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Board rejects union proposal

‘We’ve opened  a can of worms,’  admits union leader

The Del Norte County Unified School District Board unanimously shot down Thursday a controversial proposal to establish a training academy at the high school in exchange for hiring union workers for Measure A bond projects.

Each board member agreed that although money is needed to train students in the building trades at Del Norte High School, the agreement would be detrimental to local businesses and workers.

The proposal consisted of two parts: a “Community Benefit Agreement” to establish a training academy and a “Project Labor Agreement” that included stipulations on how contractors hired their workers for the district’s bond projects. Del Norte County voters approved Measure A last November, authorizing the sale of bonds for $25 million worth of school improvement projects.

Board member Bob Berkowitz said that the PLA was a “classic bait and switch tactic.”


High-altitude project

Workers replace microwave relay

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Workers install a new microwave relay on a tower in downtown Crescent City on Thursday. The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
In case you’re wondering why two men were climbing high over downtown Crescent City in the rain and wind Wednesday to manipulate what looked like giant drums, here’s the deal.

They were making sure you’ll be able to continue making long-distance calls, if you happen to be a Verizon land-line customer, and local calls if you have Verizon cell phone service.

The drum-like devices are  microwave relays. Each weighs 1,000 pounds, and the workers were replacing one of two that sit atop a tower between Third and Fourth streets west of H Street.

“When people make long-distance calls the signal transfers to the Verizon office via telephone lines and then is beamed through a microwave relay to Eureka and transferred back to phone lines,” said Verizon media relations officer John Davies.


No charges against man in drug bust

A man arrested last week during a drug sales sting at the Elk Valley Casino will not be charged, authorities said.

Leonard Ray Attebery, 49, had been arrested on suspicion of selling and transportation of marijuana Friday.

By Monday, he was released from jail with no charges pending.

Also, Attebery was not required to  post bail, as the Triplicate reported Wednes­day.

A jail official said the Del Norte District Attorney’s Office rejected the charges, and a spokesperson for that office was not available for comment Thursday.

Police Logs February 13, 2009


Fire guts home on Inyo Street

Mom, daughter lose residence

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Lisa Serrano inspects the damage in her burned-out kitchen Wednesday. The Daily Triplicate/Michele Thomas
A space heater is the likely cause of a Wednesday afternoon fire on Inyo Street that charred the inside of a house and blocked the roadway while emergency crews worked to contain the blaze.

Though the fire didn’t destroy the house, it caused damage estimated in the tens of thousands of dollars to the residence and displaced a mother and her 11-year-old daughter.

“The whole place is bad, it’s unbelievable,” Lisa Serrano said as she looked at her home through tear-glazed eyes. “It was like a bucket of lava was poured all over the house. It was black.”

Serrano is the president and CEO of the local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She lived in the house with her daughter, Rose, but neither was home when the fire started.

When firefighters from the Crescent Fire Protection District and Crescent City Volunteer Fire Department arrived at Serrano’s house, there were no flames coming out of the building, although smoke was billowing through the vents on the roof.


Waves put on a show

■ Beachgoers take in the scene as a wave crashes on a Pebble Beach sea stack Wednesday afternoon. The storm turned into a spectator sport, with many other people parking at viewpoints to watch the show. Stormy weather is expected to continue through the weekend. The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson

Money awarded for food, shelter programs

The Del Norte County local Federal Emergency Manage­ment Agency (FEMA) board has been awarded $24,555 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county.

“This happens every year,” said Rural Human Service’s Teri McCune-Oostra. “They base the disbursement on the amount of unemployment in a particular area. This year we are getting $7,000 more because unemployment went up.”

The decision to give funds to Del Norte’s local board was made by a FEMA-administered national board that includes representatives of the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities USA, National Council of the Churches of Christ, the Salvation Army, United Jewish Communities and the United Way of America.

The national board has charged the local board to distribute the funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the county.


News of Record Jan. 30-Feb. 2, 2009


Septic tank rules fought

Rural areas decry guidelines driven by Malibu issues

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Del Norte County Supervisor David Finigan addresses a state Water Quality Control Board hearing in Santa Rosa on Monday. Courtesy of the (Santa Rosa) Press Democrat
Del Norte County is part of a growing number of rural communities fighting proposed state septic tank regulations that could cost local homeowners tens of thousands of dollars if enacted.

The State Water Resources Control Board, in response to legislation passed in 2000, came up with a set of new guidelines meant to protect groundwater and other sensitive waterways from leaking on-site sewage treatment systems.

Local officials say the proposed rules shouldn’t apply to the entire state and are a result of legislative overkill designed to fix a problem in Southern California, and in particular, celebrity-filled Malibu.

“There is no such thing as California,” said Leon Perreault, the county's director of environmental health, who oversees septic system issues and permitting in Del Norte County. “California does not exist as a practical construct ... Shasta County is markedly different from Del Norte County.”


Board may settle issue Thursday

Local contractors come out in force against labor pact

As soon as Thursday evening, the Del Norte County Unified School District Board could decide on a controversial proposal that has lit up the local construction industry.

A group of unions, through a proposed “Community Benefit Agreement” with the school district, would help create and fund a technology academy at Del Norte High School to give students specialized training in the construction trades.

The proposal includes a “Project Labor Agreement” that would require contractors working on any of the district $25 million Measure A bond projects to hire part of their construction crews out of union “hiring halls,” and that anyone working on a project join the union.

Supporters of the local construction industry packed the Curriculum and Instruction Center behind the school district offices Monday night for a public meeting on the proposal. Dozens wore green anti-PLA T-shirts and buttons.


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