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Category Archives: 94.5 K-Wine News

94.5 K-Wine Local News Reports

Pomo artists are being featured at the Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah. Starting tomorrow at 11am, Pomo artists Katie Williams-Elliott, Donna Ramirez and Eric Wilder will be at the museum with their various works to talk to art enthusiasts. The painting, drawing and photography will be part of the exhibit, “Gathering Time: Pomo Art During the Pandemic.” There are 15 different contemporary Pomo artists from 10 Pomo tribal groups from Mendocino, Lake and Sonoma Counties. The artist’s work harkens back to the lockdown and the associated heartbreak the COVID pandemic wreaked on all of us, and their cultural traditions. Admission to this panel is free with museum admission. The Grace Hudson Museum is
located at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah.

For more information, call (707) 467-2836 or visit the website at
https://www.gracehudsonmuseum.org.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors has discussed hiring an auditor to look over the contract with the Elijah House due to some grant money used for the former homeless shelter and the abrupt dismissal of residents there. The Board was questioning whether the management of the former shelter were following the contract, using grant funding appropriately and reporting the usage. The administrator for the Elijah House was at the meeting over Zoom, but the board ultimately decided to hire an unbiased outside auditor. The Board also looked at getting a lawyer to make sure PG&E was providing the appropriate wildfire mitigation. They agreed to spend up to $50,000 only and potentially work with the same lawyer other groups have already signed on with for their own beefs with the utility giant.

The Governor is set to sign two bills that will use under-used or vacant commercial buildings as housing. The deal came about through some affordable housing groups and labor unions. The two bills, one originating in the Senate, the other in the Assembly look to put housing in buildings that had been zoned for large retail and office buildings because of a massive shortage of housing. The pair of bills guarantee union-scale wages for builders and have a clause to expedite the construction of the conversions. They also have to be close to city centers so the state can still meet its environmental goals and avoid sprawl.

More shocking details have emerged about why former Ukiah cop Kevin Murray was being investigated in the first place. Details have been released to the public for 60 days outlining the Sonoma County Probation Department’s sentencing recommendation which had asked for a much stricter sentence than the suspended sentence he received along with probation. He was charged with rape, burglaries and drug possession. The notes say he raped a woman at gunpoint, had meth on him at one point he said was evidence he forgot to book in. There were another couple of sex assaults, but the Sonoma County Probation Dept. says they didn’t get responses needed from the Mendocino County District Attorney’s office, which was prosecuting the case.

A man from the Ukiah area has been sent to prison for starting a fire at a group home with people inside. 32-year-old Travis Joseph Humphrey will be locked up for 9 years after the December fire. Witnesses apparently gave police and fire investigators enough information that they interviewed Humphrey. They say he set a fire in the room he was assigned to, left the room, closed the door and took off. Then he was seen looking into a window from outside. At the time of the fire, Humphrey was also on probation for being an accessory to the reckless setting of a fire by another person last year. But the fire he set was a felony.

Someone found sleeping on the steps of a business in Ukiah ended up being a man wanted for several warrants. Police say Scott Faber also had meth on him, so they arrested him. After search of the man, police say they also found ammunition on him. Faber was booked into jail for Unlawful Possession of Ammunition, Misdemeanor – Possession Controlled Substance and the Misdemeanor Arrest Warrants and held on $25,000.00 bail.

After cruising around on routine patrol, a Sheriff’s Deputy has arrested a man after a traffic stop for possessing drugs. A search was on because Edward Blakeley was found to be on Post Release Community Supervision out of county. He was found on the 200 block of KUKI Lane in Ukiah with a personal use quantity of suspected methamphetamine and a methamphetamine pipe. He’s charged with possessing a controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and held without bail.

Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire has announced the Governor has signed his bill to hurry and underground electricity lines to keep communities safe. The Governor signed the bill into law yesterday. McGuire says it’s about time and added that PG&E has failed to keep Calif. safe and “underfunded modernization, line hardening and wildfire safety efforts for decades, which has had devastating impacts in communities throughout the utility’s territory.” The undergrounding of electric lines is thought to be one of the ways to solve the wildfire crisis by about 99%. And it could also reduce carbon emissions by stopping mega-fires before they start.

A man in Fort Bragg running to be on the City Council has bowed out after a particularly uncomfortable interaction with a drunk guy and a Ukiah police officer. Alberto Aldaco says Officer Jarod Frank performed a probation search of a man who had been drinking, but was not allowed because it’s against his probation. Aldaco reportedly told the cop off, then the officer’s body camera caught Aldaco peeing on the ground on a public street. Mendo Fever and Kym Kemp are reporting Aldaco said he would no longer be running for city council because he’s not the best person he can be currently. The city clerk in Fort Bragg has confirmed the 25-year-old dropped out of the race.

There’s a massive hole in Mendocino county’s multi-million dollar health plan. The self-funded plan’s a deficit after about two and a half years adds up to about six million dollars. That’s even after the Board of Supervisors moved over $4.5 million from one of the COVID stimulus packages over to the plan budget. So the real deficit was around the $10 million mark. The Board also says the former auditor borrowed money to cover the deficit, but they didn’t know. At their meeting the Board members sounded off on the shortage. They also heard there had been a surplus a few years back but the then Auditor-Controller said it was too high and they should spend it down. The new CEO told the board they had reported a wrong number, but nobody who knew the actual number came forward to correct it.

The Yurok Tribe and California State Parks have cemented their deal, signing an agreement for co-management of Yurok ancestral territory on Calif. land. The milestone is called the Global Memorandum of Understanding and Traditional Tribal Gathering Agreement. It means Yurok Tribe members have access to state parks in the North Coast Redwoods District and within Yurok Ancestral Territory so they can work the land without a permit. That includes gathering plants and minerals, participating in tribal activities like religious, spiritual, ceremonial, recreational, and research. The Tribal Chair spoke at the signing, saying he was grateful for the correction of the longstanding injustice on the tribal land.

The Mendocino County Prevention, Recovery, Resiliency, and Mitigation Division (PRRM) is reminding there’s not much time left to fill out the disaster recovery and resiliency survey. The survey is open to all residents, past or present, not just those who sustained direct impacts caused by the 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2021 wildfire disasters. The deadline is tomorrow at midnight.

To complete the survey, please visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MendoDisasterRecovery State

Sen. Bill Dodd has announced the Governor has signed his bill to beef up wildfire prevention by creating a $20 million prescribed fire claims fund. Dodd says the increasing destruction and loss of life from climate-driven wildfires means the state has to “ramp up prevention – and prescribed fire is a proven way to do that”. His bill not only sets money aside for the state to use prescribed fires or controlled burning, but also protects landowners and prescribed fire managers so they don’t have to pay for fire suppression, unless they acted with gross negligence. The Nature Conservancy supported the bill, saying to restore forests, there needs to be less barriers for prescribed burning.

Mendocino County has several events taking place in support of National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. The events to remember those lost to overdose, to acknowledge grief of family and friends who have been left behind and renew the commitment to end overdose and related harms. The Overdose Awareness, Education, and Resources Options Events are happening every weekend in October. There are five of them on Saturdays, each from 10:30am-1:30pm in different locations in the County. The events are sponsored by Consolidated Tribal Health Project, National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Sovereign Nation of Pinoleville, the City of Ukiah, and Mendocino County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services.

October 1st at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville, October 8th at the Gualala Community Center, October 15th at the Fort Bragg Town Hall, October 22nd at the Ukiah Alex Thomas Plaza, and October 29th at the Willits Recreation Grove Park.

For questions or additional information, contact (707) 472-2300, or if you, a friend, or a family member need help, call the Beacon Call Center at 1-855-765-9703

A pay hike is coming for California Highway Patrol officers. The 6.2% raise this year negotiated by the union with the state of Calif. The state Human Resources Department put the salary up on the annual survey on the state website which was used to calculate the new salary. That means some will make almost $111,000 per year. Plus it will be paid retroactively to July 1st. CHP raises are somewhat different than their other law enforcement counterparts. They’re in alignment with the pay of five local police departments: San Francisco, Oakland, San Diego and Los Angeles, where there are two departments.

The Ukiah Garden Club’s fall fundraiser features planting kits for kids again, but this time they’re in tiny teacups. Last year kids got a small packet of fertilizer, along with a spoon, so children could mix them up. There were 70 kits made last year for the sale. 40 were sold and the rest went to Lake County for their sale. This year kids are getting the teacups, wooden chop sticks and tiny spoons and fertilizer packets. The sale is happening next weekend, Oct. 8th and 9th from 9am – 4pm Sat. and until 2pm Sunday.

The Governor has signed a bill into law so agricultural laborers can join unions. The Governor had said he was against the bill which was hardily supported by the United Farm Workers. Union workers and supporters walked 335-miles from Delano to Sacramento, then camped out on the steps of the State Capitol for several weeks. President Biden even got involved, putting out a Labor Day statement urging Governor Newsom to sign Assembly Bill 2183 into law.

The levees in Upper Lake were the subject of a workshop due to community concern. The Western Region Town Hall was at the Habematolel community center where about 40 people showed up, most of them Upper Lake residents. There was a Q&A with officials from the county and the Lake County Water Resources’ consulting company. Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry also had representatives at the meeting via Zoom. The levees were built by the Army Corp of Engineers back in the 1950s but turned over management to the state of California in the 90s. There are about a dozen solutions being offered that have been whittled to three, but the state law keeps evolving which has put a wrinkle in moving forward.

The Governor has signed Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry’s bill to update the authority of Resource Conservation Districts in ways to better fight climate change. The districts or RCDs were created in the 1930s as a liaison with state and federal conservation programs due to the central valley’s dust bowl. There are now 95 RCDs to help with natural resource needs of rural, urban, and suburban communities. Aguiar-Curry says they’re doing important work to address climate change in her district, but many in smaller regions have tiny budgets. Her bill would make it easier for them to get grants and continue to be updated. The last update was in the 70s.

The Fort Bragg City Council has passed a new anti-bullying policy. At their meeting Monday night they heard from the city manager who said she noticed a lot of bullying and hostility at city hall. The policy is not legally enforceable, but City Manager Peggy Ducey said she was concerned that the nastiness toward City employees could become physically violent. She provided info to those in attendance about shootings in city halls around the country, showed some of the abusive letters some staffers had received and said they’ve had no recourse until now. But some of the public at the meeting said the policy would get in the way of free speech and would mean less public participation, one saying, “criticism isn’t bullying.”

A man from Chico is facing prison for some time after charges he lived with a dead man whose identity he used. The Butte County District Attorney’s office charged David Pirtle with identity theft and forgery for writing checks from his 4 years dead roommate Kevin Olson. Cops started investigating after several of Olson’s relatives reported not seeing him since about October of 2018. Detectives went to his home after finding about 50 checks had been written to Pirtle. An autopsy is planned and Pirtle is in jail on $165,000 bail. Police say Pirtle was paying the mortgage on time each month.

The Save the Redwoods League has acquired hundreds of acres of redwood forest at Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve. The Atkins Place Forest is across from the reserve. The League partnered with California State Parks to make improvements to the park. The purchase by the League adds on to other purchases to protect over 37,500 acres. Save the Redwoods has moved to protect almost all of the 2,743 acres in Montgomery Woods. The head of the League says it’s an important area of the coast redwood range, “for both recreational visitors and conservation”

The Agriculture Department is trying to get a handle on how much cannabis is growing in Mendocino County so they’re looking for producers to fill out surveys. The state’s not given the county info on the METRC reporting system so this survey will help the County give the state needed information. The survey is for the 2021 Cultivation Season and can be filled out then returned directly to the Department of Agriculture. The info they collect is anonymous and used only for compilation of the annual Cannabis Crop Report.

The Governor has signed a law to protect women from paying more for feminine products and other items. The “pink-tax” is now illegal in California. The Governor’s wife and first partner, Jennifer Seibel Newsom along with the Legislative Women’s Caucus were with the Governor when he signed the law along with a package of bills to advance gender equity and protect the rights of women. The pink tax law was brought forward by Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan of Orinda. It bans companies from tacking on higher prices for products based on gender. Companies who violate the new law can be fined thousands.

The Governor is poised to sign a bill that many say will slow the massive fires we’ve been experiencing for years in Calif., undergrounding power lines. Those against the idea say it would get in the way of regulatory oversight of energy companies and could mean higher power bills for consumers. Utility customers who are not in PG&E territory have reportedly been asking the governor to veto the bill. The bill passed the Assembly unanimously and was 31-9 in the Senate. But the Senate Majority Leader, Mike McGuire says year over year the Northern Calif. region has experienced massive utility caused wildfires and “undergrounding electrical lines reduces fire starts by 99 percent.”

Planners in the City of Ukiah are continuing their work on the city’s General Plan. At their meeting tonight, the Planning Commission will hear public comments, which they will continue to consider until they complete the document. They released the draft Environmental Impact Report for the 2040 General Plan with notes for tonight’s meeting. One of the commissioner’s, Rick Johnson also requested more info on the plans to be able to provide enough water, especially with the likely decommissioning of the Potter Valley Project. He said it could mean shifting primarily to aquifers for the city’s water, instead of the Russian River. He questioned how the city could continue providing water without the hydroelectric plant running.

The state is dealing with a major affordable housing crisis, and it’s spilling into dorm rooms and apartments for college students. Ed Source reports most of the colleges across the state which are UC or Cal State are not guaranteeing you’ll find housing over four years. Just a handful of community colleges have on-campus housing. But now the Legislature is heeding the call. The budget lawmakers created for the year carved out about $1.4 billion for more student housing at five UC campuses, nine CSU campuses and 12 community colleges. But it will reportedly take years to impact the shortage and won’t help current students, some of whom are taking to sleeping in their cars overnight.

Another bill passed by the Legislature this session would make solitary confinement a thing of the past. The so-called “California Mandela Act”, named after former political prisoner Nelson Mandela would limit the use of the tiny cells in all California prisons, jails and immigration detention facilities. It won on a party line vote with Republicans saying it will just cost too much. There are not many restrictions on how the practice is used in the state, but it usually means 22-23 hours in a day in a single cell. The bill the Governor is getting would ban the use for anyone under the age of 26 or over the age of 59 entirely. Also pregnant people, or a mother who had a miscarriage, just gave birth or people suffering from some sort of physical or mental disability.

A trio of students in Northern Calif have received the PG&E Better Together STEM Scholarships. The energy company announced 40 students in all of their service areas are getting scholarships worth $250,000 from the 2022 Better Together STEM Scholarship Program. There are some in Lake and Mendocino counties. 20 scholarships were distributed worth $10,000 and 20 for $2,500 for students who want a degree in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Locally, the winners were Brody Breeden of Kelseyville, whose attending California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and pursuing a degree in Computer Science; Ronan Williams, from Boonville, attending University of California, Irvine and pursuing a career in Biology; and Brayden Martinez, from Ukiah, attending Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and pursuing a degree in Engineering.

The drought is taking a toll on Lake Oroville. The level is so low and what rain we have received has not been enough to get the level back up so three of five ramps there are closed. Two ramps are still open to the public to launch boats. The Department of Water Resources says the two which are still open should stay that way because they run very deep into the lake. There have also been a lot less visitors and some houseboat owners have been having an issue accessing them, taking shuttles out to access them. Elevation over the weekend at the lake was just under 700 feet, just 35% of the lake’s total capacity, and 64% of the historical average.

Since nobody filed to run for an open spot on the Ukiah Unified School District Board, they will be appointing someone. The opening was for Trustee Area 6 and was supposed to be on the November 8th ballot. But the board is appointing someone. So any registered voter who lives in Area 6 can apply online at the District website. You can also call the Superintendent or Board offices to get the application. They need to get your completed application by Thursday, October 27th. Then the current Board of Trustees will interview the applicants in open session, Monday, November 7th. They will announce the new trustee after and they will be sworn in at the Board’s organizational meeting on December 15th.

Anyone interested may contact the Mendocino County Office of Elections at 707.234.6819.

There are no more routine testing mandates in Mendocino County. The Public Health Officer, Dr. Andy Coren has sent a revised health order that ends the mandatory tests for unvaccinated workers along with mask recommendations. Those will stay in place in all healthcare settings though to stay in alignment with the state Department of Public Health’s Covid restrictions set Sept. 14th. Coren stated health employees in general and psychiatric hospitals, adult care facility workers, and school employees who remain unvaccinated must still be tested under federal law. And Coren is still strongly recommending masks since the county is at low community spread. The county is still getting about 5 new, reported Covid cases/day. The county has also had 136 deaths to date.

The Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off is back in Ukiah. Next month, a celebration for All Hallow’s Eve with live music, food, activities for the kids and a parade with the winning pumpkin atop a float. The entry forms are now available for the mid-October event. The winner gets $1.50/lb. That meant nearly a thousand dollars for last year’s winner which weighed 644 pounds. The weigh off this year is October 14th with PumpkinFest events October 15th and 16th.

Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off entry forms are now available at the City of Ukiah Civic Center Annex at 411 W. Clay Street in Ukiah or on the web at http://www.cityofukiah.com/pumpkinfest.

Please call the Community Services Department at 463-6231 for more information.

The Westport Village Society is getting hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money from the California Coastal Conservancy. It was a unanimous vote at a meeting of the Conservancy in Fort Bragg to give $845,000 to the Westport Village Society so the nonprofit can acquire property at DeHaven Creek Headlands to preserve public access for critical coastal lands. The 26 acres can be enjoyed by the 200 or so residents in Westport for even more coastline. The Mendocino Voice reports a lot of the residents there are considered disadvantaged with a median income of $39,000.

Congressman Mike Thompson has announced his Public Safety Heroes including 2 in Lake County. Cory Smith and Officer Juan Altamirano are in the group in Thompson’s district. They were named the 2022 Lake County Public Safety Heroes for going above and beyond the call of duty. He says Smith is a proven leader as both a paramedic and Fire Marshal, whose “coolness and skill under pressure led to the safe evacuation of multiple endangered citizens during the Cache Fire”. And he added Officer Altamirano was an exemplary officer and demonstrates “important values of respect and commitment to duty”. His accolades came after he responded to a suspicious car report.

The state’s task force on reparations is considering money to pay anyone back who’s been the victim of forms of racial discrimination, generational pain and suffering as Black Americans in the state of Calif. Consultants are working on the amounts now. It could add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars for Black Californians that are descendants of slaves. But there are some against the idea saying it will be hard to prove who should get what and a major challenge to get the Legislature on board. The nine-member panel deciding with economic experts met over the weekend at the California Science Center after first releasing a 500-page report on the state’s history of slavery and racism in June. The task force is set to meet again in Oakland in December.

PG&E could be in hot water again. The US Forest Service is investigating if the giant utility company is responsible for the massive Mosquito Fire, the largest so far this year. The federal agency reportedly took a PG&E transmission pole and other equipment from the ignition point in the Sierra Nevada foothills earlier this month. They said in a regulatory filing with the fed that the fire started in the area of a PG&E power line on National Forest Land. The Service says their initial assessment led them to conduct a criminal investigation into the fire. It comes after the company was held criminally liable for fires in 2015, 17 & 18, and most recently for the massive Dixie Fire last year.

A new report reminds, the unsheltered can still vote in California elections. The Bay Area News Group reports it’s a common misconception a physical address is needed to vote. A study about a decade ago showed just about 10% of recorded homeless individuals voted. Whether they live in a shelter or a homeless camp, there are ways they can vote in local elections. First they must register and be at least 18 years old. Some counties do require identification or the last four digits of their social security number. They can register on paper at libraries, government buildings and polling places on election day — or online at RegisterToVote.ca.gov.

The word squaw is no more in California on monuments and for place names. The Governor was joined in ceremony by Native American tribal leaders Friday and signed a bill to remove the word from almost 100 geographic features and locations across the state. One of which was the unincorporated town of Squaw Valley, but some residents there said they didn’t want the name to change. But apparently the Dunlap Band of Mono Indians liked the idea. Their ancestral home is part of the area. In Fresno County, there is Squaw Lake and Squaw Leap, which will also get new names. Towns and officials have three years to remove the name.

A recently released report that was part of the reason former Ukiah policeman Kevin Murray got a light sentence, has been released. Mendo Fever reports it shows the Sonoma County probation dept. couldn’t give a stronger sentencing recommendation for jail time because they never received key background criminal reports. There was a one year jail term recommended but it could have been more if they had more information before coming to their final conclusion on sentencing. The report they didn’t receive reportedly included the investigative reports of a second alleged rape. But the charge was dropped, along with three other sex related charges against him, if he pleaded no-contest instead to two lesser charges.

A fire that burned a home in Ukiah has been deemed arson. Investigators say the fire Sunday night was deliberately set. Ukiah Valley Fire Authority Battalion Chief Justin Buckingham told Mendo Fever they found the fire was intentionally set by someone unknown so far. The home had been abandoned. There were items inside that showed there could have been squatters living there. That had been a problem several times in the past too. But firefighters found nobody inside when they got there. They say the fire didn’t start because of a an “unattended warming or cooking fire.” The fire started near the Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op.

The inaugural policy summit on Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) is planned. Next Tuesday, October 4th is the 1st Annual Northern California Tribal Summit on  MMIP. They expect to have tribal leaders, law enforcement officials and MMIP survivors along with state and federal lawmakers, academic researchers, and victim advocates all working together to find ways to end the crisis. The summit is being held in Arcata at 8:30am at the Arcata Community Center. The Yurok Chair Joseph L. James says the crisis has gone on too long and has touched every tribal citizen in the state and across the country. He adds, that it has gone on long enough and the time to “take action, is now”.

The Mendocino County Health Department has removed the “strong recommendation” that people mask indoors in favor allowing individuals to decide what’s appropriate, including in schools and on public transportation, following guidance from the California Department of Public Health to do so. In a letter to the community this (Monday) morning, County Health Officer Dr. Andrew Coren says most California counties, including Mendocino, are now in the low CDC Community Risk Level for Covid-19. Universal indoor masking will however continue in healthcare settings including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and outpatient clinics. Non-clinical gathering places like correctional facilities, and emergency fire shelters can also be on an individual basis as long as we stay in the low risk category and there are no outbreaks.

A new city recreation center is on the agenda for the Clearlake Planning Commission when they meet tomorrow. It’s part of an overall public hearing as the commission considers a resolution involving the Burns Valley Development at 14885 Burns Valley Road. Lake County News reports the development includes a new recreation center, new Public Works Department facility, sports fields, police department storage facilities, vehicle and equipment storage and public facilities. The commission meeting starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Clearlake City Hall. You can attend via Zoom or watch on the City of Clearlake’s YouTube channel.

The U.S. Forest Service has reportedly launched a criminal investigation into whether some PG&E equipment might have been involved in starting the Mosquito Fire. The fire that started September 6 in the Sierra Nevada foothills has burned more than 76,000 acres in Placer and El Dorado counties. Last week a group of residents filed a lawsuit alleging PG&E was responsible for the fire due to what they call “poorly maintained utility infrastructure”. Officials say the Forest Service has confiscated a PG&E transmission pole and other equipment from the area where the fire started. PG&E had already notified state regulators about a power-line failure around the time the fire was reported. The Mosquito Fire has destroyed 78 structures and as of this afternoon was at 85% containment.

The former principal of a Cloverdale middle school put on paid leave earlier this year has reportedly been put on unpaid leave in a step toward maybe being fired. Former Washington Middle School Principal Mark Lucchetti confirmed his status to the Press Democrat, saying he continues to fight what he calls baseless allegations that he failed to properly investigate and report accusations from female students about the behavior of a male PE teacher. Lucchetti claims all the steps he took were in concert with the superintendent. The district has not commented to the newspaper. The incident with the PE teacher at the center of the issue is reportedly under a police investigation.

Lake County has its first confirmed case of Monkeypox. The Health Services Department confirmed it Friday and said they are doing extensive contact tracing to prevent any more cases. They say the patient had recently traveled and later became aware of their exposure and is recovering and isolating at home. Officials say there is no evidence of community spread in Lake County at this time. Monkeypox is rarely fatal and has symptoms similar to smallpox but milder, including a fever and blistery rash.

Thousands turned out for the return of the Kelseyville Pear Festival Saturday. The 28th annual event was back after a forced two-year pandemic break with a parade, music on three stages, several vendors with food, and pretty much every version of pears in sweet and savory dishes you could imagine. Lake County News reports they also partnered with the Lake County Horse Council for the Horse Faire which included several horses and ponies, horse care information, and riding demonstrations.

The Potter Valley Cemetery District and Auxiliary are hosting a Living History Luncheon on Saturday, October 8. The goal is to raise money for maintenance at the burial site of many of Mendocino County’s settlers. Organizers tell the Daily Journal they will be serving a beef and local lamb BBQ, with vegetarian options, as they present stories of Potter Valley’s history as recreated by performers portraying ten of the dearly departed who inhabit the cemetery. Tickets are $25 and are available only in advance.

A proposal to build a giant surfing lagoon in the Coachella Valley desert has been shot down. Late last week the La Quinta City Council unanimously rejected the idea with the mayor saying while it sounds fun on paper for somewhere in California, it’s an inappropriate use of water during a severe drought. The land in question was originally envisioned as a residential development with a golf course but the developer asked the council for a zoning change to create the 16-acre 18-million gallon wave pool.

Lakeport Police are holding their National Night Out Against Crime next week. It’s Tuesday October 4 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Library Park. The idea is to bring police and other local government agencies and community members together under positive circumstances in an effort to reduce crime. The Lakeport Kiwanis will be serving up hot dogs and movie theater popcorn, there will be games for kids along with Safety Pup, Chipper and McGruff the Crime Dog and raffles including new bikes and fishing gear.

The Clean California initiative has hit a major milestone. The litter removal program launched by Gov Gavin Newsom less than 15 months ago has now removed more than one million cubic yards of litter from the state’s roadsides – enough to build two stacks of trash from the Earth’s surface to beyond the International Space Station 250 miles in orbit. Clean California is a sweeping $1.1 billion, multiyear clean-up effort led by Caltrans to remove trash, create jobs and engage communities to clean public spaces.

Two teens have been arrested for arson for an August fire near Costco in Ukiah. The fire broke out August 22 in a dry field east of Airport Road. The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority quickly contained it and no structures were damaged. But Ukiah Police say witnesses saw someone fire a distress flare into the field from a car with three teens in it and then take off. Using their FLOCK license plate recognition camera system, police found the car a few days later and arrested a 17-year-old for arson during a state emergency and conspiracy. This week a second suspect, 18-year-old Gabriel Ruiz, was arrested by Mendocino Deputies on unrelated charges but Ukiah Police added arson and conspiracy. The third suspect – said to be a juvenile – has not yet been found.

Bower Park in Gualala will be getting much needed upgrades thanks to a $2.2 million cash influx from the State. Mendocino County has been allocated the money to address what they call critical needs that focus on the park’s safety such as hazardous tree removal, fire mitigation, ADA improvements, and installing electricity. While that work gets underway, the County will work on the next phase of the improvement plan by doing community outreach to see what upgrades the park users would like to see. Assemblymember Jim Wood of Healdsburg says he helped get the budget allocation done after learning from a local resident that Bower Park had been closed because of safety issues forcing residents to drive nearly an hour to the next closest park.

The 94th Annual Mendocino County Fair and Apple Show gets underway today at the fairgrounds in Boonville. The fair is open from 9 a.m. to midnight with tickets $10 for adults, $8 for juniors 13-18, $6 for children 7-12 and free for children age 6 and under. Tickets for seniors 65 and over are $6 and today only all kids 12 and under will be admitted free. Events include the Apple Bowl Varsity Football game tonight at 5 p.m. the C.C.P.R.A. Rodeos Saturday night at 8 p.m., the Sheep Dog Trials Sunday at 10 a.m. and the parade will be Sunday at Noon along Highway 128.

The Lucerne Elementary School District is getting a piece of nearly $34 million in state funding to upgrade early education facilities across the state. The State Allocation Board announced the funding for 11 projects within 11 school districts across the state with Lake County News reporting Lucerne Elementary will get just over $2 million. The Superintendent says the money will go to build two new kindergarten classrooms.

The Mendocino College Art Gallery is hosting a Faculty Art Exhibition next month. The exhibition highlights the diverse talents of the College’s instructors with a dynamic selection of sculpture, ceramics, painting, drawing, mixed-media, photography, and woodworking. 18 faculty members, representing the college’s four campuses and the Krenov fine woodworking school are participating. The opening is on Tuesday, October 4th although Ukiah Symphony ticket holders get early access on October 1st and 2nd.

There’s a free Harvest Sharing at the Willis Grange on Sunday. It’s from 9:30 a.m. to Noon at the Little Lake Grange which is at 291 School Street. The Harvest sharing is a free event being held at the same time as the Grange Pancake Breakfast. The Harvest Sharing will be outside in the back of the Grange with tables ready for donations of food related items to give away to all who need it, and you can bring extra harvest from your garden as well as food related items like extra dried or home canned goods. There will also be a table for herbalists to swap culinary and medicinal herbs.

California is getting some wildfire risk prevention help from the federal government. On Thursday, the Department of the Interior announced that it is using $7.5 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed earlier this year to support projects to mitigate risk and rehabilitate burned areas on nearly 10,000 acres across California. It will also increase support to the Joint Fire Science Program which is an interagency partnership with the USDA Forest Service that funds wildfire science research projects.

The California Department of Public Health is asking school leaders to be on the lookout for “rainbow fentanyl”. In a letter to all superintendents and charter school administrators this week, CDPH warned that “rainbow fentanyl” is the same potentially fatal drug that has been wreaking havoc over the last year but this new version comes in bright colors and different shapes that could attract kids. CDPH says so far “rainbow fentanyl” has been found in at least 18 states. They are recommending educators and parents learn to recognize the signs of opioid overdose and consider learning to administer naloxone which can counter the effects of an overdose.

After reports a couple of people were seen looking into cars and checking their doors, two people have been arrested. Mendocino County Deputies say they got a call by a couple of victims, a man and woman who heard shots fired and saw people looking into cars. The two people who called in the incident say they were home with another woman who said her car was broken into, so the man checked his surveillance cameras and saw two or three people getting into two cars on their property. He tried to locate the suspects, but says he heard loud noises and saw flashes from gunshots or fireworks, but still caught the 16-year-old who was found with stolen property. Another teen, 18-year-old Gabriel Hailey-Ruiz, was found with a gun. The two were arrested for several crimes including carrying an unregistered firearm, conspiracy to commit a crime and discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner.

Because of complaints about wild pigs causing damage across California, the California Fish and Game Commission and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) are hosting a virtual public forum to find ways to stop it. The forum is tomorrow on Zoom from 9am – 1pm. Those hosting will discuss wild pigs with experts in the field and look at possible solutions. They say they’re looking forward to a respectful discussion and meaningful dialogue with residents, hunters and all others who are interested or have concerns about the animals.  There will be two discussions on issues and concerns, then possible solutions.

Commission website (fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2022) to learn how to join the forum.

A woman from Fort Bragg and two youngsters with her have been injured in a solo car crash due to wet roads. The CHP reported Highway 20 was soaked after a downpour and the female driver slid off State Route 20 Sunday, falling more than 100′ down an embankment. The woman is in the hospital with major injuries. The CHP says it happened west of James Creek. The driver was headed west and slid across the double yellow lines. The car then flew off the highway and down the embankment. CAL FIRE and the Little Lake Fire District responded and sent down a hoist for rope rescue. The two kids in the car had minor to moderate injuries. All three were taken to Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits.

After the controversy about the Florida Governor flying migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, now we hear there were a group from Venezuela flown from Texas to Sacramento. Reports say the 8 of them arrived with, not a lot of money, some without shoes, and some said they had no idea who paid for them to fly to Calif. They had apparently crossed the border into Laredo, Texas, thinking they were headed to New York, Florida or Utah. They also say they have no contacts in California. They were also supposedly sent to a closed office building in Sacramento, not a shelter, by I.C.E. The Governor of Texas says his office had nothing to do with the transfer.

Plowshares is hosting a community dining event. The Empty Bowls event is happening in 3 weekends, Saturday, Oct. 8th. Each fundraising ticket is $75 and includes a hand-crafted bowl by a local artist, a bottle of wine or pack of beer, soup, tri-tip dinner, and dessert for two. You can also purchase a VIP ticket for $100 with the bowl created by Jan Hoyman, along with all the same as the lower priced ticket. All of the money raised goes to support Plowshares’ programs and to help fulfill their mission “that no one in our community go hungry.”

For tickets or more information, visit the website at http://www.plowsharesfeeds.org or call the office (located at 1346 S. State St) at 707-462-8582, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Those running for Ukiah City Council will be on a panel for the public to hear their platforms. The Candidate Forum is next Monday, Sept. 26th. Those in attendance will also hear from a representative for each of Measure O and Measure P which will also appear on the November ballot. The forum is co-sponsored by the Mendocino County Women’s Political Coalition and the American Association of University Women. Wendy DeWitt will be the moderator. The Event at the Ukiah City Council Chambers at 6 p.m.

It’s been a minute… what was the biggest fire in the state of Calif. at one time, is almost totally contained. The Six Rivers Lightning Complex is now 97% contained after burning nearly 41,600 acres. Fire officials say they don’t expect what had been a massive inferno to grow anymore. The rain last weekend helped, along with cooler temperatures and almost 100% humidity. Firefighters will stay on scene to mop-up and watch for hot spots, but say they don’t expect any explosive growth as we head into fall. There are also no more evacuation warnings or orders in place. The fire started August 5th around midnight.

A young man from Cobb is facing prison time for attempted murder and various other crimes. 23-year-old Hunter Christian Toles faces two counts of attempted murder, three counts of assault with firearm on person, battery with serious bodily injury and abuse after a June incident where a woman reported being shot and identified Toles as the suspect. The woman had non-life threatening injuries and Toles was found at a home nearby and jailed on $3,085,000 bail. The next court date is next Friday and the preliminary hearing was set for Oct. 5th. The case was continued after Toles’ lawyer asked due to outstanding discovery.

A Charter School in Lake County’s having a fundraiser ahead of their opening next year. The Waldorf-inspired Shade Canyon School will be free for students. The Harvest Dinner and Silent Auction is one week from Saturday, Oct. 1st at the Peace and Plenty Farm in Kelseyville. The founders were introduced by a mutual friend who knew the two wanted to create this type of school in Lake County. Morgan Chinnock and Savannah Mitchell both have backgrounds in education and say their programs will meet students where they’re at, focusing on community, relationship-based learning, and nature connection.

There’s an open seat on the Lakeport City Council no more. The council appointed a former member Tuesday night to fill an opening, then moved on to business. After they briefly met with Bob Rumfelt and George Spurr, they went with Spurr for the seat Mireya Turner just resigned from so she could become the permanent Lake County Community Development Department Director. Rumfelt was on the council 16 years, last in 2010. And Spurr was on one term which ended in 2020. Spurr was appointed for three months. Those interested in running in November will have to be write-in candidates and have until Oct. 25th to sign up.

After that giant rainstorm over the weekend, we could see more. The National Weather Service reported heavy rain near the Mendocino and Sonoma County line and in some places as much as 3.5 inches fell. Forecasters say the Yorkville area in southern Mendocino County saw the most. Along the coast much less rain fell, but the welcomed moisture was as much as 2 inches in some spots. The Airport got nearly 2 inches and was just below the record rainfall for Sunday’s date. The Weather Service is also predicting more potential rain with thunderstorms into tomorrow.

The latest Calif. Coastal Cleanup Day was a success. Tens of thousands of residents across the state came out last Saturday for the 38th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day. It’s said to be the single biggest yearly volunteer event. The California Coastal Commission has been sponsoring the event which was back to pre-pandemic work. Over the last two years it was self-guided. Not this year though as there were over 600 in-person cleanup sites across California and they were reported to be near or at full capacity. They were plucking tons of trash off beaches, shorelines, and waterways in almost every one of the state’s 58 counties.

State Senator Mike McGuire is applauding the package of bills the Governor signed investing in climate action. He commented that the bills the Legislature passed along with setting up a $54 billion climate action budget, will speed up the state’s clean energy policy goals. McGuire spoke at a press availability last Friday with the Governor and other legislators in Vallejo. McGuire did say however that more work is needed but what Newsom signed last week was, “some of the most consequential action taken by this state to tackle the climate crisis in decades”.

Those in California suffering through the high gas prices could soon see relief. After several months of waiting, the state is offering a tax refund. The one time payments could total up to as much as $1,050 for some. The $9.5 billion rebate package will be distributed between next month and January. The Governor and Legislators agreed to a deal for the rebates this summer as gas prices exploded and inflation took hold. Governor Newsom reportedly wanted to start the payments sooner, when gas hit an average of over $6/gallon, but lawmakers continued working on who could get the refunds and how much they would be.

The state is working to align marijuana use with alcohol, by telling businesses they cannot use a workers offsite or outside-of-work use for hiring or firing decisions. On Sunday the Governor signed a bill into law which says employers may not discriminate against staff members who use marijuana outside of work hours and away from the workplace. It goes into effect in 2024. California will be the 7th state in the nation to put a similar law in place, prohibiting employers employment decisions to be based on a drug test that does not show they’re currently impaired. Some advocates say urine tests are a highly offensive invasion of a worker’s bodily privacy. The law does however still allow drug screening to be used for hiring at some jobs.

The old Eagles Hall in Fort Bragg is being refurbished by the Skunk Train operator. Efstathios Pappas and his wife Miranda are apparently going to live there after giving the old building a major facelift. They could also offer it for recreational use for rent too. They closed escrow on the property last week. The General Manager of the California Western Railroad and the Skunk Train since April apparently saw the building and plunked down the money. The hall goes back to the early 1900’s. It was the local chapter of the Socialist Party of America at one time. It was built with materials paid for with “comrade loans” and constructed by volunteer labor.

Tissue samples have been taken from a dead humpback whale that washed ashore near Glass Beach in Fort Bragg last week. Scientists from the NOYO Center decided not to remove the 25 ½ foot long animal, instead they took a fin which is currently composting to allow some of it to deteriorate and later display the bones and flipper at the Center for Marine Science. Mendo Voice reports there was a team from Mendocino Equine and Livestock at the site too. They brought an X-ray machine for the fin to help the Noyo Center know how to properly position the bones. And CalPoly Humboldt researchers did a necropsy to see how it died.

After an armed robbery report in Garberville, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s office reported chasing a couple of suspects over the Humboldt/Mendocino County line but didn’t catch them right away. Someone called to report the crime and gave deputies a description of the car the pair were in. Deputies tried to stop them, but they kept going and Deputies lost them because it was unsafe to keep up. More Deputies at the home where the crime happened found a guest had been there from Los Angeles and assaulted the resident, holding him at gunpoint. Corey Brim and Daylen Hamilton were later identified as the two men who were on the run. Cops from Mendocino and Lake Counties were involved in the pursuit of the suspects’ along with the Highway Patrol. The two were finally arrested in Lake County by the CHP on various charges including assault with a firearm, battery with serious bodily injury and resisting or reckless evading of a peace officer.

That woman from Northern California who faked her own kidnapping and was actually with an ex-boyfriend is back to court. Sherri Papini, a married mom of two from Redding faces jail time for the phony abduction story in 2016. She claimed she was snatched by a couple of Hispanic women who branded her. But then admitted she was with her ex in San Diego. Her lawyer claims she is disturbed and feels disgraced, but should be able to serve at home, but prosecutors are looking at jail time of up to eight months along with $300,000 in restitution to pay for searchers and the whole operation to find her after her “well-planned and sophisticated scheme”.

It’s Suicide Prevention Month and Lake County health officials are reminding how important it is to have those sometimes uncomfortable, but important conversations with friends or family members about it. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.  And nearly 46,000 people died due to self-directed injury in 2020 alone in the country.  It was the second leading cause of death in people 10-14 and 25-32, third among those 15-24, and fourth for individuals aged 35-44. In Lake County untreated mental health or substance use conditions can contribute to suicides, and services are available.  Information on Lake County Behavioral Health Services’ programs and offerings is accessible here:

http://www.lakecountyca.gov/Page776.aspx

Two local elementary schools have received prestigious recognition. Yokayo Elementary received Gold, and Grace Hudson Elementary received Silver from the California PBIS Coalition. The awards are for putting Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) programs in place in over 10,500 public schools for almost 6 million students in California; only 430 schools received a Gold level award, and 504 received Silver awards. PBIS helps administrators and faculty encourage good behavior and improve student learning. Yokayo implemented the national character education program called Character Counts ; and Grace Hudson’s program is focused on three rules: Be responsible/Ser responsable, Be respectful/Ser respetuoso, and Be Safe/Ser seguro.

It’s the final push for folks to fill out the disaster recovery study in Mendocino County. Prevention, Recovery, Resiliency, and Mitigation Division (PRRM) is requesting the survey be filled out by those who may have been victims of wildfires, past or present, and not only those who had direct impact caused by the 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2021 wildfire disasters. The agency wants the entire community to identify, track, and address remaining unmet needs, plan for future recovery, resiliency, and mitigation projects, and update the County Recovery Plan. Responses are totally anonymous and inform for what sorts of projects the recovery team pursues for the next three to five years. The survey is available until the end of this month.

To complete the survey, please visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MendoDisasterRecovery

In Lake County, they have released the 2022 Draft Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). The Lake County Fire Safe Council, Lake County Community Risk Reduction Authority, Lake County Resource Conservation District (RCD), Clear Lake Environmental Research Center, Lake County’s Fire Protection Districts and members of the Lake County Fire Chiefs Association have all worked on the plan. While they worked on it in the early stages, they got feedback in public meetings of Municipal Advisory Councils and other community groups. You can check it out online and comment on it there.

Click to access 2022CCWPP_Draft.pdf

The county is also looking for Government-to-Government feedback. After a workshop last Wednesday with government entities interested in “Government-to-Government” after the Draft 2022 Lake County Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). The county is looking for feedback for 2 weeks, ending at the end of the month.

For written Government-to-Government input to be considered prior to our upcoming Public-facing CWPP Workshop, please submit your comments to Matthew.Rothstein@lakecountyca.gov no later than Close of Business Friday, September 30.

The Mendocino County Public Health Officer is rescinding a public health order requiring certain workers to be vaccinated. The last health order was from April 25th requiring either inoculations to protect against COVID, or weekly testing. The new health order says employers, employees, and places of employment must follow Cal Osha guidelines. But effective on Saturday Dr. Andy Coren is rescinding mandated COVID-19 testing for workers who asked for exemptions for medical reasons or religious beliefs in certain settings. There are however some types of healthcare settings where workers will still need to follow the old restrictions. Coren also said he’d defer to the state for any new guidelines that may come out.

The Governor has signed a package of bills into law to fight back the climate crisis. As some spots across the state a couple of weeks ago rose to at least 10 degrees over normal for September days, Newsom signed 40 climate bills into law. Some require 90% of the state’s electricity comes from renewable energy and zero-carbon sources. That’s up from the current 59%. The bills also cut all new oil and gas drilling if it’s within 3,200 feet of schools, homes, apartments, parks, and public-facing businesses; and the package sets goals for the state to be totally carbon neutral by 2045.

For the second month in a row, the Lucerne Area Town Hall has asked for the public to weigh in on the Elijah House. They voted unanimously to put a formal complaint into the Lake County Civil Grand Jury on behalf of the Northshore based Advisory Council. It comes after some employees were suspended without a pay for more than a week and the shelter closed abruptly last month leaving several residents without shelter. A victim advocate came to speak out at the town hall about the issue. Apparently there were several residents at the home which provides transitional jobs in several Northern California counties including Mendocino, Contra Costa and Humboldt. All of the suspended employees were allowed to return to work a week later.

The Pear Festival is back in Kelseyville. The Kelseyville Pear Festival which uses the slogan, “Catch the Magic” has re-emerged after the pandemic lockdown days. The event started as a small street fair nearly 30 years ago. Organizers say they get more then 10,000 people/year visiting the village of Kelseyville for the annual event. The Kelseyville Pear Festival is also coined as the largest one-day event in Lake County and it’s all happening this Saturday. There’s even a billboard outside of town now, touting Kelseyville as the “Pear Capital of the World”. The Kelseyville Pear Festival Committee had to cancel back in 2020 due to lockdowns, then again in 2021 after consulting with medical experts. This year is the 28th Kelseyville Pear Festival, after the first ever back in 1993.

A man who attacked an elderly woman in a shopping center in Willits a year ago has been sentenced to 15 years behind bars. Last Friday 24 year old Jose Miguel Perez was sent to prison for the October 2021 incident, caught on surveillance cameras in the area. It showed Perez attacked a frail woman unknown to him, and viciously beat her, then drag her behind a grocery store at the shopping center. He apparently tried to rape her and left her for dead, but someone came along on a bike and called 911 to get her help. Perez was found guilty in April for felony kidnapping with the intent to commit rape and felony assault by force likely to cause great bodily injury. He also admitted a sentencing enhancement of inflicting great bodily injury that caused the victim to lose consciousness due to a traumatic brain injury. The victim was present during the sentencing Friday and made a statement.

The City of Ukiah’s Draft 2040 General Plan has been released. The city’s asking for the public’s input during a public review this Thursday between 5:30 and 7:00 p.m. It’s at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center on 200 South School Street with the presentation starting about 5:45 p.m. with a Q & A after with 2040 General Plan staff planners. The notes taken at the meeting will then be sent off to the Planning Commission and City Council. You can check it all out at the city’s General Plan update site, http://www.Ukiah2040.com.

Police are searching for whoever may have shot at a window of a home in Fort Bragg. Mendo Fever reports it happened Friday night about 8 pm on Myrtle St., then not that much later, another report of shots fired on Main St. where a business reported two of their windows were hit by bullets. Later, a car was also reportedly hit. Police have not found much in the way of evidence so far, but they did find it was one firearm that was used. They’re not sure if it came from a car, or someone was walking with a weapon.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors will be taking up the idea of incentives for the sheriff’s dept. to hire new staff members. The board is considering a resolution brought to them by the Sheriff himself to offer incentives to get more staff on board for patrol and to work in dispatch and at the jail. The board is reportedly considering using cannabis money to pay for it. They will also take a stab at a response to the 2021-22 Grand Jury Final Report.

It’s back to the drawing board again for the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors on finances. In the morning, the board is hearing a presentation on the Fiscal Year 2020/21 Financial Report. The Board will give direction to staff if needed. Then it’s on to the possibility of Mendocino County Public Employees getting new health plans from PRISMHealth. The Board is looking at buying Fully Funded Health Care Plans and Membership in the PRISM Employee Benefits Program for a dental program for employees and their dependents. They’re also going department by department to see if any positions that have not been filled due to staffing shortages can just be eliminated entirely.