Fort Bragg Advocate-News

January 12, 2017

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

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Check us online daily for news, sports, photos and more. VISIT ADVOCATE-NEWS.COM WE'RE MORE THAN A WEEKLY By Kelci Parks reporter@advocate-news.com @FBAdvocateNews on Twitter A local man was arrested after a neighbor reported police for alleg- edly discharging a firearm and sus- pected drug use. Last Saturday, Jan. 7, at about 11 a.m., deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were re- quested to telephone a subject re- garding a neighborhood issue on Company Ranch Road. Deputies called the reporting party and were advised that issues had arisen with the caller's neigh- bor, who was identified as Robert Vargas, 41. The caller told depu- ties that they believed Vargas had been discharging firearms in the area and possibly using controlled substances. A records check of Vargas was performed and it was found that he was on formal probation in Men- CRIME Neighbor problems end in arrest Man charged with possession of firearm, meth Calendar ........ A10 Classifieds ......B4 Obituaries ....... A6 Opinion ............A4 Sports .............. B1 Weather .......... A6 INDEX By Chris Calder editor@advocate-news.com @FBAdvocateNews on Twitter The committee charged with assessing how best to keep labor and delivery services going on the Mendocino Coast met for the first time Friday, Jan. 6, and con- fronted just how difficult it will be to keep a fully staffed obstet- rics department going at Men- docino Coast District Hospital. The discussion focused on fi- nancial and staffing challenges facing MCDH, and rural hospi- tals across the country: chiefly reimbursements from govern- ment and private insurers that don't cover the hospital's labor and delivery costs, and an in- creasingly specialized nursing profession in which nurses pre- fer to work in larger, busier hos- pitals to maintain their skills. According to committee chair and MCDH board member Dr. Kevin Miller, an ophthalmolo- gist, the committee's goal is to send its findings to the board of directors by March 31. The com- mittee's next meeting is Thurs- day, Jan. 19, at 4 p.m. at the hos- pital's Redwood Conference Room. The ad hoc committee mem- bers include Carole White, who said she is on the committee as an advocate for underserved people in the community; Kitty Bruning, a registered nurse and MCDH board member who worked at MCDH for many years and managed the obstetrics de- partment there in 2004; Dr. Ke- MCDH Hospital panel explores OB options By Kelci Parks reporter@advocate-news.com @FBAdvocateNews on Twitter More improvements are in the works for the Fort Bragg Coastal trail. The staircase at Glass Beach, which was removed in October af- ter deteriorating to the point of be- ing unsafe, will be replaced with a more substantial, permanent one, and three picnic tables will be added. Construction is anticipated to occur in the summer and fall of this year. During Monday's meeting, the City Council directed that a lit- tle over $93,000 received by the City as a "tipping fee" from the Noyo Harbor District for accept- ing dredge sands be used for res- toration efforts and implementa- tion of mitigation measures on the Coastal Trail. To date, about $47,000 has been spent on activi- ties like removing the Glass Beach cable stairs and the installation of temporary fencing, extensive weed control and reseeding, and the repair of the South Trail jog- ging path. Just under $45,000 re- mains in the funds from the Har- bor District. The City has obtained a bid of $32,807 from I.L. Welty and Asso- ciates for design and engineering of new stairs. Actual construction of the stairs, however, is estimated to take up to $150,000. City staff suggested that the Coastal Trail Restoration and Mitigation Fund be replenished when Measure AA Transient Occu- pancy Tax funds are appropriated through council action. The TOT funds will likely cover the cost of the staircase construction. New stairs The proposed new stairs will be much safer and easier for guests to use, with railings on both sides and a landing for visitors to rest COASTAL TRAIL $150K stairs planned for Glass Beach By Kelci Parks reporter@advocate-news.com @FBAdvocateNews on Twitter Northern California is start- ing the year off with some nota- ble storms. Although our weather is usually enviable, the Mendocino Coast is no stranger to having a storm or two per year that really that impacts on coastal residents and their property heavily. This week's storm was the biggest in at least ten years. As of Tuesday, our local sources recorded 4.08 inches of rain that fell over the previous week in Fort Bragg. Caspar got 4.74 inches, Men- docino 5.08 inches, Comptche 5.73 inches and Little River 4.9 inches. "The City fared remarkably well during the storms this week- end," said Fort Bragg City Man- ager Linda Ruffing. "We had a few limbs down on trees and our Pub- lic Works crew has worked to keep our storm drains flowing." Major power outages were ex- perienced, with PG&E estimating more than 6,000 customers with- out power in Mendocino County on Sunday night, Jan. 8. The power company reported that Fort Bragg and Mendocino experienced the worst outages in the county. "We've been preparing for this storm," PG&E said in a statement. "We have a plan and we're exe- cuting that plan to restore power safely and quickly." The company said it had 29 crews across the Humboldt Divi- sion working to restore power to Mendocino County, and an addi- tional 10 crews in the Ukiah and Garberville area. Storm outage pre- diction models were used to help determine the potential timing, lo- cation and number of power out- ages. The power outage affected the City's main water pump, accord- ing to Ruffing, but that didn't af- fect the City's ability to treat and supply sufficient water to keep up with demands. She said G-P has implemented some temporary re- pairs on the Pudding Creek dam that have resulted in a more sta- ble situation for the city water line that runs on top of the dam. A con- siderable amount of rock and sand- bags were placed where the dam had eroded. "So far, so good," said Ruffing. The total damage caused by the storm system will take a while to assess, but the community wasted no time in battening down the hatches and helping their neigh- bors in need. The Fort Bragg Fire Depart- ment's weekly log features five or six times the normal amount of call-outs. Firefighters and other emergency services responded to call after call of lines being dam- aged by wind and falling trees, and roadways being impassable. "We were quite busy," said Fire Chief Steve Orsi. "The most active time was Sunday morning. We had 27 firefighters at the station." He said the department set up a mini operations center and dis- patched engines and officers as needed. "I am very proud of the response and the way the crews handled ev- ery situation," Orsi continued. "The volunteers just keep showing WEATHER Severe storm hits coast Multiple agencies mobilize to mitigate damages CHRIS CALDER — ADVOCATE PHOTO A Fort Bragg firefighter talks to a family that lives nearby while the Department clears trees from Ocean Drive, south of Fort Bragg. NEW YEARS » PAGE A3 First Fort Bragg baby of 2017 LEGION » PAGE A2 Donated quilt to raise funds for vets SPORTS » PAGE B1 Lady Wolves take on two top teams THIS WEEK'S WEB BONUS Find us on Facebook Huffman vows not to attend Trump's inauguration. Page A9 Guest House grounds designated as park. See editorial on A4 INSIDE THIS WEEK TOT tax expected to finance KELCI PARKS — ADVOCATE PHOTO The Coastal Trail's popularity has outshined any expectations the city had for it. Original guesses estimated about 800 people would visit the trail per day, but data collected by city staff suggests more than 12,000 people may visit on any given day. HOSPITAL » PAGE 11 STORM » PAGE 11 TRAIL » PAGE 11 NEIGHBOR » PAGE 11 » advocate-news.com Thursday, January 12, 2017 75 CENTS FACEBOOK.COM/FORTBRAGGADVOCATENEWS Volume 128, issue 32 8 52659 03864 0

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