Fort Bragg Advocate-News

April 24, 2014

Ft. Bragg Advocate-News - Weekly newspaper with news, sports, obituaries and classifieds.

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125 years of Fort Bragg headlines Page 5A Healthy living, at any age Pages 9-10A Pavioni Tournament this weekend Sports, Pages 1-2B An Award-Winning Newspaper Serving Fort Bragg and The Mendocino Coast Since 1889 75 ยข Includes Tax 125th Year, No. 43 Thursday, April 24, 2014 A Fort Bragg Fire Department tanker pulls alongside brush and trees that caught fire last Wednesday afternoon in the Ward Avenue area of Cleone. Morgan Zeitler photo. By Morgan Zeitler A fast-moving brush fire was pinched off before it reached a number of homes and a camp- ground near Ward Avenue on April 16, thanks largely to a rapid, multi-agency response. Fort Bragg fire equipment and personnel responded at about 1:32 p.m. The fire was initially described as some type of inten- tional man-made fire that had escaped control in the 25000 block of Ward Avenue in Cleone. Windy days are common in the area of ocean-front homes and sand dunes that sweep uphill in a progression from shrubs into forested areas where more homes and the MacKerricher State Park campgrounds are sheltered. On this day the winds were particularly strong. The winds quickly spread the fire into brush and swampy areas, making access difficult for responding fire crews, and the one-quarter-acre-sized fire grew quickly after the initial reports came in, according to a CAL FIRE report. The fire produced a great deal of smoke that blew across High- way 1, and it was not immedi- ately clear how large the fire was, or how fast it was moving. The Fort Bragg firefighters were soon joined by CAL FIRE firefighters, however, including three engines after a second Brush fire stopped in time High winds pushed multiple alarms as fire spread to 5 acres Sheriff meets with Park Drive residents Public safety By Morgan Zeitler Cleone residents from the neighborhood where last month's shooting incident resulted in two deaths, including a veteran deputy sheriff, got a chance to meet with Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman last Thurs- day evening to ask him questions and hear more about what hap- pened that day. Allman issued invitations to res- idents in the Park Drive neighbor- hood off Ward Avenue where Sheriff 's Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino was shot, and suspect Ricardo Chaney subsequently died by gunfire after Fort Bragg p o l i c e a n d s h e r i ff b a c k u p s arrived on March 19. The meet- ing was by invitation only, but Allman agreed to be interviewed the next day. See MEET on Page 14A See FIRE on Page 14A By Morgan Zeitler The Fort Bragg Police Depart- ment will likely buy video cam- eras to be worn by its officers in the coming 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1, according to Chief Scott Mayberry. Since last year, the department has been researching the purchase of video cameras for possible installation in police vehicles and as body cameras to be worn by officers. Since presenting an in- house study to the Public Safety Committee on Feb. 19, the department has resolved a num- ber of the issues raised in the report, and is now planning to buy cameras for officers to wear. The purchase will not include cameras that would be mounted in patrol vehicles, said Mayberry in an interview last Friday. Vehicle cameras According to the department's study, video cameras can be a useful tool for officers, but the technology has limitations. Car Police focus on body cameras See CAMERAS on Page 8A Rec district puts Hwy 20 property up for sale By Matthew Reed The Mendocino Coast Recre- ation and Park District board of directors approved listing the dis- trict-owned property at Highway 20 and Summers Lane for sale at their Wednesday, April 16, meet- ing at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. The board met in closed session regarding the district's ongoing Chapter 9 bankruptcy. Coming out of closed session, Bill Hayes, president, said the board had directed staff to list the property for sale. No other information was reported out of closed session. Beth Pine, MCRPD executive director, said she had accepted Mary Weaver's resignation from the board. The board has about 60 days to appoint a successor to the empty seat. Pine said the district is now accepting applications for appointment. The deadline for applications is May 31. Applica- tions can be picked up at the dis- trict office in the C.V. Starr Center, 300 S. Lincoln St., Fort Bragg. See REC on Page 12A By Frank Hartzell More than 2,000 people enjoyed tours and/or diving off the tall ship Hawaiian Chieftain April 9-13, but it's unlikely the unique sailing/trading educa- tional vessel will be back soon. This is not the first or the last vessel to be discouraged from using the harbor by a rolling ride through a narrow chute of a harbor opening. "Ask a captain to take a mil- lion dollar boat that weighs 120 tons and put it through a slot that gives you 15 feet of safe water on either side with ocean swell behind you, complicate that with wind, and or fog and it is an intense crossing," said Senior Capt. John Morrison. Was he scared going in and out with waves bouncing the big boat about? "As a vessel captain I like to think that we don't get scared, we just get more intense as tol- erances get tighter, and the Noyo Harbor bar/break water is a place that makes the intensity go to 11," said Morrison. Breakwater The narrowness of Noyo Har- bor's entrance combined with the big waves that regularly batter boats using the entrance, has greatly limited its ability to participate in serious trade. During the Clinton Adminis- tration, the federal government made the last of several major efforts to upgrade many of the Tall ship's visit shows continuing need for harbor breakwater By Don Claybrook Staff Writer The 2014 abalone season is upon us and all concerned Men- docino Coast citizens are hope- ful for a quiet and peaceful season. And, where there is hope, there is healing. New reg- ulations have been put in place and old demons have been exor- cised if not totally obliterated. All signs point to a renewed hope for tough and standard sentencing for those who violate state regulations for abalone. The back story Since the early years of the present century up until this very day, the word "abalone" has conjured up images of unfair or unequal punishment for those convicted of violating the rules and regulations memo- rialized by the California Fish & Game Commission. According to many coastal residents, those rules have been applied too loosely and the punishment meted out to the offenders of the rules have been so ambiguous and unpredictable as to be laughable. The "unfair" tag has been applied mostly to Judge Clayton Brennan, the presiding judge at Ten Mile Court. What his detractors usually mean by "unfair" is really best defined by the phrase "a slap on the wrist," sometimes, according to those same detractors, little more than a lecture. What his accusers mean when they point the finger at Brennan is either, 1. He's too lenient or, 2. He's not uniform in his sen- tencing. It is time to take a closer look at this situation where egos may or may not rule. End of 2013 season About the middle of last abalone season, sometime in August, Judge Brennan lectured a large group of MAW support- ers who appeared in court in their trademark yellow slickers with Mendocino Abalone Watch printed on the slickers in clear black lettering. What was their offense? In spite of clearly marked displays of court rules, they visibly and audibly showed their displeas- ure at one of the judge's abalone sentences. That kind of behavior is strictly forbidden in court. MAW did not return to court en masse again at any time during the remainder of the season. Abalone: From the ocean floor through the courtroom door Part 4 of 4: Hope and healing The Hawaiian Chieftain, as it passed through Noyo's breakwater. Dusty Dillion photo. See NOYO on Page 8A Cleone March 19 tragedy discussed Purchase and policy moving forward MCRPD Board seeks applicants for empty seat See ABALONE on Page 12A

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