Friday Morning News, November 16th
The California Coastal Commission Wednesday unanimously rejected a plan by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to study offshore earthquake faults near the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant by blasting the seabed with air cannons.
The tests could have shown PG&E whether several fault lines — intersect near the plant.
But the blasts from the air canons could have disoriented, deafened or killed marine life nearby. PG&E wants to extend the plant’s operating
license and has been under pressure from state officials to conduct more thorough seismic tests in the area. The utility acknowledged that the offshore tests would disrupt the marine environment but insisted the damage would be temporary.
Commissioners noted that PG&E is convinced the plant is earthquake-safe, regardless of any new information the tests might provide. That undercut the rationale for subjecting fish, porpoises, seals and sea lions to high-intensity sound waves as loud as 250 decibels at the source.
The vote came after more than two hours of public testimony, as environmentalists, fishermen and Central Coast residents spoke out against PG&E’s plan.
A potent storm from the Pacific threatens to bring heavy rain, mountain snow and locally gusty wind to the Northwestern California early next week.
The rain could travel from Seattle to Portland down thru Mendocino and into the Bay area.
Forecaster are predicting rain this weekend and then chances of showers during Thanksgiving week.
Motorists might meet slow travel in both wet weather closer to the coast and any slippery roads resulting from wintry weather across the interior.
More than 60 members of the public attended a meeting in McKinleyville to voice concerns about a proposal to protect Clam Beach's snowy plover population by poisoning predatory ravens and crows.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants the county's permission to conduct a research experiment on Clam Beach, to see if using an avicide will reduce those individual birds that are targeting nests as a meal source.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, people expressed concerns about the animal rights issues surrounding poisoning corvids, the effect of the avicide on the environment and what other options are available.
Wiyot Tribe Environmental Director Stephen Kullmann spoke on behalf of the Wiyot Tribal Council. He said the tribe is concerned because the poisoning would be taking place on ancestral ground.
”There's been strong concerns voiced about choosing to target one species for the protection of the other, for the slim chance this might protect one species,” Kullmann said.
Another public outreach meeting might be held later this month, Finley said. The proposal still has to go before the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors for approval.
Arrested last week by a task force raid team led by the DEA but including U.S. Marshals and back-up from the Mendocino Sheriff’s were John Paul McMillan, and Erin Keller, McMillan’s wife. who maintains a gift shop at the MacCallam House and, at one time, was part owner of the Caspar Inn. Jeff Wall, Hank McCusker and Rick Smith were also taken into federal custody in Alameda County since Thursday, November 8th. Sources say they all graduated from Mendocino High School in the 1980s and are all in their forties.
THE ARRESTS of the Mendocino people began with a huge DEA bust in Kansas involving 35 people charged with 101 federal counts of dealing drugs, transporting, trafficking, money laundering — not just pot but cocaine and other drugs. The Kansas people apparently gave up the names of the Mendo people. One transaction is said to have involved more than a ton of pot that sold for 16.9 million dollars.