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Did you know: Report from the Wiens, now in living in Hawaii

Under the heading “Whatever happened to them?” is whatever happened to Richard and Laura Wiens. For you folks who may be reading the Triplicate for the first time, Richard was the editor and Laura was the Neighbors Page editor for many years until they left for sunnier shores in Honolulu some three months ago.

I caught up with Richard at lunch at a local IHOP Restaurant on Waikiki recently. Richard is now the managing editor of City Beat, an online-only newspaper based in Honolulu. He manages three editors and six reporters. The major focus of the paper is investigative reporting with an emphasis on government, politics and the environment. I asked him what the major difference was between an online newspaper and a print paper. He says that once a reporter makes a mistake in an article and the paper is printed, that’s it! There is no way to recall the error and make it right; it will be a part of that paper forever, whereas with the online newspaper, if a mistake is made, it can be corrected immediately.


Coastal Voices: Tribute to great community as I retire

With heavy heart, I would like to take this opportunity to publicly bid farewell to the wonderful community of Crescent City, as I retire as the Police Chief on Thursday, having just completed four decades in law enforcement.


Coastal Voices: Hospital’s plans ‘bad for us’

Never underestimate the difficulty of changing false beliefs by facts — Henry Rosovsky

I am writing in response to a recent editorial by Mr. Scott Feller (“Judge hospital facts for yourself,” July 3), Sutter Health’s latest appointee to the Board of Directors of Sutter Coast Hospital.

The title of Mr. Feller’s opinion piece poses a dilemma — how can anyone judge the facts when Sutter Health won’t release the facts? Despite formal requests by our elected officials, Sutter refuses to release meeting minutes and financial documents necessary to discern the suitability of Sutter’s plans for our community. Sutter frequently releases their paid advertisements and editorials by individuals connected with Sutter, but nothing of substance.


Did You Know: The rock or the hard place

Under the heading “be careful what you wish for” comes the unintended consequences of prison realignment. This is where the governor, in order to comply with a federal mandate to reduce the state prison population, signed state legislation whereby low-level state inmates would be transferred to local county jails. 

Unfortunately, this transfer to county jails was not without controversy. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that those transferred prisoners must receive the “reasonable accommodations” specified in the Americans with Disabilities Act. What this actually means is the state prisoners housed in local jails must receive the same level of care and privileges that they would receive in a state prison.


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.


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