Morning News for Friday, May 31st
Mourad Gabriel, the researcher who determined that rat poison spread around illegal marijuana grows is harming the local Pacific fisher population has found the same effects on birds.
Gabriel, senior ecologist and co-founder of the Integral Ecology Research Center, is furthering his original research using a $25,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Gabriel said he is hoping to test around 90 owls on the North Coast .
Spotted owls in southern Oregon and Northern California have been declining at the rate of 5 percent to 15 percent a year from 1990 to 2008.
”We have tested around eight to 10 owls so far, and about half of those have come back with exposure to rodenticide,” Gabriel said.
A Philo mother earlier has pleaded guilty in Superior Court to a felony charge of child endangerment stemming from her 2-year-old son's arrival at Ukiah Medical Center with methamphetamine and a life-threatening amount of alcohol in his system, according to the DA's office.
Samantha Delvalle, 22, is due back in Court June 28 for sentencing.
She faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison, but her sentence could range anywhere from probation with mandatory parenting classes to prison time
Delvalle's boyfriend, Raymond Mabery, 21, also faces a felony charge of child endangerment and is due in court June 20 . Mabery's attorney, Justin Petersen, said the District Attorney's Office has offered plea bargains, adding that he hopes they will offer a misdemeanor instead.
The California Senate approved a package of 7 bills Wednesday that would tighten the regulation of firearms by outlawing detachable and large-capacity magazines, keeping track of people who buy ammunition and widening the category of offenders prohibited from owning guns for 10 years.
Republicans, a minority in the Senate, voted against the bills, arguing that they would make it harder for law-abiding citizens to access weapons while doing little to combat crime.
• SB 47 bans so-called "bullet buttons" used to get around existing laws banning detachable magazines.
• SB 53 creates new state permits that require background checks for buyers of ammunition.
• SB 374 bans detachable magazines in rifles.
• SB 396 prohibits possession of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.
• SB 567 changes the definition of certain kinds of shotguns to make them assault weapons.
• SB 683 requires all gun buyers to take a firearm safety class.
• SB 755 increases the number of crimes that result in a 10-year ban on being allowed to own a gun.
The bills now move to the Assembly.
Twelve Mendocino High School students had the rare opportunity to assist local scientists in unearthing the bones of a 75-foot blue whale last week.
Wearing waders and rubber gloves, the students helped uncover, transport, reassemble and clean parts of the spine and one fin.
The whale was struck by the propellers of a research vessel in October 2009 and died. Shortly after the collision, the carcass washed ashore south of the Mendocino Botanical Gardens.
Sheila Semans, project specialist for the California Coastal Conservancy, is working with the City of Fort Bragg to eventually place the reassembled skeleton in the planned marine science and education center on the Georgia Pacific property, west of Highway 1.
SAVE OUR OUR LITTLE LAKE VALLEY is conducting tours along the Highway 101 bypass. The tours are from 1 to 4pm, Sundays June 2, 9, 16 and 30 and will be partly on foot along stretches of the bypass.
Reservations are suggested and the group meets at the Little Lake Grange. For reservations call (707) 216-5549 or visit www.savelittlelakevalley.org.