Labor Day festivities in 1987 were planned for the community. The Seafood Festival celebrated the fishing industry at the harbor with a full menu of delicious seafood, entertainment, rescue displays by the Coast Guard, and contests. Something was provided for every member of the family.
During the same week, the Del Norte Association for Cultural Awareness put on an "Original Song Writers" night at the Crescent Elk auditorium. For the sports enthusiasts, there was a 5K and 10K beach run that started at Endert's Beach. This was a run on hard packed sand. And the Crescent City Relay Triathlon took place. The half-mile swimming event was at the Fred Endert Memorial Pool, then a 12-mile bike ride along the coast, and a 4-mile run.
Suzanne Littlefair wrote a letter to the editor expressing her concern about pit bull dogs. She cited examples of unleashed, untrained dogs in public places creating a hazard to people who wanted to enjoy themselves without fear. She said that the bad behavior of pit bulls made it difficult for all dog owners. Littlefair asked that the owners of pit bulls keep them inside fences and post warning signs on their property.
B Street pier burning
Early September 1987, the headlines and news items told of the three volunteer firemen who were charged with the illegal burning of the dilapidated B Street pier. Their actions were defended by citing the pier as a hazard to the public. The District Attorney also defended the three because they came forward and admitted their actions. They could have taken part in a cover-up and they did not. In a statement to the press, the three firemen claimed that they had permission from the city council to burn the pier. The time of the fire was carefully calculated to keep the smoke and ashes away from Sutter Coast Hospital and the gas holding tanks nearby. The firemen also said they would rather be going through this investigation than to a funeral for someone injured at the old pier. There was also a Grand Jury investigation of the fire.
Citizens' prison concerns
Concerned citizens met to discuss their issues with the City Council regarding the proposed prison site. Roger Schuyler spoke for the group about the single entrance to the prison, the degradation of the Smith River with sewage, and the need for a 200-foot buffer zone around the prison. At that time, there had been no traffic study about the impact on Lake Earl Drive. The California Department of Corrections had studied the load and capacity of the drive, but not a safety study. The council drafted a proposal to ask for a hearing with the State Water Quality Control Board. The Concerned Citizens also wanted to be sure that a natural berm would hide the prison structures from the highway.
Sharon McKinney is a Del Norte Historical Society volunteer.