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Coastal Voices: Remembering the Stormy

My family was so touched by the March 30 Michele Thomas column, “Raising of the vessel Stormy,” that I am moved to fill in a bit more of Stormy’s history.  

My father, Charles Edward Hakala, owned the Stormy approximately 44 years ago. He docked her at Harbor, Ore., and commercial-fished on her for a while.

I was about 12 or 13 years old then and spent a couple of months living on the Stormy with him, as his “boat-puller,” as they called young boys then who were hired to help on commercial vessels. I was the only girl living on and helping with a commercial fishing venture at that time. I still have my commercial fishing license from that summer.

Editor's Note: Fisticuffs and sportsmanship

Deborah Kravitz enjoyed watching her son wrestle at Del Norte High School. And Joey Kravitz didn’t disappoint, flattening most of his opponents and winning a rare berth in the state tournament in 2009, the same year his friend Roger McCovey won his second straight California championship in the heavyweight division.

But Deborah can’t bring herself to watch Joey fight in the mixed-martial arts bouts held occasionally in Trinidad. When he won the 135-145-pound division at the latest April 2, Joey had his older brother and McCovey in his corner, but his mother stayed away.

It’s hard enough to watch your son compete on the wrestling mat, where a loss hurts pride but usually not much more. If you’ve watched any of the versions of mixed-martial arts on TV, you know how different the sport is, bouts often ending with one guy punched into submission or wrenched into an untenable position. Some find it barbaric, others fascinating. But it’s hard not to cringe when the loser is on the verge of tapping out, even if he’s not your offspring.

Coastal Voices: Monday event crucial for kids

It appears as though our weather is finally shifting into spring, and oh how I welcome this change.

Change may be afoot elsewhere as well. Our educators and some parents have been busy exploring new and exciting ways in which to teach our children. They have researched and visited other schools and those involved have come back invigorated and ready to make some changes to our educational model.  This may excite some of you, while others may have concerns about any changes affecting the education of their children.

One thing in this world is certain, change is constant. We do not live in a static environment and our educational system is no different. 

But who am I to comment?   I’m not in administration, I’m not a teacher and my child isn’t even in the system yet. As I’ve mentioned before, I work for a local company which employs those who leave the school. I have a child that will someday attend school and I have been involved with the Chamber of Commerce over the years.

Coastal Voices: Time to disband BID

The other day I ran across several articles from the Triplicate, Dec. 6, 2006, by Hilary Corrigan, that brought on deja vu. The stories were about an entity called the Business Improvement District.

In the articles were questions, anger, suggestions and opinions from the business owners within the Business Improvement District, which was approved by the City Council in 1993. Forgotten for years by the city, it faded in memory until a few business owners decided that the city was in need of it again. So from the ashes it has arisen and with it brings the same concerns.

Another article written in the Triplicate in 2006 said the request for dis-establishment of the BID was again requested by some business owners. Since 1993 more than 73 businesses have come and gone from the district known as the BID. Even the business owners that were instrumental in beginning the BID are gone.

Coastal Voices: A boat basin update

This is in response to the editorial, “We Are Not Destroyed,” in Saturday’s paper.

Communication with the Harbor Commission in recent years has been minimal. I hope to correct that, at least somewhat, with my presidency.

To begin with, this has been a long process since the 2006 tsunami. Once we were qualified for state aid, the previous board started the process of finding funding to rebuild. They did an excellent job by finding and receiving “grant” funds for the entire project. That means that there will be little or no out-of-pocket expense to the harbor or our community. This is an example of state government working for the better of its people. At this point, the process gets bogged down.

Once funding was achieved, the question of how much came into view. During the best of time the state can be a little stingy with its funds for a project like this, a disaster for a “small” community. However, at this point, an argument began. Would the state fund for a 10-year disaster, a 25-year, a 50-year or a 100-year?

Our View: We are not destroyed

Crescent City Harbor was not wiped out by the tsunami. Unlike the 1964 disaster, this time every building stayed dry: the harbormaster’s offices, the seafood processing plant, the giant vessel repair shop, the art galleries and the restaurants.

Yes, the events of March 11 reconfirmed our status as the tsunami capital of the American West Coast. Whether that proves an albatross or a tourism marketing opportunity depends on how smartly we promote our little slice of coastal redwoods heaven in the future.

For now, only three messages to the outside world really matter:

• First, the community as a whole is open for business. One of the harbor restaurants was jammed with breakfast patrons the morning after the tsunami. Today at 1 p.m., volunteers will gather to help clear nearby beaches of harbor debris.

Coastal Voices: One couple’s tsunami sojourn

My doorbell rang at 4:41 Friday morning, followed by a loud  pounding at my door.

I thought I was dreaming.

I stumbled out of bed, and in my loudest and raspiest morning voice, I managed to utter, “Who’s there”?  The return voice identified himself as a Crescent City police officer. I cautiously creaked open my front door to see it was, indeed,  a uniformed Crescent City policeman.

“Good grief,” I thought to myself. What dreadful news is this law enforcement messenger going to deliver to me? A thousand bad thoughts shot through my brain as I awaited his response.  He advised me there is an ongoing tsunami alert and warned me there was a voluntary evacuation of all coastal areas. Relieved by the somewhat somber news, I thanked him for letting me know of the conditions, returned to the bedroom to tell my wife Angela that we needed to prepare to leave the house and act on the side of caution before this first  tsunami surge arrived.

Coastal Voices: A tsunami-ready community

So where is the good news among all the property damage we are witnessing at the harbor?  The good news is that there was only one life lost and that was because he did not have the advantage of living in our area and being exposed to the extensive tsunami education that we as a community have had.

Yes, it could have been worse, a lot worse.  When you compare the tsunami of 1964 to this event, a lot has changed. On Good Friday, March 27, 1964, there were just a few outlets for local information: the two local radio stations, KPOD and KPLY, and the two newspapers, The Triplicate and the Crescent City American. The two radio stations received their information from the outside world via the Associated Press phone lines into the station.

Editor's Note:Evacuating from, then reporting on, Friday’s disaster

I’ve been in this business 32 years, through earthquakes and firestorms, and I’ve never been run out of my own newsroom.

Until Friday.

Nothing like waking up to a tsunami siren. Then, within an hour, seeing the lights of so many boats on the dark horizon and feeling tardy upon my 5:45 a.m. arrival to The Triplicate office as colleagues finished loading up computer equipment. I grabbed some Rolodexes and lifted bound volumes of old editions from the floor to a table, figuring a few feet might count in the potential inundation zone. We’d been told to leave by 6.

Coastal Voices: Harbor renaissance begins

Outstanding! The Triplicate newspaper team should be extremely proud of its Saturday edition and the commitment to photojournalism.  Over time this will prove to be an important part of our local heritage.

As mayor, along with our City Council, I'm honored to have shared in the in-person rapid North Coast and local representatives response to our tsunami event/local marine, harbor devastation from the numerous surges.

We were privileged to have the presence of our Congressman Mike Thompson, a representative from U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer’s office, state Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro, state Sen. Doug LaMalfa, along with representatives from the Governor’s Office, Cal-EMA, Fish and Game, Coast Guard, Del Norte Count Board of Supervisors, the Crescent City City Council, local Police Department, fire departments and Sheriff’s Office, Office of Emergency Services, et al. Collectively, this was a show of solidarity for the immediate emergency and very real local losses.

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