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Category Archives: 94.5 K-Wine News

94.5 K-Wine Local News Reports

It doesn’t look like a lot will change for women who want an abortion after today’s historic U S Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v Wade. California WILL likely experience more women from out of state coming here because abortion is illegal where they live. The state has been anticipating the influx of patients by budgeting services for the uninsured, programs to increase the number of providers, and to help with the cost of traveling from other states. Just today, lawmakers passed a bill that would shield providers from civil lawsuits if they care for patients from states where abortion is banned. Governor Newsom is likely to sign it.

The Bureau of Land Management has an updated fire prevention order prohibiting numerous activities on public lands. It now includes Lake County an earlier ban that covered Mendocino County and several others in Northern California. The order basically bans ANY burning on federal land—including cigarettes as well as target shooting, target practice, and welding torches. The Bureau says most wildfires have a human spark, so it is important to be proactive to STOP fires before they even start. That ban went into effect today.

It’s a no for a proposed water and fire tax for the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors. At Tuesday’s meeting the Board considered a proposal for a three-eighths of a cent sales tax, where 40% of it would pay for water resiliency projects and the other 60% would go to fire services. Altogether, the projection was that would bring the county $7 million a year. One supervisor was vehemently against the water tax and came with backup information on money spent on the Potter Valley Project which cost the county a bundle. A couple of local news sites report they’re against the tax, but Mendo Fever reports fire chiefs around the county are all for it. And there are others supporting the proposed tax, but no matter, the board instead asked the county’s lawyer to draw up an ordinance with a quarter cent tax for fire services alone. The tax would last a decade.

A woman from Willits has been arrested after being found with a bunch of drugs that looked to be for sale. Amanda Sizemore was stopped by Deputies who say she was alone and they noticed a plastic baggie with more than an ounce of marijuana in it. They searched the car and also found meth, two more pounds of marijuana, LSD and drug paraphernalia associated with selling illicit drugs. They also say she was not allowed to have pepper spray, but they found some of that. She was arrested and held on $25,000.00 bail.

A man in Hopland’s arrested after Deputies got a report of a drunk guy on Highway 101. Deputies found Mark Pivec standing in front of the Hopland Tap House and say he seemed drunk. They also noticed a café across the street had shattered windows and a car was parked in front of it. They say there was mustard splashed over the outside of the car, and blood in front of the broken window and on top of a newspaper stand. Pivec also had a severe cut on his hand, so he was detained. They say Pivec threw the nearby newspaper stand through the window of the Blue Bird Cafe, and threw mustard on the car, causing damage to the paint and dents in the body panels. He’s charged with Felony Vandalism and Misdemeanor Public Intoxication and held on $15,000.00 bail.

Awards for those growing Cannabis are a thing. And for the first time at the California State Fair cannabis cultivators were honored. Mendocino County was a big winner with local farms winning more than half of the 19 awards, including “most unique” and five out of the top 10 all-around winners, for ten awards in all. And also in the Emerald Triangle, no surprise, farms in Humboldt and Trinity counties took home prices, as did others in Lake and Sonoma counties. The inclusion of the flower awards at the California State Fair was announced in Sacramento last fall. Those who won get to go to a special awards ceremony next month and will go on a promotional tour. They will not be selling cannabis at the fair though. Farms from Redwood Valley, Laytonville, Hopland, Willits, and others listed simply as “Mendocino County” were honored.

Attorney General Rob Bonta has his Republican competitor for November’s General Election. Nathan Hochman will compete against the incumbent after he won 18% of the vote in the primary. He’s also the candidate the Republican party was supporting. Bonta was the only Democrat running in the June 7th primary. The top two vote getters, no matter what party they’re from move forward to the General, Bonta won nearly 55% of the vote. The favorite of many law enforcement organizations Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, running without party affiliation, only received 7.7% of the vote.

Congressman Mike Thompson, a gun advocate, says the Supreme Court overruling a NY carry conceal law “dealt a blow” for states to protect residents against gun violence. Thompson commented to the Press Democrat after the ruling was announced that he felt “troubled”. The NY law requires people who apply for a license to carry in public show why they need to. And just after several mass shootings, including one in NY in the City of Buffalo, just weeks ago. Thompson said the NY law had been on the books for more than a century and the Supremes “extreme ruling undermines the authority of states to responsibly regulate the use of firearms and will lead to more gun violence.” He says he’s committed to passing legislation to respect Second Amendment rights at the same time, protecting kids, schools, and communities.

The Lake County Planning Commission just said no to a proposal for cannabis growing quite close to a vineyard in Clearlake Oaks. The Commission was looking at Monte Cristo Vineyards cannabis project yesterday with only three commissioners at the meeting, so all of them needed to support the idea. One voted against it. There were complaints from neighbors who said the grow would be too close to small neighborhoods. The owners were proposing 40 acres of their vineyard be separated and 22 acres be dedicated to cannabis growing. They also said they would be planting the farthest they could from their neighbors. Neighbors were concerned about noise, dust, traffic, fire danger and crime, and especially the amount of water to be used.

Independence Day celebrations are on for the Lakeshore Lions Club. Their annual parade, carnival and fireworks show will happen next Saturday. The group’s 64th annual Redbud Parade and Festival starts at 11 am July 2nd with the theme this year, “Rocking Lake County.” There will be a marching band, floats, vintage cars, fire and police vehicles and more. The fireworks display is on at dusk after a free concert at 7pm. It’s the Lakeshore Lions Club’s largest fundraiser. Money goes to support eyeglasses and vision care for the needy, high school sports, sober graduation, scholarships and many other school activities, the fire and police departments, the senior center, South Shore Little League and many other causes.

A former resident of Covelo is going to prison as part of a plea deal on two counts of murder. The DA reports Samson Musselini Little Bear Joaquin was supposed to go to trial last Monday, but there were not enough jurors for jury selection, but this week while the two sides gathered witnesses before a new trial date could be set, they settled and Little Bear Joaquin admitted he intentionally killed Kyle McCartney and Traci Bland with a splitting maul/fire axe in November of 2020 in a remote area north of Covelo. They agreed to the 31 years to life sentence, the maximum allowed by law. There was no credit for time already served and he will be sentenced next month. He had five co-defendants, who were all convicted for different roles in the double murder.

A new report says even though Calif., is one of the richest states in the nation, it has some of the poorest residents. The Public Policy Institute of California reports last July, 1 in 6 Californians were not “in poverty but lived fairly close to the poverty line” and that 34% of the state is “poor or near poor.” And the 25 lowest earning counties include some in the Emerald Triangle. Trinity County was the lowest earning in the state, Humboldt was the fifth lowest. Lake County is the sixth lowest earning county in California and Del Norte, seventh. Mendocino County was somewhat better, but still down there as the thirteenth lowest earning county in the state. But apparently Trinity, Humboldt, Del Norte, and Lake were better off during the worst days of the pandemic than Mendocino, and also Sonoma, Marin, and most Bay Area counties in general.

A woman walking along Highway 20 in Nice has been hit and killed. Later on, William Len was arrested after being connected to the 2013 Toyota Sienna that reportedly hit Amanda Arney.  Search warrants were served after an investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Len was found in Clearlake. He’s charged with felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter and booked into Lake County Jail.

Nearly 2 dozen projects have gotten the greenlight by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, including one in Lake County. Grant money from Proposition 1 will pay for projects to restore and protect multi-benefit ecosystem restoration and protection. $26 million dollars-worth of work, with almost all going to 15 projects across the state. About 5 more for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. That includes $350,000 for the Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians for work in the Kelsey Creek Fish Passage. There are more projects under consideration. You can read all about the Prop. 1 Restoration Grant Programs and apply for a grant at the agency’s website: http://www.wildlife.ca.gov/grants.

A new report under Proposition 13 shows it’s still an obstacle to buy a home in the state of Calif., if you’re not a white person. The report says white homeowners get yearly property tax benefits that people of color do not. The law works out to give a more than 80% higher break on average than Black homeowners and over twice the tax breaks for Latinos. The report shows unequal wealth building in Calif., which has the second-lowest rate of homeownership in the nation. The Opportunity Institute and Pivot Learning, a nonprofit, did the study. They looked at four decades of information about government revenue, the housing market and its impact on generations of homeowners.

Tens of thousands of public safety employees in California are finally getting pandemic bonuses. 42,000 workers are getting $1,500 each due to union agreements. The Newsom administration negotiated with unions for state correctional officers, California Highway Patrol officers and public safety employees, from park rangers to lifeguards. They’ve been campaigning for the bonuses since early on in the pandemic. Many state workers could work remotely, but public safety personnel were on the front lines, dealing with several outbreaks at prisons, hospitals and other state facilities. The money’s for those who are part of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, the California Association of Highway Patrolmen and the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association, according to agreements posted by the Human Resources Department.

At last weeks public health update in Mendocino County the office said there’s another wave of cases, but it shouldn’t peak until around 2 weeks from now. The Mendocino County Public Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren’s prediction of early July on top of the Independence Day holiday. Last Friday Dr. Coren said there’s clearly a wave, but not like previous surges, so that’s a good sign. He said the current wave is due to subvariants of the Omicron strain. He says if we follow what happened in other countries and in New York City, the cases look to be on the downward slope of the shoulder. He says Calif. has had less people in the hospital than New York, but there are even more sub strains now that are even more contagious. The county is in the medium risk tier of the CDC’s three tier system.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors looking at applicants for its Cannabis Task Force and worked on the Cannabis Grant Program with the Treasurer/Tax Collector at their last meeting. The list of applicants were to fill positions on the ad hoc committee. They had over a dozen by the June 15th deadline, but no Tribal applicants. They had been hoping to have at least one before June 28th. But there was confusion on the deadline and problems with the online application system. So they decided to extend the application deadline until July 12th.

Nursing home advocates looking to reform the troubled system are against an amended bill in the Legislature they say is a step backwards. The executive director of the Calif. Advocates for Nursing Home Reform says the Assembly Bill “codifies and endorses the current system” which “nourished the worst operators in the state”. Patricia McGinnis wrote an opposition letter to the Chair of the Senate Health Committee who were set to hear the bill this week. Others say the amended bill is a step forward in regulating who owns and operates nursing homes. Assemblyman Jim Wood is one of the authors of the bill. He says he and his co-author are trying to move the bill forward. CalMatters reported last year the state licensing process featured indecision, confusion and years-long delays.

The latest budget has been adopted by the Little Lake Fire Protection District (LLF) board of directors. During their monthly meeting last week, the preliminary budget got a greenlight. They had to add more money into transportation due to skyrocketing prices of gas. They’ve been looking to add another firefighter with the application period set to close a week ago. The Fire Chief said he was hoping to have a chosen candidate by next week after looking over resumes and conducting interviews. They heard from various department heads on outside trainings, a visit by local kindergartners and say there will be a live burn ahead of fire season in Laytonville. They responded to 21 rescue calls, 25 traffic related calls, two hazardous conditions calls, seven service calls, two false alarms and one special incident.

The latest doctor to be the public health officer for Lake County is out. The county put out a statement last night that after less than four months on the job, Dr. Erik McLaughlin, resigned. He was on the job the shortest amount of time than any other permanently appointed Public Health officer in Lake County in 20 years, starting in March. It comes after the last public health officer, Dr. Gary Pace resigned a year before, and he and a couple other docs were filling in as interim officers during some of the worst days of the pandemic. The Lake County Board Chair EJ Crandell said they were excited to have Dr. McLaughlin in the position, but it didn’t end up being a long-term fit. The county says they will announce next steps in the coming days.

A new teaching credential is being offered in Calif. The state Commission on Teacher Credentialing has given the greenlight to a credential for pre-k through third grade. Any teacher who receives the credential will have to prove they’re trained in how to teach reading. Apparently, there’s a similar credential but it does not include literacy instruction coursework. Lawmakers are considering legislation requiring the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing report back yearly on progress about teachers being able to teach reading with a literacy performance assessment by 2025.

The cost of gas is put a strain on big rig operators. A new report says the U.S. trucking industry is struggling due to inflation in diesel prices since the fall of 2020. Prices way higher than they were during the $5-a-gallon peak in the summer of 2008 during the global economic crisis. The average for a gallon of diesel has gone up over the last year nearly 70% to nearly $7/gallon. Now there are concerns there could be a fuel shortage. Truckers and others with fleets of diesel vehicles pay commercial fueling centers or get bulk deliveries, but still it’s around $7/gallon. Some companies also report losing drivers, as they want to work closer to home, causing a major headache for them.

Since the Lake County Board of Supervisors had to follow a court order and rescind permits for the planned Guenoc Valley resort, the company planning it, says it’s still on. Lotusland Investment Holdings reports they have not given up the planned 16,000-acre resort and housing development near Middletown. They apparently have consultants working on a plan for the surrounding area, with needed evacuation routes, traffic studies and a master plan for the community, after the judge looking over their plans voiced concerns. Look for a supplemental environmental impact report by the end of next month.

The world’s oldest profession might have new laws. A bill to decriminalize sex work is heading to California Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk. The L-A Times reports the measure would rescind the misdemeanor law against loitering in public for the purpose of engaging in prostitution. Newsom has 12 days to sign or veto the bill.

Something is fishy in San Francisco as people in several neighborhoods, say that small fish have been found in odd places-like roofs, on sidewalks, on park trails, and on windshields of parked cars. It doesn’t smell of crime though. Experts said they are smelt and they suspect that birds like pelicans are just dropping their huge loads of the four- to six-inch-fish as the fly toward their nests.

The decision on Roe Vs. Wade could be coming, so Calif. is allowing for the expansion of abortion care. The state’s also looking at ways to protect abortion providers as the state’s expecting a lot of demand from out-of-state women. The Bay Area News Group reports the procedures demand has been on the decline in Calif., but the state is seen as a safe haven for many who would have to leave their home state for the procedure. Leaked documents earlier this year showed the Supreme Court was likely overturning the law by ruling on a new Mississippi abortion law, expected this month or early next.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company says their Enhanced Powerline Safety Settings (EPSS) are protecting as many as 3 million people in high-risk fire areas in their service area. That adds up to about 1 million customers who will see immediate power downs, within one tenth of a second if something comes into contact with their equipment. The company said this would help reduce wildfires and now says there were 170 circuits with this ability last year. And with that, the company says they saw an 80% reduction in reportable ignitions in High Fire Threat Districts, compared to the previous three-year average.

A group of residents in the county have formed Climate Action Mendocino. They came together about four to five years ago to create the 2022 Climate Emergency Resolution for Ukiah. This declared a climate emergency, which the Ukiah City Council passed unanimously last week. Mendo Voice reports that means the city will beef up its renewable power sources and energy-efficient lighting; maintain wild lands; promote biodiversity and carbon sequestration; and expand sustainable water practices. One of the founding members of Climate Action Mendocino says the city was very receptive to them. So, they adapted resolutions from Sonoma County for Ukiah’s unique needs and circumstances. So now the city has a blueprint of how to move forward to protect the environment.

After the pandemic lockdown a bunch of people applied for unemployment in the state. And a lot of the claims turned out to be bogus. The state reports getting back as much as $1.1 billion in unused unemployment benefits this week. The money was parked in nearly 800,000 Bank of America debit cards that were never used. State officials got with officials at the bank to be sure the money wasn’t for legitimate claims and once all was confirmed, the state took the money back. State officials can’t confirm why the money wasn’t used. There were other fraudulent claims outside of the state too, but Calif. was reported to be the largest victim of fraudulent unemployment, with most of the money going back to the U.S. government, not the state.

In Clearlake, a bit of stinky work for police. One of the agency’s officers, Sergeant Ramirez came upon a stuck skunk. Mendo Fever reports the animal had stuffed itself into a bait box. The skunk’s head was stuck and it was dragging the box with it as it trotted around. Officer Ramirez along with his K9 partner Eagle got the skunk out of the box without spraying the pair.

Cal Fire reports being ready for peak wildfire season by staffing up across the state and working on fuel reduction and forest health projects. This means Cal Fire is staffed up 24/7. They also have all aircraft ready and staffed. They report nearly 111,000 acres have been prepared for the peak wildfire season, which is way more than their goal of 100,000 acres by 2025. The Cal Fire Chief says they’re ramping up for a year round fire season. And the Governor commented they are taking aggressive action to protect communities and make forests more resilient. But he says there’s still a lot of work to do.

PG&E reports undergrounding equipment in many fire prone areas, including several projects in Lake County. The hardening work in the county is for about 15 miles of overhead distribution powerlines and 21 miles in high fire-threat areas to try to curb this year’s wildfire risk. The regional VP of the North Coast Region says they’re trying to evolve with California’s changing weather conditions, working year-round. Besides undergrounding work, he says they’re also installing stronger power poles with covered conductor. He says the undergrounding will reduce ignition risk by 99 percent on undergrounded circuits and save the energy company money on temporary repairs and recurring costs like vegetation management. They may also be able to cut back the amount of public safety power shutoffs too. The company’s been planning to bury 10,000 miles of distribution powerlines across the state.

A community workshop on the housing crisis is planned in Point Arena. Tonight at 6pm the city’s hosting a Zoom meeting to update residents and other stakeholders in its Local Coastal Program which they say will make it easier for developers to put up housing in Point Arena. The city’s housing team will be on hand. Those leading the meeting will talk about potential changes to the housing plan, talk timelines and allow time for comments, suggestions and ideas.

A free Large Item Dump Day is being held by Caltrans, the County of Mendocino, and Solid Waste of Willits in Gualala. It’s part of the governor’s $1.1 billion Clean California initiative. It pays for the event, and other similar campaigns to rid litter from public spaces across the state. Residents are being encouraged to dump unwanted, bulky items. This Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm, at the South Coast Transfer Station. They’re limiting items to furniture, appliances, tires (only 9 per load), and other large, bulky household items. They’re not accepting construction materials, business waste, e-waste, mattresses, hazardous waste, treated wood waste, or asbestos. Dump Days are also planned in Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, and Mendocino Counties.

The Governor is putting money into Mental Health wellness work, saying the entire country is dealing with a crisis. He announced nearly $519 million dollars in grants for services and housing options for people with severe mental illness or substance abuse problems, including the unsheltered. It’s part of Governor Newsom’s CARE Court proposal, to deal with the homelessness crisis with a different approach to get people off the streets and cared for. There will be treatment beds for over 1,000 people at a time, and behavioral health services for others. The grants were announced during a meeting Newsom hosted with families of those who have a loved one in crisis, many that are homeless. As part of the campaign, Mendocino County is receiving just over $7,700,000.

The latest election results in Mendocino County have been released by the Mendocino County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder’s office. There have been 9,776 ballots tallied since the election 2 weeks ago and the office reports they have around “roughly 11,500” ballots left to count. Of the major measures and campaigns locally three of them are pretty much the same. For the 5th District Supervisor and Chair Ted Williams, 3rd District Supervisor John Haschak, and Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall. All of them were in major landslides. But in another race, a surprise winner emerges, the County Superintendent of Schools. The incumbent Michelle Hutchins looks to be out with challenger Nicole Glentzer ahead with about 10% of the vote. The Sheriff had a last-minute write-in opponent in a former Deputy, Trent James. He only grabbed about 11% of the vote. Incumbent Matt Kendall leads with 89% of the votes. The election will be certified in a couple weeks.

In Lake County, the Registrar of Voters Office reports they plan to certify the election results by July 7th, a month after the Primary. As a reminder all vote-by-mail voters who got a a “Signature Verification Statement” or an “Unsigned Ballot Envelope Statement”, the deadline for the Registrar of Voters office to receive the completed forms either by US Postal Service, fax, email, or in person is Tuesday July 5th as well. The office will not count any vote-by-mail ballot if the completed and signed Statement is not returned by then.

Cal Fire is reminding all that fireworks are illegal in Mendocino County. They say nearly half of all Independence Day fires are caused by fireworks, more than any other cause. And they say kids are at the greatest risk. The Cal Fire Unit Chief Luke Kendall is reminding folks in the county to do their part and help prevent wildfires and injuries caused by fireworks, especially when we are in a severe drought and current dry conditions make the risk extremely high. The state also has a zero tolerance for the use and sale of illegal fireworks. Cal Fire is working with law enforcement and firefighting agencies to take illegal fireworks away and prosecute anyone found to be in possession of them.

The Citizens’ Committee for the Library Initiative have reportedly submitted signatures on petitions for a renewal of Measure A. That’s for a one-eighth of a cent sales tax. They’re also requesting the sales tax from Measure B be extended for 40 percent for building improvements. The Friends of the Library have been trying to get folks to sign their petitions so the Measure appears on the November ballot. The committee was formed specifically to get Measure A passed to provide a permanent funding mechanism for the Library and Bookmobile.

PG&E is reminding folks to sign up for their Family Electric Rate Assistance Program. The company says thousands of income-eligible customers live in Lake, Mendocino and Humboldt counties, and that they could save as much as 18% on their monthly electric bill by enrolling. The program allows for discounts on electricity bills for households with three or more people who are income eligible but have yet to sign up. PG&E says there are as many as 3,199 households in the three counties who may be eligible and less than 25% of eligible PG&E households are enrolled in Northern and Central California.

The pandemic does not seem to be the reason this particularly popular Lake County event is canceled. The Lake County Chamber of Commerce sent out an email last week they were no longer sponsoring the Clear Lake Seaplane Splash In, so it’s canceled. It had been planned for June 24th to 26th, this weekend. It would have been the first time since the pandemic started the event would be held, and the 40th Splash In. But the Splash In Facebook page said it looked as though the Chamber would not be the lead organization in future years, but there were a group of folks interested in carrying the event in future years.  Lake Co News reports organizers were reaching out to potential future participants for a 2023 revival of the event.

A group of folks in a private Ukiah Facebook group decrying the cost of homeowners insurance. One said they had their rates raised twice as much as last year, and 2 dozen others responded pretty quick with the same or even more. One person posted that their rates quadrupled over the last year. Others chimed in that it was likely from wildfires. One of the respondents was an Insurance Agent and said if you live outside the city limits you may be required to buy the Calif. FAIR plan, he also said many would have probably lost theirs had the Insurance Commissioner not put a moratorium on cancellations for a year. He also said to call the Commissioner to complain about higher rates, it could help.

The Mendocino Cannabis Department has been approved to use tax waivers for delinquent taxes. The announcement for the LEEP Waivers last week will begin today. But there’s a catch, it’s as long as the entity being taxed pays all of the penalties and interest that’s due. To be eligible for the LEEP Waiver, you have to be LEEP Certified.  The last payment was due May 31st. They are called true ups, and those who are delinquent on the true ups can be penalized up to 10% with monthly 1.5% interest starting June 1st. If you don’t pay the 2021 true up amount and penalty by this June 30th, that’s next Thursday, there will be an additional 25% penalty and 1.5% interest on July 1st.

A man in Ukiah has been arrested after a Deputy noticed a non-working taillight on their car. Last Friday, someone parked on N. State Street was contacted by the Deputy. They checked the records on the driver, Nicholas Britton and the passenger, an adult female. Britton was found to be on formal probation with terms to obey all laws and submit to search. So, the Deputy searched and found drugs in a plastic baggie and arrested Britton. He’s charged with Felony Violation of Probation and Misdemeanor Possession of a Controlled Substance and held without bail.

A man from Ukiah who police say was illegally camping and using a fire to warm up has been arrested. A Deputy responded to neighbors complaining about Richard Cauckwell. They found him sitting next to a fire and burnt sticks. They say hot embers were within a couple of feet from dry bushes and trees. His clothes looked to be charred from the fire and Deputies said they believed it was because Cauckwell was not being cautious around the fire. He also had a torch lighter on him as burning is banned in the County. It was also in the area where the Hopkins fire burned last year.  Cauckwell was arrested for Felony Recklessly Causing Fire to Forest Land and Misdemeanor Careless Starting a Fire and held on $15,000.00 bail.

The Ukiah Police Chief is out for good. Chief Noble Waidelich was reportedly fired, but we haven’t a clue why. A couple of online newspapers are reporting Waidelich was terminated after receiving a press release from the city on Friday afternoon. The City Manager said Waidelich’s badge and service weapon were confiscated early last week after recent events showed the city the chief was not a good fit for the city, and the community deserved better. The City has not officially commented other than to say Waidelich may have violated police department policies, and it was not part of another criminal investigation by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) requested by our Sheriff. The Mendocino Voice says they were told to check back in two weeks for more.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors had a meeting today, but due to the Federal Holiday for Juneteenth, has canceled.  Tomorrow there’s a packed agenda for the regular Tuesday meeting. Some of the items include discussion and possible action including directing staff about the proposed consolidation of the auditor-controller/treasurer-tax collector offices.  The staff’s recommended action is to move forward with consolidation. They’ll also discuss a bunch of road work, resolving any bid protests and awarding transportation contracts to the lowest bidder for work in the Willits/Brooktrails area.

PG&E has announced a new protocol during wildfire season and hot weather, automatic blackouts. The company announced on Friday, the sensitivity of over 1,000 circuit breakers for wildfire season have been sensitized even more to reduce fire risks. They’ve done it before. This will be the second season for the Enhanced Powerline Safety Settings Program. It started right after the Dixie Fire, about a year ago. How it works? Settings automatically turn off power for a region when PG&E equipment comes into contact with anything that might start a wildfire: like a tree branch or anything else suspicious. There were hundreds of instant power downs last summer. Even though folks were up in arms when they had immediate blackouts, sometimes for hours, PG&E responded that they were able to prevent wildfires and would expand the program this year.

Fire restrictions have been put into motion by the Bureau of Land Management on public lands. This is for their Arcata Field Office in Del Norte, Humboldt, Trinity, and Mendocino counties starting tomorrow, June 21st. And they will keep the restrictions in place to help prevent wildfires until further notice. This is on top of the BLM year-round statewide fire prevention order. The Northern Calif. District Manager says most wildfires in the state are human-caused, so, the fire restrictions are an important way to help protect public lands and nearby communities from wildfire. He says the National Interagency Fire Center predicted there might be large fires again this summer, above normal due to the drought.

Three new Cal Fire grants have been awarded to the Mendocino County Fire Safe Council. The $3.5 million dollars will be spread over three years to use for a bunch of projects to reinforce wildfire safety in areas around the county. Cal Fire’s been working with the Fire Safe Council to find which regions are the highest priorities. They found that almost the entire county is in high or very high fire-hazard severity zone. The biggest chunk of the grants was for $2.5 million to cover safer evacuation and firefighter access near Yorkville, Laytonville, Lake Mendocino, and Willits. There will be roadside clearing to remove branches and brush to make the roads safer for residents and responders and create a fuel break to stop advancing fires. The other two grants to study areas for future prescribed-burns and road-clearing projects, fuel breaks and environmental clearance and studies.

At the latest Mendocino Countywide Drought Task Force meeting they looked at possible curtailments being considered of water flowing to Russian River water users. They’re also considering a task force that would solely look at water issues, and an ordinance designed to monitor commercial wells. After the Board of Supervisors sent a letter to the Fed about the Potter Valley Project, word also came the State Water Board could begin sending notices for water curtailment to Russian River water users. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission also ordered PG&E to start the surrender process of their Potter Valley license as some who depend on the water coming through the project are on the edge of their seat to see if they’ll have to curtail water use too. The committee heard that the water in Lake Pillsbury is considered a “normal” water year and the flow into Lake Mendocino is slowly filling.

Folks are littering the earth so Marin, Sonoma, and Mendocino Counties are working together for education to the public and tourists to reduce the amount of litter and waste in coastal regions and watersheds. The three counties have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the non-profit Leave No Trace. They will help with the campaign and help the counties work with federal and state agencies, federally recognized tribes, non-federally recognized tribes, local jurisdictions and land managers, Sonoma County Tourism, and other community-based groups across all three counties. The bilingual campaign starts before the end of the month to educate and influence visitors this summer to be courteous stewards of the land. It comes as state beaches and public parks have more visitors each year. More than 10 million visitors to the three counties, as over 55,000 pounds of trash were plucked from the coast in the three counties last year alone.

Over 60 nonprofits have received a cash infusion from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and Arts Midwest, including the Lake County Library. Over one million dollars going to the NEA Big Read to spur people to read 15 different contemporary books. Their aim is to inspire meaningful conversations, artistic responses, and new discoveries and connections in participating communities through authors with different voices and perspectives. The Lake County Library received a $9,500 grant for the Big Read and picked Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz for 2023 programming. But they won’t get into it until next February.  The collection of poetry is the 2021 winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. Those supporting the Big Read in the county includes the Board of Supervisors, Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians, Mendocino College Lake Center and Lake County Campus of Woodland Community College.

For more info, visit arts.gov/neabigread for more information about the NEA Big Read. Organizations interested in applying for an NEA Big Read grant in the future should visit Arts Midwest’s website for more information

After Mendocino Deputies were tipped to a domestic argument on Highway 20 in Fort Bragg, they made an arrest. Apparently, a woman met Deputies in the driveway of the home, with bloody injuries. She told them she was in a fight with her partner and he threw her to the floor. Legen Dean Edge was contacted by Deputies, who say he had no injuries himself. But they arrested him for Domestic Violence Battery due to evidence at the home and booked him into jail on $25,000.00 bail.

Cal Poly Humboldt in partnership with Mendocino College and others are getting several million dollars for a new Redwood Coast K-16 Education Collaborative. Also involved, Sonoma State University, UC Davis, College of the Redwoods, the Offices of Education in four counties, and ProjectAttain! They’re all working together to increase access to education for underrepresented students in Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, and Lake counties. Those who attend will learn all about careers in health care and education. It’s all part of the state of California’s K-16 Education Collaboratives Grant Program.

A man from Boonville has been missing and was last seen with a group of other people walking into the woods. 25-year-old Jesus Mendoza’s family says they haven’t seen or heard from him since Tuesday. His sister says he was with an unknown group that included three men and five women in the Hendy Woods area. The family says he’s never been gone for more than one night and he has medical conditions. Plus, his sister says, he left his phone and wallet at home. He’s described as 5’11” with a thin build, about 150 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes and he has a tattoo of a broken heart behind his right ear. He was last seen in black shorts. He has multiple nicknames, “Junior”, “Shotgun”, and “Shotty”.

The chair of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors has sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) in response to PG&E looking to vary the flow of water for the Potter Valley Project (the “PVP Project”). The company filed a variance request with FERC to reclassify the 2021- 22 water year type to Dry/Critically Dry which lowers the water flow from the East Fork Russian River, drastically reducing the amount of water, potentially damaging aquatic and riparian environments.  The county doesn’t think the energy company has demonstrated the need for the drastic curtailment, and the company didn’t consult the county’s Drought Working Group. The county is therefore asking for certain rules to be followed by PG&E during the severe drought.

Volunteers for the Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers Association and the Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 87 allowed visitors into the historic lighthouse for the first time in over 2 years. Visitors once again climbed to the top of Mendocino’s historic Lighthouse first lit in June of 1909. It’s the same Fresnel lens lit back in the day. The 1000-watt halogen bulb serves as an Active Federal Aid to Navigation and is owned and operated by the United States Coast Guard.  The lens is maintained by volunteer members of the local Coast Guard Auxiliary.

The City of Ukiah has an acting Police Chief. Captain Cedric Crook, a 24 year veteran of the department and an officer since 1998 will take over as interim Chief since Chief Noble Weidelich is under investigation. Weidelich is on paid leave as the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office investigates an unknown criminal matter. The Sheriff Matt Kendall reportedly asked Sonoma to investigate. He’s also being sued by his former fiancé and may be somehow embroiled in investigations into his former Deputy Kevin Murray who’s being investigated for sex assault, meth use and burglary. And yet another former Deputy is suing saying Murray attacked her. Supposedly this investigation is unrelated to the case by his ex fiancé, and is a new allegation against the chief.

The Fort Bragg City Manager, about to start the job soon, is asking to get out of his contract. John Ford of Humboldt County says it’s due to a conflict with his son’s middle school and his wife doesn’t want to move. Ford also said it would place “significant stress” on his family and not allow him to be “socially involved in the Fort Bragg community as the job mandates.” He also said it was a difficult realization after meeting locals and seeing how well run the city was. He said the city deserved a leader not torn between his family and the city. The mayor commented they were disappointed, but understood his priority of family first. The city has recently chosen a new police chief and says they’ll release more info on that shortly.  

Three new police officers have been hired by the Fort Bragg Police Department to reach full staffing levels. The three went to the College of the Redwoods Police Academy in Eureka for six months of training. The trio graduated last Friday, and on Monday they were sworn in at the City Council meeting. They are Antoinette Moore, David Franco and Tyler Baker, all from the local community. They now have to go thru intense Field Training.

A green light from the Mendocino County board of supervisors on a new sales tax measure for fire mitigation, fire emergency services and water retention. At their budget meeting last week, the board voted on a draft version of the measure and will take a final vote July 12th. If they pass it next month, then it goes to voters in November. The Mendocino Voice reports speaking to the Board Chair, Ted Williams who says it’s part of public safety, and he thinks the county hasn’t done enough to support fire and ambulance. Supervisors didn’t specify the amount of the tax, which will no doubt come up in the ongoing negotiations in the next few weeks.

The Clearlake City Council gave their final approval to the latest budget, with much more money because of several million dollars in grants and increased revenue. The budget for the fiscal year 2022-23 at nearly $39,117,000 in expenses and around $37M in revenue. The general fund is about 8 mil and revenue, just under that. The council had a workshop before their regular meeting last night to go over the budget. They unanimously voted on it. Some of the items included almost $15.5M in grants from PG&E, due to the Sulphur fire, and property and sales taxes totaling $11.2 million.

A giant ugh coming your way as July 1st the state is due to increase gas taxes. Gas is already ridiculously high, but a scheduled increase to the excise tax rate is starting anyway, at about 3 cents/gallon more. The average in the state for regular gas is $6.44 a gallon, compared to the national average of $5.01. But the governor has criticized the latest budget draft saying it failed to provide “more immediate, direct relief to help millions more families with rising gas, groceries and rent prices.” The governor mentioned tax relief for gas prices in his State of the State speech in March. Some lawmakers have called for a one year suspension of the gas excise tax so gas companies could pass 100% of the savings on to consumers, but that proposal was voted down.

So some juvenile prison workers can stay on the job, the governor and a ½ dozen labor unions have hammered out a bonus deal. CalMatters reports taxpayers will pay the $54.5 million for the incentive payments of up to $50,000 for some workers. It’s believed to be the biggest retention bonuses the state has ever given to employees. The Department of Finance reports the agreements for 1,019 direct care and 211 non-direct care employees. The state Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation manages the Division of Juvenile Justice. They say they hope the bonuses will keep workers on the job amidst widespread staffing shortages since the governor announced dismantling the division by June of next year.

The US Supreme Court has ruled on a Calif. labor allowing private lawsuits from groups of workers who may have also agreed to resolve disputes through arbitration. The court overwhelmingly ruled the Federal Arbitration Act preempts or overrides the state law. In an 8-1 decision the justices supported Viking River Cruises looking to block a lawsuit by a former sales agent in Los Angeles. California was the only state that allowed these private lawsuits to help enforce labor laws. The state Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta said the ruling was disappointing but said key points of the state law are still in effect and the law of the state.

A student from Redwood Valley has won a scholarship that takes her to DC. The 2022 Dream Award scholarship is for students who have overcome challenges to fulfill their college dreams by Scholarship America, the country’s largest provider of private scholarships. They’ve handed out over $3M in awards to 150 students in the last eight years. This year Marciela Rodrigues is the lucky winner. She was homeless due to her mother’s drug use and separated from her siblings in foster care. She also has dyslexia, but still excels in school. She also volunteers to help marginalized students, and founded the first ever scientific research team made up almost entirely of former foster youth.

FIRST 5 Mendocino says they have a new website. The group supports children in their first five years of life, providing families with information and resources. The group says they have four broad goals, to optimize children’s health and development, improve access to quality early learning and care, increase family resilience, and strengthen integrated and equitable systems. They provide direct support to families through their family resource center, The Pearl. For more info, visit their new site: http://www.first5mendocino.org

A big donation has come into the Mendocino College Coastal Field Station. The Friends of the Mendocino College Coastal Field Station and Natural Sciences, an affiliate of the Mendocino College Foundation, got $25,000 from a local community member and retired geologist, Robert “Bob” Blanc, for the second half of their capital campaign to restore and refresh the old buildings at the Coastal Field Station, near Point Arena. They’ve been trying to raise $250,000 since 2019 for the effort. There has been years of deferred maintenance and general upgrades needed at the college field station. Now the group reports they’re into the second half of the capital campaign.

The Chairman of the Lake County Board of Supervisors has put out a statement about the destruction of Lake Pillsbury by removing the dam. Chair Eddie Crandell says there’s a narrative around removing the dam, but it ignores the Eel River water to be diverted from Lake Pillsbury flows into the Russian River, delivering water to Sonoma and Marin counties. He says the North Marin Water District has said the river water provides about 70% of Novato’s water, originating from Mendocino County. He further states special interest groups are gambling with the water needs of 600,000 people while urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to order the destruction of Lake Pillsbury. Crandell also states the idea the Russian River could run dry along the Mendocino-Lake County line into Sonoma County is frightening. And without the water in Lake Pillsbury and Lake Mendocino, regional wildfire danger could be further heightened.

Lake County Supervisors considered their budget at their regular weekly meeting. The fiscal year starts in the fall with a total of almost $337,456,000. That’s about $18,000,000 more than a year ago. The general fund though is down almost $7 million. One of the reasons that was down, was due to cannabis cultivation taxes. The board heard about staffing needs in various county departments including probation, librarians, maintenance, and administration. They also have infrastructure that needs repairing and need a new recording system for the Assessor/Recorder, and money to help the Public Library create a Mobile Library. A budget transfer was approved after the Sheriff asked for help with staffing shortages.

The state’s getting into the home-buying business, helping families who can’t afford a down payment. That is if the Governor agrees. A group of lawmakers are proposing a billion-dollar fund as part of the state budget to help first-time home buyers with an entire down payment, or part of it, but the catch is, the state would have partial ownership. The state is currently the second lowest in home ownership, behind New York. But the new California Dream for All program is being created for low to mid-income buyers, including families who have faced racial and economic barriers to home ownership. It would potentially be part of the negotiations on how to spend as much as a $97.5 billion dollar surplus.

A new report says some folks due unemployment benefits from the state had to call hundreds of times to get a human to answer. Cal Matters reports it’s due to the fraud after the lockdown due to the pandemic, that the Employment Development Department’s disability branch call centers were jammed. But much less in November 2021 to April 2022 than between May and October of 2021.  A mass amount of calls came into the disability division in late 2021 as the department said they were trying to stop fraudulent claims. Many in Calif. who claim disability need the money to replace wages because they can’t work due to illness, injury, or pregnancy.

A former human resources director who sued Lake County has settled her wrongful termination and racial discrimination lawsuit. Lake Co News reports the Board of Supervisors approved the settlement with Pamela Nichols in a closed session, then announced the settlement by video later, because the Zoom link didn’t work. The Board Chair EJ Crandell said they approved a $500,000 payout to Nichols, and that they will make sure they have training in the discrimination harassment complaint process, continue cultural awareness training and the county will pay for any mediation. The former HR director was told to quit, or she’d be fired, and sued for wrongful termination, racial discrimination, infringement of her First Amendment rights to free speech and retaliation. She sued the county and former Administrative Officer, who recently retired.

A murderer from Clear Lake up for parole is denied. 63-year-old Edward Keefe Crawford was arrested for a 1987 murder, of, at the time, 28-year-old Glenn Shoemaker. Crawford was convicted the following year and got 27 years to life. He and another man, Jon Christ, took Shoemaker for a boat ride, got out of the boat in a secluded spot, and shot Shoemaker. Then the two bragged about the crime, each with varying stories, and motives. The Board of Parole said he still posed an unreasonable risk and won’t have his parole heard again until 2025.

The Police Chief in Ukiah is out… temporarily… or? The department has released a statement that Chief Noble Waidelich has been placed on administrative leave because of an “ongoing criminal investigation led by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.” It doesn’t say what about, but there’s the case of a former Deputy who’s being investigated, Kevin Murray, for sexual assault and drug use, and the Chief’s former romantic partner is suing for domestic abuse. The City of Ukiah has confirmed the Chief’s being paid while out on leave. Another former officer of the department also sued the agency for creating a hostile work environment after complaints about Murray allegedly sexually assaulting her. The police dept. said in their release that since this is a pending personnel and criminal matter, they wouldn’t be commenting.

A grant from Adventist Health Mendocino Coast and the City of Fort Bragg is going to Bainbridge Park for new soccer fields. The State Farm Neighborhood Assist program grant of $25,000 is paying for two artificial turf soccer fields. The president of Adventist Health Mendocino Coast says it will benefit the health and well-being of the community. Winners of the grants from State Farm are chosen by the public online. The soccer fields are part of an overhaul of Bainbridge Park, which is the only public playground in Fort Bragg.

For more information about the Adventist Health Foundation in Mendocino County, please visit:
https://www.adventisthealth.org/mendocino-county/mendocino-county-philanthropy/

A man who was in a serious motorcycle accident says he’s looking for a bystander who stayed with him in Laytonville after the crash, comforting him. 77-year-old Dave Glade says a woman, pictured in crash site photos, held his hand May 15th until he was taken to the hospital. He said it was like she was an angel and that she comforted him and he will never forget her. He had six fractures in his left shoulder and a broken rib. He was with his sons on a three-week motorcycle trip from Southern Calif. The crash happened on day four, Glade says. He says a proper thank you is in order, so he wants to find her.

The Maha Guenoc Valley project is off. After a court order against land use approvals, the Lake County Board of Supervisors made the decision to rescind its approval from 2020. The first phase was approved which was to include 385 residential villas in five subdivisions, five boutique hotels with 127 hotel rooms and over 140 resort residential cottages, 20 campsites, around 100 workforce co-housing units and many more resort amenities like an outdoor entertainment area and a float plane dock and helipads. But the Center for Biological Diversity and the California Native Plant Society filed a lawsuit against the project.

A man from Cobb says he shot another man in self-defense last week. 23-year-old Hunter Toles pleaded not guilty in court this week to various charges including attempted murder, assault with a firearm and felony child endangerment because a child was there during an attack at a motel where a man and woman were apparently the victims… the woman was hit by a bullet and injured. Toles claimed he was being attacked and he pulled a gun in self-defense. There were three victims, police say, a woman who was shot, her fiancé, the man Toles said assaulted him, and a child on the scene. Toles is charged for the attack on the man and woman, with a laundry list of crimes against him. His bail is set at over 3 million dollars, and he’s held in jail.

Calif. lawmakers concerned about the potential of Roe vs. Wade being overturned, have approved a package of bills to assure abortion remains a constitutional right in Calif. The amendment to the state Constitution would mean caregivers in Calif. could not deny or interfere in abortions or contraceptives. Two legislative committees cleared the amendment yesterday. It’s moving fast they say to get it on a ballot for voters to approve in November. It must clear the legislature with a two-thirds vote before the end of the month.

Since the pandemic broke out many people were unable to make their rent or mortgage payments. During lockdowns across the country money from states and the fed came in to help. Now the state of Calif. has expanded a COVID-19 program to help folks still challenged to pay their mortgage due to the pandemic. Those who missed payments this year may be eligible for help from a program only designed for owners that fell two months behind before December 27th of 2021. Now they may be able to get more money for help with past-due property taxes, even if their mortgage payments are current. It’s for homeowners who make 150% or less of their county’s median income.

There is no deadline to apply for the program, but the state urges homeowners to get their applications in as soon as possible, either by visiting CaMortgageRelief.org or calling 888-840-2594.

Remember that shooting massacre at the veteran’s home in Yountville? The state has agreed to pay tens of millions to settle some of the claims after the 2018 attack by a former patient. He killed three staffers then shot himself. The $51 million is a one-time payout for settlement costs at the Veterans Home of California, Yountville. It was approved by lawmakers this week. A lawyer for the family of one of the employees killed that day, Dr. Jennifer Golick, said there are more lawsuits still pending, but it’s the first step in a long journey after the horrible tragedy. The money settles four cases by the families of three victims. There are still wrongful death lawsuits pending in federal court.

The Mendocino County election office is still wading through Primary Election ballots. The office says they processed almost 14,000 ballots last weekend. The unofficial results show they counted nearly 3,900 ballots as of the day after the election. But the county has to accept ballots until yesterday, one week after the election. They further have a month to certify the election. They expect they’ll have received nearly 18,000 ballots. The office said they thought the Primary brought about 30-35% turnout. The manual public tally is tomorrow, where they randomly choose ballots for each race to verify the accuracy of the votes.

A woman from Clearlake found to be mentally incompetent to stand trial for arson, has reportedly been restored to competency and will stand trial. Kayla Main was apparently seen lighting fires in Lower Lake and was approached by police. Her lawyer after her arrest doubted her competency so she was examined by two doctors and the proceedings against her were stopped. She was committed to a state hospital and treated with medication. She was returned to jail soon after and corrections officials were ordered to continue her on meds. At a recent restoration to competency hearing, Main was deemed to be mentally competent. She’s ordered to be in court for her preliminary hearing Monday. When she was arraigned last year, she entered a not guilty plea for arson, resisting an executive officer, violating probation, vandalism and more. She’s held on $15,000 bail.

The Lake County Registrar of Voters office is inviting the public to the manual tally from the Primary Election last week. They take a minimum of 1% of randomly selected precincts, including each contest voted on June 7th. They starting this morning at 9:00 a.m. The selection
of the precinct(s) to be included in the manual tally will be randomly chosen today. Those invited to view the tally should not interfere with the election process.

A new report says Cal Fire is dealing with a mental health crisis due to intensifying wildfires causing trauma. The Cal Matters report says some seek help in retreats after suffering from PTSD. The report says the longer and more intense fire seasons have impacted firefighters. Over 50 have died on the job since 2006. The news site interviewed dozens of Calif. firefighters including chiefs and captains, plus, mental health experts, family members and others. The news site says there’s a massive, unaddressed problem due to long hours and stress. Cal Fire started a behavioral health program in 1999. Some interviewed for the report say Cal Fire has to do more because of staffing shortages, they’re working too much, have issues getting their benefits and health care coverage under the state’s workers’ comp system.

Over 2 dozen sites at Yosemite National Park have been vandalized. Park officials are trying to find anyone on the trail leading to Yosemite Falls May 20th, carrying cans of spray paint, then tagging the area. They say they used white and blue paint and drew on the giant boulders and other sites along the Yosemite Falls Trail. Park rangers got several reports about vandalism on the trail. They say there were 30 sites hit with spray paint. The smallest tag was one foot by one foot, but most of them were about 3 X 3, with a few that were 8 X 8.

The Lakeport annexation question will be on the November ballot after neighbors cried out about the idea. If there are any complaints, it triggers an election, it can’t just be voted on by town officials. The South Lakeport annexation is now going to be in the hands of under 20 property owners in the annexation area. The City Council voted unanimously last week to approve a resolution for the annexation to be on the General Election ballot, November 8th. The city is wanting to annex 137 acres east of Highway 29 after the Lake Local Agency Formation Commission approved it. But owners of 16 of the 50 parcels there, protested the annexation. A protest of 25% triggers an election, the owners make up 36%.

A murderer from Clearlake lost his bid for parole. Richard Guerrero was convicted in April of 2000 for murdering Mark Boyer. There was also a special allegation he used a gun. The Board of Parole Hearings denied his parole for five more years. He was originally sentenced to 44 years to life. The judge at his sentencing hearing back then said Guerrero showed no remorse and denied doing anything wrong. Boyer was shot and killed during a disturbance involving 25 people at a local bar. He was shot six times. Guerrero first denied the shooting, then admitted it to cops later.

Forward movement of a fire in Lower Lake has been stopped. Yesterday afternoon, the Butte Fire broke out around lunch time near the McLaughlin Natural Reserve. It was just about an hour before the fire was corralled. No injuries or damage was reported from the 30-acre fire. No cause was determined yet.

A voluntary water sharing program is in the works for users of the Upper Russian River watershed. The State Water Resources Control Board started to work on the program, which is said to be the first of its kind in the state. And the City of Ukiah was reportedly part of the team developing the program, which they say can offer a different approach than water curtailment orders. The Special Counsel to the City of Ukiah says the city could end up providing some water for the program, but it’s voluntary. The city is set to vote on taking part in the program or not this week. Others taking part in the planning include representatives of the Mendocino Farm Bureau, Sonoma Resource Conservation District, Russian River Flood Control District, Fish Friendly Farms, and the City of Healdsburg.

The legislation by State Senator Bill Dodd to extend gaming compacts for over 2 dozen Calif. tribes has been signed into law by the Governor. As noted last week, some tribes had already signed new gaming compacts with the state, but many did not and their time, per contract, was about to run out. So, Dodd drafted legislation to extend the compacts by 18 months, to make time for more negotiations. He thanked the Governor for signing the extension, which he says will provide a path toward self-sufficiency and economic development. Some local tribes included in the agreement were the Cahto Tribe of the Laytonville Rancheria, Hopland Band of Pomo Indians, Manchester Band of Pomo Indians of the Manchester Rancheria, Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California, Robinson Rancheria and the Sherwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California.

A report says a bank statement given to federal regulators by a company looking to ship coal overseas via Humboldt Bay may be fraudulent. The North Coast Railroad Company reportedly gave the federal Surface Transportation Board statements showing for three weeks in April, their bank balance at the Self-Help Credit Union was lower than $100, and the most, under $3,300. Hardly enough to buy a house, and a lot lower than a $15.7 million beginning and ending balance noted on the statement. The Times Standard newspaper reports there were redactions, and the credit union says too many discrepancies to verify it was a valid statement. Congressman Jared Huffman and State Sen. Mike McGuire have voiced concern about the statement, with McGuire calling it misleading and potentially fraudulent.

A man accused of stabbing his father to death and trying to kill his mother will spend more time under a conservatorship. A so-called Murphy Conservatorship was granted last June for Steven Michael Fredericks who faces two counts of murder, attempted murder causing injury to an elder and assault with a deadly weapon. The Murphy Conservatorship happens where the person of interest is pending indictment, or the information used to charge them is the result of a mental health disorder and they cannot understand the criminal proceedings against them. Frederick’s dad was stabbed to death in March of 2018, and his mom was cut, but survived. Fredericks spent some time in a mental health facility but is now in the Lake County jail.

COVID case rates in Lake County are surging again. The Public Health Office reports the county has landed in the CDC’s “High” community level. The federal agency has a three tier scale. The Public Health Officer reminds to wear masks in public indoor spaces, get tested if you think you’ve been exposed, and stay up to date on vaccinations. He says there are no mandates, but that reassessing measures may be necessary to avoid devastating outcomes if case rates continue to rise. Health officials say these are all recommendations and shouldn’t be seen as punishment, but a powerful tool in avoidance of more severe outcomes.  The county is reporting 212 weekly cases for every 100,000 residents and test positivity close to 11%.

The Ukiah High School Summer Academy program is accepting new applicants. It’s for incoming 9th graders to be set up for success as a member of Wildcat Nation. Kids get a crash course in high school activities, they get to meet teachers, learn the school campus and get to know high school and college preparation requirements and strategies for excelling as a freshman in high school. Students will also be introduced to potential careers in the trades, and they get to take field trips to nearby colleges. In the past, that has included UC Berkeley, UC Davis, San Francisco State, Humboldt State University, Sonoma State University, and Mendocino College.

Applications can be accessed on the Ukiah High website and the Ukiah Unified School District Facebook page.

A man seen sitting in a car in Willits who was known to be wanted on a warrant has been arrested. A Sheriff’s Deputy saw William Lee in the driver’s seat of the parked car and approached. He then searched and found several grams of meth in the car. A woman with Lee, Denesa Cleek was searched, and the Deputy found a collapsible baton, can of pepper spray, meth and drug paraphernalia used in the sale of the drug. She was arrested and held on $50,000 bail and Lee was held on $55,000.

Anthem Blue Cross in Calif. is being fined a bundle for breaking a couple of rules about out-of-pocket expenses. The State Dept. of Managed Health Care is charging the insurance giant $1.1 million for two violations, one the out-of-pocket costs, by telling customers to pay their office visit as part of their deductible. Over 6,500 customers shelled out over 9 million to doctor offices. And the insurance company never sent an explanation of benefits notice to well over 360,000 enrollees. The company says they have resolved the matter and apologize for any inconvenience it caused. The company had reported their own error to the state and will pay consumers back.  

A car crash outside Willits looks to have totaled a CHP SUV. A pickup truck also got damaged on
Highway 101 and another car went over a cliff. The CHP reports yesterday morning one vehicle was down the cliff about 75 feet, with another vehicle overturned, besides their SUV. Part of the northbound side of the highway was closed near the Cal Fire Howard Forest Station. Mendo Fever reported a witness said it looked like the pickup and CHP SUV were on the southbound side of the highway, but the car down the cliff was on the northbound side.

Quick work of a small fire near Hopland. Aerial fighting stopped the spread of the fire. A nixle alert went out to tell folks to stay away from the area, but they didn’t evacuate anyone. PG&E was also on the scene.

PG&E called to work on a power line in Garberville, to find out it was someone’s parrot sitting on the line. His name is Simon, and his owner says he climbed up a vine, onto the roof of a home, then went up a service dropline, and onto the power line. The bird cannot fly, but perched it up there for a long enough that his owner got concerned. The PG&E worker and Simon’s owner used tools to coax him down, and he finally wandered into the backyard and said “Goodbye.”

The driver of a vehicle that crashed near Piercy reportedly ran into nearby woods. Reports say the man looked to have a head injury and an ambulance was called. But they were searching for the driver. Mendo Fever reports residents in the area were told to lock up their cars and stay alert for an injured driver. The Piercy Volunteer Fire Department Chief reported a search along Highway 101 near the incident, never finding the driver.

A man from Ukiah has been arrested along with a woman who police say attacked another man at a motel. Police got a call last Thursday to the Royal Motel finding a victim had been attacked with a machete and broomstick. Ronald Feagin and Amy Woolsey are accused of putting the man in the hospital with head injuries. Feagin is charged with attempted murder and Woolsey with assault with a deadly weapon. Apparently, the suspects’ child watched the entire thing, so Child Protective Services was also called to the motel.  Witnesses and surveillance footage show it started as a verbal altercation which escalated with Feagin hitting the victim multiple times with the machete and Woolsey hitting him with a broom handle. They were separated by other people there.

A Kelseyville High Schooler, against all odds, has won the 2022 Every Student Succeeding Award. The Association of California School Administrators awards students who have overcome obstacles and made special effort to succeed. For Lake County, Logan Jirout was the ninth-grade winner. He was named by the school principal and his teachers. There were also nominees from Mendocino, Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Solano counties. He was in the hospital with severe scoliosis which caused a bump in his spine. He had to undergo four surgeries and spent a month in the hospital. This all occurred as he was entering high school.

Hospice Services are being expanded at Adventist Health, Mendocino County. They will now also be in Fort Bragg for the first time in a quarter century. Adventist Health Home Care Services is for those with a disability, chronic illness, acute illness, or terminal illness, or someone in recovery from major surgery or injury. In Fort Bragg that includes home nurses, physical and occupational therapists, medical social workers, and home health aides. With hospice, it includes a chaplain, a bereavement director, and a medical director. The hospital system says their hospice care focuses on end of life, quality of life. To learn more about Home Care and Hospice services through Adventist Health Mendocino Coast, please visit: https://www.adventisthealth. org/home-care-services/ locations/mendocinocounty or call (707) 961-4651.