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South Pacific

Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Lighthouse Repertory Theatre brings together locals of all ages and abilities for classic musical opening Friday evening  

Becky Wood and Marshall Jones had assembled their cast for Lighthouse Repertory Theatre’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific,” but they had a problem.

They had found their Nellie, Emile, Lt. Cable and Bloody Mary when auditions were held in December. They had their Luther Billis, Capt. George Brackett and Commander William Harbison. With about a month left until opening night, the role of Bloody Mary’s daughter and Lt. Cable’s love interest was still empty.

WWII vet inspires young students

Free to Be co-founder Larry Tooker, right, introduces World War II veteran Jack McCutcheon, left, to local elementary students. Submitted
Traveling program focuses on teaching value of freedom 

Jack McCutcheon, eyes fixed on the screen, sat rapt as a video listed the casualties from every war the United States has been in since the American Revolution.

The 88-year-old World War II veteran was surrounded by kids young enough to be his great-grandchildren at an assembly at Redwood School on Wednesday. When the video concluded, McCutcheon and Larry Tooker, co-founder of Free to Be, a Texas-based nonprofit patriotic school assembly program, spoke about McCutcheon’s experience as a gunner’s mate during the war.

Teens weren’t first to send bottle message

80 years ago, local woman got a reply from Canadian man 

Nearly eight decades before a pair of Del Norte teens tried to use the ocean’s currents to communicate with others, a Crescent City woman had the same idea.

Drury W. Rice, whose given name was Sarah, wrote the following message dated July 17, 1937: “Finder of this bottle, please get in touch with a lovely, charming girl.” 

She enclosed her address, placed the note inside a bottle and dropped it into the water.

Birth: DeWitt

Ava Iliana DeWitt
Ava Iliana DeWitt was born Feb. 10, 2015, at Sutter Coast Hospital in Crescent City. She weighed 8 pounds, 15 ounces and measured 20 inches.  

Ava’s parents are Ian and Gina DeWitt of Crescent City. She joins siblings Micah and Sophia. Ava’s grandparents are Kay and Steven Vail and Pete and Jill Halls, all of Crescent City. Her great-grandparents are Dr. Albert Halls of Crescent City and Eleanor DeWitt of Shady Cove, Ore.

Birth: Medeiros

Holden Monte Medeiros
Holden Monte Medeiros was born Feb. 9, 2015, at Sutter Davis Hospital in Davis. He weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces and measured 20 inches.  

Holden’s parents are Emily and Randy Medeiros of Sacramento. His grandparents are Monte and Karen Satern of Gasquet and Randy and Marcy Medeiros of Vacaville. Holden’s great-grandmother is Marilyn Shaw of Crescent City.

Senior Sleuth: Hope in aquaponics for future generations

Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day.

Teach a man to fish, and he can eat for a lifetime.

Teach a man to grow fish, and he can feed the world.

The first two lines are from a profound Chinese Buddhist saying. The last line is from Jerry Reed, who was the main speaker at the March 4 meeting of Transition Del Norte at the Wellness Center on Washington.

Birds of a Feather: Local birds as diverse as fans

A brown pelican feeds near Whaler’s Island, one of many bird-watching hotspots around Del Norte. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Originally from Holland, Lucas Brug currently lives in Klamath but seeks out rare and unique birds all over Del Norte County.

What is so special about birds? Why not look at trees? They don’t move, so once you find one you can look at it as long as you want. 

There are undoubtedly many different reasons why people like birds, just as there are many different kinds of people that look at birds. And then there are lots of different ways of looking at birds. Some people enjoy feeding birds in their yards; others spend most of their free time and money pursuing rare birds in unusual places. 


Grist for the Mill: In some ways, DN is a food desert

I realized this week that I have something in common with Laura Ingalls Wilder. She lived in “little houses” in the big woods, on the prairie and by the shores of Silver Lake. I’ve lived in food deserts in the high desert, on the tundra and by the many shores of Del Norte.

Did you know that much of Del Norte County is classified as a food desert? Well, it is! Except for parts of Crescent City, the whole county fits the USDA definition.

According to the USDA, a food desert is a neighborhood or rural area that has limited access to affordable, nutritious food. It is partly about location — is there a grocery store nearby? — but also about whether people in the neighborhood can afford to shop at the store. With high rates of poverty in our communities and no grocery stores outside Crescent City, that leaves most of Del Norte, and even some parts of Crescent City, high and dry in terms of affordable healthy food access.

Close call with heart blockage a hard reminder

I knew better.

But I delayed acting on what I knew. Big mistake.

In the past, I have been asked why I sometimes mention my health issues.

Classic musical revived again

Karen Martinez sketches a detail of a pin-up mascot on a World War II airplane fuselage for the set. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
When folks enter Crescent Elk Auditorium next week, they’ll be transported to a palm tree-dotted paradise. But bringing the tropics to Crescent City took Lighthouse Repertory Theatre’s set designers, painters, actors and musicians countless hours of hard work.

Rehearsals for LRT’s production of “South Pacific” started Jan. 5 and have been held four nights a week since. Set designers have spent Saturdays recreating Bali Ha’i, Emile de Becque’s plantation and the naval hospital. 

“There’s a whole entourage of people that you don’t see,” said Becky Wood, who is the production’s co-director and producer. “The people who build the set, the people who paint the set. The production staff is made up of 30 people. Some of them have overlapping roles because it’s community theater, and they’re on the stage as well.”

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