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Breaking News: Napa Earthquake; Lodge Lightning Complex Fire

Sunday morning earthquake (Updated at 7:20am Tuesday August 26): According to the USGS, an earthquake and several aftershocks were recorded this morning. The original quake at 3:20am Sunday morning was measured at 6.0 and was centered near American Canyon. Three aftershocks were recorded near Napa: at 5:01am (2.5), at 5:47am (3.6), and 7:22am (2.5); two more near American Canyon at 7:54am (2.8), and 10:38am (2.6).

KQED reports the following information:
A 6.0-magnitude earthquake epicentered at the southern edge of Napa struck at Sunday morning at 3:20 a.m.
• The quake is the strongest to strike the Bay Area since the 6.9 Loma Prieta quake of Oct. 17, 1989.
• Napa’s Queen of the Valley Hospital reports treating 208 people between the time the earthquake struck at 3:20 a.m. and 11 p.m. Sunday. The hospital says a total of 17 people were admitted, most in fair to serious condition. One person remains in critical condition. Vallejo is reporting 25 minor injuries.
• The city of Napa has reported 33 buildings have been deemed unsafe. Officials in Vallejo have closed a two-block stretch of one of the city’s principal streets because of concerns that a church bell tower could collapse, and Napa’s school district announced that schools will remain closed Tuesday and possibly beyond. KQED’s Craig Miller reports that Vallejo’s First Baptist Church, at the corner of Carolina Street and Sonoma Boulevard, has been red-tagged. Among the church’s structural concerns: that the bell tower has been weakened to the point where it might collapse. This fear has prompted officials to close Sonoma Boulevard, which is also Highway 29, for two blocks on either side of the church. The closure also affects Lincoln Elementary School, immediately across the street from First Baptist.
• Napa officials updated the number of buildings red-tagged there to 64. Among the buildings shut down is the city’s historic courthouse building, and county officials announced today that the building will be closed indefinitely as it undergoes structural analysis. Several other major public buildings, including the Napa County Administration Building, were closed Monday.
• The Napa Valley Unified School District announced schools across the city will remain closed Tuesday as staff cleans up after the quake. The district will make a decision Tuesday about whether the closure will be extended.
• The Napa Fire Department reported Monday it responded to 50 fires after the quake, including one in a mobile home park that destroyed four units and damaged several others. Fire officials said an initial lack of water due to water-main breaks led to some of the destruction.
• Napa’s water system is undergoing repairs after suffering 60 water-main breaks. Officials say that some residents will lose water service during repairs and are advising affected residents to use boiled or bottled water until further notice.

Additional detailed information can be found at KQED's website: KQED reports.

Lodge Fire: The fire status has not been updated by Cal Fire since Wednesday evening. It appears that there will be no additional updates until/unless there is a significant change in the status. KZYX will monitor Cal Fire and other fire, police, and safety sources and advise if needed. At last report the fire had consumed 12,535 acres and was 96% contained.

Morning News for mONday, February 25th

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on Monday, 25 February 2013 in Uncategorized



The Fitch Rating service has reaffirmed nearly $80 Million of Mendocino county pension bonds at BBB+ , affirmed the general obligations as A- and upgraded the outlook from Stable to positive.

The reasons for the positive outlook: improvements in 

the county's financial position following substantial expenditure reductions and management reforms.

Management has raised fund balance targets and established policies to help meet these new goals, updated treasury practices, and begun preparations for its first capital improvement plan in seven years.  A sustained record of surplus operations and enhanced financial flexibility will likely result in an upgrade in the near term. 

The county's strong performance in 2012 follows substantial expenditure reductions, primarily through workforce and payroll reductions.  Workforce reductions have eliminated approximately one-fourth of the county's full-time employees over the past five years, while remaining employees have seen permanent wage cuts of 10% to 12.5%.  In addition, the county has eliminated other post-employment benefits  for current and retired employees.

Despite the good news, the county continues to face challenges from a long-term economic contraction.  In addition, wealth and income levels remain well below state and national averages.





The Ukiah City Council last week voted unanimously to borrow another $4 million in 30 year loan to pay for traffic improvements needed to bring a proposed Costco store to Airport Park Boulevard. 

During negotiations, the city agreed to complete improvements to the intersections and Highway 101 off-ramps leading to the store as a way to alleviate traffic congestion in the area.

For Phase 1 of the improvements, staff estimates it will cost $1,184,264 to improve the intersection of Airport Park Boulevard and Talmage Road, add a signal at Airport Park Boulevard and Commerce Road, widen the intersection of Hastings and State streets and improve the medians on the southern section of Airport Park Boulevard.

Phase 2 will improve the interchange of Talmage Road and Highway 101, including modification of the off-ramps, and staff estimates it will cost $2,740,000.

According to the report, the interest rate for the state loaning authority was 2.06 percent for 30 years, and the city would likely pay an average of $213,000 a year for the planned loan, and repayment of the loan "will come from tax revenue generated by build-out of the Redwood Business Park.







Helping local farmers comply with water discharge requirements, proposed contribution rates for the county's retirement system and a proposal to adopt locally a law aimed at stopping illicit marijuana grows on public land are items on the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors' Tuesday meeting agenda for 9 a.m. 


An Agricultural Lands Discharge Program will require farmers to develop water management plans and have them reviewed regularly thru third-party verification.

The board will hear an actuarial valuation report on the county's retirement system that recommends that the county to pay 19.80 percent of payroll for "general" members, 30.20 percent for "safety" members and 22.66 percent for "safety, probation" members . The  rates are higher than those accepted in December and would be effective July 1.

Also on the agenda is a proposal by Supervisors McCowen and  Gjerde to adopt a resolution that would implement locally Assembly Bill 2284 which will allow law enforcement to stop vehicles that are carrying certain types of agricultural irrigation supplies and on a rock or unpaved road on state or federal land, on a private timberland production site of 50,000 acres or greater . 

Also on the agenda is a request from Gjerde and McCowen to adopt a resolution supporting a proposed northern expansion of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries to include all of the Mendocino Coast because "Oil and gas exploration and drilling are prohibited within National Marine Sanctuaries."





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