Photo By Desiree Cousineau

Park fees face steep hike
Whether you’re going to Lassen Volcanic National Park just for the day or to camp for a week, whether there’s one person in your car or eight, it’s going to cost you twice as much starting in 2008, Park Superintendent Mary G. Martin announced recently. The per-vehicle fee, now $10, will increase to $20.

The good news: If you happen to be entering the park on foot, bicycle “or other individual means” (camelback?), it will cost just $10. Motorcyclists will pay $15.

The number of park visitors—and thus the amount of park income—has been declining. Whether the hikes will keep people away and defeat the purpose remains to be seen, of course. Park officials are taking comments on the proposal, so if you think the policy is wrongheaded in any way, e-mail Martin at <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript"> </script>.

Dr. King gets a street
Good-bye Whitman Avenue, hello Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway. Beginning Monday, Jan. 15—which, of course is Dr. King’s Day—the street stretching from the 20th Street Community Park to East Park Avenue will be named after the great civil-rights leader.

It’s the culmination of an effort that began in 2004 and jumped some hurdles—the City Council didn’t want to rename Warner Street, for example—before realizing its goal of getting the street named after Dr. King. In addition, a memorial statue of him will go into the park (it’s almost ready to be installed).

For info on other Martin Luther King Day events, see the Calendar section.

Kirk makes her move
Maureen Kirk’s first official act as a member of the Butte County Board of Supervisors Tuesday (Jan. 9) was to nominate fellow Supervisor Jane Dolan to chair the board—which she will be doing for the fourth time, Dolan believes, though after 27 years on the job she’s lost count. Kirk also nominated Paradise Supervisor Kim Yamaguchi (pictured with Kirk below) to be vice-chairman.

Kirk’s first meeting featured an upbeat report from County Counsel Bruce Alpert on the county’s effort to leverage the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s relicensing of Oroville Dam to compel the state Department of Water Resources to reimburse the county for Oroville Lake’s “socioeconomic impacts.” The county has spent a small fortune on lawyers and consultants in the gamble that its case is righteous enough to squeeze far more money out of the state.

The good news is FERC devoted 30 pages in its draft EIR to the dam’s socioeconomic impacts, Alpert said, and did find that the county faced a deficit from operation of the lake. “The issue isn’t now whether we subsidize the lake, but to what extent,” he said.

“We will not give up the fight,” he said. “DWR will have to come to grips with it someday.”