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Coastal Voices: Social Security is not broken

On Aug. 14, 1935, after much debate and protest, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Social Security legislation into law. More than 75 years later, Social Security has become one of the most successful government programs in history.

Each year, Social Security reliably pays billions in benefits to millions of beneficiaries and delivers on its promise of protecting our seniors who worked hard all their lives. Yet despite its success, some in Washington target Social Security for cheap political games.

The misinformation we are constantly bombarded with — that Social Security is going bankrupt — is wrong. The truth is that even if nothing were done to change the financing of Social Security, the program would pay 100 percent of the same benefits it is currently paying for the next 25 years. No senior is, nor will be losing a dime of his or her benefits.


Coastal Voices: Whose access denied?

I found the Sept. 15 front-page article, “Access Denied: Parkland, not farmland,” by Anthony Skeens to be extremely disturbing and filled with incomplete information.

Dairy farmer Blake Alexandre is represented as a victim of the state parks by supposedly having his access rights taken away. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Until state parks terminated his grazing lease this month, Mr. Alexandre was a leasee and business partner with the state agency for the sole purpose of aiding the recovery of the Aleutian cackling goose. He was contracted by the state to manage Tolowa Dunes State Park lands adjoining his property in order to create more forage for the geese while at the same time removing pressure from the birds feeding on his pastures.


Coastal Voices: Do this in the open

Last week, the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors voted to form a new ad hoc committee to “restructure or dissolve the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority.”

I am concerned that the public did not get enough notice of this action before the vote was taken, so I have requested that this vote be rescheduled at our next meeting on Tuesday. This will give appropriate notice to the public and provide an opportunity for people to speak for or against this action before the vote is taken.

At the meeting last week I expressed my concern that the agenda for the meeting did not allow for the specific motion to form this new committee. The agenda simply stated,  #19. Receive, review and take possible action on the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority response to the Solid Waste Ad Hoc Committee report.


Editor's Note: Our ‘bias’ seems flexible

Awhile back, letter-writer Carter Swart took The Triplicate to task for what he saw as its liberal bias.

“Your newspaper consistently publishes anti-Republican (political) cartoons at a rate I’d describe at about 30-1 in favor of the Democrats,” he wrote. “The Triplicate also pushes the hoax of global warming, persistently presents the leftist opinions of liberal newspaper editorials, and offers little comfort to the one-half of your constituency that happen to be Republicans.”

On Wednesday, letter-writer Linda Ehrisman took The Triplicate to task for what she saw as its conservative bias.

“This county is not nearly as right-leaning as the casual reader of our paper would surmise,” she wrote, noting the recent front-page article about Sheriff/Tea Party leader Dean Wilson and my Aug. 20 Editor’s Note column detailing some of the results of a very unscientific Tea Party survey of people who stopped off at its booth during the county fair.


Coastal Voices: Klamath fire district slipped up

The Sept. 15 letter to the editor, “Shame on those who opposed fire assessment increase” by Al Muelhoffer, was, in my opinion, misguided and narrow-minded.

I too believe the Klamath Fire Protection District is woefully underfunded and personally voted my two parcels in support of the proposed increase.  I also believe that its handling process and communication efforts (before and since the proposed benefit assessment increase vote) has been both confusing and lacking in future budgetary specificity.

The Klamath Fire Protection District states it hasn’t asked for a benefit assessment increase for the past 21 years. Okay, but let’s be honest. Whose responsibility was that? Correct, the Klamath Fire Protection District was and is responsible.


Our View: Here we go again

There’s a new effort afoot to get rid of the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority, and there are a couple of important points to consider at the outset.

The first is that at least two county supervisors, Mike Sullivan and Gerry Hemmingsen, are clearly determined to dissolve the authority if they can. After all, they appointed an ad hoc committee in 2009 to study the possibility of doing just that. But the committee completed its work without recommending dissolution, so now Sullivan and Hemmingsen are looking to form a new ad hoc committee in hopes of a different result.

Sullivan was being disingenuous when he said this week: “The first ad hoc was to evaluate the authority and this second one will be to make some changes.”


Pages of History: The age-old  DN tradition of gauging the FB team

From the pages of the Del Norte Triplicate, September 1951.

These are the days of the heavy thuds, short grunts and long moans. The first, as you may guess, is the sound of bone and flesh coming into solid contact with the ground.

The second is the audible expression of those involved in such contact. The third is the sound made by Coach Chuck DeAutremont as he talks about the team’s prospects.

It’s football season you know, and Coach DeAutre­mont, true to the coaching of tradition, seems to be more pessimistic than optimistic. But after talking with him the other day, we think Del Norte High’s grid chances are as good this year as they have been for many a year, maybe even better.


Del Norte People: Old-time logging experience with Big Slam at stake

Editor’s note: Longtime Del Norte County resident Chuck Blackburn’s column appears every fourth Thursday.

As a young boy who ended up in Klamath, I was always amazed at the number of large logging trucks transporting their huge loads to the mills. As I spent the summer of 1949 at Shorty’s Camp with my father, I became aware of the number of mills just in that area.

The Robinet Mill was just east of us at Shorty’s Camp. The large Simpson Timber Redwood Mill was just east of town on the north side. The Cedar Mill was along Hwy. 101 North just west of town and there was also a small mill next to the lagoon at Wilson Creek.

I remember when I was dating my first wife Dort that her father and mother were living in a Clear Creek logging operation up the Klamath at Pecwan and Johnsons. Clear Creek was logging on the mountain above Johnsons and George Clark, who later became my father-in-law, was driving an off-road logging truck. Glee Clark was teaching at Pecwan School on the reservation.


Coastal Voices: 9/11, yesterday and today

Maybe it’s a sign of growing old, that quiet fear you have when the telephone rings at 3 in the morning.

You know that 2,900 of your fellow Americans and 64 of your neighbors in Morris County were murdered the day before when madmen attacked your country in peacetime. You reach for the phone with a silent prayer that the people you love are safe.

You are told that your cousin was among those killed when Flight 77 hit the Pentagon. You lie there in the dark with tears on your face and ice in the pit of your stomach, knowing that the world had spun off its axis and entered some mad red season.


Editor's Note: What we can’t forget

It’s too bad that those rare moments we Americans can collectively recall can’t be pleasant ones.

Maybe someday we’ll make first contact with friendly extraterrestrials, and we’ll all remember where we were and what we were doing when we heard the word. Until then, the type of news we all remember initially learning of will probably be jarringly bad.

While the deaths of Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and Elvis were memorable, I believe there have been only two such nationally transcendent events in my 54 years. The first began with a playground monitor’s whistle, prematurely ending recess on a gray Oregon Friday and sending my classmates and me back to our first-grade classroom. Our teacher told us our president had been killed. We went home early to a weekend trapped inside black and white TV sets.


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