Morning News for Tuesday, February 12th
Legislation introduced today in Washington D-C aims to take corporate money out of politics and give the power back to the people. The “We the People Amendment” seeks to overturn “Citizens United,” the U-S Supreme Court ruling that allows corporations to make independent political expenditures. Ben Manski with the group “Move to Amend” says his organization's view is that rights recognized under the Constitution belong only to people.
The Fort Bragg Community Federal Credit Union and Mendo Lake Credit Union have signed a memorandum of understanding to consider a merger, officials said Friday.
They believe that, in the current financial environment, a larger but still moderately sized local institution will be better positioned to provide a higher level of ongoing service.
Should the merger be finalized, the combined organization would be more than $160 million in total assets and serve more than 23,000 members.
Out of that total, the proposed combined Fort Bragg branch of MLCU will have more than $50 million in deposits, more than $26 million in loans and will serve more than 7,000 members.
The proposed merger will provide FB members a range of new and expanded services. As the merging credit union, FB members will be given an opportunity to vote on the final merger agreement, with a full disclosure of all details provided prior to the vote.
Teachers and staff in the Willits School District may face layoffs next year as the school board attempts the difficult task of closing a $750,000 budget shortfall.
During its regular meeting last week, the board approved a preliminary round of budget reductions that included the potential layoffs of as many as 10 teachers and an unspecified number of staff.
Declining enrollment and declining revenues has forced the district into deficit spending since 2007.
The 2012 grape crush in California totaled 4,383,100 tons, a record over 2011.
Chuck Morse, agricultural commissioner for Mendocino County, said that two important numbers were up significantly for Mendocino County: the prices per ton and the volume of grapes.
For red wine grapes, the prices per ton were up 14 percent from 2011, while for white wine grapes the prices went up 19 percent, Morse said.
The volume increases were even higher. For reds, the increase was 20 percent, and for whites, it was 27 percent.
However, Morse said the increases were so dramatic in part because 2011 was such a bad year.
The weather forecasts for this year, though, don't look as perfect.
"It looks a little trickier this year," McGourty said, adding that 2013 may be cooler and get less rain.
But even if the good weather repeated, he said "the chances of having two great crops in a row are remote. The vines get tired, the carbohydrates get depleted, so it takes a while for them to recover."