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‘Positive energy here’

Local successes lauded during tough economy

In a time of worldwide economic turmoil, Del Norte County’s bright spots were the focus at Saturday night’s annual dinner of the Crescent City-Del Norte County Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber welcomed its 2009 officers and bestowed its annual awards on several members of the business community. Recipients included the longtime owner of a local real estate company, the owner of an engineering company, an artist who recently opened a studio in the harbor and a woman who volunteers faithfully at the chamber.

While the region is not immune to the global economic meltdown that began last year and is continuing, outgoing Chamber President Grant Scholes reminded hundreds in the audience at the Crescent City Cultural Center that there have been recent local successes.

He pointed to the arrival in Crescent City last year of two commercial giants, Starbucks and Walgreens.

“They see positive energy here, even in tough economic times,” Scholes said.

Firefighters honored at City Council meeting

The Crescent City Council honored more than 25 local firefighters with medals of valor Monday to a standing ovation from a crowd that filled much of the Flynn Administration Center.

Mayor Kelly Schellong presented the awards to the firefighters — all of them volunteers with the exception of Crescent City Fire Chief Steve Wakefield — for their work during a Jan. 11 blaze at the Pebble Beach Apartments that killed Victoria Di Silvestro and severely injured her 6-year-old son.

“This council is truly grateful for your time and your service to the community,” Schellong said.

Visitor Center gets a reprieve

Council pays promised funds to Chamber

Side-stepping a self-imposed freeze on discretionary spending, the Crescent City Council voted Monday to give the local Chamber of Commerce $27,000 it needed in order to keep its Visitor Center on Front Street fully operational.

Council members decided to overlook their own policy, they said, because the money was already itemized in the city’s budget and the municipality was three payments behind in that commitment.

“We’ve been trying not to spend anything outside of our daily operations,” Mayor Kelly Schellong said. “However, this is a bill we haven’t paid.”

Not all council members supported giving the Chamber of Commerce the $27,000. Council Member Donna Westfall was the only dissenting vote, and she said the city should not make a decision until it knows exactly how much money it has in its coffers.

Man who had heart attack being sued

Had attack while driving last year, causing a collison

The family of a Crescent City man who had a heart attack while driving, causing a collision last April, is being sued by the driver of the other vehicle.

Dion Donaldson filed the suit Jan. 26 in Del Norte County court against Brhian Rovney and his wife, Alice Rovney, asking for compensatory monetary damages to be determined at trial in an amount that exceeds $25,000.

Rovneys car collided with  Donaldson’s van at Ninth and E streets and pushed it nearly 200 feet, according to a police report.

“It’s an accident and if you’re not getting any headway with the insurance, then the only other option is to file a lawsuit,” said attorney George Mavris about why he filed the suit on behalf of Donaldson.

Just one of the guys


Bronc draws the crowds, but teammates can wrestle too

Warrior wrestlers watch a match, with Roger McCovey at right: ‘Just a fun guy to be around,’ said teammate Joey Kravitz. (The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson)

Roger “Bronc” McCovey casts a long shadow with his 6-foot-4-inch, 240-pound frame and his credentials as the defending state heavyweight wrestling champion.

McCovey’s demeanor on the mat — unsmiling and all business — strikes fear into the hearts of his opponents. And these are guys who weigh up to 285 pounds and are not intimidated by much.

Chairman: Visitors Bureau in peril

Mayor: Too soon for city to make funding decision

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If Crescent City doesn’t help fund the local Visitors Bureau, the tourism marketing entity could slip into obscurity and even disappear, two of its primary proponents said Friday.

Funds are drying up and the Visitors Bureau has stopped many of its campaigns, such as advertising Del Norte in specialty outdoor and travel magazines, that are designed to increase tourism.

“This is important,” Visitor Bureau Chairman Jim Strong said Friday. “The City Council needs to prioritize it as important.”

The loss of the Visitors Bureau would mean “it’s not going to be an economic cog in the economic wheel of Del Norte County,” he said.

Police Logs January 31, 2009

Charges dropped in diesel spillage

City Council pay goes up by 40 percent

Despite uncertainty surrounding the municipality’s budget, Crescent City Council members received a 40 percent pay raise this month.

Council members’ monthly stipends increased from $434.16 to $610.92.

The former City Council approved the salary increase in September, but then-Councilwoman Kelly Schellong suggested including a stipulation that the implementation date could be pushed back if the finances were bleak.

Since last summer, the city has been unclear about how much money was actually in its coffers, and as a result decided to suspend any discretionary spending. According to the city finance department, this order is still in  place.

They do it for free

Chief lauds ‘ultimate community service’

Volunteer city firefighter Bruce Arellano stands in front of the City Center Motel controlled burn last July. The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
They save lives while risking their own, and in the process save residents from higher taxes.

Among the many calls they answered, local firefighters have battled two fatal fires over the last four months. And they do it for free.

“If there weren’t volunteers, there wouldn’t be a fire department,” said Crescent City Fire Chief Steve Wakefield, who holds the only paid position. “If there was, it would cost taxpayers between $6 and $7 million dollars, which is a lot more than our current $1 million annual budget.”

Actually, the volunteers make up two fire departments in two stations, one downtown and the other on Washington Boulevard.

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