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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.

Coastal Voices: Wellness Center’s smoking ban

At its Feb. 15 meeting, the Del Norte Healthcare District, on a unanimous vote, decided to proceed with a non-smoking campus at the Del Norte Community Wellness Center.

The decision followed complaints from providers, clients, visitors and employees of the agencies that occupy the Wellness Center campus. Complaints centered on the secondhand smoke drifting into the building, small fires created when cigarettes were not put out appropriately, clients with respiratory and other diseases being subjected to secondhand smoke and that the Wellness Center should be an example of healthy lifestyle choices.

In December 2010, after receiving a petition signed by a large majority of employees working at the Wellness Center, I was appointed to further investigate the appropriate steps needed to create a non-smoking campus at the Wellness Center.

Coastal Voices: Don’t blame public workers

I’m sure Karen Brooks is sincere in her desire to lower her taxes and those of others in the community (“Taxing us into serfdom,” Feb. 25). Taking it out

on public workers seems a bad idea.

In Del Norte County, 35 percent of those who work are government employees. This includes California state workers at Pelican Bay State Prison, and at the local Caltrans and Highway Patrol. There are also U.S. Government workers in the National Park Service and Social Security offices, and then local police and fire departments. School teachers and administrators are public employees.

Coastal Voices: Why the bird festival is over

The time has come for the California Redwoods Bird and Nature Festival, formerly the Aleutian Goose Festival, to say goodbye.

We faced unexpected challenges this year that led to this hard decision:

We lost our festival organizer due to medical issues and a couple of major sponsors had to withdraw their support. The festival has always depended on local donations as well as the revenue generated by registrant fees.

Registration had declined with the global economic downturn, which has impacted many other small town festivals causing them to die away. All of these challenges in combination proved too much.

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