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Coastal Voices: Federal solution only way to fund

Please consider the facts about Last Chance Grade. It’s too important to be tainted with fiction. As the chair of Del Norte Local Transportation Commission and a member of the Congressional Stakeholders Group convened by U.S. Congressman (Jared) Huffman, I believe that our community needs facts.

In support of finding lasting solutions for Last Chance Grade there are two parallel efforts: 1) To keep U.S. 101 open; and, 2) To build a bypass. Last Chance Grade has been subject to slides since the late 1800’s, as has much of U.S. 101. Some portions have been realigned in the past and some are in the process of realignment or bypass such as Last Chance Grade.

The mission of Caltrans is, “Provide a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation system to enhance California’s economy and livability,” and keeping U.S. 101 open is at the core of this mission. Last Chance Grade is part of the U.S. highway system and is considered a transportation lifeline and it is the business of Caltrans to keep the highway open and safe for travel.


Coastal Voices: Local L.E. needs funding not blame

I have heard some say our local city police department and sheriff’s department are not doing their job properly when they see ne’er-do-wells roaming the streets committing petty crimes. 

Don’t blame the police department — blame understaffing due to underfunding.


Another View: Crabbing is hard work and dangerous

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been amazed how calmly most crab fishermen are taking the economic storm that’s threatening to sink them. I haven’t met one yet who seemed to be panicking. Maybe it’s because they’ve survived worse storms at sea and have learned to keep their cool no matter what. To my mind, they’re handling this disaster remarkably well.


Coastal Voices: Smoking pot (or anything else) is not harmless

I was appalled to read Mr. (Robert) Derego’s Coastal Voices promoting smoked marijuana. 


Yes We Can: 2031-39 isnít soon enough to have Last Chance Grade fixed

I would like to thank this community for the way it’s embraced my presence, starting with being a dock boy on the Klamath River and all of those many years that have passed since then.

As I grew up in this place, I have learned so much from the loggers, truck drivers, mill workers, commercial fishermen, agricultural people and business people that have blessed my life in who I became.


Coastal Voices: Changes in ocean due to radiation?

I read with interest the article regarding the “Bleak outlook at fishery  meeting”  in  the Feb.16 Triplicate. What is reported is the flat out admission by Chuck Bonham, the director of California Fish and Wildlife, to members of the joint legislative committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture that he is clueless to the”dramatically`different” condition of the (Pacific)ocean.

Punctuating that condition he recites a litany of sorrows aquatic life is experiencing, e.g., increased whale entanglements,  sea star wasting syndrome, marked decrease in squid landings and nearly extinct kelp beds. Presumably “whale entanglements”refers to whales becoming entangled in nets, what else? If that’s what is meant why would”dramatically different “ocean conditions increase entanglements? I have come across at least two websites on the Internet that report beached, dead whales along numerous beaches; signs of entanglement were not mentioned.

The Triplicate article also is silent on the multitude of dead seabirds counted so presumably the topic was not mentioned by Bonham at the meeting.


Another View: Fishermen need any assistance we can give

Fishermen in trouble need our help —now.

Due to the closure of the crab fishery, fishermen have lost nearly three months of income at the peak of the season. And they aren’t the only ones hurting. Without the millions of dollars the sale of crab normally brings to Crescent City, a number of businesses in town are suffering. Normally bustling restaurants are empty, and even Walmart’s sales have taken a dive.

No emergency funds have yet been released by the state or the feds, and likely won’t be made available until many months down the road.


Coastal Voices: First time drug offenders need rehab, not jail

A failing system — this is the life we live. 

It is time to change the way things are done when it comes to nonviolent, first-time drug offenders. The way the system works now is not solving the problems. I see a major waste of tax dollars.

I was thrown into this world when a family member got into trouble for a pipe with residue in it. This family member received jail and probation. Things happened and shortly after, he lost his job, home, children and self esteem. He became homeless.

I talked to the district attorney and numerous county workers, explaining this family member needed rehabilitation. I was told the county was broke and there was no money in the budget. So, instead he got stuck in the county’s merry-go-round.


Coastal Voices: STAA proposal would further destabilize canyon

As a geologist, I have worked in mineral exploration for 34 years in the North Fork, Middle Fork and South Fork canyons of the Smith River and along most of the ridges bordering Highway 199 from the Collier tunnel northeast to Cave Junction.

The Middle Fork Canyon of the Smith River along Highway 199 sits on top of an active crustal zone. It lies over an ocean plate, which is being pulled under the continent by the forces of continental drift beneath our coastal region.

The undercut slopes along Highway 199 that were necessitated by the construction of the current road have left the inner canyon walls of the Middle Fork of the Smith River in extremely precarious condition.


Another View: Homeless people may sometimes surprise us

I became a newspaper reporter four decades ago because of the idealistic notion I could help save the world. But after hanging around too many slimy politicians, bungling bureaucrats, unjust judges, jaded cops, scuzzy crooks, boozy newshounds and other degenerates, I turned into a cynic.

Then I moved to Crescent City, retired, and began volunteering at the Community Assistance Network's food bank. The people who use C.A.N.'s services have given me a new outlook.

For the most part, they're not the homeless bums and drug addicts I expected, but are ordinary folks down on their luck. In general, they face their challenges with such fortitude, it makes me feel silly to think I've got it rough. Compared to them, I've got it made.


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