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Coastal Voices: A city worth expanding

It’s a new year and the cycle of the winds of change has been set in motion once again. This past Nov. 15, our City Council selected me as your new mayor. I am honored to have the Council’s confidence and to have the opportunity to serve you and our city.

Although our local newspaper hasn’t chosen to conduct an interview with me, to date, regarding my goals and objectives, our local National Public Radio station conducted a mini-interview with me back in early December. Moreover, NBC Channel 3 News out of Eureka has conducted three interviews with our City Manager Rod Butler and I about our current Crescent City renaissance and my goals and objectives. I have a relatively aggressive agenda for our city in 2011, therefore I am writing because I wanted to share my vision with you.

Editor's Note: About those ‘regulars’

Regular readers of The Triplicate’s Opinion page know that there is another type of “regular.” As in prolific contributor.

While some people are rarely or never moved to write a letter to the editor or a longer Coastal Voices piece, there are others who always seem to have a missive in the works.

Fearful of letting the latter take over the page, the newspaper had adopted an informal policy before my arrival three years ago of publishing only one letter a month from any one individual. I must admit I have bent that rule a few times for various reasons. Sometimes an opinion prompts a critical response to which the original writer deserves a chance for an immediate counter-response. Other times, there is dearth of contributions and it makes no sense to hold back on a new letter from someone who had one published a couple of weeks earlier.

Coastal Voices: Shooting used to boost Obama

Even as acrid gunsmoke hung in the winter Arizona air, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dopenik's bulldog countenance was thrust onto TV screens across America as he inveighed upon what he termed the “vitriolic climate” of America’s political scene.

He cited Arizona as the mecca of America’s acrimonious political warfare. He was, of course, referring largely to the recent passage of the anti-illegal alien law in Arizona. He was so absorbed in his self-appointed role of moral pontificator that he had no apparent interest in the role he was being paid to perform. He was out to lambast the passions of a segment of the Tucson community who oppose the invasion of Arizona lands by illegal aliens.

As if on cue the lights went on like a Christmas tree across media land. Chris Matthews excoriated talk show host Michael Savage as a raving commentator that begins his show in anger and ends it on the same tone. It would seem that Mr. Matthews is ultra-sensitive to vocalizations as when he experienced the “tingle” up his leg when Obama spoke in one of his campaign speeches. Other media attacks were focused on Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh as the hacks ramped up the very rhetoric they were decrying. One blogger even described Laura Ingraham as the “high priestess of hate.” The common thread among these disparate commentaries was the blame being placed on the Tea Party movement, Sarah Palin and AM radio personalities for the Tucson shootings. The actuality of the event couldn’t be further from the truth.

Coastal Voices: Look closer at the NCCS

Months ago, when The Daily Triplicate published a story for the local Tea Party announcing that it had booked a Constitution seminar for Crescent City, I was curious to find out about the origins and principles of the National Center for Constitutional Studies that was presenting the seminar.

I was kind of wishing the Triplicate had been similarly curious, as it was printing a news article at the request of local initiators who, it appeared, had not received sufficient response to their own publicity. I propose to offer a little balance by way of information.

I found the NCCS home page and there were the chubby, pink jowls of Glenn (“God spoke to me”) Beck! Turns out, he is the one who now peddles this course and all the other stuff featured at this site. Aha! So this seminar has his brand of “authenticity” for this interpretation of what the Constitution “really means.” Glenn Beck-ons and the Tea Party now knows what to think.

Our View: A fight we can’t lose

Here we go again, Del Norte.

State park closures are being considered as part of Sacramento’s belt-tightening, just as they were two years ago.

In 2009, Gov. Arnold Schwarz­enegger’s wild fiscal gyrations in the face of massive state debt included a plan to close up to 220 of California’s 279 parks while cutting parks spending by $70 million. It never happened.

You might think that, by comparison, Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to cut parks spending by $22 million is less significant. The problem is, while Schwarz­enegger specialized in launching trial balloons and changing his budget-balancing schemes almost daily, Brown may be serious.


Coastal Voices: Education — Play your role

Let me begin by saying thank you to Jan Moorehouse for opening the door with her Jan. 5 Coastal Voices piece, “Conversation, education-style.” This takes courage to open a dialogue you know can be polarized.

But I am saddened that no one has responded as of yet. So we’re essentially saying that everything is okay. I don’t know about you, but things aren’t okay. The world is getting more competitive every day and we’re falling behind. 

As a representative of a local employer, I’m concerned about the basic qualifications of future employees.  As a father of a young child, I’m concerned my child will not get a good enough education to be competitive, no matter where and what he intends to do with his life.

Coastal Voices: The road to excellence

In these frustrating times when many feel that government is dysfunctional, it is important to appreciate one of the successes of local government in Del Norte County

The Redwood Coast Transit system has operated in Del Norte County since 1996, but it was 2004 when the city and county decided to improve the leadership and accountability of the transit agency by forming Redwood Coast Transit Authority.

Since 2004, Redwood Coast Transit Authority has dramatically improved travel options in Crescent City and throughout Del Norte County. The Redwood Coast Transit system includes four Crescent City bus routes, Crescent City Dial-A-Ride, and routes to Klamath, Smith River, Hiouchi and Gasquet.

Coastal Voices: Tea Party co-opted, corrupted

I have tried to be patient and understanding with the Tea Party, I really have. I respect anyone who makes time in their life to participate in their government and voice their concerns about how that governance occurs.

I share the Tea Party’s disgust with the fact that our government no longer represents the majority of American people. I, too, feel the erosion of my civil liberties and crave life, liberty and happiness.

The Tea Party perspective, however, is so fundamentally flawed that it’s hard to know where to begin. If the government’s intrusion on our civil liberties is such a motivator, where were the angry Partiers when our government’s warrantless wiretapping program came to light?

Editor's Note: Celebs gotta be passing through

An early response was promising; then, nothing. When The Triplicate asked readers to tell us about their celebrity sightings in Del Norte County, we expected more. We may be remotely located, but we are a natural stopping point along the coast highway. Famous people have to be at least gassing up here; and the locals must see them from time to time.

Maybe they’re hiking the redwoods or strolling a beach. A well-known actress was chatted up by a local man at the Crescent City airport — his account will be told, but we’re still hoping for more.

Then again, the stars can be elusive. I spent three-plus years in America’s celebrity capital working for the Los Angeles Daily News, but had only one chance encounter with a celeb. He never knew about it, even though it could have killed him.

Coastal Voices: Marine Highway worth a look

As a new resident to awe-inspiring Del Norte County, I must tell you what a refreshing change it is for my wife and I to be so blessed to live in this stunning geography.

Prior to moving to Crescent City, we traveled up the coast for over a decade to hike and enjoy that magnificent ocean and the majestic redwoods.

I do have one issue that really concerns me; it’s the roads and more specifically U.S. Highway 101 South. In 2005, I was traveling north on 101 and the road suddenly came to a halt near the junction with Highway 1 near Leggett. Apparently, there was one of those all-too-frequent rock/mudslides near Confusion Hill. The road would be closed for at least 48 hours. To “proceed north,” I needed to turn around, go back south on 101, east on 20, and north on 5, eventually reconnecting to 299. That detour put about six hours’ additional time to our already long journey.

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