The Mendocino Beacon

March 23, 2017

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 Submitted by Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department A day of enjoying the ocean turned into a traumatic event for a group of friends who were sur- prised by high waves at a rocky area near the south end of Men- docino Bay on Thursday, March 16. According to authorities, two men were swept out to sea. One managed to climb up onto a large off-shore rock, and the sec- ond entered a deep sea cave. It is unknown whether the man was swept into the cave or swam into the cave for protection from the rough surf and rugged rocks. The Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department, Fort Bragg Hospital medics, and the local CalFire en- gine were dispatched at 6:17 p.m. According to officials with the Mendocino Fire Department, 20 firefighters from Mendocino Fire responded with a rescue boat, two jet skis and two rescue trucks. Cal- Fire also dispatched a REACH air ambulance, State Park deputies, the Coast Guard, and Sonoma County Sheriff's Office Henry 1 helicopter. Elk Fire Department's ambulance was also requested as backup given the late hour, turbu- lent ocean conditions and the num- ber of possible victims. Local surf- ers also assisted with the rescue. The boat and skis were launched from the Big River boat ramp, and the firefighter/operators navigated heavy surf around rough rocks, say authorities. Firefighter/spot- ters from the top of the cliff were watching the swells and used ra- dios to warn the water rescuers of oncoming sets of waves. The spotters observed a period of calmer swells, and the rescue boat, operated by firefighter John Paul McMillan, was then able to get near enough to the sea rock to al- low firefighter Josh Miller to climb from the boat to the rock and as- sist the stranded subject with a res- cue buoy before they both jumped back into the boat with help from boat crew member Tyler Grinberg. In a nearby cove, Captain Paulo Andrade, the rescue swim- mer who was tethered to one jet ski with ropes, entered a dark RESCUE TWO SAVED IN INTENSE WATER RESCUE OPERATION NICHOLAS WILSON — CONTRIBUTED Paulo Andrade and Ottopaskal Rice of the Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department pause for a photo aer a successful water rescue at Big River boat landing on March 16. THIS WEEK'S WEB BONUS Find us on Facebook By Kelci Parks reporter@advocate-news.com @FBAdvocateNews on Twitter The memorial services for Dennis Kirwan took place last Wednesday, March 15, at the First Presbyterian Church in Fort Bragg. By the time the services started at 3 p.m., there wasn't a single place to park within about a three-block radius from the church. Kirwan, a Fort Bragg native and the owner of the construction firm Geo Aggregates, was killed in an auto accident on Highway 1 south of Little River earlier this month. Even though the venue for the memorial service had been cho- sen because of its size, the wor- ship hall had extra chairs at the end of each pew and the walls were lined with people standing. The lobby was filled with chairs and people standing and still more people spilled out the front doors, which were propped open so everyone could hear. MEMORIAL Service for Dennis Kirwan packs church Staff Report Construction projects on the Albion River and Salmon Creek bridges are the topic of an open house and informational meet- ing hosted by Caltrans tonight, March 23, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Mendocino High School, 10700 Ford St. The public is invited to ask questions and share informa- tion about issues, ideas or con- cerns. The proposed projects are the Albion River Bridge Replace- ment/Rehabilitation Project and the Salmon Creek Bridge Replace- ment Project. According to Caltrans, the proj- ects are meant to "replace or re- habilitate these functionally ob- solete and structurally deficient structures to improve their func- tion, geometrics, and structural integrity in order to ensure the safety and reliability of these crit- ical links on State Route 1 of the state highway system." Representatives of the envi- ronmental consulting firm that Caltrans has chosen for the proj- ect, ICF International, will be at the meeting as well. ICF will help Caltrans do environmental stud- ies and prepare environmental MEETING Albion bridge replacement projects topic of Caltrans open house tonight Classified ........ B7 Crossword .......B6 Obituraries ...... A6 Opinion ............A4 Sports ..............B5 Weather .......... A3 INDEX EVENT» PAGE A2 Fort Bragg Whale Festival COMMUNITY » PAGE A5 ACLU seminar draws dozens Dennis Kirwan remembered at memorial. Below Spring Home and Garden Section. Pages B1-4 INSIDE THIS WEEK By Erick O'Donnell udjeo@ukiahdj.com Starting in June, a clean-en- ergy utility based in Sonoma County will offer Mendocino County PG&E customers lower electricity prices and local con- trol over rate-setting and in- vestment decisions, said repre- sentatives from Sonoma Clean Power. Current PG&E customers in the unincorporated area of the county will start receiving power from the company the day that PG&E conducts their meter readings for the month of June, said SCP spokeswoman Kate Kelly. Customers will be switched automatically un- less they opt to keep receiving electricity generated by PG&E, which will continue to distrib- ute power in the county. The non-profit public agency, a private-public partnership run by cities in Sonoma and Mendocino counties and the counties themselves, purchases electricity from a combination of non-renewable and renew- able sources and distributes it to homes and businesses via wires owned and maintained by PG&E, the region's tradi- tional energy monopoly. It op- erates according to the state's Community Choice Aggrega- tion Law, which passed in 2002 amid public demands for local control over energy production and distribution. SCP will provide competition in Mendocino County's energy market, which, outside the City of Ukiah, has been served by one provider for about a cen- tury, said Erica Torgerson, di- rector of customer service at the company. Customers of SCP have saved about 1 percent on average over PG&E-generated power, she said. Under the companies' "com- petitive partnership," in which PG&E will continue to own and maintain the distribu- tion system in the county, cus- tomer bills will list fees for UTILITIES Alternative to PG&E offered Unincorporated areas of county will begin receiving electricity from Sonoma Clean Power in June BARRY CUSICK — CONTRIBUTED This image shows the jet skis inside the cove where the second victim was located. Family speaks of a life well-lived MEETING » PAGE 10 PG&E » PAGE 10 RESCUE » PAGE 9 KIRWAN » PAGE 9 » mendocinobeacon.com Thursday, March 23, 2017 75 CENTS FACEBOOK.COM/MENDOCINOBEACON Volume 139, issue 25 8 52659 03865 7

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