Tuesday morning news, November 20th
Thanksgiving is a maximum enforcement period for the CHP beginning Wednesday, at 6 p.m. and running through Sunday, Nov. 25, midnight.
“Motorists are less likely to encounter one of our officers by simply wearing their seat belt,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Seat belts are your best line of defense in a collision.”
Last year, 32 people lost their lives on California’s roadways due to a collision, a 52 percent increase from Thanksgiving 2010.
Additionally, two-thirds of the people killed in collisions were not wearing a seat belt.
The CHP would also like to remind motorists to avoid distracted driving, travel at a speed that is safe for conditions and also designate a non-drinking driver for the safety of everyone on the road.
Last year during the Thanksgiving holiday, the CHP made 1,475 arrests for driving under the influence.
Passage of Prop 36 softening the state's three-strikes law has touched off a flurry of legal activity from local defense lawyers seeking reduced punishments for criminals serving life.
Proposition 36 requires 25-to-life offenses be violent or serious rather than just any felony. The change opens the door for repeat violators previously locked away for relatively minor third offenses to petition local courts for re-sentencing.
According to a preliminary state prison estimate, seven people are eligible for re-sentencing in Sonoma County, one in Mendocino County and five in Lake County.
Statewide, as many as 3,000 criminals could be eligible for reduced sentences.
In Mendocino County, Jason Frick, 38 of McKinleyville is the only inmate eligible for a new sentence.
Frick received 25 to life last year in connection with a standoff with Mendocino SWAT officers in which he pleaded guilty to possession of pipe bombs and being a felon with a weapon.
While he has a right to seek a reduction, prosecutors believe his sentence was fully litigated and don't expect a change in the end result, Mike Geniella, a DA spokesperson,said.
The Mendocino Supervisors last week postponed deciding to restructure its retirement system, after county CEO Carmel Angelo urged them to take more time.
The board meets again Dec. 11, and will consider a new retirement benefit level for employees hired after Jan. 1, 2013 .
The new tier will be effective in January under the Public Employees Pension Reform Act (PEPRA), which becomes effective then.
The new-employee tier -- to be added as an additional level to each of the county's three existing benefit levels -- will mean that the county and any new employee will each contribute half of the amount of the benefit. That same 50-50 cost sharing would also go into effect for existing employees in 2018.
Currently, employees contribute 45 percent of the benefit, while the county contributes 55 percent.
The county will need to negotiate with the eight bargaining units that represents county employees to start getting the savings before 2018.
A union suggestion to adopt the new tier with a Cost-of-Living Adjustment provision built in is seen as a sticking point, according to Angelo.
Lake County Public Health officials are overseeing a first-of-its-kind survey to know how prepared local residents are for potential disasters.
Later this month the Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response – or CASPER – survey will take place in neighborhoods around Lake County.
Lake County is the first area in California to use the CASPER survey.
The Centers for Disease Control’s Division of Environmental Hazards developed CASPER to enable government at all levels to rapidly assess a community’s health needs after a disaster, as well as to measure household preparedness for disasters or emergencies.
Mind Body Health & Politics; Tuesday @ 9:00 AM
Dr. Richard Miller interviews Dr Bruce Lipton on his latest book: The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles.