Morning News for TUESDAY, JUNE 18TH!
The Ukiah City Council last week approved plans to reorganize the city's Community Services Department following the departure of its administrator Katie Marsolan.
Assistant City Manger Sage Sangiacomo said that he felt the changes would make the department both more responsive and more efficient. "The goals we've outlined are really positioning the department for the future. "
Rather than replacing Marsolan with another Community Services administrator, Sangiacomo said staff is recommending hiring someone to coordinate the recreation programs, more people to maintain the city's parks during the summer, and a "part-time event and facility assistant" who can help coordinate activities at places like the Alex Rorabaugh Center.
Marsolan's supervisorial duties would be given to the department heads, such as the parks and golf superintendent, museum director, Conference Center facility administrator and the recreation supervisor. As compensation for the additional duties, the proposal recommends raising the salaries of the Conference Center administrator and the
recreation supervisor by 10 percent.
The board needs to approve the plan and the job descriptions for the new and reclassified positions.
As the stock of abalone in northern California continues to plummet, the state Fish & Game Commission has been presented with proposals by the Department of Fish & Wildlife biology staff
to reduce the annual overall take of the invertebrate by 25%. This continued drop has been observed by staff at various locations on
the Sonoma and Mendocino coasts for a number of years.
On June 26, the Commission will be conducting a public hearing in Sacramento to review scientific data and discuss alternatives. Key among those is a complete closure of Fort Ross and
restricting the overall removal of abalone anywhere in Sonoma County. The staff recommendations indicates, “that the prescribed 25 percent reduction in catch could potentially be achieved in a variety of ways, such as: lower daily bag limits, a shorter fishing season, a later start to the fishing day, and reduced annual limits. This suite of alternatives could be used individually or in combination to reduce the expected take of abalone.”
In a letter of June 14 by MAW to Board President Michael Sutton, MAW urged that the Board “over-compensate rather than run the risk of adopting an option that falls short of achieving
your goal. MAW made these specific recommendations for reductions that parallel those recommended.
California’s high-speed rail project can start rolling without waiting for potentially time-consuming approvals from a federal board, the Surface Transportation ruled 2-1 last week.
The initial 65-mile stretch between Fresno and Merced will be exempt from the customary requirement that railway construction first obtain prior approval from the federal board.
Jeff Morales, chief executive officer of the high-speed rail authority, said in a statement that it welcomed the board’s decision.
“We can now focus on starting major work on the project this summer and providing thousands of jobs in the Central Valley,” he said.
The decision follows an intense lobbying campaign, in which high-speed rail advocates, including Gov. Jerry Brown, Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin and several labor unions urged that the board exempt the project from the prior approval requirement. Skeptics, including Kings County, Bakersfield and the Chowchilla School District, weighed in on the other side.
The Mendocino Supervisors will hold a public hearing at 1:30 p.m. Today and to decide whether to allow an outdoor festival called Northern Nights Music Festival, July 19 through 21 at the Cooks Valley Campground just north of Piercy.
Staff is recommending that the festival be allowed to go forward and that the county issue the license for it, despite the objection of the Mateel Center which said that the area cannot sustain two festivals so close to each other.