Tuesday, 18 June 2024


The Pudding Creek bridge in Mendocino County. Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

NORTH COAST, Calif. — The full closures on Route 1 at the north end of Fort Bragg at the Pudding Creek bridge has been reduced from 10 to four overnight closures.

Originally scheduled to begin this week, the first full nighttime closure will occur next Tuesday, July 18, from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Construction will escort emergency responders over the bridge for the following full nighttime closures.

• Two nights: July 18 to 19 (10 p.m. to 4 a.m.).
• Two nights: Sept. 13 to 14 (10 p.m. to 4 a.m.).

Around-the-clock one-way traffic control will continue at the Pudding Creek bridge until Aug. 29. Traffic will be controlled with a temporary signal system.

Motorists from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. can expect up to 20-minute delays Monday through Friday and 30-minute delays are anticipated on the weekends.

The safety project includes widening the Pudding Creek bridge to accommodate two 12-foot wide lanes, two 8-foot wide shoulders, two 6-foot walkways and new bridge railings.

The project also includes “Complete Streets” improvements by constructing sidewalks on both sides of SR 1 from Pudding Creek bridge south to Elm Street and north to Pudding Creek Drive and drainage improvements and relocation of the city of Fort Bragg’s waterline from the Pudding Creek Dam to Route 1.

We appreciate your patience during construction of this safety project along the Mendocino Coast.

For more information, visit https://dot.ca.gov/caltrans-near-me/district-1/d1-projects/puddingcreekbridge.

NORTH COAST, Calif. — The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the discovery of human remains in a North Coast river this week.

At 1:46 p.m. Tuesday, July 4, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Center received a call regarding human remains found by a community member in the area of the Ferris Riffle on the Trinity River in Hoopa, approximately 25 feet from the riverbank.

Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies and a deputy coroner responded to the scene. A member of the community responded with a boat to assist deputies in recovering the remains.

The decedent has not been identified, however is described as a male, approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall, 195 pounds with a tattoo of a fine line encircling the neck with an angel in a diamond shape at the center of the throat, “Yurok” tattoo on the left forearm and monochromatic roses tattooed on the right shoulder.

More information will be released when available.

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539 and reference Case Number 202303072.

Jasen Dwain Coley. Courtesy photo.

Search efforts continued on Tuesday for the suspect of a homicide yesterday evening in McKinleyville.

Jasen Dwain Coley, age 26, is suspected of fatally shooting an adult male victim outside of a home on the 2200 block of Silverbrook Court.

Late on Monday night, law enforcement located the vehicle believed to be associated with Coley parked and unoccupied on Trinidad Frontage Road near the Strawberry Rock Trailhead.

Since Monday night, ground and air crews have been searching the Strawberry Rock area for any signs of Coley.

Resources utilized during this search include tracking K9s, HCSO and CAL FIRE unmanned aerial systems, California Highway Patrol air resources, and rangers with California State Parks and the National Park Service.

Despite an extensive search, Coley has not been located. At this time, HCSO investigators have scaled-back the search of Strawberry Rock and the investigation is ongoing.

McKinleyville and Trinidad residents are asked to take extra precautions such as locking all doors to your residence and not opening your door to strangers. Please report any suspicious persons or circumstances immediately to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251, ext. 0.

Jasen Coley is described as a white male, approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall, heavy-set, with brown hair, brown eyes and facial hair. He was last seen wearing a black shirt, dark pants and a light-colored hat. He may be in possession of a rifle or a shotgun.

Anyone with information about Jasen Coley’s whereabouts is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

The Department of Water Resources announced $9.2 million in grants to five projects that will restore streams and creeks to more natural environmental conditions and reduce flood risk across multiple communities in California.

The projects are funded by DWR’s Riverine Stewardship Program and Urban Stream Restoration Program, which deliver technical and financial assistance for the protection of listed fish species in combination with flood risk reduction and ecosystem enhancement of urban streams.

The awarded projects are designed to promote community participation in the planning process, encourage public support for long-term management and increase public awareness of project benefits to the community, the environment, and the sustainability of California’s water resources.

“Our communities and wildlife alike are facing multiple challenges posed by climate extremes, including both drought and flooding,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “This funding will help manage future flooding events, and protect watersheds, local wildlife, and aquatic habitat.”

In Sonoma County, the Lower Colgan Creek Restoration Project received $4.3 million to restore 11.27 acres of aquatic habitat along 1.3 miles of creek. The project will prevent flood damage to nearby homes and businesses by widening the creek and reconnecting it with a more natural floodplain. The funding will support the removal of non-native and invasive plants, which will be replaced with native vegetation. The project will also utilize environmental education curriculum and public outreach to engage the community in helping to care for the creek.

In Monterey County, the Carr Lake Restoration project received $2.5 million to convert 67 acres of urban agricultural land into fish and wildlife habitat. The project will enhance fish and wildlife habitat, improve water quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance carbon sequestration in creeks and vegetated areas, and offer public access to a large natural area in the center of the largest city in Monterey County with trails, boardwalks, interpretive signs and educational opportunities. The project will also protect surrounding homes above the site location from flood impacts.

In Nevada County, the Donner Creek Restoration project received $1.3 million to restore 6.5 acres at four sites along Donner Creek impacted by urban development located within a disadvantaged community in Truckee. The project will use a watershed approach to reduce flood risk, improve bank stabilization, reduce excess sedimentation, enhance wetlands to treat pollution from urban runoff and install native vegetation to enhance aquatic habitat. The project team will include the local community throughout the process by educating local students about environmental issues, conducting community outreach in an underserved community and providing volunteer opportunities to support restoration.

In Marin County, the Lagunitas Creek Salmonid Spawning Gravel Improvement Project received $590,000 to install 1,700 tons of river gravel for spawning and rearing habitat for salmonids, balance the loss of sediment from upstream dams and improve drought resiliency and water quality. The project will benefit endangered coho salmon, steelhead and freshwater shrimp.

In Stanislaus County, Phase III of the Stanley Wakefield Wilderness Area Salmonid Habitat Restoration Project received $561,243 to restore more than 45 acres of habitat along the lower Stanislaus River to benefit salmonids and other native fish. The project will improve fish migration corridors and habitat to provide food resources and shelter and has the potential to improve salmonid and fish species’ resilience to climate change. The project will improve water quality and habitat, and support groundwater recharge and carbon sequestration.

The Urban Streams Restoration Program will continue accepting applications for project funding on a rolling basis. DWR has a total of $5.4 million in funds available through the program. Eligible applicants include Tribes, local public agencies and certified nonprofits as specified in the program guidelines and proposal solicitation package. Other applicant types such as community groups, will be considered on a case-by-case basis. For-profit corporations, non-public entities and individual landowners are not eligible.

Project proponents can submit concept proposals and grant applications using DWR’s online submittal tool, GRanTS. DWR will identify projects through the grant application process and will match concept proposals to the appropriate funding source based on eligibility. Awards will be made based on how responsive the application is to program priorities and will be made on a rolling basis until all funds are committed.

The guidelines and proposal solicitation package, as well as detailed information on the solicitation rules, procedures and process can be accessed at the Riverine Stewardship Program – Grants webpage.

This is just one example of how the state is investing in strategies and projects to prepare all communities of California for a hotter and drier future. Since 1985, the Urban Streams Restoration Program has awarded $96,259,824 to 328 projects in local communities. Other funding efforts from DWR include $1,151,243 in funding through the Riverine Steward Program in 2022 and $11,004,792 through the San Joaquin Fish Population Enhancement Program in 2019.

For more information about upcoming environmental grant opportunities, visit DWR’s Grants and Loans webpage.

Drivers beware! Throughout the year, the Lake Tahoe Basin experiences fluctuations in the number of visitors and vehicle traffic. The winter ski and summer recreation seasons bring more vehicles to the basin, which increases the risk of bears being struck by vehicles. Bear-vehicle collisions pose a risk to bears, people and property.

In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic when fewer cars were on the road, the California Highway Patrol reported 1,791 traffic collisions with animals, and the UC Davis Road Ecology Center estimated the total cost of animal-vehicle collisions that year in California to be more than $180 million.

Not all collisions are reported and not all highway or road mortalities are accounted for, even when carcasses are picked up by the California Department of Transportation or local county crews. This data illustrates a major threat to wildlife and driver safety.

In the Tahoe Basin, it is common to see small mammals such as squirrels, chipmunks, and, occasionally, raccoons dead on the roadside, but vehicle collisions with bears are increasing. Bears attracted to supplemental feed from trash in urban areas is one reason for this increase. The result is often catastrophic injuries to the bear, dependent cubs becoming orphaned, and, on occasion, injuries to drivers. All are sad scenarios that everyone wants to avoid.

Tahoe’s black bears are not only active at night when most human activity can be avoided. Instead, they are attracted to human subsidies in and around homes and businesses around the clock. The search for food, both natural and human-provided, means bears are constantly on the move and frequently darting across busy highways and other roads around Lake Tahoe. This puts bears at greater risk of being struck by a driver who may not be expecting to encounter a bear on the road. Drivers should take steps to avoid these dangerous situations.

What can you do?

• Drivers and passengers should be aware that bears move at all times of the day and night, frequently crossing roads in the Basin as they search for food.
• Be aware that there is often more than one bear. Adult, female bears (sows) are often trailed by their cubs of the year or can be following behind them as the cubs become more independent. Keep this in mind. If you see a bear on the roadway, slow down and scan for other bears or hazards.
• NEVER stop your vehicle on the road or highway to view wildlife. This creates unsafe traffic congestion and stresses wildlife.
• Do not swerve to avoid wildlife. Swerving to avoid animals can often result in a vehicle going off the road or into oncoming traffic or trees.
• Follow speed limits, watch for signs posted in known wildlife collision areas, and most importantly SLOW DOWN.
• Always drive defensively and always keep your eyes on the road. Sharing the road with pedestrians, bicyclists, and wildlife comes with great responsibility.

Remember, properly storing garbage and food reduces the risk of bears and wildlife crossing roads to access those attractants.

Use the following phone numbers and online resources to report a vehicle collision with a bear or report a dead or injured bear along the roadway:

• In California, contact CDFW at 916-358-2917 or report online using the Wildlife Incident Reporting, or WIR, system at https://apps.wildlife.ca.gov/wir.
• Non-emergency bear collisions in California State Parks can be reported to its public dispatch at 916-358-1300.
• In Nevada, contact NDOW at (775) 688-BEAR (2327).
• If the issue is an emergency, call the local sheriff’s department or 911.

Learn more about keeping Tahoe bears wild at TahoeBears.org and BearWise.org.

The Contractors State License Board, or CSLB, recently completed a statewide sting and sweep enforcement operation to uncover unlicensed activity in the construction industry.

The multi-state agency effort organized by the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies, or NASCLA, resulted in 90 legal actions related to unlicensed contracting.

An additional 37 legal actions were taken for workers’ compensation insurance violations.

Over three weeks, CSLB joined forces with local law enforcement to conduct undercover sting operations in Sonoma, Sacramento, Madera and San Bernardino counties.

The stings targeted unlicensed contractors, with investigators contacting the suspects through their advertisements.

During the four sting operations, suspected unlicensed operators arrived at designated locations to bid on various projects, such as drywall, bathroom remodeling, turf installation, framing, flooring, exterior and interior painting, concrete, tree removal, landscaping, and plumbing.

As a result, 50 individuals may face criminal charges for contracting without a license. These individuals were provided with information on how to obtain a license.

The individuals involved submitted bids that exceeded the legal limit of $500. California law prohibits unlicensed contractors from bidding and/or contracting for construction work that exceeds $500 in value, including labor and materials.

All may now face legal consequences, which can include substantial fines and potential jail time.

Such activity puts consumers at risk in many ways, including failure to meet minimum competency requirements, lack of a license bond, or workers' compensation insurance.

A total of 66 construction sweep operations were conducted in various California counties, including Sacramento, San Diego, Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Fresno, Monterey, Solano, Yolo, Orange, Fresno, Riverside, Butte, Alameda, Placer, Santa Clara, Marin, Santa Barbara, Sutter, Amador, and Santa Cruz.

Forty unlicensed contractors were identified during the sweeps and now face an administrative citation or referral to a local prosecutor for contracting without a license.

Additionally, 37 stop orders were issued to halt employee labor at active job sites where contractors did not have workers' compensation insurance for their employees.

“Unlicensed contractors pose a significant danger to consumers," said CSLB Registrar David Fogt. “CSLB’s Statewide Investigative Fraud Team performs sweeps and stings regularly, and we are proud to be a top contributor in this year’s NASCLA’s coordinated enforcement effort.”

CSLB will continue to partner with agencies throughout the state to combat unlicensed contracting activities.

These joint efforts will focus on enforcing contractors license law, safeguarding consumer interests, and maintaining the construction industry's integrity.

For further information or to report suspected unlicensed contractor activities, please visit the CSLB website at www.cslb.ca.gov or contact CSLB toll-free at 1-800-321-CSLB (2752).

Upcoming Calendar

06.19.2024 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Free veterans dinner
06.22.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
06.22.2024 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Love of the Land Dinner
06.25.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
06.29.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.02.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
Independence Day

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