Fort Bragg Advocate-News

August 27, 2015

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

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Like the Advocate-News and stay in the loop on local news, sports and more. VISIT FACEBOOK.COM/ FORTBRAGGADVOCATENEWS LIKE US ON FACEBOOK Tyler Ashby of All Coast (All Most) snags a ball during the championship game of the Jesse Ales Memorial Men's Soball last weekend. All Coast defeated the Tri-County Bandits and 11 other teams from around the region for the tournament title. See sports page B1. CHAMPIONSHIP CATCH ALES TOURNAMENT ACTION THIS WEEK'S WEB BONUS Check us out on Facebook By Chris Calder @FBAdvocateNews on Twitter Mendocino Coast District Hos- pital finances stuck closely to bud- get in July, with higher-than-ex- pected revenues offset by slightly higher expenses as well, ending with a smaller-than-expected loss for the month. Though the hospital finished July with a net loss of $36,872 on revenues of $4,378,121. the bud- geted loss was $108,163, so MCDH closed part of an expected 2016 def- icit of more than $800,000. July's loss was far less than the $513,223 in red ink MCDH absorbed in June, and finding ways to keep closer track of finances and further reduce the expected deficit was the focus of much of Tuesday's MCDH board finance committee meeting, Interim Chief Financial Officer Steve Miller characterized the hos- pital's July performance as "rela- tively strong" and emphasized that MCDH actually did better than projected in the first month of its budget for the coming year, and is meeting the most important terms of its obligations to bondholders. "We acually exceeded our bud- geted performance on the bottom line," Miller said. But committee members still pressed for a clearer picture of the hospital's financial performance. Last year, the board had to do sub- stantial budget revisions halfway through the year, and last month, large one time bankruptcy-related costs and postponed bills gave the hospital some unexpectedly large losses to close out the year. July's financial numbers were very close to budget projections. Actual revenues were 3.1 percent higher than expected, while ex- penses were 1.4 percent greater, with an actual loss that was 65 per- cent less than what was budgeted. MCDH had 100 total admis- sions in July, exactly the number budgeted. There were 68 admis- sions for surgery and other medi- cal procedures, 20 for swing beds (mostly for patients under observa- tion), and 12 for obstetrics. Out of 25 beds in the hospital, an average of 11.8 were occupied on any given day, compared to 11.5 budgeted. MCDH Hospital finances show signs of improvement By Chris Calder @FBAdvocateNews on Twitter Team members from Fort Bragg High School's foot- ball, soccer, and cross coun- try teams attended last week's school board meeting to let board members know they consider the playing fields, es- pecially the ones at Dana Gray school, unsafe. Complaints about playing fields have been increasing in recent years, and city govern- ment and the recreation and school districts have started a joint effort to set up a plan for their repair. But actual work on the fields has been slow in coming, and on Thursday night, the players urged the district to do some- thing soon. "We have a serious problem, which is safety," said football player Sam Perkins, backed by five other players who spoke to the board in practice uniform and shoulder pads. "Our fields are in terrible shape." Perkins added that already this year one JV football player is "on crutches" from an injury suffered on an uneven play- ing surface. He asked that the Timberwolf Stadium field be made available for practices to make use of all the good-qual- ity playing surfaces available. FBUSD FIELDS Athletes appeal to district ADVOCATE PHOTO Soccer tournament organizer Tess Albin-Smith last year shows damage to Redwood Elementary School playing fields. By Chris Calder @FBAdvocateNews on Twitter For t Bragg school board members heard from teachers and classified employees at last week's meeting over differences in pay increases between them and administrative staff. After negotiating a labor con- tract last spring that set an av- erage 2.5 percent pay increase for teachers and classified staff, a new pay scale for principals and other administrators in- cluded entry-level increases of as much as 25 percent. The size of the increases took people by surprise, partly because they were triggered by a decision by the state last spring to allow lo- cal districts to use more money for salaries. T he heads of the teach- ers' and classified employees unions both addressed board members at last Thursday's meeting. Alicia Kafin, head of the teachers' union, said the pay increases now put admin- istrators at Fort Bragg schools about second among the nine Mendocino County school dis- tricts, but that teachers rank sixth. Classified employee asso- ciation leader Linda Stephens said Fort Bragg's administrative pay scale now matches those in much larger districts. D i s t r ic t s up er i nt endent Charles Bush said his goal is to make Fort Bragg administrators' salaries more competitive in or- der to hold onto administrators and draw good candidates to the district in the future. Bush said the extra funds made available by the state allowed the district to reach administrative salary tar- gets in two years instead of four. Pay increases vary accord- ing to position, seniority, and training, but in general, Fort Bragg teachers and classified employees received about a 2.5 percent pay increase. Increases to administrative salaries were across a wider range, but the first step for the principal's po- sition at the middle school in- creased by 25 percent under the new schedule. SCHOOLS Board members hear concerns about pay Calendar ........ A10 Classifieds ......B3 Religion ........... B2 Opinion ............A4 Sports .............. B1 Weather .......... A6 INDEX SPORTS» PAGE B1 Timberwolves volleyball begins COMMUNITY» PAGE A3 New health program for vets Abalone diver drowns near Little River. Page A2 Paul Bunyan Days events in Community Calendar. Page A10 INSIDE THIS WEEK By Chris Calder @FBAdvocateNews on Twitter An ordinance allowing food trucks and carts in Fort Bragg was sent back to staff for revisions Monday night, with council mem- bers seeking to fine tune rules to keep sidewalk and streetside ven- dors from interfering with down- town traffic and existing busi- nesses. Council members decided that mobile vendors should be kept off Main Street (except for on private property) altogether, and consid- ered the idea of setting up zones downtown where curbside and sidewalk trucks and carts would be allowed. However, a mobile vending zone on North Franklin Street was questioned by one downtown business owner, who said it would create traffic problems, while she doubted that food trucks or carts would bring business to other downtown retailers. Wendy Younger said she is not against mobile vendors, but asked the council to treat estab- lished businesses fairly when de- ciding how to let mobile vendors work in the city. Younger said she doesn't like the idea of trucks and carts being concentrated on North Franklin St. "I love the Farmers Market," she said, "but it makes that part of Fort Bragg impassable." Having North Franklin be a mobile vend- ing zone, she said "would be like the Farmers Market every day." Younger also noted that the overhead costs of trucks and carts are much lower than for a busi- ness like hers (Zappa's Coffee), and asked the council to make sure the same taxes and fees are applied to mobile vendors. She added that the corner lot on North Main Street just north of Cafe 1 would be an ideal spot for mobile vending. The ordinance currently would allow trucks and carts to sell food, drinks and flowers in the Central Business District and areas zoned Industrial. The vendors could visit the schools by request, and parks by special permit. They could be present at special events like the Farmers Market or Paul Bunyan Days, but only if they are approved as part of the event's city permit. Otherwise, mobile vendors would have to stay at least 200 feet away from special events. Trucks or carts would be allowed to operate up to 10 hours a day at a single lo- cation, but they would be subject to parking laws, including a two- hour limit throughout the Central Business District until 6 p.m. FORT BRAGG Vending ordinance sent back MOBILE » PAGE 12 FIELDS » PAGE 12 MCDH » PAGE 12 PAY » PAGE 12 » Thursday, August 27, 2015 75 CENTS FACEBOOK.COM/FORTBRAGGADVOCATENEWS Volume 127, issue 13 8 52659 03864 0

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