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Editor's Note: The house was rockin’

“The show ended two minutes ago; from here on out we’re going to jam.”

So said Curtis Salgado before launching into some of the best harmonica-playing to ever blow through the North Coast. He played one-handed, the other holding close a special microphone that lent a sound both haunting and overpowering.

If this was jamming, to hell with the planned stuff.

Salgado and his bluesy band absolutely rocked a full house at the new Tolowa Events Center on Saturday night. It was an auspicious coming-out party for the Smith River concert venue. Great music at a reasonable price — what’s not to like about that?

Our View: Can we keep Mike Thompson?

It seems only logical that impartial citizens, not vested public officials, should be responsible for redistricting, the once-a-decade redrawing of political district boundaries.

Politically motivated redistricting is what gave us the term “gerrymandering” — the creation of often contorted districts designed to ensure the success of certain parties or candidates, often guaranteeing the re-election of incumbents. It’s inherently fairer to let independent citizens draw the lines, and that’s the process voters chose when they approved the Voters First Act in 2008.

Still, the California Citizens Redistricting Commission hasn’t exactly done Del Norte County any favors. If its proposed new maps stand, a Republican-leaning county will find itself in Democratic-leaning legislative districts. We’ll lose GOP state Sen. Doug LaMalfa, a frequent visitor to the North Coast who has made a real effort to understand our issues.

Del Norte Gardening: Time to act if you want a fall harvest

Now that August is upon us, it finally feels like summertime.

 Our tomatoes are just starting to turn red, onions are sizing up and the overall bountiful harvest has returned. This is a very busy time of year for us at Ocean Air Farms, and it is also the hardest time to stay focused on the future.

Why do we struggle so much in August? Because, we are always caught up in the moment: Harvesting, weeding, harvesting, weeding, river.  With all this excitement going on, we often lose track of the fact that we have only two more months of active plant growth.

Editor's Note: Time for new topics

When it comes to letters to the editor, some topics will just keep going until you — or I — cut them off.

Today will bring the end of the recent string of missives on the topic of homosexuality. It started out with a Coastal Voices piece condemning the state Legislature and the governor for passing and signing a law requiring social studies curriculum to include the contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Supporters called SB48 anti-discrimination legislation that would encourage students to be more accepting of gays. Similar requirements already exist to ensure teaching about women, African Americans, Mexican Americans,  entrepreneurs, Asian Americans, European Americans, American Indians and labor.

Editor's Note: Less frequent, but better

It’s an economic reality that communities our size generally don’t have daily newspapers anymore. Some have weeklies, others twice-weeklies. Some have nothing at all.

That said, you should know that the folks here at Third and H have loved the mad scramble of producing five editions per week.

The Daily Triplicate announced in Friday’s edition that it will convert to a three-times-a-week publication schedule starting Oct. 4.

It’s not that Del Norte doesn’t produce enough news for a daily. We have all the small-town politics and intrigue you’d expect to find anywhere, plus all the extras that come with our spectacular surroundings: vast expanses of redwoods and other public lands, a still-vibrant fishing industry operating out of a tsunami-prone harbor, and marine environmental issues stemming from that big body of water we back up to. Throw in a massive state prison to boot.

House Calls: Keep your eyes on children in or near water

Editor’s note: House Calls runs every other Thursday. Today’s column is written by Aleen Huston, respiratory care practitioner and certified respiratory therapist.

Whether in the pool, the beach, the river, or even in your bathroom, water can be dangerous to your kids if you don’t take the right precautions.

Drowning can happen any time of year, but parents need to be particularly vigilant during summer months, when the number of drownings increases. 

Recently a local man drowned  after attempting to save his son from the strong currents of the Smith River. When it hits close to home, it makes it very important to keep water safety in mind at all times.

Hey Ranger: With a child’s eyes

Get the most out of a kid’s outdoor trek

Belle Oliphant, 10, of Crescent City, picks up leaves during an excursion to Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. Submitted
Editor’s note: The “Hey Ranger” column written by employees of the Redwood National and State Parks will appear on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Today’s column is by Susanna Ausema.

Working at the Wolf Creek Education Center in Redwood National and State Parks provides me with a unique perspective of our parks and their resources. I have the chance to see the redwoods through the eyes of elementary school students — a perspective that frequently differs from adults.

Take, for instance, the redwood forest. An adult may pause in wonder and awe, staring up into the canopy of an especially large tree. My students are equally impressed, often adding that the trees seem “magical” and make them feel “relaxed” and “peaceful.” However, after dedicating a few moments of their attention skyward, children often begin to gaze just as intently at the ground.

Coastal Voices: Walking for each other

Editor’s note: Here are excerpts from a speech delivered by Del Norte County District Attorney Jon Alexander before the beginning of the Luminaria procession Saturday night at the Relay for Life event.

There’s a lot of people who put this weekend together, but I want to single out one of them.

Maybe it’s because I work with her on a daily basis trying to keep this county safe from the bad guys —-and I thought how if I had a family to raise, the job I do, how there’s no way I could put the time into Relay for Life that this lady does.

But then again, that’s in comparison to people who take time to eat, sleep and breathe. You could call her Superwoman, her family calls her Mom, I call her Detective, but I think most of you simply know her as (event coordinator) Melanie (Barry) and she deserves one helluva round of applause.

Coastal Voices: Veterans are there to help

Veterans helping veterans seems to be the message of my commentary when honoring all these brave and honorable men and women who take time in their lives to serve their tours of military duty, especially those in combat missions

My personal devotion to this cause is shared by our Troop Support packers, shoppers, booth reps at our booth at the Saturday farmers market and by every community member and visitor that compliments us and donates to keep us going We began our program eight years ago in August.

Coastal Voices: Gay-history bill an affront

I suppose that by now many parents of California-schooled children have awakened with a shock to the fact that their children are no longer theirs to raise in a manner congruent with their deeply held religious moral values.

With a deft stroke of the executive pen Gov. Jerry Brown has approved the ever-deepening chasm of degradation of the California school curriculum by requiring the textbooks to be altered to reflect the historical “contributions” of homosexuals to America’s once-preeminent status among world governments.

Perhaps I understate the sweep of this glorious re-evaluation of history. It may even include all people of all times, of that I’m uncertain. I am fairly assured of one thing, however, this pox has not been brought upon the esteemed field of “science” collectively known as the theory of evolution yet. To my knowledge, the push to review the theory of evolution has not advanced an agenda of the homosexualization of homo-erectus although I see fertile ground for development of that inanity.

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