Skip navigation

Category Archives: 94.5 K-Wine News

94.5 K-Wine Local News Reports

Another $9 million in fire prevention grants coming into California from this year’s Federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Package. On Thursday, Rep. Mike Thompson announced the Joint Fire Science Program will be accepting applications for grants to research innovative fuels treatments and post-fire rehabilitation efforts starting December 20. This funding is in addition to $3.4 billion in wildfire suppression and mitigation also included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

A Clearlake Oaks woman has been convicted of first-degree murder for July 2021 shooting of her ex-boyfriend. Tammy Sue Grogan-Robinson was found guilty by a jury on Thursday of killing Charles Vernon McClelland at a home in Clearlake Oak. As Lake County News reports, it was the culmination of a four-week trial in which prosecutors asserted Grogan-Robinson had planned and carried out the shooting after McClelland refused to rekindle their on-and-off relationship. She had initially claimed he’d sexually assaulted her but a Lake County Sheriff’s Office investigation proved that to be false. She is reportedly facing 25 years to life when she is sentenced next month.

Clearlake Police Chief Andrew White is leaving for a new job. White has been tapped as the new Police Chief for the City of Martinez. White has been Chief in Clearlake since 2018 following 16 years policing with Suisun City. White will start in Martinez on January 3. Clearlake city officials say Lt. Tim Hobbs will serve as Acting Police Chief while they put together plans to do a search for a new permanent chief which they will announce in a few weeks. They also pla to hold a community reception in December to give Chief White a send-off and swear-in Lt Hobbs.

In the wake of a recent large unlicensed cannabis grow bust, the Mendocino County Sheriff says many illegal cannabis growers are leaving the County. Sheriff Matt Kendall reported to the Redwood Valley Municipal Advisory Council at their meeting this week that the bust at the unlicensed grow site on Road E turned up over 1,000 plants. Mendo Fever reports the sheriff said the case has been turned over to the District Attorney and that he’s seeing a lot fewer illegal grows in the County. The sheriff also reported on staffing, saying six newly-hired correctional officers were sworn in last month and he has two deputy candidates at the police academy and two more set to be hired.

Three Santa Rosa High School students have been arrested for setting off fireworks on campus. As we reported yesterday, after several sounds of explosions were heard around 1030am, Santa Rosa police responded and classrooms near the sounds were evacuated while the rest of the school sheltered in place. Officers quickly determined there was no active threat and with the help of school officials identified two students that set off the fireworks and a third that had brought them in. All three students, 15-year-old boys, were arrested for misdemeanor Possession of an Explosive Device.

Community fire resilience and restoration are the topics of a free two-day workshop next week offered by the nonprofit FireScape Mendocino. The “Collaborative Planning Workshop for Wildfire Resilience and Post-Fire Restoration” is set for Wednesday and Thursday, November 16 and 17. There will be speakers from tribes as well as local and federal agencies. On Wednesday the workshop starts at the Upper Lake Ranger District and Thursday it’s at the Robinson Rancheria Resort and Casino. It’s free but you need to register in advance at https://www.firescapemendocino.org.

If you notice the Lake County Courthouse basking in the glow of green light, it is in honor of our veterans. This week the Lake County Board of Supervisors voted to join Operation Greenlight: a nationwide effort to highlight veterans and the challenges they face. Through Sunday night, the Lake County Courthouse will shine green each night in a visible statement that the county stands in solidarity with our veterans. County officials say Lake County has one of the highest veteran populations, per capita, in California.

The Mendocino National Forest has a new Forest Supervisor. Wade McMaster, who has been with the Forest Service for over 12 years and grew up near the Shasta-Trinity and Klamath National Forests, took over as head of the Mendocino Forest on Monday. Kym Kemp reports McMaster came to Mendocino from the Rogue River Siskiyou National Forest, was the District Ranger for the Gold Beach Ranger District, and was also recently the Acting Forest Supervisor on the Shoshone National Forest. He also has experience as the Tribal Relations Program Manager for Region 5. He is a member of the Wintu Tribe of Northern California and served 13 years as Chairman.

The search continues for a Santa Rosa doctor who has been missing for two weeks. Pediatrician Dr. Bruce Montgomerie was last seen leaving his home on the evening of October 26. The Press Democrat reports his car was found two days later in the parking lot at the Jenner Headlands Preserve and his phone was in the car. The area has been searched by boat and helicopter but so far there are no clues. If you can help, Santa Rosa police are accepting anonymous tips.

Some Fort Bragg High School students have rallied to provide the pies for Fort Bragg Presbyterian Church’s free annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner. After the Church asked for help from the community to cover the costs of the pies, the Fort Bragg High School Culinary Arts Program came to the rescue. Mendo Fever reports 68 beginning Culinary Arts students prepared the pies under the guidance of their teacher with the High School’s staff donating the cost of the supplies. The pies are in the freezer now but some of the students will reportedly be there on Thanksgiving Day to help slice ‘em up.

A woman has been arrested after reportedly leading Healdsburg police on a chase that ended with a crash in Santa Rosa. Police say Wednesday morning officers tried to stop Sara Fuller of Eureka near the intersection of Healdsburg Avenue and Dry Creek Road because the car she was in was reported stolen. Fuller took off and got onto Highway 101 Southbound at speeds of up to 130 miles per hour. But she lost control at the College Avenue off ramp and crashed into a traffic utility box. Fuller then ran across 101 before being tackled at a gas station and arrested.

California’s Attorney General is taking aim at chemical companies for their decades-long use of what are now known to be cancer causing chemicals in household products. On Thursday Rob Bonta filed a lawsuit against 3M, DuPont and 16 other chemical companies for the use of PFAS, known as “forever chemicals”, which he says are responsible for widespread pollution and public health risk. Bonta calls the companies liable for “hundreds of millions of dollars” in penalties and cleanup costs across California because he says they continued to make the chemicals while concealing their danger from the public.

The talk of finances by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors continues, along with confusion. The Board is trying to get to the bottom of why the county’s short money in the healthcare plan, which is creating a domino effect. The county has money from the coronavirus federal government stimulus known as the American Rescue Plan Act. Over 4.5 million dollars could be used to stuff the budget gap which was just noted this spring. The CEO and the board discussed how it goes back nearly six years when the county spent down a budget surplus because they supposedly had too big of a reserve from the health plan. The county has also not been reimbursed for money spent during COVID lockdowns. And cannabis funds are not what were expected. The new CEO also promised employees bonuses from the stimulus, but those may be on pause for a minute too.

There’s a new suit in charge of climate resiliency in Lake County. Terre Logsdon has been named the new Chief Climate Resiliency Officer. The position is made possible with funding from the state’s Office of Emergency Services’ (CalOES’) Prepare California “Jumpstart” Grant program. Logsdon has been around the block when it comes to the environment, working the last few years as the Environmental Director and Chief Operations Officer for the Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians (SVBPI). The position is under the County Administrative Office team, with an eye on mitigating the effects of global climate change as a full-time employee. Her appointment is effective December 5.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are lost from California’s two major pension plans. This is way more than had been reported the first part of the year. The Public Employees’ Retirement System and the State Teachers’ Retirement System have released the latest numbers for the last fiscal year which ended in June. It included updated private equity and real asset returns. CalPERS showed a -6.1% return for the fiscal year, then adjusted it to -7.5%. And CalSTRS, had reported a -1.3% return, but updated to reflect -3.3%.

As we reported with election returns, Proposition 29 got a resounding no… again. Doctors, nurses, dialysis patients and others affected by the initiative said they were not surprised it failed for a third time, this time nearly a 70% no vote. It lost by an even wider margin this time though. There were over 70 groups against Prop 29, including the California Medical Association, American Nurses Association and the California NAACP and almost every state daily newspaper. The proposition would have meant all dialysis clinics in the state would need administrators on site at all times, but they wouldn’t be providing direct patient care, just increasing the cost.

A man from Albion has been found guilty for multiple rapes. A jury convicted 30 year old Anthony Oakley last Friday for felony assault with intent to commit rape on Jane Doe #1; felony forcible spousal rape on Jane Doe #2; and another against Jane Doe #3. There were many other charges against him, including another rape and criminal threats. After the deliberations were over Oakley ended up back in Mendocino County Jail. The case is with the Probation Department for a background study and sentencing recommendation; which is set for next week.

The rest of the PG&E money set aside by the Mendocino City Community Services District for Public Safety Power Shutoffs is going to another need. The Board of Directors has approved the Superintendent Ryan Rhoades using the rest of the grant money they received in 2021 to respond to a power loss during the October 2019 extended power outage, causing the plant to be shut down. Some of the money will go to buy several backup generators and fuel. The board also voted last month on rate increases and sent ballots to property owners to decide.

In Lake County, the Registrar of Voters reported a steady turnout throughout the day. Early this morning the office had their last preliminary county from last night covering all 80 precincts. They reported about 21% turnout which could still go up with mail in and provisional ballots. The assessor-recorder, district attorney, sheriff and supervisorial races were all decided in the primary, so it was basically local school boards in Konocti, Kelseyville and Middletown. One big issue though was the annexation question, but only 3 ballots were cast by the voters who it impacted, all were against the move. In both Lakeport and Clearlake there were also City Council seats up for grabs. In Clearlake the incumbents Russ Cremer and Dirk Slooten ran unopposed. The Lakeport Mayor won a fourth city council term. She was unopposed, and Mireya Turner, who resigned but was still on the ballot won, and will have to resign again. For all other down-ballot races, check Lake County News online.

In the Ukiah City Council race in late returns Susan Sher had a healthy lead to take at least one of the spots open. She was closely trailed by incumbent Mari Rodin, then Juan Orozco. Jim Brown will probably lose his seat if the numbers hold, as only three were open.

Newsom 57.7% against Brian Dahle with 42.3%

Rob Bonta held on with 67% against his challenger

Alex Padilla won in a landslide with almost 70%

Jared Huffman in a landslide with 69%         

Mike McGuire with 69%

Jim Wood 69%

Thurmond holds on to State Superintendent of Schools

Jason Godeke and Marcia Rafanan out front in Fort Bragg, along with Michelle Roberts

Lindy Peters wins the short 2-year term, appearing with Alberto Aldaco who said he was dropping out

Prop 1 overwhelming yes to enshrine reproductive rights in the state constitution.

26 – no for certain gambling on tribal lands including sports wagering.

27 – no for certain gambling off tribal lands including sports wagering.

28 – yes more money for arts and music education in schools.

29 – no to have onsite medical professional for kidney dialysis clinics.

30 – yes w/51% tax money would go to fight air pollution from wildfires. But failed in the state.

31 – yes prohibit flavored tobacco sales.

Hopland Fire – 58%

Library Initiative – yes w/60%

Measure P – yes 56% Essential Sales Tax

After the Mendocino County DA asked the state Attorney General’s Office to recuse himself from former police chief Noble Wadelich’s criminal case, the office said no. The Sonoma County DA was investigating the case after a woman complained she was sexually assaulted by the former chief while he was on duty in June. Eyster has not publicly commented on the case, especially after former officer Kevin Murray was fired for several crimes including sex assault and only got probation. Eyster was also named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit by Wadelich’s former girlfriend who claims the former chief also assaulted her. The state attorney general’s letter to Eyster said the perception of a conflict doesn’t mean he has to recuse himself, nor does it disqualify him.

The Bureau of Land Management has rescinded the burn ban on public lands for Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo counties. Fire restrictions were put in place in June ahead of what’s historically been the peak of fire season in Northern Calif. This means public land visitors can light campfires again outside of campgrounds and recreation sites. They’re also allowing recreational target shooting in designated areas. But visitors are being reminded to check weather conditions because we could still have Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather Watches for hot, dry and windy conditions.

Cal Fire is not confirming yet that the recent rain could mean California’s fire season is over. The fire agency says they’re optimistic but are prepared for that not to be the case. Officials with the statewide firefighting agency says they can’t tell yet when exactly the fire season will officially end, with the third year of extreme drought and concerns, we could be headed into a fourth year. Generally, the end of fire season is based on normal precipitation, normal cooling, normal rising of relative humidity for this time of year. But due to climate change those conditions are coming later and later every year, if at all. And if we dry up quick here and get warmer weather, we could be back into fire weather.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors has proclaimed November Native American Heritage Month and agreed to participate in “Operation Green Light” to bring attention to Veterans this week ahead of Veterans Day. The Board also discussed waiving the bidding process so they could move forward with a hazardous tree removal project after the Public Works Department said there was no financial benefit to accept bids because there were no other consultants in the area. And the Board discussed turning an old Yoga building into a Cannabis retailer, but it would have to be re-zoned.

Another two Condors are to be released. This morning, at 7:30am the Northern California Condor Restoration Program is releasing a pair of prey-go-neesh (California condors) into Yurok Country. They have a condor cam where you can watch it. The birds are known as A6 and A7. A6, a male, was born in May of 2021, at the Oregon Zoo and the female, A7, was born the following month, in June of 2-21 at Peregrine Fund’s World Center for Birds of Prey. The two will remain enclosed, with the light first being let in at dawn, then a door will be opened for the birds to wander into a flight pen, where they will take their final steps in captivity. The first bird may only be released today, with the second tomorrow.

The California State Parks Dept. will allow US veterans to go to some state parks for free on Veterans Day. This Friday current service members and reserve personnel can visit any of the more than 130 select state parks. The state parks director says they invite all military, past and present, and their families to visit for free. This comes after a bill was signed into law in 2013 by former Governor Jerry Brown which authorized the parks department to offer vets from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and National Guard of any state a reduced fee or free day use at participating state parks.

Some ranchers could be in trouble if they violate water conservation orders. Water officials say they could fine up to $4,000 to prevent illegal water diversions during droughts. But it may amount to only about $50 per rancher. That’s because this area serves just about 80 ranchers and farmers who turned on pumps for about a week in August due to dried out pastures, diverting water from Shasta River. That was a no-no per both state and federal officials, who say it violated an emergency state order, threatened the river’s water quality and its salmon and other rare species. The Shasta River Water Association says the fine was the cheapest way to get by.

It was pretty chaotic at times at the election’s office. The Daily Journal reported they checked in mid-morning yesterday with the Mendocino County Assessor-Clerk-Recorder Katrina Bartolomie said they were swamped. On Monday night, she reported they had received 16,734 ballots and got another 1,500 or so by yesterday morning. They also had allowed some folks from the public into watch opening and organizing of ballots which was happening in the main hallway of the county administration building. There was also a large screen set up in case there were too many people to watch the ballot-processing up close and personal.

The Mendocino County library system is asking for feedback on what services are the most popular and what changes, if any, they’d like to see. At last week’s Ukiah City Council meeting, the local library branch manager spoke in front of the panel to announce residents can submit their feedback through the end of the month. She said they welcome input so they can best refine services, programs and collections.

California is the place where the massive Powerball jackpot has been won. The grand prize of $2.04 billion has been won in Altadena. Joe’s Service Center sold the winning ticket, and we will find out who won because the state doesn’t allow anonymity when it comes to lottery winners. Joe’s Service Center is getting a Powerball bonus of $1 million. Then in San Francisco, the 1001 St. Market sold one of three one-million-dollar tickets. That market gets $5,000 for selling that ticket. The Calif. Lottery says Calif. Schools are getting $156.3 million from the jackpot. The winning numbers were drawn yesterday after a one-day delay.

The grape harvest in Mendocino and Lake counties is over just after an early frost and some pretty muggy rainy weather. The harvest just before a harder freeze just a few days ago. Some had to harvest a little early so they didn’t lose their fruit. Just before the end of the season, there were forecasts of a cold snap. The National Weather Service warned about cold temperatures for parts of Lake, Mendocino and northern coastal California counties 2 weeks ago. The unseasonably cold weather mixed with rain could have been a disaster, with temps forecasted well under freezing for all of Lake and eastern Mendocino counties.

The 12th annual Festival of Lights is coming to the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. Rain or shine each weekend from November 25th to December 18th you can check out thousands of lights along the sparkling lit path. There are treats and a gift shop too. It’s $10 for adults and kids under 16 are free. You have to get your tickets online ahead of time or at the gift shop. They expect it to sell out each night because they have limited tickets. They are also asking for mask wearing in indoor spaces and when you interact with staff. If you’re sick, please stay home.

Visit http://www.gardenbythesea.org/FOL for full details and to get tickets.

Tree mortality is now a local emergency in Mendocino County. The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously for the declaration due to the amount of bark beetle activity there’s been in conifer trees. It’s not helped by fires, the drought, firefighting and poor forest management practices. This comes after a statewide emergency was declared by former Governor Jerry Brown so the trees could more easily be removed. But in Mendocino County, the wildfires and drier weather has moved the problem to other species of trees too. The Board has been urged by stakeholders to pursue grant funding to pull the trees and plant new ones. The language around the declaration says they “encourage any State and Federal funding to assist with replanting of trees and supporting healthy forests and watersheds, as appropriate”.

A man from San Francisco has been identified as the victim of a solo car crash near Bell Springs Rd. off Highway 101. 33-year-old Fredy Ceron Franco was killed in the crash Saturday morning in a 2006 Toyota Tacoma. He reportedly crashed in wet weather when his truck lost traction and rolled, stopping after hitting a tree. Officers investigating the crash say he was probably going at an unsafe speed for the conditions. A passenger with him ended up in the hospital in Willits with moderate injuries. The crash happened after a second crash Saturday when a driver hit a tree along Highway 128, east of Boonville. That driver was identified as 29-year-old Omar Gutierrez Nunes, of Santa Rosa.

Police in Ukiah have arrested a man after reports of a burglary in the government building. Police say they got a call to the 500 block of Low Gap Rd. after employees found an open door. Officers searched but didn’t find anyone there. They say an outside door had been pried open. County employees said several laptops were taken. Then cops poured over surveillance video and caught a man on camera. He was identified as Justin Williamson, who was found outside nearby, under a bridge. He had on the same hoodie as seen in surveillance video and had a couple of laptops near him. He was arrested and was searched where more electronics were found along with a methamphetamine pipe. He’s charged with various crimes related to the burglary.

Ukiah police have arrested a man they say was acting erratically. Police say they got a call October 30th and found Ryan Kotterman showing symptoms that he may be high. He was immediately arrested for public intoxication and being in possession of a methamphetamine pipe. He was booked into jail. But a neighbor said they thought he might have a gun so they went back to the home and found a ghost gun and a bunch of ammo. Checking a safe, they found more weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. He also had several previous felony convictions on his record, so he was not allowed to have guns or ammunition. He had also just been released from jail the day before. He’s booked again and held on $25,000 bail, but posed bail and was released.

Police in Fort Bragg have responded to gunshots fired. Witnesses say a home had a damaged window, but the police chief says it wasn’t from a bullet. The home on Azaela Way is believed to have been hit by a tiny meteor, the size of a grain of rice. It coincides with the Taurid meteor shower Friday night. The chief says he has seen scores of damaged, or bullet-ridden windows in his 2 decades of service and knows this was not that. The person living at the home said it seemed like a bullet larger than a .22 damaged the window. And the chief says nobody said they heard gunshots. The police chief says a projectile probably came from a high angle and there was “strange” damage to the window. In any case, he’s not an astronomer, but thought it might be a possibility after reading about the meteor shower above Northern Calif. around the same time.

A new report says poverty is down in Calif. but may be because of the state and national safety net programs during the pandemic, especially federal child tax credits being expanded. The deadline to file for the tax credit ends next Wednesday, November 17th.  Some lawmakers had a press conference to remind about the tax credit. At the same time the nonprofit, the California Policy Lab says around 290,000 California kids who live at or near poverty could miss out on the 2021 child tax benefit. And that would mean almost a billion dollars left not used. But the poverty report from the Public Policy Institute of Calif. showed the rate was off nearly 5 percent from 2019 to a projected 11.7% in the fall of 2021. Still, about 4.5 million Californians live in poverty, making under $37,000 a year for a family of four.

The CHP is out on the roads more thanks to a grant to curb fast and aggressive driving. The Speed Prevention, Education and Enforcement Deterrence, or SPEED, grant, through the California Office of Traffic Safety is helping the CHP bring down the amount of fatal crashes and those where someone is injured in a crash related to speed which is reported to be a factor in 40% of all fatal and injury crashes in California. More than 26,250 crashes in Calif. from Oct. 1, 2019, and Sept. 30, 2020 killed 290 people and injured more than 38,150 more. The CHP had money from a similar grant from Jan. 1, 2020, to Sept. 20, 2021 from the federal government to educate drivers and try to stop dangerous driving behaviors with enhanced speed enforcement operations on state routes.

In Lake County, a business owner has won a $25,000 prize in a small business competition. Melinda Price of Peace and Plenty Farms won the cash in the established business category at “Hands Up Lake County 2022”. For startups, it was Baylee Grove of Rock N Rolled Ice Cream who won $10,000. Both of the winners said after their wins on Saturday they would use the money to further expand their businesses. The small business competition is put on by the local nonprofit 1Team 1Dream, which works to bolster the local economy.

A Community Development Financial Institution, Economic Development Corporation, and Small Business Lending Center, has won a multimillion dollar grant from the state for sustainable industries. The Arcata Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) won a $5 million grant from the California Community Economic Resilience Fund to help with planning. This means AEDC is going to manage the money for the Redwood Coast Region which includes Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, and Lake Counties. CalPoly Humboldt’s California Center for Rural Policy is overseeing the leadership collaborative and will get involved in community engagement and research to inform the development of the regional plan.

Intro: Millions of Californians have already voted, but millions more may be headed out to the polls today for in person voting or to drop off their ballot. Groups fighting for clean elections say they want to clear up some myths about the ballot this year. Kim Alexander with the nonpartisan nonprofit California Voter Foundation says some people worry, mistakenly thinking they have to vote on every race.

 :09  "This is a pretty long ballot. And if you don't feel comfortable making a decision on something on the ballot, you're free to skip that contest and move on to the next ballot."

Tag: As a reminder, voters must sign the ballot envelope for it to be counted. If you want to mail it, it must be postmarked today and received within seven days. County election officials will contact voters with missing or challenged envelope signatures to give them a chance to submit a valid signature.

Second Cut: Alexander notes that people should not expect full results tonight.

 :18  "It's likely that there will be contests where you're looking at the results on election night, and it may look like it's going one way. And then once all the ballots get counted, it turns out going in the other direction. And that is to be expected, because what shows on election night is just a small portion of all the ballots that will be counted. "

Tag: She adds that during the June primary, more than 91 percent of votes were cast by mail, and just under half were counted within two days after election day. As of 10:40 p-m on election night five months ago, only 41 percent of the votes had been counted.

The Clearlake City Council has reportedly agreed to let the city loan money to a developer to do road and storm drainage improvements on a development that’s been plagued with delays. Lake County News reports at their meeting Thursday the Council voted unanimously to authorize the loan as an extension of a 2020 deal with Lexington Construction to build new market-rate single-family homes as well as a new road and upgrades to the storm drainage along 36th Avenue between Eureka and Phillips. But officials say the project has hit multiple setbacks including the divorce of the couple that owned the development company. With the divorce now final, the wife has agreed to continue the project, but reportedly needs a financial leg-up to do it. The city has agreed to an up-to $300,000 loan which is due back within 24 months.

A Sacramento-area house fire that erupted Friday night may have been caused by a meteor. The captain of the Penn Valley Fire District says several residents reported seeing a bright light burning across the sky around the same time fire crews were dispatched to the house fire on a cattle ranch. The LA Times reports no one was hurt but the family dog was killed along with several rabbits. The fire chief says it could take weeks to determine the official cause. He says while he has never personally seen a meteor cause a house fire in his 25-year career, he knows it’s possible. Meanwhile the American Meteor Society says a meteor seen around the time of the fire was reported by NASA to be going around 32,000 mph.

You can apply now for a permit to go cut a Christmas tree in the Mendocino National Forest. The U.S. Forest Service says you can visit Recreation.gov and search by forest name or use their interactive map to figure out where you want to go. There is only one permit allowed per household but you can purchase up to three trees. The cost for 2022 is $10 per tree, with a $2.50 transaction fee. And even though you may not want to go get your tree for a few weeks, you do want to act fast on getting the permits, which are limited and granted on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Kelseyville Senior Center may be taken over by the County of Lake, but there’s some confusion about who owns it. District 5 Supervisor Jessica Pyska had proposed the purchase. The County apparently bought the center 20 years ago, but it seemed a surprise to the board when they first took up the matter in August. So the board is considering pouring money into the center from stimulus money from the Fed due to the pandemic, under the American Rescue Plan Act. The county got $12.5 million, with one million for senior centers. But the center in Kelseyville may get most of the cash that is supposed to go to all senior centers in Lake County because of maintenance needs. The Board didn’t dive into who actually owns the space though and if the purchase of the building went thru 20 years ago.

A contagious infection in cats has been reported in Lake County. Lake County Animal Care and Control says there are multiple documented cases of feline panleukopenia in Lakeport. So far the cases are just on one street, in the 5300 block of Lakeshore Blvd. The disease can infect wild and domestic cats and those who get sick will secrete the virus, though feces, vomit, urine, saliva, and mucus. And then show signs of anorexia, lethargy, watery and possibly bloody diarrhea, and vomiting. The disease can kill an animal if not immediately treated.

The Mendocino County Public Health Dept. has announced they’re hosting regular vaccine clinics at the Ukiah Fairgrounds through the year. They have COVID and flu vaccines for anyone age 12 and older, plus the bivalent COVID boosters which are supposed to protect from various strains. Each Saturday through December 17th from 10 AM – 3 PM the shots are available in the Fine Arts building.

Mendocino County has a new campaign for veterans. Operation Green Light for Veterans, a nationwide initiative looks to put the spotlight on veterans for the service they have provided. For this, Mendocino County is lighting up Veterans Memorial buildings green starting today, running through next weekend (this Sunday). The county’s also encouraging individuals and businesses to do the same by putting one green light bulb in the entryway of their house or business. This allows veterans to know they’re seen, appreciated, and supported. The county says it’s also a way to let vets and their families know there are resources available to them. We have about
7,000 veterans being served currently by the Veterans Services Office.

Mendocino County Veterans Services Office may be contacted for services and supports at (707) 463-4226. If you would like information on Mendocino County Department of Social Services, Veterans Services Office, please visit https://www.mendocinocounty.org/government/social-services/veterans-services

The Mendocino County BOS is taking up the quarterly budget at their next meeting. After last week’s contentious meeting, partially spent on finances, it could be an interesting one again. As we reported Auditor-Controller-Tax Collector and the Chief Deputy Auditor-Controller were on hand, at times with strong words for the Supes. Apparently, the last Fiscal Year report is still not complete as the Board dives into the next one. We will also hear Executive Office Recommendations; and Adoption of Resolution to amend the already adopted budget, with the recommended action to accept it, and approve adjustments and journal entries. The board will also get a presentation from the Fish and Game Commission and California Department of Fish and Wildlife and hear from Planning and Building on the matter of Riparian, Stream, and Wetland Protections for the Inland Area of Mendocino County.

A fatal car crash has been reported near Clear Lake. Mendo Fever reports the CHP reported the crash happened where State Route 20 and State Route 53 meet on the east side of the lake. A car reportedly went off the road about four miles east of Clearlake Oaks. The news site reports it’s the third death on a rural road in either Mendocino or Lake County in less than one day. The first was in Leggett, the second near Boonville, and last night, the latest, near the lake.

A day ahead of the mid-term election some polling shows the Governor may not get his way bringing the state to all electric vehicle sales for the state fleet. One measure on tomorrow’s ballot to raise taxes on the wealthiest residents to subsidize zero-emission vehicles looks like it may fail. The new poll from UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies says 47% of likely voters like Proposition 30 and 41% were against it, but support appears to be dropping. The initiative to get multi-millionaires to pay for a chunk of the state’s vehicle fleet to switch gasoline to electric power. Ride-sharing company Lyft, and even some Democrats are bearish on the campaign.

The Governor has made a move on abortions ahead of the election tomorrow. Bringing the topic top of mind right before the mid-terms, Gov. Newsom posthumously pardoned an abortion activist from the 1930s and 1940s. And on the ballot tomorrow, whether or not to enshrine more protections for women by making it a permanent part of the state Constitution after last summer’s U.S. Supreme Court decision. Laura Miner was convicted in 1949 for abortion and conspiracy to commit abortion. She got four years behind bars in the case, and died in 1976. At the time of her incarceration she said she hoped one day abortion would be legal, and believed she had “helped humanity”.

There’s still no permanent Public Health officer in Lake County. So, tomorrow, the BOS will talk about a mentor program to hopefully get and keep the job filled once and for all. Later in their meeting tomorrow, Supervisors are getting an update on the search for a permanent Public Health Officer and they’ll hear about the idea for the mentor program. An executive search firm has been working with the county since August, trying to find a doctor to fill the spot. They’ve only had one candidate, and they have not met the minimum qualifications. The firm had chosen well over 100 candidates, but none were interested. The former Mendocino County officer, Dr. Noemi Doohan apparently shared with the firm ways to make it more attractive, removing politics, for one thing, and having a mentor. County staff want to pay Doohan to consult for up to six months when an officer is finally found.

One billion dollars in funding to build affordable housing is now on hold. Gov. Gavin Newsom says local governments are not working hard enough to slow the rise of homelessness in their communities. One billion dollars was to be distributed amongst counties, groups, and public and private service providers after they showed the state plans to reduce homelessness. Now the Governor says the plans they’ve received so far are subpar. He says the approach is “simply unacceptable” and that “everyone has to do better.” The Legislature had set over $15 billion dollars aside over three years to stop homelessness, including the grant program Newsom is pausing.

A new report says more outside interests are pouring money into California elections. More mailers are being sent out across the state ahead of Tuesday’s election paid for by independent expenditure committees, they are not affiliated with candidates. A good chunk of the spending has gone to Assembly and state Senate races; and the amount of expenditures climbs each year. The committees pouring money into the state also have no campaign contribution limits. $30 million dollars has reportedly been spent on just 10 legislative races since June for twenty candidates. Next week there are 31 seats in the Assembly and the Senate on the ballot.

Failing equipment is being fixed by the Willow County Water District in the western hills of Ukiah. Massive leaks were found in a pair of storage tanks. The first leak became apparent in the Spanish Canyon Estates neighborhood about three weeks ago. The water district reported to the area and laid down over 100 feet of pipe so leaks would be diverted from one home, but then a couple weeks later, another leak. The GM of the Willow County Water District says they’ve been having on and off again problems with the tanks above one house. There was a loss of several hundred gallons of water. This week it happened again, with water overflowing out of the tanks, so they were shut off and equipment has been ordered which could take 3 weeks to repair.

Some Ukiah residents reportedly confused about the new utility bills. The city is welcoming feedback from residents. At the City Council meeting this week, the Deputy City Manager said they’re working on the bills after receiving feedback, and that the new billing system is quite different and presented some challenges. City staffers are trying to make fixes to the bills to clarify what exactly we are paying for and will update their website to have interactive explanations there soon. There were a slew of changes on the bill, including a longer billing cycle this time around, which confused folks.

A first, times two. The first female sheriff in the state of California is out. And not only that, the former sheriff can no longer hold public office again. Former Santa Clara Sheriff Laurie Smith was tossed from office after she was convicted on all of the six charges at her civil corruption trial. A jury found the prosecutors case against Smith was true, that the 70-year-old traded permits to carry a concealed weapon for political donations. The verdict comes the same week she retired after nearly 50 years with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office.

The California Capitol Christmas tree has made it to Sacramento. The tree from the tiny community of Camino arrived yesterday. Over the next few weeks, the 65-foot tree will be adorned with ornaments made by children and adults with developmental disabilities. Then after Thanksgiving, they will have the annual tree lighting ceremony. Governor Gavin Newsom will help flip the switch on ten-thousand LED lights.

The State Board of Education has heard from those most impacted by policy and curriculum, students. At a presentation earlier this week students spoke up on school safety, socioeconomic equity, teacher misconduct, political literacy and peer counseling. It was part of a four-day conference with several dozen student delegates who are on the Student Advisory Board on Education. They’re the voice of almost 6 million students statewide. Those who spoke also said they need better communication between law enforcement and the schools and that there should be new safety guidelines, like posting evacuation maps in every classroom, where to assemble and when to go home. They also want low income kids to have more of a say in expenditures, and more outreach so all communities feel welcome.

A new study says more and more businesses are leaving California. The analysis from the Hoover Institution at Stanford says the amount of businesses who left Calif. in 2021 doubled from the year before. 153 companies relocated in 2021, opposed to 75 that left in 2020 and over three times the amount who split the state in 2018. The conservative think tank reported it was due to economics, like lower taxes, lower cost of living and less regulation. The study showed many went to Texas, including drug distributor McKesson, Tesla, Oracle, Hewlett Packard and Charles Schwab.

There’s a rumor circulating no charges will be coming to the former Ukiah Police Chief Noble Waidelich. The press officer for the Mendocino County DA’s office and former reporter, Mike Geniella writes in the Anderson Valley Advertiser a complaint by a former girlfriend against the former chief doesn’t have enough evidence to convict. Geniella says a law enforcement source with knowledge of the case says the chief’s conduct in the police department was “outside of the norm”. Waidelich was fired in June. The Mendocino County Sheriff asked for investigators in Sonoma County to handle the inquiry. It comes around the same time former Ukiah officer Kevin Murray got off without jail time for a slew of criminal charges against him.

Christmas tree permits are being made available. As of tomorrow, you can go to the Mendocino National Forest and cut your own tree. The acting forest supervisor says, it’s a special experience as it helps people connect to public lands, creates treasured family memories, and benefits the health of the forest There are a limited number of permits which are good until New Year’s Eve. You can get your permit online by visiting Recreation.gov and search by forest name. There’s also an interactive map to see all the locations. There are instructions and guidelines noted. Only one permit per household is allowed. It’s $10/tree plus a $2.50 transaction fee. Besides online you can also go to the Forest Supervisors office in Willows, Upper Lake Ranger Station, Covelo Ranger Station, Upper Lake Grocery, M&M Feed in Covelo, Keith’s Family Foods, also in Covelo and the Covelo Volunteer Fire Department.

A man in Ukiah has been arrested after Deputies say he was threatening others and swinging a metal pipe around. Deputies got a call on Halloween to the 2400 block of North State Street, telling the suspect, Michael Lucas to drop the pipe, which he did. They say he also had a short piece of hose and a bucket, plus he seemed like he was high. They say he was also talking nonsense and they couldn’t understand him and believed he would be unable to care for himself or be safe around others. They also found he had probably stolen gasoline with the hose and bucket, so they arrested him. Lucas was also on active Post Release Community Service, so he’s charged with violating his supervision and Public Intoxication Drugs/Alcohol.

A countywide park project has been approved by the Lake County Planning Commission. At their meeting last week, the commission considered the Public Services Department’s parks improvement project, involving over a dozen parks after Caltrans announced money was coming for a Beautification Initiative Project. The Clean California Local Grant Program awarded $1,358,545 to the county. Lake Co News reports improvements will include new bathrooms at two parks, new security systems at three, and signage, benches, trees, shade structures and trash receptacles. The commission unanimously approved the work.

A warning from Lakeport Police who says there’s a scammer amongst us pretending they’re a police officer, then they try to steal money. Police say they got wind of the scam yesterday, that someone was impersonating Lakeport Police Sgt. Victor Rico. Lake Co News reports the scammer calls the victim saying they’re Rico and they have an arrest warrant for them, and they need to bring cash to an address to get their warrant cleared. The department says there is an Officer Rico on staff, and he or any officer in the agency would never make this call. They say they’ve received similar reports about scams like this one with threats against the victim if they don’t pay up. They ask if you’ve experienced something like this to call the department right away.

The Boggs Mountain Demonstration State Forest is transition to winter season closures. Cal Fire’s Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit reports seasonal camping closes tomorrow at noon due to changing weather conditions which mean poor road conditions. They usually reopen mid-May for camping if the weather and road conditions are okay. You can still go to the forest for day use, that’s from sunrise to sunset. There are closures on certain roads due to the weather, for public health and safety, so do check before you head out. Off-road vehicles and off roading are prohibited.

Please call the Boggs Mountain Demonstration State Forest office at 707-928-4378 should you have any questions.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors back at it, talking finances. The Auditor-Controller-Tax Collector Chamise Cubbison and the Chief Deputy Auditor Controller Kiki DeLong were there and DeLong spoke out about the executive office and the board, not holding back. Cubbison told the board her office was still working on closing out the last fiscal year, which ended June 30th due to staffing shortages and incomplete, late, or inaccurate financial reporting from various departments and the executive office. The Board admitted they’ve had a hard time filling that office with more staff, that there have been pension errors, health plan problems and more.

Some fun for the whole family is in the offing at Grace Hudson Museum for National Native American Heritage Month. This Saturday is Acorn Day. From 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. there will be some activities with artist Martina Morgan who is sharing how to whip up acorn mush, a traditional food. Then from 12 noon to 2:00, another artist, painter Bonnie Lockhart will present how to use oak leaves to paint with, which is part of her process. The two artists will have their work displayed too at the Museum’s current exhibition, “Gathering Time: Pomo Art During the Pandemic.” The days activities are free to Native Americans, current military personnel, and Museum members.

For more information please go to http://www.gracehudsonmuseum.org or call (707) 467-2836.

A burning couch carried out of an apartment complex apparently saved the building. That’s the word from the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority. The Daily Journal reports the Battalion Chief said they responded early Halloween morning to reports of a structure fire and saw flames but say they were mostly inside the burning couch which was already taken out of the complex. Firefighters say the fire was probably accidental and electrical and began on the floor of the apartment and spread to the couch. They did have smoke detectors, so those inside had a warning and then dragged the couch outside. The chief said, that probably saved the whole building, which has five apartments. They say there was minimal damage to the inside of the apartment and nobody had to be evacuated.

A man accused of starting several fires in the lower Russian River area must undergo a mental competency evaluation. A judge has ordered the Monte Rio man to meet with a doctor to determine his mental competency. Then a report will be due back to the court by December 5th. The man has been charged with ten counts of felony arson in connection with fires that date back to last fall. The suspect was going to appear in court and face the charges Wednesday, until his public defender voiced concerns about his mental competency to stand trial and assist with his defense.

A new way to track where rape kits are finally comes to Calif. Back in 2017 a law was enacted requiring law enforcement agencies to get evidence related to sex assaults into labs within 20 days. The labs then had 120 days to process them. But there have been ongoing delays in testing evidence from sex assaults. Now the state has hired a coordinator who will work with
investigators, medical facilities and others to keep track of evidence collected from victims. Then it’s put online as required by a law approved last year. The Calif. Atty General says it’s to finally end the long backlog of rape kits in the state, and keep victims informed of their progress. California’s one of 2 dozen or so states to come up with this sort of tracking system.

City leaders in Lakeport are trying to drum up new business including potential retailers to take over vacant spaces. The City Council got a report this week of the possibility of retailers taking over the old Kmart building. They voted unanimously to extend a contract with a consultant called the Retail Coach to help recruit businesses. The city manager says the company was hired in 2019 to help as the big box store closed, but then the pandemic hit. The downtown core is where the contract is focused. They’re looking at both national and regional retailers, that may include franchises, as well as independent businesses.

The end of another fire season as rain pounded Northern Calif. this week. At the Cal Fire Air Attack Base in Ukiah, they were moving the tankers out for the season. The contract for this year expired on Halloween. On Tuesday, the tankers flew away, but Cal Fire says they’re watching the weather. There is however one person staffed at the Ukiah airport because their air base is year round.

A new report from Calif. state scientists says wildfires, drought, extreme heat and more are pushing climate change faster. The latest “Indicators of Climate Change in California”, the 4th edition, was released this week. It shows climate change is changing rapidly and that fossil fuels are having devastating effects on the state. The last edition was four years ago. The latest shows the extreme weather patterns are more intense and erratic. And that people are getting sicker with heat-related illness, valley fever and from inhaling wildfire smoke. The report says even though the state is leading in the effort to fight the climate crisis, time is not on our side.

A group of volunteers has gathered at Glass Beach in Fort Bragg after a sea lion got stuck there. Volunteers there again Monday afternoon, a day after another sea lion had to be rescued near Russian Gulch State Park. The Mendocino Voice reports the Marine Mammal Center (TMMC), said they’ve had more calls about sea lions that seemed sick, lethargic, or distressed on land in northern Sonoma and Mendocino counties. The Center also says sea lions are a good indicator of the overall health of the ocean. Domoic acid poisoning is one illness, or bacterial infections, that are more prevalent now. The 200 pound sea lion was taken to a hospital in Sausalito.

A busy meeting is planned for the Clearlake City Council. Lake Co News reports the council is taking of several matters, including a housing plan and use agreement, financing for a road project and the city treasurer appointment. The meeting tomorrow night will include public comment. When they get down to business, the council will look at an application and potentially move to adopt the Permanent Local Housing Allocation Program. They’re also looking over an agreement between the city of Clearlake, Lake County Economic Development Corp. and Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce for the use of the Clearlake Visitor Center facility. And then on to discuss putting up money to finish a street and storm drainage project.

Since the City of Lakeport is working with its neighboring city Clearlake on police patrols, the City Council is considering ways to recruit more cops. At their meeting Tuesday the council talked about how difficult it’s been to recruit new police officers who are qualified. The police chief says in the last 3 decades the City of Lakeport has consistently been losing at least 2 cops a year. But, he says, the last 10 years, it’s gone to 3 per year. The city manager chimed in saying it’s a state and nationwide issue, not just in Lakeport. They currently have three sergeants, three officers, one officer in field training, one trainee in the academy and one pre-academy trainee. The chief says he’s worried about burnout for the current staff, but he doesn’t see the hiring crisis improving. The mayor says it’s a top priority to keep the department fully staffed.

There’s growing concern across the state after children have been getting infected with respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. In Santa Rosa one hospital has reported 222 children had RSV and other respiratory viruses between October 15th and 31st. That hospital treated 59 kids for respiratory viruses during the same period last year. In the past two months, four children between the ages of eleven months and three years have been hospitalized with RSV at Sonoma Valley Hospital. Two children in the same age group were hospitalized with respiratory illnesses at that facility in all of last year.

A woman from Petaluma has won the largest pumpkin award at the Mendocino County Fair and Apple Show. Cathy Henning’s 411-pound jack o’lantern took home the Best of Show blue ribbon. Henning says her pumpkin, which also won the purple Champion ribbon for best in the Harvest division, came from seeds out of Nova Scotia she planted in pure compost. She had to get a crane to pluck the gourd off her 50-acre property to get it to Boonville for the fair at the end of September.

A multi-car crash in Clearlake Oaks triggered multiple charges for a man from Pacifica. The four-car crash in July sent many to the hospital. 39 year old Stephen Robert Williams’ lawyer was in court without him this week where they discussed collecting evidence and subpoenaed records. The prosecution asked for the case to be continued so they could get the needed records. So the case will continue next month. It’s the second continuation after some of the alleged victims also couldn’t be found to testify. Back in April Williams was in court regarding a warrant for his arrest. In the meantime he may not drink or go anywhere where booze is sold. Williams is charged with seven counts of DUI causing injury and another three for DUI of alcohol for the July crash on Highway 20.

PG&E Corp. has announced they’re doling out as much as $100 million in possible damages due to the Mosquito Fire. The company was facing lawsuits for the fire this September that blackened nearly 77,000 acres across Placer and El Dorado counties. The company did not admit fault but announced they will send money to residents who lost their homes in the wildfire. They’re already paid out hundreds of millions more in damage from wildfires the last 7 years. Those impacted by the Mosquito Fire would be reimbursed within 75 days of the company receiving the claim. The fire burned 78 homes and was only contained last week. The energy company said they were sued by 34 homeowners and it was reasonable they’d incur a financial loss.