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Hopland considers proposal for high-end campsite

23 hours ago

September 18, 2020 — The Hopland Municipal Advisory Council received a presentation this week about a proposed high-end campsite off of Old Toll Road, on 92 acres of property owned by Brutocao Vineyards. Several environmental groups and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife weighed in with concerns about how the project’s initial study did not include sufficient detail to analyze impacts on plants and animals, including anadromous fish that can be harmed by sediment that washes into waterways  from roads that are improperly built and maintained. 

Sherwood Firewise looks back at Oak Fire evacuation

23 hours ago

September 17, 2020 — After last week’s evacuation from Brooktrails during the Oak Fire, Sherwood Firewise held an after-action review at its regularly scheduled meeting. Keith Rutledge, who’s on the Sherwood Firewise steering group, said about fifty evacuees attended the zoom meeting last Thursday. The successful use of the Firco road, one of the evacuation routes that’s been established over the past two years, was a major bright spot.

September 16, 2020 — There is still time for income eligible people to get free help from the Mendocino Firesafe Council to do the work of creating defensible space on their properties.

And the Mendocino Coast Health District board of directors is short a member, since one director left and another is not renewing her term. One applicant, Sara Spring, will be appointed automatically.

The August Complex, officially the largest fire in California history, is burning across five counties in northern California, including Mendocino. So far, the flames from the 755,603 acre inferno have spared most of Mendocino's more populated areas, but the smoke has not. For days, unhealthy and hazardous air quality, marked by hazy skies and a golden, reddish hue, has sat stagnant across Mendocino, from the mountains, to the chapperelle, to the coast. 

Solar Living Institute closing its doors

Sep 14, 2020
SPACE, School of Performing Arts and Cultural Education

September 14, 2020 — The Solar Living Institute is closing its doors as a result of the economic fallout from the pandemic, which is on track to claim 200,000 American lives by the end of the week.

A tour of the animal evac site at Willits High

Sep 14, 2020

September 11, 2020 — Schools and rodeo grounds and fairgrounds have become traditional evacuation centers as fire season has turned into a months-long annual event. Refugees from the August Complex Fire can take shelter at the high school in Covelo and drop their animals off at the rodeo grounds on South Airport Road. 

"They got out before they had to"

Sep 14, 2020

September 10, 2020 — When the Oak fire broke out in Brooktrails on Labor Day, Sherwood Firewise did what it’s been planning to do for years, ever since the Redwood Complex revealed how important it is to be ready for catastrophic wildfire, especially for communities with only one way in and one way out.

Keith Rutledge, who’s on the Sherwood Firewise steering group, estimates that about 5,000 people evacuated safely from 2,000 homes, over a fairly spread-out area with multiple clusters of dwellings.

Still time to complete the census

Sep 14, 2020

 September 9, 2020 —  There is still time to complete the 2020 census, according to Miranda Ramos and Paloma Paterson, who are managing the census outreach project with the Community Foundation, which subcontracted with the county to do the work under a state grant.

Jim Culp reports on a day of gorse-busting on either side of Highway 1 in Caspar. The storied plant -- also known as broom or furze -- was brought to the coast from Ireland in the 1800s, and has taken its place as an invasive species that can become a huge fire hazard. A community-driven effort to remove it took place last week. 

Four owner-managers from Mendocino Village businesses talk about their experiences over the past six months, and what they've done to stay afloat.

9/4/2020 — Fort Bragg is running low on water. This is not the first time. Climate scientists say it won’t be the last.


On Monday, the City declared a stage two water emergency, asking all municipal water users to cut their usage by 20 percent — no watering lawns, no washing sidewalks, only irrigating gardens and agricultural areas at night, the list of restrictions goes on. 

Campaigns in the time of covid, Second District

Sep 4, 2020

September 3, 2020 — This campaign season is already different from every other. We spoke with Second District supervisorial candidates Mari Rodin and Maureen Mulheren about campaigning during a pandemic.


Mobile crisis team gets Measure B funding

Sep 3, 2020

September 3, 2020 — The Board of Supervisors agreed unanimously this week to use Measure B monies to fund a mobile crisis unit that would pair mental health workers with the sheriff’s office, but declined to approve three other proposals until Measure B has a business plan and a plan in place to implement the Kemper Report.

September 2, 2020 — Dr. Andrew Coren was sworn in as the county’s public health officer at yesterday’s Board of Supervisors meeting. Within minutes, he was taking part in one of several existential debates that is defining the country right now: whether public health is best served by measures that keep the virus at bay but increase isolation and economic hardship, or by opening back up and risking outbreaks. 

City of Willits on financial edge

Sep 3, 2020

September 1, 2020 — As the pandemic carries on and the economic fallout widens, more and more businesses and individuals are wondering how they will pay their employees, make their bills and maintain their properties. That’s true for local governments, too, especially the City of Willits, which Mayor Gerry Gonzalez says has been scraping to get by since at least the early aughts, when he started serving as chief of police. Now the city is making calculations that sound like the ones a lot of businesses, big and small, have been struggling with.