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Council unsure of county study

Ad-hoc committee on waste authority one-sided, some say

Crescent City Council members expressed angst and frustration at a meeting Monday over the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors’ decision to form an ad hoc committee meant to study the justification of the local Solid Waste Management Authority.

In what was supposed to be a simple discussion regarding the city’s future involvement with the county-led committee, council members became divided on the topic, with some questioning whether the city should even take part in the study group.

“It seems to be a bus that’s left already,” Council Member Kathryn Murray said. “For us to join now, it doesn’t seem we would be an equal partner.”

But Council Member Charles Slert said that even though he was “frustrated” and “perplexed” with the county establishing the ad hoc committee, it would behoove the city to be involved in any decision-making that could potentially dissolve an agency that was formed through an agreement between the city and county to facilitate and oversee all trash and recycling services in the area.

Outages caused by wind, rain

Blackout lasts awhile in Smith River area

Strong gusts caused a few power outages throughout the county but little damage Sunday night and Monday morning.

The Smith River area was hit the hardest during the torrential storm — more than 600 customers lost power at some point during the night. Pacific Power was still working to restore electricity in Smith River on Monday afternoon.

Gasquet and Klamath had outages that were quickly fixed. Crescent City residents experienced no outages.
“Outages were scattered throughout the county,” said Monte Mendenhall, regional community manager for Pacific Power, on Monday. “We’ll be working through the rest of the afternoon.”

He said that in Smith River, 629 households lost their electricity in the early morning hours. By 4:15 a.m., workers had restored power to more than half of these homes.

Site to focus on economic development

Web page designed for business people

Coming soon: a new Web site featuring Del Norte County and what’s available to people looking to start a business or improve their current establishment.

Tri-Agency Economic Development Authority Executive Director Bill Renfroe has been putting together information for a Web site that is set to launch sometime this week, he said.

The site, www.tri-agency.org , will be a first for the authority board, which is made up of city, county and harbor representatives.

“The purpose is to give people resources for starting or expanding a business,” Renfroe said, showing off the features of the Web site.

There will be information on business loans available through the Del Norte Economic Development Corporation, such as what the funds can be used for, who’s eligible and what the maximum loan amount is, Renfroe explained.

Community meeting on Highway 199

The Del Norte Local Transportation Commission will host a community meeting in Hiouchi on Saturday to discuss traffic-calming im­prove­ments to U.S. Highway 199.

In particular, the meeting will focus on the section of roadway that begins near the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park entrance and ends near the area of Sunkist Lane in Hiouchi.

The information gathered at the meeting will help the Local Transportation Com­mission in identifying the preferences of the residents who drive this part of the highway the most.

U.S. House approves funds for dredging

Thompson: Local project is ‘critical’

Triplicate File Photo
Harbormaster Richard Young is cautiously excited, and Crescent City boat owners should be as well.

An appropriations bill that just passed the U.S. House of Representatives includes $1.6 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge Crescent City’s harbor.

“That doesn’t mean the corps has the money. It still has to pass through the Senate and be signed by President Obama,” Young said. “As my contact at the corps told me, ‘it’s not over till it’s over.’”

The $1.6 million is not enough to dredge all of the federal channel, but it is enough to do the critical parts, Young said.


What comes next?


If agency dissolved, questions will arise


Ken Woods collects garbage for Del Norte Disposal, which holds the authority’s collection franchise, on Thursday afternoon.(The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson)
  Even if you’re not sure what the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority is or what it does, you’re probably affected by it.

It’s the government entity that oversees all garbage collection, waste disposal and recycling in the county. It controls the rates people pay for curbside pick-up and sets the tipping fees for those who choose to haul their own waste to the transfer station.

With the recent decision by the chairman of the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors, Gerry Hemmingsen, to form an ad hoc committee to study the viability of the Solid Waste Authority, it’s possible the agency could be dissolved.

“I’d really like to know if we need oversight from an entire government bureaucracy for garbage collection,” Hemmingsen said just days after announcing the creation of the committee. “Let’s get the government’s hands out of there if they don’t need to be there.”

Boat leaks diesel into harbor

Workers try to contain the diesel spill in Crescent City Harbor on Friday.(The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson)
A fishing boat leaked about 10 gallons of diesel fuel into the Crescent City Harbor on Friday morning, harbor officials said.

The vessel, Warrior II, was moored at Citizens Dock when a faulty valve caused the fuel to leak out, said Harbormaster Richard Young.

“The captain was asleep when the leak started,”  Young said. “We started containing the slick and woke him up so that he could turn everything off and stop the leak.”

Harbor employees placed a boom around the vessel and dropped absorbent pads into the water.

A Warrior II deck hand, working alongside harbor personnel to clean up the leak, declined to comment about the spill.

“We report all spills like this to the National Response Center, who passes the report along to the appropriate agency,” Young said.

The National Response Center is a U.S. interagency center that is the only federal point of contact for reporting oil and chemical spills.

In this case, the appropriate agency is the U.S. Coast Guard Humboldt Bay group, which sent a vessel to gauge the level of contamination Friday afternoon.

“I’m not sure if a fine will be levied,” Young said. “That’s up to the Coast Guard.”



News of record from Feb. 28, 2009

Bound for Bay Area

League champs aim to advance at sectionals

Back row, L to R: Roger McCovey, Michael Terry, Barrick Sala, Warren Bailey, Kai Lemrise The Daily Triplicate/ Bryant Anderson
A caravan of 10 Del Norte High Warrior grapplers headed for the Bay Area Thursday, seeking wrestling glory at the Northcoast Section Wrestling Championships that start today.

Del Norte captured its second straight Humboldt-Del Norte Confer­ence championship title  last weekend in Arcata, which qualified 10 wrestlers for the Bay Area event.

Head coach Aaron Schaad said the squad is looking for more victories.

“It’s been a good week of practices,” he said. “Everyone’s spirits are up.”

At the HDNC championships, the team earned five first-place White Stars. The top three placers in each division earned a trip to the NCS championships. Besides the five first-place finishes, Del Norte had three second- and two third-place finishes.

Ocean salmon fishing unlikely

Commercial, sport seasons may be closed

West Coast salmon fishermen can expect another lousy fishing season — the third in a row.

Forecasts call for twice as many salmon as last year overall, but barely enough chinook returning to the  Sacramento River to spawn a new generation, the Pacific Fishery Management Council said this week.

That will likely mean no sport or commercial salmon fishing off California and little off Oregon, for fear of unintentionally killing too many Sacramento fish swimming with more prevalent stocks, said Chuck Tracy, head of the salmon section for the Portland-based council.

“This is just a disaster,” said Crescent City Harbormaster Richard Young on Thursday. “It’s another year in the barrel. I really don’t know what to say.”

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