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Coastal Commission gets firsthand look at Del Norte

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Loren Bommelyn of Smith River Rancheria (left) and Bob Merrill of the California Coastal Commission (right), give commissioners a tour Wednesday of the Lake Earl eco-region, which could be environmentally restored as part of a Crescent City airport project. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Almost $10 million in contracts to improve the runways at Crescent City’s airport was awarded last week, but while the California Coastal Commission, whose approval was needed for the project, visited Del Norte County this week, eyes were on the contentious wetlands miles north of the airfield.

The federally-mandated Runway Safety Area project at Del Norte County Regional Airport will destroy wetlands, including “environmentally sensitive habitat areas,” prompting the Coastal Commission to require the airport’s governing agency to create wetlands in the Lake Earl and Tolowa Dunes area. 

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Murray calls out Gitlin

Supervisor: Accusation of  disrespect to women a ‘show’ 

A City Council member called for a County Supervisor to step down from his position at the Supervisors’ meeting on Tuesday.

Kathryn Murray, a member of the Crescent City Council, addressed the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors during its public comment period on Tuesday to call attention to District 1 Supervisor Roger Gitlin’s behavior at a recent Solid Waste Authority meeting, which she described as “very disrespectful.” Gitlin is the chair of the Solid Waste Authority Board.

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Judicial candidates talk drug issues

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Chris Doehle
Doehle, McElfresh dispute who has best experience at forum 

The two runoff candidates for Del Norte County Superior Court judge spoke to a crowd of 45 people at a Del Norte Tea Party Patriots election forum Thursday evening.

The incumbent, Judge Chris Doehle, and her challenger, local attorney Darren McElfresh, presented their arguments and qualifications and took minor jabs at each other’s qualifications in a 30-minute forum debate.

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Staff changes balance county budget

The County of Del Norte 2014–2015 budget, now open for public input until Tuesday, Sept. 23, is balanced, according to county staff, and will reflect the addition and elimination of several positions throughout various departments. 

The general fund, non-general fund as well as special district budgets that fall under the county’s purview are all balanced, according to CAO Jay Sarina, who presented the budget at this week’s Board of Supervisors meeting. No layoffs were necessary, Sarina said, and the balanced budget of $111,174,777, with a general fund of $24,530,400, was attained through a combination of salary savings, reductions in services and supplies, as well as increases in revenue. There’s also a $100,000 emergency contingency, according to budget documents.

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Agencies’ pot raids yield 450 plants

The Del Norte County Sheriff Felony Investigation Unit along with other local agencies seized 450 marijuana plants and two firearms during drug raids this week.

No suspects were arrested but officials are hoping several promising leads turn into multiple suspects.

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Driftwood fire burns half acre

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A half-acre driftwood fire extinguished Friday on Point St. George likely smoldered for days, officials said. Del Norte Triplicate / Adam Spencer
A small driftwood fire that  is suspected to have smoldered for days on the beaches of Point St. George was doused by firefighters Friday afternoon.

The cause of the half-acre fire is undetermined, but considering that beach bonfires are popular in that area, it is highly possible that it was caused by a campfire that was not properly extinguished, according to Cal Fire Capt. Pat Barrington. 

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Local Boy Scouts seek new leaders

Boy Scout Troop 10 of Crescent City has been around for more than 90 years, making it one of the oldest scouting institutions in the region, but regional Boy Scouts officials are looking for new leadership to keep the troop healthy well into the future.

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News of Record Sept. 13, 2014

These are the misdemeanor and felony sentencings provided by the Del Norte County Superior Court for the dates of Sept. 5–11:

Daniel R. Robison, 31, Crescent City, was sentenced to two years in state prison and fined $240 for obstructing/resisting an executive officer.

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'We have tons of elk'

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Elk in the Bertsch Tract neighborhood have angered residents by eating fruit trees and other vegetation in their yards. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
State agency blasted for lack of response to burgeoning elk population 

A state biologist’s report on how California plans to manage local elk herds was met with frustration by the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors, who said more should have been done already to address surging elk populations.

Dave Lancaster, a wildlife biologist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, told county supervisors that development of a statewide elk management plan is underway and that a draft for public comment should be available soon after the dawn of 2015.

“Here’s what we have in mind: having a well-distributed, robust elk population in areas where conflicts are minimal that provides for public use opportunities,” Lancaster said.

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Board seekers outline views

Tea Party candidate forum covers range of school issues 

Candidates for seats on the Del Norte County Unified School District Board of Trustees met constituents and answered questions during a Tuesday night Tea Party-sponsored forum that mostly stayed in politically neutral territory but occasionally strayed into controversial issues.

About 50 people attended to watch the School Board hopefuls take turns answering six questions, written by a Tea Party committee, that covered general issues — like the candidates’ opinions and understanding of Common Core standards and the new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) — to more politically charged topics like the new transgender student rights law that went into effect this year.

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