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Solid Waste Board to look at staff cuts

Thursday workshop to address possible Solid Waste changes 

The seemingly ever-embattled Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority will hold a “strategic planning” workshop on Thursday, which is expected to focus on possibly making permanent staff cuts and privatizing some positions — including employees covered by union contracts.

The workshop will be facilitated by independent consultant Terry Supahan in an informal setting to encourage discussion at 2 p.m. Thursday in the Crescent Fire Protection District building, 255 W. Washington Blvd.

Delays likely during prelude to bridge work

A photo simulation shows the proposed new Dr. Fine Bridge over the Smith River. Courtesy of Caltrans
Motorists should anticipate five-minute delays at the Highway 101 Dr. Fine Bridge  over the Smith River for the next two to three weeks as crews conduct geotechnical drilling on the river’s bedrock for a future $50 million bridge replacement expected to break ground as early as this winter.

Drilling of 4.5-inch-diameter holes is taking place at nine locations of future bridge abutments at depths up to 150 feet.

Obstruction Zone

Replacement of an 89-year-old bridge over the Middle Fork Smith River is one part of the embattled project. Opponents say a massive slope-cut proposed at the bridge site will result in salmon-harming sediment in the river. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Support for extensive highway project puts county board under fire 

Passions flared during the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors meeting this week among both supporters and critics of a $38 million construction project on Highways 199 and 197 that is not underway this summer as scheduled due to an injunction granted in federal court in May at the request of local environmental groups.

The issue was at play due to a resolution the board unanimously passed endorsing the project, which would straighten and widen seven tight spots on highways 199 and 197, including replacing an 89-year-old, narrow bridge with an awkward approach over the Middle Fork Smith. 

Panther Flat runs out of water

Panther Flat Campground, 3 miles east of Gasquet, shut down water systems Thursday due to “extraordinarily low” water levels in the well that supplies the facility, a U.S. Forest Service press release said. 

While one faucet has remained on temporarily in the hope of being able to provide some access to drinking water, monitoring has revealed that water flows continue to decrease, according to the release. 

Agency rethinking water for salmon

A federal agency said Friday it is taking another look at releasing water in the Klamath Basin to prevent the spread of disease among salmon returning to spawn in drought conditions. 

A decision is likely next week following discussions with fisheries biologists and others, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation spokeswoman Janet Sierztutowski said from Sacramento. The bureau previously denied a request from the Hoopa Valley Tribe to release water from Lewiston Dam on the Trinity River, which flows in the Klamath River, to prevent the spread of a parasite that attacks salmon in stagnant water, though the bureau said it would release some water if significant numbers of fish started dying.

Last flight to Sacramento will be Dec. 2

SkyWest flights from Crescent City to Sacramento won’t be an option after Dec. 2. 

But even though this may be an inconvenience for some, local airport officials say most folks flying out of Crescent City are headed to other connecting flights in San Francisco.

Outcry can’t save Gasquet Post Office hours

Although a recent public meeting to inform the Gasquet community of U.S. Postal Service plans to cut office hours in half at its Gasquet branch was standing-room-only, the community response won’t change USPS plans to reduce office hours in Gasquet to just four hours each weekday beginning Jan. 1, 2015. 

“This change is going to go ahead and follow through,” Postmaster Robyn Dal Porto said.

Man returns stolen items, turns self in

A man suspected of breaking into a Crescent City residence turned himself in along with a majority of the stolen property on Thursday. 

The Crescent City Police Department received a call about a burglary from the 500 block of J Street on Tuesday morning, according to a press release from the department. A large amount of property, including rifles, handguns, electronics and clothes were reported missing.

Art show deadline moved to Aug. 22

The Coast Redwoods Art Association has extended the deadline for submittal to its annual juried fine art show for another week.

Local Jack cheese wins national award

Del Norte’s Rumiano Cheese Company took home a first-place prize at the American Cheese Society’s 31st annual conference held recently in Sacramento.

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