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Versatile vocalist opens season

Maura O’Connell performs Tuesday, Nov. 19, in the Crescent Elk auditorium. Submitted
The Grammy-nominated, Irish-born singer Maura O’Connell hand picks the songs she wants to sing. “No one has ever told me what to sing,” emphasized the chanteuse in a recent interview. 

The musical panoply that is her 30-year body of work as a solo vocalist includes songs by a variety of songwriters, and encompasses multiple styles — including acoustic pop, contemporary folk and traditional Irish. She will cut a broad swath across this repertoire when she performs as the first artist of the Del Norte Association for Cultural Awareness on Tuesday, Nov. 19.

During her early years in County Clare, she heard and sang music all the time. There, “singing is the same as breathing,” said O’Connell. Her mother loved to listen to parlor tunes and light opera, and so those styles infused her early years, as did traditional Irish music, which had a rebirth in Ireland in the 1970s.

“It was the pop music of the times,” she said. “My reaction to all the traditional Irish music was I was turned off of it. It was too much.”

Her favored music was that of Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris and The Band.

She sang in choirs throughout her school years, and when she was 18 or so, she started singing in folk clubs, and went out on the road sometimes to do sessions.

“I had no intention of making music my business,” she said, noting that she intended to go into her family’s business, running a retail/wholesale fish market. “If I had gone to college, I would have studied accounting,” she said.


Around Del Norte: Herd pays visit to Crescent City home

Eunice: “That’s really having guests for breakfast.” Submitted by Victoria Helms
Eunice Zeck had a whole lot of hungry visitors stop by her home on Humboldt Road last week.

A large herd of elk, mostly cows and a few bulls thrown into the mix, came up to the front porch looking for handouts.

“Now that’s really having guests for breakfast,” said 93-year-old Eunice.

Living on the southern fringe of the city, she’s used to seeing elk in the neighborhood, but “this is the first time they’ve come right up to the house,” she said.

Even though they eat the new leaves and bite the tops off of some of the plants in her garden, she said, “They’re beautiful. I don’t bother them.”

They also went after the apples growing in her backyard. “That’s OK,” she said, “They needed them worse than I do.”

And as far as cleaning up after them? “I let the weather take care of most of it.”

Apply for Christmas baskets

The Del Norte Lighthouse Community Center is currently accepting applications for its annual distribution of Christmas baskets, which will be given out the week of Dec. 16.


Cleaning up blight

Submitted by Roger Gitlin
Take a Bite out of Blight volunteer Willy Micali fills bags and hauls away trash recently near U.S. Highway 101 South. He said, “Del Norte County is a beautiful place. No one should litter our community.” To report blight, call Roger Gitlin, founder of the Take a Bite Out of Blight program, at 951-6361.


On the sidewalks

Michael, left, and Ben Simmons look for signs that the parade has started. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Janice Yee hugged her dad’s leg against the blast of the cannon that started the parade.

The 3-year-old, dressed in traditional Hmong regalia, appeared unfazed Monday even though she was just across the street from the smoking cannon. Under the watchful eye of her father Vang Yee, the little girl waved to the first grand marshal to roll down the street during Crescent City’s Veterans Day Parade.

The grand marshals included Sua Phia Lo, a captain in the Hmong Army. Other Hmong veterans, including Janice’s grandfather as well as her sisters, marched in traditional dress with the Hmong Veterans of America, Inc. Vang Yee said his father helped the CIA during the Vietnam War.

“I’m in the service myself,” said Vang Yee. “You appreciate the people for serving their country. It doesn’t matter which country they’re from. If they were helping the U.S., they were working together.”

Yee, who moved his family back to the Crescent City area recently, graduated from Del Norte High School in 1993 and joined the U.S. Army. He is currently a master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force and serves in the Air National Guard.


Senior Sleuth: Folk dance with friends every Tues.

The Senior Sleuth column is published every two weeks.

A warm welcome awaits you at the free folk dancing class in Crescent City every Tuesday from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Del Norte Senior Center, 1765 Northcrest Drive.

 This is not square dancing, and you don’t need a partner.  Think of the movie, “Zorba the Greek,” with Anthony Quinn, or “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”

You hold hands and dance in a line or circle, side to side, and backward and forward.  The dance steps are simple, and they vary a little with each dance. Because it is an all-inclusive form of recreation, folk dancing is characterized by frequently repeated patterns of movement, making it easy for every member of the community to participate.

The leader, Terry Allaway (458-3132), said she knows 300–400 different dances, and each dance has its own music.  The regular group of seven or eight women and one man who attend would love to have new members come join them or just visit. Come as you are. There is no special dress required.


Student Spotlight Nov. 12, 2013

Joe Hamilton School

• Star Readers: 

Lily Lizarazu, Aubree McDonald, Soren Lewis, Deborah Bausch, Ricardo Castellon, Skye Stenhouse, Emmalee Hollon, Justin Baker, Ronnie Evans, Sharayia Bowdish, Tucker Castro, Michelle Thomas, Jengmeng Yang

• Star Writers: 

Kaitlyn Schlecht, Daisy Gonzalez, Lindo Lo, Sandra Eldredge, River Bighead-Ridenour, Deekon Evanow, Jakob Sherer, Bryant Nguyen, Nancy Sewell, Sebastian Monday, AnnMarie Patterson, Daniel Willson

• Star Mathematicians: 

Anthony Garcia, Neeko Pipinos, Jessica Rodriguez, Frank Hartzell, Kristy Xiong, Nakai Gonzalez, Europe Lor, Ashley Mickee, Scottie Devoir, Dryden Willson, Devin Israel, Jaden Durham, Jason Rhodes

• Character:   

Isabella Wilson, Alexa Valladares, Elliyana Lee, Emily Lizarazu, Antoinette Jackson, Annabelle Saivong, Nico Jager, Faith Landeros, Madison Douglas, Konner Kissinger, Jayden Moua, Abi Fox Green Witch, Meng Thao


Wedding: Ramirez, Freeman

Marisela Ramirez and Chad Freeman of Crescent City, were married Aug. 10, 2013, at the Del Norte Golf Course.

Marisela is the daughter of Susan and Juan Ramirez of Smith River.

Chad’s parents are Tami and Sean McClaflin of Fort Dick, and the late Monroe Freeman.

Wedding attendants included maid of honor Secilia Romero; best man Micah Freeman; bridesmaids Mariza Chavez, Ronni Story, Natasha Ramirez, Rosanna Gonzalez, Jessica Avila, Jenny Lee, Maribelle Sherman and Carmelita Gavin; and groomsmen Ryan Dorosz, CJ Perez, Brendan Mills, Ricky Juarez, Leo Bessette, Saxon Schultz, Matt Wakefield, Tyler Travis and Andrew Salas.


Birth: Korbin Echo Capshaw

Korbin Echo Capshaw
Korbin Echo Capshaw was born Oct. 25, 2013, at Sutter Coast Hospital. He weighed 8 pounds, 6 ounces and measured 20¼ inches. He joins brother Phoenix. His parents are Ryan Capshaw and Rachael Fair of Crescent City. His grandparents are Pamela and Francisco Rodriquez Aguilar of Smith River, and Jay and Terri Fair III of Crescent City. 


Birth: Peyton Allie Roach

Peyton Allie Roach
Peyton Allie Roach was born July 14, 2013, at Rogue Valley Medical Center in Medford, Ore. She weighed 2 pounds, 9 ounces and measured 14½ inches. Her parents are Jesse and Jennifer Roach of Crescent City. 


Honoring our own

Warren Barnts, first from left, front row.
Warren Barnts
Warren Barnts
The organizers of Del Norte’s Veterans Day observances didn’t start out planning to have so many grand marshals in Monday morning’s parade. But once the decision was made to honor veterans of World War II, it just came naturally.

After all, these gents are in their late 80s or early 90s, so why put it off?

The procession that begins at 10 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Hall, 810 H St., and heads toward Front Street, will honor five WWII vets, as well as Del Norte’s senior-ranking member of the Hmong Army that fought Communist forces in the Vietnam era.

Coffee and cake will be provided by Edward Jones financial advisors, and a special Marine Corps birthday cake will be served at noon at the VFW Canteen inside Memorial Hall.

That will also be the site for a 6 p.m. chicken fried steak dinner. Vets and spouses get in free. Otherwise, admission costs $8.50 for adults, and $3.50 for children, with tickets sold at the door.

The dinner speaker will be Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey, a combat Marine Corps veteran and a senior officer in the U.S. Army Reserve. His address will begin at 7 p.m.

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