Morning News for THURSDAY,June 20TH!
Mendocino County supervisors Tuesday 3-2 narrowly upheld a permit for an Eel River concert venue that last year blasted music until 4 a.m.
But they warned no additional concerts will be allowed if the property owner, Conrad Bowman, and promoters don’t follow new restrictions and keep this year’s estimated 3,500 concert goers under control.
Supervisors Dan Hamburg and Dan Gjerde voted in favor of an appeal against the three-day, “Northern Nights Music Festival” at a campground near Piercy.
The concert had been appealed by a neighbor of the venue and the Mateel Community Center, which holds Reggae on the River just over the county line in Humboldt County.
The Ukiah City Council tonight will discuss progress toward a sales tax-sharing agreement with Mendocino County.
According to the staff report she prepared for tonight's meeting, Mendocino CEO Carmel Angelo requested that "the next step in the process be a joint meeting of the Board of Supervisors and the Ukiah City Council."
Ukiah City Manager Chambers noted that such a meeting could possibly be held in September.Chambers explained that the county depends more on property taxes, while the city depends more on sales taxes to fund its general government services."It's difficult to come up with a way to share those revenues that is sustainable to both of us," she said, explaining that for every new business in the city, the county receives a portion of the sales tax generated, while the city does not receive sales tax for businesses outside the city limits.
The world-famous Skunk Train, stopped in its tracks earlier this year by a tunnel collapse, was rescued Tuesday when the Save the Redwoods League purchased a $300,000 option to establish an easement protecting redwoods and ensuring public access along the 40-mile Skunk Train route in Mendocino County - exactly the amount the cash-strapped Mendocino Railway needed to fix the tunnel.
Robert Pinoli, the owner and CEO of the railroad, said debris removal and repairs will begin immediately. He expects the train to be up and running from Willits to Northspur by the beginning of next month, with full service restored by mid-July."The Skunk Train is vital to the local economy, and without it, the whole area suffers," Pinoli said.
The 40-mile system pours about $20 million into the Mendocino County economy
.Pinoli, who did not have the money to fix the tunnel, was considering selling some of the redwoods along the route to logging interests when Save the Redwoods stepped in.Harry Pollack, the league's chief operating officer and acting executive director, said that Pinoli " will use the money to open the tunnel and we will have the land appraised and figure out in the coming year what we want to buy," Pollack said.
"The $300,000 will be a credit toward the purchase price."
50 Willits citizens risked arrest in a civil disobedience protest of Caltrans’ Willits bypass Wednesday by sitting down and blocking the wick drain installation equipment .
CHP officers called for reinforcements and ten cars arrived including the Ukiah Chief Capt James Epperson. After consulting with CalTrans workers and issuing a dispersal order which was met with solid opposition from the protesters, the CHP withdrew to the edge of the Bypass construction without making any arrests.All work was stopped for the day and, according to Naomi Wagner, they will stay there indefinitely or until arrested.
However, the CHP returned around 2 pm and arrested five people. The Federal court hearing to determine the course of the lawsuit against CalTrans and the Army Corps of Engineers takes place on Friday, June 20th.