Napa

[Napa County] Several Napa school trustees blame taxpayer group for grand jury criticism

As a group, the Napa Valley Unified School District’s Board of Trustees responded unemotionally to financial criticism by the Napa County Grand Jury.

But individually, several trustees said they saw the fingerprints of Napa County Taxpayers Association representatives behind the reports that were issued this spring.

[Napa County] Financing plan for new Napa County jail needs more publicity, grand jury says

Napa County might create a sort of New Jail Financing 101 for the taxpaying public, if it heeds the grand jury’s advice.

The county plans to build a $128 million, 304-bed jail with 28 additional medical/mental health beds along Highway 221 near Syar quarry. This jail would replace the downtown Napa jail built in 1976 and expanded in 1989.

Over the past few years, the county has proposed different versions of the project. Jail size and financing methods to be covered by taxpayers’ dollars have changed dramatically.

Napa County Grand Jury weighs in on climate change, saying it threatens wine industry

Saying that the future of the wine industry is at stake, Napa County and its cities should coordinate carbon-cutting efforts and the county should consider doing more to monitor winery greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Napa County Grand Jury.

The 2017-18 grand jury’s new report looks at the county’s ongoing, multi-year effort to create a climate action plan. Climate scientists believe greenhouse gases are the leading cause of climate change that poses significant health, environmental and economic threats, it said.

[Orange County] OC Grand Jury: Jail Deaths Could Be Prevented

Fifteen recent deaths in the Orange County jails may have been prevented if jailers had properly recognized mental or physical illness, the Orange County grand jury reported Monday.

The report estimated that 44 percent of in-custody deaths in Orange County’s jails could have been avoided if not for delays in treatment as well as failures to identify health risks, diagnose serious mental illness or referral to doctors.

“Modest changes in procedures at a relatively low cost could improve survival rates,” the grand jury reported.

[Napa County] Napa’s grand jury criticizes ag preservation tax break program

Napa County is granting millions of dollars in tax breaks to preserve wine country farmland that already appears safe from being paved over, according to the 2017-18 grand jury.

The new grand jury report is subtitled “Subsidizing a Lifestyle.” Williamson Act tax breaks designed to preserve farms are concentrated in the hands of the wealthy and corporations that buy Napa County vineyard land, the watchdog group said.

[Napa County] Grand Jury: Arrests down, fewer youth in Napa County juvenile hall

Although it is greatly “underutilized,” the Napa County Juvenile Justice Center is serving its youths well as it focuses on rehabilitation instead of incarceration, the Napa County Grand Jury said Tuesday.

There is space at the 43,000-square-foot, two-story facility on Old Sonoma Road to house 50 juveniles, but each of the two times the grand jury toured it, there were fewer than 20 youths there. This is a statewide issue as arrest rates for juveniles continue to decrease, the grand jury said.

Napa County grand jury assesses emergency alerts, says October wildfires were ‘predictable’

Last October’s wildfires were “predictable” and local officials should have done a better job at alerting people about not only evacuations but also the threat of fire, according to a Napa County grand jury report released Friday.

The fires that hit Napa County resulted in 69,247 acres burned, 1,051 structures destroyed or damaged, and seven deaths, the jury said.

Napa County Grand Jury explores Napa Valley Unified School District finances a second time

For the second time in a week, the Napa County Grand Jury has issued a report on the Napa Valley Unified School District, this time regarding its persistent financial challenges.

The latest grand jury report, dated June 5, followed another, more critical report released May 29 that delved into NVUSD’s handling and oversight of Measure H, the $269 million school bond.

The June 5 report focused on the financial challenges at NVUSD, which has had five consecutive years of deficits and is facing at least three more years of fiscal imbalances.

[Napa County] Grand jury wants Napa County to do more for farmworker housing

The 2017-18 Napa County Grand Jury wants a redoubled county Board of Supervisors effort to ensure an estimated 6,000 to 9,000 farmworkers who labor in the area’s vineyards have places to live.

First, determine what the needs are, the grand jury recommended in a new report. It doesn’t view the traditional picture of the migrant farmworker as meshing with anecdotal information it received during its investigation.

[Napa County] Napa grand jury faults NVUSD, oversight committee over school bond

The Napa County grand jury issued a report Tuesday criticizing the Napa Valley Unified School District as well as a citizens oversight committee regarding Measure H, the $269 million school bond narrowly approved by voters in 2016.