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Updated 4:21pm - Jul 26, 2016

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California Focus: Early prison releases a political hazard, too

From early in his career, Gov. Jerry Brown has had a proclivity for dismissing problems with wisecracks or aphorisms. As early as 1975, in the first term of his first go-‘round as California’s top official, he mocked university professors’ pleas for pay raises by saying they didn’t need more money but could make do with “psychic rewards.”

He’s done the same thing lately as companies like Toyota and Occidental Petroleum announced they were moving headquarters and thousands of jobs out of state, noting that those firms and their jobs are just a tiny fraction of the California economy. True, but the moves are very consequential for the employees involved and everyone they do business with.


California Voices: California faces dicey round of base closings

When Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel asked Congress recently to authorize a new round of military base closings and consolidations in 2017, alarm bells should have gone off in many parts of California.

For this state has been victimized more than any other in the last two such rounds, with profound economic effects in many parts of the state.


Coastal Voices: Judge hospital facts for yourself

Approximately a year ago there were a number of community meetings that raised concerns about the operation and future of Sutter Coast Hospital. I attended many of these meetings, and based on the information I was provided I was not in support of Sutter Coast leadership and Sutter Health and became very concerned. In order to validate the information I was provided I conducted an independent investigation. My goal was to ensure I had the facts and not spins or half truths about Sutter Coast and Sutter Health. 

As part of my quest for the truth I became a member of the strategic options steering committee comprised of 15 local community leaders who actively participated in the Camden Group Study. Since participating in the strategic options committee, I have been appointed as a voting member of the Board of Trustees for Sutter Coast Hospital. 


Coastal Voices: Is status quo on Highway 199 worth the risk?

Improvements to Highway 199 have been a top priority for the Del Norte community for over 20 years. The improvements will remove 32-year-old restrictions on commercial truck traffic, improve public safety, and encourage economic development. It has taken the widespread and unwavering support of elected officials and the Del Norte Local Transportation Commission to see these improvements implemented, and they were tantalizingly close to becoming a reality this past spring when ground was broken on the Middle Fork Smith River Bridge.


Did You Know: ‘Who done it?’

A thief breaks into the building that houses a safe and makes off with it. The thief is caught on camera but is not identified. Four people have access to the safe. In a later incident $25,732.15 turns up missing from the Solid Waste Authority accounts. The sheriff’s office completes its investigation, but the county counsel seals the sheriff’s report. The news media’s request to release the investigative report concerning the missing funds is denied by the county counsel on three different occasions. The executive director retires with a $35,000 severance package.

It’s a puzzle worthy of an Angela Lansbury mystery, and it happened right here in Del Norte County.


Coastal Voices: ‘Dapper Dutch’ leaves legacy of honesty

It was early evening on the first Tuesday in June. The results came trickling in. After 6 months of banging the phones and door bells, fighting clean and hard, it appeared we had a shot at winning.

 We looked around at each other, half giddy in disbelief that a former addict could get elected district attorney. I sat there with my dear friend, Dutch Dremann. His artistry on the dials and needles at KCRE had crafted our radio spots. I recall telling Dutch how after getting shellacked in ’06, I doubted our chances. He replied that we didn’t lose in ’06 either because we never quit; we played the game right; and the only one who ever beats us is us. Many knew him as the “voice” of our campaign, but to us he was its heart.


California Focus: Lawmakers choose money over trust

There was a clear message when the state Senate in early June first amended and then utterly rejected a ban on all contributions to legislators during the last 100 days of each lawmaking session.

That message: “We would rather have money than trust.”

The Senate action came just over two months after it refused to expel three senators who had been either indicted or convicted for perjury or selling their votes and services. Instead, the senators were suspended, leaving millions of citizens with no representation and no hope of getting any very soon.


Coastal Voices: Prayer should not be used divisively

I am Steven Perez, Pastor of Hiouchi Community Fellowship. About the issue of prayer at the meetings of the county Board of Supervisors, I believe it is necessary for me to provide a different perspective. 

I support Supervisor David Finigan regarding prayer. As chairperson, David demonstrated wisdom that respects the broad definition of prayer across all religious and cultural expressions of faith so integral in our community. 


Coastal Voices: Where’s the next generation of golfers?

I spent this past Father’s Day at Kings Valley Golf Course with my father participating in their annual Father Son/Daughter golf tournament. It was great! Seeing all the fathers golfing with either their son or daughter was wonderful. Kings Valley Golf Course put on a great tournament. Kudos to them!

Golf has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and, honestly, I owe it more than I can ever repay.  When I graduated from Del Norte High School and went off to college, I never thought I would return to this county, but I am very happy I did.  However, I am saddened to see the game that gave me so much when I was growing up is now dying in this county.  The next generation club member, golf ball shanker, ground hacker and “hole-in-one” maker aren’t populating our local clubs, or, if they are, they are in very small numbers. 


Coastal Voices: Don’t give up on voting

Lest we forget, I just want to voice my feelings since having read that on June 3 less than half of the voters turned out to vote. 

I’m trying to figure that out. Let’s step back into history. The colonists took whatever weapons they had, some only strong enough to voice the need for what was right and good, others more enabled. In one way or another, they fought for independence and won. We formed rules and regulations, and one by one did all that could be done to be heard and to hold dear all that caused the creation of those rules. We made a constitution, and in 1791 amendments were ratified that came to become a part of that constitution as well.


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