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State OK with change to loan

Sewer customers will have a chance to protest rate hikes 

The State Water Resources Control Board last week approved a graduated repayment plan and a zero-percent interest rate as Crescent City seeks to pay back its $44 million wastewater treatment plant loan.

As a result, the city will save about $15.4 million, but only if sewer customers consent to an annual 5-percent rate increase between July 2015 and July 2019, according to City Manager Eugene Palazzo. 

Commercial crabbing will open Dec. 1

Preseason testing shows high quality 

The results are in; the crabs are plump, and all ports north of Fort Bragg, including Crescent City and Brookings, will open for the commercial Dungeness crab season on Dec. 1.

Preseason testing done to ensure crab quality in northern California, Oregon and Washington “shows the crab are in exceptionally good form,” said Pete Kalvass, senior environmental scientist for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.


The Trans-Kalmiopsis Route, a 26-mile hiking trail through the wilderness, leads to stunning mountaintop views. Courtesy Siskiyou Mountain Club
Volunteers work to restore wilderness trails destroyed in 2002 wildfire 

In 2002, the half-million acre Biscuit Fire — the second-largest wildfire in Oregon history — scorched most of the 180,000-acre Kalmiopsis Wilderness, leaving the area’s trail network covered in tangled bird’s nests of fallen burnt trees with hundreds of dead snags dominating the horizons.

By the time Gabe Howe and his wife Jillian Stokes started visiting the area in 2006, the damage had only accelerated, with dozens of snags falling onto trails with each windy storm.

“We couldn’t stand the idea that these trails were being forsaken,” Howe recently told the Triplicate, describing his first encounter with the Kalmiopsis as “impassable trail conditions.” 

Two locals guilty in burglary

Donald K. Webb
$1 million bail set for repeat felon 

Two burglars who were thwarted by a 72-year-old woman brandishing a gun are awaiting sentencing in the Del Norte County Jail. 

On Wednesday a jury took about half an hour to find Donald K. Webb, 33, guilty of burglary and resisting arrest. Zachariah Dungan, 33, pled guilty on charges stemming from the same January incident. Neither of the Crescent City men was offered a plea bargain, according to Deputy District Attorney Todd Zocchi. 

No time wasted opening Big 5

Once it left the permitting stages, it took roughly six months for Crescent City’s new sporting goods store to be built and open its doors.

But city officials say they worked with Big 5 Sporting Goods representatives an additional six months to a year to find the right location.

The El Segundo-based retailer celebrated the ribbon cutting of its newest store Thursday by giving away grab bags, holding a series of raffles and giving specially-invited guests an early chance to shop. The store held its official grand opening Friday.

Moving Mountains

A fire lookout and telecommunications site atop Red Mountain will be relocated by 2022, according to state and federal plans. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
How to get closer to God is a question every culture throughout history has asked, in some form or another. How to coordinate radio, microwave and cellular signals so that we can rely on emergency responders, phones, radios and televisions is a relatively new phenomenon.

These inquiries collide on Red Mountain, a 4,200-foot peak near Klamath, where a fire lookout with 100-mile views sits alongside a steel tower transmitting communications for untold cellular customers and 12 public agencies. Largely due to the site’s sacred nature to the Yurok Tribe, the United States Forest Service mandated in 1995 that the communications hub and lookout be moved by 2022.

Radios go fuzzy on narrowband

Relocating Red Mountain communication towers may or may not ultimately harm radio communication in the region, but what’s certain is that Del Norte County’s adoption of a federal mandate to convert mobile radio systems to narrowband at the beginning of 2013 has already diminished public safety agencies’ ability to communicate. 

In 2004, the Federal Communications Commission issued an order saying that public safety and industrial businesses using radios and operating in the 150-174 MHz and 421-512 MHz bands would be required to transition to “narrowband” using channel bandwidth of no more than 12.5 kHz technology by Jan. 1, 2013.

SkyWest to retire turboprop planes

After transition, won’t be able to land in Crescent City 

The deafening hum of a turboprop spinning outside the window of an airplane coming to or from Del Norte County Regional Airport will be a sound of the past by next summer — at least under SkyWest Airlines.

The regional carrier based in St. George, Utah, announced Monday that it will “transition to an all-jet fleet by removing all remaining 30-seat Embraer 120 Brasilia turboprop aircraft” — the aircraft that services Crescent City’s airport.

Town takes roll of new officials

The only thing close to outnumbering the personnel changes, promotions and inductions at Monday’s City Council meeting was the number of times the audience gave standing ovations in support of them.

The meeting, which was more of a celebratory roll call than an administrative session, saw the swearing-in of a new interim police chief, two police sergeants, a new police officer, two city council members and the appointment of a new mayor and mayor pro tem.

‘Jury duty’ scam reported

The Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents to be wary of a new telephone scam reported Wednesday.

The Sheriff’s Office received five calls from residents who said they were contacted by someone claiming to be an employee of the Sheriff’s Office and informing them they have a warrant out for their arrest for failing to report for jury duty, Commander Bill Steven explained.

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