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Hey Ranger: With a child’s eyes

Get the most out of a kid’s outdoor trek

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Editor's Note: New life for death penalty

It’s possible to agree with someone’s description of a problem and completely disagree with that person’s solution.

Case in point: State Sen. Loni Hancock has proposed a bill to terminate California’s death penalty. She points to a new report published in the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review that documents the extraordinary price to taxpayers in the Golden State for maintaining the death penalty.

That price tag is $4 billion since 1978, or $308 million per person executed (a total of 13). Meanwhile, 54 Death Row inmates died of natural causes and 18 by suicide — they’ve executed themselves more thoroughly than the state has managed.

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Coastal Voices: Downtown’s happier times

As I contemplate how the winds of change have affected our 3rd Street business area in terms of economic and social factors, and deal with the attitudes of the Business Improvement District leaders who take pleasure in flaunting their disparaging remarks toward those of us who question their actions, I also recall great memories from the past when there was no BID.

Those of us who can allude to being native Del Norters, including those who came and merged beautifully into our particular kind, can recall the happy times when this downtown area was a shoppers’ delight.

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Editor's Note: Where the heck are we?

If San Francisco is in Northern California, where is Crescent City?

Forget for a minute that some Californians think Humboldt County is the northern terminus of the Golden State. The fact is we’re living with a state of mind that encompasses only the population centers — Los Angeles/San Diego to the south, the Bay Area and Sacramento to the north.

I frequently find myself changing geographic descriptions in wire service news articles. A recent one referred to Santa Maria as being in “Central California.” Santa Maria is maybe 60 miles north of Santa Barbara, which is maybe 100 miles northwest of LA.

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Coastal Voices: ‘So, where are you folks from?’

Crescent City, this summer it’s time to strut your best stuff.

I am still basking in the afterglow of the July Fourth Independence Day parade.  Though I have attended many parades over the years, this was my first as a resident of Crescent City.  I want to say a big congratulations to the Chamber of Commerce and all the folks and parade participants who selflessly devoted time and labor to make this parade the best ever.

Mother Nature blessed us with great weather. The pyrotechnics were awesome.

The 4th of July unofficially kicks off the summer season in Del Norte County.

It is refreshing to see so many new faces in Del Norte County, people from every corner of the country and many from overseas who are enjoying the magnificent Redwood Coast.

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Del Norte Gardening: Don’t over-water your plants

Read more...With the long wet spring, and now the Fourth of July behind us, it is without a doubt, summertime.

The river is warming up and the wind is not blowing so fiercely — some mornings have been clear and some have been foggy. One thing is for sure, sunny days with a light breeze are long overdue.

After two months of slow growth, our gardens are really responding to the turn in the weather.  Now is the time of the year when I break out the sprinklers and every single hose on the farm and get ready for the wild ride.

At Ocean Air Farms, we use a variety of watering methods. From the 2-inch aluminum “hand line” to smaller sets of two or three Rain Bird-type sprinklers, we “overhead” water some of our crops along with all irrigated pastures.

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Our View: No better place for celebrating Fourth of July

Let’s face it: Most of the time the manmade amenities of Del Norte County can’t come close to matching the natural ones:

• Crescent upon crescent of rocky coastline populated by a rich diversity of seabirds and marine mammals visible to all, and a rich underwater world of fish and crabs that requires boats, nets and fishing lines to access.

• Beautiful bookend rivers north and south, snaking upstream from their ocean mouths along lush banks and scenic canyons. For the past week, mother-and-calf gray whales have taken up residence in the climactic stretch of the Klamath between the highway bridge and the sea.

• A significant percentage of the finest old-growth coastal redwoods left in the world. A 10-minute drive from Crescent City can get you into the midst of the tallest trees on the planet, where you can walk for hours in silence and solitude.

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