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94.5 K-Wine Local News Reports

Better news about the Golf Fire.

Effective immediately, all evacuation warnings and orders have been lifted for the communities of Riviera West, Buckingham, and Riviera Heights. Residents are now able to repopulate the area. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office says people in the area should stay alert to the hazards caused by the fire and emergency personnel in the immediate area. People heading back homer should also be careful turning their gas and water back on

There are still some road closures will remain in place:

*Soda Bay Road is closed between Little Borax Lake Road and Crystal Drive for emergency personnel in the immediate area.*

P G & E expects to restore power and re-energize power lines in the affected areas after those lines have been inspected.

The fire itself is about the same size—around 33 acres—and is about 30 percent contained. The weather should also be favorable for further progress with some rain possible, along with cooler temperatures until a warm-up on Sunday.

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Evacuations in place as a fire burns on the side of Mount Konocti. There’s about 40 homes in the potential path of the fire and an evacuation warning is also in effect for more. The Golf fire broke out yesterday afternoon around Soda Bay Road and Golf Drive, quickly swelling to 5 acres, then 19, now 33. The fire’s 30 percent contained. The area of Riviera West was evacuated and Kelseyville High was being used as an evacuation center. Riviera Heights got the evacuation warning. Several road closures were also announced:

– Soda Bay Road at Riviera West Drive;
– Crystal Drive at Soda Bay Road;
– Soda Bay Road at Little Borax Lake Road;
– Greenway Drive at Little Borax Lake Road;
– Golf Drive at Greenway Drive;
– Madrone Drive at Soda Bay Road.

Could be good news for firefighters on the Golf Fire, rain may be on the way, with cooler temperatures. The National Weather Service reporting on a low pressure system along the Northern Calif. coast today into tomorrow with temperatures expected to be 5 to 20 degrees below normal before heating up again Sunday.

The lease or outright buy of Mendocino Coast District Hospital on hold as the Affiliation Board meets then the Board of Directors says no to a ballot measure on the idea this November. Residents who showed up at the Affiliation Board meeting against the ballot measure to affiliate with Adventist Health. Some said it was because they missed the ballot language deadline, which is today, one speaker concerned Adventist wouldn’t provide abortions, another about labor and delivery services being taken away too. The Board telling the public the negotiations with Adventist are continuing.

The meals-on-wheels program in Lake County called out in the latest Grand Jury report for various non-compliance issues. The report done each year brings up food temperature, food purchasing, pay for delivery-personnel and misstatement of food delivery statistics. The jury doesn’t normally investigate the program, senior centers or the Area Agency on Aging, but apparently they chose to because, as noted, there is an agreement with the County for the programs. Some of the issues the jury found, meals taking a couple hours or more and their temperatures not checked, health dept. inspections not done frequently enough and that their claim of over 220,000 meals delivered each year is bogus, off by a 60 percent margin.

A man from Clearlake arrested for sex assault says he’s not guilty. 69 year old Bert Tino Besio appeared in court, pleading not guilty to all counts and special allegations. Besio’s accused of aggravated sexual assault of a minor, forcible lewd act upon a child and aggravated sexual assault of a child for two victims under 13. Police say it happened on multiple occasions. The attorneys waiting on discovery, with Besio’s saying it might take some time to go over, but his client is due back in court in about 2 ½ weeks.

A bunch of work by PG&E in Lake County in coming days. The utility company planning over 160 miles of vegetation work around its lines and another 13 miles or so of repairs and upgrades on infrastructure. The work planned since May. You may see crews out and about trimming vegetation around power lines. The company says it’s assessing trees thought to be in poor health and certain species which have a history of falling or dropping limbs during fire season. A PG&E spokesperson tells the Record Bee a bunch of their work is part of their “Wildfire Safety Inspections Program”. They found 118 problems in Lake County alone with distribution equipment and more than 100 issues with their transmission equipment, and 30 substation issues.

The City of Ukiah moves another step forward again with a new camping ordinance. After a court case that set a precedent for decriminalizing those who sleep in public places, the Ukiah City Council was back at the drawing board with an updated camping ordinance so as to not criminalize sleeping in public. The Daily Journal reports the new ordinance prohibits setting up permanent, large campsites, camping in public during the day, but states it won’t be enforced in areas if there’s no shelter space available. It does prohibit camping on sidewalks, streets and floodways. The council approved the new measure which should go into effect in a month.

A week has passed with the jury continuing to deliberate in the Ghost Ship criminal trial. 36 people died in a fire at the warehouse, turned artist colony in Oakland. Master tenant Derick Almena and his right hand man, Max Harris have been charged with 36 counts each of involuntary manslaughter for the deaths of the partygoers in December of 2016. No cause was ever found for the fire which is said to have been the deadliest in the city’s history. The men each face 39 years in prison after the judge tossed a plea agreement. The jury in their criminal case started deliberating late July 31st and begin again Monday morning.

Add another name to the list of those who died due to the Camp Fire. A survivor just died due to injuries sustained during an attempted escape from the fire. The Advocate Newspaper reports Paul Ernest and his wife survived the fire, hiding behind a boulder last November. The former Paradise resident died Monday from complications from burns he got in the fire. He was being cared for at a home in West Sacramento. Nurses there say his lungs would no longer oxygenate and doctors had come to find out recently that he’d never be able to breathe again without help. He was 72 years old and is now considered the 86th death related to the Camp Fire.

A man in McKinleyville has been arrested after people reported seeing him shooting at passing vehicles. Kym Kemp dot com reports the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office arrested the man yesterday morning for shooting at passing cars. Deputies saw the guy, Tyler Godwin, and found a gun in his pocket. The gun was later shown to be a CO2 powered pellet gun, but they say it looked like an actual firearm. Victims on the scene say the guy fired at them but they were not hurt. Godwin has been arrested for brandishing a firearm.

 

A new program to help millions of Californians without a pension has arrived. Cal Savers is a state sponsored auto enrollment retirement savings plan for companies who don’t offer pensions. The program started last month to supplement Social Security. A new report by the Retirement Security Program at Cal Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education says around half of those 25 to 64 working in the private sector don’t have any savings for retirement. The state is 45th of 50 as far as access to retirement plans and a reported 7.4 million private sector employees are without some sort of retirement plan.  CalSavers or a similar plan is required by private sector companies with five or more employees.

Another meeting in Ukiah regarding the potential for public safety power shutoffs by PG&E. The meeting tonight to help residents prepare for the power downs in fire weather conditions. Officials with the utility company have said power shutoffs could last up to five days at a time. And Ukiah’s manager of emergency services has previously said residents should be sure to have non-perishable food, water, batteries and flashlights and figure out how to open garage doors without electricity and get battery or solar- powered devices to charge cell phones or other electronics. There will also be cooling stations set up by the city, but no location has been solidified yet.

The Board of Supervisors has also approved spending dough on backup generators. They’ve authorized capital improvement energy projects ahead of power downs to reduce wildfire risk from the PG&E’s equipment. The work at the Administrative Center. The projects in the case of power shutoffs include backup power, electrical intersects and renting standby generators for three months. Right now the backups are under $130,000, but a long term solution could cost one million.

A new online Safety Action Center is being opened by Pacific Gas and Electric. The website is being touted as a one stop to be prepared for a wildfire or other emergency. There will be how to videos and other ways to workshop safety on the site like how to escape your home, how to prepare an emergency kit, creating defensible space around your home and update your contact info so PG& E can reach you in the event of a Public Safety Power Shutoff. The website is: http://www.safetyactioncenter.pge.com.

Fort Bragg police on their toes responding to two dozen calls or incidents regarding kids using drugs, smoking around the skate park or acting in a disorderly fashion. Police report they had to conduct extra security checks and follow-ups to previous calls as well as respond to a couple of serious incidents involving people at the Starr Center and Skate Park. They say one was a younger man showing folks a gun at the park, making threatening comments before driving away. Then in an unrelated incident reports of a female juvenile assaulting another female in the park. The victim hit, kicked, threatened with a knife and hit with a skateboard. The female suspect and her boyfriend took the victim’s backpack and assaulted the victim’s boyfriend as they tried to get the backpack. The pair arrested and the skate park closed for a time to regain order.

An invasive aquatic weed detected in Clear Lake. Hydrilla found in the Clear Lake Keys area so the Lake County Water Resources Department is working with the Lake County Agricultural Commissioner and the California Department of Food and Agriculture to survey the area. The weed found first last Thursday during an invasive species prevention program inspection. During previous inspections, they’ve not seen Hydrilla. A copper product and another organic pellet is used to eradicate the weeds and any of its fragments that might float off to other areas of the Lake. Hydrilla is known to cause damage to the environment and native marine life.

The latest Lake County Grand Jury report says the continuing staff shortage at the Sheriff’s Department needs to be a priority, calling it a public safety issue. The Record Bee reports the 2018-2019 Lake County Civil Grand Jury says the Board of Supervisors needs to make sure there is adequate staffing levels in the Sheriff’s Office because the agency cannot provide the security the County’s residents deserve. The report also noted a recent salary negotiation between the board of supervisors and deputies. The Sheriff says since a new agreement was reached they’ve had better luck attracting new hires. The report says the Sheriff has been “proactive in attracting new recruits”, but that the agency was still understaffed.

A new sign to finally be erected at the entrance to the Coffey Park neighborhood after the devastating Tubbs Fire in 2017. The Santa Rosa area decimated by the fire, and the wooden Coffey Park sign that stood there three decades being replaced. The new Entryway project spearheaded by neighbors in the area. The say they’ll add new landscaping and trees. Cherry trees to be planted in memory of those who died in the fire. The project won’t be done for several months still, is put up with a grant from the United Way of the Wine Country. A local landscape designer is donating services and a local church has also donated to the cause.

Deputies in Northern Calif. responding to a reported drug overdose and crash into a bear. The bear fell onto the passenger side hood of the patrol car and the car slammed into an embankment and rolled. The patrol car then caught on fire in the area of Orleans. The deputy escaped harm, but vegetation along the embankment started to burn too. Firefighters stomped out the small fire and the CHP was also on the scene to investigate.

Tens of thousands of Kaiser Hospital workers have been offered a pay raise a week after they started voting on whether or not to strike. The company announced they’ve offered to boost salaries, keep health benefits in place and fix staffing shortages.  The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions is reportedly getting the proposed labor agreement in the coming days, but no word so far from the unions on the deal. Kaiser says they hope the offer will be well received, the coalition of 11 unions say it’s a media play and they’ll negotiate at the appropriate place, a bargaining table, not in the media. They added the deal has not been formally proposed to their elected bargaining committee, and what they are presenting to the media is deliberately deceptive.

An explosion of Tule elk in the Point Reyes National Seashore means they can now be hunted to bring down their population. The National Park Service has a new plan that says it won’t be put in place until next year. The Service manages the 71,000-acre national park. It’s not a done deal yet as there could be court action after a similar situation dealing with an oyster farm in a Pacific Ocean inlet in the seashore. The new plan has cost one million dollars to work on over two years. The Service reportedly considered six options, with the shooting of the elk as their “preferred alternative” which also allows area ranchers grazing rights for twenty years.

 

 

Volunteers are wanted to clear roadside vegetation, and an area along Highway 281 in the Soda Bay Corridor. Supervisor Rob Brown looking to help the several thousand residents who live in the high risk area, asking for 500 volunteers to help clear vegetation. As we’ve previously reported the 1,000 Hands roadside vegetation clearing project is Saturday, August 17, 2019 from 6-10am. There will be 6 worksites in the Soda Bay Corridor, starting at the intersection of Highway 281 and Tenino Way in the Clearlake Riviera. Those helping should bring their own tools, and remember to use sunscreen and gloves along with long sleeved shirts and long pants. There will be gloves if you don’t own any, and water will be provided.

For maps, visit http://www.lakecountyca.gov/1000Hands/

Questions, further information: Call (707) 349-2628 or email Rob.Brown@lakecountyca.gov.

It’s National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). The yearly campaign to bring attention to the importance of getting recommended vaccines for diseases like whooping cough, cancers caused by HPV, and pneumonia. Lake County Public Health is encouraging community members to talk to their doctor or other healthcare professional to make sure their family’s up to date on recommended vaccines. A reminder too, that vaccines aren’t just for kids. Adults may need them as well for the flu, certain types of pneumonia, and shingles.

A special election is being called by the Northshore Fire Protection District. The election this November 5th for a special tax for fire protection and emergency medical response services. As stated on the ballot, the tax to improve rapid, local emergency medical and fire services, to allow the department to hire firefighters and replace outdated equipment. The tax at approx $126/residential parcel. They’re looking at raising just over $1,700,000 a year with the option for an annual increase of up to 3% starting in 2023. The vote needs to be 2/3 majority to win. It’ll be known as District Measure “N”. The Registrar of Voters in Lake County still accepting arguments for and against until Sept. 3rd.

The Ukiah camping ordinance back in front of the City Council. The council to take up the revised version of the ordinance at their meeting tonight. It comes after a ruling by a federal appeals court that decriminalizes sleeping on public property. The Record Bee reports the revised ordinance came after the Asst. City Attorney told the city council about the federal case, Martin v. the City of Boise which invalidated most anti-camping ordinances in effect in several western states, including California.

An active shooter exercise held in Mendocino County with hospitals and law enforcement. Adventist Health Howard Memorial staff, the Mendocino County Sherriff’s Office, Willits Police and the Little Lake Fire Department working together July 21st for the first active shooter exercise. The Daily Journal reports the Mendo County Multi-Agency SWAT team was there with hospital staff creating three scenarios to test staff from the agencies and their response. The hospital’s president says hospitals are supposed to be healing places and that he hoped something they were training for actually never happened there, but says if it did, he felt better knowing his team of first responders were prepared.

No date’s been given but the Lake County treasurer-tax collector is stepping down at some point. The Board of Supervisors asked Barbara Ringen when she’s resigning after reporting in January she would step down. Lake Co News reports Supervisors Bruno Sabatier and Moke Simon, and the County Administrative Officer Carol Huchingson are on the ad hoc committee tasked with working with Ringen after concerns about her work surfaced last year. The news site reports Ringen sent an email in January saying she would retire, but not an exact date. Then told Sabatier it would be in July of 2020, but no specific date’s was given. It all comes after no tax auction this year, complaints about property tax and TOT checks, customer service and transparency.

A road project’s starting finally in Clearlake. The Meadowbrook Area Pavement Rehab Project starts Monday and should end in October. There will be traffic delays and road closures here and there from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The city says they have to close roads because there will be grinding and paving operations ongoing. Residents will be notified when the closures are planned. It’s the last major project this season. The chip sealing will start in September. But there will be some other ongoing projects too for road grading, maintenance and pothole patching and crack sealing of many streets.

Sonoma County officials urging PG&E to come up with an alternative to planned blackouts in extreme fire weather. The utility company, as we’ve been reporting, will shut down small power lines connected to homes as well as larger transmission lines carrying electricity across Northern California. The temporary shut offs in red flag type conditions, hot, dry and windy. PG&E will monitor weather and make determinations based on conditions. The Sonoma and Lake county PG&E rep gave presentations about the plan to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and the Santa Rosa City Council most recently with mostly negative feedback.

More than $2 million from the U.S. Department of Education for Mendocino College to continue its program providing assistance to migrant or seasonal worker background students. The Vice President of Student Services says the grant renewal goes a long way to help all students, especially the ones who work in farms, vineyards, and fisheries so they can successfully complete a college degree or certificate. The five year grant to pay for the Mendocino College Assistance Migrant Program or CAMP which started back in 2002 and has been renewed every funding cycle ever since. The program looks to recruit, admit, and enroll at least 50 migrant and seasonal farm worker students a year and also give them supportive services so they’re successful and stay in school after the first year.

CAMP is still accepting applications for the fall 2019 semester, which begins August 19. Interested students can learn more and complete the application by visiting www.mendocino.edu/camp, or contacting the CAMP office by phone at (707) 467-1026 or by email atcamp@mendocino.edu.

An artist is revitalizing the burned out homes in Paradise, devastated after the Camp Fire. Artist Shane Grammar is spray painting walls around town, he says, to bring joy to something so devastating. He’s also taking part in America’s largest mural festival, “Wide Open Walls” in Sacramento starting tomorrow. His murals in the Camp Fire burn area are going viral. The artist is a native of Chico and has been traveling to Paradise to paint his murals, so far there are 19 of them.

The search is on for a woman from Woodland reported missing Sunday night. Police on the lookout for 72 year old Cynthia Crenshaw last seen July 31st walking to Woodland on Highway 16 in blue jeans and a blue top. She’s considered at risk due to her age and health. They’re asking anyone who may know anything about where Crenshaw may be to call the Yolo County Sheriff’s office.

Folks rushing to get air purifiers during the fire season. After the Camp Fire, one hardware store in Chico says they had hundreds of customers coming in for the purifiers and breathing masks selling almost 60,000 masks in a couple of weeks, plus the business gave away thousands for children. A recent study by a research firm presented to the Calif. Air Resources Board says sales are predicted to go from about 469,000 units back in 2017 all the way up to 720,000 in 2023.

 

The homeless day center in Ukiah’s opening. The Redwood Community Services shelter on South State Street will have showers, laundry, mental healthcare services, workshops and clinics for the local community without housing starting today. Apparently the holdup had been a Certificate of Occupancy, that is now in hand after construction on the building where they also host winter services for the homeless. Right now they have a temporary Certificate of Occupancy so they can be open three months until they finish construction, then when that’s all done, the permanent Certificate should be granted. The center is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week, year-round.

A lawsuit’s been filed by a local Native American Tribe and Fisherman’s group to protect salmon in the Klamath River. The Yurok Tribe and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations filed suit against the Bureau of Reclamation and the National Marine Fisheries Service saying a new federal plan which started in April has been terrible for Salmon. The groups say it’s meant low river flows in the lower Klamath and more salmon that may have been exposed to a deadly parasite called Ceratonova shasta, or C. shasta. The Chair of the Tribe says they had no other choice but to sue because the new federal plan is killing the river and salmon stocks are very fragile right now after just starting to rebound from previous disease outbreaks.

No changes in management or the conditions of jails in Lake County. That’s according to the latest Grand Jury report. The detention facilities were noted by the jury as mostly meeting or exceeding minimum requirements. The jury is made up of local residents as required by the state. They do yearly inspections of “public prisons within the county” which includes holding cells, jails, conservation camps and juvenile detention facilities. Juveniles are now held about 100 miles away after the local juvenile hall was closed for structural problems. The last grand jury report recommended several changes to detention facilities, but the latest report said some of that was not in the purview of the Grand Jury and the rest was taken care of.

CalPERS, the retirement system for state public employees has many in the 100-thousand dollar range. A new report shows more than 26,000 people are getting yearly pensions of at least $100,000. The survey of CalPERS data by the Southern California News Group shows one lawyer in Santa Clara County got more than $935,000 last year alone. The news group’s analysis shows the payouts by CalPERS went up 41 percent from 2012 to 2018. And total amount of payouts were up more than 50 percent from $14.4 billion in 2012 to more than $22 billion in 2018.

A new shelter is being proposed for animals in Clearlake. The police chief is set to present the idea to the city council at their meeting later this week. Chief Andrew White will ask the council to replace the current Animal Shelter that operates on the Public Works Corporation Yard on Airport Road. The chief says there’s kennels in an old hangar and some outdoor kennels, and another building has their laundry room and an office which they also use as a cat kennel. But the chief says it’s all inadequate and needs repairs and more space. He says there are plenty of grant opportunities to find suitable space and other ways to fund it. The meeting Thursday at 6 pm at City Hall.

A small subdivision has the Clearlake Planning Commission taking a meeting. The commission looking at a proposal to split almost 18 acres of land by the land owner Brenda Frey so she can give the land to her kids in equal 8.47 acre parcels. It’s a vacant lot right now and could be serviced through private wells and septic systems.

Four voters in the state are suing to block a new law that forces President Trump or any potential candidate to the office to release their personal income tax returns. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed it into law last week saying those filing to be on the ballot in calif as a presidential candidate must file five years of income tax returns with the California Secretary of State about 100 days before the primary. If they don’t, they don’t get to be on the ballot. Now the conservative group Judicial Watch says it’s suing to challenge the law, noting four California voters as plaintiffs, two are registered Republicans, one is a Democrat and one, an independent.

A couple of separate FBI cases in two weeks in the tiny town of Hayfork. Kym Kemp dot com reports the Trinity County Sheriff’s Department supported by the FBI stopped a car on Hwy 3 near the Hayfork Fairgrounds and those inside tried running. The FBI says they nabbed a fugitive wanted in Virginia. The news site reports they had an anonymous tip from someone who says they were in the area and saw the arrest happen. She saw two guys running for their lives, as she put it, and as many as eight officers drawing guns at them. There was also at least one police dog on the scene.

The new state law for a background check on certain ammunition purchases reportedly stopped more than 100 people from getting their hands on bullets illegally. The State Attorney General Xavier Becerra says they’ve also probably deterred countless others who were prohibited to have ammo legally. The new law started July 1st but a federal judge is set to decide if the law should be stopped as a violation of the Second Amendment. Gov. Gavin Newsom called an emergency meeting to decide what else can be done to prevent mass shootings, one of which happened in Calif at the Garlic Festival in Gilroy a couple weeks ago. The NRA says Calif.’s ammunition law won’t save lives, it’s just pushing people out of the sport and prevents them from defending their families.

A new report says this is going to be another major wildfire season, thru October. The report by the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, ID reports Northern Calif. weather could mean another year of terrible fires. Cal Fire Captain Justin Hartman also says the state has the fuel after all the rain this winter. Fire activity was below average in July, so there’s now concern we could be headed into dangerous fire conditions with hot weather, dry winds and a lot of that fuel on the ground.  The report also says there will be above-normal fire potential and the forecast of warmer and drier conditions in Northern California.

Congressman Mike Thompson calling on the US Senate to pass stricter gun control laws after mass shootings in California, Texas and Ohio. Congressman Thompson is pushing his own gun safety measure and says Democrats will continue to pressure the Senate to vote on his background check bill, saying he’s not sure we’ve hit the tipping point, but says the House has done its work. The long time gun owner himself is trying to get gun control legislation taken up as the chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. His bill requiring background checks for any commercial gun sales has sat in the senate without a move after first passing the House of Representatives 240-190 votes in February.

 

 

A judge in Mendocino County Superior Court on Friday ruled that there was no justification or provocation in the shooting of two neighbors by 70-year-old Harry William Miller. One neighbor was shot at point-blank range and four more rounds were fired at another neighbor. Desiree Palestrini died from her wounds, but medical teams were able to save the life of Paul Palestrini in what has been described as a heroic effort. Miller was sentenced to 11 years and 10 months in State Prison, and because the crimes were both felonies and violent in nature, will not be eligible for parole until he has served at least 10 years. Millers’s wife is currently serving a 10-month sentence at the Mendocino County Jail following her conviction by a separate jury for being a felony accessory to her husband’s violent crimes.

Some first-time college students have Assembly Bill 19 to thank for one-year free tuition at Mendocino College and other community colleges beginning this fall. The bill made money available for colleges so that fees can be waived for first-time students. The Mendocino College Promise can save students up to $1380 during the upcoming school year and is open to any first-time college student that finishes 15 unites in the fall semester and commits to taking 15 units again in the spring semester. The program is not need-based, but students must have earned their high school diploma or equivalent in the service area of Mendocino College. More information on the program can be found at https://www.mendocino.edu/promise.

Upgrades could be coming to Vinewood and Oak Manor Parks. New irrigation systems, restrooms, walking paths, better play areas for younger children, picnic tables, better lighting, and other improvements are being planned. According to the Daily Journal, Ukiah City Council has given staff the go-ahead to apply for grants to help pay for the improvements, which were based on input from community meetings and knocking on doors.

There is now only one person still on the list of those unaccounted for following the Camp Fire, but authorities are not even sure if 51-year-old Sara Martinez-Fabila was in the Paradise area during the time of the fire. Police were able to cross the name of 47-year-old Wendy Carrol of Oroville off the missing list when they spotted her late Thursday of last week. An officer patrolling Lincoln BLVD recognized her and stopped to confirm her identity. Authorities say Carroll knew she was on the list but had failed to contact officials.

Since there is no way to reliably test for marijuana intoxication, the city of Ukiah has been reluctant to allow any cannabis events. That could be slowly changing, but any special events won’t be in city facilities or city parks over liability concerns. The Daily Journal reports that some council members acknowledge that while beer and wine events are allowed, those that drink too much are visibly intoxicated, which is not always the case with cannabis. Some council members worry that not allowing the events is a missed opportunity. When asking for public feedback, some in the cannabis industry said that hosting the events would be beneficial for the city and business, and that those attending indoor events could be checked in and tracked to ensure public safety.

During tomorrow’s meeting, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors is expecting an update from the Mental health Treatment Act Citizen’s Oversight Committee, and a presentation on the California Cannabis Authority. The board will also discuss plans to maintain services at the County Administration Center in Ukiah during a PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff event, including funds to pay for the installation of electrical intersects at the administration center, establishment of a capital improvement plan for a longer-term planning effort to provide additional backup power,and the rental of 5 standby generators for three months. A permit for the Elk Volunteer Fire Department’s "Great Day In Elk" parade planned for August 24th, among other items are also on the agenda, which can be viewed at https://mendocino.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx.

Librarians, counselors, faculty, part-time lecturers and coaches for all 23 California State University campuses are no longer affiliated with the California Teacher’s Association following a decision by the California Faculty Association to disaffiliate, resulting in the loss of about 19,000 members for the California Teacher’s Association. EdSource reports that issues over dues and representation on governing bodies within the Association were behind some of the friction, but the election of Toby Boyd last March as the association’s new president over CSU professor Theresa Montano was apparently the final straw. The CTA says they have been working hard to recruit new members over the last year and thinks that about 22,000 new members will keep their membership at around 325,000. A letter written by CSU faculty Association president Charles Toombs says the decision was made to optimize the association’s resources, members and operations.

The Lakeport City Council meets tomorrow at 6 pm, but before the meeting begins, a closed session is planned at 5:45 to discuss a resolution to pursue delinquent utility bills. According to a report by finance director Nick Walker, there are eight properties that owe bills over $3000. Final notices were sent out on July 17th to property owners who now have until 4:30 pm on August 8th to square away the debts. Lake County News reports that a list will be provided at the meeting of any accounts that have been brought current since the notices were sent out.

The County of Lake Board of Supervisors will meet tomorrow morning at 9 am, and the resignation of treasurer-tax collector Barbara Ringer, who has announced plans to retire this January will be discussed. Changes to the deputy registrar of voters job are also under consideration. The consolidation of the treasurer-tax collector’s office with the auditor-collector-county clerk’s office, the disaster only 2-11- line, and a resolution to accept the county noncompetitive allocation award through The No Place Like Home Program are all on the agenda. The meeting will be broadcast on Channel 8 and streamed online. You can read the agenda and get a link to the stream at https://countyoflake.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx.

Rhys Vineyards LLC will pay a $3.76 million dollar settlement for the unpermitted diversion of rainwater runoff in Mendocino County. The North Bay Business Journal reports that state wildlife and water regulators have stepped up enforcement of water rights on North Coast tributaries over the last ten years, and that State Water Resources Control Board documents say investigators found three reservoirs owned by the company collecting the runoff headed for the North Fork of Ten Mile River and the South Fork of the Eel River in 2015. An attorney for the company released a statement announcing the settlement, saying his client deeply regrets the mistakes made.

127 cases of human Salmonella infections have been tied to exposure to pig ear pet treats as of July 31st, according to the FDA and the CDC. Many of the infections have been resistant to multiple drugs and 26 people have been hospitalized. The FDA and CDC have recommended that consumers do not buy or feed the treats to pets for now and say that they will update the public as new information becomes available.

Whooping cough cases are on the rise in Northern California. 6 cases of the highly contagious infection have been confirmed in Humboldt county as of July 31st. Health officials are worried that more cases may be out there, and are bracing for even more over the next six months. While the DTaP vaccine immunizes young children against the disease, the CDC recommends a round of vaccinations for anyone over the age of 19 with a booster every ten years. Pregnant women should get a booster in the third trimester. As a new school year approaches, health officials are offering guidance to schools and offering immunization clinics. More info can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/index.html.

The Redwood Empire Fair is here- the theme is Hog Wild! Gates opened at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds yesterday at 3 pm and will again this afternoon, and noon tomorrow and Sunday. While Kids 6-12 and seniors got in free on opening day, admission today through Sunday admission will be $7 for kids and seniors 65 and up. Adults get in for $9.00 and kids 5 and under are free. There will be plenty of free activities for all ages including Mudd Boggs this evening starting at 6:30, and the Funky Dozen will perform. Boat races and a Truck and Tractor Pull are planned for this weekend.

After a string of recent burglaries under investigation by Lake Port Police, two more. Crooks broke into Classic Auto Body sometime Wednesday evening, and just after 8 am yesterday, officers were sent to investigate another break-in at West Lake Auto Center. Authorities are looking for the suspects, who made off with about 30 keys and garage tools during the heists. One of the stolen keys was used to steal a Silver 2012 Chevy Cruz LT. Police think the two latest heists are related and ask the public to report any sighting of the vehicle but to not confront the suspects.

The gloves are off. Governor Newsom and President Trump have traded barbs recently about how the state manages forests following two deadly fire seasons, and the Governor voiced frustrations over a lack of federal assistance. During a rally in Cincinnati last night, President Trump accused state Democrats of prioritizing the undocumented over American citizens. He criticized Governor Newsom, saying that almost half of America’s homeless live in California and that it’s a disgrace and a shame. Meanwhile, the state of California joined other states suing the Trump Administration today for reducing penalties levied against automakers who don’t meet fuel economy standards. The fees had been $5.50 for a tenth of a mile per gallon since the 1970s, but the Obama administration increased the penalty to $14.00. New rules from the Trump Administration bring penalty back down to $5.50.

Travers flying out of San Francisco International Airport will need to bring their own bottled water starting August 20th. SFO has banned the sale of single-use plastic water bottles at the airport to cut down on carbon emissions, energy use and reduce landfill waste by 2021, according to KGO-TV. The ban is part of a 2014 law banning their sale on city-owned property.

The State of California is making funds available to cities and counties for those hurt by marijuana prohibition. Senate Bill 1294 created local equity programs so that as Cannabis is legalized, those negatively affected can still get into the business. The Record-Bee says that remedies from permit fee waivers to technical business assistance are available through the law. Big business has no problem coming up with the fees and costs associated with doing business in the Cannabis industry, but small business is at a disadvantage due to banking issues and the lack of loans available, coupled with the high cost of entry. Humboldt County along with 7 other jurisdictions have already started adopting local equity programs to get in line for the funding.

Mendocino County would like to know what the public thinks about updates to housing policy. The first of two meetings will be at Fort Bragg Veterans Hall on August 7th at 6 pm so the public can weigh in. There is a second meeting planned for August 8th at the Willits Veterans Hall. A county Planning and Building Department press release says that a consulting firm is working on a policy update with input from county residents and planning staff and that more details will be provided to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors at a regular meeting in December. Those that cannot make either meeting are welcome to send their comments via email to pbs.

PG&E has some serious critics in Santa Rosa. At a couple of hearings on the company’s request to raise rates, those who spoke were highly critical of the idea. The Press Democrat reports on the utility company asking for a $2 billion gas and electric rate increase. The public hearings taking place across Northern Calif. Yesterday in Santa Rosa including one with representatives of the California Public Utilities Commission. The commission has to approve of the rate increase before it can be implemented. As you probably know, Pacific Gas & Electric, is in the middle of bankruptcy, but just before their filing they requested this 6.4% rate hike to boost their revenues by more than $1 billion next year, almost a half billion in 2021 and 2022.

A man in Clearlake arrested after a high speed chase leads to quite the drug haul. Police say an officer was behind Johnny Ware’s 1990s Honda that was spray painted black, which was similar to other stolen cars in the last several months. The officer checked the license plate which showed it was from another car so the cop followed it. When the officer turned on his emergency lights, Ware took off. Another officer joined the pursuit. They finally caught up to him and a police dog was brought in to help. Cops found more than 40 grams of meth, the same amount of syringes and a pipe. Ware’s charged with several crimes including fleeing from officers, drug sales and having the stolen car. He was held on $50,000 bail.

The Gov. Gavin Newsom cuts the red tape so more firefighters are at the ready. Gov. Newsom signing an executive order so almost 400 seasonal firefighters can be brought in to help Cal Fire this fire season. The firefighters will be across the state. The Gov. says it’s due to climate change, which he says has created a “new reality” with catastrophic fires in the state, adding there’s nothing more critical for his administration. The seasonal firefighters will help with fuel reduction, shift rotation and more efficiency. There are also new fire engines this fiscal year too.

Fire restrictions have begun in the Mendocino National Forest until the end of October. The restrictions in place as of today because of dry conditions and an increased risk of wildfires. The Forest restrictions are for campfires, charcoal fires or stoves — prohibited except in designated recreation sites, fire safe sites and federally designated wilderness areas. In all other areas lanterns or portable stoves that use gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel are allowed if you have a current California Campfire Permit. For more info, http://www.preventwildfireca.org.

More than a quarter million dollars in scholarships has been awarded to nearly 70 students in Mendocino County. The Community Foundation of Mendocino County reports they’ve awarded $229,000 to 67 students at graduation ceremonies this month thanks they say to generous donors. They add it’s $90,000 more than last year. The scholarships are between $500-$20,000, with the average amount of about $3,000. 31 Community Foundation scholarship funds paid out the scholarships, the most in a single year.  To donate or to learn more about the Community Foundation Scholarship Program, please visit our website, www.communityfound.org, or call 468-9882.

Congressman Mike Thompson in town for his “Coffee With our Congressman” event. Lake Co News reports more than 50 constituents were at Lower Lake Coffee & Cream Cafe for the event along with District 2 Supervisor Bruno Sabatier. The news site reports they touched on various topics including teacher retirement benefits, healthcare, fire insurance issues, gun violence, impeaching President Trump, climate change and immigration.

A new report shows more residents in Calif. have affordable access to broadband internet than most other states. The Record Bee reports the report by the website Broadband-Now called “The State of Broadband in America” also shows most people in Lake County can get very fast internet. The report sites Federal Communications Commission data which outlines areas where broadband connections are offered across the country, showing less than half of Americans pay $60 a month for wired broadband and half of the county also has access to ultra-high speeds at any price. It goes on to say about 70 percent of Californians have access to $60 per month broadband, sixth in the country of all states in that ranking.

The proposal by Adventist Health to buy or operate Mendocino Coast District Hospital notes the health care company’s background and locations. They already have inpatient care for 31,000 patients in Mendocino County. The company from Roseville operates 21 hospitals, 280 clinics and outpatient centers, 60 rural health clinics, 13 home care agencies, seven hospice agencies and four joint-venture retirement centers. The proposal says Adventist is aligned, but not controlled by its sponsor the Seventh Day Adventist Church. They propose sharing a medical officer, finance officer and strategy and operations officer with Ukiah and Willits. They say all employees in good standing would be kept on board at their current salary and any agreements would be honored for at least 90 days.

 

PG&E has issued a statement in response to a Wall Street Journal article that suggested that the company knew of the repairs needed on equipment that caused the Camp Fire and that the company had deferred maintenance that would have addressed those conditions. The statement was ordered by a court supervising the company’s 2016 felony stemming from a deadly gas explosion in San Bruno. According to PG&E’s statement, the Journal’s claim was based on nonroutine work that PG&E was planning on the Caribou-Palmero transmission line, which wasn’t meant to replace work out or broken parts, but to address clearance between transmission line conductors and from the conductors to the ground. The Utility company says they strongly disagree with the claims made in the Wall Street Journal report.

Mendocino County will be moving ahead with the purchase of a regional behavioral health training center and sheriff substation in Redwood Valley now that their offer has been accepted. Up next, the county will do inspections before cutting a check for the $369,000 purchase, funded by $258,300 in Measure B Funds and $110,700 from the Sheriff’s Office according to the Daily Journal.

As of this morning, over 300 firefighters battling the Usal fire in Northern Mendocino have the blaze 65% contained. The wildfire had trapped 100 campers that had to be escorted to safety and is thought to have been started by fireworks. Over 130 acres have been burned so far.

Working towards the goal of making it easier for public employees to get health care at an affordable price and streamlined workers’ compensation, the Mendocino County Public Employers Health Care Partnership was created with the City Of Ukiah, Mendocino Collge, Mendocino County, Mendocino County Office of Education, Ukiah Unified School District, Adventist Health Ukiah Valley and others. The daily journal reports that the members will meet every quarter to discuss issues and review solutions that work towards helping employees access quality care and lower costs for the employees and their employers.

A new report by Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education casts a shadow over the golden years of Californians. According to the study, which looked at data from the US Census Burea’s population study and surveys on Income and program participation from 2014. About half of private-sector employees in the state aged 25 to 64 have no savings stashed away for their retirement at all. The lack of savings along with the rising cost of living has some experts warning about a looming retirement crisis in the state. Part of the problem, according to the report is the fact that about 7.4 million in the private sector have no access to workplace retirement plans.

If you are free on August 17th, Lake County Supervisor Rob Brown is asking for volunteers to reduce wildfire risk in Lake County. The "1000 Hands to protect lake County Homes" effort will see around 500 volunteers clean up vegetation that can fuel wildfires along the Soda Bay Corridor from the end of Highway 281 to Soda Bay. Those that can make it will meet up at Riviera Elementary School in Kelseyville. Water will be provided along with gloves for those that don’t own a pair, hats, sunscreen and long shirts and pants are advised. More information and the volunteer agreement can be found at http://www.lakecountyca.gov/Assets/Departments/Administration/Docs/1000Hands.pdf

A trade relief package announced by the United States Department of Agriculture will bring some relief to walnut growers hurt by retaliatory tariffs in an ongoing trade war that has dropped prices by 50%. Farmers can begin applying for the aid on Monday at their federal farm service agency. The program runs through Dec 6th.

A proposal being considered by lawmakers would automatically expunge criminal records for those that have served their sentence and finished probation, and for those arrested but never convicted of a crime. The reason behind the bill are 8 million residents in the state of California who have a hard time finding employment, getting into college, finding housing and getting public benefits because of previous criminal convictions. The bill will go before the Senate appropriations committee on August 12 and has a deadline for passage in mid-September.

An arson arrest has been made in connection to the July 28th Rancho Incident. Kristina Loraine Doll of Clearlake was arrested on Sunday and charged with burning of a forest as a result of malicious arson. Calfire and North Shore Fire Protection District responded to a vegetation fire along highway 20 and Rancho Vista Road and were able to quickly put out the fire.

Results of tests done on July 22nd by the Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians and Elem Indian Colony, show six areas of Clear Lake with high levels of Blue-Green Algae which poses health risks, especially for children and pets. The six areas are Austin Park Beach, Redbud Park, Cache Creek Shady Acres, Lilly Cove, Jago Bay, and Buckingham Park. Boaters and recreational users are advised to avoid direct contact with the waters containing the algae blooming in the Lower Arm of Clear Lake.

A man from Ukiah recovering after getting caught in a fire in his home. The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority reports getting a call Sunday night to the home in the 300 block of Warren Drive by the residents. They say when they got to the home they found the front room of the house, fully involved with flames coming out of the garage too. One of the residents hair was burned, but he didn’t want medical help on scene. A man in the home told firefighters he heard a noise in the garage and opened the garage door, finding flames. He and others inside ran. Firefighters worked to save the home, but apparently much of it was lost. Neighbors were protecting their own homes with hoses. No word what caused the fire.

A fire west of Leggett near the Mendocino Coast closes a road. The fire at Usal Creek started late Saturday night, closing Usal Road. The Usual Fire was last recorded at 130 acres and 45 percent contained with no structures threatened. Some people were seeking shelter at the Usal Campground but were allowed to leave yesterday morning. The fire’s burning in hilly terrain, burning in heavy timber and slash. There was also an Excessive Heat Watch this past weekend warning of hot and dry weather.

A response from Mendocino County to the 2019 Grand Jury Report that criticized leadership and communication by the Board of Supervisors with the public. Some of the highlights, a long term strategic plan, no written succession plan for the CEO, not a lot of information in the CEO report, issues on the County website, tracking directives given to the CEO, and that issue with public and board of supervisors communication. The grand jury had suggestions for the County and the CEO has now responded. She agreed with website issues, but mostly disagreed on all other points. She says as far as succession, some department heads or key staffers could take over. For more details, visit the Board of Supervisors website.

The Pinoleville Pomo Nation has received money to put in a new solar energy project. The funds from the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund which is a tribal-led initiative started with money from Wells Fargo to expand solar energy and solar job opportunities in tribal communities across the country. With that the Pinoleville Pomo Nation says it’s going to put in a 15 KW solar array on top of the roof of the Tribal Youth Education Facility. They say that will give them more than 1000 percent of the total electric usage for all the tribal governmental buildings. Plus they will hire four people for 300 hours of solar installation training and they’ll also certify two of four trainees as solar installers for workforce development.

PG&E has requested a $2 billion gas and electric rate increase so the utility can pay for wildfire safety measures. The issue the topic of a couple of public hearings in Santa Rosa. The town halls on the rate increase because they have to be approved by the California Public Utilities Commission. The 6.4% increase applied for by the utility last December. It would mean another $10.50 or so a month on a typical gas and electric bill next year. The company says the money it brings in will pay for improvements to their gas and electric facilities, pay to trim millions of trees and add the weather stations and hi def cameras. The money is not going to any wildfire claims or lawsuits from the past.

The townhalls can be seen on Youtube.

They will be webcast at http://www.youtube.com/user/CityofSantaRosa or http://www.facebook.com/cityofsantarosa, available on a listen-only phone line 1-877-937-0554 passcode 7031793 and broadcast on the Government Channels Comcast 28 or AT&T 72.

There could be a verdict soon in the manslaughter trial of the two men accused in the deadly Ghost Ship warehouse fire. Closing arguments started in the case against Derick Almena and Max Harris after the December 2016 fire at the Oakland warehouse that killed 36 people. The pair are accused of converting the building into an artist work space where some artists lived, packing it with combustible materials that eventually trapped those who tried to run from the fire. Almena was the master tenant. Court papers say there were no smoke detectors, fire alarms or fire suppression system. No cause was ever determined for the fire. The two men face several years behind bars. The jury should be getting the case in the next few days or next week.

A woman in Mendocino’s been arrested on domestic violence charges. Deputies responded about a week and a half ago to a call and found Joey Lyn Harmon and her husband were in a fight over a cell phone and at some point, the woman hit her husband with her fists and bit him. Deputies say the man had injuries consistent with the claim so they booked Harmon into the Mendocino County Jail for felony domestic battery and held her on $25,000.00 bail

A woman in Fort Bragg’s been arrested for domestic violence. Deputies reported to a disturbance last week finding Crystal Adele Bucher and a 45 year old man, they say are married, and had an argument. The man says Bucher hit him with her fists. Deputies say he had visible injuries on his body consistent with the reported assault, so she was arrested on felony domestic battery charges and booked into jail on $25,000.00 bail

Volunteers are needed to remove brush this fire season in the Soda Bay area. Lake County Supervisor Rob Brown trying to round up as many as 500 volunteers to donate part of the day Saturday, August 17, to remove hazardous vegetation along County roadside in the Soda Bay corridor, from the end of Highway 281 to Soda Bay, including areas of the Black Forest.  Brown says most wildfires are caused by roadside vegetation and that this area is one at the greatest risk.  The meeting place Riviera Elementary School in Kelseyville that morning at 6 am. Bring your own tools.

Volunteers can sign up by completing our Volunteer Services Agreement.  Copies are available from the County Administrative Office, Human Resources Office and Department of Public Works, and the form is posted online, at:

http://www.lakecountyca.gov/1000HandsAgreement/

Contact Supervisor Brown with questions at (707) 349-2628 and my email address is Rob.Brown@lakecountyca.gov.

A man arrested after a fire burned in Clearlake Saturday has been identified. Police say it was 28 year old Adam Miller who started the fire. Witnesses told cops it was Miller who set the fire near a shopping center and apartment complex. He was arrested a couple hours after the fire was set in a field behind the Cache Creek Apartments, and near the Tractor Supply and Big 5 Sporting Goods stores. There were evacuations of the apartment building, but no injuries were reported. Witnesses told police on the scene they saw Miller start the fire and chased and confronted him as someone else called for help. Police arrested Miller soon after. He was being held on suspicion of arson, with bail set at $100,000.

About 3,000 acres have been donated by a nonprofit to protect Northern Calif. Steelhead. The Trust for Public Land along with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation working together to buy the last 8,800 acres in the nearly 12,000-acre Sanhedrin Acquisition Project. Lake Co News reports the land purchased with Land and Water Conservation Funds and private philanthropic donations. It’s in the Middle Fork Eel River watershed, and will help protect critical habitat for the threatened Steelhead. This last 3,000 acre gift supported by donations from the Wyss Foundation and the landowner, Coastal Forestlands Ltd.

PG&E is looking for potential problems with their equipment, flying low over the North Coast for the next few months. Choppers flew last week in Lake County, are currently flying over Mendocino County, and will head to Humboldt next month. The helicopters will be about 300 to 500 feet above ground using LIDAR technology, using light detection and ranging to find trees or other vegetation that could fall into power lines. This is all part of the utility company’s expanded and enhanced vegetation management work since the 2017 and 2018 wildfires that destroyed thousands of homes and killed more than 130 people. Besides their ground inspections, the LiDAR helicopter inspections will cover more than 25,000 miles of distribution lines in areas deemed at elevated or extreme risk of wildfire per a California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) High Fire-Threat District Map.

The Calif. Attorney General’s office is posting a warning about an eBay scam hitting Calif. The auction site has a messaging area for buyers and sellers to communicate, and for users to receive updates from the app. Scammers now using that area to fake they’re a seller and try to manipulate buyers. The bogus seller gets in touch with someone bidding on a product telling them they lost the bid but sends a link to make the purchase anyway. The victim then pays for something that doesn’t exist. The Attorney General scam warning says to stay with eBay and not leave for any link. And to also not wire money or send checks to someone outside of eBay.

A new report after the Camp Fire and others in Northern Calif. shows residents are concerned most about global warming bringing bigger fires. The Public Policy Institute of California’s survey of just over 1,700 adults across the state had 71% saying they were “very concerned” about rising oceans and hotter temperatures. But they were less concerned about climate change than wildfires. Only 25% of those polled approved of how President Trump was handling environmental issues, and they had the same approval rating for Congress on the issue. The Gov. Gavin Newsom also didn’t get great numbers, about 45% of those polled approved of his environmental issues record.