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Different meetings, different views on dams

Supporters of removing hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River packed public meetings held by California water regulators across the region this week, but so did Siskiyou County residents who want the dams to stay in place, showing the strong division still present in the Klamath Basin.

“There's a very diverse viewpoint in place and a lot of very passionate people,” said Parker Thaler, environmental scientist for the California Water Board, after a series of public meetings held Monday and Tuesday in Arcata, Orleans and Yreka.

Library reviews budget

This year’s newly elected members of the Del Norte Library Board gathered for their second meeting and worked through a review of the department budget and a report on the progress of the Building Replacement Project.

The library is about eight months into its fiscal year and is currently running a deficit, but will wait on Del Norte County's audit report that is currently under way, before the Board can announce any projections, board member Mark Raintree said.

Librarian Teena Capshaw said the library is operated using property tax revenue that arrives twice a year. The next tax payment is due in April and should help reduce the deficit she said.

Sinkholes force detour of 101

An aerial view above Harbor shows, left to right: a slide that has eaten away part of Shopping Center Drive, a massive sinkhole on the southbound side of U.S. 101 and a small sinkhole that recently formed in the right northbound lane. Wescom News Service
A stretch of U.S. 101 in Harbor is closed due to a growing sinkhole, and a slide just west of the sinkhole has eaten away a stretch of road running parallel to the highway.

The highway might open to two lanes of U.S. 101 within a week, but complete repairs aren’t expected until at least March, Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Jared Castle said Friday morning.

Detour signs lead northbound drivers west onto Benham Lane, then to Oceanview and Lower Harbor Road to skirt the local disaster. Southbound drivers are being diverted to Lower Harbor Road from the ramp at the south end of Chetco River Bridge.

Pedestrian struck by pickup truck

A Walmart employee is in critical condition after being struck by a pickup truck outside work Thursday evening, according to police.

Teena Ramsland, 58, of Crescent City, had just gone on break and was walking home for dinner at about 6 p.m. when she was severely injured.

According to the California Highway Patrol, John Gulick, 30, of Crescent City, did not see Ramsland crossing Summer Lane as he was southbound toward East Washington Boulevard. Ramsland did not use a crosswalk, said CHP investigating Officer J.C. Nevarez.

Nevarez said Ramsland struck by the front of Gulick’s 1990 Toyota truck before hitting the roadway.

News of Record, Jan. 22-28, 2016

These are the misdemeanor and felony sentencings provided by the Del Norte Superior Court for Jan. 22-28:

Terry Webber, 27, Central Point, Oregon, was sentenced to 30 days in jail, 3 years probation, and fined $1,877 for petty theft, possession of paraphernalia, and failure to appear.

Emmanuel Freeman, 21, Crescent City, was sentenced to 30 days in jail for a probation violation.

Marvin Jones, 41, Crescent City, was sentenced to 180 days in jail and fined $520 for driving on a suspended driver’s license and two counts of probation violation.

Emergency dispatch call logs, Jan. 27-28, 2016

Excerpts from the Del Norte County emergency dispatch call logs, Jan. 27 & 28:

Wednesday, January 27

At 2:30 a.m., report of a prowler looking into vehicles on the 900 block of Pacific Avenue.

At 5:07 a.m., caller reports a suspicious male subject on her property on the 100 block of Charm Lane.

At 9:06 a.m., report of spray painting at Brother Jonathan Lookout.

Coastal Voices: Choosing to help, not all can be saved

The Humane Society of Del Norte County has been trapping near the Coast Guard station (as we have for years), trying to keep the cat colony spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and healthy.

While we were there recently, a gentleman approached us during his walk (with his unleashed dog) and proceeded to holler at us that we needed to “kill them all” because they are not indigenous to our area. We tried to explain the way that we do things, but he wanted no part of it.

He felt it necessary to become quite nasty and try to demean us by calling names and saying that by the looks of us “women,” we didn’t have anything better to do.

Gauging the scope of the problem

Nancy Esparza, a case worker for the Dept. of Health and Human Services, speaks to Anne Mullins during a survey event and dinner Friday evening at Our Daily Bread ministries. Del Norte Triplicate // Bryant Anderson
For the first time since 2011, Del Norte will have up-to-date numbers on the county’s homeless population in accordance with the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s annual Point-in-Time (PIT) census. 

Volunteers and staff from Health and Human Services took initial survey data between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday at the Veterans of Foreign Wars office on H Street. They are now on the tail end of the five-day period in which they can gather supplementary data, seeking additional demographic details at homeless camps and at other sites in Crescent City, Gasquet, and Klamath. 

Overseen by HUD, the country’s PIT assessment takes place annually on a day in late January. At a state level, California groups survey jurisdictions according to a Continuum of Care that varies in size according to population density. Sometimes it is restricted to an individual city, such as Los Angeles, or an entire county, or a group of counties. 

Prisoner rights groups to protest Pelican Bay policy in capital

Prisoner rights groups from across the state plan to rally on Monday in Sacramento, but the bulk of their concerns originate in Crescent City with Pelican Bay State Prison. 

The action comes less than a week after final approval of a landmark class action lawsuit on segregated housing at PBSP and six months after implementation of a policy there that some claim amounts to torture. 

On Jan. 26, Judge Claudia Wilken of the U.S. District Court in Oakland signed an order granting final approval for Ashker v. Brown, the suit filed in Dec. 2009 on behalf of 10 inmates at PBSP’s Security Housing Unit (SHU). After being amended in late 2012 and expanded in early 2015, the case entered a settlement agreement Sept. 1 and was granted preliminary approval Oct. 14. 

"Building that spark" for an endangered language's endurance

Course instructor James Gensaw has taught Yurok for several years in high school and community classes since becoming semi-fluent. He taught the first lesson of a new course Saturday at the Yurok visitors center in Klamath. Del Norte Triplicate // David Grieder
The Yurok Tribe Language Program expanded its education outreach for 2016 with a new weekend class for beginners that debuted Saturday morning in Klamath. 

Almost 20 students turned out at the Yurok Visitor’s Center for the first installment of a weekly class on rudiments and basic vocabulary. Free of charge and open to the public, the course is part of a regional initiative, almost two decades old, to revitalize the endangered native language following more than 150 years of government-led assimilation practices that nearly pushed it to extinction. 

“We have to do this. We need to take back our language,” said Diane Bowers, who attended the class with her sisters and 80-year-old mother. “Historically, taking back your language seems to be an amazingly effective way of giving people back who they are.”

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