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Category Archives: 94.5 K-Wine News

94.5 K-Wine Local News Reports

The Lake County Public Services Department announced a few parking lot closures.  The Lakeside County Park lot will be closed through June 1.  The Alpine County Park lot will be closed on Saturday, June 3rd. The department will be making repairs and improvements and maintenance work.

Lake County High Schools are celebrating their graduations this week.  In Lake County News, seniors from Loconoma Valley High, Carle High, Natural High and Richard H. Lewis Alternative schools will graduate tonight.  Other high schools in the county will celebrate graduation tomorrow and Friday evening.

A Northern California judge dismissed criminal charges against PG&E, in connection to the Zogg Fire of 2020.  The wildfire killed four people and burned about 88 square miles, destroying more than 200 structures in its path.  Yesterday PG&E faced 11 charges, including seven felony counts of involuntary manslaughter and more.  Shasta Superior Court Judge Daniel Flynn ruled that prosecutors did not put forth sufficient evidence that PG&E engaged in criminal conduct.   The utility settled with the California Public Utilities Commission late last year and this month paid $150 million, when they found that poor record keeping prevented PG&E from removing the tree that touched a power line starting the fire.

A good part of California’s coast could be eroded in 73 years, in a new US Geological Survey study revealed.  In the Bay Area News Group, Rising global warming is make the sea levels rise, and wash away anywhere from 25% to 70% of the state’s beaches.  A lead researcher says management efforts should be done immediately to prevent the loss of one of California’s natural resources.  And without coastline, more damages are likely to happen to infrastructure and buildings.  Using 20 years worth of satellite images, the report forecast sea levels to rise from about 2 feet to 10 feet along California’s coast. Stretches of Mendocino’s coast including Point Arena could be at a higher risk.

People have been leaving California for other states.  The problem is, they’re taking their tax dollars away.  The IRS found that California lost about $29 billion in 2021.  The Golden State went from a budget surplus, to a deficit.  In Yahoo Finance, migration from the state represents a trend that rose during the COVID emergency as high-income workers and businesses looked for lower-tax areas. A lot of Californians are moving to the Lone Star State. Texas has seen an extra $5 billion in increased tax revenue from migrating Californians. 

The Clearlake City Council is meeting this week to hear an investigation into the North Bay Animal Services shelter.  Clearlake Police Chief Tim Hobbs will present a report to the council on Thursday, detailing numerous allegations and concerns that the shelter is improperly handling animals and more.  In Lake County News, there have been complaints about overcrowding, cleaning protocols, donation distribution and veterinary care.  The meeting Thursday will also cover labor negotiations with the Clearlake Middle Management Association, road improvement and a proclamation of June as LGBTQ+ month.

The Redwood Valley County Water District Board met earlier this month to talk water.  A well has been discovered with a significant amount of water at the Masonite site.  Proposed housing development in the Millview County Water District would pull water from one of their wells, representatives from Redwood Valley are going to make a second test pump to see if water rights could be acquired.  Redwood Valley has been given permission to divert water from Lake Mendocino, the water will be pumped to the treatment plant.  In MendoFever online, the District is planning to have a special meeting to approve lifting the 55-gallon per day limit. They also discussed the first meeting of the Russian River Water Forum and agreed more information needs to be heard from all interested parties as PG&E plans to decommission the hydroelectric dam site.

A California appeals court said yesterday that Leslie Van Houten, a follower and killer for Charles Manson, should be let out on parole.  The appellate court is reversing an earlier decision by Governor Newsom.  Van Houten has been recommended for parole five times in the past 7 years, all were rejected by former Governor Brown and Newsom. The state’s Attorney General has asked the California Supreme Court to stop her release.  AP is reporting that Van Houten is now in her ‘70s, serving a life sentence or helping kill Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. The court said she has shown extraordinary rehabilitative efforts, insight, remorse and support from family and friends.  AG Bonta may request a stay of the ruling. 

Small California businesses, especially those owned by women and people of color, can now apply for a program that offers business advice, mentorship and a chance at seed money. The ICA Fund offers a 12-week program called “The Accelerator at ICA” that focuses on strategy for growth, personnel, capital, and investment readiness. Once participants complete the program they are eligible for seed money. ICA’s business accelerator accepts applications four times a year and the next one is open now. The program is funded by philanthropy and by the feds and is one of ten nonprofit venture capital Certified Development Financial Institutions in the U-S, and the only one in California.

The California Highway Patrol has issued a Feather Alert for Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity and Sacramento counties for an at-risk missing woman.   Cassandra Miller is missing, and was last seen in the city of Loleta in Humboldt County.  Authorities say she is on foot and wearing a black Bear River Tribal hooded sweatshirt.  The Feather Alert is used by law enforcement to investigate the suspicious or unexplainable disappearance of an indigenous person.  Miller is 33 years old, five foot 4 and weighs about 210 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes.  She is a tribal affiliate of the Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria.  Call police if you see her or have any information.

Art Center Ukiah is hosting an art show about cannabis with 30 pieces by artists from the Ukiah Valley, the North County and the Coast.  In Willits news, the ACU with the Willits Center for the Arts and the Gualala Center for the Arts called on artists of all types for a competition to be showcased this Friday in Ukiah.  The show opened earlier this month at the Willits Center for the Arts.  The show includes photographs, statues and more all involving cannabis.  The Arts Council of Mendocino helped guide and support the show, sponsored by Sparetime Supply in Willits. 

There will be a special event this weekend to honor Skunk Train singer Greg Schindel who faces cancer.  The train will leave Willits at 1:30 Saturday.  The event will raise funds for the locally famous singer who’s been performing on the Skunk Train since 1988.  The benefit train will take a two hour, 16-mile trip through the redwoods to the Noyo River Canyon and back. In MendoVoice, Schindel helped develop the “Northern California Transcendental Folk Jazz” sound and has worked in Willits’ schools for decades.

Over the holiday weekend, gas prices were higher in reaction to demand.  In the Press Democrat, nationally a gallon of gas was about $3.57 on average.  In California, current prices are averaging about $4.83, up about 6 percent recently, but lower than last year when gas was well over $6.  California has the most expensive gas in the nation, followed by Hawaii and Washington.  Bay Area gas is about $5 right now, with Sacramento at about $4.71 according to Stacker statistics.

One week from today, the East Region will hold their Town Hall at the Moose Lodge at 4pm in Clearlake Oaks.  The group will introduce new sheriff Rob Howe who will share his goals and talk about his department, according to Lake County News.  The meeting will also include a discussion on Lake County’s 10-year road rehab project.  An update on the Catfish Derby will be presented.  Commercial cannabis projects and task force will have updates along with the Northshore Fire protection District.   

As schools close up for the summer, some kids will have to find other ways to get lunch.  The Redwood Empire Food Bank is returning to make sure kids have food.  The program for kids under 18 will begin next Monday at sites including in Cloverdale and Healdsburg. The Press Democrat reports the food bank is federally funded and supported by the Sonora County Library, Boys and Girls Clubs and more.   After COVID era policies, this year the bank is offering sit-down meals.  Dial 211 for more information.

The Mendocino National Forest is hiring for a lot of positions.  The forest offices in Willows and in Upper Lake have positions they hope to fill by mid-June.  In a press release, the Mendocino National Forest lists tribal liaison, information and administrative support, archaeologist, biologist and forester as just some of the jobs they need to fill soon.  Check with the local offices for more information.

Short-term rentals like those used in Airbnb and Vrbo could get taxed to support affordable housing in the state.  In Cal Matters, lawmakers are considering a measure to help increase housing with Senate Bill 584.  The bill would charge a fifteen percent tax on short-term rentals for places that rent out less than 30 days, starting in 2025.  It could generate about $150 million annually, with local occupancy taxes.  The senate is set to vote on the bill today, but it has to pass by the end of the week to continue in this year’s session.  Proponents of the bill say the rental tax could help fund housing projects through new construction and rehab.  Opponents, like the California Chamber of Commerce have concerns that larger hotels would have an unfair advantage over local rental owners.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife have announced the expansion of its Wolf-Livestock Compensation Pilot Program.  The program has three parts to it.  Ranchers throughout the state have been able to apply for compensation for livestock loss due to wolf attacks.  The department is also helping fund non-lethal deterrent.  In a press release from the department today, ranchers with livestock in known wolf pack territories may now be eligible for indirect economic impacts.  Reduced calf weight and lower pregnancy rates associated in wolf territories can be compensated.  The Wolf-Livestock Compensation Program is one of many strategies the state is using to mitigate conflict in the state.  The Wolf-Livestock Compensation Program website has more information and ways to apply.

Noyo Beach wants people to come get driftwood.  In the past, City Public Works crews removed driftwood, or by people who got permits.  This year the City of Fort Bragg says the beach west of the Noyo Bridge is open for people to take all the driftwood they can get.  Collecting driftwood is not legal in state parks.  The free driftwood offer is only for Noyo Beach though June.  In MendoVoice online, there are some conditions.  Wood can only be removed during daylight hours.  People must follow all park rules and make sure to be cautious of people and pets on the beach. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the beach, and must park in paved lots. Officials do warn that you shouldn’t use driftwood as firewood; sea salt in the wood can release toxins when burned.  

Clearlake Police will be temporarily closing Lakeshore Drive tomorrow morning.  It will be around Olympic Drive to Pomo Dive for an hour starting at 9am.  Pomo Road from Lakeshore to Arrowhead will also be closed until 10am.

Caltrans is hosting a virtual open house for the Pudding Creek Bridge upgrade tomorrow from 5:30 to 6:30.  The agency will give information on the project at the north end of Fort Bragg.  In MendoVoice online, the cost of the project for the new bridge is about $8.5 million.  The 65 year old bridge is getting rehabbed to be wider and more pedestrian friendly.  Caltrans expects backups throughout the summer there. 

A fight that erupted at the Lake County Fairgrounds left one person with serious injuries, and authorities are asking for help finding the people responsible for the assault. It happened Sunday, at the second night of the Memorial Weekend Opener for the Lakeport Speedway.  Lake County News is reporting just before 10pm, a brawl broke out during the boat races.  Joseph Simpson of Ukiah was injured and airlifted to Kaiser in Vacaville. Nelson was beat up by several people.  Organizers say the crowd size contributed to the disruption.  If anyone knows anything about the battery, place call CHP Clear Lake.

At least two people were injured in a crash near the Mendocino and Humboldt County lines.  It happened Saturday when a truck rolled off of Highway 101 and landed on its side. Grace and Bobby Hill were driving home when the truck veered off the road.  Grace had just gone through surgery for a broken arm. According to information on KymKemp online, a GoFundMe has been set up for the couple, who only had liability insurance.  First responders sent for a helicopter to take the two injured to the hospital.

A tourist from Argentina was sentenced to five years in state prison for robbery.  Matias Vietto was sentenced Friday for robbery with a gun last December. Vietto robbed Mi Esperanza Market in Boonville and took $17,000 in cash then fled.  Vietto went to San Francisco then flew to New York City, where he was arrested by the New York Port Authority.  According to MendoFever online, Vietto’s parents wired the stolen cash amount in restitution to Mendocino County. Vietto says a cocaine addiction that triggered his behavior. 

State Farm Insurance has announced it will stop covering property and casualty insurance in the state.  The company said Friday that rising construction costs and catastrophe exposure are too much to handle in California.  In the Press Democrat, they will stop accepting applications for coverage on Saturday for personal and business lines.  State Farm said it will work with the California Department of Insurance to restore its coverage in the state.  The company has the largest share of property and casualty insurance in the US and controls over 8 percent of California’s market. Friday evening, a spokesperson said there are factors beyond their control including climate change and global inflation that prompted the company to stop issuing new policies.

California’s own Vice President Kamala Harris became the first woman to deliver a commencement at West Point on Saturday.  The AP is reporting that Harris congratulated about 950 graduates but warned of an unsettled world with Russian aggression and threats from China.  The visit is her first to the academy, as she joined the Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth who just 2 years ago became the first woman to hold the top civilian post. 

Ukiah Police arrested a man for choking a woman last week.  In a release in the Ukiah Daily Journal, Andru Campbel had a restraining order filed against him by the victim and has a history of domestic violence charges.  Campbell was found and arrested on Thomas Street, at what some sources say was a relative’s home.  He is charged with suspicion of domestic battery, and violating probation and a protective order and more.  He is in the Mendocino County Jail under a S130 thousand bond. 

US Representative Jared Huffman announced he is reintroduction the Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation and Working Forests Act.  Huffman said Thursday that the act would include nearly 260,000 acres of national forest in Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties as federal wilderness.  That would include about 480 miles of river under the nation’s strictest environmental protections for waterways, according to the Press Democrat.  The bill would include wildfire mitigation work in the 2020 August Complex wildfire footprint.  It’s a package of 3 bills lawmakers call the Protecting Unique and Beautiful Landscapes by Investing in California, an acronym PUBLIC. 

The US Forest Service can continue to use fire retardant while fighting wildfires.  A US District Court in Montana ruled in favor of the department to use the firefighting tool, and was a loss for an environmental case against the stuff. Plaintiffs argue the retardant chemical violates the Clean Water Act.  In Lake County News, the case for tool helps prevent wildfire from spreading and causing more harm outweighs the fact that some parts of retardant may harm water tables. 

A Mendocino County worker is in jail charged with having hundreds of image of child pornography.  Brian Klovski works for he county in sensitive data about the local homeless community. In KymKemp online, the 43 year old is facing two felony counts, and includes imaging of kids under 12 years old.  Klovski works for the social services department as the county’s Homeless Management information System Administrator according to his social media information.  He was hired in 2016. Klovski was taken to jail last Friday with bail set at $50,000.

The Clearlake Police Department is looking for a missing teenager. The 13 year old is a white kid wit short brown hair and brown eyes.  His name is Dominick Berwisk.  Dominick is 5 foot 6 and weighs about 160 pounds.  He was last seen wearing a brown jacket and black pants with white tennis shoes in the Clearlake area.  If you’ve seen Dominick or have any information, call Clearlake Police at 707-994-8251, extension 1.

In a ruling that angered environmentalists, the US Supreme Court ruled last week to decrease protections for wetlands.  However, the state of California will still work to protect the waterways despite the federal ruling.  Thursday, the Supreme Court ordered that the Clean Water Act only applies to wetlands connected to bodies of water.  In the court’s order, five justices implied that if they don’t limit federal authority, many landowners would be at risk of criminal prosecution. 

Teachers unions in districts nationally and in California are demanding better pay, benefits and class sizes among other demands as they renew their contracts.  In the Record Bee, the unions are bargaining in the common good, a process that updates facilities, increases medical staff and more.  The common good labor practice is not the norm in the state, according to a spokesman for the California School Boards Association.  A report on the budget outlook shows California is unlikely to afford spending levels as they sit now.  Unions want to see thousands of new schools in California over the next eight years. 

California legislators pushed bills forward just before the holiday weekend.  They include increased requirements to get a Carry Conceal Permit in the state.  Another bill allows legislative staffers the right to unionize.  A bill on the way would divest state pension funds in fossil fuel companies.  Another bill is proposing increased protections for California abortion providers.  And finally, the Senate approved a bill to decriminalize hallucinogens like magic mushrooms. 

The Regional Parks River Shuttle is running again, taking people to two beaches along the Russian River.  The bus will run now through Labor Day 10am to 6pm on weekends.  Every half hour the bus will take people from Forestville to Steelhead Beach Regional Park and Sunset Beach River Park.  In the Press Democrat, tickets are $5 and kids under 18 are free. 

Fort Bragg’s City Council will gather next Monday for a special meeting on the proposed Grocery Outlet.  In MendoVoice, it’s part of the latest planning for the company to build a franchise in Fort Bragg.  The old county building at the south end of Franklin Street will be demolished if Grocery Outlet builds a store there as planned.  Sometimes, the franchise rehabs a site to build on, but the site in Fort Bragg is too old and moldy.  The meeting on June 5th is a one item agenda that includes certification of Grocery Outlet’s environmental impact report.  Lindy Peters, a member of the city council said the Mayor will recuse himself from the vote, as he owns property near the site.  The 4-member council will vote next Tuesday.

Sea otters may be reintroduced to the North Coast, according to reporting on a summit last week organized by Sonoma County officials.  The Press Democrat reports that a study by the US Fish and Wildlife Service analyzed the potential for the sea otter’s return could help stabilize the northern kelp forest and help the ecology of the near shore habitat.  The otters could help get the sea urchin population under control.  Studies show that not only do otters have the potential to balance ecosystems near shore, but also could help grow eelgrass, that has recently decreased significantly near coastal rivers.  The sea otters also play a cultural and ceremonial role for local tribes.  There may be community open houses this summer on sea otter reintroduction if the proposal is approved. 

Boggs Mountain Demonstration State Forest Calso Camp is closed for this season.  In Lake County New, the announcement from Cal Fire Sonoma-Lake-Napa says State Forest staff will be making repairs to trails, roads and buildings after last winter’s storms wreaked damages across the area.  Day-use will be allowed with firewood and rock gathering permits.  If you plan to visit, staff ask that people to check area closures and signs as they continue their work. 

Lake County will begin their summer reading program this week.  Thursday, the library will start the challenge for young children to teens and even adults in the “Find Your Voice” themed program. Starting June 1, you can register for the summer reading challenge on the Library’s website or in person at the Lake County Library. This Saturday, June 3, starting at 10:30 am, the library will host a Super Sign Up event with sidewalk chalk and activities for the kids.  If you reach 1,000 points in the program you will also have a book donated to the library in your name by the Friends of the Lake County Library.

A new state law may make it harder for livestock grazing companies to help mitigate fire risk.  In the AP today, a law is making its way through the legislature that requires goat and sheep herders to get overtime pay for herding the animals.  New state labor regulations could raise the monthly salary of herders from about $4,000 to $14,000, according to the California Farm Bureau.  Labor advocates say the state should investigate their work and living conditions especially since the state is funding goat grazing to reduce wildfire risk. A Northern California company that uses goat grazers says demand has grown a lot this year.  But in January, if new laws take effect, prices will have to rise if herders become farm workers and get the same protections in labor laws.

State Route 175 was reduced to one way traffic this afternoon after a box truck collided with a Tesla between Hopland and Lake County. In MendoFever online, the crash was reported right around noon from CHP.  Thankfully no injuries were reported.  And as the three-day weekend begins keep in mind some roadwork in the area.  Caltrans posted updates for traffic changes.  Bridge work continues south of Willits on US 101. Route 162 has delays with road work south of Dos Rios. Check the Caltrans Quickmap if you plan to travel this weekend.

It is graduation season and in California, some Native American students continue to face bans on native regalia during their ceremonies.  In a press release from Assemblyman James Ramos, some local cases of school districts are setting unnecessary conditions on students’ rights to wear tribal garb, like eagle feathers, during graduation ceremonies.  In a news briefing yesterday Ramos reminded Californians of Assembly Bill 1248, passed in 2018.  The bill says a student may wear traditional adornments at school graduation ceremonies.  Ramos said “Eagle feathers and other symbols of Native American significance are often presented by a proud community to the student as a way to recognize personal achievement.”

The California Air Resources Board approved a landmark ban on a toxic chemical used for chrome plating. Hexavalent chromium, has been shown to be 500 times more carcinogenic than diesel exhaust.  In the Ukiah Daily Journal, it only took about two hours of debate and public comment.  An air board member compared the ban to a rule passed over 45 years ago when lead was phased out of gasoline.  The ruling makes California the first state to ban the substance also known as chromium 6.  Less-toxic trivalent chromium could be used as an alternative.  The legislature set aside $10 million to help the chrome industry change over to the less hazardous material.

The Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce announced it seized over $52 million in illegal cannabis in the first quarter his year.  The take was a 43 percent increase in the number of plants pulled.  In a press release, the Department of Cannabis Control says they targeted larger cultivations with 30 percent fewer search warrants.  The organization says they focused to eliminate unlicensed grows, manufacturing, distribution and retail operations that undercut the licensed and legal cannabis market in the state. In a press release in KymKemp online, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration helped the task force take the actions to combat illegal activities and deter tax evaders.

We announced earlier that the Fort Bragg Animal Shelter will close.  There is new information that may help those who are worried.  The Mendocino Coast Humane Society issued a press release saying the shelter is closing immediately.  In MendoFever, the local Humane Society says the closure of the animal shelter will strain an already tight budget and limited space, but they’ll continue to work with plans to expand their services including veterinary care.  The organization says they are in dire need of community support through donations, volunteering or spreading awareness.

Caltrans will host a virtual open house for the Pudding Creek Bridge Widening and Rail Upgrade Project next week.  The meeting will happen next Wednesday, May 31st from 5:30 to 6:30 pm and discuss the work on State Route 1 north of Fort Bragg in Mendocino County. They’ll talk about the traffic impacts they plan on this summer. The project aims to improve safety for everyone on the road.  The plan is to widen the bridge to2 lanes with a pair of 8 foot wide shoulders.  It will include new sidewalks on SR1 from the briedge south to Elm Street and north to Pudding Creek Drive.  To join the meeting next Wednesday, call 408-418-9388.

The Ukiah High School Fashion Show is going on today.  It was put off for several years, according to the Ukiah Daily Journal, but this year it’s on again.  Today’s show will feature fashion created using conventional materials and will also feature upcycled materials.  One student is upcycling from local thrift stores and will display a skirt made of men’s ties.  Other students are upcycling jeans into new pieces.  The show is from 7-9pm tonight at Ukiah High, admission is only $5.  They’ll have some merchandise they created for sale. 

Tuition hikes may be needed as California State University finds itself in a budget deficit.  In a new report CSU’s revenue accounted for only 86 percent of the total costs, with a gap of nearly $1.5 million last year.  On top of that gap, there is about $6 billion backlog in maintenance projects.  In the Record Bee, the school plans to raise tuition for only the 3rd time in 12 years that would begin in September of 2024.  During a Board of Trustees meeting this week, revenues from tuition and state support will only cover about 30 to 40 percent of what it needs to operate.  One analysis makes clear that Cal State will fall $1 million short of its costs next year.  In addition to a tuition increase, the unionized workers at the school want a 12 percent raise. With the state working out its own budget, CSU will have to consider more options to stay afloat.

A new poll shows 2 out of 3 voting Californians think it’s time for Senator Dianne Feinstein to step down.  In the Mendocino Beacon, the poll finds 42 percent of voters think the senior Senator should resign now, and let Governor Newsom appoint a successor.  The primary election is less than a year away, and the poll shows Democrats should hold the seat with a 2 to 1 party registration advantage.  Representative Adam Schiff follows at about 14 percent, according to the poll.  Feinstein’s term has been plagued with health concerns as she dealt with complications from shingles.  She returned to the Senate earlier this month, and cast votes that were delayed because of her absence. 

A Lakeport woman has pled not guilty this week, in the murder of her boyfriend.  Melinda Fred was in Lake Count Superior Court on Tuesday after being arrested for stabbing her boyfriend, Christopher Burrows last week.  Fred was charged with murder, assault with a deadly weapon and domestic abuse, according to Lake County News.  The District Attorney says her bail was set at $1 million at her arraignment last Thursday. She will return to court June 13 for a bail review hearing to ask for a reduced bail.

Governor Newsom announced a plan to increase the state’s clean energy capacity to 100 percent by 2045.  In California Insights today, Newsom’s plan is called “Building the Electricity Grid of the Future: California’s Clean Energy Transition Plan.”  The roadmap outlines the state’s challenges and how they plan to tackle them.  This week, one bill aimed to reduce gasoline only vehicle sales significantly.  This month, bills were introduced to lower rail road and big rig emissions. 

Mendocino County Museum will honor Memorial Day with extended hours and free admission on Sunday May 28, from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The Museum invites the public to visit the 2023 Car Show and Community Festival, at Recreation Grove Park from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., where a special entry from our education collection will be on display. For more information, check out the Mendocino County Museum online.

California utility regulators say electricity shortages and rolling blackouts are unlikely to happen this summer.  In the Press Democrat, two new power sources have been secured and the state’s reservoirs are full enough to restart hydroelectric power plants that were dormant during the drought.  Also an added 8,500 megawatts of power from wind, solar and battery storage will come online this September. The vice chair of the California Energy Commission says they are relieved to be in a much better position that they were last year. Flex alerts may be issued in the case of wildfire threats to transmission lines. 

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife reported two new packs of wolves have been spotted in Northern California.  They may become the fifth and sixth confirmed wolf groups in the state in the last century.  In Lake County News, the department will monitor the groups to see if either had pups this year and if they are related to the state’s known packs. California has three existing wolf families in Lassen County, Siskiyou County and in eastern Plumas County.  When the Lassen pack began from an Oregon litter the state decided to protect wolves under the California Endangered Species Act.

The Bureau of Land Management is reminding people to play in NorCal’s waters with caution.  Water-related accidents are some of the most common cause of death in parks, forests and waterways.  Streams are especially cold and fast this year with the heavy snowpack and epic rains.  People going into the water should be wary of the cold currents and go in groups.  Life jackets are essential for kids in boats, and really for everyone wanting some water fun this weekend.  Officials are urging people to know about closures and warnings.  They also say stay hydrated and watch out for rattlesnakes. 

The Lower Lake Community Action Group is getting ready for its Lower Lake Daze & Street Fair on Sunday from 10am to 3pm.  This year’s theme is “Then & Now.” The parade takes place at 11 a.m. For more information visit the Lower Lake Community Action Group’s website.

The Lake County Public Services Department announced that the Middletown Pool will open tomorrow.  The pool on Big Canyon Road will be open from noon to 5pm daily from Wednesday through Sunday.  In Lake County News, season passes for families are $84.  Daily pool fees will be $2 or less.

Lakeport will hold their annual Memorial Day celebration tomorrow beginning with a pancake breakfast at the Lakeport Community Center, hosted by the Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs of Lakeport.  The Lakeport Memorial Parade begins at 11am.

The Konocti Bay Sailing Club will have a sailing swap meet at Braito’s Marina in Kelseyville tomorrow from 9 to 11am.  The club is cleaning out old inventory including regatta shirts and other club merchandise.  Members can bring used but working sailing gear and hardware to swap, sell, trade or donate.  In Lake County News today, community members say it’s a good time to get advice from club members.  They are asking people to not bring boats to the marina to sell, due to space issues.  There will be a boat race slated to start at 1pm, and there may be crew opportunities to join.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced a more than $20 million dollar grant for 15 projects to support salmon habitat and support wetlands restoration.  It’s the third round of grants made this year bringing the total funding awarded to nearly $80 million.  In KymKemp online, the department says strategies for new projects must adapt as challenges to the state’s biodiversity continually changes.  The department has streamlined the grant process as projects awarded in the past few months have already begun. . 

The “Castle” property in Lucerne is on the market again, after the Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians released the property to its owner several weeks ago.  In the Record-Bee, Andrew Beath is looking for a buyer and is listing the 68,000 square foot property.  A tribal administrator confirmed Thursday had planned to use the property with a $5.2 million grant from the California Business Consumer Services and Housing Agency for a youth homeless facility.  But, area residents and changes within the tribal administration have stalled the project.  They are looking for a different site and will continue trying to find the best spot for the program. Now, “Castle” owner Mr. Beath is looking into rehabbing the property after settling a tax dispute with Lake County. 

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors approved nearly $2 million for behavioral health and recovery services in the county at their meeting on Tuesday.  On Cannabis the board approved revisions to a $17.5 million state grant to help cultivators get to state licensure, according to KymKemp online.  A board member reported that they expect 500-700 applications anticipated to fall within the grant program.  An additional nearly $5 million is available to help growers fit into compliance with environmental requirements.  Some say the grants and work by the Cannabis Department indicate the county is supporting local licensed cannabis operators.  They now can focus on market access development and state policies. 

The Mendocino Board of Supervisors also approved a grant application to the California Coastal Commission this week, and it was awarded $3 million to help the county to update planning in sea level rise.  On Wednesday, the Grass Roots Institute held a meeting with representatives from the commission, the county, and the cities of Point Arena and Fort Bragg.  In the Mendocino Beacon today, planning for sea level rise has been organized into Local Coastal Programs. The programs help set policies to protect coastal resources and prioritize   land and water use. The City of Fort Bragg got $900,000 and Point Arena was allotted about $100,000 for their parts of the program. 

The Lake County Board of Supervisors had a busy meeting this week.  The California Department of Insurance was at the meeting, to present a Safer from Wildfires framework.  The department reminded the board that residents can get insurance discounts with wildfire prevention.  They urged people to make that defensible space, use fire rated roofing and using fire resistant vents.  They reminded people that some buildings, like sheds are highly combustible and should be at least 30 feet from your home.  In the Record Bee, the Department of Insurance discussed the “Fair Plan” that gives people a 10 percent discount in fire wise communities.  You can check out the Department of Insurance online for more details.

The Lake County Office of Education is looking for applicants for the board.  The open seat is for eh Board of Education Trustee Area 5 for the Kelseyville area.  Sadly, Anna Ravenwoode, the previous board member passed away late last month.  The term on the board is for about a year and a half, through December of next year.  After that, to hold on to the seat, you must run for election in November of 2024 for a term that will last through December of 2026.  In Lake County News, the board member must live in the Kelseyville area, be a registered voter and qualified to hold office.  If you want to fill the position, you have until June 2, just over a week from now, to apply.

A new bar is headed to Fort Bragg.  The Tall Guy Taproom and Brewery had been delayed a few months, but when it opens the owner, Patrick Broderick hopes an early summer start will be enthusiastically welcomed.  It is located on North Franklin and East Laurel Streets in the former Sears building.  The brew equipment being installed includes crafting and aging containers that will fit in with the tall ceilings. Customers can bring in their own food as well, as there won’t be any servers, but instead patrons can belly up to the bar for service.  Broderick has a long resume of craft brews and needs six weeks for his first batches to be ready for the public. In Fort Bragg Advocate News, Broderick’s opening lineup may include a Mexican lager, a Belgian white, an English porter and some IPAs.

There was a car versus pedestrian accident in Fort Bragg last night.  No one was injured in the incident. At around 9:30pm, MendoFever reports a 23-year-old man was hit by a car in front of Nello’s Market and Deli on North Main Street.  The man who was hit had no serious injuries and waived medical assistance.

Fort Bragg authorities are warning of scam callers.  In the Advocate News today, Fort Bragg Police say mock Medicare calls are being made.  They urge people to not give out any personal information, especially financial details. In a social media post, FBPD say to treat your Medicare information like you would your credit cards.  The agency will not call and ask for payment over the phone. Call police if a scammer calls you or report the fraudulent call at

The Adventist Hospital Ukiah Valley had successful and eye opening trauma experiences last week, with the annual trauma drill and exercises.  The hospital was the scene of mock emergencies, including crash victims.  The event brought area emergency responders together in trauma field exercises so they could learn from what happens out in the field, in the ER and in cases of mass casualties.  In The Ukiah Daily Journal, community members acted as victims, and got to experience how triage happens when emergencies occur.  Event sessions included pediatric trauma care that helped illustrate the challenges first responders have in treating kids.  The fire engines, ambulances and even a helicopter were on hand for the public and fellow first responders to get acquainted with during the event.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is urging people to stay aware of bears and their cubs.  In a release Wednesday, the department says it’s the time of year for last year’s cubs to move away from their mother and become independent.  They say if a bear cub is the size of a cat, it is a new cub and the mother is most certainly nearby.  There is some concern about young cubs acting odd, and the department is looking into cases of encephalitis in young bears.  Officials are asking people to stay away, do not feed the bears, and call them if you see a bear behaving erratically.

Retired Military personnel may get tax exemptions for their pensions.  A bill was approved this week that would halt veterans’ income tax. Assemblyman James Ramos introduced the bill early this year.  In Lake County News, Ramos explained California is the only state to tax military pensions.  The bill, he hopes, will bring some financial relief to the state residents who’ve served.  The state is home to the most active-duty military personnel in the country, but that population is on the decline. AB 46, if passed, would take effect at the start of 2024. 

California has seen 31 atmospheric rivers so far this year, the heaviest rainfall in decades.  That means plants will do a good deal of growing more than ever this year.  When the summer heat dries the abundant vegetation wildfires will have plenty of fuel to burn.  In the North Bay Business Journal this week, grazing livestock demand is on the rise.  Sheep and goats can help literally eat up that extra growth.  Grazing operations are on the increase, with customers wanting their lawns and fields pruned down.  Local companies who provide the grazers are getting booked through fall, already.  It is something to consider as people plan to make fire safe space around their homes.

A state Senate bill has been sent to the Assembly that would increase workers’ compensation benefits for California first responders.  Cal Fire officials are worried about the many workers who experience post traumatic stress.  The legislation is aimed to ease first responders as they get medical care through state-run insurance.  It would extend PTSD as an occupational illness through 2032, rather than letting the provision expire in 2025.  It also broadens who can claim the mental illness to include police officers, dispatchers and more.  In Cal Matters, the bill addresses what many are calling a crisis among emergency responders.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is hosting a Beaver Restoration Informational Meeting today from 2 to 3 pm virtually.  It’s a first in a series of meeting to let the public know about their beaver management efforts.  The departments Beaver Restoration Program will address beaver translocation projects, a coexistence toolkit ad policy updates.  To join in the meeting this afternoon, check out the CDFW’s beaver page and click on the Beaver assisted Restoration tab.

A bill passed the state Senate that would decriminalize psychedelics including magic mushrooms and mescaline.  The sponsor of SB 58, Senator Scott Wiener, said in MendoFever that the passage is helpful for veterans and those who suffer with PTSD, anxiety and depression.  Psychedelics show promise in treating mental health and substance use issues.  Studies have shown psilocybin, found in magic mushrooms, helps reduce symptoms of medication resistant depression.  Also included in the legislation is the use of ayahuasca as a potential treatment for substance abuse and smoking cessation.  The bill is sponsored by Heroic Hearts Project, a veteran organization.

California is putting a two decade moratorium on new card rooms.  Monday, Governor Newsom signed AB 341 pauses new card room licenses for the next 20 years. In the Mendocino Beacon, the bill author Assemblyman James Ramos says the bill helps support the existing gaming industry.  The Gambling Control Act of 1997 had   been extended over the years and finally expired the 1st of this year.  AB 341 continues measured growth without overexpansion, according to Ramos.   Card rooms with less than 20 gaming tables can add up to 10 new ones, in a staggered timeline.  California’s tribes supported the bill that passed the senate earlier this month.

The Mendocino District Attorney acquitted a man of battery. Kenneth Carlile of Ukiah had been charged with misdemeanor battery on his nephew last September.  Carlile testified that his actions were in self-defense.  In claiming self-defense, the burden of proof shifts to the plaintiff. In this case, the jury found Carlile not guilty.

The Noyo Harbor District in Fort Bragg was awarded a $3.2 million grant for revitalization.  Organizers of the application said in KymKemp online, that Mendocino County has a significant role to play in the California Blue Economy.  The Noyo Harbor District adopted a Community Sustainability Plan four years ago with a roadmap to support commercial fishing and harbor-related interests with three goals.  The first goal was an energy efficient ice house to benefit commercial fishing. The second goal was to make a marine-based training program to build up local businesses.  The third goal is to continue the Community Fish market Incubator, to open up markets to the coastal industry.

Healdsburg will be kicking off the 74th annual Future Farmers Country Fair tonight.  The Healdsburg Twilight Parade begins at 6pm.  It will be the first in-person event since 2019.  There are livestock shows and sales, live music and contests in the event with this year’s theme “2023 Red, White and Blue Animal Jamboree.”  In The Press Democrat today, the event is put on by kids in 7th thru 12th grades who raised livestock with FFA and 4-H organizations.  Last year, livestock sales were nearly $1 million dollars that went toward exhibitors and scholarships.  After the parade tonight, there will be live music at Recreation Park.

A homeless woman in Ukiah was confronted by police yesterday, after erratic behavior.  It happened near W. Perkins and South School Streets, when Rachael Seivertson seemed to be high on meth.  While police were talking to her, she picked up a rock and threw it at an officer.  The 8 pound rock hit his face while Seivertson began punching him.  He was able to wrestle the woman to the ground and get her cuffed.  The officer was taken by ambulance to the ER where he got six stitches on his face, according to a Ukiah Police Department press release.  Seivertson was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and violating parole.  She was taken to Mendocino County Jail.  Ukiah Police thanked the Mendocino County Sheriff Deputy who helped get Seivertson under control. 

The Russian River Water Forum met for the first time to go over members’ interests in the Potter Valley Project decommissioning process, as PG&E makes plans to eliminate the two dams that are part of the hydroelectric project that affects two watersheds.  The forum met to discuss diversion from the Eel to the Russian River.  According to MendoFever online, a quarter of the forum represents the Eel River that had been diverted to the Russian River for PG&Es project.  Now, the group must balance the needs of Mendocino and Sonoma Counties with the need to restore the Eel River, tribal fishing rights, and salmon habitat. The four working groups have until January of 2025 to find a solution that fits all interests, when PG&E submits its final surrender plan. 

The 39th Annual Catfish Derby hosted nearly a 1,000 people in Clearlake Oaks last weekend.  In Lake County News, the three-day event had visitors from all over the country converge in the competition and fun. The Derby Committee Chair said the large crowd helped boost the local economy. This years first place winter, Jeremy Cain, caught an almost 26 pound catfish.  He took home a $5,000 cash prize. The Catfish Derby was sponsored by the Clearlake Oaks Glenhaven Business Association who said they raised about $25,000 that will be used in Lake County to support academic and sports programs and more.

Newlyweds from Ukiah were in the spotlight last Sunday as they celebrated their wedding at a Giants game.  During the seventh inning, a couple exchanged their wedding vows and had their first kiss. San Francisco won 7-5, to add to the pairs delight.  In KymKemp online,  the couple, Ben and Heidi Waterman are from Mendocino County.  They had planned to get married in Ukiah or on Lake Mendocino, but changed their minds when Heidi had the idea to bring their wedding to Oracle Park.  The night before, they got to celebrate with some Giants at their hotel’s rooftop lounge.  The baseball wedding has gotten national attention from NBC and CBS sports.

California State Parks is announcing that they will honor veterans, active and reserve military members with free admission to 130 state parks on Memorial Day.  In Lake County News, Anderson Marsh State Historic Park in Lower Lake and Clear Lake State Park in Kelseyville will participate.  A decade ago, then Governor Brown signed a bill that lets the state park system offer military personnel a reduced or free day use at most state parks.  Other free admission is being offered to California fourth graders and their families through the California Sate Park Adventure Pass through a pilot program as well, that is good through the end of August. 

A mountain lion was spotted near Cloverdale yesterday.  A visitor to the River Park Trail saw the large cat around 8:30am, according to a Nixle alert from police. Police and the North Bay Animal Services are investigating the sighting, according to the Press Democrat.  Officials are urging people to use caution when on the trail that runs west of the river between Cloverdale River Park and Cloverdale Cemetery.  Authorities say if you do see a mountain lion, not to approach it.  Pick up kids, leash pets and appear as large as possible.  Open your jacket, raise your arms yell and maintain eye contact.  Never run away from a mountain lion.  Slowly distance yourself and give the big feline time to move away.  

California has asked the Biden administration to approve its plan to ban gasoline only vehicle sales by 2035 in the state.  In Reuters, the plan was approved by the California Air Resources Board and was passed on to the Environmental Protection Agency Monday.  It’s part of a waiver under the Clean Air Act to set zero emission vehicle rules beginning 3 years from now and end sales of gas guzzlers by 2035. In the past, the White House has refused to endorse a set date. Only 6 percent of vehicles sold last year were electric. An EPA proposal last month shows automakers are forecasting to produce 60 percent of electric vehicles by 2030. More states are adopting California’s EV rules with Rhode Island, Washington, Virginia, Vermont and New York among others.

California Highway Patrol is putting a warning out to Memorial Day partiers with the announcement of a Maximum Enforcement Period beginning on Friday.  That means all available officers will be on the lookout for traffic violations, seat belt use and driving under the influence.  KSBW in Monterrey reports last year forty-five people were killed in Memorial Day weekend crashes, a 30 percent increase from the year before.  There were 900 DUI arrests as well.  Maximum Enforcement will end on Memorial Day at midnight.

Walmart will pay half a million dollars to California for illegal online sales of brass knuckles, according to the Bay Area News Group.  Attorney General Rob Bonta announced the settlement Tuesday.  He says 250 brass knuckles were sold though Walmart.  Their website allows for e-commerce and third-party buyers and sellers.  Bonta said “online retailers are responsible for what they are allowing to be offered for sale in our state.”  The state is among 20 other states that outlaw many kinds of brass knuckles or “fist load weapons.” They are considered a deadly weapon under California law.

The UC Davis student accused of murdering two men and wounding a woman appeared in court on Monday.  Carlos Dominguez appeared in Yolo County Superior Court and said “I don’t want an attorney,” saying he wants to represent himself.  The series of brutal attacks at the university began late last month.  Dominguez is charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, according to SFGate.  The only survivor of the attacks was a homeless woman who was stabbed in her tent, and is expected to make a full recovery.  His public defender maintained that the defendant is mentally unstable. A psychiatric evaluation will now be done on the 21-year-old.  His next appearance at court is set for June 6th

California’s Attorney General, Rob Bonta has joined in 49 other states Attorneys General in suing a company for robocalls.  The lawsuit filed against Avid Telecom says the company initiated billions of illegal calls in California and nationwide.  The robocalls allegedly included Social Security Scams, Medicare scams and employment scams.  AG Bonta helped launch a Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force last year, to litigate communications companies that ad to robocall traffic.  In a release from the Attorney General in KymKemp  online, from late 2018 through the beginning of this year, Avid Telecom sent over 24.5 billion calls to customers.  The company also sent over 7.5 billion calls to numbers in the National Do Not Call Registry with over 550,000,000 to people in California. 

May is CalFresh Awareness Month, a time for the program that provides SNAP food benefits to raise awareness.  In Lake County News, there are over 16,500 people getting CalFresh benefits or about $4.7 million per month in the county.  Every $1 in CalFresh makes nearly $2 for the local economy.  Officials say many people who need food may not know they qualify for those benefits.  A family of four making about $3,000 per month could qualify for over $900 in CalFresh benefits.  The state program has a Market Match benefit, where recipients can double their CalFresh spending at local farmers markets.  You can apply online and confidentially and should hear back within 30 days. 

Volunteers helped remove invasive plants from the Usal Forest in Mendocino County.  Last weekend, the Redwood Forest Foundation held an invasive plant removal event, to get rid of the French Broom.  It was the first time since COVID that the foundation was able to hold the event.  According to Willits News, the Mendocino Fire Safe Council let volunteers use six weed wrenches for the event.  Saturday’s mission was to rid the forest of the Mediterranean weed, which can grow as high as 8 feet.  The plant can make about 6,000 seeds that can grow for up to 60 years.  Fire increases its germination rate and acts as a ladder for wildfires to go from ground level into the trees.  The Redwood Forest Foundation will hold another event on June 11 to talk about Sudden Oak Death in bay area trees, and teach residents to identify the disease in the Usal Forest.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors met yesterday and approved a continuation of the local emergency surrounding the weather in late winter.  The board also voted to approve the continuation of emergency conditions due to drought, homelessness, tree mortality and the Clear Lake hitch emergency.  Lake County will divvy out $50,000 to each of the several area senior centers in grants from the Senior Center Grant Awards. A service agreement was made on the Burns Valley Development Project as well as mainline sewer repair between Lake County and the City of Clearlake.  The board also approved the Bridge Replacement Project on First Street, and work on Chalk Mountain Road.  A draft Public Defender Services Program was considered and will stay on the agenda for next week. 

With the warm weather headed into the region, plenty of Northern Californians will be on the road for the Memorial Day weekend.  AAA predicts 37.1 million travelers will hop in their cars to take advantage of the three day weekend. That’s more than 2 million people or 6% more than last year, according to the Press Democrat. Forecasts show national travel has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels.  Gas prices will definitely factor into travelers plans. In California, the price of gas is around $4.80 per gallon.  Nationwide, the average is only $3.50, according to AAA.  Sonoma County prices are higher than most other counties in California at just below the $5 a gallon mark.  Last year though, people paid over $6 a gallon on average.  A drop in crude oil costs and shifting demand are helping to lower the price at the pump. If you’re planning to join the crowd and traveling this weekend, AAA says leave before noon on Friday.

Adventist Health and the Pacific Union College are teaming up to help students in Lake and Mendocino counties.  The goal is to grow the nursing program to meet the demand for health professionals.  In Lake County News, last Friday the president of the North coast Network for Adventist Health said the  nursing workforce is on of their top priorities.  The new nursing education centers are the result of a collaboration to help educate future nurses to work in the area.  In forming the collaboration, they are also making a path to become a Medical Assistant with a Masters Degree in Nursing.  Pacific Union College set out with a mission in 2021 to add online programs and education centers.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors met yesterday and adopted a resolution to widen a bridge over the Navarro River near Philo. The board introduced an ordinance to increase fees charged for carry conceal license renewals and modifications.  California Indian Days Parade in Covelo was approved as was the Hog Farm Hideaway Festival in Laytonville. 

A case of salmonella has been reported in California.  The CDC has linked a salmonella outbreak to Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake Pizza, according to the Sacramento Bee.  The company has temporarily stopped selling its raw dough products like their cookie dough and s’mores dough. Consumers are urged to throw out any Papa Murphy’s dough and to wipe down surfaces it may have touched.  So far, there have been 18 reported cases in 6 states, with at least 2 hospitalizations.

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.

The Fort Bragg Animal Shelter has announced plans to close.  In a social media post, the shelter announced that the remaining animals, 8 dogs and 3 cats are up for adoption, and they’ll be the last ones to go.  They are waiving adoption fees and accepting adoption applications now.  The community will now rely on the shelter in Ukiah with the Fort Bragg Shelter closing up. Residents have reacted to the news with surprise, and alarm. 

A Covelo man has been convicted of murder.  A Mendocino County jury announced Dino Lincoln, also known as Dino Blackbear was found guilty of murder in the second degree as well as a special allegation he used a gun, reckless evading and assault with a motor vehicle.  Because Dino had two past felonies, the Mendocino County Probation Department will make sentencing recommendations as he’ll return to prison. His sentencing is scheduled for July 27th

A motorcycle rider died in a crash in Clear Lake on Friday night.  CHP released information on the accident that also sent the motorcycle passenger to the hospital with serious injuries.  A 60 year old man pulling a boat in his truck turned in front of the bike, striking the two on it.  He wasn’t injured in the accident.  Authorities say drugs or alcohol haven’t been ruled in their investigation.  

There was a fire in Covelo near Hopper Road and Crawford lane on Saturday.  Thankfully within half an hour, firefighters were able to knock it down.  In MendoFever online, there’s no word yet if anyone was injured.  Fire and law officials are investigating the cause.

A man was seriously hurt when his leg got pinned under an overturned tractor in Geyserville.  It happened Friday afternoon around 2:40pm off Nutter Road in the Northern Sonoma County Fire District. The Press Democrat reports the district and Dry Creek Rancheria along with Healdsburg firefighters were on scene.  The man was airlifted to a Santa Rosa Hospital, and was last reported to be in non-life threatening but serious condition.  

A prescribed burn is scheduled for tomorrow.  Cal Fire is conducting the burn north of the Chamberlain Creek Fire Center off of Highway 20 east of Fort Bragg. In a release 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 tomorrow and Wednesday with the burn planned from 11am to 5pm each day.  Cal Fire will cover about 100 acres in burn plots, and leave islands of unburned areas for small animals.  

The Lake County Tribal Health Consortium celebrated a grand opening Friday.  Tribal leadership and community leaders joined in the ribbon cutting at the Southshore Clinic on Olympic Drive.  The new 25,000 square foot outpatient clinic is now fully open and employs around 60 people.  In Lake County News, the ground breaking for the facility happened 3 years ago.  Since then, the price grew to $25 million, as plans had to change with COVID.  With a soft opening last summer, the clinic already has seen thousands of new patients.  The clinic hosts tribal artifacts and a serene setting, among the medical offices and labs. 

A motorcyclist is in critical condition after a crash near Hopland.  A helicopter was called in to take the injured rider to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.  It happened yesterday just before 5pm, when the biker veered off Old River just south of the Fetzer Winery. 

Fort Bragg Police are advising residents about scam callers wanting their information about Medicare account details.  Police are urging people to not provide any information about you to anyone other than your medical care provider, according to the Ukiah Daily Journal.  If anyone got a suspicious call, reach out to the Fort Bragg Police at 707-961-2800.

There was a magnitude-5.6 earthquake off the coast of Humboldt County yesterday. The Record-Bee was on the Mendocino Fault about 87 miles west of Ferndale. People felt the quake from Trinidad to Southern Humboldt. 

The Lake County Board of Supervisors plans to meet tomorrow morning at 9am and may create a public defender program.  In Lake County News, the board talked about making the public defender services program earlier in the year.  Lake County hired Jose Varela, a retired Marin County public defender.  He will make the program presentation and phased steps.  The Board will also consider the shelter crisis urgency proclamation, as well as a Clear Lake Hitch emergency and a pervasive tree mortality emergency among other topics. 

A Lake County man charged with a lewd act on a child appeared in court and made a release request.  A judge denied the waiver to Andy Hopper, after his lawyer made the request to release him on his own recognizance.  He is set to be sentenced May 30. The sex crimes against the man were for an incident last February when Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies got a report of a man inappropriately touching at 13 year old girl at a store in Lakeport.  In the Record Bee, Hopper is staying in jail with bail set at $1,000.

Hundreds of farm workers and supporters marched in Healdsburg to demand hazard pay for working during natural disasters and wildfires. Saturday, the group marched to the Healdsburg Food and Wine Experience, and event celebrating local vintners and chefs.  The Press Democrat reports that marchers want to be treated fairly, and the event aimed to put their concerns out there for the community to be aware.  Organizers of the march said this weekend was just the beginning, and that hopefully the community can engage in their concerns to make the area more equitable.

Governor Newsom made an announcement to speed up construction of billions in infrastructure Friday.  The Fort Bragg Advocate reports Newsom hopes to move $180 billion of work in transportation, water, energy and broadband internet service more quickly through red tape that can slow projects.  He said the investment would help make more than 400,000 new jobs and help California State to meet its climate protection goals.  The governor signed an executive order creating an inter-agency “infrastructure strike team” aimed at maximizing funding for the infrastructure investment.  Included in proposed project is the Sites Reservoir northeast of Clear Lake.  Potential federal finding comes from the Inflation Reduction Act the CHIPS act and more. 

California and the Bay Area had strong job growth in April, despite massive layoffs in the tech industry.  In the Mendocino Beacon, the state added 67,000 new jobs since December, when the state saw a 20,000 job decline.  It’s not all good news though, as California’s unemployment rate increased from 4.4 percent to 4.5 percent.

This week is National Safe Boating week through the 26th.   In Lake County news, California State Parks’ Division of Boating and Waterways is kicking off the season with resources and information, as well as life jackets.  On Saturday, the US Coast Guard local Auxiliary measured kids for lifejackets and helped divvy out resources on boating information and safety.  The organization reports that 833 percent of drowning deaths in 2021 were people who weren’t wearing life jackets.  This season, it’s more important than ever with the state’s snowpack melting into rushing fast and cold rivers. California’s Division on Boating and Waterways wants everyone to know that it’s state law for kids under 13 to wear a life jacket in boats, and that there are not only giveaways locally, but there are loaner life jacket stations throughout the state.

The Cobb Area Council met to plan for the Blackberry Festival and updating area plans last week.  The council also discussed community development.  The council went over the 1,600 building permits and 4,000 inspections in the last year.  Cannabis grants fund code enforcement officers who removed 25,000 illegal plants.  California awarded Lake County nearly $3million to keep the code enforcement team.  The council is working on updating plans including in Lower Lake, Kelseyville Upper Lake and more.  The Community Development Director said they need the community to engage in planning, according to the Record Bee.  Friends of Bogg Forest got approval and support to repair 10 more miles of trail.  The group has applied for a $100,000 grant to continue that work.  Their next meeting is scheduled for June 15.

A woman from Ukiah has been charged with domestic violence, after she allegedly stabbed her boyfriend many times.  The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene last week, where a man was assaulted and cut with a knife by his ex-girlfriend.  Gabrelle Miller was arrested with felony domestic violence and assault with a deadly weapon and more.  She is in jail and is being held in lieu of a $30,000 bail.

A vehicle crashed and rollover several times on Highway 1 today.  In KymKemp online, it landed on its side about 100 yard down a hill. There were many passengers in the car, one needing Life Flight.  The medical transport copter landed just after 12:30pm this afternoon, while crews worked to get the patient out of the wreck to fly to a nearby hospital.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue has a planned mock search in the Deerwood Park and Extension, El Dorado Estates and the Redemeyer Road subdivisions tomorrow from 9am to 2:00pm. Search Teams will be simulating real life urban search and rescue techniques, radio communications and will be interacting with people in the Ukiah area directly. Search and Rescue is asking people to keep an eye out for a missing person in the neighborhood. An actor will knock on your door to practice finding a real missing person.

A California company is offering free 55 inch TVs, and yes there is a catch. California based Telly will be sending out the new TVs this summer to people who register on their website now. The sets feature a main screen on top where viewers watch like always and a smaller second screen below that displays a nonstop stream of advertising. The online reservation portal has already seen 100,000 of the TV reserved. The trade off is that for the free 55 inch TV you have to agree to make your primary TV and the company gets to advertise to you on the small screen all the time. To reserve yours go to

There will be a multi-agency training event with Adventist Health Ukiah Valley today.  Beginning at 8am, the hospital is welcoming CalFire, Ukiah Valley Fire, and other first responders to coordinate trauma training.  At noon, a Black Hawk helicopter will simulate trauma exercises.  There will be actor victims as the hospital and area agencies simulate emergency situations and work together. The event will include pediatric burn care, trauma care and fire command information sessions.  Local emergency responders will give rig tours and train with several area organizations.  The Annual Trauma Expo will wrap up about 4:30pm.

The Environmental Protection Information Center announced it will sue the US Fish and Wildlife Service for violating the Endangered Species Act for threatening the spotted owl.  The lawsuit is focused on a permit for the Sierra Pacific Industries to harm the owl.  In the final years of the Trump administration, California’s largest landowner received the permit with lower standards of habitat protections.  The Western Environmental Law Center is representing the Environmental Protection Information Center and says that it’s not too late for the northern spotted owl, but the federal and state government need to act soon to save them, according to KymKemp online.  In the announcement, the center is giving the US Fish and Wildlife Service to change the way that industry treats the owls, if nothing changes then the lawsuit will follow within 2 months. 

Governor Newsom released his revised budget and restored $40 million to the state’s foster care system.  In a press release from the organization that supports foster kids, a California CASA spokesperson says they are grateful the governor made the change.  The state was set to invest $20 million per year for the next 3 years in the foster care system.  In trying to balance the budget, Newsom announced he’d cut the funding.  In response, CASA campaigned for foster kids and sought support from lawmakers, leading the governor to reverse his decision.  California CASA advocates for 78,000 kids in the states foster care system. 

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 08-08 of Lake County will be giving life jackets to kids this weekend.  From 10am till 3pm, the group will hand out life jackets at the Library Park in Lakeport.  As the state’s snowpack begins to melt, rivers throughout California will be running fast and cold.  Already, several deaths have been blamed on rushing rivers in Placer County, and it’s just the start of the warm season.  The Konocti Women’s Service Club is helping the Auxiliary in the event this weekend.  The groups will also have safe boating information to hand out as they make sure life jackets are sized correctly to each child.

The California Natural Resources Agency announced efforts to conserve 30 percent of California’s land by 2030 are showing significant progress.  In Sonoma County, 174 acres were acquired by the Sonoma Land Trust.  The property connects habitats from Sonoma Mountain to the Mayacamas.  The project is part of an effort to secure 575 acres in a wildlife protection and recreation corridor.  The $3.5 million project was funded in part by the State Coastal Conservancy, the California Natural Resources Agency and others.  Their strategy includes a 30 by 30 campaign and Outdoors for All, to make sure everyone in the state has access to the outdoors.  In one year, California added around 1,000 square miles to conserve since the agency began.   

A Ukiah man was sentenced for felony assault with a chain. 61-year-old Timothy Cooper got 33 years to life after a jury deliberated for less than half an hour yesterday.  Cooper had 4 prior convictions for robbery charges in LA and a bank robbery with a deadly weapon in Central California, according to MendoFever. Because of those Strike convictions, his charges were also considered serious and violent. 

PG&E has been ordered to pay $150 million for starting the deadly 2020 Zogg Fire.  The blaze in Shasta and Tehama counties began when a pine fell onto the utility’s line according to Cal Fire.  Investigators say PG&E failed to remove the tree on time because of poor records.  The fire burned more than 56,000 acres and led to 4 deaths.  In the Press Democrat it’s the latest in a stream of lawsuits PG&E has faced and is facing.  In February, a judge ruled that the utility must face trial for involuntary manslaughter in the Zogg Fire.

Organizers for the state’s electrical grid were approved for over $88 million in upgrades to transmission lines in Sonoma and Napa counties to prevent overloads.  The North Bay Business Journal reports that the California Independent System Operator board of governors approved the North Bay projects Thursday in a host of upgrades statewide totaling over $7 billion.  The projects are part of California 2022-2023 transmission plans that was updated earlier this month.  Every year, the operator looks at the high-voltage lines where power is distributed and weighs line stability.  Late last year, the utilities commission aimed to refocus lines for transportation and in buildings.  

Caltrans has released some roadwork information that will be happening next week.  In Mendocino County, Iversen Road paving work continues and is slated to end next Friday.  Bridge work in Fort Bragg continues from Manzanita Street to Pudding Creek. On Highway 101, emergency work south of Willits is ongoing and the Irvine Lodge Safety Rest Area will be closed thru the end of the month.  Emergency work between Piercy and Benbow continues.  On highway 162 work south of Dos Rios is ongoing with minor delays.  In Lake County, Highway 20 west of Upper Lake continues with about 15 minute delays.  Highway 29 work continues with sign work north of the Putah Creek   Bridge, and slight delays continue on the highway north of Spruce Grove Road.

A Cobb man charged with attempted murder and torture for the beating of his father appeared remotely for a hearing at the Lake County Superior Court. In the Record Bee, Peter Guerrero was in custody of the Conditional Release Program, which works with mentally ill offenders and parolees.  Guerrero was charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon and more, for the beating of his own father in Clearlake last March. The attack happened just outside the garden department at the Walmart in Clearlake, when Guerrero beat his father with a hammer.  His father was seriously injured and taken to a hospital outside of Lake County.  The 29-year-old is set for a review hearing to be committed to the Department of State Hospitals.  Guerrero is in Lake County Jail and a bail set at $50,000. The hospital will appear before the court June 13th

An invasive plant pulling party is planned in the Usal Redwood Forest tomorrow.  According to a press release, the Redwood Forest Foundation is hosting the volunteer event to get rid of the French Broom plant from 10am to 2pm on Saturday.  The access point at WRP Road on Highway  1 is about 5 miles west of Leggett.  Volunteers will also visit a previous site they worked on to see how the area looks a year later. 

And congratulations are in order for Lakeport Police Sergeant Andrew Welter and K9 Olin as they graduated this week.   In Lake County News today, the pair graduated from a 7 week program at Golden Gate K9 training.  K9 Olin is a German Shepherd who joined the Lakeport Police two years ago.  Training focused on patrol work and tracking and apprehending suspects.  Part of the pair’s training has the K9 searching inside and outside and Olin knows how to be called off and return without biting.  The department says Olin would only apprehend suspects in serious violent crimes.  Olin is also trained on sniffing out drugs.  The dog can smell meth, cocaine, heroin and fentanyl.  During the Tuesday City Council Meeting, Sergeant Welter put Olin’s badge on his collar.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein returned to Washington D.C., and appeared shockingly diminished. The Senator returned in a wheelchair, with the left side of her face frozen and one eye nearly shut, according top the New York Times.  Her health deteriorated after complications with shingles in February.  The virus caused her to get Ramsay Hunt syndrome and encephalitis, a rare complication of shingles. Swelling of the brain, post-shingles encephalitis can leave patients with lasting memory or language problems, confusion, headaches and difficulties walking. With Feinstein’s return, Senate Democrats were able to advance three of Biden’s judicial nominees whose approval by had been delayed. Feinstein announced she will retire when her term ends next year. If she leaves early, Governor Newsom has committed to appointing a Black woman to the seat.

Sonoma County Regional Parks was recently recognized for excellence with an award for its Youth Exploring Sonoma Parks program that connects teens with nature. In the Press Democrat, the program earned the Best of the Best, Creating Community award of excellence from the California Parks and Recreation Society. The YES Parks program has had more than 200 kids participate in it.  Local teens from 13 to 18 years old got to take advantage environmental education, stewardship activities, community building and career exploration.

And Mendocino County released a report about a new behavioral health initiative.  The campaign began with making locking medication bags, gun locks, fentanyl test strips and naloxone free to residents on request.  SafeRx Mendocino Coalition aims to facilitate prevention education and reduce overdose deaths in the county.  Last month, the department trained 49 people in opioid overdose reversal response in Fort Bragg, Willits, Ukiah and Anderson Valley. 

A planning group for the Russian River Water Forum met for the first time yesterday in Ukiah. In KymKemp and the Mendo Voice online, that initiative of Sonoma Water met to plan how to maintain a diversion from the Eel River into the Russian River after PG&E decommissions the hydroelectric dam site.  The utility will submit a draft on how they’ll do that this coming November. The utility plans to remove the dams unless someone comes up with a plan they will consider. The forum has used most of a $400,000 grant from the California Division of Water resources in their work on the governance of the Upper Russian River Watershed. Sonoma Water is applying for a grant from the Bureau of Reclamation for continued diversion plans. Members of county, tribal and environmental groups that make up the forum hope to have viable choices as they figure out how to proceed. Four working groups have been put together to focus on water supply, fisheries, finance and water rights.

In an effort to protect the Clear Lake hitch the Bureau of Land Management Field Office in Ukiah will be closed the Scott’s Creek gate near Lakeport through the end of the month.  In MendoFever today, the South Cow Mountain OHV area is remaining open with access to it at the Westside Staging area near the city.  BLM says closing the Scott’s Creek entrance will help protect water quality as young fish migrate back to Clear Lake from Scott’s Creek.  The threatened fish are found only in the Clear Lake basin and have been declining in numbers for the last several years.  The hitch are under review to be listed on the Endangered Species Act.  Thanks to a very wet spring, the Scott’s Creek habitat is helping the hitch with a replenished breeding ground.  The agency will work with local tribes and governments to continue to protect the species.

The old Kmart on Main Street in Lakeport is being built into new stores. Construction began yesterday as the over 90,000 square foot building is converted.  An Arizona architecture firm is busy subdividing the space into three retail leases. Two of the new tenants will be Marshalls and Tractor Supply on either end.  The middle space has yet to be leased. Lake County News reports demolition and remodeling in underway, and includes improvements to the outside with sidewalk work. The Lakeport Planning Commission will discuss plans for a sign at its June 14th meeting.

Congressman Mike Thompson hosted a town hall this week on gun violence prevention.  Thompson mentioned that there have been more than 225 mass shootings this year alone, costing taxpayers $280 billion dollars. In the Record Bee today, the congressman talked about legislation that could help including expanded background checks and rules on ghost guns.  During the virtual meeting, a medical expert said that the pandemic years saw the largest ever increase in firearm homicide in 100 years.  Thompson said there had been bipartisan support for community violence intervention programs and mental health and work continues on that front.

California will get support to reduce homelessness with federal support.  The White House announced they will send a federal official to help cut red tape and access programs in a plan that the Biden administration plans to unveil today.  The new initiative they’re calling “ALL Inside” aims to boost local efforts to shelter people.  Biden has a goal to reduce homelessness by 25 percent by 2025.  The initiative will help communities take advantage of federal programs to fight homelessness through health care, drug abuse, transportation and employment. 

The price of gas is going and that’s good news for area tourism. With the holiday weekend coming fast the AAA says 20% more tourists will be hitting the road this year. Mendocino’s tourism industry sees a majority of visitors during the summer months, and local tourism officials say this year is expected to be a good one. Over the pandemic area attractions had to close down, but now the official end if the pandemic has arrived, so are the expectations for lots of visitors to town this year.

The state is closing three more prisons and has plans to downsize several others.  In CalMatters today, inmate are worries about their education.  Community colleges in California that developed special programs to help prisoners earn degrees are worried.  The colleges stand may lose 10 percent of their enrollment and millions in state funding. The Department of Corrections says they’re trying to help inmates continue their education, but say there is no coordinated system.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources announced the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument Expansion Act with unanimous support. Lake County News reports the bill expands public lands on the monuments eastern edge. The legislation establishes tribal co-management of the monument with a name change.  The Patwin name for Condor Ridge, Molok Luyuk is replacing Walker Ridge.  A regional conservation organization called Tuleyome marks the area as a cultural heritage site with diverse flora and fauna and recreational activities. The area hosts a diverse landscape including rare plants, mountain lions and black bears. People have enjoyed hiking, mountain biking and more at the national monument. The proposed expansion is part of Governor Newsom and President Biden’s shared goal to protect lands and waters in historically marginalized communities.  

Sonoma County roads will get much needed work done this summer.  The Press Democrat reports construction crews will target 50 miles of county roads as part of a $29 million program.  The Sonoma County Department of Public Infrastructure plans to resurface many roads next year and in 2025.  Funding comes from the Pavement Preservation Program, the Fire Damage Recovery Paving Act and from the county budget.  Parts of those funds come from a PG&E settlement over the 2017 firestorm.  They need to invest about $48 million per year to improve roads in the county, according to the Sonoma County Long-Term Road Plan.  They’re off to a start, but it may not be enough.

A group in Mendocino County is working to boost economic development locally.  The organization called “Keep it Local” met for its second meeting on Tuesday.  During the group’s first meeting, they discussed incorporating Mendocino as a city and working with the Mendocino Historical Review Board.  In MendoVoice online, “Keep it Local” aims to focus local control of businesses, instead of far off investors.  This weeks meeting included speakers involved with the Grocery Outlet in Fort Bragg.  The group also discussed working with county officials. The group hopes to see upgrades to services for the people who live there as well as tourists who visit.  The effort to preserve local ownership continues as the group works through high costs and the long-term economic outlook for Mendocino County.

The cost of insulin is the target of work in California to help those who need it, get it.  In the last two decades, the price of insulin has increased by 600 percent.  California lawmakers have introduced bills targeting the out of pocket costs for all drugs.  The Attorney General is suing the largest insulin manufacturer and pharmaceutical managers alleging unfair business practices. Governor Newsom has announced a state contract with a generic drug company to help diabetic residents. Around 37 million in the US, and about 3 million people in the state need insulin to live, according to CalMatters.  The federal government has imposed price caps that prompted the drug manufacturers to drop prices to $35, but in a Senate hearing last week, some pharmaceutical companies say they can’t commit to keeping those prices. 

The Mendocino County’s annual Mendo Pride event is happening this weekend. This year is the first time the event will take place in Hopland, according to MendoVoice online. The LGBTQ + community event will happen on Saturday, May 20th. The vendor fair starts at 1pm, and at 6pm Hopland Tap will host performers in a contest. Proceeds from Mendo Pride will benefit the Ford Street Project Community Food Bank. The food bank, based in Ukiah, distributes thousands of pounds of food, five days a week, to community members needing support.

The California Speedboat Association will host the Buckingham Test and Tune this weekend.  The Lake County news reports classic cars and custom boats are returning for the event after a COVID hiatus.  It all starts Saturday at 9am with vintage and historic speedboats.  There will be an award ceremony with handcrafted trophies at the Buckingham Golf Club and Community Center for the event.

The Jackson Demonstration State Forest has listed roads closed for the summer.  The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection announced that starting next week Road 240 will close for logging, maintenance and repairs.  There are multiple roads and campsites that may be temporarily closed due to hazardous conditions and timber operations in the forest. Officials are asking residents to check the JDSF website for the closures, permits and more.  

Governor Newsom sent a letter to House Speaker McCarthy warning of dangerous flooding as the state’s snowpack begins melting down the mountains.  The governor said immediate action is needed.  Last week, the governor’s budget proposal marked funds for infrastructure, but more is needed.  Newsom used terms of urgency saying people are in a path of destruction.  He said House Republicans refused to act on their request from a month ago and instead pushed for cuts to local infrastructure projects.  According to the Hill, the governor says the state has spent millions to try to reduce the likelihood of disaster.

California’s weather continues to surprise.  The driest years happened from 2020 to 2022, breaking records, according to the Bay Area News Group. After a parade of atmospheric rivers, reservoirs are full and wildfire risk is lower, for now.  The Sierra snowpack is at its highest level in 4 decades.  In December, 80 percent of the state was in severe drought.  By April the state ended the drought emergency.  And as residents recover from weather whiplash, people in the Bay area may see smoke from the Canadian wildfires as a high pressure system approaches Northern California.  

A quarter of kids in child care centers are drinking dangerously high levels of lead.  The information, released by the California Department of Social Services reveals thousands of the California’s youngest are exposed to the brain damaging metal.  In the LA Times today, lead was found in 1,700 child care centers licensed by the state.  It is the first time that the facilities have been required to test for lead with the worst levels exceeded 2,000 times the limit.  Lead damages brains and nervous systems and impairs development.  According to the state, facilities must immediately stop using the tainted water.  The latest tests happened after a bill was passed in 2018 requiring state licensed centers to monitor for lead.  New legislation is aimed at helping schools and child care centers to clean up their drinking water systems. Assembly Bill 249 would also require the state to allocate $5 million annually to pay for water efficient facets and fixture fixes. 

The Mendocino County Planning Commission is set to consider rezoning part of the Redwood Valley as a Cannabis Prohibition Zone tomorrow. The county will discuss banning cannabis cultivation in the area after a group of residents came together during drought conditions in 2021 with complaints on large grows. During the drought and pandemic, residents dealt with water restrictions and what they said was an atmosphere of crime. Now that the drought has ended and the price of marijuana has dropped illegal grows have been slowed, and the county has enforced cannabis codes. Authorities say illegal growers are leaving Mendocino County. In Mendocino Voice online, the calls for the cannabis free zone have quieted, and the issue will be brought up for a third time during the Planning Commission meeting tomorrow morning at 9am.

Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire, Chair of the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Lake County’s representative in the state Senate, is holding a hearing today on California’s offshore wind industry.  In Lake County News today, the hearing in Sacramento will discuss how to deploy wind technology off shore, while protecting the state’s fishing fleet and the coastal environment. Along with local and state agencies and representatives, tribal leaders, and offshore wind industry representatives, representatives from the fishing fleet, and more will gather to look at the whole picture. Senator McGuire says it’s a first-of-its-kind hearing bringing all sides of the discussion together. The hearing begins at 2 p.m.

Five organizations filed a lawsuit against PG&E in the Northern District of California. The suit says the utility violated and continues to violate the Endangered Species Act through the unauthorized “take” of Chinook salmon and steelheads.  In Courthouse News Service this week, the Potter Valley Project is under scrutiny as PG&E remains in control.  Although the two dams on the Eel River, owned by PG&E are slated to be decommissioned, they’re currently preventing salmon from returning to their spawning grounds.  According to the lawsuit, the National Marine Fisheries Services warned PG&E that immediate changes were required at the Potter Valley District to protect the fish.  The group says Scott Dam is at higher risk of failure in an earthquake than was previously understood, making the issue even more urgent. The environmental groups in the suit hope PG&E will be forced to face the issue and move forward with their decommissioning plans immediately.   

A man was stabbed to death in Lakeport.  Yesterday afternoon around 4:40pm, police responded to Red Feather Lane and found Christopher Burrows on the ground with a knife wound.  Police and paramedics tried to help him, but he died of his injuries.  Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Melinda Fred for murder. She was booked into the Lake County Jail and charged with first degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon.  Anyone with information about the attack is asked to contact Lake County Sheriffs Office.

A new study links emissions from the world’s major fossil fuel producers to 37% of acres burned by wildfire in the west between 1986 and 2021. The report released this week  by the Union of Concerned Scientists, says those emissions are also responsible for drying out California forests. Researchers hope these findings translate into corporate accountability for damages wrought by past and future disasters. This is the first study in the world that attributes wildfire impacts from climate change to specific fossil fuel producers, according to a scientist and author of the study. The group wants to see hope a shift in the narrative for the public and policymakers in California toward one with greater corporate responsibility.

The Mendocino Cannabis Department is announcing a new regulatory process.  The department will start using an online page called Accela Cannabis Regulation Portal. Starting June 1, applicants and permit holders can sign in and create an account.  The new method will increase transparency and make a more efficient process for those in the cannabis industry.  The cannabis department will send out a Canna Note with links to businesses in the county. The app has all existing permits to date, and will the place to apply for any new ones.  The IT department will be switching to Accela from May 26th through May 31st.  They ask that users not access the new program until it begins on June 1st

Families in Mendocino County who were financially impacted by severe weather in February and March may be eligible for disaster food benefits from CalFresh. Families that lost money or work due to the storms can apply, as well as households that had to make storm related repairs or lost food because of power outages or evacuations may also be eligible. The benefits may be up to over $900. In MendoVoice online, the deadline to apply is Friday, May 19th.  Residents are encouraged to contact the county social services office or apply online. Residents of Mendocino and Lake Counties, who are currently getting SNAP benefits are able to purchase hot foods from any store that accepts them due to a temporary waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This waiver applies through the end of May.

Mendocino Transit Authority with LSC Transportation Consultants want Ukiah residents to discuss the future of the Ukiah Transit Center.  The group plans to look at six different locations and go over initial designs.  In MendoVoice online, residents are asked to check out the project website and give some input as they work on moving people around in Ukiah and Mendocino County by connecting Ukiah to the Mendocino Transit Authority bus routes. The webpage with the survey is at

Sonoma County Supervisors have formally ended the COVID emergency declaration. The board met yesterday to announce the end of a proclamation that was in place for over three years.  In the Press Democrat, local health officials say infections from the virus are still happening but not at the rate before.  The county has rearranged some COVID related information to the health services department, and continues to offer vaccines and testing. Federal officials still recommend people get the latest vaccine.

California condors will receive a vaccine for a deadly strain of avian flu that threatens to wipe out the already critically endangered vulture species.  Federal officials reported yesterday that emergency approval was granted for a vaccine after more than a dozen of the huge raptors died of the bird flu.  There are fewer than 350 California condors in the wild, in flocks that span from the Pacific Northwest to Baja California. AP is reporting a pilot safety study will begin this month in North American vultures, a similar species, to check for any adverse effects before they give vaccines to the endangered condors, according to an agriculture department statement. The US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service reports over the last 18 months, millions of birds have passed from the bird flu including more than 430 bald eagles and millions of poultry. 

Cannabis businesses can legally begin operating in the City of Healdsburg today, joining a list of cannabis friendly cities in Sonoma County. The city council approved commercial cannabis business tax rates this month after voters passed Measure M last fall. The new rates are 4 percent for sales, 2 percent for manufacturing and testing with a medical cannabis exemption, according to the Press Democrat.  The anticipated revenue the city expects could up be to half a million dollars.  The city says it may be spend on police, fire and emergency services, parks, affordable housing and street maintenance. 

The Red and White Store has remained open, despite a car crashing into it last weekend. The store on Highway 20 in Clearlake Oaks was the scene of a crash around 1:30am Saturday morning.  In Lake County News, manager Christopher Hallsted said they were able to stay open despite damage.  CHP reported a SUV hit the building at Acorn Street, where the driver was found on the ground near the scene, with minor injuries. It did not appear that alcohol or drugs were factors. The Northshore Fire Protection District firefighters checked the damage to the building. The manager says they were lucky there wasn’t more damage to the 90 year-old store, and they were able to put up a temporary wall. 

Research on THC potency and recommendations for harm-reducing policies will be the topic of the Cannabis Advisory Committee’s Public Health and Community Impact meeting next week.   The virtual meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 24, at 9:00 a.m. The subcommittee will also hear a presentation from the California Department of Public Health THC think tank. The committee advised the Department of Cannabis Control as the state sets standards for commercial cannabis business. In a release today, the department plans to develop the framework for cannabis industry regulations that they say will benefit all Californians.

Californians are facing sudden insurance cancellations, refusal of coverage and significantly increased premium costs.  As wildfires become more intense and unpredictable storms hit the state, people living in higher risk areas are feeling the pain of finding affordable coverage, if any is available at all. Northern Californians are being especially hit with an insurance blockage. After the devastating fires in 2017 and 2018 insurance companies have been confronted with massive policy payouts and have pulled back coverage and increased costs. In the Press Democrat today, president of the Personal Insurance Federation of California says profits industry-wide were wiped out in those two years. Last October, the Department of Insurance finished “wildfire safety regulation” that requires insurance providers to offer discounts to residents who work to mitigate fire risks on their properties. They had until last month to submit plans to comply with the new regulation.   

Sonoma County has launched a regional initiative to protect the Russian River and surrounding watershed. The Russian River Confluence will bring together government agencies, tribal partners, and more to promote collaboration along the 110-mile river that runs through Sonoma and Mendocino counties. In California Municipal online, the Confluence launched “Respect Russian River,” a campaign to create awareness about the river and engage the community in taking care of the river and watershed. The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and other partners will consider adopting the agreement in the coming weeks. The confluence has plans for updated mapping and workshops next summer in the communities surrounding the area.

Memorial Day is less than two weeks away, and the Avenue of Flags is prepping to honor the memories of Lake County’s veterans.  The Lake County News reports they are looking for volunteers for the annual event.  Flags will be placed at the Lower Lake, Kelseyville and Lakeport Cemeteries.  Volunteers are asked to meet at the Lower Lake Cemetery 7am on Memorial Day to help place the flags in all three cemeteries.  The flags will be taken down at 3pm later that day.  President of the Avenue of Flags, William Asher says volunteers can call him at 707-900-1652.

The Jackson Demonstration State Forest Task Force will meet next Monday at the First Presbyterian Church in Fort Bragg.  The group will have updates on roads, trails, parks and campgrounds.  They’ll discuss illegal trail development and maintenance of trails and address forest history, Manly Gulch and the Camp 1 Loop Trail. The meeting starts at 12:30pm and will wrap up with a field tour by about 5pm. 

Mendocino County Public Health is holding a Media Day Presentation this Friday at 2pm.  A gust speaker will present information on childhood vaccines.  The meeting will be held virtually via Zoom.  For more details contact the health department at 707-472-8410.