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Category Archives: 94.5 K-Wine News

94.5 K-Wine Local News Reports

There are graphic videos posted online of a beating involving officers with the Ukiah Police Department – after a man with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder ripped off his clothes.  The family of Gerardo Magdaleno says – this isn’t the first time he’s been beaten by officers – last time a police dog also getting involved.  A police report says he’d taken LSD that morning, family members saying he’d run out of the medication he needs – and that he’ll use non-prescription drugs when his regular meds run out.  Magdaleno is homeless – and it’s not clear whether he’s in a hospital or in the county jail – Police aren’t commenting on the situation.  

If you’re hoping to get vaccinated for the coronavirus – there are a few clinics happening this weekend.  Caspar has a vaccination event scheduled to start at 11 today –   The Mendocino Coast Clinics hosting another vaccination event starting at noon  – running until 5 today – while Fort Bragg has a clinic scheduled for tomorrow from noon to 5.  

The Department of education is doing everything they an to get kids back in the classrooms throughout the state.  The State Superintendent of schools says there’s money set aside so schools can upgrade their heating and cooling systems to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.  They’re also doing as much testing as they can – and that’s helping bring students back.  The superintendent, Tony Thurmond, saying they’re in constant communication with schools and leaders about how to stay open safely.  

A café in Mendocino that had been shut down for not complying with public health guidelines is offering half off if you don’t wear a mask inside. Fiddleheads Café closed last June for refusing to have workers wear masks and requiring patrons to do the same. Now he has a sign up outside that says “Throw Your Mask(s) in our trash bin and receive 50% off your order.” Mendo Fever dot com reports the county’s Code Enforcement supervisor says they’ve been getting complaints about the place and they’re investigating. Right now Mendocino County Health orders you wear a mask when around others outside of your own household. Last year the owner started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to hire a lawyer to fight the county’s pandemic protocols. The restaurant had received two violation notices with fines. No word how much, or if the owner paid.

A man from Rio Dell has been arrested after police in Eureka were tipped about a possible sex abuse case. Police and Sheriff’s Deputies investigated 41 year old Jorge Alcazar for the last month for the ongoing abuse of a child under the age of 10. Eureka Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Section got a heads up there were continued threats against the child so they got a warrant and arrested the guy for several crimes including sexual intercourse or sodomy with a child under 10 and recurring sexual conduct with a child. Bail is set at $1,705,000.

The Mendocino County District Attorney sys he and associates across the state are speaking out about a new piece of legislation to downgrade certain felony robbery offenses to misdemeanors instead. The D-A’s Facebook page says the California District Attorneys Association will speak out about Senator Nancy Skinner’s Bill, which her office says will make sure in the case of theft, the punishment meets the crime. The president of the District Attorney’s Association says most Californians understand “robbery is robbery”, and “it’s too bad Senator Skinner doesn’t understand that”. Next Tuesday several DA’s and others will descend on the capitol in strong opposition of the bill.  

Lake County Behaviorial Health Services is reminding that April is Alcohol Awareness Month. The agency is encouraging all to educate themselves about the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption. They’re joining other organizations across the county to honor Alcohol Awareness Month. The agency provides alcohol misuse, abuse, prevention, intervention and treatment services with individual, family, group counseling and education in partnership with various local partnering agencies. They say if you or someone you know is experiencing problems related to alcohol use or misuse, you can improve your health by cutting back or quitting. Limit your intake to no more than one drink a day for women or two for men. Keep track of how much you drink. Don’t drink when you are upset.  Avoid places where people drink a lot. Make a list of reasons not to drink.

Contact Lake County Behavioral Health Services for additional resources, 707-274-9101 or 707-994-7090.

A woman from Ukiah has been arrested after an assault on a man she had just met. Police identifying the suspect only as Smith, saying she contacted a 23 year old man who she met hours earlier while out walking. The two did not know each other before that. They had an argument after a couple hours and police say suspect Smith assaulted the victim, hitting him with a closed fist. The victim told her to leave and say she then picked up a large shovel and swung it at , hitting him in the head, and ran off with the shovel. The victim says the car may have been stolen from a neighbor, so they reported it to local law enforcement. The victim refused medical help. An off duty police officer saw the car on the 101 north of the Burke Hill exit. Officers found Smith inside, she had to be removed forcefully and was arrested after being found with that shovel. She was also on probation for two other stolen cars, now again and held on $45,000 bail.

A man first thought to be mentally ill found walking naked in traffic was reportedly tased and pepper sprayed by police before being caught. Ukiah Police report one of their officers near the 1400 block of South State Street responded to the area after the Sheriff’s office was sent to a report of a naked man walking in traffic. They say the man was “aggressive and took a fighting stance.” So they deployed the Taser, but it was ineffective, so they did it again, and again it was ineffective. So a third time and a pepper spray finally helped, but they had to use a wrap restraint on the man.  And medics came to the scene to help bring the man to Adventist Health. He’s identified as Gerardo Magdaleno of Ukiah, who they say was probably high on meth. He was taken to the hospital as a precaution, then arrested for suspicion of resisting arrest, possession of drug paraphernalia and violating his probation.

The southbound 101 had to be closed for several hours after a semi-truck hauling scrap metal took a tumble south of Hopland in Mendocino County. The load on the truck dumped onto the highway Wednesday. The California Highway Patrol reports the southbound lanes of the highway were blocked between Hopland and the Sonoma County line around 4 am. Ukiah Valley Fire Authority and Hopland Fire responded. They say it was fortunate it happened so early in the morning as traffic was light and most vehicles that came across the crash scene could drive around it. The highway reopened about 4 hours later, then after noon there was an all clear.  

State Senator Mike McGuire’s bill about new safety standards in high risk wildfire areas has overwhelmingly passed the Senate’s Governance and Finance Committee. The senator’s bill comes after the devastating 2020 wildfire season which burned over 4 million acres, when the state had its first gigafire, or more than a million acre fire. Also eight out of the 10 largest wildfires in state history have burned this past decade. McGuire says the state needs to change the way homes are built in high fire risk zones, and maybe not build there at all if there cannot be certain commonsense health and safety requirements met. His bill would ensure firesafe development including mandating primary and secondary access roads, mandated public safety vehicle access, funds for defensible space maintenance and vegetation management and mandated wildland fire hazard mitigation planning.

Another massive amount of unemployment claims in the state of Calif. 105,600 jobless claims were filed for the week that ended on March 27th. 9,600 more than the week before. It’s probably pandemic related as way more claims have been filed since before business shutdowns to slow the spread of coronavirus started just about a year ago. 

A major vegetation removal program is planned in partnership with the city of Clearlake and Cal Fire on a property where there had been illegal dumping, homeless camps and wildfires. Lake Co News reports city officials said there’s been continued public nuisance on about 31 acres to the east and south of the Walmart shopping center on Dam Road. The land was supposed to be used for an expansion, but it’s now full of fire fuel. The city manager says also attractive for illegal activity. There’s been several fire threats the last few years. The city’s leasing the land now for $1/year so they can work with CalFire on the cleanup, since it’s considered public ownership. They’ve begun to clean up debris and trash to prepare for firefighters to work there starting next week.

Friends of the Eel River says they’ve won against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission planning to put doors on a fish ladder at Cape Horn Dam. The group says it’s just one small step in their fight to fix all the harm done by Pacific Gas & Electric’s two Potter Valley Project dams which are harming Eel River salmon and steelhead. They say they had to threaten a lawsuit against the federal agency which conceded it had approved the operation for new doors improperly by not checking first with the Endangered Species Act to be sure the listed species wouldn’t be further harmed and pushed towards extinction.

A Stage 3 Drought has been declared by the Mendocino City Community Services District board. At the board meeting Monday, the district reported it had only recorded about 20.5 inches of rain this year so far. That they say, is the second-lowest recorded total in the past century. So this means a mandatory 20% reduction in water use, special irrigation times and an irrigation audit for landscape maintenance, no car washing, or use a bucket if you must, no refilling of fountains or ponds unless you use recycled water, you may not refill hot tubs or swimming pools, we’ve been here before, drinking water served at restaurants upon request only, recommended use of paper plates at restaurants to avoid dishwashing, a temporary moratorium on new groundwater extraction permits for new development and no aquifer pump tests. There are fines for offenders.

The California Office of Emergency Services and Cal Recycle are assessing and removing debris, asbestos, and trees from homes and other structures that were destroyed after the 2020 California Wildfires. A reminder from the agency that rebuilding CANNOT begin until your property has been Returned to the County. If your property is in any other status than Returned to County, rebuilding cannot begin. For further information, or to get any questions answered, reach out to Disaster Recovery at (707) 234-6303 or disasterrecovery@mendocinocounty.org.

The fire in Clearlake Oaks that killed 3 people on Monday is still a mystery. Police and Fire officials still trying to figure out how the fire in Clearlake Oaks started. Northshore Fire is working with the Sheriff’s dept. to get to the bottom of it. The names of the 2 men and one woman who died have not been released, but they’re believed to be from the same family. Apparently autopsies are being done this week, but it could take several more weeks for positive identification. The firefighting team was met with heavy smoke and fire, and partial building collapse. The report of the fire also said there were three people trapped inside. Firefighters had a limited water supply, but were able to contain the fire to the one home.

A new study says about 25% of adults in the North Bay don’t want to get the coronavirus vaccine. The same study showed those against receiving the vaccination were higher in the North Bay than any other part of the nine county Bay Area. The Bay Area Council survey showed around 23% of respondents in Sonoma, Marin, Napa and Solano called themselves “vaccine hesitant”. Described as probably or definitely not getting the shots. The survey was of 1,000 registered voters in nine Bay Area counties. It showed 31% of Republicans were hesitant to get vaccinated, compared to 7% of Democrats.

Another 1,400 firefighters are being hired in Calif. ahead of what could be another terrible wildfire season. The Gov. made the announcement Tuesday using his emergency authority to spend nearly $81 million dollars to hire 1,399 firefighters for CalFire. The state generally depends on the amount of snow it gets each winter for a lot of its water, but this year we were at only 15 inches, or 54% of average for April 1st, when the state’s snowpack is supposed to be the deepest. Last year was pretty close to the same, and 4 million acres were blackened by a historic season, destroying over 4% of the state’s land, tearing down almost 10,500 buildings and killing 33 people.

The state is looking to put down some mountain lions to save hundreds of bighorn sheep in the Sierra Nevada. There are about 600 Sierra Nevada bighorns in the wild, which are considered an endangered species. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is considering culling the lions after they already gathered and relocated them more than 100 miles away from the sheep. But they say they keep eating the animals, reappearing and eating more. The state agency says one mountain lion who had eaten at least nine sheep came right back to where it was removed. Then it did it again, from 200 miles away.

A special contest is being held by the Point Arena Lighthouse Keepers. The pandemic caused the Lighthouse Keepers to cancel a planned 150th Anniversary celebration. The first Tower was completed in April 1870 and first lit May 1st of that year. So now the Lighthouse Keepers want to keep the tradition going inviting writers to submit a piece about the light station. There are four categories, poetry, short stories, flash fiction and a “Dear Lighthouse” essay. The winning and favorite entries will be published in the Independent Coast Observer.

Writers can submit as many different works in as many categories as they like through snail mail or email at palight@gmail.com, the deadline is tomorrow, April 2, 2021.

For more information, visit pointarenalighthouse.com/150th-1-anniversary-writers-invitation.

To support sexual assault survivors the city of Lakeport and the Lakeport Police Department working with the Lake Family Resource Center. So, a proclamation to Lake Family Resource Center designates April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. All streetlights downtown are being lit teal through the month, starting today. Also, all Lakeport Police cars and officer uniforms will feature a teal ribbon through the month. The public is also encouraged to wear jeans for their uniform pants from Friday, April 23rd, through Friday, April 30th.

There’s an opening on the First 5 Lake County Commission. The vacancy for an at-large member. They say diversity and equitable representation is important so they’re specifically seeking applicants who live or work in District 2, which is most of the City of Clearlake and areas east. Applications are being accepted online until 5 p.m. Friday, April 16th. They meet each fourth Wednesday of the month alternating between Lakeport and Lower Lake. They’re still doing Zoom meetings though due to the pandemic.

For more information and to see if you are qualified to apply, please contact First 5 Lake at (707) 263-6169, or visit our website to learn more and fill out an application www.firstfivelake.org.

A couple of Arson fires have been reported in Ukiah. The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority reports going out to the two fires over five days. The latest one, like many others in the past, was near the railroad tracks behind Daniel Steel and Machine on Brush Street. The Fire Authority Battalion Chief says they got a report of a dumpster fire yesterday early morning. Police and Deputies were there too as it looked like a homeless encampment was also set up near the dumpster. The fire was quickly doused. The second fire was a cart on fire on South Main Street near Safeway Saturday night. A 46-year old man was arrested for misdemeanor reckless burning. He was cited and released.

Looking for something to do this weekend? The Redwood Valley Grange is having their yearly Easter Bake Sale Saturday. It’s been nearly a half century the Grange has been putting on the bake sale. It usually happens in front of the Redwood Valley Store. It’s inside the Grange Hall this year, and they say they’ll be carefully COVID- 19 compliant from 11 am – 2 pm, April 3rd. There will be loads of baked items at the event and they’re doing an outdoor Free Puzzle Exchange and Grab & Go Craft Bags for children over 3. Apparently jigsaw puzzles have become quite popular during the pandemic so the Grange has been sponsoring these puzzle exchanges the last year.

For more information: http://www.RedwoodValleyGrange. com or Facebook: Redwood Valley Grange No. 382 or call Jini, 707.972.1414.

The President has a planned infrastructure bill with billions in it to prioritize broadband expansion. Reports say it’s a top goal, with $100bn to bring affordable internet to “all Americans” by 2029. The White House put out a fact sheet yesterday afternoon which says they hope to reach “100% high-speed broadband coverage” across the US and will prioritize broadband networks “owned, operated by, or affiliated with local governments, non-profits, and cooperatives” instead of big tech firms. The administration says it became clear during the pandemic with many Americans forced to work and learn from home, there were disparities between Americans with and without reliable access to internet, calling it “a stark digital divide”.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has stopped being shipped over quality issues. The state of California was supposed to get 572,700 doses for administration next week, which we will still get. But the Calif. Dept. of Health reports they’re investigating the halting of manufacturing and what impact it will have on the state. The agency spokesperson says “maintaining the highest standards during vaccine production to ensure safe and effective vaccines is a paramount concern.”  Around 15 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were reportedly tainted due to quality-control problems at a Baltimore manufacturing plant where it mixed with another manufacturers vaccine.

A man has died after falling off a cliff near Albion. The Mendocino County Sheriff Office reports an elderly man slipped and fell about 60 feet into the ocean and died near the small community on the Mendocino coast. He was apparently visiting from out of state with family where they were staying in a rental on the bluff. Dispatchers sent rescuers yesterday afternoon around 4, including the Mendocino Water Unit, the Coast Guard, and a Reach air ambulance.

The Willits City Council has voted to pull out a Giant, dying Sequoia in Babcock Park. The council voted unanimously to fell the tree after it started to show signs of “failing health and distress” about two and a half years ago. A forester and arborist came out and examined the tree and a report was given to the council on the findings. The report said the tree, native to the Central Valley was sitting in saturated soil and had been compacted into he earth from activity at the park. He also said there were other trees looking similarly distressed at the park. The city surveyed residents on social media and the city website and got over 52% wanted the tree to be removed and only 11% against it. So more trees will be planted in its place.

It’s been a while since we’ve had an update on Measure B since the Board of Supervisors has been dealing with the pandemic for the last year. The board heard an update on the Crisis Residential Treatment Facility being built on South Orchard Avenue next to the Ukiah Post Office. There will also be a Mobile Crisis and Response Team the county is working with the Sheriff’s Office and the Ukiah Police Department on. They’ve hired a staff member for the team who will work with the Sheriff’s office.  They will also offer a Crisis Assessment and Psychiatric Hospitalization Aftercare Program through Redwood Community Services and a Psychiatric Health Facility. There will be 16-beds for 24/7 services, but there’s no physical facility for that yet.

Three people have been killed in a fire at a home in Clearlake Oaks. The Lake County sheriff’s office reports the fire in the Clear Lake Keys in a two story house where they believe two men, and woman possibly from the same family died. The fire yesterday morning gutted the home. North Shore Fire is investigating where the ignition point was and how it started. They have not officially identified the bodies, as they have to await a forensic examination for an official identification. The Sheriff’s office is asking anyone who may have information to call them or the Northshore Fire Protection District.

Health officials in Sonoma County voicing concern as thousands of students return to in person learning. The Press Democrat reports officials are asking residents to be cautious and vigilant with health and safety protocols. Some area private schools have been back to face to face learning for months, but public schools had been closed as the county sat in the purple tier in California’s Blueprint to Reopen the Economy. The newspaper reports almost 20,000 students at 30 different schools are either coming back to in person by the end of this week, or before April 15th. Santa Rosa schools are the largest in the county and open to thousands of kids tomorrow. The county’s head of vaccines says other school systems have pulled it off, and they’re hoping people understand how important the health measures are to keep case rates low.

The Lake County Public Health Officer has sent out a notice to encourage all residents to get the COVID19 vaccine as soon as they’re eligible. Dr. Pace says variants of the virus have been found in the county and people are more active now, but with restrictions loosened, it doesn’t mean the risk is lower. Dr. Pace says the virus is prevalent in the county so residents should still follow strict health protocols, wearing a mask, frequently wash or sanitize hands; and practice social distancing in all interactions with people outside of your household, especially those not fully vaccinated; and get the vaccine. He says the vaccines available have all proven to be quite effective, even against new strains. They’re conducting drive through vaccine clinics in Lakeport on Mondays and Clearlake on Tuesday thru Thursday. He says many appointments are still available this week for first and second doses. Schedule yours thru the state site MyTurn.ca.gov.  Anyone over 50 can get the vaccine starting tomorrow, then anyone over age 16 after April 15th.

A man from Ukiah’s been arrested after a parole search at his home turns up some marijuana and weapons. Last Friday Sheriff’s deputies conducted a warrant service and parole search at Larry Wolfe Jr’s house because there was a warrant for his arrest for a Parole violation. When they knocked, they say they could see him inside, but he wouldn’t answer the door. He finally surrendered and they went inside, finding a commercial quantity of processed cannabis packaged for sale. They say he also had a semi-automatic 9mm pistol with a loaded magazine and a collapsible, 9mm assault rifle, and a loaded high capacity 9mm magazine. That was concealed in a laptop computer case where there was a bunch of ammo too. So the guy was arrested on several charges including having ammunition as a prohibited person, unlawful possession of an assault weapon and possessing cannabis for sale.  He was held on $110,000.00 bail.

A man from Covelo’s been arrested after a fight with the mother of his child. Witnesses told deputies 21 year old Oscar Martinez was in a relationship with the 27 year old woman who he had a child with. There had been a physical altercation between the couple. She says Martinez punched her in the face, two times. Deputies say there were multiple injuries on the woman’s face. Martinez was not there, but they put a BOLO alert out for him for Domestic Violence Battery. He was caught later that morning and arrested on $25,000.00 bail.

A new doctor has started at Mendocino Coast Clinics. They put out a notice to welcome Dr. Patti Chico, a family medicine physician who they say is a perfect fit for the coastal community. She touts herself as a healer, a health coach and patient advocate as much as a doctor. She says she’s focused on patients’ physical and emotional needs. She graduated medical school five years ago and has worked in various settings, urban and rural.

The Clearlake City Council has decided after a year of closures due to the pandemic, they would reopen their meetings to the public. So, starting with their meeting tomorrow, the public can come back in person, but it will be with limited capacity, masks are mandatory as well as social distancing mandates. You can also catch the meeting on the city’s YouTube channel or PEGTV. They’re also offering Zoom participation. Tomorrow they will have some proclamations to read, hear an update from the Hope Center and hear discussions about a new Bus Stop Renovation and Promenade Improvement Project which has been bid for a half million dollars. The council will also hear a resolution from the Members of the measure V Citizen Oversight Committee.

Ukiah Unified School District Superintendent Debra Kubin has been named the 2021 Woman of the Year for Assembly District 2. Assemblyman Jim Wood says Kubin led an “amazing effort” during the pandemic not only to continue educating Ukiah’s students, but making sure over 3,000 students who needed food support got daily meals, including students even at charter and private schools. She also helped kids without computers secure Chromebooks as well as 150 hot spots for kids in remote areas of the district. Kubin has been the Superintendent for nearly a decade and has almost 30 years of experience in education.

Congressman Jared Huffman and other members of California’s congressional delegation are calling on the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors to reconsider a 10-year contract with Oshkosh Defense for up to 165,000 Next Generation Delivery Vehicles, which only a fraction of would be electric vehicles. Huffman had also introduced legislation to replace 75% of the postal service’s fleet with electric vehicles as part of the Postal Vehicle Modernization Act. Huffman put out a statement saying the delegation was dismayed to learn Postmaster General (Louis) DeJoy said there would only be 10% electric vehicles, and they heard even that amount was highly questionable because the manufacturer of the vehicles had little experience manufacturing electric vehicles.

Another year of drought like conditions has left little water storage in area lakes. The Press Democrat reports the extremely low rainfall has meant low levels in Lakes Sonoma and Mendocino. The lowest, the paper reports, for this time of year since the reservoirs were filled decades ago. The water is especially low in Lake Mendocino which provides water for municipal and rural users in Ukiah and is responsible for producing flows in drier months for the Upper Russian River. Lake Sonoma was at about 63% of its storage capacity and Lake Mendocino had around 45%. The two lakes provide drinking water for over 600,000 people in Sonoma, Mendocino and Marin counties.

Two people are dead after a giant redwood tree fell on top of their car in Northern Calif. The CHP reports the 175-foot-tall redwood fell on Jessica and Jake Woodruff’s car while the two were on a road trip along the California coast. It happened last Thursday in Del Norte on Highway 199 outside Crescent City. The CHP reports the couple, celebrating Jennifer’s 45th birthday were driving along part of the highway in a very forested area near Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.  A GoFundMe was started for the couple’s five children. There was about $80,000 raised as of yesterday.

The 2 U.S. senators and nearly two-dozen congressional representatives for Calif. are asking the Agriculture and Interior departments to change the state to a year round firefighting force due to the amount of fires, how long they last, when they start, and when they end. Saying there are no longer traditional fire seasons in the state so they want to reclassify more seasonal federal firefighter positions as permanent. A letter was sent to the two new Biden administration officials, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland signed by Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla and 21 members of Congress which came after another devastating wildfire season last year in Calif.

Forest land management strategy top of mind for Mendocino National Forest staff. They’re discussing what moves they’ll make after the massive 2020 August Complex fire that burned for 2 months over more than 1,030,000 acres. As a reminder, the meeting is online Thursday through Microsoft Teams (http://bit.ly/MendoTeamsMeeting) or by calling 202-650-0123 (conference ID: 377 848 755#).  The forestry staff have come up with a phased approach to remediate the land where the fire scorched the earth, removing dead trees, thinning the forest and trying to reduce the risk of more catastrophic fires in the future.

A new woodchipper will help with fuel reduction and hazardous tree removal in Mendocino County. An announcement of the purchase by the County, Mendocino County Resource Conservation District, Mendocino County Fire Safe Council, and the Redwood Valley-Calpella Fire Department. The purchase was made through a Hazardous Tree Removal grant provided by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection with California Climate Investments funding. The County was able to win the grant in partnership with the Resource Conservation District and Fire Safe Council. The chipper will be used for fuel reduction mostly in Redwood Valley and supporting other projects in other parts of the County when not needed in Redwood Valley.

A massive controlled burn is planned by CalFire in Mendocino County. The burn is planned throughout the week until next Monday south of Yorkville, near Upper Rancheria Creek in the southeastern section of Mendocino County, south of Highway 128, and north of Cloverdale. As a reminder, you may see aircraft and smoke in the area. Weather permitting they’ll be working as part of the Vegetation Management Program to reintroduce fire as a natural element of the ecosystem.

For prescribed burning notifications, residents are encouraged to follow the CAL FIRE Mendocino Unit on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CALFIRE_MEU, Instagram and on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/CALFIREMEU/.

Money is coming to some Lake County Indian Tribes from the federal government to fight coronavirus. Lake Co News reports the Indian Housing Block Grant funding comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. $450 million is going to tribes across the country and $31 million will go to California tribes.  It will go to help tribes with affordable housing and to protect the safety and health of tribal members and communities. These types of grants are generally used for low-income American Indian and Alaska Native families. It’s for use for housing development, operation and maintenance, modernization of existing housing, housing services to eligible families and individuals, housing management services, crime prevention and safety activities and more. The news site reports all 7 of Lake County’s tribes will get funds.

More schools are beginning to reopen in Lake County now that they’ve entered the red tier in the state’s COVID-19 Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Only two new school districts had opened in January, Upper Lake and Lucerne Elementary which are all in hybrid learning. The Lake County Office of Education reported schools were open since last August for in-person classes. Same with the Lake County International Charter School.  Konocti Unified opened for kindergarten through sixth grade Feb. 22nd and seventh through 12th just came back March 22nd, a month later. Kelseyville’s kindergarten through fifth graders returned March 8, and sixth through 12th last Monday.  Lakeport reopened March 8 with younger kids, phasing in the older students and the same for Middletown schools which started phased reopening at the beginning of March.

Discrimination, hate crimes, and micro-aggressions after COVID-I9 surfaced have been directed at Asian Americans and Mendocino College has put out a statement to denounce it all. The college says since the outbreak of the virus in Wuhan, China, the infection has grown and it’s not due to ethnicity. The statement goes on to say the World Health Organization has cautioned against using geographic descriptors because they can fuel ethnic discrimination. The virus has been referred to as the “Chinese virus,” and “Kung-Flu” which the college says is inaccurate and stigmatizing, can incite fear and xenophobia, and may put Asian Americans at risk of retaliation. The college joining cities, counties, and states across the country affirming its commitment to the safety and well-being of Asian Americans and to fight hate crimes targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Congressman Mike Thompson has announced Crystal Martin and Carol Huchingson are the 2020 and 2021 Women of the Year in Lake County.  Thompson honors women from his Congressional District annually who he finds have made exceptional contributions to the community. This year Thompson announced both 2020 and 2021 women of the year because last year’s celebration was cancelled due to the pandemic. Crystal Martin, Thompson says “is a dedicated and tireless advocate for justice”. She is the Lake County District Attorney’s Victim-Witness Program Administrator and the 2020 Woman of the Year. For this year, he announced Lake County’s Administrative Officer, Carol Huchingson, who he called “a bedrock of Lake County”.

Congressman Mike Thompson has had another of his online meetups for constituents regarding the pandemic and the economy. His latest, was to cover the latest stimulus package. This, the first under the Biden Administration, the American Rescue Plan. He was joined by the Lake County Public Health Officer, Dr. Gary Pace; along with other officials and business owners throughout the 5th Congressional District. He talked about what was in the plan, including money to distribute vaccinations, direct payments to individuals and families, money for schools, states and cities and businesses. Dr. Pace says there will still be surges of the virus, but deaths and severe illness won’t happen the same way because the most vulnerable people are now vaccinated and protected. Pace says “the more people we get covered the more we’re going to be able to get back to normal, and the less suffering there’s going to be.”

The Ukiah Library is reopening. Starting today after a year of curbside service, in person service reopens. It’s this afternoon from 1 to 5, same with Thursday.  For the last year, there have been virtual programs online, curbside pickup of books and other library materials by appointment, e-books, audiobooks, films and music recordings available 24/7 for free to county residents with a library card. The reopened Library thanks to the county entering the red tier in California’s Blueprint to Reopen the Economy. You may have to wait in line to get in due to social distancing. Facial coverings are required, and there will be no seating or available restrooms for now. Also, no shared computer access.

Five more vaccination clinics are planned in the county. Mendocino County Public Health has set the clinics up this week, today is the Pfizer second dose event at the Ukiah Fairgrounds from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for those who got their first dose March 9th and had their second-dose appointment set at that time. Tomorrow it’s the Moderna event at the Fairgrounds from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. You are eligible if you got your first dose March 3rd. Again on Thursday for Pfizer from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for those who got their first dose March 11th or 13th. And for Moderna again, but at the “The Woods” in Little River Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for those who got the first dose March 4th. Friday again for Pfizer second dose at the Caspar Community Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for those inoculated March 12th.

A man from Clearlake has been arrested in Willits after being found with drugs while having a warrant out for his arrest.  The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office id’d Joseph Fitzgerald and they knew the woman he was with, Allison Strout from previous contacts. Fitzgerald was arrested as they found about 5 grams of suspected heroin in two containers, meth in a backpack and a scale. Strout was on formal probation with a search term and found to have a warrant for her arrest from Humboldt County. They found 2 grams of suspected meth on her, two used glass pipes, a measuring spoon with a black/brown substance in the spoon and burn marks on bottom of the spoon. Also 20 small unused clear plastic baggies and two cell phones. The two were arrested for various crimes including possession of a controlled substance for sale and conspiracy to commit a felony. Fitzgerald was booked on $27,500.00 bail, but Strout was released due to the pandemic.

A man from Nice has been arrested for driving erratically in Ukiah. Deputies say Mark Nielson was arrested last Friday after he suddenly pulled to the side of the road. While speaking to him, the deputy found the car had been stolen from Lake County.  He was arrested for being in possession of a stolen vehicle and while being searched three blue tablets were found on him. They’re commonly referred to as “M30” or “Fetty” and contain Fentanyl.  “M30” pills, and Fentanyl in other forms, have been identified as the cause of many drug overdose medical emergencies and deaths throughout Mendocino County.  He’s booked into jail for possessing a stolen vehicle and possession of a controlled narcotic. Due to the pandemic he was released with a promise to appear in court at a later date.

A man is in Mendocino County Jail facing arson charges after Fort Bragg Police say he started three fires over the weekend. It started with a report of a structure fire in the 300 block of North Harbor Drive Friday morning that was determined to be arson. Then Friday evening, an officer responded to a report of a prowler in the 300 block of Perkins street, where they chased a man along the railroad tracks near Rose Memorial Cemetery. That officer discovered a fresh brush fire before catching the suspect. Police say they then discovered 47-year-old Robert Fielden on surveillance video taken at the home on Perkins showing him attempting to set a third fire there. When he was arrested, officers found he had butane torches, methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia on him. Fort Bragg Police ask that you check your surveillance video between 7:30 to 9:00 am Friday morning to help identify Fielden’s location. You can find video of him on their Facebook page.

Lake County is celebrating a milestone. At least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine has been distributed to one third of residents age 16 and older. Vaccine eligibility will start to extend this week with people age 50 and older able to receive the shot starting Thursday. All who are 16 and older will become eligible on April 15.

Ukiah Unified School District begins its Spring Break today and students don’t have to report back to class until next Tuesday. The district is holding a special COVID-19 testing clinic on Monday, April 5 for those who traveled over the break or who gathered in groups. It will be open from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Pomolita Middle School Library.

The Mendocino County District Attorney history series continues with George Abram Sturtevant. He served as the county’s 13th D.A. Before becoming a San Francisco Superior Court Judge, Sturtevant served two terms as D.A. In the1890s. His family has a road named after them in the Hopland area and a home he built still stands to this day on the grounds of Dan Fetzer’s Jeriko Estate Winery north of Hopland.

A man stopped for a traffic violation in Ukiah has been arrested on drug charges and resisting arrest. The Sheriff’s Dept. reports a deputy pulled Lewis Dishman over after midnight last Sunday morning and when Dishman opened the center console to get his ID, the deputy saw meth pipe and told the guy to get out of the car and he was being arrested. The man became agitated, but was handcuffed and when the deputy walked Dishman to his patrol vehicle, he says he shoulder checked him and tried getting away. He was taken down on the ground and backup officers showed up to help. Dishman was arrested finally for possession of drug paraphernalia, violation of probation, and resisting or threatening an officer and held on $15,000.00 bail.

A man from Willits pulled over for a traffic stop by a deputy has been arrested for being in a stolen car. Deputies say, not only that, but Martin Briggs also first took the deputy on a chase. With lights turning and sirens blaring, Briggs drove recklessly, even crossing into the opposing lane of traffic as the deputy pursued him. He crashed head on into an overpass support pillar and was arrested for having the stolen vehicle, evading a peace officer with reckless driving, and evading a peace officer by driving on the wrong side of the highway. Because of the pandemic emergency court order though, his bail was set at zero and he was released.

A man from Covelo has been arrested for a warrant. A deputy stopped Augustine Frease and his passenger, Kathy Genet. They found Frease was also on Mendocino County Post Release Community Supervision probation (PRCS) so he was arrested for the warrant. The deputy then searched the car and found drugs attached to Frease’s keys, a meth pipe in a pocket on the driver’s side door and a meth pipe in a bag on the front passenger floorboard.  Also, on Genet, the same. They found a meth pipe on her and drugs in her possession. Frease was taken to jail and held on $25,000 bail, but Genet was released with a ticket to appear in court.

The Mendocino County Public Health Officer reports the county has identified different strains of coronavirus in samples taken last month. The random samples were specifically for variant testing, and Dr. Coren of the office, says they found 4 different strains. Just Wednesday, the public health office was alerted they found the B.1.4.7 (West Coast Variant), B.1.4.9 (West Coast Variant) and the B.1.2 category, which are U.S. variants. The West Coast variants have shown to have a 20% higher transmission rate and were a little more resistant to antibody therapies, which Coren says should be of “significant concern for Mendocino County residents”. He says scientists are still trying to figure out if the variants are resistant to the vaccine though. He reminds to keep up with the public safety guidelines, of continuing to wear a mask, social distancing and good hand hygiene. 

Some impacted by wildfires in Calif. are getting fresh help. ReCoverCA is offering help to wildfire survivors from the 2017 and 2018 disasters. With that, the California Department of Housing and Community Development is doing a 2018 Disaster Housing Assistance Survey for victims of the 2018 wildfires and will replace a single family or manufactured home for the 2017 or 2018 qualifying disasters. Homes that were either destroyed or damaged in the 2017 firestorm could bring $150,000 to the victim to build and for the 2018 disasters, up to $200,000. They say those in the low to moderate income category will get priority.

To see if you qualify to participate in the ReCoverCA Owner-Occupied Housing Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program, please take the 2017 or 2018 Disaster Housing Assistance Survey.

It won’t be long until anyone who wants a vaccine in California can get one. Next week, those over 50 will be eligible, then over the age of 16 two weeks later. The Governor made the announcement yesterday that will mean no rules or limitations for eligibility as the state starts to ramp up distribution. The state of Calif. is expecting 2.5 million doses a week next month, and 3 million a week towards the later part of April. Right now, we’re at about 1.8 million doses a week. So far the state says, they’ve administered more than 15 million coronavirus vaccines. And that they say has led to less infections in recent weeks after a winter surge, and another last summer.

A new rule could change the way courts decide bail. The state Supreme Court has ruled Thursday that judges need to decide if a suspect is able to pay bail, before they set it. That could mean those without shelter or work would just be released until their trial date. They can however seek electronic monitoring, regular check-ins with authorities or make sure the suspect stays in a shelter or goes thru drug and alcohol treatment. But the court said if a financial condition is necessary a court has to consider the ability of the person who was arrested to pay the stated amount of bail. But to protect the community, a suspect cannot be released, but the court would have to provide “clear and convincing evidence that no condition short of detention could suffice.”

Planned upgrades for sidewalks in Ukiah have been approved for safety reasons. The Daily Journal reports after the city council had a presentation from the associate director of the Ukiah Valley Association of Habilitation/Mayacama Industries, who help those with various disabilities, changes needed to be made. She said there had been some close calls at the crosswalk in the 900 block of South Dora St. near St. Mary of the Angels Catholic School where cars almost hit people. So at the council meeting last week they agreed to upgrade sidewalks and put in speed reducers. There will be added curb extensions on both sides of the cross walk, median speed reducers and improved crosswalk striping for about $45,000.

Several bills have been introduced by state lawmakers regarding hate crimes, but CalMatters reports many have died in committees. A new study shows after some highly visible hate crimes against Asian Americans, lawmakers are bringing some of those old bills back again even though they had been rejected in the past. CalMatters reports that Democratic Assemblymember David Chiu of San Francisco has reintroduced his bill from 4 years ago saying he believe there was not the sense of urgency then that there is now. His bill would require the state attorney general to have a toll-free number so hate crimes could be reported. He says the mass murder that happened two weeks ago in Atlanta was a wakeup call for “what those in the Asian American community have been experiencing for quite some time.”

Hope Rising says they’re strengthening their programs to fight opioid drug abuse. They gave out over 1,600 Narcan kits in 2019-20, the drug reverses an overdose. That went to not only community members, but also to Native American tribes, and local businesses who they say were directly connected to 40 overdose reversals and lives saved. The program through SafeRx’s prescribing guidelines which Hope Rising’s executive director says they’ve been also depending on for their Youth Opioid Response Initiative., a website and related Instagram account have gotten more than 2 million media impressions since its inception. https://findyourwayca. com/lake-county.

Some cattle on the road made a mess of things on the 101 near Hopland. Mendo Fever reports hearing on the scanner yesterday mid-morning several law enforcement agencies were on the scene where a cattle transport truck reportedly lost several animals. One of them died and two ran loose. Responding officers said there were three cows over a one mile stretch of the highway near mile-marker 3.97 in the northbound lane near Frog Woman Rock.

An executive order meant to help victims of wildfires against price gouging has been announced by the governor’s office.  Governor Newsom issued the order yesterday that he says will further help communities recover from fires that burned across Calif. last year. The order lengthens the amount of time businesses can raise fees for those who may have been impacted by various wildfires in August and September 2020. The order calls it the most destructive wildfire season in California history where nearly 10,000 fires scorched over 4.25 million acres of land and destroyed or damaged more than 10,000 structures, including more than 5,000 homes. So the order says the price gouging protections put in place last September are extended.

CalFire’s Mendocino Unit is planning a big, prescribed burn near Yorkville and the Upper Rancheria Creek in the southeastern portion of Mendocino County. It’s also outside Cloverdale so aircraft and smoke will be visible across a large swath of land. It’s happening all next week, Monday thru the following, Monday, March 29th to April 5th from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, weather and air quality conditions permitting. The burn will be conducted under very tight restrictions for the personal safety of firefighters and area residents. They say if it appears at all it cannot be conducted in a safe manner, due to high winds or local fire activity, the burn will be cancelled. The goal is to reintroduce fire as a natural element of the ecosystem and improve wildlife habitat, plus forest thinning.

Drought warning for the west has both state and federal officials sending warnings about California’s summer water supply. The warnings for farmers and others from the Department of Water Resources. The agency changed its forecast for water deliveries to both cities and farms that are part of the State Water Project that there will only be a 5% allocation of contracted supplies. That’s down from the 10% forecasted in December. Water for farmers in the Central Valley Project mostly comes from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. They said because of current hydrological conditions, the 5% water allocation that had been promised south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is no longer available. The Gov. has not officially declared a drought, but some state agencies are said to be preparing.

Visitors are being allowed once again at California state prisons after a year without. Limited visits begin again on April 10th after the virus killed over 215 inmates and 26 corrections dept. employees.  Public health restrictions will be in place like temperature taking, symptom screening, virus testing, physical distancing, face masks, and limits on how many visitors can come into facilities and how long they can be there. It’ll be up to individual prisons to decide if there will be visits throughout the facility, or just sections. And opening dates may vary depending on virus activity. The worst outbreak was at San Quentin which has spurred a lawsuit after a transfer of inmates, not necessarily all tested, who went to the prison and infected others, 25 inmates and one correction officer died there.

Counties hear every Tuesday if they get to move ahead in the Blueprint to Reopen the Economy in California. The Department of Public Health has confirmed that Trinity County will enter the Orange Tier. That means restaurants are opened indoors with 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is less, wineries and tasting rooms at 25% or 100 people, whichever is less, bars, breweries, and distilleries are still only outdoors, retail is indoors at full capacity, churches and other places of worship, indoors at 50% or 200 people, whichever is fewer, Hotels, Resorts, Lodging Entities are open with certain modifications, gyms at 25% capacity, indoor pools can reopen, but hot tubs, saunas, and steam rooms have to stay closed.

It was only a test, but half of the Tsunami Warning Test notifications didn’t work in one county. Yesterday 12 sirens were supposed to go off, only six did in Humboldt County. A spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office says they’re activated remotely, so they need to make sure they function if they’re turned on manually, and if not, they may have a motor or electricity issue. Apparently, they’ve not had a consistent funding source for maintenance of the sirens. Mendocino and Trinity counties also ran the warning system tests yesterday. No word so far if there were any glitches in either of those counties.

A healthy real estate market is one result of the COVID19 pandemic in Lake County. Lake Co News reports it’s a sellers’ market. Homes pretty much selling right away and close to what the sales price is pegged at. The news site reports there were less days on the market for the homes for sale last month. There were 120 homes for sale, down nearly 60% from 2020. The median price for single family home in Lake County is $327,000, up almost 40% from last year. And the news site reports the median amount of days homes sit on the market, was just over one month. But in Kelseyville, almost 2 months and in Clearlake only 2 weeks. And data showed homes in all cities went for pretty close to their selling price. 

The federal government’s prescription drug take back program is happening again in Lakeport. The Police Dept. taking part this year in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. It’s happening Saturday, April 24th between 10 and 2 at the police station. They’ll have a drop off site there. They require those turning drugs in to adhere to pandemic guidelines, by wearing a facial covering and making sure to physically distance from others. You will also have to stay inside your car. They’ll accept all over-the-counter or prescription meds that are in pill, tablet or capsule form. They have to be outside of their containers in plastic baggies though. They will also collect vape pens or other e-cigarettes, but the batteries need to be removed. They’re not accepting any illegal drugs, needles, inhalers and aerosol cans.

Officers in the Ukiah Police Department won honors for the last year including a pair who helped a man who collapsed in a grocery store parking lot. The Daily Journal reports officers Alex Cowan and Patrick Infante were at the Lucky supermarket last July in the 500 block of East Perkins Street for reports of the man down. Paramedics were called to the scene by the two officers who found the man with a “weak pulse, shallow breathing and unresponsive.” The two officers used an automated external defibrillator on him. He was then taken to a hospital. Apparently, he did have some sort of heart condition. Chase Rigby was Officer of the Year as well for his daily duties within the department, working to remove illegal drugs from the street and find stolen vehicles too.

There’s been loads of reports throughout Northern Calif. of overdoses from methamphetamine pills laced with Fentanyl. According to the Mendocino County Public health Officer, Fentanyl can take many forms, as a pill, in powder or liquid and is highly addictive. Dr. Coren says even a small dose can easily be fatal. So the Mendocino County Public Health and Mendocino County Behavioral Health & Recovery Services (BHRS), Substance Use Disorders Treatment (SUDT) are working to help residents addicted to opioids and remind them of the dangers of substance use. The county reminds it has resources to help anyone wanting it. They can call 707-472-2624. Also if you think you may have ingested the substance, please reach out immediately to your local emergency room, or call 911. And if you have some, to avoid physical contact with the substance and please contact your local law enforcement.

The Lake County Public Health Officer says the demand for coronavirus vaccines is waning. Dr. Gary Pace at the Board of Supervisors regular meeting Tuesday saying they’re not filling all available vaccine appointments. He says now that we’re using the state’s website to find an appointment, it may be due to that, because it’s been confusing switching to the state’s MyTurn vaccination appointment system. As of this week, those over 50 years old are eligible, but there were technical issues Tuesday causing some to not be able to get an appointment. He did say however that the supply is improving and the county should do outreach to those who may be hesitant to get the vaccine.

A bill has been introduced in the Calif. Legislature after the mass shootings a week apart in Colorado and Georgia. Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel has introduced the measure requiring law enforcement to use guns manufactured with microstamping technology showing a unique mark on bullet casings linking them to a specific firearm. The bill, if it passes, would follow another from 14 years ago requiring all new semiautomatic pistols be made with that microstamping technology. But it’s apparently not taken seriously because there have been no new handgun models since then.

A case of Deja vu turned out to be nothing. Several dozen heavily armed police officers responded to the Veterans Home of California in Yountville after a report of a possible active shooter. But there were no shots fired, nor a suspected shooting or gun anywhere on the complex. It all happened yesterday, a day after a mass shooting in Boulder, CO and a week after another in Atlanta. There was also a mass shooting at the Yountville home in 2018 where three staff members were killed. The campus is a nonprofit residential treatment center for veterans who have been traumatized. The mayor of the town says thankfully, nobody was hurt, after reports that a woman was on campus with a long gun. The campus went on lockdown for about 4 hours until they had the all clear.

A reminder of a tsunami warning test along the coast. This morning at 11 and for the next hour after there will be sirens sounded throughout Del Norte, Humboldt, and Mendocino counties. There will be radio, TV and weather station alerts. They are testing to make sure all are in working order. There is nothing to do, and nobody call. Also a reminder, that it’s a test, and you do not need to evacuate your home or business.

Levels in both Lake Mendocino and Lake Pillsbury are very low for this time of year and there’s really no rain in the forecast in coming days. Earlier this month there was also a reduced water supply alert for the Russian River Flood Control and Water Conservation Improvement District. They send water to several areas including Willow, Millview, Redwood Valley, and Calpella. Yesterday the California Water Resources Board released a “dry year letter”. In other words, the continued dry conditions may threaten water supplies, impair critical habitat, reduce recreational opportunities, and create uncertainty for all water users.

A request for proposals is being offered to farmers in Mendocino County for a two year industrial hemp cultivation pilot program. The deadline to apply is this Friday. The county can have five applicants for the program, and so far, as of yesterday, there were zero who even applied to be part of the program. The county’s Agriculture Department had a representative at a recent Board of Supervisors meeting. Then Supervisors unanimously agreed to proceed.  So if they end up getting applicants, they’ll be part of a 2 year program who registers with the state department of Food & Agriculture who have to pay a $900 registration fee, and possibly other related fees. They need a minimum of a 10th of an acre, but they could scale up during the program.

After a year of having their physical doors closed, the Willits Library is reopening. It will be a phased-in approach starting Monday. It comes because the county has finally hit the Red Tier in California’s Blueprint to Reopen the Economy. Staffers are still working on the hours and expect to announce that soon. They will only open with 25% capacity or about 12 people at one time two afternoons a week. Photocopiers and printers are open to the public and computers and bathrooms are not available so folks don’t hang out too long.  There will be installed air purifiers, air filters in the HVAC system and hand sanitizer, and you must wear a mask inside at all times.

The Lake County Public Health officer has reported to the regular Board of Supervisors meeting on the vaccine rollout. Dr. Gary Pace says so far, so good and told Supervisors the state was going to help, by sending personnel to staff vaccination clinics. It was the first Supervisors meeting in some time with members of the public allowed in person. It’s because the county’s now in the Red Tier. Some were still on Zoom, as was one supervisor. Dr. Pace says case numbers of COVID19 continue going down. The positivity rate is now at 1.7 percent, the lowest since the start of the pandemic.

A North Coast legislator is a new dad. Senator Mike McGuire, who covers Lake, Trinity and Mendocino Counties, and his wife, have brought their first child into the world. On Sunday, McGuire’s wife Erika gave birth to a baby boy. McGuire posted on Facebook that his son was healthy, happy and nursing like a champ. He also said they’re sleep deprived. McGuire represents the Second Senate District.

Four people are needed by Lake County to be on the new committee just created to plan community visioning forums to promote tolerance, respect, equity and inclusion. It comes after the Board of Supervisors, who each read a provision from the proclamation that their upmost priority would be to promote tolerance, respect, equity and inclusion. The vote was unanimous. The board is working on listening sessions for the public now. The four volunteers will be tasked with making sure the forums are inclusive and effective.

Looking ahead to a plan for affordable housing in Calif. as state lawmakers work on ways to help those at risk of homelessness, especially now during the pandemic. The state is in need of nearly 2 million new housing units within 4 years, but the Dept. of Housing and Community Development says so far there are only about 80,000 being built each year as the amount of shelterless individuals in the state was at over 161,000 before COVID-19. Housing  Calif. is working on a 10-year strategy which they’re releasing to the public tomorrow, saying it goes beyond bills in the Legislature, and would help remove any obstacles to get construction going in places with little or no union labor.

The Mendocino County Public Health Officer says there’s no evidence, so far, of any known Covid-19 variants locally, but there have only been two tests conducted. The Daily Journal reports Dr. Andy Coren told the Board of Supervisors yesterday that the county cannot yet automatically have tests for variants, that they need to be manually sent with that intention. He also told Supervisors since schools are reopening, there’s been a slight increase in new cases, that were connected to those associated with schools, both teachers and students. As far as the vaccine goes, Dr. Coren says, there’s not enough for first doses this week, so they’re only doing second doses at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley after they secured doses from a sister hospital in (Los Angeles) last week for the clinic.

A man from Ukiah’s been killed in a solo car crash on Hwy 23. The CHP reports the man was in a Mazda Miata convertible on the highway Sunday when he went over the double yellow lines for some unknown reason near Mile Marker 12.75, then traveled back into his lane, then left the road, hit a dirt embankment and overturned, landing on its roof. He’s been identified as 80 year old Herbert Elmore Henrickson of Ukiah. The CHP reports they’re still investigating, and said it was unclear whether drugs or alcohol were involved.

After last year’s historic August Complex Fire, Mendocino National Forest staff is having a town hall on their current forest land management strategy. The fire was started by lightning and burned an astounding 1,032,648 acres from Aug. 16 through Nov. 12 across several counties. It’s the first Gigafire the state has ever had, the largest in California’s recorded history. Inside the Mendocino National Forest, the fire burned more than 612,000 of the forest’s 913,300 acres. Forestry workers have a phased approach to help the forest land recover, including taking out dead trees, thinning concentrations of more dead trees so there are no other severe wildfires, replant, then assess watersheds for further restoration.

The meeting will be available online next Thursday from 4-6pm through Microsoft Teams (http://bit.ly/MendoTeamsMeeting) or by calling 202-650-0123. Presenter slides will only be visible to online attendees.

Meeting attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions about the forest’s strategy as well as the Plaskett-Keller Project. The virtual meeting will be recorded and posted on the forest’s August Complex Restoration webpage at http://bit.ly/AugustComplexRestoration.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors has unanimously agreed they will make “Promoting Tolerance, Respect, Equity and Inclusion” among their utmost priorities. Each supervisor read part of the new Proclamation, and affirmed they were committed to have Community Visioning Forums to come up with priorities in the categories to “build bridges, where there may be walls; foster tolerance, respect, understanding, equity and inclusion; promote non-violence and non-violent conflict resolution; focus resources on underlying causes and conditions that lead to inequitable resource and justice distribution; and find relevant solutions for any social injustices, as they may come to light. They’re now coming up with listening sessions and are looking for four community members to help ensure they are inclusive and effective.

Two people in a travel trailer in Ukiah have been arrested for burglary. The Lake County Sheriff’s Dept. say they got a call from Ukiah police about a possible burglary where someone was ripped off in Lucerne. Deputies reported to the travel trailer and found John Buckhanan and Rochelle Slaybaugh. Buckhanan had a felony arrest warrant from Stanislaus County for stolen property, so he was arrested. They also found stolen items in the travel trailer from a rip off in Stanislaus County. They found tools too, stolen from the victim in Ukiah. They also found a short-barreled shotgun, a handgun, and ammo for various guns, miscellaneous rifle parts, burglary tools, and Heroin and Meth. Buckhanan was charged with various crimes and Slaybaugh for being under the influence. More charges could be coming.

People are needed to sit on the 2021/2022 Mendocino County Civil Grand Jury. Applications are being accepted at Superior Court for consideration. The Presiding Judge of the Civil Grand Jury made the announcement. The application deadline is Friday, May 28th. Then the Grand Jury will be sworn in at the end of June. They will have 19 members for one year. They’re tasked with investigating the operations of county, city and district governments; they provide civil oversight of local government departments and agencies; and respond to citizen complaints. They set their own agenda and meeting schedule. Jurors get paid $25 per full panel meeting, $10 per committee meeting and committee attendance at public meetings. They also get their mileage reimbursed at the current County of Mendocino rate.

A man in Fort Bragg has been arrested after reports of a teenager being raped. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office reports getting a call last Tuesday from the mother of a 16 year-old girl who said her daughter was raped a day before. Apparently she was given booze, got too drunk to provide consent and was sexually assaulted. Police served a search warrant at a home and found Robert Devito Jr. and arrested him. He’s charged with rape of an intoxicated person, oral copulation of an intoxicated person and statutory rape of a person with more than a 3-year age difference. He was being held on $100,000.00 bail and the Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who may know anything about this incident or other incidents involving Devito to call them.

The Mendocino County Public Health Dept. reports over 40 percent of adults in the county have had at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, and almost 20 percent have had both or are fully vaccinated. The Public Health Officer, Dr. Andy Coren said about a quarter of the eligible population has been given at least one shot. In Ukiah, officials say the vaccine supply is coming slower than expected, so they’re focusing on the second dose in the county. The Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been given to inmates and will also be directed toward the homeless since it’s just a single dose.  So far there have been 3,920 cases and 46 deaths in Mendocino County.  There are currently 2 people in the hospital, one in the ICU.

Vaccine eligibility is starting to loosen in Calif. Some counties are filling appointments by allowing those 50 and older with or without underlying health conditions to get the vaccine. That’s happening in Contra Costa County as of yesterday. And in Solano County where they had open appointments. But in the Bay Area the eligibility is restricted to residents 65 or older, people 16-64 with disabilities and certain health conditions and employees in certain industries, especially schools, in healthcare and public facing jobs. The last week there have been millions more who have become eligible, but there’s still not enough supply to meet the demand.

The legislature is considering a new rule to end a distinction in language outlining spousal rape as opposed to other forms of sexual assault. Twin bills are being considered on the matter, that would go against what the law is now, that anyone convicted of spousal rape can be eligible for probation instead of prison or jail, and they might not have to register as a sex offender, but if it’s rape of another kind, they would have to register. So spousal rape is not treated as harshly, according to the author of one of the bills, Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia who says, “Rape is rape, regardless of marital status.” California is one of less than a dozen states still drawing a line between spousal rape and rape.

There are issues once again with the state’s unemployment benefits department. The Employment Development Dept.’s website reports “intermittent issues” which has meant it’s taking longer to certify those applying and others to continue to get their benefits. Those who get benefits have to sign in every couple of weeks. On Sunday, there were problems logging in. The agency reports anyone unable to certify were told to “check back a little later.” But they reported other areas of the website worked fine.

Former Democratic Governor Gray Davis who was recalled is speaking out about Gov. Gavin Newsom and the intended recall against him. Davis interviewed by New York Magazine said there was a communication problem when he was recalled regarding the electricity crisis at the turn of the millennium which led to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger unseating him. He says voters should forgive Newsom for his French Laundry dinner debacle, saying you get one pass. And that Newsom fessed up immediately and admitted his error in judgment. There are already 3 challengers to Newsom if the recall gets onto a ballot. He’s started a PAC to raise money to fight it.

Museums in Lake County are reopening after being closed for months due to public health restrictions related to the pandemic. So the Historic Courthouse Museum in Lakeport, the Schoolhouse Museum in Lower Lake and the Gibson Museum in Middletown are all reopening to the public today. They will of course have public safety guidelines in place like masks needing to be worn all the time and social distancing required. The museums closed when the county entered the purple tier. But now that the county moved to the red tier, various businesses were able to reopen. With that the museums will be open weekends, from Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Call boxes are being renovated in Lake County. Lake Co News reports the Lake Area Planning Council has approved upgrades. They’re the local entity that maintains the county’s call boxes. Most apparently work thru cellular service, but the service provider has changed its technology from 3G to 4G. And since the insides of the callboxes can only work with 3G, the systems need upgrading or they may not work at all. So they’re working with the cell provider and technicians to make it happen. There’s a short supply of the new radios though, so it’s taking a minute for the upgrades to happen. They’ll be monitoring for any out of service call boxes, and ask the public to report them too.

The Zogg Fire that broke out in Shasta County last year has been officially traced back to a tree hit by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. equipment. The fire started last Sept. 27th and blackened more than 56,300 acres, burned over 200 structures and killed four people. The fire burned in both Shasta and Tehama counties. Cal Fire says their investigation showed a pine tree contacted electrical distribution lines owned and operated by PG&E. The utility company has issued a statement saying it’s tragic and they recognize, “nothing can heal the hearts of those who have lost so much”. They also say they have not seen the report and look forward to reviewing it. The company also says they filed an Electric Incident Report with the California Public Utilities Commission a couple weeks after the fire burned. The Cal Fire report has been sent to the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office.

The Lake County Public Health Office has an update on vaccinations. The Public Health Officer, Dr. Gary Pace says community members have been through a really difficult time and is spreading the word about the benefit of getting immunized against the virus. Dr. Pace says nearly 30% of Lake County residents have gotten their first dose and more than 50% of the highest risk group, those 75 and older.  He says the county is expecting more vaccines soon so more people will become eligible. And the more people who get vaccinated, the faster things can get back to normal times. There have been no infections at any of the three nursing homes since the vaccinations started. There have been no serious reactions to the vaccine reported in Lake County. And all of the approved vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are being administered and proven to be very safe. 

New Vaccination Clinic Schedule Starts Monday (3/22)

  • Mondays 10am-4pm at Lakeport Auto Movies (52 Soda Bay Road, Lakeport)
  • Tuesdays-Thursdays 10am-4pm at Redbud Park (14655 Lakeshore Drive, Clearlake)

 Visit https://myturn.ca.gov to Schedule Your Vaccination Appointment

The Mendocino County Deputy Health Officer and former fulltime Public Health Director, Dr. Noemi Doohan, has been appointed to be the co-chair of the Health Equity Committee for the California Conference of Local Health Officers (CCLHO). The Conference advises the state Department of Public Health and other state health agencies on all public health matters. Dr. Doohan says it’s her goal to make sure health equity is strongly represented in state public health policies. The County’s current Public Health Officer, Dr. Andy Coren congratulated Doohan and says she’ll bring the needs and perspectives of rural counties forward, while continuing her long standing advocacy and support of health equity throughout California with an awareness for the diversity of needs of counties such as Mendocino.  

Lake County public offices are reopening to the public. The Public Health Office working with the county is allowing more in person services starting today. The county is finally in the Red Tier after almost 4 months in purple. They ask that you try to call first before showing up to be sure you are sent to the right person. Plus the county is understaffed due to health and safety protocols, so appointments may be required to meet some customer needs.  You should be able to get in touch with all county health departments Monday-Friday from 8am – 5pm. The in person hours start April 2nd. They ask that you follow public health guidelines by wearing a face covering, maintain six feet away from others, and sanitize hands frequently.

A woman reported missing from Fort Bragg last November is still gone. Police put out a statement over the weekend about the disappearance of Brittany Adkins last fall and say she had not been in contact with family members for about six months. They say she had been living in the Fort Bragg area for about a year and has no physical address or telephone number at the moment. She’s been added to the Missing and Unidentified Persons System (MUPS). As of last week she was officially still considered missing. The police department reports interviewing all of Adkin’s known family members, friends and associates. They say she may be with someone name Forest.  She’s described as White, 5’ 9”, 165 pounds with brown hair and green eyes. She has a tattoo of a fairy on her right back shoulder blade.

The Red Abalone Season has been canceled and won’t be happening for some time. The Calif. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife closed the fishery until April of 2026 as red abalone stocks are impacted by large scale die offs due to the collapse of the bull kelp forest, the mollusk’s main food source. The Fish and Game Commission extended the closure at their meeting in December for five more years after a closure in 2017 due to the red abalone populations dying from environmental stressors. They noted the die off from a heatwave and El Niño in 2014-2016, the local extinction of sunflower sea stars due to disease and a population expansion of purple sea urchins. That meant little kelp and more starvation and mass mortalities of abalone, which need kelp to survive.

It was unanimous, the Clearlake City Council voted to approve new five-year contracts and salary bumps for the Police Chief and City Manager. Chief Andrew White and Manager Alan Flora both got 7.5% salary increases and 3% increases each year starting in July of 2022. Flora has been the city manager for one year in a two year contract and will now make $165,432. The Chief is making $152,364 and has been the police chief for Clearlake nearly three years. Besides them, the finance director position is getting more money to bring in more applicants. The police chief has been the acting finance director parttime. So whoever gets the position permanently will make between $93,000 to 119,000.

Vaccines are being administered across jails and prisons in the state without restrictions. So it doesn’t matter the health or age of inmates under new guidelines by the Department of Public Health, updated last week. Californians in any congregate residential setting can be vaccinated now, that includes jails, prisons, immigration detention centers, behavioral health facilities and homeless shelters. There have been severe outbreaks at times in the state prison system. Over 2,200 inmates at San Quentin got infected over the summer. 28 inmates died.  Over 49,000 cases have been reported in California prisons. The state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says they’re prioritizing vaccine distribution, offering it to all corrections employees and inmates. As of last Sunday, the 14th, over 26,000 corrections staff and almost 43,000 inmates had at least one dose.

All branches of the Lake County Library are opening. As of tomorrow you can go in for a browse, but wear a mask and remember to practice social distancing. There will be hand sanitizer throughout the building. The staff says they’ll monitor the amount of people inside, so they don’t go over capacity per the state’s current public health guidelines. They’re also asking people visiting to limit the amount of time they’re inside so others can get in too. They’re offering access to computers and internet with proper social distancing. The library has been open but for pickup, contactless service. And they reported digital checkouts were up over 60 percent compared to the year before.
Learn more about the Lake County Library at http://library.lakecountyca.gov.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors is getting back to hybrid, but in person participation from community members. Starting with tomorrow morning’s meeting, since the county’s currently in the Red Tier, the board will have Zoom and in person participation at board chambers in the Lake County Courthouse. They’ll start off like every week with their weekly COVID19 update from the Public Health Officer, Dr. Gary Pace. Later in the meeting they’ll get a report from the Lake County Tourism Improvement District on what they’ve been up to this past year and consider an agreement between the county and Visit Lake County, California for administration services at a cost of $78,000.

The Governor’s announced every adult in the state will be able to get vaccinated before summer. Gov. Newsom announced last Friday residents should be able to get their COVID-19 vaccination appointment before the end of next month, that is about when the federal government said all adult’s getting vaccinated before May 1st. The Gov. made the announcement Friday along with more vaccine doses on the way. He says before the end of April, the state can totally get rid of the eligible tiers as everybody “across the spectrum” will be able to get it because of an exponential increase in the amount of supply. Right now those over 65, people with severe medical conditions and employees in certain sectors including food, education and health care are eligible.

The CDC put out new guidance on social distancing in classrooms and Calif. is following the advice. Children can sit 3 feet apart instead of 6 if they’re not in a high risk area. The announcement came over the weekend. The desks also don’t need plastic barriers. Students and teachers must wear masks. It’s up to individual school districts what they do. Younger children in low risk communities can be 3 feet apart, but older kids, where spread has been more likely, still need to be six feet apart. But in Los Angeles, the school superintendent said it won’t change how they reopen. The positivity rate across the state the last seven days has been under 2 percent.