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A10

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

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The Union

A year after Irene, US prepares for superstorm

COURTHOUSE:

BY BROCK VERGAKIS AND WAYNE PARRY Associated Press

as dysfunctional, controlling, deceptive, overstaffed and top heavy with high-salaried bureaucrats. This scrutiny was reiterated by an independent audit that made 137 recommendations about improving the program’s policies, processes and procedures. Additionally, the AOC outlined the need for additional time to “work closely with the community” on design for renovations in its report to the judicial council this week. “Did we become a poster child of what a top-down approach can do?” Givens said. “Are we then going to be a testing ground for a bottom-up approach?” There are not yet any specifics for a community involvement plan or schedule yet, said AOC spokeswoman Teresa Ruano in an email to The Union. “We will start with the Project Advisory Group and work with them to engage the public when it becomes

DUCK, N.C. — A year after being walloped by Hurricane Irene, residents rushed to put away boats, harvest crops and sandbag boardwalks Friday as the Eastern Seaboard braced for a rare megastorm that experts said would cause much greater havoc. Hurricane Sandy, moving north from the Caribbean, was expected to make landfall Monday night near the Delaware coast, then hit two winter weather systems as it moves inland, creating a hybrid monster storm that could bring nearly a foot of rain, high winds and up to 2 feet of snow. Experts said the storm would be wider and stronger than last year’s Irene, which caused more than $15 billion in damage, and could rival the worst East Coast

COUNTY:

Continued from A1 the county’s general fund, Haffey noted. “The general fund is already under stress due to the steep decline in the real estate market, which has severely impacted property tax revenues,” Haffey said in the memo. “This criminal litigation could last multiple years, meaning potentially millions of dollars being drained from the county’s general fund.” In addition to the State Attorney General spending hundreds of thousands of dollars — if not millions — to prosecute this case, Haffey noted that due to the county’s public

storm on record. Officials did not mince words, telling people to be prepared for several days without electricity. Jersey Shore beach towns began issuing voluntary evacuations and protecting boardwalks. Airlines said to expect cancellations and waived change

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fees for passengers who want to reschedule. “Be forewarned,” said Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. “Assume that you will be in the midst of flooding conditions, the likes of which you may not have seen at any of the major storms that have occurred over the last 30 years.” Many storm-seasoned residents had not begun to panic. Along North Carolina’s fragile defender’s conflict of interest, three private attorneys will have to defend the three individuals at local taxpayer’s expense. The projected cost to the county to litigate a case such as this would be equivalent to putting six deputies on the street, hiring eight child protective social workers or 10 road maintenance workers. The county has contacted Sen. Ted Gaines’ office, the California State Association of Counties and the Regional Council of Rural Counties to seek assistance and relief in this matter, Haffey said. To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email crosacker@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4236.

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Outer Banks, no evacuations had been ordered and ferries hadn’t yet been closed. Plenty of stores remained open and houses still featured Halloween decorations outside, as rain started to roll in. “I’ll never evacuate again,” said Lori Hilby, manager of a natural foods market in Duck, N.C., who left her home before Hurricane Irene struck last August. “... Whenever I evacuate, I always end up somewhere and they lose power and my house is fine. So I’m always wishing I was home.” Some have compared the tempest to the so-called Perfect Storm that struck off the coast of New England in 1991, but that one hit a less populated area. Masters said this could be as big, perhaps bigger, than the worst East Coast storm on record, a 1938 New England hurricane that is sometimes known as the Long Island Express, which killed nearly 800 people.

BRIDGEPORT: Continued from A1

barn tours, wildflower crafts, face painting, gold panning, pumpkin painting and games for kids of all ages. Local author and birder Carol Malnor will be on hand to sign her children’s book, “The Blues go Birding Across America.” The Audubon Society has also planned special activities for children. The Penn Valley Chamber of Commerce will be selling hot dogs, baked potatoes and drinks, and June’s deli will be offering baked treats. The Lazy Dog cart will be providing ice cream treats. There will also be a raffle, clothes for sale at the visitor’s center and other items for sale, and all the proceeds will exclusively benefit the park. “Any money that we bring in, aside from the $5 for parking, goes to the park, stays at the park and doesn’t get distributed around,” said coordinator Mickey Springer, adding he enjoys the historic value of the park. “The park is so nice. It’s very

Continued from A1

historical,” Springer said. “The historic gas station will be open, and I think we’re going to have one or two old cars out there. Just the history that goes on, and the barn and the bridge are all great. The bridge is still closed, but it’s

appropriate,” Ruano said. Metroka envisions working closely with Nevada City, county and courthouse officials to sculpt the specifics of the renovation plan. “They are well aware that this community, perhaps more than any other in California, is very involved in its appearance of its downtown,” Metroka said of the Judicial Council and the AOC. “I think they are trying to let us know they are going to involve the community in this process if the project is actually to proceed and be allocated funding,” Metroka said. “They won’t do that in a vacuum, I believe, but that is just my speculation.” If the analysis is successful in allocating funding by 2014-15, Metroka predicted the occupancy of a renovated courthouse would not occur until at least 2017-18. “It’s going to be 10-year process,” Metroka said. To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email crosacker@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4236.

the parking, and we were not bringing any funds into the state park, so they initiated the parking, which helped the revenues and us stay open,” said Steve Pauly of the South Yuba River State Park. “The parking fees have been

“Let’s support our local state park and celebrate its removal from the state park closure list.” — FESTIVAL COORDINATOR JANINE MARTIN

nice to see. It’s just a nice time of year.” The Bridgeport covered bridge, which had its 150th birthday celebrated earlier this year, has been closed to public access due to repairs deemed necessary by the state parks department. The park itself was in danger of closing due to lack of funding but has since been taken off the list due to public support and a plan that has increased parking fees. “The park is open, free to the public, and we were not charging

tolerated very well by the public, knowing the fees are keeping the park open,” he said. In addition to its history and the Halloween season, Martin said the event can also be considered a celebration of the continued availability of the park to the public. “Let’s support our local state park and celebrate its removal from the state park closure list,” Martin said. “It’ll be a great afternoon.”

DONATIONS: Continued from A1

The three association presidents, Dave Anderson, Larry Skinner and Tom Stark, want to emphasize the fact that all association money is spent locally to assist in giving each visitor the best possible experience. It doesn’t go to Sacramento. Park entry fees, camping fees and parking fees do, however, go to the state department. During the recent State Park budget crises, association members were stunned by the proposed closure list of 70 state parks, then shocked by the discovery of hidden money — reportedly as much as $54 million. Each local park association has its own specific mission statement on how it supports its park to provide a quality visitor experience. Activities that the local associations support include goldmining education in many forms, docent-led programs, brochures, trail maps, bird lists, wild-flower walks, gold panning, hard-rock mining displays and tours of many types. Each park supports a uniquely different visitor center, offering gifts, books, maps and many educational items for families and visitors. Each association sponsors its own unique event, i.e. Humbug Days, Miners Picnic and the Spring and Fall Festivals. All three associations depend on membership dues, sales in their gift shops, donations from visitors and several special events and fundraisers. For information on area parks, call Empire Mine at (530) 2738522, South Yuba River at (530) 432-2546 and Malakoff Diggins at (530) 478-0720. Glenn Fuller is a volunteer with the South Yuba River State Park Association.

To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email jterman@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4230.

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A010-GVU-10272012