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Coastal Voices: You be judge if gov’t tells you the science is settled

Who knew? For decades the government told us that it was settled science. Eating eggs was bad for you. Yes, eating eggs caused a person’s cholesterol to rise, which could lead to a multitude of heart and vascular problems. Now, that “settled science” is no longer settled. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is recommending that dietary cholesterol for a healthy adult may not significantly impact the level of cholesterol in the blood or increase the risk of heart disease. In other words, eating eggs is not bad for you. This is very good news for those of us who enjoy eggs. 

Speaking of eggs, I have a personal preference for eggs from local chickens raised by “Alexandre Kids.” Yes, you can tell the difference. The Alexandre Kids raise baby chicks until they become laying hens. The hens enjoy a natural farm life roaming in the local pastures so they produce the most nutritious organic eggs. They are available at Wild Rivers Market and Rumiano Cheese on 9th Street.


Coastal Voices: All who are eligible are equally welcome to VFW

On behalf of the local VFW Post 1381, this letter to the editor is in response to the one titled “All veterans deserve recognition for service,” (Feb. 5). The question the letter had was about a community calendar listing from VFW Post 1381 advertising free membership to veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The author of the letter stated that Vietnam vets were not cared about and are the same as anyone else who served.


Coastal Voices: Sutter keeping local docs in dark about new plan

Many readers are aware of the new local EPO Health Plan being offered by Sutter Health, Anthem and CalPERS. You may or may not be aware that Redwood Medical Offices and several other local offices are not currently listed on the provider panel. Here’s why:

The new EPO plan is an “Exclusive Provider Organization.” This means that in order for you to be treated, you have to go to an approved provider and an approved hospital. None of the local independent (non-Sutter affiliated) providers we contacted were offered an opportunity to join the provider panel before the initial plan roll-out on Jan. 8. We learned of the plan in the middle of January, when patients approached our office with letters from Sutter Health/Anthem Blue Cross/CalPERS, offering them a new health plan in our area. We knew nothing of the plan until patients brought us these subscriber letters, and our patients obviously had many questions and concerns. 


Coastal Voices: Reflecting on state of the county

Editor’s note: This is the annual State of the County Address that was delivered at Tuesday’s Del Norte County Board of Supervisors meeting. A longer version entered into the meeting record can be found at www.countyofdelnorte.us/agendas/bos/publishedmeetings.htm under item 20 on the board’s Feb. 10 meeting agenda. 

2015 is anticipated to be the next positive step financially and operationally for Del Norte County. As we slowly emerge from the economic conditions that have limited Del Norte County’s ability to provide more than basic services, it is imperative that we look forward and plan for the needs of our residents and visitors in a proactive and positive manner.


Coastal Voices: Look to independent report for truth about 199

Tamera Leighton, director of the Local Transportation Commission (a position funded by Caltrans) takes a venomous strike against environmental groups and whitewashes Caltrans’ negligence about safety issues on Highway 199/197 when it comes to putting extra long STAA trucks on our narrow winding canyon highway (“Coastal Voices: Opinion or false statements? The facts about safety on 199,” Jan. 24). It is astonishing that there is still anyone out there who thinks putting many more trucks, especially extra long STAA trucks on Highway 199/197,  is a good idea for public safety after an independent safety review by a leading, respected transportation engineer, Daniel T. Smith of Smith Engineering, revealed otherwise.  Caltrans told the public within the environmental review documents that they were exempting themselves from their own required mandatory road safety design standards for STAA trucks, and that geologic instability of the Smith River Canyon prevented sufficient widening of the road that is required for STAA trucks. We needed to find out more. 


Coastal Voices: Opinion or false statements? The facts about safety on 199

My opinion is that there is a difference between an opinion and a false statement. 

“We are a travel destination,” is an opinion. “The design is so deficient that there are absolutely no improvements proposed between Hiouchi and Gasquet, which has some of the most accident-prone areas,” is a false statement. 

On Sept. 9, 2014, the Del Norte Triplicate printed a Coastal Voices column by Friends of Del Norte president Don Gillespie (“Bigger trucks on 199/197 would deter tourism, compromise safety”) that was treated as an opinion but was actually a misrepresentation of fact. While it’s unreasonable to believe that the Triplicate can fact-check everything, my opinion is that they have an obligation to basic fact-checking. 


Coastal Voices: State lawmakers may be last hope for lighthouse

Three years ago, I experienced the thrill of a lifetime. In November of 2011, Angela and I were at the right place at the right time. A cancellation opened up two seats on the helicopter flight out to St. George Reef Lighthouse. Without hesitation, I seized the opportunity to experience a part of American history few have been afforded. I didn’t realize then the long reach of Sacramento would close the door to one of the most famous lighthouses in the world just a few months later. 

Lady St. George rests atop an acre-wide reef, much of it submerged, 6 miles off the Del Norte County coast. She rusts away day after week after month after year. The lighthouse, an historic relic, is falling prey as you read this article to the stark reality of some of the roughest oceans and harshest climates in the world.  


Coastal Voices: School counselors doing great things in Del Norte

A recent Triplicate article discussed the lack of school counselors in California. Our state is last in the student-to-school counselor ratio in the nation. Del Norte schools, until recently, suffered the same fate of districts throughout our state. Four school counselors (two at the high school and two for the middle and elementary schools) attempted to serve over 4,000 Del Norte County students. The result was triage and “random acts of counseling.” Only the students in crisis or suffering great need were being helped. Little time was available for career, college and academic counseling.


County Commerce: Busy, exciting year ahead for Chamber of Commerce

Changes are apparent at the Del Norte Triplicate, in case you haven’t noticed. This is the first installment of a monthly column to keep the community informed of what the Crescent City-Del Norte County Chamber of Commerce is up to. I would like to thank Matt Durkee, editor, and Cindy Vosburg, publisher, for this opportunity. 

Our board of directors and many of our members are aware of what the chamber does. This article is to inform the community about the Chamber of Commerce and its visitors center and the Del Norte County Visitors Bureau. There are some in the business community who question the value of belonging to the chamber and how the chamber benefits them, their business or the community as a whole. So that is my goal for the next couple of months — to let people know what the chamber is doing and how they are doing it. 


Coastal Voices: A bold new idea: Let DN provide own reps

Well they’re all at the starting line ready to let the race begin. Yes, the race to fill all of the various political slots for 2016. We in Del Norte County will be ignored as usual. None of the candidates for U.S. Senate or other statewide offices will visit us, let alone know that we even exist unless they Google us. For our part, in the primary we will be faced with making a choice among those who have already been selected by big money donors who come from either the Bay Area or L.A. Some choice!

My dream candidate is one who lives right here in Del Norte County, who knows rural issues, who can articulate those issues to others and who has the ability to make good sound decisions that can benefit all of us. Don’t say it can’t happen. We’ve seen it before, when former Del Norte County Supervisor Don Clausen was successful in winning a seat in Congress and served in that body for 20 years. He did not need a map to find us; he was one of us.


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