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DA’s and Public Defenders are planning to strike in Mendocino County. The Mendocino County Public Attorneys Association negotiating a new deal with the Board of Supervisors since last fall, their contract ended this past January. The union says it made an offer to the county’s negotiating lawyer and got no response until last month, but negotiations have mostly gone nowhere. The union says while the board gave itself a 17 percent raise last year, public servants continue to struggle as the county continues to pay out of market rates, 35-45 percent less than comparable markets. The union says it thinks they’re at an impasse. The union says the latest offer was for 4% more, and that’s unacceptable.

Police have arrested a man in Fort Bragg after a couple of shootings they say were to lure young people. Police say the shootings July 10th and 11th didn’t hurt anybody, but some buildings were hit. Police collected evidence there and went around the neighborhood looking for probationers and parolees with possible gang ties. They arrested one person for a parole violation who they say may be involved in six shootings since March. They say 32 year old Harry Mila was trying to get youngsters to engage with him in gang-like behavior and warn if you see him around your kids, it’s not good.

A wildfire we told you about in Napa is fully contained. The Canyon Fire was 100% contained yesterday after breaking out Monday afternoon on Wragg Cyn Rd and Hwy 128 at Lake Berryessa. Another fire, the Marshview fire in Solano County started yesterday on I-680 and Marshview Rd. near Cordelia. The two fires together burned 64 acres. The two fires are under investigation.

Nuisance vehicles in Fort Bragg are going to be pulled, but there’s still no ordinance on public camping. The City Council said yes to the first reading of the “nuisance vehicles” ordinance in order to remove cars from city streets. Vehicles abandoned, unregistered and inoperable or used for storage or camping can be cited. And the council tabled a vote to ban most camping in town, and ban sleeping in cars in the Central Business District, and other rules. But the Mayor pulled it from the agenda saying they’d return to it again in the future.

A packed Lakeport School Board meeting with parents, students and others discussing what should be done with leftover bond money. There’s more than 1.3 million dollars left over in the fund. The Record Bee reports some speaking wanted a pool, or others wanted a fitness center. One estimate for a new pool came in at just under 2 million, that was without locker rooms and American Disabilities Act accessibility bathrooms. Some at the meeting complained there could be no swim team without a pool, and others simply wanted air conditioning added to the gymnasium. The board president speaking to the standing room only crowd saying the discussion on air conditioning should be talked about, but later. The board also discussed their budget and the possibility of laying off some people, including a high school counselor, computer tech, crossing guard, and special education para-professional.  

The three investor owned utility companies in Calif. have all said they’d be open to putting money into a new fund to cover the costs of future wildfire disasters associated with their equipment. San Diego Gas & Electric already agreed to put money into the $10.5 billion dollar fund and Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric agreed yesterday. It’s not agreed yet what each will put up yet, because rules for the plan it depends on the company’s individual risk of catastrophic wildfire and prior history with safety. P,G&E is reportedly paying more than the others, but only after it gets out of bankruptcy. And San Diego Gas & Electric will pay the least.

 

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More than a dozen local governments in Northern California have agreed to settle with PG&E after their equipment was blamed for starting fires. The settlements with government bodies including Paradise and Butte County worth up to $1 billion have to be approved by the judge overseeing the Pacific Gas & Electric bankruptcy case. A mediator reportedly helped negotiate the deal which would give the town of Paradise $270 million, $252 million for Butte County, and $47.5 million for the Paradise Recreation and Parks District. The deal after several days of mediation in San Francisco with a retired Judge and 14 public entities who had claims from the 2015 Butte Fire, the 2017 North Bay Fires and the 2018 Camp Fire.

PG&E’s plan to cut power during fire weather events could leave Ukiah in the dark too. The city has its own Electric company, but as the Daily Journal reports the energy is delivered over high voltage transmission lines used jointly by several California utilities. So the “Public Safety Power Shutoffs” resulting in “high-risk transmission lines” being turned off could mean folks are in the dark in Ukiah too. This will be addressed at the City Council meeting tonight.  The newspaper reports city staff noting they will work hard to restore electrical services for customers as quickly as possible, but also note that customers should prepare for no power for up to 48 hours at a time.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors hearing about code enforcement from the Department of Planning and Building Services. Improvements to that department have mean less complaints than last year. The Daily Journal reports violation notices are also on the decline year over year. There are a couple hundred open code enforcement cases, mostly due to unpermitted construction and grading, cannabis complaints, unauthorized development, and problems with structures.

Good news for a couple of high school teams from Ukiah who went to a National Competition for underwater robotics. The teams represented Northern Calif. at the SeaPerch Challenge in Maryland. The “Torque Team” was 7th and “H2Bros” finished 29th out of 84 high school teams. The program is to build Remotely Operated Vehicles out of a kit and those who win have to be top of their game in physics, engineering and math. The Daily Journal reports it’s Ukiah High’s third year in a row to go to Nationals.

A greenlight in Lakeport for the city to declare anyone with dry weeds, brush and other vegetation declared a public nuisance. The City Council tells city staff to find a way to encourage the hazards be removed using current citation procedures to get folks to comply. It’s all to reduce the risk of wildfires. The Lakeport Fire Protection District putting pressure on property owners to get rid of the vegetation off vacant and large lots, sending notices last month with a June 1st deadline to get the weeds and brush removed. The city then inspected the properties to see if they were in compliance and found about 100 were not, but there were also late season rains, which added more weeds.

The Teacher of the Year has been named in Lake County. An education specialist and resource teacher from Mountain Vista Middle School, Kerry Smith ets the honor. The school principal says Smith is “positive, funny, kind, exciting, friendly and helpful”. She also was touted for her teaching skills for students who get independent education plans. She teaches grades 6-8, working with math teachers and general education students struggling with math. Smith and other Teachers will be honored in October at an Excellence in Education Awards Dinner in Lakeport.

The Lake County Public Works director has been names as the interim Water Resources director. The Board of Supervisors has named Scott De Leon as interim Water Resources director. Lake Co News reports the board announced De Leon accepted the appointment until there’s a full recruitment for the job. The last Water Resources director, David Cowan is moving back to his home state of Texas to be the watershed manager, where he says he can be closer to his grandkids.

A kidney doctor in Lakeport has lost his license due to a sex assault case. Lake Co News reports the Medical Board of California revoked Dr. Mohamad Moutaz Almawaldi’s license last week after he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of sexual battery. He got three years probation and he has to register as a sex offender, that’s what led to the loss of his license. It all goes back to the case from August 2017 where a former employee of Almawaldi’s says he forcefully kissed her and pulled down her shirt. He was arrested last year in the case and later indicted. The case was then reported to the Medical Board of California.

Some fire starts in the Mendocino National Forest after a recent lightning storm in the Yolla Bolly Wilderness. Lake Co News reports the fire was spotted Monday from the Anthony Peak Lookout. It has been named the East Fire and was reported about 43 miles west of Red Bluff and charred 40 acres so far. Smokejumpers were assigned to the fire which is burning in the Yellow fire scar from back in 2008. Another fire’s being monitored, the Haynes fire.

The Gov. has apologized to California Native American Peoples for violence, mistreatment and neglect against them over many years. Gov. Newsom has also announced he’s started the Truth and Healing Council for Native Americans to tell their side of events between the state and tribes. Newsom says the state has to “reckon with our dark history” after Native Americans suffered violence, discrimination and exploitation which had been sanctioned by the state over many years.  The Governor’s new council will be led and convened by his tribal advisor. There will also be representatives from tribes, state and local agencies and other relevant non-governmental stakeholders.

A new chief has been named for the Russian River Fire Protection District. Sonoma County Fire Chief Mark Heine of Windsor will take over, managing 11 firefighters who work on about 20 square miles along the Russian River between Forestville and Monte Rio. The same Chief was named for Windsor and Rincon Valley, then added the Bennett Valley and Mountain fire agencies. The four agencies all consolidated and known now as the Sonoma County Fire District. The Russian River district has not had a chief since the end of 2017, when the last Chief Max Ming was fired without public explanation.

A man from Potter Valley has been killed after a solo car crash on the 101 north of the Sonoma County line. The CHP reports the man in his mid 40’s, was headed north towards Mendocino County yesterday afternoon around 5:30 at about 80 mph then he lost control of his pickup, skidding off the road, across the lanes again, then hit a rock and rolled over. His truck then landed back right side up on the highway. But he was found dead inside the truck without a seatbelt on. Nobody else was with him at the time. CHP investigating why the crash happened.

The latest count of homelessness in Butte County shows a spike, because of the Camp Fire, but other reasons too. The spring count in the latest point in time report released Monday shows homelessness up by 16 percent. The report shows the Camp Fire pushed many into homelessness, some staying in FEMA mobile homes and others even sleeping in cars, on the street or in a park. The homeless count on March 28th is a national survey required by all local municipalities in order to get money from the fed. It’s conducted by local Continuum of Care agencies. Those in Butte County found without shelter because of the Camp Fire, never homeless before, some said they had been in the past.

A new report by UC Berkeley shows many Californians don’t know how the state should tackle the housing shortage. The report by the college’s Institute of Governmental Studies shows 47 percent of Californians disagree on how to handle the situation, but in the Bay Area the majority said the state should get more involved. There’s a bill in the state Senate currently demanding cities build more housing and allow for more density. State planners say the state has a housing deficit of 3.5 million units because cities are not putting in more housing to meet state guidelines. Some in the Berkeley study said they thought the state should offer housing subsidies to help low- and moderate-income homebuyers. Others said there should be more multi-family development and still more said more rent control should be approved. Others say none of that would even solve the problem.

 

A lively meeting with representatives from the United States Navy regarding military testing and training set for the fall of next year. Navy officials at Dana Gray Elementary School last Friday with a packed room, mostly folks not happy about the plan off the north coast. The meeting set up where officials were one on one with attendees, which the Advocate reports, was not a popular format. But some broke off into a large group, peppering officials with questions across the room. The meeting about how ocean animals might be affected by the training and testing. Some asked about whales washing up dead in the U-K, but it’s not known why the animals died. And the vice-chair of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors brought a letter from the board, in opposition of the testing.

Send comments through June 12th to nwtteis.com or by mail to:

Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest

Attention: NWTT Supplemental EIS/OEIS Project Manager

3730 N. Charles Porter Ave.

Building 385, Admin, Room 216

Oak Harbor, WA 98278-3500

The City of Ukiah will stop chalking the tires of cars parked in certain areas. It comes after the city of Saginaw, Michigan in court about chalking tires, had the practice ruled unconstitutional. In Ukiah there’s only one parking enforcement officer chalking tires downtown and handing out tickets. The city reportedly spends $60,000 a year on the fines and penalties and work associated with chalking and ticketing downtown. Chalking is supposed to stop next year after the city council decided to use parking meters downtown instead. The Daily Journal reports the city’s aware of the Saginaw case, and are investigating if that could be a thing in Calif. eventually too.

A patch of Riverside Park has burned due to a campfire. Several burned logs and trees near the Russian River reported by park goers April 23rd. Staffers with the City of Ukiah went to the park to investigate the area which they reported was about 200-square-feet in size. The Fire Authority says they think the fire began from someone cooking or warming themselves and it probably spread in the middle of the night.

The new county budget a topic of discussion with the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors this week. The latest quarterly budget report discussion ahead of budget hearings June 4th and 5th. The Daily Journal reports the presentation showed some departments over budget, including the County Counsel, Economic Development Dept., Court Collections, Human Resources, Public Defenders, Alternate Defender, Sheriff-Coroner, County Jail, and Animal Care. But staff at the meeting saying there’s money to cover the overages. The County CEO says even though some departments are projected to go over budget, staff will help those departments figure out how to lower costs.

A woman from Ukiah lost on Cow Mountain after a hike, spends the night there. The Sheriff’s Office reports the 56-year-old is a “well-known and avid hiker” who went out on Sunday afternoon near the gun range on Cow Mountain and got lost in the dark. Deputies went out looking for her. She says she could hear them, but couldn’t signal them or get thru some thick foliage to get to them. So she spent the night out there and Monday morning Search and Rescue teams went out, but she had already made it out at first light. The Sheriff’s office reminding to always have emergency supplies with you. The same morning, they helped a couple who got stuck in the snow, driving thru the Mendocino National Forest, reminding folks to check the forecast before heading out.

PG&E reports on their new approach to fire season with a Wildland Fire Mitigation Plan. A representative from the utility company with a presentation for the Lakeport City Council Tuesday saying there are multiple projects they’re working on including monitoring wildfire risk at an operations center in real-time. He says they’re installing as many as 1,300 weather stations before 2022, Lake County has four of them. The company also helping to install about 600 high-definition cameras. Lake County got one of the cameras.

The Lakeport City Council says yes to a nearly $200,000 makeover of City Hall. They’re working to put in American Disability Act-compliant access for the administration and finance payment counter, remodeling some offices in the planning department and making room for more storage in the council chambers. Bridges Construction came in at more than the allotted amount but amended their bid after talking with the city engineer. They were the lowest and only bidder.

The Gov. releases his latest budget proposal with another surplus in the budget. The last budget in January carved out more money for schools, childcare, affordable housing, health care, wildfire prevention and paid some pension debt. The budget bill is passed in June each year. He is proposing no more sales tax on diapers and feminine products, increasing a state tax credit for low-income families with young children, adding more childcare money and two weeks of paid family leave for any parent of a newborn to the six already in place. No word how the state will cover that.

The Mayor Clearlake Nick Bennett retiring as he moves out of state due to health reasons. Lake Co News reports Bennett made the announcement last night at the end of the city council meeting. They were working on commercial cannabis rules and equipment needs for the Public Works Department, then he announced it would be his last meeting as he was leaving Lake County this Sunday. He’s served on the council since 2016. A special meeting called for Monday to talk about how to fill the seat.

A man from Southern California exposed to asbestos in Ukiah has won $3 million dollars in court. 80-year-old Ervan Groves sued D.W. Nicholson Corp., who did work at Masonite Corp. where he worked from 1964-1999. He has terminal cancer he says was caused by asbestos exposure after D.W. Nicholson installed mechanical, electrical and piping equipment at Masonite. His lawyer says D.W. Nicholson never told Masonite employees they might have been exposed to asbestos, then didn’t clean up the asbestos they left behind.

The U.S. government once again trying to get oil and gas drilling leases approved on wide swaths of federal land off-limits since environmentalists sued in 2013. The Press Democrat reports the Bureau of Land Management finishing the plan for oil and gas leases on as much as 800,000 acres of the Central Valley and Central Coast. They also recently finished a draft plan for drilling on more than 1 million acres around Bakersfield. Environmentalists sued the Obama administration looking for new drilling and now criticizing the latest efforts. The BLM says their plan would be for as many as 75 new wells drilled over the next 20 years with a small amount of that as fracking.

The latest state budget shows the legal marijuana market is not paying the state what was anticipated. The Newsom administration reportedly revising what it expects to collect from cannabis tax revenue through June 2020. The state expecting $223 million less than projections last quarter. The Press Democrat reports that means there was slower-than-expected marijuana sales due to a still thriving black market and state regulators playing catch up with demand for licensing. But the Gov. says he thinks it’s going to take five to seven years for the legal market to reach its potential.

The Mendocino Historical Review Board is meeting without their Chairman, who recently resigned in protest. The Mendocino Beacon reports the former chair John Simonich resigned April 12th in a letter with multiple complaints including a lack of support from the Planning and Building Dept. Apparently it’s nothing new though, folks complaining about the support before and recent increases in project fees. The Director of the Planning and Building Dept saying they’re not going to prevent board members from places items on the agenda, which are currently in review and might have delayed the agenda being flushed out.

Talks about switching to renewable energy and a debt management policy on the agenda of the Mendocino City Community Services District. Directors looking over the proposed 2019/20 budget last week and talked renewable energy, the debt management policy after bids came in for the treatment plant upgrade. They also discussed granny unit fees. The proposed budget for the next Fiscal Year at nearly $836,000, about $9,200 more than last year due to higher wages, retirement costs, fuel and permitting fees, insurance and more. The board considering switching from PG&E to the Sonoma Clean Power Greenfield Program which will cost a couple grand more a year.

A dead child reportedly found at McKinleyville High School. Reporter Kym Kemp with details after a scanner report that a janitor found a juvenile’s body on the school’s quad. The news site says it had not yet independently verified the report. The scanner reporting police, fire and medical personnel had reported to the scene along with the coroner. Parents reported getting emails and auto calls the school would be closed today. The school’s Facebook page did however verify, that school was indeed closed.

The Gov. has announced a withdrawal of permit applications from his predecessor’s administration for a double tunnel water project. Gov. Jerry Brown’s $19 billion tunnel project under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. As we reported earlier, Gov. Newsom’s administration withdrawing permits and instead going for a much smaller project with one tunnel for which the administration wants to start environmental studies on. The Natural Resources Secretary releasing a statement saying the smaller project will help build California’s water supply resilience.

Heavy winter rains great for the drought and snowpack. The latest test of the Sierra Nevada, this season’s final snow survey, shows nearly double amount of snow we normally get this time of year. Surveyors with the Department of Water Resources out yesterday morning, measuring almost 28 inches of water. That’s around 188 percent of the historical annual average for the area. The Water Resource Dept. director says cities and farms will be getting ample water supplies this summer.

The latest report on cleanup efforts for several fires at the end of last year. The State’s Consolidated Debris Removal Program reports pulling more than 900,000 tons of debris out of damaged properties due to the Camp, Woolsey and Hill Fires. The Camp Fire Debris alone was 600,000 tons so far. They’ve cleared almost 1,900 sites from the fire impacted area as of May 1st. They report clearing an average of 100 properties per day. They’ve got Household Hazardous Waste out of several thousand sites, part of Phase II of their work. They’ll continue as weather and safety conditions allow.

 

A home burns in a fire in Fort Bragg. It happened April 23rd in the 23000 block of Highway 1 around 9 p.m. The fire reportedly started in an out-building then spread to the two-story house which was destroyed. Firefighters protecting the area around the home, allowing the house to burn as the people who owned the home watched. The Advocate newspaper reports the outbuilding, where it started, also burned to the ground. The paper reports firefighters couldn’t contain and cool the house fire after it went through the roof, finding the home would be a total loss. Fire officials say the fire started due to a portable generator being used for electricity which sparked.

The Board of Directors of the Mendocino Coast District Hospital votes on revising their request for health care organizations to partner with the hospital or for a total buy out. There are five health care organizations reportedly interested in a purchase or partnership. A board member reports an attorney reported they thought the board had violated the Brown Act regarding their decision to stem the financial problems at the hospital. The Interim Chief Executive Officer says it was the will of the board to send out requests for proposals, after having individual discussions with board members.

The Fort Bragg City Council gives the go-ahead for the Mendocino County Digital Infrastructure Plan to be approved. The plan covers the years 2019-2025, looking to get high-speed internet infrastructure at 95 percent by 2025 in the county. The Economic Development and Financing Corporation is working on getting fiber technology to remote areas in the county which can be done as fast as two to five years. So the City Council is putting language in their resolution on the matter to prioritize burying fiber underground instead of fixed wireless due to potential unknown health effects caused by wireless have a discussion.

It’s official, tomorrow is Star Wars Day. It’s May 4th, so you can officially use the phrase May the 4th Be With You! It’s all in honor of the new Disneyland theme park set that’s opening after Memorial Day. Democratic Assemblyman Tom Daly authoring the bill in support of what he says is the biggest single-site expansion in Disney’s history. It’ll bring in several hundred permanent jobs and is expected to pull as much as $14 million in tax revenue for the city of Anaheim every year.

A major loss for PG&E due to wildfires. The latest earnings report for the giant utility company for the first quarter of the year. The first-quarter profits down 69 percent while the company faces massive claims against it due to wildfires in 2017 & 18 and its recent bankruptcy case. The company reports $136 million, as opposed to $442 million the first quarter of last year. The company blames their losses because they have to now inspect their entire electrical system. And due to the rising costs of cleaning up and making repairs after the Camp Fire in Butte County. PG& E reported just over $4 billion in the first quarter. It’s believed the fire was caused by the utility company’s equipment.

A $10,000 grant has been awarded to the Middletown area from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Challenge America grant to pay for workshops for outdoor sculptures in Middletown. The money going to EcoArts of Lake County or the Middletown Art Center. The Director of the Center says they’re thrilled for the recognition which goes to support projects in underserved populations, places where people don’t always get to experience art because of geography, ethnicity, economics or disability. The project known as “Locus” features sculptures at Middletown Trailside Park and Rabbit Hill, which were both blackened by the Valley Fire. For more info: visit www.MiddletownArtCenter.org/Locus.

People are complaining about an expanding homeless camp in Ukiah. The Daily Journal reports the encampment at the corner of South State Street and Observatory Avenue leading to multiple complaints to police. One resident of the city telling the newspaper, it was just a tiny four by six area, but now it looks like a mini-apartment, saying she’s called police to see it’s now about 20 feet long now, calling it a health risk. Police tell the newspaper there were no criminal violations and that it’s on private property where the property owners are allowing them to stay, and it’s not in a public right of way. The Chairman of the Ukiah Planning Commission also complaining about the encampment and the city’s response at the February meeting of the commission.

Storm drains being worked on in the City of Ukiah after massive rains this winter. Crews out at South Orchard Avenue. The project should be done today. After a storm drain stopped working on Peach Street, crews had to dig it up and found another one in disrepair that needed replacing. It’s all ahead of repaving planned from East Gobbi to Ford Street. It was an urgency item on the City Council’s agenda last month for an expenditure of nearly $270,000.

After putting an ordinance in place against rental housing price gouging in Lake County, the measure’s rescinded. The Lake County Board of Supervisors put the measure in place after the October 2017 Sulphur Fire. They say it worked and the District Attorney’s Office didn’t prosecute anyone for price gouging. This week the board canceled the ordinance so property owners can institute some modest price increases due to increasing costs. Lake Co News reports District 5 Supervisor Rob Brown wanted the ordinance rescinded so property owners could have increases for deferred maintenance and other costs.

As part of Governor Newsom’s direction to overhaul the state’s water delivery infrastructure, a state agency withdrawing permits for a project so it can be smaller. The California Department of Water Resources wants to take back the proposed permits for the so-called Water Fix project and start an environmental review instead for a single tunnel project through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. It’s reportedly needed to protect water supplies after sea-level rise and saltwater intrusion into the Delta.

[ category 94.5 K-Wine News]

A fire after a Sonoma State University student’s car bursts into flames. The Rancho Adobe fire Battalion Chief says the Volkswagen Jetta’s engine caught fire when the student started her car. At least four other cars were also damaged with what’s described as melting headlights and popping tires. Another car was also totaled and three were towed. The Chief says there was about $50,000 worth of damage after the fire. Firefighters dealing with spreading flames at the college. The student whose car first caught fire had apparently been in class all day and when she got into her car, an electrical issue started the fire. They also report a hood support arm, or strut, from the Jetta blew off the car, landing about 60 feet away.

A new report says there may be a heavy wildfire season along the West Coast this summer. This from the National Interagency Fire Center out of Boise, ID who reports most of the country will probably see a normal fire season thru August. But the report says in California, Washington and Oregon, it’s another story with major grass and fuels after heavy rain this winter. They say that has the potential to dry out thru the summer. And the Pacific Northwest is in a moderate drought, meaning there might be an early fire season in the Cascade Range and the Okanogan region.

[ category 94.5 K-Wine News]

All Crab fishing gear is being hauled to shore. Commercial fishermen have to grab their Dungeness crab traps, ropes, lines and nets a couple months early due to a settlement agreement between the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Center of Biological Diversity. The season is supposed to end officially April 15th so all gear has to be out of the ocean. It’s supposed to go to July, but a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity a couple years ago claims the state agency violated the Endangered Species Act and caused sea turtles and whales to get entangled in lines. And besides the early end to the season, some districts, south of Mendocino County and in Monterey Bay will have to end next season even earlier, April 1st, because they’re considered “hot spots for whales.”

The completed Mendocino Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance is headed to the Department of Planning and Building Services. It was a unanimous decision for the board of supervisors to amend the county code so the Planning Dept. will now oversee Cannabis permit processing. The county says this will help streamline the process just ahead of the next phase of the Cannabis Cultivation Application submission process April 1st. There are still 800 cannabis permit applications with the Agriculture Dept and many more are expected. The Mendocino County CEO Carmel Angelo says most of those working in the dept. will just move offices.

A community forum for the Ukiah Unified School District. The meeting tonight even though the schools superintendent says they normally don’t see a lot of people show up for the yearly event, they’re hoping to hear from “parents, staff, students and other community members” to brainstorm ideas to bolster student achievement. The school district has been trying to boost attendance and reading and math achievement. They’re also working on cracking down on vape use and bullying. The forum tonight at 5:30 p.m. at the UUSD office at 511 S. Orchard Ave.

A $3 million dollar loan for the Millview County Water District for well access. The loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development program so the water district can buy property for the access. The water district doesn’t own the water rights at four wells so they can’t service them. The money as a quote, “investment for infrastructure”. Previous loans in Mendocino County at as much as $35 million from the agency for homeownership and affordable apartments, business investments and re-lending programs to increase economic development and add support for improved infrastructure and community facilities.

Everyone agrees to pass a hazardous vegetation abatement ordinance in Lake County. The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously yesterday on the ordinance, so now it will go into effect in 30 days. It declares hazardous vegetation a “public nuisance” and part of a “preventative action plan” against any future wildfires in Lake County. It means property owners in unincorporated areas of the county get 30-day notices to get rid of any fire hazards on their land and if they don’t, it’s a misdemeanor, but it could mean daily recurring administrative fines and jail time.

The back and forth with PG& E on its plan to bonus some employees during its bankruptcy case as some fire victims are still in shelters. Objections in court yesterday after the utility company asked the bankruptcy court a couple of weeks ago to reward about 10,000 employees $235 million this year. The company already roundly criticized for a plan to bonus some for 2018, the year of the deadliest fire ever in Calif. history, which may or may not have been caused by PG&E equipment. The money could still be paid out in short term incentives. Lawyers for 3,500 wildfire victims are objecting. The trustee for the utility is requesting proof the incentives are essential and who is getting them, corporate insiders or rank-and-file workers.

Vaccinating kids may fall to state public health officials, not doctors, if lawmakers have their way. Legislation announced yesterday to allow state and county health officials to take away medical exemptions from doctors if they’re fraudulent or contradict federal immunization standards. Lawmakers say it’s needed because there are some doctors helping parents avoid vaccinations as there’s a near epidemic of measles outbreaks in New York, Washington and elsewhere. Some parents in Calif. though say the measure’s not needed because the state already has a high immunization rate. But non-medical immunization exemptions were supposed to stop in 2016. Legislators looking at the law in West Virginia where public health officials decide who qualifies for medical exemptions.

Approval for four new zones of benefit in Lake County to address vegetation and reduce wildland fire risk. The zones in the Kelseyville, specifically Buckingham, the Clear Lake Riviera, Riviera Heights and Riviera West. Supervisor Rob Brown got the plan together, talking to property owners in the four areas. They’ll make a onetime payment of $100 per lot of less than an acre, $200 for one to five acres, and $300 for five plus acres. The money that comes in from that would pay for the cleanup of properties deemed a high fire risk, then property owners would repay cleanup costs with liens against their land.

The brand new main spillway at the Oroville dam may be about to get in real life testing. This due to heavy storms expected in the Feather River basin. The Dept. of Water Resources is preparing for the use of the main spillway possibly as soon as next week. They have to first notify all regulatory agencies, local law enforcement and local elected officials ahead of its possible use. They’ve got to also take out construction equipment from the spillway chute and remove a temporary road under the main spillway which was being used during construction. They’ll also run temporary cameras and lights to watch the spillway up close as the first water comes down the chute.

A man in Hawaii is not allowed to drink any more Pepsi for a while because of his car theft arrest. 21-year-old Christopher Montilliano Jr. arrested in Maui last summer and told cops his cousin let him drive the car so he could go buy soda. But now he’s being punished for it, he’s not allowed any Pepsi for four years after admitting it’s his favorite soft drink. He also got 100 hours of community service and a $100 fine for the car theft after pleading no contest to charges of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and driving without a license.

Two members of the Ukiah City Council have voted against issuing Garton Tractor a permit for more space to service farm equipment. The extra space is needed due to the volume of work, and waits of up to ten weeks. The Daily Journal reports that it was concerns over close proximity to the Ukiah Municipal Airport that motivated the members to vote the request down. Council member Doug Crane had concerns about weather or not the FAA and the Mendocino County Airport Land Use Commission had seen the plan.

Roof replacement for high priority buildings is now a priority for the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors after it’s meeting earlier this month. Specifically, the roofs on the Administration Center, Mendocino County Jail, Emergency Operations Center and Jail Programs buildings. Planning is underway for the Main Jail building and the Emergency Operations Center Building at estimated costs of $865,000 and $700,000 respectively.

A warning to Lake County residents about a scam reported to the California Highway Patrol’s Kelseyville office on Wednesday. A man came in reporting that his girlfriend had been kidnapped for ransom. CHP investigated, finding the woman safe and sound. The scam, which involves a phone call saying a family member is being held captive is not new, but it is popping up again locally. The FBI says indicators that a call is a scam are area codes 787, 939 and 856, or Puerto Rico. Callers make an attempt to keep you on the phone and prevent you from calling or finding the alleged victim.

A reminder by Ukiah Police to never leave your car running and unattended after a 2003 Honda accord stolen as it warmed up outside a home on Ford Street on Wednesday. The car was found by police in a Wall Mart parking lot on Airport BLVD less than an hour later. Two suspects were found near the car going through it’s contents and were booked into the Mendocino county jail.

Looking for easier access to research, the University of California is challenging what they see as an outdated subscription model now that their contract with the largest journal publisher is about to expire. UC is threatening to drop all subscriptions with Reed Elsevier, meaning that if the there is no agreement reached, over 20,000 faculty and over 250,000 students will lose wide access to new research. The hope is that other large facilities will do the same thing, lowering the cost of access to the research and forcing a more open system of sharing information.

Since 2011, Governor Jerry Brown has pardoned 1332 inmates, far more than previous governors. The governor added 143 to the tally this week, a total 273 for the year. He also ordered evidence in a 1983 murder case that sent Keith Cooper to death row after the murder of four people in Chino Hills to be reviewed.

Willits Police got several calls reporting a possible drunk driver on Saturday, one caller saying the driver had just swerved off the roadway. A Willits police officer who was on a different DUI call left and went to investigate the reports on Sherwood Road. When he arrived, he tried getting the woman in the car to get out, but she put the car in gear, knocked the officer down and dragged him 30 feet under the vehicle. Mendocino County Sheriffs deputies were able to get the officer out from underneath the car and he was transported to Howard Memorial Hospital. He suffered only minor injuries, and was released on Sunday. The woman was arrested for DUI.

New gun laws go into effect in California with the start of the new year on Tuesday. The laws prevent anyone younger than 21 from buying rifles or shotguns unless they are military, law enforcement or licensed hunters. Anyone with a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction will also be banned from owning a firearm. A law going into effect in July requires background checks for ammunition purchases. One that takes effect in January of 2020 says that anyone who has been hospitalized for mental health issues more than once in a year will also be banned from owning guns.

A report out yesterday concluded that a bank established for the cannabis industry would put state funds and workers at risk, possibly tanking an effort to establish a public bank for marijuana companies in California. The issue according to experts, is that since marijuana is still illegal under federal law, most banks wont open accounts for businesses in the sector.

Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma County is hoping to open a no wast factory to manufacture walls and floors for prefabricated homes. They hope to obtain a warehouse in Central Santa Rose for the project, with the goal of building out 600 new homes in Sonoma County over the next eight years where over 5300 homes were destroyed in recent fires.

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7 men in Clearlake have been arrested after a search warrant is served and police find several hundred of pounds of marijuana and weapons. Edi Avila-Castaneda of Clearlake, Alejandro Cortez-Cornejo of Clearlake, Edgar Garcia-Ramirez of Clearlake, Gilberto Ramirez-Pineda of Clearlake and Roberto Villasenor of Atwater all detained, then a seventh man tried getting away out a window, Jesus Aleman-Sosa, but he was caught. Police say they also found an assault rifle, body armor, hi-capacity pistol and rifle ammo, military clothing, equipment, and firearm components,. They found marijuana greenhouses, four pounds of meth and more marijuana. The seven all booked into jail on multiple charges including possession of controlled substance for sale, possession of narcotics for sale, committing a felony while armed and possession of marijuana for sale.

A young man in Gualala arrested for attempted murder and assault against his father. Police say they got a call to a report of a gunshot victim, finding Eugene Henderson. The person who called in the shooting reported 18 year old Acea Henderson shot his dad after an argument which got heated. Deputies say the younger Henderson also broke out a window to his dad’s car, got a gun and shot his dad in the upper chest. Another family member took dad to the hospital and hid the rifle. Dad’s reported in stable condition. Then deputies were called back to the home for another assault, but the father was not prosecuting. Acea was found and arrested anyway and charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon and held on a bail of $250,000.

Trash being picked up along Orr Creek turns up signs of a homeless encampment. The trash pickup below Low Gap Road where there was a cooking pit found, piles of clothes, food containers, toys, batteries and other trash. Pac Out Green Team organized the cleanup. The encampment found by mistake. 2nd District Supervisor John McCowen also apparently cleans the area with and without organized cleanups.

The Mendocino County Child Support Services Department is getting a makeover. The Daily Journal reports some of the proposed changes would include getting an assistant Child Support Services director; adding and deleting other positions and getting approval to lay off a full-time chief child support attorney, and sharing some services with Sonoma County. The shared services agreement would include legal services. The county’s reportedly looked at Mendocino’s caseload and was confident they could cover it too. There would also be no financial cost to Mendocino as the state picks up the tab.

An official Wreaths Across America wreath-laying ceremony at Ukiah Cemetery. Not happening today on Veterans Day, but instead, December 15th. It’s one of the 1,400 other locations across the country for National Wreaths Across America Day. The local event in coordination with local 4-H clubs and volunteers for the Wreaths Across America mission of “Remember, Honor, Teach”. Some teenagers from 4-H representing the Ukiah Shamrocks and the Redwood Valley/Calpella 4-H Clubs are planning the event at the cemetery which starts at 9 AM.

The newest and most destructive fire in California history still burning. The Camp Fire has killed 29 people. Massive fires burning in Northern and Southern Calif. for a total of 31 dead. The Butte County Sheriff reports nearly 230 people are missing too. There are ten search and recovery teams in Paradise, which was practically decimated Thursday. They’ve brought in a mobile DNA lab and anthropologists so they can try to identify victims. A missing persons call center was quickly set up and the Governor’s requesting help from the federal government. Winds were expected to die down today, but there’s no rain in the immediate forecast. Those with missing family members were being urged to register their names. More than 6,700 buildings were destroyed by the Camp Fire, almost all of those are homes. The fire is 25 percent contained.

The CHP continues their distracted adult driver campaign. A yearlong grant is paying for the program utilizing education and enforcement. The program with the help of the California Office of Traffic Safety. The program will have the CHP on at least 60 distracted driving enforcement operations and they’ll hold almost 500 traffic safety presentations across the state by the end of September 2019.

An apartment building in Lakeport has a lot of damage after a fire. The Bel Aire Apartments went up in flames last night. A local caught video of the fire and shows firefighters on the scene and cops knocking on doors to evacuate people. The fire was out, but then reignited inside the roof. The police department had shut down several roads surrounding the building on N. Main Street.

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Due to dangerous fire conditions with high winds in both Northern and Southern California, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services is prepositioning fire resources including fire engines, firefighters and emergency dispatchers in several counties. Orange, LA, Ventura, Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Bernardino and Lake Counties will have proactive measures in place which will be reevaluated every twelve hours then extended as necessary depending on weather conditions. This as the National Weather Service forecasts unusually low relative humidity and winds of up to 60 miles an hour or higher in isolated areas. There’s Red Flag weather conditions in parts of Southern California, the East Bay Hills and North Bay Mountains with the strongest winds expected tonight into tomorrow and critical fire conditions through tomorrow, weakening late Friday into Saturday.

Reps from CAL FIRE, Kelseyville Fire Protection District, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, County Administration and folks from the insurance industry to be at a public forum on Fire Mitigation. The focus on the four communities of Buckingham, Clear Lake Riviera, Riviera Heights and Riviera West. The meeting next Wednesday night at 6 at Riviera Elementary School in Kelseyville. Discussion around a proposal for a County Service Area Zone of Benefit as part of the Calif. Government Code to remove brush and fuel sources. Lake County Supervisor Rob Brown of District 5 is hosting the town hall.

For more info (707) 349-2628.

The Mendocino County Air Quality Management District is warning smoke in the air is coming from Butte County. They say it’s from the so-called Camp Fire with air monitors showing particulate matter “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups’’ and is getting to the “Unhealthy” range for inland Mendocino County. There are other areas forecast to have some “Moderate” conditions depending on the wind. It could be hovering in the area today and tomorrow until the fire is out, with some relief predicted as soon as Saturday. The Air Quality District says impacts are most noticeable at night to early morning hours.