Morning News for Thursday, May 9th
After receiving $31 million from Calif CTC for mitigation projects on the Willits Bypass, CalTrans, in a press release,announced that it will direct $26 million in funding to make environmental improvements on more than 2,000 acres of lands it purchased for the Willits Bypass Project. All of these projects had been announced before in CalTrans hearings on the project.
To offset the project’s impacts to 80 acres of wetlands, Caltrans will provide compensatory wetlands mitigation in the Little Lake Valley at a 15:1 ratio. In addition to the more than 1,200 acres of wetland compensation, over 140 acres of riparian habitat will be established and rehabilitated, totaling over 10 miles of improved streamside habitat for salmon and steelhead.
The mitigation wetlands will be planted with more than 800,000 plantings of local native wetland grasses, shrubs and trees to enhance the vegetative complexity of the mitigation sites. Culverts will be improved to open up critical upstream rearing habitat for listed steelhead and Coho salmon on Haehl, Upp, and Ryan Creeks. Conservation Easements will be placed on the lands to ensure they are protected in perpetuity.
the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office has asked for assistance in locating 14 year old Kirin Aurealas Maciel, missing from Eureka since Saturday.
Her grandmother told police that Kirin has medical issues .
She left her grandmother's residence in Eureka on foot and was seen walking towards downtown Eureka at about 4:30 p.m. Deputies checked the area for Maciel and did not locate her.
Maciel is described as a white female, 5 feet, 3, 140 pounds, blue eyes, strawberry-blond hair, wearing a dark-colored sweatshirt and pants.
The sheriff's office is asking anyone with information to call 445-7251 or the tip line at 268-2539.
Environmental groups cannot use state law to block the resumption of freight rail service on the North Coast, a Marin County judge tentatively ruled Tuesday.
Judge Roy O. Chernus said that federal law preempts state law in matters relating to railroads, so environmental groups could not sue the North Coast Railroad Authority over deficiencies in an environmental impact report that it prepared under state law .
NCRA is trying to restore North Coast freight rail service from Napa to Humboldt County. In 2011, it released an environmental impact report on the first phase, from Napa to Willits, a study funded by nearly $3 million from the state.
Two groups, the Friends of the Eel River and Californians for Alternatives to Toxics, sued, arguing that the EIR was insufficient.
The judge, however, agreed with NCRA when it argued that federal law preempts state law.
Chernus was expected to hear arguments from the two groups Wednesday morning in San Rafael before making his ruling final.
More moving earth and signs of new cracking pavement at the Lakeside Heights subdivision in north Lakeport are creating new problems for residents and county officials.
Special Districts Administrator Mark Dellinger ttold the board yesterday that new fissures are opening up in previously unaffected parts of the subdivision, with pavement on another of the neighborhood's streets starting to separate.
There also has been new movement noted to the northwest, which has even surprised the geotechnical engineer hired to investigate the ground movement, Dellinger said.
Dellinger said his department is still trying to zero in on the water source that seems to be exacerbating the shifting ground. “The question is, what's the source, what's the cause?”
He said that on Monday, state Sen. Noreen Evans' staff contacted the county to ask for information about the situation.
US Sen. Dianne Feinstein's staff is sending a member to tour the subdivision on Thursday.