’s Long Valley Market in Laytonville has been listed for sale at a price of over $3.5 million.  In MendoVoice, the market has ten years left on it’s lease of the 14,500 square foot building.  The store was founded in 1945 as a small general store.  The market in Laytonville is the only full service grocer within a 25 mile range.  Geiger’s  plans to open a new market in Hopland.  An owner of the business says they expect the Hopland location to be bigger and more popular, and will continue to carry organic and local produce. 

The Ukiah Recovery Center Expansion Groundbreaking took place last Friday.  The Recovery Center is part of the Ford Street Project, and recently got over $3 million from the state for the project on Brush Street.  In Mendocino County there were 2 and half times the amount of fentanyl related overdose deaths than the rest of the state.  The new center will grow their classes on anger management, relapse prevention, dealing with shame and more.  During the groundbreaking, some planted flowers and trees for a love one lost to addiction.  The Ukiah Daily Journal reports the expansion of the Ukiah Recovery Center will begin Phase I to build a Treatment Pavilion, followed by Phase II projected to build a 24-bed sober living environment.

Mendocino Cannabis Department’s new online portal will be up and available to use starting next week.  The new app called Accela will help the county by with permit requests and documents for the cannabis industry.  Starting this Friday through May 31st. the tech department will input all current permits and policies, so that on June 1st Accela will be live.  Next Tuesday, May 30th, the department staff will close their counter at 2pm for training in the new digital process.  The department will send out a Canna Note with links to the Citizen Access Portal.

California’s rivers are surging, and have led to another death, this time in the Central Valley in the Kings River.  Fresno County Sheriff’s say a 4 year old boy and his 8 year old sister were swept away by the current almost 2 miles from where the kids went into the water.  Kings River has been closed to recreation due to the high water levels.  It happened Sunday afternoon, and it took about an hour and a lot of law enforcement, search and rescue to discover the bodies of the children, who were not wearing life jackets.  Authorities say waterway conditions are getting worse as the snow pack melts into the valleys.  It’s best to stay away from larger rivers now, and stay near smaller creeks and waterways.  Always have a life jacket and make a plan to stay safe.

The debt ceiling crisis could mean trouble for California as well.  In the Ukiah Daily Journal, hundred of thousands of jobs in the state could be lost if the federal government defaults. A Moody’s Analytics report shows the state unemployment rate increasing from 4.5 percent, reported last month, to 6.2 percent this summer and maybe even 8.7 percent next year if the federal debt limit isn’t successfully increased.  California could lose over $840,000 jobs.  President Biden and Speaker McCarthy continue in the debt limit negotiations now, and most recently seemed optimistic.  Federal employees and businesses that rely on government spending could see the worst of the problem if an agreement isn’t reached soon.

$1 billion dollars has been spent in the state to combat the worsening opioid crisis.  Fentanyl test strips, naloxone, medical care and awareness campaigns have been dedicated to an epidemic that continues to change in powerfully harmful ways.  California even called on the National Guard to help find drug traffickers.  In KFF Health News, the crisis increasingly flooded with fentanyl and is getting worse. Drug overdoses in the state now kill more than 2 times as many people in car crashes.   Information from the CDC shows 12,000 people died in California.  Public health experts are asking the state to divert offenders from prison into treatment and increased anti-addiction meds. 

The University of California Cooperative Extension received $1.5 million in funding from the USDA and matching contributions from local government, nonprofits and foundations. In the next three years they plan create a California North Coast Emergency Food System Partnership across six counties including Mendocino and Sonoma Counties.

The Extension helps local efforts with governmental resources to make sure communities get food assistance during disasters and generally strengthens community food resources. In a press release on KymKemp online, NorCal has experienced wildfires, floods, drought, earthquakes and landslides, and the local and regional food programs saw increased pressure to feed more people. Grant money will help the group with projects to assess needs and resources to help the communities in the region access different food supply channels.

After a series of atmospheric river storms early this year, the region’s water supply reservoirs are nearly full. In an update from Sonoma Water, the agency warns that drought will continue to be a regular thing in California.  Water saving practices should not be forgotten even with the heavy rains that fell.  Lake Mendocino is about 90 percent full and Lake Sonoma is at 99 percent, as of the latest data from the Russian River Water Update this week.  In a press release yesterday, water infrastructure projects are getting streamlined.  Governor Newsom signed an Executive Order that aims to speed up construction, permitting and court review to maximize funds and projects to help the state’s waterways. 

A new study just released by UCLA says pot smokers are not at risk of COPD. The new findings come as health officials warn of other health problems possibly associated with smoking weed. Advocates say it’s a victory over false information and that cannabis users suffer from the same sickness cause by tobacco. Opponents say all smoking is bad.

The 2023 Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities chose Ukiah High student Cody Zeher to be a delegate in their meeting this summer. The Youth Leadership Forum holds an annual leadership program for students with disabilities to help create a Personal and Career Leadership Plan. Cody explained in a press release that his disability made it hard to speak and walk.  After going through the foster care system, and working through his disability, he is now able to use his voice and communicate to the community around him.  The forum will have virtual and in session programs in mid-July at California State University in Sacramento. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a new report today and it predicts a hot summer for California.  NOAA reports NorCal will be hotter-than-average. Data shows that while heavy downpours lifted the state out of urgently dry conditions about 6 percent of the state is dry enough again to be considered in a drought.  Researchers say that number will go up.  There’s an 80 percent chance that El Nino will hit the state before the end of July.  The tidal event may increase the chances for hurricanes.

Governor Newsom has announced that today as California State Fire Marshal Centennial Day.  Over a century ago, the state created the Office of the Fire Marshal.  Today, Acting State Fire Marshal Daniel Berlant is responsible for creating fire codes and putting together strategies to prepare communities for wildfire.  The Fire Marshal reviews all of California’s fire and life safety inspections and enforces training and education for the California fire service. 

The annual Bottlerock Festival is gearing up for this weekend in Napa.  The three-day festival includes 20 California artists as well as chart-toppers across the country.  In total there are 75 bands that will perform on five stages.

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