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Category Archives: 94.5 K-Wine News

94.5 K-Wine Local News Reports

A measure that would allow firefighters to get a jump on managing the state’s vegetation ahead of next fire season has passed. Senator Cathleen Galgiani has announced the passage of SB 632. Governor Newsom signed the bill into law requiring the board of forestry and fire protection to certify an environmental impact report for a vegetation treatment program by February 2020. This gives Cal Fire time to analyze the results before fire season arrives. In a statement, the Senator said that “With year after year of record-breaking wildfires, fire-related deaths, acres burned, and structures destroyed, it was clear that an updated report on changes to California’s landscape has never been greater”. The law will into effect on January 1st.

The results are inconclusive. The family of a dog who died from suspected exposure to blue-green algae in August after a swim in the Putah Creek area allowed the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory at UC Davis to test the dog’s stomach contents and some body tissue. The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) also performed their own evaluation. An investigation was launched after the dog’s sudden death, and samples of water from the Putah Creek area were also tested. The tests didn’t find any of the common types of toxins in the water or in the dog samples, but also didn’t conclusively rule out an algae-related cause. Pets are particularly at risk from swimming in water contaminated by blue-green algae. If an animal becomes sick or dies suddenly after swimming in any body of water, please call or take the animal to a veterinarian and alert your local Health Department.

Mounting expenses related to PG&E’s bankruptcy as attorney fees alone have reached $140 million dollars, even before wildfire victims have seen any compensation. According to the US trustee administering the chapter 11 proceedings Andrew Vara, the bankruptcy is likely to be among the most expensive ever filed. The Daily Journal reports that questionable expenses include attorney’s fees for meetings attended by 22 attorneys at the same time, recent law school graduates billing at the same rate as the most experienced lawyers, nonworking meals and air travel, and a firm that billed 12 hour days for 100 consecutive days. Executive Director with consumer group The Utility Reform Network Mark Toney, notes that while lawyers are billing the exorbitant fees, customers wait in tents and trailers. An attorney for about 5,500 wildfire victims, Gerald Singleton says that the utility company is hoping to pay wildfire victims $.50 on the dollar for their losses.

Governor Newsom warns that the stat’s longest ever period of economic growth is slowing, which may be felt in next year’s budget. Record surpluses allowed the governor this year to increase access to health care, housing, and education spending but next year’s budget may not be so liberal. His 2020 budget is due in January.

Today is the deadline for the Mendocino County Cannabis Cultivation phase one. All applications for cultivation must be in by 5 pm and can be dropped off at the Department of Planning and Building Services, where they will be reviewed to ensure that all required documentation was submitted. Applicants will be notified in writing whether or not the application was complete. It’s important to include all required documentation because any applications that are incomplete will not be included in phase one.

Ukiah High students have been celebrating homecoming all week with rallies, projects, and even donations to the Ukiah Food Bank. Students will be sporting class colors when they fill the gym for a rally just before 10 am. A parade gets underway at 3:45 and the JV football game is at 5 pm, varsity at 7:30 pm.

According to a new poll released yesterday by the Public Policy Institute of California, voters are worried about housing and homelessness, and at least part the blame lies with Governor Newsom. According to the results, more voters likely disapprove of his job performance than approve. Compare that to a different poll released Monday by UC Berkley’s institute of governmental studies, which show voters approve of the Governor’s job performance by about 20 percentage points.

California may have a new type of bank by next year, all thanks to a bill signed yesterday by Governor Newsom setting up rules for public banks. The new financial institutions would be owned by, and primarily serve public agencies. Unlike private banks, they’ll be required to put the public good over profits. Debbie Notkin, with the California Public Banking Alliance, predicts the agencies will save a considerable amount of money. Wall Street banks have criticized California’s legislation, saying banking is too complex to be entrusted to government, but Notkin points out that all five of the biggest Wall Street banks have felony charges on their records and have paid huge fines for their misdeeds in recent years. She’s also convinced that public banks will be more responsive to local and regional concerns.

Fire prevention week kicks off on Sunday as a reminder to plan and practice a safe escape route in the event of a house or wildfire. CalFire Director Thom Porter says that being aware of your surroundings is an ability people need to use everywhere and that no matter where you are, you should always look for two ways out. If an alarm sounds, take it seriously and get out immediately. If it’s a wildfire situation, leave right away. Experts advise coming up with a plan which should be practiced day and night so that it becomes muscle memory. Draw a map of each level in the home, and show two ways out of every room. Designate a meeting place like a mailbox or tree and call 911 from the meeting place during an emergency. Make plans to help children or those with disabilities get out, install smoke alarms in the home’s sleeping areas, and for those trapped inside, firefighters have the best training to rescue them. Log on for more info at readyforwildfire.org or fire.ca.gov.

Governor Newsom has signed a law that will make it easier for local school boards to deny new charters schools. The new law includes a two-year moratorium on non-classroom-based charters, new credentialing requirements for teachers and a provision that allows school boards to examine the financial impact of a new charter school. The law essentially ensures that charter schools are held to the same standards as public schools. local officials could potentially shut down a charter in districts with budget problems under the legislation.

Up to $125,000 in funding is available under the 2020 community enrichment program, according to an announcement by the Community Foundation of Mendocino County. The grant awards will range from $3000 to $8000 for community projects throughout Mendocino County. Interested organizations can apply at communityfound.org. There are several workshops planned to explain the details and answer questions starting with one in Ukiah on Friday, Oct 18th at the Community Foundation of Mendocino County Community room at 204 S Oak Street. A South Coast workshop is planned for Oct 22nd, North Coast Oct 25th and there’s one in Willits Oct 30th. All workshops will be from noon to 1:30 pm and are free to attend.

It’s five months in prison for a Napa Valley winemaker, the latest sentence handed down over the national college admissions scandal, and so far the toughest. 52-year-old Agustin F. Huneeus pleaded guilty to fraud charges last May and admitted to paying bribes to have his daughter’s answers on her SAT fixed so she could get into USC as a competitive water polo player. Governor Newson has signed legislation aimed at making it harder for those with money to buy their kid’s way into elite schools, including a bill that bans parents found guilty in the admission scandal from taking tax deductions for donations they made to any fake charities involved. Over 20 other people have entered pleas in the case.

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An agreement is reached between Mendocino County and a construction company for the jail expansion. The Daily Journal reports Vanir Construction Management is being hired for the $1.5M dollar project being paid for by the Jail Expansion Project budget, which apparently has already been earmarked. The vote was unanimous by the Board of Supervisors for the contract which goes thru June 2023. The construction company has experience with this sort of work across Northern Calif. The Board of State and Community Corrections put forward money for the 21,000 square feet housing unit too. The construction company will stay in close touch with Supervisors on the timeline, design and handle sub-contractors and manage costs and risks.

Several wildfire related bills have been signed into law by Governor Newsom. Two of them sponsored by state Sen. Mike McGuire. Senate Bills 560 and 670 to improve communication between parties if there are power outages that could affect work being done by first responders. One will require utility companies to notify law enforcement, fire and medical responders and telecommunications providers if they plan a “Public Safety Power Shutoff” like PG&E has been doing. And the other requires telecommunications companies to be in touch with the California Office of Emergency Services faster if an outage would affect 9-1-1 emergency systems.

Congressman Jared Huffman is speaking out about the SAFE Banking Act so cannabis-related businesses can work with banks in states and territories where either recreational or medical marijuana use is legal. Huffman’s a co-sponsor of the bill which passed the US House 321-103. Huffman says Congress took an important step so there aren’t harmful repercussions due to federal marijuana prohibition. The Act also helps with the inequities in the cannabis industry, Huffman says, so anyone legally operating under a state law can get traditional credit union and banking services. Huffman is also supporting or the co-sponsor of other bills which remove marijuana from a list as a narcotic under the Controlled Substances Act.

Road closures planned in Willits. There’s a large road project being done Monday for the Pine Street and Vicinity Utility Project. They’ll be grinding and paving thru next Thursday so some streets will be totally closed with no way in except for emergency vehicles. If you’re in the area, heads up on Spruce Street (between W. Mendocino Avenue and Pine Street), Pine Street (between Spruce and Maple streets), and Maple Street (between Laurel and Pine streets). The work from 7am to 6pm. Engineers asking that residents park outside the work area too, and walk home. For more info: (707) 459-4605.

Gas prices don’t look to be on a downward trend any time soon. Usually around Memorial Day prices start to creep up, then lower back down at the end of the summer. But a new report says four refineries had outages in the last week. Gasbuddy reporting normally one will be having maintenance, but four is unusual. That and high taxes and a carbon tax, brings it to about $4.00 a gallon. About a dollar a more more than most other states. There were also recent attacks on major oil fields in Saudi Arabia which didn’t help. They supply about 20% of the oil California gets.

Local governments can start their own banks according to a new Calif. law. The Gov. announced the law co-authored by Assemblymen David Chiu of San Francisco and Miguel Santiago of Los Angeles was signed yesterday. The two legislators say they came up with the plan because public banks don’t really need to worry about profit for their shareholders and can invest in whatever they like and can also hold back on some investing, like for affordable housing and infrastructure. So the new law which starts January 1st for new public banks. There’s a catch though, only two can be approved in one year and there’s a cap of 10 total.

The city manager presenting info to the Clearlake City Council on plans in the event of a public safety power shutoff this fall. City Manager Alan Flora in front of the council last week on the matter after Pacific Gas and Electric warned they may cut power to thousands of Lake County residents, which didn’t happen. Flora says there was a communication breakdown by the utility with local agencies. He says there was conflicting information but eventually the communication improved. But he says it was difficult to plan a response. A PG&E spokesperson says every time they conduct a public safety power shutoff they find areas where they can improve in the future. Flora says PG&E says there could be about a dozen shutoffs before the end of the year in their service area.

The Trump administration is accusing the city of San Francisco of violating the federal Clean Water Act. A notice went to the city yesterday. This after the president warned there might be a violation notice after he was in town and said the city was allowing needles and human waste to go through storm drains to the Pacific Ocean. City officials say that’s just not the case. The letter to the general manager of the city’s Public Utilities Commission said the EPA found violations in the city and county wastewater treatment and sewer system, accusing them of improper operation and maintenance allowing raw and partially-treated sewage to flow onto beaches, into the ocean and sometimes into streets and homes.

Cops in Eureka bust a guy they say used a machete while riding a bike. Police say they got a call Wednesday morning to a fight with weapons. Apparently a City of Eureka Code Enforcement officer witnessed the whole thing, saying the main aggressor in the fight was armed with a machete. Kym Kemp reporting officers responded and at the same time the two separated and the suspect took off on his bike. Police detained the man with the machete who was identified as 41 year old Brian Mello. They investigated more, finding Mello approached the victim and threatened him, then robbed him of that bicycle. The victim saw him soon after and tried to get the bike back but he was hit by the machete. He was not injured though. Mello arrested for robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. He was booked into the Humboldt County Jail and was being held on $55,000 bail.

Some red liquid tossed on the floor of the state Senate has been found to be human blood. It happened last month, delaying proceedings on the floor for several hours on the final day of the session. Police say a woman threw the blood from the public gallery and some landed on senators. It was not infected with any pathogens though. Lawmakers moved to another room to wrap up the session. Rebecca Dalelio was arrested after the incident, but she has not been formally charged in the case yet. She’s due back in court Nov. 18th. The chamber was cleaned and has been reopened to the public.

 

 

There’s a new Round Valley Municipal Advisory Council. The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors appointed folks for the Council so those living in Round Valley and Covelo have a place to discuss local issues. Seven people appointed first had to apply. They’ve been identified as Laura Betts, Kathryn Britton, James Russ, Dane Downing, Lew Chichester, and Jessica Stull-Otto, with Charles Sargenti as an alternate. Also yesterday, supervisors approved buying a Disaster Animal Relief Trailer. The $10,000 vehicle to be used in a fire or earthquake to move animals to safety in the event of a disaster. Some other issues also covered included approving work at the Willits library and rental assistance money for Redwood Community Services.

The annual Ukiah Valley Russian River Cleanup brings out a crowd. A couple Saturday’s ago the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District project manager Deborah Edelman took over the event. She says they’ve expanded the event and this year they covered more ground. Folks with gloves, buckets and grabbers pulled 2,500 pounds of garbage from Low Gap Park, lower Orr Creek near Orchard Avenue, Doolan Creek near the railroad tracks by Talmage Road, under the Moore Street and Lake Mendocino Drive bridges and Mill Creek Park. Some of the take included a washing machine, bicycles, clothes and needles.

A man in Lakeport in court for a settlement hearing, accused of molesting a minor gets a continuance. David Anthony Calvin Johnson in jail after being charged with two counts of oral copulation with a victim under 10 years old, sending harmful material to a child, lewd acts with a child under 14, molesting a minor and indecent exposure. His lawyer requested a continuance. Back in April he waived his right to a preliminary hearing and pleaded not guilty. There had been a jury trial set for September 25th but that’s continued to January. He’s due back in court next month for a trial readiness or settlement conference.

A little more money to attend a Cal State college next Fall. Students interested in applying as a new student, transfer or for graduate school can use only one application though to apply to any of the 23 campuses, but they have to pay 70 dollars per campus, instead of 55 bucks. There’s a waiver available for some students though. Priority deadline to apply is November 30th, and some of the majors are not accepting applicants after that date, they can also ask for more information to screen certain applicants.

The DMV is now charging to use a debit or credit card. This past Sunday, they started tacking on a 2.1 percent fee for anyone paying online, at a DMV kiosk, and through the automated telephone service. And to use the debit or credit card at a field office you get charged 2.3 percent. But good news, only the Davis field office accepts credit card payments. A pilot program has started for Roseville, Fresno, and Victorville. The rest of the offices will accept credit card payments in early 2020.

More info on that drive by shooting we told you about in Ukiah a couple days ago. Police say it was a 16-year-old boy and 21-year-old man who were arrested in the case. Another man, a 19 year old was shot after multiple rounds were released in front of a Ukiah strip mall on South State Street earlier this week. There’s still no motive released to the public, nor are we sure of any gang ties to the suspects or victim. The victim shot by Nifty Thrifty, then ran to the door of the business and fell. They say they called 911. Cops were tipped to a white car, either Mercedes or BMW and caught the guys with the help of a SWAT team. One has been identified as 21 year old Ishmael Nash. The minor arrested for being the alleged shooter.

State Senator Mike McGuire’s bill that became law to have President Trump or any potential major candidate release their tax returns is not going to work. A judge says it probably violates the US constitution. McGuire is a co-sponsor on the bill requiring candidates for president or governor file copies of their personal income tax returns for five years to the California secretary of state’s office; and if they don’t, they will not make it onto the state’s primary ballot. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed it into law, he says, because California has a “special responsibility” to hold candidates to high ethical standards. The judge said it wasn’t the job of the court to decide if this was good policy, but instead to make sure the Constitution wins.

Debris removal bills sent to some after the October 2017 fires total hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s been just about two years since the firestorm hit Sonoma County, the county sending the bills out for the government sponsored cleanup covering Sonoma, Mendocino, Napa and Lake Counties. The Press Democrat reports residents probably won’t have to pay anything more then their insurance companies covered, but the county says they wanted folks to be educated on the matter. The bills were sent to insurance companies and emails to 2,700 residents in Sonoma County as part of an agreement with the federal and state governments.

Lake County’s new courthouse has risen to the top of a priority list of construction projects across the state.  The Judicial Council’s Court Facilities Advisory Committee voted on an updated report Tuesday in San Francisco, putting Lakeport in the No. 1 spot. The proposed courthouse is classified as immediate need. The 50 million dollar project tops a second smaller courthouse in Lake County at a cost of $15 million. That one is No. 6 on the list.  A law went into effect last year that requires all courthouse projects to be assessed before new one’s can be built.

The next funding cycle for the Good Farm Fund has been announced. This is the biggest round of funding in the history of the fund, $50,000. The fund to give economic development assistance for small food producers in Mendocino and Lake counties and wider access for fresh local food to be delivered throughout the community. Interested applicants have to show financial need, show how their proposed project will maximize food production for local consumption, provide affordable food for those in the community and use environmentally beneficial farming and/or ranching practices. Those interested in applying have until October 15th.

The Governor has signed three bills into law to give access to treatment to firefighters and other first responders dealing with mental health issues and post-traumatic stress. There will be new peer support programs under the new law that’ll add post-traumatic stress treatment for those who have suffered on the job under worker’s compensation. It will also make sure emergency services stay under public management for appropriate and consistent response to emergency situations.

A man wanted on a warrant in Eureka seen riding his bike has been arrested. Eureka police say Larry Gibson was seen yesterday morning and as he was being detained he was found to have about 3.6 ounces of Methamphetamine on him. Because of the probation terms a search was also conducted at his home. There, police found more meth, digital scales, packaging, and a sawed [off] shotgun. He was taken to jail and booked on new charges of possession and transport of controlled substances, possession of controlled substances while armed, felon in possession of a firearm, and for the probation violation.

A man in Northern Calif has been arrested after investigators say he started several fires in Butte County during a state of emergency. Cal Fire reports 35-year-old Jeremy Gendreau of Oroville was arrested after they got an anonymous tip he started several fires in Oroville last month during hot, dry and windy weather. It was during a time when PG&E was planning power outages due to the fire related weather and a state of emergency was declared. The investigation by the Butte County District Attorney’s Office, California State Parks, Oroville Police and Cal Fire. He was being held on almost $2 million dollars bail.

After about twenty years or so Mercury Insurance Co. ends a fight with California regulators about extra fees they had charged to customers, settling the case with the state for more than $41 million. The California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara reports it’s the single largest property and casualty penalty and interest payment ever for the state Insurance Department. It follows the state Supreme Court saying no to even hearing the case, after the insurance company appealed a lower court decision. Mercury was fined by the Department of Insurance in 2015 charged for tacking on illegal fees to customer bills. The company accused of charging customers up to $150 in unapproved fees above their premiums going all the way back to 1999.

A drive by shooting in Ukiah injures a man by the airport. The Ukiah Police Department reports members of the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority responded to the shooting yesterday afternoon around lunch time and found an “adult Hispanic male” with a “non-life-threatening” injury. They report the victim had been walking near businesses and was shot by two people in a car then they left the scene. The Sheriff’s Office and police officers were tracking leads and detained two people a couple hours later. One is said to be a juvenile male and the other an adult make, around 20 years old. Not sure which is the alleged shooter, but one has been charged with attempted murder, and the other, with conspiracy and being an accessory after the fact.  Apparently surveillance video in the neighborhood caught the suspect’s vehicle. No word if it’s gang related.

Still no actual plans for the new Mental Health Treatment Center in Redwood Valley. The monthly Mental Health Treatment Act Citizen’s Oversight Committee had their meeting last Wednesday, focusing on who will be the “Measure B” project manager. The CEO of the County says two people have been offered the job, but neither accepted. So they had another recruitment where 25 more candidates have applied. Interviews are being scheduled.  The committee is also working with an architect for the proposed Crisis Residential Treatment (CRT) facility, Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) and the Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF). And the Board of Supervisors has approved Measure B funds be released to start work.

A man from Willits has been arrested on drugs and weapons charges. Ukiah Police reported getting a call to Pine St. and Low Gap Road Friday after someone reported seeing a man with a gun concealed in the waistband of his pants. The man found with a concealed 9mm handgun which was not registered in his name. 23 year old Skylar Vincent was also believed to be high on drugs and found with drugs and drug paraphernalia on him at the time. He’s arrested for several felony and misdemeanor drug and weapons charges and held on $35,000 bail.

A public hearing’s being held to start a new underground utility district near downtown Ukiah. Overhead power lines would be converted along 11th St. and N. Main to underground lines, using Pacific Gas and Electric Company “work credits” to convert them. The Lakeport City Manager says that area was chosen because of an abundance of utility poles and narrow sidewalks. State rules say utility companies have to set aside credits for the communities they serve, so in Lakeport the credits have not been used. The city says it’s got about $1 million worth. The work still in planning stage and will go to public comment today.

The Lakeport Police Chief is set to update the city council on fireworks enhancement work and using a federal grant for “community policing” operations. The Police Chief Brad Rasmussen earlier reported July 4th was the “biggest day of the year” in his department. He deemed the month surrounding the 4th as Fireworks Period, saying illegal fireworks were reported across town during that month. He’s also set to talk to the council about renewing federal grants the dept. received from the U.S. Department of Justice Community Policing Office.

Several Lower Lake High students participate in a student-led climate change teach-in event. More than 100 students speaking on the importance of dealing with climate change as several other climate change protests happened around the world. More than six million people reportedly took part in the Global Climate Strike advocating for social change to fight global warming. Lower Lake High students sat on the school’s lawn, some held signs, or speaking on the matter, noting massive fires in our area helped them see the situation was important.

The Mendocino County Cultural Service Agency is asking what you’d like to see in a park. Right now the County’s finishing up its Parks Needs Assessment. County residents and active users of the County’s six Parks are invited to share ideas and help shape the future of County Parks with the Parks Needs Assessment Survey. Feedback welcomed for Bower Park, Gualala · Faulkner Park, Boonville · Indian Creek Park and Campground, Philo · Low Gap Park, Ukiah · Mill Creek Park, Talmage · Lions Club Park, Redwood Valley. For more info visit, http://www.mymendocinoparks.org or call the Mendocino County Cultural Services Agency Parks Division at 707-234-2875.

A little earth movement. Last night about 5:09 a small earthquake hit outside Fort Bragg. The United States Geological Survey measured the temblor at 3.5, but no damage was reported. It was centered about 11 miles west-northwest of Fort Bragg, almost 10 feet deep. It was west of the San Andreas Fault. There was another smaller quake yesterday morning, but that was off Cape Mendocino. The 2.5 also didn’t cause damage that we’ve heard about. No tsunami activity for either.

Seasonal closures announced by Cal Fire for campgrounds and trails in the Jackson State Demonstration Forest. As of yesterday the closures for the Mendocino National Forest with lower temperatures, intermittent rains and wet trails. They’ve also announced some limits on how long you can camp in the forest, no more than 2 weeks in one area a month and not more than 28 days in a year. The Forest Supervisor says the stay limits allow visitors to get in some great camping while lessening environmental impacts during longer stays in camps.

The recreational spiny lobster season is on. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife opened the season Saturday. It continues thru the middle of next March. The agency says last year was a good one, 16 percent higher than the season before. If you’re fishing, you have to have a “lobster report card” in your possession.  Anyone 16 years or older has to also have a valid sport fishing license and ocean enhancement stamp. But if they’re using a hoop net from a public pier they don’t need a license but do have to have that valid lobster report card.

Officers from the Humboldt State University Police Department have reportedly voted no confidence against their chief. Kym Kemp reporting nine of the ten officers who voted were no confidence against Chief Donn Peterson, while the tenth abstained. It’s a yearly survey that every CSU campus holds. A year before this vote, officers also voted no confidence. The news site reports it comes after Peterson was hired after a scandal had him leave his job with the Broward County Sheriff’s Department in Florida. He apparently leaves a lot to visit family, something that was taken into consideration by those surveyed. One officer telling the news site the chief’s absenteeism was only one part of why they had no confidence. They also accuse him of manipulating crime statistics reporting, creating a hostile work environment including racial slurs, labor law violations and more.

The State of the City address will be delivered for Clearlake. The address tomorrow at Austin Park at 5 p.m. will include demonstrations with police dogs, pet adoptions by Clearlake Animal Control and a new road maintenance equipment demonstration by the Public Works Dept. There will also be family fun including free treats and a bounce house. Plus there will be a groundbreaking after the address for the new Austin Park Improvement Project.

A Women’s group has awarded Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry for her leadership. The Women’s Legislators Lobby gave Aguiar-Curry their Pacesetter Award for her bold leadership on behalf of Assembly Joint Resolution 30, “Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act”. The resolution so Congress would pass Congressman Ted Lieu’s legislation to stop President Trump from unilaterally authorizing the deployment of nuclear weapons in an offensive attack without specific authorization from Congress.

A man from Ukiah in prison for being in possession of a firearm has been released. The Ukiah D-A reports 31 year old defendant Michael Ray France got 48 months in state prison after a plea deal. He was placed on supervised probation July 5th then released from custody on a suspended sentence. The DA says he wasted little time violating the law, arrested in August on a domestic violence call. He was found to be in violation of his probation after a contested evidentiary hearing held on September 4th and put back in prison.

Tens of thousands of child care workers are being allowed to unionize in California. The Governor signing a new law Monday that will go into effect next year for workers offering childcare to families getting government help. So the workers will be able to collectively bargain as other public employees do, but they are not going to be considered state workers. They just get to bargain for items like reimbursement rates and payment procedures. This has been ongoing since 2004, with childcare workers trying to unionize for years. The Gov. signed the legislation along with several other bills one of which also allows political candidates to be able to use campaign funds for childcare expenses if they’re out campaigning, so that more parents will run for office.

A Camp Fire housing bill awaiting the signature of the governor which was approved with bipartisan support. Republican Assemblyman James Gallagher’s bill so there is a faster approval process for residential and mixed-use developments. Right now new projects have to go thru a really long review process because of the California Environmental Quality Act, but if the Gov. signs the Assembly bill into law, the Camp Fire Housing Assistance Act of 2019 would change that. Home construction would move fast and go around certain regulations that can stop or delay developments.

Since the Camp fire residents and business owners in Butte County have been given the greenlight for nearly $370 million of low-cost disaster assistance loans. The loans from the Small Business Administration are more than the money that went to victims of the fire from FEMA. The agencies generally work together after a disaster. Just over 3,300 loans have been approved for Camp fire survivors, more than 220 of those to businesses. Other businesses that were impacted but didn’t burn also got money. The rest all went to homeowners or renters.

A man from Clearlake Oaks has been arrested after an arson fire near a senior’s apartment complex. Cal Fire investigators responded after the fire burned a small area of grass and damaged a fence near Hwy 20 and Lake Street. 35 year old Matthew Miravalle was arrested and found to be an arson registrant, he was apparently seen just before the fire started. Major Crimes Detectives and Cal Fire investigators say he admitted he started the fire and two others in Clearlake Oaks in June. He’s charged with Aggravated Arson with a Prior, Arson, Unlawfully Causing a fire and a probation violation.  Miravelle remains in custody on a no bail hold.

An appeal is being considered by the Ukiah City Council after the planning commission denied a waiver for a cannabis microbusiness that wanted to open near a church and mobile home park. The building on E. Smith Street. The owner of Wine Country Cannasseurs wants to grow indoors and have a retail outlet, but the Pentecostal United Church is nearby. The cannabis company owner made a deal apparently to close during hours of church services. But the Planning Commission said it was too close to the Circle Trailer Park as well. City staffers are recommending the City Council follow suit and turn the business owner down for that location.

A domestic violence call in Covelo ends in the arrest of a woman. Police say they got a call Friday and found the couple were living together and the man said the woman, Tonikali Sema became violent after an argument. He says he tried to calm her down and she left, then he locked the door and called the Sheriff’s office. Deputies say the man had minor injuries matching his story, but he declined medical treatment at the scene. Sema was arrested for domestic violence battery and was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on $25,000.00 bail.

Four men in Ukiah have been arrested after reports of someone shooting a gun. Deputies had a report early last Thursday and found a 2017 Toyota Tacoma pickup parked nearby without lights on, but when they got there the lights went on and the truck took off onto Highway 101. They got off the highway and several people got out of the truck. A deputy who was following parked behind them and saw one Hispanic man running with what he thought was an assault rifle, jump over a gate and run onto vineyard property. Another deputy found four people by the truck and detained them, finding a large capacity rifle magazine. Then another stolen semi-automatic rifle and a loaded stolen revolver. They could also smell weed in the truck and found more ammo. The four arrested on several charges including burglary, possession of an assault weapon and conspiracy.

The General and Area Plans in Lake County are on the Lake County Board of Supervisors agenda. County Staff have reportedly put the items on the agenda for the meeting tomorrow. It comes a couple weeks after public complaints regarding planned Dollar General stores in Lake County and other new retailers. The Record Bee reports heated debate a couple weeks ago with one supervisor telling folks if they don’t like a certain store, not to patronize it. Dollar General is looking to expand.  Also on the agenda the board will consider their official responses to the Grand Jury report on the county’s jail system, veteran services office, animal control system and fire protection districts. The board is required to respond, and drafted responses have apparently already been prepared. The board agreeing with 10 of the complaints in the report, disagrees with six, and affirms neutrality on one.

Boaters and recreational lake users told to avoid direct contact with/or use waters of Clear Lake due to toxins in Lake County. This is due to the potential health risks after low levels of anatoxin were detected in three (3) out of five (5) samples taken September 17th. Algae toxin testing in the lake is done routinely and for issues found, warning signs are posted. This is a lower level than would normally trigger a warning, but the Interim Public Health Officer is encouraging those using the lake to be cautious in affected areas. Signs are up at Redbud Park and further testing will be done this week. For more information, please visit: California Harmful Algal Blooms Portal: https://mywaterquality.ca.gov/habs/

A new program’s being offered for victims of human trafficking in Lake County. The Lake Family Resource Center says Lake County is a prime area for this sort of criminal activity and they offering services including case management, safety planning, social and criminal justice advocacy, community crisis line response, restraining order assistance, support groups, psychotherapy, and emergency shelter and housing establishment assistance. Call the center at 707-279-0563 to find out more about their services.

State environmental leaders supposed to meet with members of the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency, but the meeting has reportedly been called off. The EPA was accusing Calif. of not protecting air and water in the state, then canceled a meeting set for Wednesday. An EPA spokesperson says they are trying to find a time later in the year to reschedule the meeting. The Calif. EPA says they were surprised by the abrupt change in plans, saying their dept. is dismayed and the whole situation has become petty. Calif. is suing the Trump administration with over 30 pending suits challenging weakening environmental protections.

A bear’s been caught on video at a Mendocino County vineyard chowing down on grapes. The Press Democrat’s posted video of the black bear wandering around at Navarro Vineyards. The vineyard about 70 miles north of Santa Rosa caught the visit, but only eating the pinot noir grapes. There are apparently 7 other varieties on the vine. One of the co-owners says the bear went for the premium fruit, saying they’re actually glad to have the bear around. Apparently they had cameras put in to catch the animal but only saw him this year. They then posted a bunch of the videos on Facebook for all to see. The video had several thousand views. The vineyard owner says they expect their visitor to pop in again before the harvest season starts next month.

A new poll shows folks in California are behind a new state law on vaccine exemptions for school kids. The UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll by the Los Angeles Times shows 90% of Democrats and 73% of Republicans want more immunization rates at schools and daycare facilities. And they support the California Department of Public Health having oversight on exemptions with the authority to potentially reject a doctor’s determination a child should skip all or some of their shots. The poll showed 8 out of every 10 voters surveyed liked the new law. The poll came after the Governor signed a new law for a state review of vaccine exemptions issued by doctors to find exemptions given for non-medical reasons.

A man from Northern Calif. in trouble with the federal government, accused of being a spy. The U.S. Attorney David Anderson reports 56-year-old Xuehua (Edward) Peng of Hayward was charged with being an illegal foreign agent and giving classified national security information to Chinese officials. The complaint says the man got the classified info on behalf of the Chinese Government and at their direction, crimes included delivering information, payments, and carrying secure digital cards to Beijing with classified information related to U.S. national security from 2015 to 2018. He was arrested Friday and was being held without bond.

One of the Mendocino County Supervisors is headed to Washington D.C. At the end of next month, Supervisor John Haschak will travel to the Capitol to go to lobbying meetings and to try to get more disaster recovery funds for the County after the devastating fires of 2017 and 2018. His travel approved at the last Supervisor meeting for the Oct. 28th trip. Per protocol, such trips must be approved at a public meeting. The trip is with other representatives for the Rebuild NorthBay Foundation, including those from Butte, Napa, Sonoma and Lake counties.

Another trial for a man from Ukiah already found guilty of raping a minor. It’s the fourth trial for 23 year old Zachary Barajas who a jury says forcibly raped a minor. He’s also charged with other sexual crimes against the victim. The Mendocino County DA says the jury couldn’t reach a verdict on other crimes though. There was also a second victim, the same or similar charges against the guy for that offense with the jury failing to reach a unanimous verdict. He was booked on no bail after that trial and wasn’t sentenced until he can be tried again for the second victim. That court proceeding starts November 19th.

Congressman Jared Huffman getting behind legislation to protect banks working with cannabis-related businesses. The legislation is for areas of the country where marijuana has been legalized for medical and recreational use. The SAFE Banking Act passed the house which Huffman says was an important first step for those following the law but unable to access financial services. The bill touted as reducing public safety impacts of cash-only businesses, addressing inequities in the cannabis industry, allowing anyone legally operating under state law to access traditional credit union and banking services, and would not restrict the industry for businesses who can self-fund or get private investors.

A man who owns an RV park in Lake County out of luck in his appeal for an extension on restrictions on noise and how long guests can stay. The Lake County Board of Supervisors said no to the extension for Calico Cat RV Park owner Dan Kelly on his major use permit which had just been renewed. He says he has cancer and the conditions for a maximum volume and limiting certain activities and the length of a stay for guests will put him out of business. He wants to sell.  Kelly says he did not get the proper notification and missed the date to appeal.

A man at the Robinson Rancheria Casino busted with a gun. Lake County sheriff’s office reports getting a call yesterday morning on an unrelated matter and found Leopoldo Bravo had a warrant out for his arrest and a stolen handgun in his vehicle. The Kelseyville man arrested and held in jail after surveillance footage showed he was in a red pickup truck that had been stolen. Then when they searched, the gun was uncovered. He admitted he drove the truck to the casino but said he didn’t know how the gun got there. Cops found out later he was a gang member and had a history of weapons and drug charges on his record.

FEMA is going to put money forth to help Butte County pay to remove some hazardous trees after the Camp fire. A government hazard tree removal program will pay for the trees on private property to be removed so they can’t fall on public roads and facilities, but they will not take out others that may fall on homes. The Butte County Board of Supervisors and the Paradise Town Council have to pass emergency ordinances before the work can begin though. And community members have to sign right of entry forms giving permission, like they’ve previously done for debris clean-up. The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services reportedly working with federal officials for the money for Paradise and Butte County.

A man from Laytonville accused of domestic violence has been cleared. The Mendocino County DA reports the jury acquitted 30 year old David Nielsen of charges of domestic battery, child endangerment, and taking a cell phone so the alleged victim couldn’t call 9-1-1, all misdemeanors. The trial lasted three days.

A man from Fort Bragg accused of being a serial arsonist has been sent to prison. The Mendocino County DA reports 62 year old Ted Demits got 5 and a half years after admitting arson of an inhabited dwelling and animal abuse, both felonies. He has to also register as an arson offender for life after finishing the prison sentence. He will get no credit for time served as part of his plea deal. It stems from the fire set at a female friend’s trailer and car while she was not there. Her dog was also in the trailer and died.

A man from Covelo has been arrested after cops say he was on drugs and had a gun. Round Valley Police say Luis “Boo” Oliver seemed high on something and in possession of a firearm during a traffic stop. He was detained so backup officers could get there and check his car. Mendo deputies say he had a controlled substance, drug paraphernalia, and a large capacity magazine in his possession. And after checking his background, found he was prohibited from possessing ammunition and firearms and he was out on bail at the time. He was arrested for several crimes, including felon in possession of a firearm, committing a criminal offense while on bail and, possession of a controlled substance while in possession of a firearm. He was held on $60,000 bail.

A joint meeting’s planned for the Mendocino County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Act and the Quality Improvement Committee. Next Wednesday the meeting at the Consolidated Tribal Health Project in Redwood Valley to go over Behavioral Health services and Mental Health Services Act programs in Mendocino County. They’re encouraging members of the public, consumers, family members, service providers, and community agencies to come to the meeting and ask questions, share ideas, provide feedback, and to give recommendations for improvement of the Behavioral Health system of care in the community.

For more information about QIC, or to have the Web-Ex Link emailed to you,
please contact William Riley, by e-mailing rileyw@mendocinocounty.org or by
calling (707) 472-2358.

SNAP or food stamps assistance is being adjusted by the federal government. So CalFresh is informing those across the state of the changes. And in Mendocino County, they’re putting out the word that monthly benefits change starting next Tuesday. The money being give to homeless shelters have gone up and deductions for tax purposes have changed. Maximum excess shelter deduction has increased from $552.00 to $569.00
-The homeless shelter allowance has increased from $143.00 to $152.06
The Standard Deductions for FFY 2020 are:
1 to 3 persons $167.00
4 persons $178.00
5 persons $209.00
6 or more persons $240.00
-The Standard Utility Allowance (SUA) increased from $415.00 to $432.00
-The Limited Utility Allowance (LUA) increased from $130.00 to $135.00
-The Telephone Utility Allowance (TUA) remains the same at $18.00
If you have any questions about how these changes may affect your benefits, you can contact your local Mendocino County Health and Human Service Agency office on the coast at 764 S. Franklin Street, Fort Bragg or inland at 737 S. State Street, Ukiah. You can also call the coastal office toll free at 1-877-327-1677 or the inland office at 1-877-327-1711.

A crowdfunding campaign started for the New Paradigm College. Denise Rushing, one of the founders and Executive Director of the new school has announced “Founders 2020”. She says they’re going this route instead of Wall Street bank loans for seed funding, instead, turning to those who care about the local economy, and Lake County specifically. So with the community in mind, they’re focusing on ecological regeneration of local forests and wetlands. They’re looking to help regenerate the Lake County ecosystem as their key focus. With all of that in mind, they’re trying to raise $200,000 in seed funding before November 15, 2020 from two thousand and twenty individual donors–or “2020 by 2020”.  The “Founders 2020” campaign runs between now and November 15, 2019.

To learn more about NPC’s fundraising campaign, peer-to-peer crowdfunding, or becoming an “NPC Champion” visit http://www.NPC2020.net.

Three family members from Lake County are going to prison for the murder of a woman in 2017. The Press Democrat reports the three pleaded guilty or no contest back in July to the murder of Antonio Botello-Arreola who was dating Maria Torres. Then Torres husband Rene Espinoza Martinez and their son Rene, Jr. found out about the affair and conspired with the woman to kill her lover. Court papers say Botello-Arreola was lured by Torres to a remote location in the middle of the night and then Torres husband and son shot Botello-Arreola several times, then the trio all threw rocks at the victim’s head and she was stabbed repeatedly. Espinoza, Sr got 50 years to life in prison. Torres got 25 years to life in prison. And the younger Martinez was sentenced to 15 years to life.

Someone’s body’s been found after a mobile home burned down in Graton. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office reports getting calls to the mobile home finding the fire spread from the mobile home to nearby brush. No word how the fire started, but a body was found there and is yet to be identified.

The near end of the Bull Kelp crop on the Mendocino Coast decimating the red sea urchin fishery. What was a booming industry about 30 years ago, much smaller after an invasion of purple urchins take over the ecosystem. The Governor’s office reports red urchin landings in 2016 and 2017 down almost 80% in the Northern sector. And it’s apparently not adding in losses to fish processors and related services in Fort Bragg. The northern red sea urchin seasons of 2016-17 have been declared federal fishery disasters so now there may be disaster assistance headed to the area.

The Gov. signing into law a bill for faster development of supportive housing and homelessness shelters. Governor Newsom has signed a group of bills that deal with the homeless, one starts right away for the city of Los Angeles to go around areas of the California Environmental Quality Act so more supportive housing and shelters can be built. One of the other bills allows Orange and Alameda counties along with the city of San Jose to declare emergencies and build shelters on publicly owned land. And another to convert hotels into housing and bypass environmental reviews.

Plans presented at a town hall in Fort Bragg on the mill site, overlooking the coast. The 400 or so acres will be the site of a massive development effort. One of the owners and a consultant at the Town Hall talking about part of the site being developed. Seven acres get their immediate attention. The south side of the property to get commercial and residential buildings with a parklike atmosphere and a “Gateway to the City” vibe. They say there will be almost 50 units, for workforce housing and a grocery store. The project seems pretty far off right now, with groundbreaking not planned for at least two years. Also on the site, Skunk Train plans for development including a stained-glass lighthouse/depot, a resort hotel, commercial development and blocks of nearly car-free medium-to high-density neighborhoods.

A free town hall planned by the Mendocino Cannabis Alliance along with the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors Cannabis Economic Development Ad Hoc Committee to discuss the economy. The town hall set for next Monday so local stakeholders and others with interest in the Cannabis industry can give input and ask questions. They’ll also discuss the Alliance’s new membership program for cannabis businesses and community members. It’s all happening at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center at 3:30 pm and it’s open to the public.

For more information about this topic, go to info@ mendocannabis.com.

Candidates starting to pop up ahead of next year’s elections. The Record Bee reports there are three county supervisor seats open and one superior court judgeship. Signatures were being accepted on petitions, but the deadline for that is November 6th, in just about 5 weeks, due to the earlier primary in March. Starting Nov. 12th those interested can officially declare their candidacy with the county, the deadline for that on December 6th. All of the info for candidates is available online at the government website, lakecouty.ca.gov. Voter information guides to be mailed out by late January or early February for the primary and also in early February, vote-by-mail ballots will be sent.

Coffee with a Cop planned in Lakeport. The Police Dept. inviting community members and business owners alike to join them for coffee and chit chat next Wednesday, National Coffee with a Cop Day. The event to be held at Renee’s Café from 7 to 10 a.m. The event across the country looks to break down barriers between police officers and citizens without an agenda, just flowing conversations with Q&A. For more info, call the police chief at 707-263-5491 or visit the event’s Facebook page.

Lower numbers recorded for Southern sea otters off the coast of California after peaking numbers just a few years ago. A new report by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and U.S. Geological Survey showing from 2016 the three-year average population index dropped this year to just under 3,000, about 166 less than the 2018 survey. They are a protected species under the federal Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act and are a fully protected species under California law.
They give a good indication of ocean health and help kelp forests and seagrass beds stay in balance.

A man believed to have been connected to the shooting death of another man in Rio Dell is being called a person of interest. Kym Kemp reporting Demetrius Coleman is named by the Rio Dell Police Dept. as possibly connected in the August 29th shooting death of Johnny Renfro. The news site says police have gathered cell phones, computers, recordings and other items which has all been sent to a lab for analysis. After that they can potentially arrest the man, according to the news site. Police still seeking a motive.

A woman reported missing has been found safe. On the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Facebook page a couple days ago, a post about 33 year old Heather Hatton missing. It had her picture and her description. She had vanished after midnight Tuesday in the Brooktrails area, last seen walking by Robinson Rd. and Daphne Way. The next day the Sheriff’s Facebook page noted the woman as found.

PG&E being criticized for the way it handled the first set of public power safety shutoffs in Sonoma County. The utility first warned there could be thousands in the dark due to dry, windy weather, then turned off power Wednesday morning to more than 700 customers northeast of Santa Rosa. Thousands were told to be ready, then at the last minute, it was never mind. There have been multiple advisories and warnings going out to customers about the intended shutoffs after a warning from the National Weather Service on increased fire danger for the North Bay. It did get pretty hot in the area, but didn’t get very windy. Some Sonoma County Supervisors not very happy about the way the alerts were handled.

The end of an era, the old J’s Amusement Park along the Russian River is cleared out finally. The last bits of the long closed amusement park taken out this week to make way for a new development featuring a deluxe “glamping” resort with a grand opening set for the summer of 2021. A company that produces upscale events and provides luxury tents and accessories own the property now. They’re calling it River Electric. There will be a pool, lawn, lounging deck, cabanas, lawn games and a pool house with showers. rest rooms and changing rooms. They will offer overnight lodging in high end canvas tents, some will even be fully furnished.

Application deadline upcoming for cannabis cultivation permits in Mendocino County. The application window for “Phase One” is next Friday, October 4th. But it’s only for those who can prove they have grown previously in Mendocino County. The application has to be turned in to the Planning and Building Services department by October 4th at 5 p.m. Those who do apply will also have to go thru a preliminary review, then they will be notified in writing if they qualify. If you do qualify, you’ll be told how to finish up your submission and make payment. For more information, please contact cannabisprogram@mendocinocounty.org or visit the Mendocino County webpages for Cannabis CultivationCannabis Permits & Licenses, and Cannabis FAQ.

North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman weighing in the calls for the President to be impeached. A statement released by Huffman yesterday saying the president obstructed justice, has conflicts of interest and contempt for the rule of law, all of that, amounting to high crimes and misdemeanors described in the Constitution. He went on to say the president’s efforts to get the Ukranian government to help his reelection bid and them subsequently trying to cover up a whistleblower’s report undermines the nation’s system of checks and balances and is a historic tipping point.  He says he strongly supports the work to hold President Trump accountable.

Cal Fire announces more than $80 million available for Forest Health and Fire Prevention projects. Cal Fire trying to get folks to apply for the projects to work proactively to prevent catastrophic wildfires and restore forests to healthy, functioning ecosystems. The agency’s Forest Health Grant Program to boost reforestation, fuels management, fire reintroduction, and to treat degraded areas. There’s also $7 million more available in their Forest Legacy Program for conservation efforts on important forest lands threatened with conversion to non-forest uses, and finally up to $2 million is available for applied research examining forest management and health. Find more information and sign up for announcements at www.fire.ca.gov/grants.

The number of dead in the Camp Fire has been dialed back down to 85 again after a bone fragment previously classified as unidentified was found to be from a victim identified in January. The Butte County Sheriff’s office says there’s only one unidentified victim now. The November 2018 fire took down 14,000 homes, mostly in Paradise, devastating the tiny town in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Officials say a small bone fragment was found with the remains of Robert Quinn, apparently too small to be his so officials thought it was someone else’s. Anthropologists found it had shrunk in the fire.

A health advisory has been issued by the California Department of Public Health on vaping.  The agency is urging Californians to refrain from vaping, no matter the substance or source while they fully investigate effects. It follows an executive order signed by Governor Newsom last week due to the growing use by youth. As of yesterday the Dept. of Public Health says it had received reports about 90 people with a history of vaping ending up in the hospital with severe breathing issues and lung damage. Two people have also died. In the U-S, there have been more than 500 reports of lung damage due to vaping in 38 states and 1 U.S. territory.

Plans being discussed for eight new homes in Ukiah in the 200 block of West Gobbi St. The Ukiah Design Review Board will consider the plans for the homes tomorrow from the development company, Guillon Inc. The company requesting a Site Development Permit for Gobbi Commons for attached and detached single family homes. Each of the proposed homes will have two car garages, front porches and back patios. Planning staffers noting the developer will need a rezone which will go before the Planning Commission and City Council. Both entities have to approve a Major Site Development Permit. The Design Review Board meets tomorrow at 3 p.m.

The D-A in Mendocino County sends a scathing letter to the Willits Police Chief regarding a cop in Willits with a misconduct mark on his record. District Attorney David Eyster criticizing the police chief for not releasing the information on Jacob Jones who was hired a few months ago after leaving Eureka. The D-A’s letter says the information should have been disclosed as required by so-called Brady obligations. A Supreme Court case saying prosecutors have to turn over evidence that may find guilt or innocence of a defendant. Jones accused of making a false statement, trying to hide defective or incompetent work, and failing to accurately document a use of force, which he was sanctioned for. Eyster says all of that makes him unable to serve as a competent witness in Mendocino County.

PG&E shuts down power to 700 residents in Santa Rosa after first saying it may have to put 34,000 in Sonoma County in the dark. The move because of fire weather, started this morning. There are also 700 PG&E customers in Napa County near Calistoga, Lake Berryessa and Napa who were targeted to also lose power, but that was not independently confirmed. A PG&E spokeswoman says another 47,000 in Butte, Nevada, Yuba, Placer and Plumas counties were also on the line to lose power. It all comes after forecasts for hot temperatures and dry winds.

The Clearlake City Council discussing if it should restart the city’s rental inspection housing program. The program’s been dormant about ten years. The police chief sent a report to the council saying the city’s previous rental inspection housing program from 2001 was in response to dilapidated dwelling units so landlords would improve their properties at the same time meeting City code requirements. The old ordinance calls for all units for rent or lease to be inspected and registered depending on compliance.  The program was tabled in 2005 at the request of an interim city administrator. There are other matters on the agenda with several abatement orders ignored for illegal outdoor cannabis cultivation.

A woman from Hidden Valley Lake injured in a car crash near Middletown was arrested for DUI. Cops say 45 year old Jennifer Legrand was driving alone Monday night, headed east on Hwy 29 near Hartmann Road then veered off the highway, down an embankment and hit a bunch of rocks, then finally stopped in a grass field. She had injuries on her face and had to be airlifted to a hospital. She was arrested after the crash.

Emergency rescues being workshopped by a task force of first responders. They hailed from all over Mendocino County, Cal Fire, the Lake County Sheriff Dept., Northshore Fire, South Coast, Redwood Coast, Little Lake (Willits), Hopland and Ukiah Valley all in Lake County to train yesterday. There were about 3 dozen firefighters there. Crews learning to better deal with obstacles from a helicopter on the ground like wind and crowd control. They simulated rescues with a rescue basket off the chopper too.

A tiny house community is coming to Chico. Simplicity Village, as it’s being called, was approved by the City Council last night. They’d already given the project the green light in May. It’ll have 33 emergency sleeping cabins and portable units, one central kitchen and dining area and other facilities including laundry machines, showers and more. They’re supposed to be used temporarily because they’re being built after a declaration of a homeless shelter crisis after the Camp fire. The homes to be used for more than 40 local seniors who are either homeless or at risk. There’s a building nearby appealing, but the City Council denied it.

Police Chiefs in Calif. say Prop 47 is a bust. The proposition passed 5 years ago to change several crimes from felonies to misdemeanors to make room in prison and jail. The Keep California Safe initiative was sponsored by the California Police Chiefs Association. Now the group says there’s been a massive peak in theft and they cannot prosecute the crimes effectively because of Prop 47. The group also says there have been massive losses in the billion dollar range. They say too that some retailers may not even report crimes which meet the felony threshold leading to inaccurate reports on the effects of Prop 47.

Prison officials in Calif. stop trying to get warring gangs in prison to be friends. An experiment to quell the fighting and sometimes riots, instead allowing them to mingle in prison yards where they recreate. They tried about a year ago, slowly letting prisoners from warring gangs spill into the same recreation yards so they could potentially make peace with each other, it also loosened some tight restrictions keeping gang members locked up in cells for long periods of time without going outdoors so they could shorten their sentences. But now they say the whole thing was a bust, with prison officials looking at other options for a peaceful resolution and a way to safely house them.

The old Redwood Youth Hostel is being demolished because the building is in disrepair.  Kym Kemp reporting there are public safety concerns, major structural damage, seismic deficiencies, vandalism, and sensitivity to the cultural importance of the site for the Tolowa and Yurok people. Redwood National and State Parks are taking down the hostel in coming days after almost 20 years of work by the National Park Service, then in 2008 more issues were found with fixes estimated at more than $700,000. Rot and damage found later along with needed seismic retrofit work, structural repair and waste treatment fixes coming in at over $1.5 million, more than the building is worth. It closed in 2010 and since then vandals and squatters have been inside.

A health advisory has been issued by the California Department of Public Health on vaping.  The agency is urging Californians to refrain from vaping, no matter the substance or source while they fully investigate effects. It follows an executive order signed by Governor Newsom last week due to the growing use by youth. As of yesterday the Dept. of Public Health says it had received reports about 90 people with a history of vaping ending up in the hospital with severe breathing issues and lung damage. Two people have also died. In the U-S, there have been more than 500 reports of lung damage due to vaping in 38 states and 1 U.S. territory.

Plans being discussed for eight new homes in Ukiah in the 200 block of West Gobbi St. The Ukiah Design Review Board will consider the plans for the homes tomorrow from the development company, Guillon Inc. The company requesting a Site Development Permit for Gobbi Commons for attached and detached single family homes. Each of the proposed homes will have two car garages, front porches and back patios. Planning staffers noting the developer will need a rezone which will go before the Planning Commission and City Council. Both entities have to approve a Major Site Development Permit. The Design Review Board meets tomorrow at 3 p.m.

The D-A in Mendocino County sends a scathing letter to the Willits Police Chief regarding a cop in Willits with a misconduct mark on his record. District Attorney David Eyster criticizing the police chief for not releasing the information on Jacob Jones who was hired a few months ago after leaving Eureka. The D-A’s letter says the information should have been disclosed as required by so-called Brady obligations. A Supreme Court case saying prosecutors have to turn over evidence that may find guilt or innocence of a defendant. Jones accused of making a false statement, trying to hide defective or incompetent work, and failing to accurately document a use of force, which he was sanctioned for. Eyster says all of that makes him unable to serve as a competent witness in Mendocino County.

PG&E shuts down power to 700 residents in Santa Rosa after first saying it may have to put 34,000 in Sonoma County in the dark. The move because of fire weather, started this morning. There are also 700 PG&E customers in Napa County near Calistoga, Lake Berryessa and Napa who were targeted to also lose power, but that was not independently confirmed. A PG&E spokeswoman says another 47,000 in Butte, Nevada, Yuba, Placer and Plumas counties were also on the line to lose power. It all comes after forecasts for hot temperatures and dry winds.

The Clearlake City Council discussing if it should restart the city’s rental inspection housing program. The program’s been dormant about ten years. The police chief sent a report to the council saying the city’s previous rental inspection housing program from 2001 was in response to dilapidated dwelling units so landlords would improve their properties at the same time meeting City cody requirements. The old ordinance calls for all units for rent or lease would have to be inspected and registered depending on compliance.  The program was tabled in 2005 at the request of an interim city administrator. There are other matters on the agenda with several abatement orders ignored for illegal outdoor cannabis cultivation.

A woman from Hidden Valley Lake injured in a car crash near Middletown was arrested for DUI. Cops say 45 year old Jennifer Legrand was driving alone Monday night, headed east on Hwy 29 near Hartmann Road then veered off the highway, down an embankment and hit a bunch of rocks, then finally stopped in a grass field. She had injuries on her face and had to be airlifted to a hospital. She was arrested after the crash.

Emergency rescues being workshopped by a task force of first responders. They hailed from all over Mendocino County, Cal Fire, the Lake County Sheriff Dept., Northshore Fire, South Coast, Redwood Coast, Little Lake (Willits), Hopland and Ukiah Valley all in Lake County to train yesterday. There were about 3 dozen firefighters there. Crews learning to better deal with obstacles from a helicopter on the ground like wind and crowd control. They simulated rescues with a rescue basket off the chopper too.

A tiny house community is coming to Chico. Simplicity Village, as it’s being called, was approved by the City Council last night. They’d already given the project the green light in May. It’ll have 33 emergency sleeping cabins and portable units, one central kitchen and dining area and other facilities including laundry machines, showers and more. They’re supposed to be used temporarily because they’re being built after a declaration of a homeless shelter crisis after the Camp fire. The homes to be used for more than 40 local seniors who are either homeless or at risk. There’s a building nearby appealing, but the City Council denied it.

 

A burglary reported at a pizzeria in Point Arena. Deputies say the burglary actually happened last Thursday at the Point Arena Pizza restaurant with food and cookware taken. They say they found some of the stuff near a campfire with eyewitnesses reporting it was Dylan Donavan who took the items. Deputies say they found the man and talked to him and found probable cause to arrest him for suspicion of burglary. They say later found items that were connected to the crime and Donavan. The 27 year old was also on pre-trial release on a separate criminal matter and in violation of court orders. He was jailed on $15,000 bail.

A Red Flag warning continues. Cal Fire’s Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit beefing up firefighting units in preparation, calling for engines, hand crews and bulldozers to be staffed 24/7. They’ve also reportedly called on additional Emergency Command Center personnel to be at the ready as well, and for other staffers to fill command and control functions if there’s a major fire. Winds expected to pick up tonight into tomorrow morning with possible gusts of up to 35 miles an hour. The gusty winds, low humidity, and dry fuels are a mix for critical fire weather conditions.

A resident from Clearlake charged with setting the Clayton fire and several others over a one year period has been sent to prison. Damin Pashilk in court yesterday sent to prison for 15 years for the Clayton and three other fires. Some fire victims read impact statements about running from their homes and losing personal, irreplaceable items and looking for new places to live. It all comes after Pashilk pleaded no contest for the Western fire in July of 2016, near Middletown; the North Branch fire, also in July, near Clearlake; the Canyon fire in Aug. of 2016, near Lower Lake; and the Clayton fire in August of that year. Pashilk was credited with time served, and could still have his time reduced. A restitution hearing is set for next year. He’s been in jail since his arrest in August of 2016.

Residents in Lake County are being encouraged to register to vote or update their current information. Lake Co News reports the Office of the Registrar of Voters reminding this on National Voter Registration Day, today. Some voters can register online now too, at https://registertovote.ca.gov/ or in person at the Office of the Registrar of Voters on the second floor of the Lake County Courthouse in Lakeport. You can also do it at the DMV, city clerk’s offices, public libraries and post offices. Some 16 and 17 year old’s can also preregister to vote to vote in the general election next year.

August real estate numbers released by the Lake County Association of Realtors showing sales mostly flat or down compared to a year ago. The median sales price in August a smidgen under $260,000, which was up about 2.8 percent from the July median and down a point from last August.  The president of the Association says demand is showing signs of improving due to lower rates on loans, but says buyers are still cautious because of economic and market uncertainty which continues.

A school in Northern Calif. the first to have a school desegregation order in about fifty years. The k-8th grade school has a motto, “All cultures. All faiths. All races. All abilities. All gender identities … The future is welcome at Willow Creek Academy.” The Press Democrat reports the school in Sausalito is noted as one of the state’s top charter schools. But a state review reportedly found the only other school, a traditional public school nearby, Martin Luther King Jr. Academy which has mostly African American and Latino students needs reforming due to past inequities. After a desegregation complaint by the California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra, the district now has to treat kids at MLK differently. Some folks just want the two schools combined and some decrying that Willow Creek Academy would never do anything to hurt its mostly minority sister school.

A big tortoise somehow gets away from its owner and ends up in someone else’s yard, is now back home. 41-year-old Dino the tortoise got out of his outdoor enclosure in Red Bluff and was found a half mile away from his owner. The 150-pound reptile was lured with watermelon and returned to his owner. Apparently it’s breeding season, one tortoise rescue agency says the tortoises looking for companionship is “a daily occurrence this time of year.”

The federal government strengthening its threats to sue the state of Calif. sending a letter warning of sanctions because of incomplete reports on implementing the Clean Air Act. The EPA sending a letter to the California Air Resources Board saying Calif has the “worst air quality in the United States” and didn’t follow thru on the “most basic tasks” under the federal law. The EPA giving the state until October 10th to rescind the “incomplete” plans and send new reports on more than 80 municipalities the government says is in noncompliance.

An Amber Alert is canceled for a toddler who police say was abducted by his father after the pair are found dead. The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office only said two bodies connected to the Amber Alert over the weekend were found at a remote campsite, but they’ve not formally identified them as father Steven Weir and toddler John. There was an alert to find the dad Friday. He was last seen Friday night in Merced. They further said he was armed and dangerous and driving a red 2005 Hyundai Elantra.

PG&E has moved forward cutting power to 24,000 customers in Northern Calif after dangerous weather conditions. The largest utility in the nation cuts power to areas of Butte, Nevada and Yuba counties in the Sierra Nevada foothills until conditions are deemed safer. They also warned they may do the same in El Dorado, Placer, Sutter, Lake, Napa and Sonoma counties if gusty winds and hot, dry weather continues, but yesterday afternoon dialed some of that back. At the same time, Southern California Edison has also warned they could turn power off for 41,000 customers due to forecasts calling for gusty Santa Ana winds. You may recall there was a power shut off last October for 87,000 PG&E customers, but they canceled plans to turn power off just before the Camp Fire which devastated the town of Paradise.