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Cory's People: Making the well-traveled world a better place

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Barbara Pierson is director of Del Norte's Health and Human Services. Special to the Triplicate / Cory Mitcham
She thinks our coastline is one of the prettiest places on earth. Which is saying a lot considering she was raised in Massachusetts, lived on four of the Hawaiian islands and has traveled to Alaska, Switzerland, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean.

Her piercing green eyes, gentle voice, and comforting presence is at least partly why she’s so successful in her work as the director of Del Norte’s Health and Human Services. I’m fairly certain it’s no small feat overseeing five departments. She compassionately assists our county’s most at-need residents, but that’s just her day job. What brings her the most solace amongst the potential chaos is rescuing farm animals, cows being her favorite (but she says she’ll rescue “just about anything if it’s in distress”).

Barbara Pierson is one of those people who works hard to make the world a better place.


Soroptomist Int'l holds annual awards

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Left to right, Nancy Xiong, Bernadette Marks and Cheyenne Schaad display their awards. Submitted
On March 22, Soroptimist International of Crescent City held their annual awards ceremony. Three women received certificates and monetary awards.

Nancy Xiong received the Violet Richardson award and $300 for her volunteerism. Nancy spends four nights a week at Bess Maxwell school teaching people about the Hmong Culture and Language. She began with a handful of children who were disconnected from their grandparent’s ways. Now there are lots of students of all ages.  

This class is available Tuesday–Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Room 6 and is open to anyone in the community. There is also a Spanish class on Monday 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. 


Plugged in to new technology

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Jeff Van Pelt and his students in Del Norte High’s Electric Vehicle Team work on the wiring behind the car’s dashboard. Once finished, the vehicle will reach speeds up to 70 mph. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
It was straight out of Frankenstein.

The headlights switched on, the car began to hum and a jarring beep told Jeff Van Pelt, Brett Lauble and their students that the machine was in reverse.  But their “It’s alive!” moment became a test of endurance as Van Pelt attempted to get the motor to turn over for the first time. Although they were disappointed the car didn’t start, Van Pelt’s students are used to the system of trial and error.


Church Notebook: Bunnies are fun; gaining faith is better

Bunnies. They can be cute, cuddly pets, or garden pests in the wild.

About 40 years ago, we lived in the country in New York state just above Seneca Lake. Wild bunnies ran in abundance.


From inmates to art students

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Marquis Louden's landscape in black and white is one of 19 paintings and drawings that are on display at the Del Norte County Courthouse. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Julie McNiel’s students lead rigidly structured lives inside Pelican Bay State Prison but with some acrylic paint and a few brushes they can transcend the walls confining them.

Through a brush stroke, a guitar chord or a writing exercise, the inmates show a side of themselves the community rarely sees. 

“Through art practice, the men can explore a different kind of landscape,” McNiel writes in a teacher-artist statement for the new Art in Public Places show at the Del Norte County Courthouse. “Each picture becomes a window and a mirror; a site for reflection where the imagination can find release.”


Easter Celebrations: Local kids to scramble for 6,000 eggs

The Easter Bunny will make an appearance in Del Norte and youngsters are invited to hunt for thousands of colorful eggs he’ll leave behind at the fairgrounds on Sunday.

The long-eared lagomorph and the Crescent City Jaycees will hide 6,000 eggs at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds rain or shine. Kids ages 0-12 will be divided into four different age groups to search for them, said Dusty Corpstein, chair of the event.


T Sisters to perform April 9th in Harbor

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The T Sisters will bring their captivating harmonies and some sisterly sass to the Chetco Grange next month.
The T Sisters will bring their captivating harmonies, inventive arrangements and some sisterly sass when they perform at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 9, at Chetco Grange Community Center in Harbor.


From ‘boutonniere’ to state spelling bee

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Crescent Elk eighth-grader Monique Camarena displays the medal she won at Del Norte County Unified School District’s spelling bee earlier this month. Monique will compete in the California State Junior High Spelling Bee in May. Del Norte Triplicate / Michael Zogg
Crescent Elk’s Monique Camarena wins district contest 

Someone with a spray of flowers in their buttonhole may be overdressed for a spelling bee but for Monique Camarena, getting the word “boutonniere” right secured her first place win.

Monique, a Crescent Elk Middle School student, won the eighth-grade portion of Del Norte County Unified School District’s spelling bee on March 9. She will advance to the California State Junior High Spelling Bee May 14 at Miller Creek Middle School in San Rafael.


Cory's People: Swashbuckler and pioneer Henry Mata

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Henry Mata
He drove for 30 days across the Australian outback sleeping in the Range Rover each night to avoid death by spiders or snakes. He wanted to see what the desert looked like.

During his 20-plus years as a firefighter in Southern California a car wrecked, flipped over, and one man was ejected. The passenger was pregnant and he delivered the baby, all while upside down.


Free shoe exchange in Brookings on Saturday

Folks looking for some Easter and prom shoes should check out the shoe exchange Saturday in Brookings.

There will be children’s shoes, including baby and toddler, men’s work boots, women’s dress boots and baseball cleats. All are free. Bins will be set out for donations at the lower level of the Elks Lodge. 

The shoe exchange is no longer collecting donations at the Julindra recycling plant in Crescent City since too much trash was put into the collection bin. Shoes need to be in good condition.

The shoe exchange is 1 p.m. -3 p.m. on the lower level of the Brookings Elks Lodge, 800 Elk Dr. For more information, call Linda Schreiber at 541-469-9850.


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