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CAL Trans Inconsistencies by Rosamond Crowder

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on Tuesday, 02 April 2013 in Uncategorized

Caltrans Inconsistencies With Permits 3/30/13

404 Permit, issued by the US Army Corps of Engineers (ACE).  Governs wetlands and waters of the United States.  Issued February 26, 2012 as a conditional permit. Requires that there be a valid 401 permit. All conditions of the 401 are conditions of the 404 by reference. Also the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Biological Opinions (BO references the January ’12 Mitigation and Monitoring Proposal (MMP).

· When the Army Corps issued the 404 they checked to see if the 401 was in order.   At the time the 401 was being amended. The Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) who administers the 401 replied “the Regional Water Board has determined that Caltrans is not authorized to conduct any channel-, ground-, or vegetation-disturbing activities associated with the Project until the baseline report is complete, the MMP is compliant with the MRP, and the new construction schedule is determined.” Only the construction schedule has been determined (The one posted on the Waterboard website does not comply with activity).  The baseline report and the MMP are not complete. 

· Condition 10 of the 404 requires the baseline study to be submitted for approval in the winter of 2012.  The report is still not complete. How can the baseline be accurate after construction has begun?

· The Jan ’12 MMP says Conservation Easements (CE’s) were to be placed on the properties “no later than one year after the purchase date of the final mitigation parcel”.  Final parcel purchase was 12/23/11 (2010?).  Currently no Conservation Easements have been recorded. 

· Special Condition 3 states that mitigation funding must be allocated before filling of wetlands can take place. The amount described in the MMP is just under $60 million. The CTC will be asked to fund this at their May 7th meeting in Los Angeles.  

· Special Condition 16 requires that cyclone-type fencing be installed around all areas of Corps jurisdiction and associated riparian vegetation, that are not to be removed during project implementation to restrict access and ensure all movement of equipment and personnel occur within authorized construction impact areas.  Areas around Haehl Creek would fall into this category. We have observed no such fencing.  

· The RWQCB gave Caltrans an “early start” authorization 12/27/12 that waived condition 15 and 16 of the 401 permit until April 15th, ‘13.  The Army Corps has given no memo that we know of releasing Caltrans from their obligation to the ACE to fulfill condition 15 or 16.  (see 401 Inconsistencies)

·  Other conditions of the 401 apply to the 404 as well. See below.

401 Permit, issued by North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB). Governs water quality, wetlands and waters of the US.  Issued August 6, 2010 with 62 conditions and references the June 2010 MMP. 

· The June 2010 MMP has undergone serious revisions. At one point the RWQCB requested Caltrans to resubmit the MMP (go through public comment and all).  Later they decided a “minor amendment” would suffice.  Is there a decision document justifying this decision?

· The RWQCB gave Caltrans an “early start” authorization 12/27/12 that waived condition 15 and 16 of the 401 permit until April 15, 2013. We have yet to see a Decision Document justifying this authorization.

· 401 Condition 15 is the assurance that there is a long term mitigation land manager and the amount of money for the endowments are determined (short term and long term endowments are separate, approx $11.5 million each) and must be completed “90 days before channel-, ground- or vegetation-disturbing activities”. 

· 401 Condition 16 is the design of the temporary Haul Roads.  From the CDFW early start memo (1/15/13) we know the CDFW had not approved the haul road design. 

· Attachment 1 requires a Groundwater Characterization Study to determine if discharge waters (from the wick wells) have a low threat to water quality. (common toxics found in valley water include arsenic and boron). We don’t know if this has been completed.  We expect wick drains to be installed “in the spring”

· Attachment 2 describes “five new saplings for each oak lost”.  There is no indication that the number of oaks lost have been counted.  The Jan ’12 MMP instead describes acorns planted in triangles, references a map of the alignment footprint and says planting will be as-built.  No numbers of triangles or ratio to trees lost.

· The Baseline Report was due to be submitted 1/31/13. It is not complete.  Yet RWQCB authorized construction to start so the baseline may be altered.  

· The MMP is also not complete. It includes most importantly The Grazing Plan.  A draft was submitted a week late (May of 2012) and a final version has not been issued.

· Ryan Creek Fish Passage design was due June 30, 2012. It is still not complete, partly because there were changes to the creek this fall (2012) following work on the county road culvert.  


1600 Stream Alteration Agreement, issued by California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Governs work in streams below the High Water Mark. Originally issued 6/29/10. References the June 2010 MMP which is undergoing revision. Caltrans missed numerous completion dates, many conditions still not complete. Caltrans officially requested a “minor amendment” to the 1600 on 9/17/12.  


· Condition 3.1 references lowland oak woodland mitigation to be 22 acres of new oak woodland to be planted. Have the oaks lost been counted?  Where is this new oak woodland? I cannot find it on the maps in the MMP.

· Condition 2.14 Removal of riparian vegetation is prohibited except as represented in plans and is to be identified to all workers. 

· Condition 2.20 refers to temporary haul roads.  These were not approved in January ‘13 when the go-ahead was given.

· Caltrans was supposed to have recorded conservation easements and transferred mitigation lands to the MCRCD by 12/29/11.  Neither of these things have happened.  MCRCD may not take title for 5-15 years if at all. No word on conservation easements. 


Before initiating channel-, ground-, or vegetation-disturbing project activities”. There were things to complete.

· The MMP was to be finished by 12/21/10.  It was instead split in two parts and the second part is still not complete. 

· Condition 2.12 ESA fencing (temporary orange construction fence or other highly visible material) shall be installed as per project plans, inspected and approved by CDFW.


On 1/15/13 CDFW issued a memo authorizing early start even though the above conditions had not been met. As of 3/30/13 the amendment was not complete. We have no Decision Document justifying this action. 


Incidental Take Permit, issued by California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Governs take of threatened fish and semaphore grass. Issued 7/14/10. References the June 2010 MMP which is undergoing revision. Caltrans missed numerous completion dates, many conditions still not complete. Do not have a date when Caltrans officially requested an amendment. 


· Conditions of Approval that pertain to all channel-, ground-, or vegetation-disturbing project activities are that ITP time frames shall be adhered to.  Obviously they are not.

· Condition 7.2, removal of above –ground riparian vegetation from streambanks must only occur between September 15 and January 31 of any year to comply with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  There is NO provision in the permit for working outside this window.


Before initiating channel-, ground-, or vegetation-disturbing project activities, many things were to be complete.

· Condition 5.1 references the incomplete June 2010 MMP and says it must be completed by 12/31/10.  It is still not complete.

· Condition 9 requires funding assurances for mitigation, BEFORE start of construction.  The total they estimate is $34.5 million (about $4 mil Ryan Creek, $11.5 mil land acquisition, $7mil constructing mitigation treatments, $12 mil endowment).  These numbers are different than the ACE permit requires ($59 mil) and also different from what Caltrans asked in March of 2012 ($54 mil) and also different from the CDFW Early Start Memo ($26 mil).  

· Condition 8, Ryan Creek Fish Passage design was due 6/30/12.  It is still not complete. 

Condition 8.4, requires transfer of fee title of mitigation lands to MCRCD (or other approved entity). Again, MCRCD may not take title for 5-15 years if at all.  This condition also requires conservation easements.  They were supposed to have this completed by 7/14/11 (18 months after ITP issued). As of 6/5/12 there were not even any drafts (communication with Craig Martz, CDFW who wrote the permit

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MCPB Board of Directors

Welcome our new board members and thank our outgoing board members at the Annual Meeting of the Mendocino County Public Broadcasting Board of Directors

Point Noyo (previously The Cliff House)

1011 S Main Street 

Fort Bragg, CA 95437

Monday, May 2nd, 2016 6:00 pm

(No Host Bar/Food available for purchase)

New board members John Azzaro (At large); Jonathan Middlebrook (1st District); and Stuart Campbell (Programmer Elect) 

Outgoing board members are Bob Page and John Sakowicz

Here are the minutes from the last meeting, as yet unapproved.



MARCH 7, 2016





Present: Meg Courtney, Lorraine Dechter, Jane Futcher, Jenness Hartley, Ed Keller, Benj Thomas, John Sakowicz

Absent: Clay Eubank





—GROUND RULES: Meg appointed Jenness to be the Meeting Facilitator

—THANK YOUS: Meg expressed thanks to Lorraine Dechter, the new GM: Jane Futcher, elections coordinator and election ballot workers and stampers, including Jenness, Ed, Bob and several others. Ed Keller was thanked for building a covered area outside where staff can sit.

—FUNDRAISING: Meg mentioned some of the fundraisers coming up, including Amy Goodman in Willits, April 16; a Willits house party April 23; a Mother’s Day fundraiser with Starchild chocolate; a Church of the Boogie Woogie party with a Boogie Woogie diva in June. She thanked Catherine Keegan and Tim Bray for taking on many fundraising events for KZYX and for requiring board and staff do very little.



Jane Futcher reported that board election was proceeding and the on-air forum went well.

John Sakowicz welcomed Lorraine and expressed hope that KZYX will collaborate with low-power channels like KMEC, also using digital platforms and many new technologies that expand the station’s reach and can be the source of potential revenues.



—Elections Report by Jane not needed because of above check-in

—No Finance Committee report due to Clay’s absence


PRESENTATION OF MENDOCINO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ COMMENDATION TO MARY AIGNER BY TOM WOODHOUSE: Tom Woodhouse read an eloquently worded recognition of Mary Aigner’s 22 years of service as a staff member of KZYX. (See Attached)



Ellen summarized the results of a CAB public meeting in Elk in February. She chose an area that the station does not always reach out to but was disappointed with the turnout despite the fact that the meeting was well publicized. About 10 people attended. She said transparency of the board and station was a big issue and there were requests for:
1. On-air CAB meetings

2. On-air Board meetings

3. On-air discussions with board representatives

4. The board should stop using a closed board list serve and confidential meetings

5. Simple living membership of $25 should be announced on the air

6. Controversy comes from exclusion — Someone said that when the Mendocino School Board adopted a more open stance their meetings became less contentious and shorter.


Ellen reported many comments about the board’s conduct, including:

—Board should state what its rules are and follow the process

—Board should not let a few people make all the decisions

—Board should make transparency a priority

—Board needs to follow through as new board members replace outgoing members.

—Board should be more responsive.

Several of those attending want access to the membership list with an opt-out clause for folks who don’t want to be contacted.

Other suggestions:

—Hire a volunteer coordinator

—contact nonmembers through public meetings

—Restore safe harbor

—State what happened with Ukiah studio funds

—Start a program council that had decision-making power

—Pay attention to the South Coast so people in Gualala can tune in.

—Encourage more participation by young people

—Define and follow the process for choosing programmers

—Institute a grievance procedure for former programmers

—Form Ad Hoc committees of members for pursuing specific issues

—Take seriously the decline in membership

—Encourage and support local programmers


BREAKS: During the meeting, possibly during Ellen’s presentation, a reporter covering the meeting and a candidate for the board interrupted frequently and claimed the board president was not following clear procedures. The facilitator called short break to establish calm.




Lorraine did not submit a written report. She introduced Jerry Fraley, the interim Operations Manager, who was not present, and Raoul Van Haul, who introduced himself and his long experience in broadcasting, particularly in Portland, Oregon. Lorraine announced new Native American programming, a five-minute syndicated segment for which she has not yet found the perfect time slot. She said our expenses for the month of January were triple what was budgeted because it was costly covering the vacant program manager and ops manager positions.


Jeff Wright: Thanked Lorraine for unraveling the “trainwreck she was left with.” Said the satellites studios are working better and he asked that the “safe harbor” from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. be restored. He encouraged KZYZ to participate in joint events with KMUD and promote the Seven Rivers Network.

Sheila Dawn Tracy: Said members should be able to communicate with each other; wants safe harbor restore; would like a written GM report; feels new KZYX newsletter should have gone in the silent drive letter.

Sarah: Requested results of fundraisers and pledge drives be published on the KZYX Web site and promoted on the Web site in advance

Fran Koliner: Welcomed Lorraine

Ellen Saxe: Gave out her email address so others can receive summary of CAB meeting

Lyn Dee Johnson: Wants each board member to have a sign with their names so people know who they are; said this was an “emotional transition” that is hard on listeners, too, as they hear new voices on the air, etc. She, or someone else, remarked that the FCC investigation of KZXY led to a decision by the staff to end safe harbor because of concerns the station might lose its license if the FCC heard bad language on the air.


The meeting ended at 8 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Jane Futcher, Board VP


Adendum: Mendocino Board of Supervisors’ letter of Commendation to Mary Aigner. Signed by Tom Woodhouse and Dan Gjerde, delivered at the meeting March 7, 2016


Mary Aigner tirelessly served Mendocino County for 22 years through her work at KZYX. During her tenure as program director, she exhibited an unflagging dedication to community radio in general and Mendocino County Public Broadcasting in particular. The station was more than a job to her, it was a career and a passion, often placed before her own personal life. 


Mary exhibited dedication to the listening community by

—Cultivating familiarity with the various communities of the region, and the issues

confronting each of them. She often helped to arrange discussions of those issues on the stations public affairs programs and newscasts’’

—Maintaining steadfast awareness, and unwaveringly correct instincts about the preferences

of the public radio listening community, and representing them in any meeting,

conversation, or decision in which she was involved. “How will it benefit the listeners?”

was the perspective she always brought to the table.

 —Facing recurring challenges from small segments of the community about programming,

remaining firmly rooted in her convictions and professional expertise about how to serve

the majority of listeners and how to make KZYX the best possible community station. 

  —Being willing to engage in conversation with any listener, and personally respond to their

questions and concerns


Mary exhibited dedication to the station by:

 —Understanding and being able to operate and manage all the stations equipment, and

keeping herself abreast of the evolving technology

—Being available 24/7 to handle last-minute changes, trouble-shoot technical difficulties and support other staff members in their efforts to seek resolution

 —Being available to facilitate special programming – coming in on weekends and evenings to update the stations automated broadcast system

 —Helping produce live remote broadcasts, and fundraising events

 —Remaining ever mindful of the regulations which govern public radio stations


Mary exhibited dedication to the stations volunteer programmers by:

—Training, guiding, and assisting on-air volunteers, whatever their level of skill or experience

 —Helping find substitute hosts for absent programmers, often filling in herself on short notice

—Always being available to programmers, even on weekends or when out of town, to instruct,

support, and trouble-shoot unexpected on-air difficulties

 —Actively interfacing with record companies, and content providers, to keep the flow of new

music and programming coming to the station

 —Alerting programmers to new music or events which might be of interest to their audience

 —Facilitating interview opportunities for programmers with performers and public figures

Tom Woodhouse & Dan Gjerde

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