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Lease ends for Duke 

Even though Duke’s outfall lease with the city of Morro Bay expired Nov. 15, officials say they are still working out a new lease agreement and there is no intention to evict Duke from the property. Water that is used to cool the plant’s generators is discharged into an outfall area in the ocean, and the energy company needs to agree to an outfall lease to continue discharging water. The plant is currently operating at minimum capacity.

“It’s not the same as an apartment rental situation, where you have someone ready to move in,� said Bob Hendrix, Morro Bay city manager.

Duke is scheduled for a water board permit meeting in April, so they will likely want to draw up a lease with the city before then, said Hendrix.

“We’re hoping that over time it will resolve itself,� he said.

Second suit filed
in Paso quake deaths

Almost 11 months after 2003’s deadly earthquake, family members of Marilyn Frost-Zafuto, one of the women killed in the quake, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

In it, they argue that the Mastagnis — the family that owned the building that collapsed and killed Frost-Zafuto and her co-worker Jennifer Myrick — were aware of the condition of the building, but did nothing to notify the people that worked inside it.

The lawsuit also claims that Ann Reeves, who employed the two victims, was complicit in concealing the dangers from Frost-Zafuto.

Frost-Zafuto’s family says that the victim had a strong fear of earthquakes and had she known the condition of the building, she would not have worked there.

This suit is similar to one filed last month by the parents of Myrick, the other victim.

William Frost, Frost-Zafuto’s ex-husband and father of the daughter who is suing, said the family has waited this long to file the suit for several reasons.

“We had other priorities in our life, one being getting our family on solid footing again,� he said. “There was lots of time to resolve the issue. There was no reason to rush to the courthouse.�

The suit doesn’t specify what damages the family is seeking and Frost maintains that money is not the underlying issue.

“We want an accounting of what went on here. That’s the core. We would like to see this come to a trial. Closure for us is a public trial,� he said.

As of press time, New Times was unable to contact the Mastagni family for a comment.

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