Mad River Current for Thursday, July 27: Racism acknowledged, lighthouse to be moved

The McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee last night.

McKMAC to discuss racism

Weirdness abounds. The McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee wasn't scheduled to discuss racism last night. Rather, it was scheduled to discuss whether to discuss racism at a future meeting.

Committee Chair Ben Shepherd didn't think that the topic of racism fell under the county advisory committee's purview, but the public disagreed and the committee ultimately voted unanimously to tackle the issue at an upcoming meeting or meetings. You can read a short version of what happened here. A longer version will appear in next week's Mad River Union.

Trinidad pursues stopgap to save lighthouse from landslide

Paul Mann
Mad River Union

TRINIDAD –  The Trinidad Civic Club here has agreed in principle to provide $40,000-$50,000 to move the Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse a few “tens of feet” east or north.

The aim is to complete the move by October, before the rainy season starts, as a hedge against a near-term landslide threat.

The Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse will be moved. Matt Filar | Union

Civic Club President Dana Hope says her group could say “yes” to the stopgap financing, to be secured via fundraising that would include online solicitations.

The $40,000-$50,000 is contingent, however, on how much money Trinidad’s government is able to secure longer-term from California’s Office of Emergency Services and FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Both the slope supporting the lighthouse and the street that lies above it require long-term reinforcement. Construction costs range from $100,000 to $1 million, according to a recent engineering report purchased by the community.

The report, based on drill borings, readings from slope inclinometers and aerial and field mapping, was compiled by SHN Engineers & Geologists, Eureka.

City Manager Dan Berman has circulated the findings to OES, FEMA and the Tsurai Management Team as well as to the Civic Club.

In support of the club’s putative funding commitment, the Trinidad City Council unanimously approved a motion July 26 to “fast track” the permitting process required for moving the structure.

The engineering report urges prompt remediation. “We strongly recommend some action be taken prior to the next rainy season. It may not be feasible to complete any slope reinforcement [by October] due to the permitting constraints.”

Undecided is whether the lighthouse would be moved intact or separated into elements for safekeeping.

Undetermined is whether the top, the cupola, would have to be shifted separately from the foundation and whether the foundation at some point would have to be replaced or rebuilt.

McKinleyville Town Center

The McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee voted last night to send a letter to the Board of Supervisors urging the county to create an ordinance that would help make a McKinleyville Town Center. The idea is to have a pedestrian friendly, village-like area in the center of town, as called for in McKinleyville growth blue print, the McKinleyville Community Plan, approved by the county 15 years ago.

TOWN CENTER This aerial photo shows the boundaries of the town center.
Graphic from McKinleyville Community Plan

The ordinance was supposed to be created after approval of the McKinleyville Community Plan in 2002, but it never happened. The committee is now pushing for its creation. A highlight of last night's meeting was when  Anne Pierson, owner of the McKinleyville Shopping Center, enthusiastically backed the idea. Pierson owns the shopping center and the undeveloped land behind it.

Pierson told the committee she supports the town center concept, as long as it allows "flexibility." After she spoke, she received a round of applause.

For more about the town center, and the challenges it faces, click here.


Lightning fires up in the hills

From Six Rivers National Forest:

A number of thunderstorms impacted the Six Rivers National Forest over the last two days. Lightning from these storms have ignited multiple fires on the Orleans/ Ukonom Ranger District.

The largest fire is the Ukonom Fire located at the base of Ukonom Mountain and is visible from State Highway 96. Fire Managers are in the process of accessing these fires and determining the best course of action.

Information regarding the status of these fires will be periodically updated.






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