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Del Norte-style resolutions for a brand new year

Perhaps you’ve already put ink to legal pad. Or maybe you’re still contemplating what you’ll resolve to accomplish for 2013.

A handful of local residents responded to a Triplicate request to make public their resolutions for the year ahead, not only their individual ambitions but also their best shot at resolutions for Del Norte as a whole.

While most respondents focused on the big picture, county Supervisor-elect Roger Gitlin was willing to share his goals for himself.

He said he resolved to “eat healthier and take off 15 lbs,” “start swimming regularly at Endert Pool,” “talk less and listen more,” “to remember more names of Del Norte folk I meet every day,” and “to work as hard as I can for as long as I can to help to improve the quality of life for as many Del Norters as possible.”

Whew.

As for a resolution for the entire community, Gitlin suggests this approach to public discourse, presumably for himself as well as everyone else:

“Wait five seconds to respond to any person who asks you a question or wishes to engage you in an argument. (Repeat the question in your head.) Pause. Retort with a positive statement, a compliment starting with … ‘Good question, excellent point, brilliant observation’ … and then be clear and concise in defending your point of view. Statement to take to the brain bank: ‘We can disagree but we don’t have to be disagreeable.’”

We also heard from one of those people, based on how last year unfolded politically, who might be disagreeing with Gitlin.

Environmental activist Eileen Cooper said she is “resolved to enlighten Del Norte County to the fact that the Caltrans big truck plans along Hwys. 199/197 will greatly increase accidents and truck cargo spills into the Smith River, resulting in more deaths and risks to our drinking water.”

Then Cooper shared a view of an even bigger picture.

“My greater hopes are that some miraculous epiphany will sweep over human consciousness, and on January 1st we will awaken devoted to bestow basic security for all, to never harm each other intentionally, or further intrude into wild habitat (no-net-loss of wildlands policy) while reducing world population and consumption of resources.

Newly elected City Councilman Ron Gastineau would like us to appreciate what we already have.

“My community resolution would be that everyone take at least one day this coming year to stop, look around and appreciate why we live here,” Gastineau said. “Get out and enjoy the awesome recreational opportunities we take for granted and those in the cities can only dream about. Head to Klamath to hike the Flint Ridge Trail. Check out the Tolowa Dunes northeast of town. Drive out to Hiouchi and spend the day at the river. And don’t forget the best view of Point St. George Lighthouse is from Kellogg Beach in Smith River.”

Gastineau went on to encourage attendance at annual events such as Smith River Days, the Gasquet Raft Race, the Klamath Salmon Festival and the Fourth of July festivities in Crescent City.

“We have more than enough to do right here in our little community to fill a whole year of vacations, so stay home and enjoy what we have,” he said.

Local resident Hank Northrip zeroed in on a city proposal to charge people for emergency responses in making his resolutions for the community.

“I wish that we could have less government getting into my pocket, by making me pay if I have an accidental fire (for which) we have to have the Fire Department come to put out” or if a call for help turns out to be a false alarm, he said.

“The local, state and federal governments seem to think that they should have their hand in our pockets, constantly,” Northrip said. “I will get off my soapbox and also wish we could have more access to the area we live in, to forests, beaches and rivers to enjoy.”

Elk Valley Tribal Chairman Dale Miller used the fewest words, so he gets the last word:

He said he hopes that he and others will use the gift of a new year “to strive for a community and country that comes together in the best interests of all peoples; continue to progress toward the completion of the Elk Valley Resort; and lastly to always be thankful for that which the Creator has provided us.”

Happy New Year.

Reach Laura Wiens at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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