The Mendocino Beacon

March 05, 2015

The Mendocino Beacon - Weekly newspaper published since 1877 with news, sports, obituaries and classifieds.

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Like The Mendocino Beacon and stay in the loop on local news, sports and more. VISIT FACEBOOK.COM/ MENDOCINOBEACON LIKE US ON FACEBOOK Classifieds ......B5 Crossword .......B3 Obituaries ....... A6 Opinion ............A4 Sports .............. B1 Weather .......... A3 INDEX SILVER SCREEN » PAGE A8 Movie filmed at coast locations SPORTS » PAGE B1 Cardinals lose in first playoff game KELLEY HOUSE » PAGE A6 Mendocino City incorporation THIS WEEK'S WEB BONUS Check out our Facebook page Special insert: Whale Festival events and information Set your clocks ahead for daylight saving time on Sunday INSIDE THIS WEEK Submitted by Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department Just before 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 28, Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department received a phone call from the Coast Guard reporting a kayaker in distress at the mouth of Big River. MVFD immediately radioed the 911 dispatch center to request a page-out for Mendocino firefighters for a water rescue. CALSTAR and CalFire's air am- bulances and the Fort Bragg am- bulance crew from Mendocino Coast District Hospital were also dispatched. MVFD personnel trained in wa- ter rescue were already suited in wet suits and the department's res- cue boat was already on the way to Big River to support a local com- munity event. The rescue boat and firefighters were able to respond immediately to the launch area at Big River. Other firefighters drove rescue vehicles to overlook sites at the mouth of Big River. Firefight- ers on the south hiked the short path to the cliff's edge, and they could see the victim struggling in the rough surf below. While firefighters on top of the south overlook communi- cated with the victim using a megaphone, the rescue boat navi- gated through the channel of Big River into the open ocean. Infor- mation that "help is on the way" and "move away from the rocks" was relayed to the victim over the megaphone. Once the victim was clear of the rocks, the rescuers in the boat timed their approach while study- ing sets of waves. The boat's driver, Josh Miller, got as close to the vic- tim as possible and Otto Rice, the firefighter/rescue swimmer, jumped into the water and swam to the victim. Miller had to quickly leave the victim and Rice as firefighters are trained to do in order to avoid large waves. Rice swam with the kayaker through the heavy surf onto the safety of the beach. Once the kayaker and Rice were safe on the beach and Miller maneuvered the rescue boat back inside of the surf zone, CALSTAR and the CalFire air ambulance were released from the scene. Medics from Fort Bragg ambu- lance assessed the victim, took steps to prevent hypothermia and provided aid. MVFD reminds everyone that the ocean is powerful and un- predictable. Cold water temper- atures, large waves, sudden drop- offs and dangerous rip currents can suddenly turn a fun day at the beach or on shoreline cliffs into an emergency. If you see someone in trouble, call 911. Have someone keep eyes on the person and try not to lose sight of the victim until help ar- rives. If you are within throwing distance, throw the victim some- thing that floats. Only profession- ally trained rescuers should at- tempt in-water rescues. The Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department trains on water res- cues each month. You might see jet skis and rescue boats in Big River and at local beaches as fire- fighters practice skills in the surf zone and open water. KAYAKER SAVED BIG RIVER RESCUE WALT MCKEOWN PHOTOS Top » Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department firefighter Otto Rice swims to a kayaker in distress at the mouth of Big River on Saturday, Feb. 28. Above » MVFD firefighter Josh Miller navigates the surf aer deploying rescue swimmer Otto Rice. By Matthew Reed @MendocinoBeacon on Twitter Concerns that AT&T's repairs to its copper wire infrastruc- ture is lagging in Mendocino County seem to be allayed for now, but the company has yet to shore up its fiber optic link to the coast. However, rumors of the im- pending death of the telephone line may be greatly exaggerated. AT&T, county Internet Service Providers, 2nd Assembly Dis- trict's member and the Broad- band Alliance of Mendocino are certain there is no impend- ing plan by AT&T to leave be- hind the ubiquitous copper tel- ephone wire. Residents' concerns are based largely on the large num- ber of service outages that oc- curred during the storms in De- cember and January. The out- ages were plentiful and repair crews fell behind in their work. However, those issues have been addressed and there are few, if any outages, remaining. "We always have a few tickets going for random problems here and there," said Sage Statham, business manager for Men- docino Community Network. "Currently I only have two tick- ets that we could consider be- hind schedule and both involve construction so really we con- sider everything with AT&T on track." Trish Steel, executive com- mittee chair for the Broadband Alliance of Mendocino County, said she was unaware of any continuing issues with AT&T service over the copper lines. TELECOM AT&T not abandoning copper lines MATTHEW REED - BEACON PHOTO Team members from the National Civilian Community Corps arrive to assist with European beach grass removal on Big River Beach. Staff report M e n d o c i n o L a n d T r u s t hosted a weed pulling work day at Big River on Saturday, Feb. 28. About 31 workers pulled European beach grass and at- tacked pampas grass, including 18 National Civilian Commu- nity Corps members from two Mendocino County locations. Eight members were from the Green 3 crew at Jug Handle and 10 were from the Silver 3 team in Willits. Communit y volunteers in- cluded 10 adults and three chil- dren. Art Morley, a volunteer and re t ired A n za-Bor rego S t at e Park Ranger, took eight volun- teers to work on the large Ju- bata plants located on the way to the Big River haul road, said Nicolet Houtz, trails and Big R iver Stewardship coordina- tor for Mendocino Land Trust. They cut back four large plants that still need to be dug out at the next workday. T he rest of the volunteers cleared nearly all the European beach grass from a large patch, she said. "Unfortunately this doesn't BIG RIVER Volunteers uproot invasive plants Saturday Information that "help is on the way" and "move away from the rocks" was relayed to the victim over the megaphone. PLANTS » PAGE 7 AT&T » PAGE 7 Mendocino Land Trust event focuses on beach grass Boater reported in distress at the river mouth » Thursday, March 5, 2015 75 CENTS FACEBOOK.COM/MENDOCINOBEACON 8 52659 03865 7 A NEWSPAPER Volume 137, issue 22

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