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AM News for Thursday 7.11.13

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on Thursday, 11 July 2013 in Uncategorized



California’s Supreme Court ruled that the Sierra Club was correct when it sought free access to geographic information system maps in 2005 when 

Orange County wanted to keep it private and sell it to businesses.

 Orange County said their products were exempt from the California Public Records Act, because they were the product of computer software.  Under 

the state's Public Records Act, petitioners are entitled to receive attorneys 

fees when they win a lawsuit against public agencies illegally blocking 

access to public records. Sierra Club attorneys have spent years on the 

case working on contingency and expect to bill nearly $1 million in legal fees.

According the court opinion, Orange County was among nine counties that 

do not provide access to GIS-formatted parcel base maps as public records.

The decision may now provide the legal precedent to open such mapping 

products in those other counties, Wallraff added.









Willits bypass opponents met with the head of Caltrans , Malcolm Dougherty, in Sacramento Tues morning, but were unable to convince him to halt the

 project in favor of the alternatives they consider more reasonable and 

responsible . 

Willits City Councilperson Madge Strong, Willits Environmental Center co-founder, Ellen Drell,  Willits resident Richard Estabrook, and Julia Frech of 

Save Our Little Lake Valley met with the director.

Drell said "the current four-lane bypass is unnecessary, Caltrans relied on faulty traffic data and 

arbitrarily locked in a level of service that would require a four lane freeway. Caltrans was able to exclude any consideration of a more sensible, less 

expensive, less destructive two-lane option”.

Director Dougherty asked North Coast Director, Charlie Fielder, whether a

traffic model for a two-lane option had, in fact, been done. Fielder remained silent, according to 


 “Caltrans’ projections of growth are faulty, and their claim that the Federal

Highway Administration requires a 4-lane freeway is outright false”, said Councilwoman Strong. 

Also, Will Parish, who was extracted July 1 after eleven days on  a  wick 

drain crane will be arraigned on Thursday,  at 8:30 a.m. at the Ukiah 





Samantha Lemberg is still hoping to find her husband, Erik, missing since 

May 27th, , last believed to be in a rugged, remote Mendocino County area, 12 miles from Ft Bragg and 20 miles west of Willits.

Lamberg, 51, who suffers from bipolar disorder, was not found during an an extensive multi-day search by deputies, search and rescue crews and bloodhounds after 

his van was found stuck in a ditch on Sherwood Road. During the searches, one search volunteer suffered a broken ankle when his ATV crashed and a sheriff's evidence technician suffered heat exhaustion while processing the van in extreme heat


Sgt. Jason Caudillo Tuesday said a journal found in Lamberg's van and other evidence will now be given a closer look by a detective.

Nothing came of a trace of his credit cards or cellphone.

Erik's wifeSamantha says that while he may no longer be alive, he could 

also be living off the grid in the wild, or perhaps even have hitchhiked somewhere.

“For the sake of me and the kids we want there to be some sense of closure,” she said.

Lamberg is 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds with sandy blond hair and blue eyes.

Sheriff's asked anyone with information to contact deputies at (707) 463-4086.






The City of Willits withdrew from the lawsuit against Mendocino County after the city council accepted a settlement agreement with the County for refund of overpayment of Property Tax Administration Fees (PTAF) covering a five-year period. No indication was given as to the amount of money recovered.



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