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Rate hike's fate up to voters

City verifies enough petition signatures for referendum on sewer charge increase 

The new consumption-based sewer rate ordinance is suspended by a successful referendum petition drive organized by Donna Westfall and the Crescent City Del Norte County Taxpayers Association, city officials announced late Monday.

City Clerk and Administrative Analyst Kymmie Scott said she has verified the required number of signatures.

“The referendum effort needed 172 signatures to place the item on the November ballot,” Scott said. “Of the 219 turned in, 211 were deemed valid.”

The ordinance includes an increase in sewer charges and revenue. It was adopted unanimously March 7 by Crescent City Council.


City eyes policy and procedure manual

Crescent City Council members and city employees, may soon have a comprehensive Council Policy and Procedure Manual to guide current and future procedures, proceedings, and conduct.

Until now, Administrative Analyst Kymmie Scott said, the city has drawn from the many different ordinances that govern City Council and city employees, but nothing is consolidated. The new manual will address both council and individual member conduct.

The council is currently reviewing and offering suggestions on the draft proposal produced and presented by Scott at the March 7 Council meeting. 

“Currently there is no … manual, nor is there a centralized location where the council, staff, and public can easily reference the array of information pertaining to the workings of the City Council,” Scott said. “Resolutions and ordinances that have direct bearing on current Council actions span over 25 years and many individual documents.”


Winter-like storm system on the way

Winter is determined to rear its ugly head once more this week.

Heavy rain and cold temperatures will reach the North Coast late Wednesday or early Thursday on the heels of some more seasonable showers today and Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service in Eureka. 

“It’s something we’d typically see more of in the fall and winter,” said Meteorologist Patrick Doll. “It’s a little late in the season. This system is unusually deep.”


Waste Authority hopes for clean water tests to lower its bill

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Kayleen Warner, Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority's facilities and programs coordinator, measures pH and electrical conductivity in well water near the Crescent City Landfill. Samples were sent away in hopes that they'll come up clean so that the authority can scrap some costs associated with monitoring the waste site. Courtesy Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority
 Two private wells near the retired Crescent City Landfill were sampled last week by the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority. If they test clean of pollutants, the authority may be able to shake off more than half of an annual $70,781 permitting fee owed to the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, WHICH HAS rated the disposal site as the highest possible threat to water quality. 

“It’s a very big bill, and it’s challenging to justify that in terms of what the community benefit is in monitoring a closed landfill,” said Authority Director Tedd Ward, noting that it amounted to more than $2 a person. “I am sympathetic because the regional water board used to be paid for through the (state’s) general fund, and now they have to raise their own fees.”

Groundwater tests on authority property near the rubbish heap have shown improvement since it was closed for good in 2005 and capped, limiting the amount of moisture let in and the amount of methane gas put off. 


Emergency dispatch call logs, April 8-11, 2016

Excerpts from the Del Norte County emergency dispatch call logs, April 8-11:  

Friday, April 8

Note: From 4:54 p.m.

At 6:37 p.m., caller on the 1900 block of Northcrest Drive says his son is on the property making a disturbance and he would like for him to be removed.

At 7:16 p.m., caller on the 1100 block of U.S. 101 says her daughter is out of control and hit her in the face several times.

At 7:19 p.m., report of a woman on the 200 block of 8th Street saying she is seeing people, hearing things, and doesn’t know where she is.

At 9:33 p.m., report of people playing loud music from their car near C and 4th Streets.


Emergency dispatch call logs, April 8-11, 2016

Excerpts from the Del Norte County emergency dispatch call logs, April 8-11:  

Friday, April 8

Note: From 4:54 p.m.

At 6:37 p.m., caller on the 1900 block of Northcrest Drive says his son is on the property making a disturbance and he would like for him to be removed.

At 7:16 p.m., caller on the 1100 block of U.S. 101 says her daughter is out of control and hit her in the face several times.

At 7:19 p.m., report of a woman on the 200 block of 8th Street saying she is seeing people, hearing things, and doesn’t know where she is.

At 9:33 p.m., report of people playing loud music from their car near C and 4th Streets.


Help for the hungry: 'I couldn't not do something'

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Left to right: Lindell Scarborough, Marianne Fallmann and Cora Jones get together at the VFW kitchen every Thursday to help assemble lunches for people in need. Del Norte Triplicate / David Anderson
 Volunteers have prepared nealy 4,000 meals distributed to vets, homeless 

In the darkening shadow of a worsening homeless reality, a group of local volunteers are focusing on a solution.

Every Thursday, the group, led by Marianne Fallmann, VFW Cmdr. Gerry Johnson, and VFW Auxiliary President Linndell Scarborough, gather in the kitchen at the VFW Hall and put together 50 lunches, delivering them to homeless individuals and families throughout Del Norte County.

“We have been doing this for over a year,” Fallmann said. “The need is so overwhelming.”


Mom gets four-year sentence for hitting toddler

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Anderson
A Smith River mother was sentenced to four years without probation in state prison for striking her 3-year old daughter and bruising her face late last year.

39-year old Cindy Joyce Anderson’s criminal history, which includes misdemeanor assault and battery convictions, a felony conviction from Idaho, and alleged involvement in numerous burglaries, factored “heavily” in Del Norte Superior Court Judge William Follett’s sentencing decision Thursday, according to court documents and a press release from Del Norte District Attorney Dale Trigg, whose office was represented in this case by Katherine Micks.

“I understand why (Follett) did what he did, but I was hoping for probation,” said Anderson’s public defender, Karen Olson, who said she believed Anderson had been living in Smith River for just under a year.


Airport contract awarded

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An artist's rendering of the Del Norte County Regional Airport's future terminal. Courtesy Del Norte County Regional Airport
Tidewater Contractors, Inc. was awarded a $2 million contract Thursday to take on the first phase of the Del Norte County Regional Airport’s new terminal.

Coming in $2 million under the engineer’s estimate, Tidewater’s low bid will give the airport “some leeway” when it comes time for phase 2, when the terminal gets built, Program Manager Susan Daugherty said at the monthly Border Coast Regional Airport Authority meeting.

Vanir Construction Management’s initial estimate of more than $4 million was made under the assumption the bids to bump Dale Rupert Road a little to the east and drill along Pebble Beach Drive for new water and sewer connections would not come from local companies, Daugherty said.


PenAir times to change

Beginning April 21, an altered flight schedule in and out of Crescent City will mean even better connection to Sacramento, airport officials say.

PenAir took over area skies in September 2015, routing passengers through Portland. Local passengers accustomed to the years of SkyWest’s service through San Francisco worried the change might cut them off from Sacramento and the rest of California.

“As with a lot of things, people’s perceptions of what’s happening is not the reality,” said Border Coast Regional Airport Authority Chair David Finigan. “When I was going United (with SkyWest), and they cancelled that evening flight a couple years ago, it was almost seven hours to get to Sacramento — I’d have to wait at SFO for two and a half hours. I can drive there in six and a half.”


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