Friday, 17 May 2024

Regional




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).

NORTH COAST, Calif. — The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said it is investigating the drowning of a girl on Saturday evening in Covelo.

At 8:25 p.m. Saturday, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center received an emergency call regarding a missing 5-year-old child who had been swept down the river, in the area of the 34000 block of Etsel Ridge Road in Covelo,.

The sheriff’s office said deputies responded with lights and sirens and immediately requested fire and medical personnel be dispatched to assist in searching for the child, officials said.

The child was located by private citizens who immediately began life saving measures for her.

When deputies arrived, the life saving measures were being conducted in the ambulance.

However, authorities said that, even with the best efforts of emergency personnel, the little girl died.

This case remains under investigation and authorities said further information will be released as it becomes available.

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.

Jasen Dwain Coley is a suspect in a fatal shooting on Monday, July 3, 2023, in McKinleyville, California. Photo courtesy of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is searching for the suspect of a homicide occurring in McKinleyville Monday evening.

The suspect, 26-year-old Jasen Dwain Coley, is wanted in connection to a fatal shooting outside a residence on the 2200 block of Silverbrook Court.

Sheriff’s deputies were called to the home at about 5:25 p.m. Monday where they located a deceased adult male with a gunshot wound.

Coley is reported to have fled the scene. Deputies were contacted by residents in the Hiller Park area reporting a suspicious person matching Coley’s description. Despite extensive search efforts, including air support from the California Highway Patrol, law enforcement was unable to locate Coley.

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.

Coley may be associated with a dark blue 2016 Hyundai Elantra, Tennessee license plate # 015BKGM.

McKinleyville 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, Extension 0.

This case is still under investigation. Identity of the deceased is being withheld pending next of kin notifications. More information will be released when available and appropriate.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced 24 projects receiving nearly $52 million in grant funding at an event in Oakland, along with U.S. Representative Barbara Lee and project grantees.

The selected projects will help protect and restore wetlands and water quality, build climate change resilience, and increase environmental benefits with a focus on underserved communities in the nine Bay Area counties (Alameda, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Contra Costa, and San Francisco).

"The San Francisco Bay is one of our nation’s most iconic natural treasures and vital ecosystems, and its shores are home to numerous and diverse Californian communities,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. "Thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Justice40 Initiative, EPA is proudly awarding a record level of funding to protect and restore the Bay's watersheds and wetlands, and benefit surrounding underserved communities."

“Time and time again, the Biden-Harris Administration has shown their commitment to environmental justice and addressing the climate crisis,” said Congresswoman Lee. “Critical projects throughout my district will now receive meaningful investment to help improve water quality, protect and restore wetlands, combat climate change, and more. I’d like to thank the EPA, Regional Administrator Guzman, President Biden, and all of our grant awardees for playing their part in building a cleaner, safer climate for all Californians.”

“The East Bay Regional Park District’s parklands protect vital habitat for wildlife, including many rare and endangered species, and help preserve the natural beauty that makes the Bay Area such a desirable place to live,” said Park District General Manager Sabrina B. Landreth. “The Park District thanks President Biden, the EPA, and Congresswoman Lee and her colleagues in Congress for supporting the grant program.”

Funding for these projects comes from EPA’s San Francisco Bay Water Quality Improvement Fund, a competitive grant program focused on restoring impaired watersheds, reducing polluted runoff, and building climate change resilience around San Francisco Bay.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law expanded the Fund’s mandate to increase equity and access to federal funding and climate resilience support for underserved communities.

Since its inception, the Fund has invested over $120 million through more than 80 on-the-ground projects in the nine Bay Area counties.

Organizations receiving federal funding under today’s announcement:

San Francisco Estuary Institute (three grants totaling $7,625,000) — One grant will address high-priority pollution data gaps via information collection and modeling to improve PCB and nutrient management for San Francisco Bay. A second grant will fund pilot sediment reuse projects to help restore several acres of tidal marsh, transition zone, and riparian habitat in the Petaluma River, Rheem Creek, Lower Adobe Creek, and Stevens Creek watersheds. A third grant will be used to build green stormwater infrastructure for communities in Richmond and East Oakland, with project partners Urban Tilth and the Oakland Unified School District providing stormwater green job trainings and community tours.

California State Coastal Conservancy (two grants totaling $5,500,000) — One grant will support the restoration of 2,100 acres of former salt ponds to 1,300 acres of tidal marsh and 800 acres of enhanced managed ponds and improve four miles of existing levees. The project will also add transition slopes for sea level rise adaptation and four miles of trail to increase shoreline access. A second grant will support planning to collaboratively design 10 new living shoreline climate adaptation projects along the central San Francisco Bay, and also develop regional guidance for living shoreline and multi-benefit shoreline adaptation efforts.

San Francisco Estuary Partnership ($4,329,459) — Funds will be used to promote a suite of nature-based solutions, from planning and design to implementation and monitoring, for communities across the San Francisco Bay area. The project will also restore eight acres of transitional habitat at the Palo Alto Wastewater Treatment Plant and construct the first shoreline horizontal levee on the Bay to demonstrate the feasibility of multi-benefit nature-based solutions.

Marin County ($4,073,070) — Funds will support the county’s trash reduction activities, including designs for up to 17 stormwater treatment facilities, construction of a dewatering pad, and countywide public outreach and engagement. These activities are expected to capture over 8,000 gallons of trash annually.

Santa Clara Valley Water District ($3,800,000) — Funds will support the design and permitting of the re-connection of San Tomas Aquino and Calabazas creeks to the former salt ponds. This effort will restore approximately 1,800 acres of tidal marsh and enhance 50 acres of fresh/brackish marsh.

San Francisco Department of Recreation & Parks ($3,768,558) — Funds will be used to create bioretention basins to maximize the capture of stormwater and trash, thereby enhancing intertidal areas. The project will buffer against future sea level rise and allow for the continued existence of the intertidal habitats at a 6.2-acre park in an underserved community.

City-County Association of Governments San Mateo ($3,366,000) — Funds will support continued efforts to reduce trash entering San Francisco Bay. The project will include a regional work group to develop standard methods to evaluate the effectiveness of trash reduction measures in waters connecting to San Francisco Bay.

Santa Clara Valley Water District ($3,000,000) — Funds will support cleanups of encampment-generated trash, debris, and hazardous pollutants in nine heavily impacted Santa Clara County creeks, resulting in 2,000 tons of trash removal and 4,000 square feet of bank rehabilitation.

Sausalito Marin City School District ($3,000,000) — Funds will support the restoration of up to 600 feet of Willow Creek, providing an outdoor learning environment for the Nevada Campus students of the Sausalito Marin City School District. Additional green stormwater features will also be constructed on campus.

The SPHERE Institute ($3,000,000) — Funds will support design, permitting, and initial implementation costs for creating new tidal marsh and transition zone habitats to support shoreline resilience at a park along the Burlingame shoreline.

Contra Costa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District (two grants totaling $2,800,000) — One grant will support green stormwater infrastructure planning in old industrial areas throughout the underserved communities of Contra Costa County. A second grant will help improve watershed and water quality in Wildcat Creek by constructing a 400-foot-long “fish-friendly” reach and improving the existing sedimentation basin.

Richardson Bay Regional Agency ($2,782,586) — Funds will be used to restore at least 15 acres of eelgrass in Richardson Bay, continue implementation of the Richardson Bay eelgrass protection and management plan, develop a restoration and adaptive management plan, and remove marine debris.

City of Alameda ($1,472,500) — Funds will support creating over 6,000 square feet of green stormwater infrastructure bioretention areas at three intersections to manage stormwater runoff. This effort will be part of the City of Alameda Central Avenue Safety Improvement Project.

East Bay Regional Parks District ($1,200,000) — Funds will support the removal of over 1,000 toxic creosote-treated timber piles and 16,500 square feet of creosote-treated structures at Ferry Point Pier in Richmond.

All Positives Possible ($949,343) — Funds will be used for shoreline education, fish testing, garbage abatement, and shoreline preservation efforts, with a focus on training and increasing participation of community members and leaders from underserved neighborhoods along the shores of South Vallejo, the Carquinez Strait, and the Napa River.

City of San Jose ($419,002) — Funds will help teach San Jose high schoolers about watershed protection and support preparedness for climate change-related natural disasters, instilling resiliency and environmental stewardship in the next generation of young adults.

San Mateo County ($404,400) — Funds will support purchasing, installing, and maintaining a large trash capture device capable of removing about 3,500 gallons of trash per year from the North Fair Oaks community. The project will also develop an education and outreach program with a local youth engagement program.

Rose Foundation ($366,713) — Funds will support high school students from underserved communities and build their capacity as meaningful, active partners in planning a more equitable and sustainable water future at two project sites — Oakland Estuary and the Arroyo Viejo Creek watershed.

Acterra: Action for a Healthy Planet ($358,708) — Funds will be used to build capacity and climate change resilience in two underserved communities of San Mateo County (Belle Haven and North Fair Oaks neighborhoods) through trainings, community-led vulnerability assessments, and a feasibility analysis for nature-based solutions that enhance water quality and climate justice.

University of California Regents, Berkeley ($343,685) — Funds will be used to pilot the EcoBlock program to improve stormwater capture on an urban block in an underserved neighborhood in Oakland bordering Sausal Creek.

San Francisco Bay is a designated "estuary of national significance" under the Clean Water Act. The Bay and its tributary streams, situated in an urban area with more than seven million people, provide crucial fish and wildlife habitat at the heart of the larger Bay-Delta Estuary. In partnership with numerous non-profit organizations, watershed groups, land trusts, government agencies, and resource conservation districts, the San Francisco Bay Water Quality Improvement Fund has made significant progress in restoring water quality, ‘greening’ development, and building resilience to climate change impacts across San Francisco Bay and its watersheds.

For more information about EPA’s San Francisco Bay Water Quality Improvement Fund, visit http://www.epa.gov/sfbay-delta/sf-bay-water-quality-improvement-fund.

Upcoming Calendar

18May
05.18.2024 7:30 am - 1:00 pm
Inaugural veterans charity run
18May
05.18.2024 8:00 am - 11:00 am
Sheriff’s Activity League benefit breakfast
18May
05.18.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
18May
05.18.2024 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Land Trust benefit
21May
05.21.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
22May
05.22.2024 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Lake Leadership Forum
25May
05.25.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
27May
05.27.2024
Memorial Day
28May
05.28.2024 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park

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