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Board nixes elementary music teacher

State allows grants for some programs to be raided for general fund

If there’s one theme that dominates talk at school board meetings when budget cuts are on the agenda, it’s music.

The Del Norte County Unified School District Board approved Thursday to transfer funding from several programs into the general fund in order to backfill over $1 million in cuts from the state. That means no money for an elementary music teacher, which stirred some emotions Thursday evening.

“Keep the money for what the state intended, for arts and music,” said Mary Michelle Cupp, an elementary music teacher, whose job is funded by the grant money.

Because Cupp is vested in the district, she  didn’t receive a layoff notice this week — she will be put in a classroom this fall. But there will be no music teacher for the elementary grades.


CR selects new VP of administrative services

The College of the Red­woods has selected veteran college business administrator Ruth Bettenhausen to serve as its new vice

president of administrative services.

Bettenhausen has served as the vice president of financial and administrative services at the College of Southern Maryland, a community college, since 2006. Her first day of work at CR will be March 23. 

Bettenhausen will be responsible for the bookstore, business office, dining services, facilities and planning, human resources/payroll, ins­t­itutional research, information technology /technical support, and maintenance/operations/security.  

Car hits kids in crosswalk

Emergency responders and police talk with victims who were struck by a car at Fourth and L streets on Wednesday afternoon. The Daily Triplicate/Adam Madison
An Arcata man drove into two youths walking in a crosswalk at Fourth and L streets Wednesday afternoon, Cres­cent City Police said.

Bryan Michael Hawkins, 30, turned left onto L Street and “he went through the crosswalk and hit them,” said Officer Aaron King.

Raymond Lee Winters, 17, and Randee Bara, 8 were hit as they pushed a bike in the crosswalk.

“They were transported to the hospital by ambulance,” said police Sgt. Eric Capon. They were treated and released, according to a Sutter Coast Hospital official.

The investigation is ongoing, but there will not be any criminal charges, police said.

Police Logs March 13, 2009


The show must go on

Festival’s off, but geese still flying

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Aleutian cackling geese take off from Castle Rock on Wednesday morning, top, as the moon sets over the Pacific, below. Shortly after liftoff, the geese organize into V formations. Detail photo above right courtesy of Clay Taylor Swarovski. The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
Under an orange setting moon in the west, just as the sun rose in the east, Castle Rock appeared to start smoking Wednesday as thousands of Aleutian cackling geese streamed off to forage.

“They look like heat waves or something,” said bird enthusiast Tim Herriet, who showed up with binoculars and his dog at 7:30 a.m. for the show.

“You can really hear them talking,”   Herriet said as the departing geese started organizing into V-shaped flocks.

“Just because the Aleutian Goose Festival isn’t being held this year doesn’t mean the geese aren’t here,” said festival organizer Rick Hiser. “They must not have got the e-mail.”

The festival, held annually for the last decade, celebrates the recovery of the once-endangered goose, but it’s taking a one-year hiatus because of the current economic crisis.

But for the geese, the show must go on.

Wind turbine a good welcome?

Renner: 41-foot structure would please tourists

A local business owner’s request to install a 41-foot-tall wind turbine on his property near the S-curve on U.S. Highway 101 is for­cing Crescent City to revisit its policy on the alternative energy systems.

With no current laws specifically pertaining to small wind turbines within city limits and nationwide interest in green energy gro­w­ing, the city  Planning Com­mission tonight will continue wor­king toward writing an ordinance that would regulate these types of structures.

Depending on the results of these discussions, spinning turbine blades could become a common sight in Crescent City — or they could be severely restricted.

“We need to really decide if we want to allow these things in the city limits,” said associate city planner Eric Taylor said. “There’s a lot of things you have to consider.”


Gray whales at mouth of Klamath River

California gray whales are on their way north and experts say more than just spouts are visible from the Klamath Overlook.

“I’ve heard numerous reports from people about sightings off Klamath Overlook,” said Crescent City naturalist Rick Hiser. “One gentleman saw upwards of eight.”

“The overlook is so high that you get to look down almost directly on top of the whales,” Hiser said. “A lot of times they’re not very far under the surface and it’s possible to see the whole animal.”

Hiser said that the best time to view whales from the overlook is when the sun is high in the sky.


Bringing fairy tale to life

100-plus are getting ready for musical

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Co-Director Marshall Jones fills in on the light board during a rehearsal of ‘Cinderella’ on Monday evening at Crescent Elk. The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
In the story of “Cinderella,” a pumpkin turns into a coach, mice become horses, a rat becomes a coachman, and lizards turn into footmen.

Behind the scenes of Lighthouse Repertory Theatre’s production of “Cinderella,” the transformations might not be so incredible, but they are no less essential in carrying off the illusion of a fairy tale princess who finds true love.

More than 100 local residents, many of them fulfilling multiple responsibilities — as well as roles — are involved in pulling off LRT’s debut performance of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical comedy version of “Cinderella,” which opens with a sneak preview Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. at Crescent Elk Auditorium.

“I would say we have over 100 people involved: cast, crew, orchestra, set design, lighting design, running the lighting, running the sound. We have somebody coming in this year that is helping with hair and makeup. And we actually have 17 people who have helped out with costumes,” says Jennifer Young, LRT vice president, who is a case in point.

Young is not only the play’s publicist, she’s also the house manager, she plays one of the wicked stepsisters and she designed the program.

For more photos of the rehearsal go to triplicate.com/photos


County pushed to buy locally

Effort expands beyond schools

One woman is pushing Del Norte County governments to buy local when it comes to new construction projects in our area.

She already has a plan to do so, and she wants to make sure every jurisdiction, including Crescent City, Del Norte County, the school district and the harbor, is willing to participate.

“This is going to bring the community together,” Angelina Countess Bieber said as she gave a presentation to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. “I think it’s going to strengthen our community in the long run.”

Bieber is a local real estate appraiser with Crescent Appraisal Service, Inc. Since January, she has been urging the Del Norte Unified School District to spend much of its $25 million in voter-approved Measure A bond funds with local companies.

Measure A, which was approved in November’s election, will add an additional tax to property owners in order to pay for improvements and repairs to school facilities.


School Board again looking at budget gap

Measure A also on Thur. agenda

The Del Norte County Unified School District Board will continue its discussion of how to fill its bud­get gap Thursday, and will also delve back into planning for its $25 million bond levy.

The board will take public comments on transferring some state funds meant for specific programs into the general fund.

Part of the agreement state legislators reached last month was to not only cut schools’ general revenues, but also specific program funding. For a portion of those programs, the legislature decided the funding can now be used for purposes other than what it was originally intended.

These programs include maintenance, arts and music, instructional materials and library improvement for both the school district and the County Office of Education, which houses the alternative education and probationary schools in Del Norte.

IF YOU GO

■ WHAT: Del Norte County Office of Educ­ation and Unified School District Board meetings

■ WHEN: Thursday, March 12 at 5:30 p.m.

■ WHERE: Education Center Building, Cur­riculum and Instruction Center at 301 W. Washington Blvd. 

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