AM News for Wednesday, 11.13.13
A 49-year-old Clearlake man was arrested Monday on suspicion of setting three fires, including two that spread to several acres of wildland behind the Clearlake Post Office.
Lake County fire crews were already battling two vegetation fires when a person called police to report seeing a suspicious man lighting a fire.
The caller reported overhearing the man bragging to children about starting one of the fires.
Officer Michael Carpenter found Johnny Johnson in a wooded area and he apparently admitted to starting a small fire in the immediate area but claimed it was to show children “how fires are easily started” and put it out with his hands but denied starting the other fires.
Johnson's pants were partially melted, his hair singed and he had a lighter.
Officers also found unique shoeprints that matched Johnson's shoes near both fires.
Johnson was arrested on suspicion of three felony counts of arson and booked into the Lake County Jail.
Some listeners have expressed concerns with CalFire's statement that the Fire season is over. I spoke with Julie Cooley, Fire prevention officer for CALFire Mendocino.
And people still need to get a burn permit and consult their local fire district before any kind of burn.
The Lake Planning Commission will hold a public hearing at 9:15 a.m. Thursday on an ordinance to institute permanent regulations on the growing of medical marijuana, at the Lake Courthouse, Lakeport.
The marijuana cultivation ordinance would replace a temporary ordinance in effect until next summer in the unincorporated areas of the county.
The current temporary regulations allow for a maximum of six plants to be grown outdoors on a half acre or less, 12 plants with a 75-foot setback on parcels of half an acre to one acre, etc.. It also expressly prohibits grows on vacant parcels.
The new guidelines would go further, prohibiting outdoor cultivation altogether within community growth boundaries, including not allowing for the use of greenhouses.
In addition, it would limit indoor cultivation to 100 square feet, with indoor lightning not to exceed 1,200 watts.
Parcels larger than one acre located outside of community growth boundaries cannot exceed six mature or 12 immature plants unless they are all Lake County residents in a medical marijuana collective on minimum 20-acre parcels in an agricultural district that includes the residence of one of those people.
In those cases where outdoor cultivation is allowed, the grows must be completely screened from public view and can't occur within 75 feet of any property line.
See lakecountynews.com for full details.
FRANK HARTZELL, writing in the FB Advocate, states that the staff of the California Coastal Commission has advised there is "no significant issue" in the appeal filed by local opponents of State Parks' plans to remove remnants of the Old Haul Road north of Ward Avenue in the Ten Mile Dunes area of MacKerricher State Park.
Thad Van Bueren, Stanley Anderson, and Eric and Deborah Freeman are headed to Newport Beach for Wednesday's session .The four, echoing the concerns of dozens of local opponents, based their appeal on the loss of public access, significant impacts to wetland and the natural environment, and insufficient data to allow approval of the project.
The Coastal Commission staff said the issues were valid but said there was factual support for the Mendocino Board of Supervisors' decision that the project would not deny local access and would not threaten the fragile ecosystem.
The finding by the staff means the appellants will have less time to make their case on Wednesday. Van Bueren has asked the commission to move the item to the Dec. 11-12 meeting in San Francisco and hold a full hearing to determine the facts of the appeal.
"I am appalled that your staff so readily dismiss the substantial and precedent-setting issues raised in the cited appeal."
Van Bueren wrote.
The 487-page appeal document can be viewed on the Coastal Commission's website.
Forthright Radio; @ 9:00 AM
Jeff Blankfort reconnects with expert Middle East analyst Gareth Porter. They'll discuss the ongoing negotiations with Iran to curtail its nuclear program .