Morning News for Monday, December 21st
Frank Hartzell of the Fort Bragg Advocate has written a lengthy and authoritative analysis of the Medocino Redwood companies 80 year Timber plan and why it baffles local officials. I'll quote from it.
In 2000, the Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC) asked a half-dozen government agencies to create the regulatory framework for its 80-year plan and simplify existing regulatory processes with a single document and integrated plan.
After a full decade of work, documents totaling more than 3,000 pages were presented to the public late last month for an 88-day comment period. To put it in perspective, the Bible is less than 2000 pages.
Most of the 20-some people on hand last week for a public meeting in Fort Bragg about the plan were too bemused by the gargantuan result of the state and federal "streamlining effort" to be much for or against it.
"Based on what I've heard tonight, and the 2,600 pages back on the counter, I want to formally request an extension of at least 60 days, to April 21, 2013 for the community to have adequate time to review all this," said David Gurney, who writes a local news blog. "Giving the public a few short months more doesn't seem too much for a document that will cover 80 years into the future and has taken a dozen years for all these people here to create."
The plan is available online; the address will be on KZYX's news blog later this am.
The end of year reports from County staff had both good and bad aspects.
The county budget has a reserve of $4.5 million, according to Chief Deputy CEO Kyle Knopp, about half of what is recommended for the county's size and resources, and its debt rating with Standard & Poors is BBB-, junk bonds.
The county also appropriated $1 million more to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, some of it attributable to the loss of income from the 9.31 program which was discontinued in March.
"Structural problems" were also identified in the county's Teeter program, prompting a discussion about removing the Brooktrails subdivision from its rolls.
General Services Agency Director Kristen McMenomey said the agency had saved the county more than $600,000 by consolidating 13 county facilities, including the elimination of five leased buildings.
Almost every county department is participating in the county's wellness plan, according to Human Resources Director Pat Meek.
"The numbers are down in Juvenile Hall," said Chief Probation Officer Jim Brown. "We're also seeing kids with mental health issues on the rise."
The Ukiah City Council voted (5-0) for staff to proceed with drafting a program for downtown Ukiah for Outdoor Dining, after comments from the owners of Schat's, Patrona and Saucy. The Design Review Board would oversee the actual materials and design of future outdoor dining.
Willits Economic LocaLization (WELL) is launching a "Pay It Forward" fund as one strategy for investing in the local economy.
"Pay It Forward seeks donations from the community for a revolving fund earmarked exclusively for the purpose of assisting local enterprises that meet the triple bottom line: good for the planet, people, and profit," says WELL's Madge Strong.
Donations to the fund are tax-deductible . "There will not be any "profit". However, if the fund's investment in a enterprise is re-paid, the fund will 'pay it forward' to other recipients."
WELL encourages new or expanding businesses to apply for funding. "Proposals will be reviewed by the WELL Coordinating Committee,"