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Peaceful break in Jet Ski saga

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Tyson Thompson of Redding shows off above the waves on his Yamaha Blaser Sunday at the Crescent City Freeride. Del Norte Triplicate / Michael Zogg
Low attendance at weekend gathering following beach use controversy
 

The Crescent City Freeride started out on Friday with a little apprehension from some of the personal watercraft (commonly called Jet Skis or PWCs) riders who made the trip to South Beach.

Following several complaints from a group of local citizens, many of the visiting riders didn’t know exactly what to expect. By the end of the weekend, however, that apprehension had turned to enjoyment.

“I think the weekend turned out absolutely amazing,” said local rider Kendri Rook. “The only thing is I wish we could have had the pro riders show up to give the public a better aerial show. Overall though, we had a lot of public support.”


Runway upgrades cleared for takeoff

With easements in hand that will keep lots purchased from the Pacific Shores and Bay Meadows subdivisions in public use after they’ve been restored to wetland, dune and prairie habitats, the airport is inching closer to measuring up to federal regulations and their December 2015 deadline. 

Meeting the demands of a conditional development permit issued by the California Coastal Commission this January, the runway safety project — nearly a decade in the making — was given the green light this month and will finally step off the landing strips and into the marsh. Runway buffer zones will be widened by 300 feet to keep the airport’s commercial status and comply with Federal Aviation Administration standards. 


Board: Wier will head SRS

After there was some question about whether contracting with a county supervisor would present a conflict of interest, the Del Norte Local Transportation Commission changed course at its special meeting Monday, choosing another bidder to manage the Safe Routes to School program.

After the commission’s attorney advised against entering into a contract with District 2 Supervisor Martha McClure because she is one of the County Board of Supervisors’ designated alternates for the board’s three seats on the commission, Executive Director Tamera Leighton said she looked forward to working with Amber Wier, of Amber Wier Consulting, who is to take over the program at Bess Maxwell and Joe Hamilton elementary schools, promoting safe walking and bicycling to schools by rallying community support and managing grants. 


DUI arrest after crash

A 23-year-old man from Eureka suffered major injuries after a vehicle veered off the road and into a ditch at around 1 a.m. Monday.

With a broken nose and two lacerations to the back of the head, Nathanael Timoshemiko was transported to Sutter Coast Hospital, after he and the driver, Jacob Flores, 22, of McKinleyville, were able to walk away from the rolled vehicle and flag down a California Highway Patrol unit, according to a press release from CHP.


2 Caltrans employees honored for heroism

Two Caltrans District 1 employees are being awarded the Governor’s State Employee Medal of Valor for acts of heroism during a rescue operation north of Gasquet in Del Norte County in late 2011.

The employees, Johnnie James and Jerry Bachmann, were members of the Idlewild Maintenance crew in Del Norte County in October 2011 who were returning to their maintenance yard from the site of an oil spill cleanup when they spotted tire tracks leading off of U.S. Highway 199 and over an embankment. James and Bachmann acted quickly to assess the situation; a vehicle had skidded off the road and overturned on its way down the embankment before coming to rest against a tree — which was the only thing that prevented the vehicle from plummeting to the riverbed below, trapping Peter and Susan Aspinwall inside.


Solid Waste Board to vet candidates

The Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority will discuss and take possible action at its meeting today in regard to appointing a public commissioner — one of five seats on the board, and the only one that’s elected from the public.

Nine people are vying for the two-year position, which will help to oversee trash and recycling in the county, as well as state-mandated monitoring of a closed landfill site.


Restoration Report Card

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Mill Creek in a reach less affected by logging roads. courtesy of Jon Parmentier
Rumbling in a pickup truck over the rutted surface of an old logging road high above Mill Creek, fish seem very far away. Yet land managers say the fate of an endangered salmon species may cling to the iffy roads that traverse these steep, once heavily logged hills, as well as the streams flowing through them. 

Some 25,000 acres of former timberland now owned by California State Parks, the highs and lows of the Mill Creek Addition are ground zero for an ambitious restoration project that began more than a decade ago, when Stimson Lumber Company cashed out of the land with $60 million in state and donated funds, leaving behind over 300 miles of roads, more than a third of them long
unmaintained. 


Pre-K needs more pupils

The Headstart preschool in Smith River may close at the end of the school year, news that reached its parents and teachers last week when officials from Northcoast Children’s Services announced that low enrollment led to a decision to write the preschool out of the federal grant funding it.

There are currently 17 children in the preschool, two away from capacity. It’s operated by Arcata-based nonprofit Northcoast Children’s Services, which annually receives over $8 million in government grants to run more than 30 early childhood and family support programs for low-income families in Del Norte and Humboldt Counties, including the half-day preschool for 3 and 4-year-olds in Smith River, as well as three preschools and one infant and toddler center in Crescent City.  


Stabbing interrupts CR class Thursday

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Warren Bailey
A political science class at College of the Redwoods was interrupted when one student reportedly stabbed another Thursday afternoon. 

Having grown agitated during the American government class discussion on current events, Crescent City man Warren Bailey, 23, abruptly left the room, course instructor Eli Naffah told the Triplicate, before he returned and assaulted another student. 

“He talked to somebody outside and ran back into the room,” Naffah said. “I thought that he was just heading back to his seat, but he kept running.” 


Invisible line in the sand

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Jet Ski riders take a break from the waves while enjoying the surf at South Beach Friday afternoon. Del Norte Triplicate / Michael Zogg
Authorities clear up fuzzy boundaries 
of ‘bathing’ beach 

A day before roughly 10 personal watercraft (commonly called PWCs or Jet Skis) hit the shores of South Beach for an informal gathering of trick riders, the Del Norte District Attorney’s Office joined the Del Norte Sheriff’s Office in issuing some clarification that could be a big step in easing recently inflamed tensions between the riders and a group of surfers and other beachgoers. 

Del Norte Sheriff’s Marine Patrol Deputy Devin Perry and District Attorney Dale Trigg, who together are responsible for issuing and prosecuting citations that occur in the area, reached the understanding that South Beach was a beach frequented by bathers several weeks ago. On Thursday, Perry and Trigg clarified that position, saying that the “beach frequented by bathers” designation stretches from Anchor Way Road south to the Beachcomber Restaurant.


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