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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Coastal Voices: Health effort needs input

An early summer light rain on the North Coast is a time for reflection and contemplation.

A very dedicated group of Del Norte and adjacent tribal lands (DNATL) community folks have been working on improving our communities’ health. This broad, diverse coalition of local people has developed a “health plan” informed by data provided by the California Center for Rural Policy (CCRP) at Humboldt State University, traditional state and federal agency sources,  The California Endowment (TCE) and most importantly, our local DNATL folks.

Together we have determined where to concentrate our efforts over the next 10 years and beyond to assure a healthier DNATL. Together we have developed a process that is fair and accessible to all DNATL residents. Together we have chosen to improve health by going as far “upstream” as possible to prevent unhealthy choices.


Coastal Voices: Start sacrifices at the top

Recently The Daily Triplicate reported city and School Board budgets that will cut positions or pay, respectively.

Currently both the Del Norte County Employees Association and the Sheriff’s Employee Association are in negotiations with Del Norte County about proposed cuts to employer contributions to employee retirement, as well as all other terms of our contracts.

This week, County Administrative Officer Jay Sarina told all of the county employees that employee concessions were necessary to balance the budget, and that he was unable to reach an agreement with the associations, implying an impasse in negotiations.


Coastal Voices: Life, death, celebration

It is the second Saturday in June. Ron Phillips has just struck his chuck wagon iron, announcing  the opening of the 2011 Farmer's Market.  Old friends and acquaintances set up their spaces, dispensing everything from jewelry, pastries, children’s toys and plants to farm goods and civic organization charity fundraising.

As billed, it’s a market, but also much more. Like baseball, it mirrors life itself, coming in the spring and departing with the onset of winter. It is not lost on you that the assorted wares and offerings are home-grown and hand-made. Its existence, a testament to a thing called community.

Tuesday morning last week, our community was torn with the news of 14-year-old Cecelia Mortensen and her mother’s shootings.  A beautiful and loving child to the people that knew her and saw her daily running to the bus or playing with neighborhood  pets, here in her new home of Crescent City. Until a crazed man followed her to our town and took her life.


Coastal Voices: Praise for Crescent City

I would like to thank Del Norte County residents for superior help recently.

Having been raised in Crescent City (a 1999 Del Norte High School graduate), I developed a deep love and respect for the natural beauty of the area. When life gets hectic I enjoy taking a trip up to Crescent City to spend time with friends and family, relax and find refreshment in the majestic beauty of the redwood forests.

I spent the weekend of June 10-12 on vacation, camping at Florence Keller Park. I came up from Sacramento hoping for a relaxing weekend in the trees and playing on the beach. Unfortunately that wasn’t how the weekend unfolded.

On Saturday, I left my campsite and headed to the Point St. George area for some tide-pooling fun. When I returned to the park that evening, the camp host met me at my car to inform me that my campsite had been vandalized.


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