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Coastal Voices: The case for cannabis

Hi, I’m Robert with City Collective. We are a group of citizens who work together collectively to provide ourselves with an effective remedy for our health problems in accordance with State H&S code 11362.5 and the 10th Amendment to our U.S. Constitution.

I am writing in response to the May 31 Coastal Voices piece authored by Roger Gitlin (“Just say no to marijuana.”) As a Tea Party member like myself, I thought Mr. Gitlin would support free markets, constitutionally limited government and fiscal responsibility. On that notion I’d like to comment on a few of Mr. Gitlin’s claims.

Drug laws do make marijuana an “entry level narcotic” or “gateway drug.” Cannabis has led to harder drugs only because our policy makes cannabis users go only to drug dealers. See all the items around the cash register of your local grocery store? That’s impulse shopping.

Coastal Voices: Thoughts on city budget

Regarding the May 26 article covering the second budget workshop (“City still looks for cutbacks; Labor negotiations could be reopened”), where was the general public? They were not at the workshop. Why?

Nor did you see any of the union groups for our city workers. Yes, the city should not go into the hole. Unlike past city councils that always kept cash reserves, we have seen how this council likes to spend our funds.

Here are some thoughts about the city budget situation:

Del Norte Gardening: Early planting may be a bust, but don’t give up

Well, it looks like this is another spring in Del Norte County where planting your garden is going to be a real challenge.

We create a planting schedule sometime in the winter and do our best to make it happen once the soil dries.

The thing is, sometimes the brief window of dry soil does not correlate with your ability to get out in the garden. Or, even more discouraging, your space has never dried up to begin with.

It may seem like it is just too late for the garden this year. Do not fret! And, definitely, do not give up. You have not missed your opportunity.

Coastal Voices: Different sort of volunteer

Del Norte County has been abuzz with activity this spring. From the Economic Summit focused on education to the creation of several new community gardens, Del Norte has been infused with a different kind of energy; an energy of discussion, listening, and change.

Just this past Saturday at the Wellness Center, 60 volunteers gathered to construct 50 garden beds as the first phase of expansion of the Wellness Center Campus. It was a wonderful and inspiring event that demonstrated how capable our community is. Through collaborative efforts, planning and dedication to a vision, our county is one step closer to becoming healthier and happier.

Our View: One we can't lose

From its trailhead beside U.S. Highway 101, Damnation Creek Trail lures visitors into the instant gratification of old-growth giants, bedecked with wild rhododendrons in late spring. The ambitious can continue on to a 1,000-foot descent to the sea, the redwoods stubbornly giving way to Sitka spruce, Douglas fir and the westward expanse of blue.

Before the plunge, visitors can veer north along the Last Chance Section of the California Coastal Trail, glimpsing traces of the original Redwood Highway that opened the far North Coast to the automobiles of the 1920s. Or they can turn south and cross the highway to begin the DeMartin Section of the Coastal Trail that climbs to a curvaceous stretch of old-growth redwoods as scenic as any to be found.

Coastal Voices: Coach thanks community

As the head football coach at Del Norte High School, I’m very excited about the opportunity to be associated with our community, its coaches and staff as well as our fine student athletes.

The Del Norte football program has established a strong winning tradition over the years. We are very proud of the accomplishments of our teams and athletes and look forward to the opportunity to continue to build and grow on its foundation that has been set by many that have come before us.  The entire staff takes great pride in its role as part of the educational process provided by the Del Norte Unified School District.

As we continue the pride and tradition, we strive for our football program to be respected as one of the best in the state. Athletics has a tremendous opportunity to affect the lives of our students in a positive manner. It is our obligation to provide our student athletes with a program that leads to success in the future. The time and commitment it takes to grow this program is a true tribute to the athletes, coaches, teachers, families and businesses that make up our great community.

Coastal Voices: Suggestions for LaMalfa on budget

The following letter could not be e-mailed to State Sen. Doug LaMalfa because it exceeded the character count allowed at his website:

Senator LaMalfa,

Unfortunately I could not attend your meeting in Crescent City two weeks ago but I did read the account of the gathering in the Daily Triplicate two days later.

According to that report, you asked for voters to voice their thoughts on how to balance the state budget and end our fiscal free-fall and, when questioned, you stated your opposition to letting the voters decide on whether to extend the current tax rates due to expire in July.

Coastal Voices: Del Norte tourism website is out there

I want to thank Bob Douglas for his May 5 letter to the editor where he advocates for one Internet page that is “frequently updated showing local events, weather, local motels and camping, fishing ocean, river and lake reports.”

Many others have expressed the same interest, that’s why the Crescent City/Del Norte County Visitors Bureau established and maintains the Internet site: exploredelnorte.com.

Here you will find a nine-minute video of a day of salmon fishing on our rivers, along with many other videos that show off our area, plus a listing of dozens of things to do in the county.

Coastal Voices: If we treat kids like crops, then we’ll pay for schools

I serve on the local School Board.  At one of our recent meetings, it seemed like 150 young people attended, all asking the board to spare their particular program, whether it was music or art or AVID or athletics. All good programs, and nothing anyone in the district or on the board wants to cut.  

As the kids were talking I found myself thinking of the Facebook revolutions which brought down dictators in Tunisia and Egypt. My thought was that if young people were able to bring down two dictators in the Middle East, why couldn’t we bring some Facebook pressure to bear on a few Republican legislators (two in the House, two in the Senate) to get them to vote to allow Californians to vote to extend some revenue sources we are already paying? 

So I explained to the kids that while $29 billion is a lot of money, it’s only 1.5 percent of California’s GDP.  Since the governor was proposing to split the solution between cuts and revenue, that would really mean just three-quarters of 1 percent of GDP. That’s less than a penny on the dollar to keep schools going. How hard could it be to persuade a few Republicans that kids and schools are worth it?

Coastal Voices: Taxing is not the answer

Jackie Cochran admitted in her April 22 letter to the editor (“Voters should have the right to vote if they want a tax hike”) that she was not at state Sen. Doug LaMalfa’s town hall meeting. I have to wonder if Glen Brunner, author of the Tuesday Coastal Voices piece, “Thwarting our right to vote,” was. He didn’t say so, and he seemed to be unaware of what the senator said.

The people of California have voted many times not to be taxed, but too many in Sacramento think it’s the easy answer. Look around you. People in this county, like many more in the state, cannot afford to keep up the tax-and-spend mentality of the Democrats. They cannot afford the high cost of gasoline, with a high state tax, plus one of the highest auto registration fees, the high cost of commodities, thanks to gasoline, etc. If they can find a job in this county, they cannot afford the gas to get to work! It is truly a vicious circle.

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