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 ADVOCATE PHOTO A procession of hundreds of law enforcement officials from across California joined the memorial ceremony for Dep. Ricky Del Fiorentino. On March 26, 2014, the peo- ple of the Mendocino Coast, along with family, friends, ad- mirers, colleagues, and state of- ficials from all over California, lined the streets of Fort Bragg and filled Cotton Auditorium to honor Dep. Ricky del Fiorentino, who fell in the line of duty. On March 19, 2014, del Fioren- tino responded to the report of an armed fugitive heading south on Highway 1 toward Fort Bragg. The man fired on Del Fiorentino after the deputy found him hid- ing on a Cleone side street. Del Fiorenti- no's work as a law enforcement officer, and the countless hours of service he gave on his own, espe- cially to young people, earned gratitude and respect far and wide. His character touched hearts and changed lives. His loss is felt deeply. Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino ONE YEAR AGO Fiorentino Staff reports More land than previously thought will be available for resi- dential development on the former Georgia-Pacific millsite, the project mananger for millsite cleanup told a workshop in Fort Bragg last week. Though acreage figures weren't available, Tom Lamphar told a Town Hall gathering that after hearing complaints at a meeting last spring that too much land would be off-limits to housing, his department re-evaluated the risk from contaminated soil. "There is going to be a lot more property than we proposed in May ... that will be available for residential development," he said Wednesday. The revisions will be presented when the Department of Toxic Substances Control holds a pub- lic presentation of its final cleanup plan this coming May. Wednesday's meeting was a workshop that updated progress on formulating the cleanup plan. It focused on the bulk of mill- site land, except for the Coastal Trail and wetlands areas includ- ing the mill pond. Lamphar iden- tified six areas of groundwater contamination, mostly around the eastern edge of the site, and one contaminated well near the for- mer site of the tree nursery. He characterized the ground- water plumes as "isolated and decreasing in size" and said the main way of addressing them will be monitoring and "attenuation." So far, Lamphar said, about 15,000 cubic yards of soil has been excavated and removed from the site. Another 1900 cubic yards is expected to be removed in the next round of clean-up work. Most of the contamination is diesel fuel and other petroleum- related substances. One monitor- ing well near the former site of the tree nursery has tested positive for an herbicide. Lamphar said concentrations of the herbicide atrazine are detectable but below the threshold for drinking water. Most questions at the workshop had to do with how contamina- tion on the site is being monitored and how soil will be disposed of. Several dozen wells throughout the site are the main monitor- ing method. Soil is expected to be trucked to a hazardous waste landfill in the Central Valley. The stage Department of Toxic Substances will hold another meeting in Fort Bragg to present the latest version of the cleanup plan for public comment. That meeting, most likely in early May, has not been scheduled yet. MILLSITE More land for housing promised COURTESY PHOTO A plaque displayed at Mendocino Coast District Hospital expresses the community's gratitude and respect. By Kelci Parks firstname.lastname@example.org @FBAdvocateNews on Twitter The Fort Bragg City Council decided Monday to reverse one Planning Commission decision and uphold another after hear- ing two appeals regarding the Hare Creek Project. A f t er a 5 - hou r me e t i n g , council members voted unan- imously to require a full En- v ironmenta l Impa c t Repor t , overturning the commission's decision to let a Mitigated Neg- ative Declaration suffice. The approval of the MND was ap- pealed by a group of residents called Citizens for Appropriate Coastal Land Use. The developers also filed an appeal of the Planning Commis- sion's decision to deny the per- mit package for the project, but the council voted unanimously to uphold that denial. Both appeals related to de- cisions made at the Planning Commission's Jan. 28 meeting. Monday's meeting was held at Town Hall and every seat was filled. Presentations "This site is not a pristine, riparian area w ith sweeping ocean views," said project ar- chitect Debra Lennox. "This is undeveloped commercial prop- erty. The city general plan has anticipated a shopping center at this location since 1981 when it was zoned for commercial use." Lennox also said the project had been misrepresented. "There has been a well-orga- nized campaign of misinforma- tion designed to influence the public and derail our project," she said. "I would like to speak to the photo submitted by David Gur- ney at the Planning Commission meeting, as well as appearing on the [Citizens for Appropri- ate Coastal Land Use] Facebook page and embedded in public letters submitted against this project. This photo has obvi- ously been manipulated to ex- aggerate the filtered view in the distance. There is no way that the naked eye can see this view as represented." When it was time for the op- posing presentation, Gurney showed a video of the site in question that was shot from a drone with the help of a local photographer. He also accused the applicants of not being hon- est about the proposed bound- aries of the project. Leslie Kashiwada, who holds a PhD in biological oceanog- raphy, addressed the council to advocate the need for a full EIR. Storm water runoff issues, the possible presence of White- tailed Kites and climate change since the MND was prepared were among her many points. LOCAL GOVERNMENT City council hears Hare Creek appeals Votes unanimously to uphold permit denials and require full EIR Fort Bragg's Whale Festival celebrations last weekend saw the town full of early-rising runners and walkers, chowder-and beer-tasters, young scientists and artists, and, of course, whale watchers. The 33rd annual event, celebrating the spring northward migration of the gray whale, was the product of many volunteer hours from a host of local organizations. More than 800 runners and walkers partici- pated in the 31st Annual Whale Run Saturday morning. Events were well-attended, with the general verdict that it was another Whale Festival well done. See story and more pictures on Page A7. WHALE FESTIVAL WEEKEND OF FUN CHRIS CALDER - ADVOCATE PHOTO By Adam Randall email@example.com Mendocino County law en- forcement officials continue to wrestle w ith the af tereffects of Proposition 47, as court re- sources are tapped and the county jail population remains high.Several state legislators have recently proposed changes for the contested initiative. Passed by voters in Novem- ber, Proposition 47, also known as the Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act, commutes or re- duces felony sentences for some offenders, and promised to lower incarceration rates. Mendocino Count y voters passed the proposition by an overwhelming 71 percent, ac- cording to the Clerk and Re- corder's Office, and 60 percent of California residents were in favor of the initiative, the secre- tary of state said. In Mendocino County, how- ever, incarceration rates have actually increased, which con- cerns Sheriff Tom Allman. The Mendocino County Jail was built for 301 inmates, ac- cording to Allman, who said Fri- day there were currently 322 in- mates being housed. Because of the increasing numbers, Allman said the jail has asked the courts to offer early releases for some low risk offenders. "A couple of weeks ago it was around 330, which was the high- est I've ever seen," Allman said. "Those who were previously in jail for drug crimes are now com- ing back in for property crimes." A llman said prior to 2011, when state realignments started coming down, there were fewer than 200 inmates in the county jail. Besides the increase in num- bers, Allman said instances of assault on jail staff, drugs being brought in and inmate assaults are also on the rise. "We will probably wait six or seven months to run some statis- tics to see what exactly the cause of the trend is," Allman said. "A part of it certainly is related to the propositions." COURTS County jail still overpopulated Spring Home and Garden Special Pages B1 - B5 1.5 Million tons of tsunami debris crossing the Pacific. Page A3 INSIDE THIS WEEK Calendar ......... A11 Classifieds ......B6 Obituaries ....... A6 Opinion ............A4 Sports ............ A10 Weather .......... A6 INDEX Submitted by California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife California's popular red aba- lone sport fishery season will open April 1 in most waters north of San Francisco Bay. However, new reg- ulations effective last year closed parts of Fort Ross State Historical Park to the take of abalone. A map of the closed area can be found on- line at http://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/ The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) also en- acted regulations last year that changed the start time from one-half hour before sunrise to 8 a.m. People may travel to fishing locations before 8 a.m. but may not actively search for or take any abalone before that time. The limit on abalone cards was also reduced from 24 to 18, but only a total of nine can be taken from So- noma and Marin counties. SEASON OPENS Abalone available starting in April JAIL » PAGE 16 COUNCIL » PAGE 16 » advocate-news.com Thursday, March 26, 2015 75 CENTS FACEBOOK.COM/FORTBRAGGADVOCATENEWS 8 52659 03864 0 A NEWSPAPER Volume 126, issue 43