Sunday, 26 May 2024

Regional

UKIAH, Calif. — Warm up your winter by learning the art of needle felting wool buddies.

Join the Ukiah Branch Library on Friday, March 15, from 3 to 5:30 p.m.

Wool needle felting is a fun way to create imaginative and quirky creatures.

This event is for ages 12 and up, reservations are required, and the event is sponsored by the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library and the Mendocino County Library.

To make your reservation or find out more information, please visit www.mendolibrary.org or contact the Ukiah Branch Library at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 707-463-4490.

A Northern California black bear walks down a dirt Forest Service road. Photo courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

In recent weeks, misinformation about black bears has been circulating online and on flyers posted throughout the Lake Tahoe community.

With all this information swirling, it can be challenging to tell inaccurate information from facts — supported by science. The Tahoe Interagency Bear Team, or TIBT, is here to help.

TIBT is a collective of bear experts across state and local agencies who study and understand these animals and have devoted much of their professional lives to ensure the health and well-being of the Lake Tahoe Basin’s black bears.

TIBT would like to set the record straight by debunking some of those claims and educating the public about the real issues and dangers this misinformation poses.

Tahoe bears may at times seem like a unique bear species due to their general lack of fear and boldness around humans, but these black bears follow the usual biological patterns of black bears across California and Nevada.

Whether living in or visiting bear country in the Lake Tahoe Basin or beyond, this information should clarify what is really needed to help wild bears survive and thrive.

The claim: Bears need human help denning during hibernation

Many have seen photos and videos perpetuating the myth that property owners and residents should allow bears to den under homes and in crawl spaces.

Some may have even seen people encourage this unwanted behavior by laying out hay and other materials for the bears.

But most homeowners don’t even know a bear is under or around their home until it has already established a makeshift den.

Bears will tear out wood and insulation, exposing pipes to freezing temperatures or damaging them in the process. And once a bear gets nice and cozy, it can be difficult to get it out. This increases the chances of human-bear conflict and habituated behavior.

Bears have evolved to comfortably survive winter without human help so it is very important to board up all crawl spaces around homes to discourage bears from setting up camp and damaging property.

The claim: Bears are starving, and people need to feed them

False! Black bears are some of the most resilient and adaptive animals and they can tailor their diet to what is available around them. It is true that bears need a lot of calories, especially in preparation for winter but giving them handouts will not set them up to thrive.

Giving a bear food will teach it to keep coming back and possibly investigate further by breaking into homes, vehicles and garbage bins.

This behavior will also condition cubs to do the same and continue a cycle of human-dependent bears. Human food and garbage are not good for bears and can make them sick and damage their teeth, leaving painful abscesses that can lead to death.

And importantly, feeding bears is illegal in the states of California and Nevada.

Bears instinctively forage on a variety of natural foods including insects, plant material and carrion (dead animals) and have a vital biological role to play in the health of forests, from spreading seeds and fertilizing through their scat to curbing disease and keeping insect populations in check.

If people teach bears to search for food in neighborhoods or other developed areas, that biological role is lost. Even after an incident like the 2021 Caldor Fire, where a huge swath of vegetation was burned, wildlife biologists saw bears find natural ways to survive like the resilient omnivores that they are.

The claim: Bears belong in neighborhoods

It can be exciting to see a big, beautiful animal like a black bear in a neighborhood, but that is not where bears belong. Neighborhoods have roads with cars, which bears must cross in order to get to the unhealthy human food and garbage in developed areas.

By allowing bears to comfortably live in or pass through neighborhoods, the chances that they will get struck and killed by vehicles increases immensely. If a bear is in a neighborhood, encourage it to move on by scaring it away so that it can lead a safe, natural life in the forest.

The claim: Don’t call the experts

TIBT is dedicated to creating the best environment for bears to thrive and remain wild in an ever-growing, ever-changing environment like the Lake Tahoe Basin. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, or CDFW, and the Nevada Department of Wildlife, or NDOW, should be the first point of contact for any bear-related incidents or questions.

CDFW and NDOW have dedicated and committed black bear experts who will help navigate any human-bear conflicts.

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

To report bear incidents or conflict in the Lake Tahoe Basin, use the following:

• In California, contact CDFW at 916-358-2917 or report online using the Wildlife Incident Reporting (WIR) system at https://apps.wildlife.ca.gov/wir.
• Non-emergency wildlife interactions 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 immediate threat, call the local sheriff’s department or 911.

Caltrans is reminding motorists about a series of winter storms in the Sacramento Valley and the Sierra Nevada that will create challenging travel conditions through the Presidents’ Day holiday weekend.

The National Weather Service forecast calls for two additional waves of precipitation bringing rain, snow and gusty winds.

The first wave is expected Saturday with the second stronger wave arriving during the evening on Sunday.

A winter weather advisory is in effect from 10 a.m. Saturday through 4 a.m. Sunday with 4 to 8 inches of snow expected above 6,000 feet.

Motorists should be prepared for chain controls, reduced visibility, additional travel times and delays.

Caltrans advises to pack extra supplies in the event of an emergency or if traffic is held for an extended period of time. Those supplies should include extra snacks, water, a blanket and a flashlight.

A winter storm warning has also been issued for the second wave and is in effect from 4 p.m. Sunday through 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, with 1 to 2 feet of snow expected above 5,500 feet, 3 to 4 feet at the highest peaks, and wind gusts up to 55 miles per hour.

In the Sacramento Valley, rain amounts are forecast between 0.5 and 1 inch for the first wave and an additional 2 to 3 inches for the second wave. The highest amounts are anticipated in the foothills with up to 4 inches near Auburn.

Motorists should be prepared for ponding on the roadway and minor flooding in poor drainage areas. Updates to the forecast as the weekend progresses can be found on the National Weather Service website.

Motorists are encouraged to check Caltrans’ QuickMap before traveling for current road conditions and chain requirements or download the QuickMap app from the App Store or Google Play.

Road information is also available on Caltrans’ website or by calling the California Highway Information Network automated phone service at 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).

MENDOCINO COUNTY, Calif. — Mendocino County officials on Wednesday said they are investigating new reports of incorrect ballots for the upcoming March election and are seeking guidance from the Secretary of State’s Office on how to address the situation.

The county of Mendocino was made aware on Wednesday of candidate and resident concerns that voters may be receiving ballots from the incorrect supervisorial districts.

The initial belief is that the 2021 redistricting may not have been correctly imputed into the voter files.

“We want to bring this new issue to the immediate attention of Mendocino County voters as soon as we learned of it,” said County Chief Executive Officer Darcie Antle. “We are investigating the issues with the Register of Voters Office and their vendor. We are seeking guidance from the State of California’s Secretary of State’s Office.”

Antle added, “Most importantly, we want to assure voters that they will receive and get the proper ballots and that every vote will be properly counted. We are going to be working overtime to get to the bottom of what has gone wrong and to ensure voters receive the proper ballots.”

The county of Mendocino is also seeking assistance from Renne Public Law group, one of the state’s top municipal government law firms, in determining next steps.

Top left: Resighini Tribe of Yurok People Leadership and State Parks Leadership at the MOU signing in Klamath on Feb. 14, 2024. Bottom left: State Parks Director Armando Quintero and Resighini Tribal Chairperson Fawn C. Murphy sign the MOU. Bottom right: State Parks Director Armando Quintero, Resighini Tribal Chairperson Fawn C. Murphy, and Resighini Council Treasurer Kendra Jones. Photos from California State Parks.

KLAMATH, Calif.— California State Parks and the Resighini Tribe of Yurok People have announced the signing of a historic agreement to protect the natural and cultural resources in state parks within the Tribe’s traditional territory.

“We are honored to be leaders in ocean and coastal stewardship and to continue to work with State Parks toward our common goals,” said Fawn C. Murphy, chairperson of the Resighini Tribe of Yurok People. “Tribes have an inherent responsibility to steward and co-manage important cultural and natural resources in our ancestral territories. This MOU establishes a path to revitalizing Indigenous knowledge, supporting access to traditional cultural resources, and putting us back in the places we’ve been removed from for far too long.”

Signed at the Resighini Tribal headquarters in Klamath on Wednesday, Feb. 14, the memorandum of understanding, or MOU, outlines the mutual responsibilities of State Parks and the Resighini Tribe of Yurok People to promote a successful cooperation, co-management, and collaboration between the parties.

This includes incorporating indigenous traditional knowledge to better protect and preserve state parks, and ensuring consultation and meaningful dialogue takes place sufficiently in advance of final decision-making on what may affect the cultural and natural resource management.

The Resighini Tribe of Yurok People is one of three North Coast Tribes that formally designated, under their sovereign authority, the first Indigenous Marine Stewardship Area, or IMSA, in the United States – the Yurok-Tolowa Dee-ni’ Indigenous Marine Stewardship Area.

Through this MOU, State Parks will also work with the Resighini Tribe of Yurok People to educate the public about the significance of the Indigenous Marine Stewardship Area and its importance to cultural and natural resource protection, as well as its contribution to meeting the State of California’s goals to protect 30% of lands and waters by 2030 (30x30).

“This agreement with the Resighini Tribe represents a formal reconnection with the deep-time knowledge of cultures who have been here for hundreds of generations,” said Armando Quintero, director of California’s State Parks. “Our commitment to working with each other is a commitment to the healthy future of the natural and cultural resources in the state parks which are in the Resighini Tribe’s territory.”

The State Parks Tribal MOU program seeks to facilitate collaboration between California Native American tribes and State Parks by establishing protocols for continuous open discussions and outlining the responsibilities of each party to promote successful cooperation and partnership. This is the 11th MOU between State Parks and a California Native American tribe. The first one was signed on April 13, 2017.

To learn more about the program, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/TribalMOUProgram.

The California Highway Patrol, California Attorney General Rob Bonta and federal law enforcement agencies on Friday announced the arrest and filing of charges against the ringleader of an extensive organized retail crime operation spanning 21 counties, involving an estimated $8 million in stolen beauty products.

The announcement signals the culmination of several months of collaborative investigatory efforts in the CHP’s ongoing fight against retail crime.

The investigation was conducted by the California Department of Justice, CHP, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Postal Inspection Service along with Ulta’s Loss Prevention Organized Retail Crime team and Sephora Representatives.

It is alleged that the ringleader of the scheme paid more than seven people to steal from Ulta Beauty stores, as well as other retail outlets. The ringleader would then sell the stolen cosmetic items on her Amazon storefront.

“The success of this investigation is due to the collaboration between several of our Organized Retail Crime Task Force teams throughout the state, the CHP’s Computer Crimes Investigation Unit, the DOJ, our federal partners, and retailers. Through increased collaborative efforts, retailers and law enforcement have become more efficient and effective in our fight against organized retail crime,” said CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee.

Recognizing the complexity and scale of the operation, in August 2023, federal investigators requested the CHP’s Organized Retail Crime Task Force, or ORCTF, join their ongoing investigation.

In December, simultaneous search warrants were executed by ORCTF investigators in Southern California and the suspects were taken into custody.

The charges, brought by the California DOJ, include organized retail theft, conspiracy, receipt of stolen property and multiple counts of grand theft.

The thefts occurred in Alameda, Placer, Kern, Contra Costa, Orange, Los Angeles, Santa Clara, San Diego, Sacramento, San Mateo, Solano, Riverside, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Napa, Marin, Tulare, San Bernardino, Sonoma, Ventura and Yolo counties.

Since the inception of the ORCTF in 2019, the CHP has been involved in more than 2,300 investigations leading to the arrest of more than 2,200 suspects and the recovery of over 761,000 stolen goods valued at $41.7 million.

If you witness one of these crimes occurring, do not attempt to intervene — call 9-1-1. Members of the public and retailers can also report retail crime tips directly through the CHP’s website.

Upcoming Calendar

26May
05.26.2024 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Lower Lake Daze
27May
05.27.2024
Memorial Day
28May
05.28.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
29May
05.29.2024 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
PG&E virtual town hall
1Jun
06.01.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
4Jun
06.04.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
8Jun
06.08.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
11Jun
06.11.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
14Jun
06.14.2024
Flag Day

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