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Coastal Voices: Over-government everywhere

Do you wonder why California is broke? It’s not you and I who are running the state into the ditch. It’s the politicians and their out-of-control spending. All the major political offices, including the governor’s office, are held by the Democrats. Almost two-thirds of both the Assembly and Senate are held by the Democratic Party.

I did a little research and was astounded to learn there are over 500 California state agencies overseeing every aspect of our lives.  I painstakingly counted 571 different agencies, each with countless employees, all who earn a more than fair wage and enjoy health and pension benefits that you and I would not find in the private sector.

Last weekend, I traveled across the border to Oregon to buy some plants from a nursery I recently learned about near Brookings, about five miles north of the state line. I purchased about $250 worth of plants, paid zero sales tax in Oregon, and returned toward home.

Coastal Voices: Why was clinic approved?

Several weeks have passed since the School Board approved what I consider to be a teen sex clinic at Two Trees (a building on school grounds.) Unfortunately, the news article on the front page the next day was a brief summary of the decision. It did not include the many salient points raised at the meeting.

The room was about 70 percent full of parents, youth and concerned individuals asking questions why the clinic was being moved from the main clinic (about three blocks away) on Washington Boulevard. The remaining members were largely employees of the clinic, a few parents, students, and persons in favor of the move.

First, the representative from Humboldt explained the California law that enables a child (12 years or older) to get sexual services, including abortions, without parental consent. (Normally, medical personnel cannot treat a minor without parental consent.)

Coastal Voices: The Bradshaw decison

Thursday night, defense attorney David Crane and I negotiated a plea agreement in which George Bradshaw pled no contest, having the effect of a guilty plea, to criminal assault, receiving two years’ probation.

I know there are many who are not content with such a disposition, however, we have succeeded in putting Mr. Bradshaw under the eye of the Probation Department, which makes the community safer and insures that any future criminal transgressions by him will be dealt with without the need of a full-blown trial.

As for the case against George Bradshaw, I have chosen not to re-try the case and accept full responsibility for that decision. First, those reasons which did not factor into that decision:the cost, longevity or strain on staff of a re-trial, particularly if a likely change of venue motion to another county was granted.

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.

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