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Coastal Voices: There is much work ahead

Editor’s note: Here are excerpts from the speech by Del Norte County District Attorney Jon Alexander after he took the oath of office Monday.

 To steal one from Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, “What a long strange trip it’s been.”

One thing you learn along the way and that’s you don’t get to this point, or even through each day without a little help from other folks. I look around this room, and have to say there are not enough words or time to honor every person in this room and the kindnesses you have given me since my arrival here six years ago to be with my mother in her last years ...

Editor's Note: Northwest tour in green, yellow

Steve looked at my bright green shirt and said, “That’s the second time in three days you’ve been wearing Duck stuff.”

He’s one of my two Seattleite sons, the one who has decided life’s too short to expend any of it caring about spectator sports. The other one bleeds green and yellow after many years of University of Oregon transfusions from his father. Dave might even drive all the way down to Crescent City to watch Monday night’s national championship football game with his old man.

I was the one on the road over the holidays, and yes, I took along plenty of Duck gear. Then I stocked up on more for Christmas presents to make sure other members of my family were clad in green for the big game. It wasn’t hard to find once I crossed the border into the, ahem, Beaver State.

Coastal Voices: What’s on economic horizon?

At first glance there does not appear to be much in the way of economic development going on as you drive through Crescent City.

However, when you peel back the layers of studies, reports, permits and paperwork, you find economic development is alive and well in our region.

Economic development requires infrastructure to be in place to support businesses and residences. Infrastructure improvement does not happen overnight, it takes years to realize. There are some very exciting, long awaited projects looming on our horizon.  Many economic development projects are finally coming to fruition through the hard work and persistence of individuals, various governmental entities and the sovereign nations.

Coastal Voices: Conversation, education-style

In his Editor’s Note column last month, Triplicate editor Richard Wiens challenged readers to “start the conversation” to “find enough common ground to work together on the problems that face us.”

He noted that we are a polarized community. I have more than a suspicion that education in our county is one of the topics about which we are polarized! However, we want our children to be successful, and on that we all agree.

Last year within the school district we formally launched a conversation about how we can more efficiently and more effectively educate all of this community’s children. In 2011 we’re preparing to invite the community to join us in this important discussion. This conversation has been prompted by our own desire for efficacy, encouraged by national attention to student achievement and debate over the meaning of test scores, and supported by the interest of leaders throughout our community.

Coastal Voices: There ought not to be a law

Have you been to the Crescent City post office lately? If you have, you probably noticed the sign on the entrance door.

It says, “Armed robbery of a postal employee or postal facility carries a prison sentence of up to 25 years upon conviction.”

Now I would have thought that it was self-evident that robbery of a postal employee or facility would carry serious prison time. So if anyone with a peanut-sized brain could figure out that it is a federal felony to commit this type crime, why is it necessary to put this sign in the window of the post office?

Editor's Note:Our motivation? Geraldine

I like to keep people like Geraldine Safford in mind when I think about what we do at The Daily Triplicate.

She’s been a faithful customer for 60 years. Think about that. When she started reading her local newspaper, the average cost of a new house in America was $8,450. A gallon of gas ran 18 cents. Dwight Eisenhower was a war hero but still two years away from getting himself elected president.

Back then, Safford had choices for local news sources. There have been plenty of newspapers in Del Norte County over the years, sporting colorful names like the Klamath Chinook and the Gasquet Gazette. The Triplicate was created the same year the Titanic went down, 1912, through the merging of three newspapers.

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.

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