Fort Bragg Advocate-News

March 23, 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 Home and Garden special section. Pages B1-4 Council, Planning Commission discuss Mill Site tonight. Below INSIDE THIS WEEK The start of the Fun Run event during the 33rd annual Whale Run March 17. More photos and Whale Run results in pages A2 and A3. OFF AND RUNNING RUNNERS, WALKERS OUT FOR A GOOD TIME JERRY MURPHY — CONTRIBUTED Calendar .......... B7 Classifieds ......B8 Obituaries ....... A6 Opinion ............A4 Sports ..............B5 Weather .......... A6 INDEX By Kelci Parks reporter@advocate-news.com @FBAdvocateNews on Twitter City Council members heard a presentation on tourism mar- ket research last week. The study was triggered by a major hike in funds available for pro- moting local tourism. The projected 2017/18 promo- tional budget is expected to be about $290,000 – an increase of $220,000 from last year. According to City staff, decid- ing how to spend the funds will be done in conjunction with the Visit Fort Bragg organization, local business owners and com- munity members. Each step of the process will gain approval from the council along the way. Background In February 2016 an ad hoc committee comprised of Coun- cil members Dave Turner and Lindy Peters was formed to ex- plore the possibility of a ballot measure to increase the Tran- sient Occupancy Tax (TOT) rate in order to generate revenue for expanding Fort Bragg tourism. The council approved undertak- ing a tourism market study in anticipation of the significantly increased promotional budget when the TOT ballot measures were approved. Both measures passed. After a Request for Proposals was circulated, a task force con- sisting of City staff, representa- tives from the lodging industry and the Visit Fort Bragg Com- mittee selected Strategic Mar- keting Group (SMG) to conduct TOURISM Promotional funds quadrupled Budgeting process begins, market research presented GARDENS » PAGE A8 Rhody show approaches EVENTS » PAGE A2 21st Annual Beer Fest draws crowd SPORTS » PAGE B5 Pre-season home tourney tomorrow 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. Kirwan's son, Casey, was the first family member to speak. He talked about how his dad had in- MEMORIAL Kirwan service packs church Family speaks of a life well-lived KELCI PARKS — ADVOCATE PHOTO Casey Kirwin, Dennis' son, speaks at his father's memorial last week. Staff report The Fort Bragg City Council and Planning Commission will host a joint work session at 6 p.m. in Town Hall tonight, March 23. The boards will discuss the possible future day- lighting of creeks on the Mill Site. Creek daylighting has been a goal of the Mill Site reuse planning pro- cess since its inception. It consists of taking a creek out of its culvert and restoring it to an above-ground chan- nel. Those in favor of the project say it has the potential to enhance aesthet- ics, provide community amenities, assist with economic development of the Mill Site, re-create historic ri- parian creeks and wetlands and pos- sibly create a tidal estuary. However, creek daylighting is a complicated and costly endeavor that needs to be carefully considered. Tonight's joint work session fol- lows two days of city staff-led walk- ing tours of the proposed daylight- ing areas. MILL SITE Council, commission to discuss creek daylighting Staff Report On March 15, American Legion Se- quoia Post 96 held a dinner to honor the area's first responders. Post Com- mander Rick Cooper noted that the recognition is something that the post has done in the past, and is now reviv- ing as the post celebrates its 98th year. The post started in 1919, the same year that the national American Legion be- gan in the wake of World War I. Two Fort Bragg firefighters, Rus- sell Merritt and Arthur George, were honored as Firefighter and EMT of the Year. Officer Thomas O'Neal of the Fort Bragg Police Department and Deputy Jonathon Martin of the Men- docino County Sheriff's Office were recognized for their law enforcement service. Below are the tributes written by the men's co-workers and supervisors, explaining why each was nominated. Russell Merritt - Firefighter of the Year The Fort Bragg Fire Department would like to recognize Russell Mer- ritt as Firefighter of the Year. Russ has been a member of the department for COMMUNITY Legion honors first responders KIRWAN » PAGE 5 LEGION » PAGE 10 TOURISM » PAGE 10 ADVOCATE PHOTO Fort Bragg firefighter and EMT of the Year Arthur George receives congratulations from American Legion Sequoia Post 96 Commander Rick Cooper. » advocate-news.com Thursday, March 23, 2017 75 CENTS FACEBOOK.COM/FORTBRAGGADVOCATENEWS Volume 128, issue 42 8 52659 03864 0

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