Local News

Ways to Connect

First Friday is back in town

May 10, 2021

May 10, 2021 — There was dancing in the streets in Ukiah, as the first First Friday since the pandemic got underway. Postcards from Mecca lined the walls of the Grace Hudson Museum, offering glimpses of adventure and associations with lengthy travails in the desert. Masked art lovers flocked cautiously to the Corner Gallery.

  

May 7, 2021 — The Planning Commission hammered out further refinements to the proposed cannabis cultivation ordinance at a meeting that ended at a civilized hour yesterday.

The Board of Supervisors is anxious to pass a phase III ordinance before June 30, after which the state will require environmental review that county counsel estimates could take three to five years. But the board made significant enough changes to the planning commission’s original suggestions that the document needed another round trip through the deliberating bodies.

BoS considers 3rd quarter budget

May 4, 2021

May 5, 2021 — The Board of Supervisors held its third quarter budget workshop yesterday and heard a covid briefing from public health officer Dr. Andy Coren. 

Though the forecast for non-departmental revenues, mostly from taxes, is over $80 million, the board is bracing for several possible blows, including inflation, the loss of cannabis taxes, and the as-yet unknown fiscal impacts of drought.

May 4, 2021 — In the last few hours of a meeting that lasted for three days, the Board of Supervisors hammered out amendments to a cannabis facilities ordinance that clarified farmers markets, cannabis tours, and invited a few legal threats.

The cannabis cultivation amendments typically draw ore than four hundred letters to the Board of Supevisors or the Planning Commission, and hours of public comment. The facilities amendments brought in fifteen letters and about a dozen comments, but they were no less contentious.

April 30, 2021 —  The county moved into the yellow tier this week, which means movie theaters can open with 50% maximum capacity, more if everyone can prove they’ve been vaccinated or have a recent negative test.  That’s just in time for the independently owned Noyo Theatre in Willits, which is reopening May 4, the 81st anniversary of its premiere. Owners Lois and Jeff Hoover are history buffs and movie lovers. To them, the two are inextricable.

LITTLE RIVER, 4/30/21 -- The town of Mendocino is already at a stage three water shortage and eyeing a stage four, which would trigger mandatory 40% reductions in water allotments for all users, according to district superintendent Ryan Rhoades. The Mendocino Community Services District Board is holding a meeting May 3, at which they are expected to raise the drought level.

LITTLE RIVER, 4/30/21 -- The town of Mendocino is already at a stage three water shortage and eyeing a stage four, which would trigger mandatory 40% reductions in water allotments for all users, according to district superintendent Ryan Rhoades. The Mendocino Community Services District Board is holding a meeting May 3, at which they are expected to raise the drought level.

April 28 — The Board of Supervisors sent recommendations for a reworked cannabis cultivation ordinance back to the Planning Commission for another round of review. Yesterday’s nine and a half hour long meeting was held after an early-morning rally protesting the expansion of cannabis grows into rangeland during a drought. 

April 26, 2021 — Black Lives Matter activists rallied in front of the Ukiah courthouse Saturday to demand police accountability after the beating of Gerardo Magdaleno and to request an audit of the sheriff’s department. Troyle Tognoli is a local Black Lives Matter organizer. She is also a member of Ukiah’s recently formed Equity and Diversity committee, which is meeting this Wednesday.

Homeless encampment shut down in Ukiah

Apr 22, 2021

April 23, 2021 — A small homeless encampment on the south end of Ukiah was closed down earlier this week. Shortly after 8am on Tuesday, city workers began removing items that had been left behind by six to ten residents, some of whom have been living there since “Tent City” off Hastings Avenue was cleared out in June.

4/22/21 -- It’s no secret that our county, along with the entire state, is in a drought. Lake Mendocino is at a historic low, Fort Bragg’s main source of water is flowing at half its normal level, and Ukiah water manager reckons that parts of the Russian River may run dry towards the end of the drought year. But what will that mean for Mendocino County residents? 

April 21, 2021 — A day after the board of supervisors declared a state of emergency due to drought, Governor Gavin Newsom stood at the bottom of Lake Mendocino and signed a proclamation declaring a drought emergency in Mendocino and Sonoma counties.

Cannabis cultivation ordinance refined

Apr 21, 2021

April 21, 2021 — At an inconclusive eleven and a half hour meeting this week, the Board of Supervisors agreed 4-1 to allow cannabis expansion on parcels meeting a narrowly defined set of requirements. And, with the drought expected to be in full swing by the time the season begins, growers under the new ordinance will not be getting plants in the ground this year.

Tenants moving in to Live Oak

Apr 19, 2021

April 19, 2021 — Today, about seventy people who have been homeless or at high risk for it are moving into Live Oak Apartments, a former Best Western Inn in Ukiah. The building is part of the state’s Project Homekey initiative. Last year, counties got money specifically to buy lodging establishments and convert them into permanent housing for vulnerable populations. Mendocino County received $9.6 million, and has spent most of the time since purchasing the building installing kitchenettes and remodeling common areas.

April 16, 2021 — The Board of Supervisors decided this week to follow Humboldt County’s approach to code enforcement against cannabis scofflaws, which includes real time aerial surveillance, hefty fines, and property liens.

And scientists with the California Dept of Fish and Wildlife told the board that the proposed cannabis cultivation ordinance to replace Phase III does not adequately address the cumulative impacts that cannabis grows have on water bodies and habitat loss.

Pages