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State coast commission pays a visit

Officials to tour local sites for projects needing approval 

For most of the state, the California Coastal Commission acts as a mediator for 38 million Californians elbowing for their fair share of coastal access. But in far northern California, where beach access is abundant, many often paint the regulatory agency as an overzealous, bureaucratic barrier to much-needed economic development.

To better grasp how Del Norte differs from far-flung, heavily-populated coastlines to the south, the commission will be holding its monthly multi-day meeting in Smith River this week and taking a tour of project sites in Del Norte County in need of the regulatory agency’s approval.

‘Strategic plan’ on Waste Board agenda for Wednesday

The embattled Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority will consider pursuing a strategic plan to guide the future of the agency that manages the county’s trash and recycling during a 3:30 p.m. meeting Wednesday in the Flynn Center, 981 H St.

During a “strategic planning” meeting in August, the authority board realized that drafting a strategic plan was not a task that was going to be accomplished in an afternoon, and Wednesday’s meeting will address how the board plans to develop such a plan.

Two grass fires doused

Two small vegetation fires burned half an acre Sunday afternoon in the Pacific Shores subdivision before firefighters  contained the area, according to Cal Fire officials.

Cal Fire responded to the fires in Fort Dick at 2:20 p.m. and spent two hours dousing the flames, said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Tim Devos. 

Candidate forums planned this week

Two Tea Party-sponsored forums, one for school board candidates and another for the superior court judge candidates, will take place this week.

Del Norte County Unified School District Board of Trustees hopefuls for areas 1, 2 and 5 will talk about their goals and ideas 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at the fairgrounds Floral Building. The candidates include incumbent Don McArthur and challenger Milton Reilley for Area 1; incumbent Lori Cowan and challenger Angela Greenough for Area 2 and Jamie Forkner, Verona “Ronnie” Sorensen, Beth Green and Janet Wortman for Area 5. A meet-and-greet with those running will happen before the forum at 5:45 p.m.

Regulated recycling

A Cascade Metal Recycling worker flame-cuts the storage tank of the defunct Crescent City Harbor Wastewater Treatment Plant last month as part of a compliance project to appease state regulators. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Old harbor wastewater treatment plant, now defunct, is demolished 

Crescent City Harbor District got out of the wastewater treatment business in 2011 when it shut down its plant and started pumping its fish processing waste to the newly opened Crescent City Wastewater Treatment Plant, but that did not absolve the district from fines it had racked up with state water quality regulators.

Instead of paying standing fines from the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, the harbor district agreed to dismantle the defunct wastewater treatment plant, an action that has been ongoing since last week.

Drought rules still in place

California’s drought is at the top of the state’s priority list, but Del Norte County appears to be faring better than most areas in the state. 

Local city, county and state government officials gathered Thursday afternoon at a Del Norte Emergency Operations Center meeting to discuss the state of the drought. 

Experts and local officials were in agreement that conditions in the area are better than in other parts of the state, but taking precautions through conservation should be maintained in the area.

Wildfire smoke thickens

Quite possibly the heaviest smoke seen in Del Norte County this entire fire season came this week from the 82,956-acre Happy Camp Complex, which was at 19 percent containment Friday evening.

State air quality regulators issued a warning for Del Norte, Humboldt and Trinity counties on Friday for wildfire smoke, which was even present on the coast for much of Friday.

Smoke was expected to travel southwest down the Klamath and Salmon River drainages this morning.

Median work on pause

A Caltrans highway safety project that aimed to reduce traffic collisions but inadvertently reduced traffic to local businesses has been put on hold while alternatives are considered.

The safety project, which would have seen an 80-foot median built on Highway 101 between Burtschell Road and Washington Boulevard, won’t continue as planned after Caltrans officials and engineers met on Friday with business owners and local officials to discuss concerns and possible alternatives.

Chase leads to arrest for stolen car

A vehicle pursuit led Crescent City Police to a stolen car, loaded rifle and one arrest Friday afternoon, according to police officials.

CCPD Officer Aaron King said the incident started at 11:46 a.m. when he spotted a mid-20s Hispanic male driver not wearing a seatbelt. King attempted to pull over a 1993 white Honda Accord near Essex and A streets when the vehicle took off.

Holiday weekend ends with 16 DUIs

Labor Day weekend saw what officials characterize as an usually high volume of alcohol and drug arrests in Del Norte County this past Labor Day weekend.

Sixteen arrests on drug- and alcohol-related charges were made between Friday and Monday. Del Norte Sheriff’s Commander Bill Steven said the number was particularly high compared to the average.

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