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Coastal Voices: Glimpse into world of autism

I just returned from “Autism Around the World,” an event sponsored by University of California, Davis Mind Institute.

My daughter (who is autistic), my son and I attended. We had no idea what to expect.

There were families, teachers, regional centers, city officials, doctors, lawyers, researchers and hundreds of beautiful autistic children from all over the world.

My son and I knew we had just entered a world that was much like the one we live in our home. Except this was my daughter’s world. A world that thanked, acknowledged and brought awareness to children with autism and their families.


‘Start the conversation’

Most Americans can be found somewhere in the middle, as illustrated by the fact that Democrats can win a national landslide in 2008 and Republicans can do the same a mere two years later. But sometimes it seems all the attention these days is focused on the nation’s political poles.

It’s almost as if these are the only two schools of thought offering open enrollment:

• There’s way too much government in our country today, and we need to drastically downsize it if we are to rebuild a nation of self-reliant people who will do good deeds because of their character, not because they’re legally required to.


Great job on unified MPA plan

It had all the makings of a train wreck, or perhaps the better metaphor is shipwreck. A North Coast fishing industry already beset by decreasing stock and increasing regulations faced the prospect of a whole new layer of restrictions — including establishment of new no-take zones.

California’s Marine Life Protection Act may make perfect sense from a conservation standpoint, but it also seemed like it had the potential to be another serious blow to a vital industry that helps define who we are on the North Coast.

The issue is still playing out, but at this point it appears a unified proposal for the establishment of Marine Protection Areas in this region may get adopted by the state.


 


The camera as note-taker

The digital age has made better photographers of almost all of us. No longer restricted by the cost of purchasing and developing film, we blast away on the shutter, secure in the knowledge that we can delete the bad stuff on a computer and never see it in print.

Even most professionals snap numerous shots of each scene, especially since they’re equipped with motor-drives that can bring almost a video effect to moving subjects captured in so many still frames. There’s bound to be a keeper in there somewhere.


Sports gets more colorful

I’m tapping this out on a sun-splashed, whale-spouted Thanksgiving morning, thankful that life is good enough that occasionally I can indulge myself with thoughts of sports.

If you’re a fan of the Del Norte Warriors and our youth football teams, you’ve probably noticed that life has gotten a little better on The Triplicate’s sports pages. Thanks to a couple of new press units, we now have the capacity to print color sports photos in every issue. We’ve already put this to good use as Del Norte’s fall sports seasons were winding down, and soon the winter seasons will provide new opportunities. In issues such as today when there’s no local sports stories, the color will still be there.

It’s one more way to showcase the work of our photographers, Bryant Anderson and Rick Postal. When they can’t be on the scene, the newspaper has gotten some huge assists from parents of athletes and other supporters of local teams. Most recently, John Pritchett’s photos of Del Norte’s playoff football game in the Bay Area appeared in the Tuesday paper.


A streak to remember

An incredible streak of consecutive league titles for the Del Norte High School volleyball team ended recently. It’s worthy of note, not because it’s over, but because it happened in the first place.

For 21 — count ’em, 21 — consecutive seasons, the Warriors either won outright or shared league titles. That’s a level of dominance unmatched by the best-known dynasties in sports: the Yankees in baseball, the Celtics in pro basketball or UCLA in college basketball.

For several straight seasons, the volleyball team didn’t even drop a league match. It lost three this season, and McKinleyville took the championship. The streak may be over, but Del Norte’s run of volleyball success certainly is not.


Local voters unpredictable

Once again, Del Norte voters proved this week they have an independent streak.

There’s no doubt the county leans conservative, despite a nearly even split in party affiliation between Democrats and Republicans. That was clearly established when Del Norte bucked the national trend and went for McCain over Obama in the 2008 presidential election.

But take a look at the ballots counted so far, and you’ll find plenty of evidence from Tuesday’s election that Del Norters are unpredictable.


Editor's Note: Another GOP revolution?

With the polls all predicting huge Republican victories today, I can’t help but think back to 1994.

I was the government editor of The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, which happened to be home to the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. In that powerful post, Tom Foley had secured plenty of bacon for Eastern Washington. Heck, his name should have been on a new, 80-mile, four-lane stretch of U.S. Highway 395 that had previously been head-on collision alley.


Editor's Note: Local campaigns are playing out on letters page

It may still be a full week until the election, but I’m counting down the days until Saturday, when I can take off my referee’s shirt. That’s the final day we’ll be running letters to the editor related to the Nov. 2 voting.

We’ve been deluged, and despite opening up extra room on the opinion page, there are going to be more letters than space to print them. Just ask the candidates, who somehow always seem to know if letters supporting their campaigns haven’t appeared in print.


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