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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.

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.


Forgive Del Norte County residents if we feel the scales of justice are tipping dangerously in favor of the accused.

It was only four weeks ago that a Smith River man with a history of domestic violence was in essence given a 68-day sentence for involuntary manslaughter in the death of his mother, courtesy of the state Attorney General’s Office and a local judge.

Then came last week’s carnage in Crescent City, which didn’t have to happen.

Even before Jerry Wayne Steele was arrested for the repeated sexual abuse of a 14-year-old girl, he had held a box-cutter to her throat in an attempt to threaten her into silence, according to Santa Clara County court documents. She courageously told the truth anyway.

Coastal Voices: Another anti-cannabis view

In his June 4 Coastal Voices piece (“The case for cannabis”), Robert DeRego of City Collective critiqued  Roger Gitlin’s “Say No To Marijuana” Coastal Voices article (May 31). I’m afraid DeRego fails to make his case in a number of areas.

His first failure is in attempting to connect the Tea Party to his liberal drug views. While not  speaking for the Tea Party movement, I know enough about both subjects to know they are not compatible. Tea Party members  hold disparate views  on a  variety of topics, but the legalization  of drugs is decidedly not one of them.

Coastal Voices: Harbormaster gives update

Mark Twain once said, “Don’t tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly don’t tell them where they know the fish.”

Crescent City is a place where the people know the fish. Since the March tsunami, a lot of fish stories have been told and retold here, some of them factual, some partly factual, and some based on no facts at all.

Right now, the harbor is the topic of many of these fish stories. I want to end the speculation by explaining the harbor’s goals for the reconstruction of the inner boat basin, and based on the best information we have now, presenting the most likely time frame for reaching significant milestones.

Our View: Departure Means Challenge

Interminable discussions about how to reduce spending in the face of looming state budget cuts.

Controversy and angst at School Board meetings over the relocation of a teen health clinic closer to the high school.

Dueling newspaper advertisements in which rival factions trade charges about the costs of compensation for various employees.

Finally, to the credit of both sides, a tentative agreement between the teachers union and district administrators on a pay cut that should prevent layoffs and another expansion of classroom sizes.

And then, the resignation of Superintendent Jan Moorehouse.

Costal Voices: City police: just the facts

For several years now, I have chosen to remain silent when confronted with untruths and misinformation as they pertain to my husband, Police Chief Douglas Plack, or the Crescent City Police Department, choosing instead to assume that the truth would ultimately prevail.

Regrettably, this has rarely been the case.

After reading Richard Miles’ June 3 Coastal Voices piece, “Thoughts on city budget,”unfortunately I feel I can no longer simply remain silent and hope the public learns the truth — the time has come, at least with regard to the issues raised by Mr. Miles — to set the record straight.

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