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Coastal Voices: Medical pot — Why do we need a law to allow a right?

I am writing out of concern over letters to the editor attempting to muddy the reputation of the people (the many, many people) who use cannabis in this county and elsewhere.

Many say our medical use laws are poorly written, and for a people who need permission for every aspect of life, I suppose this is possible. In fact, the law we voted for in 1996 calls for safe, affordable distribution of cannabis as it states one of its purposes; “to encourage the federal and state governments to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana.”


Coastal Voices: Charges don’t hold water

Editor’s note: A portion of this written statement was included in the May 15 article, “DA ‘going to war’ with the Bar.”

The State Bar of California will soon file a notice of disciplinary charge against me.  That will result in an administrative hearing.

The Bar’s prosecutorial arm, the Office of Chief Trial Counsel, has taken this action in spite of me addressing each charge and providing over the past year, full and accurate answers to each allegation against me.


Editor's Note: Even eclipses are eclipsed by clouds, chatter

Size matters. So do clouds.

I’m as excited as the next person about Sunday’s annular eclipse. I’ve got my solar viewing glasses ready and I’m not going to abandon hope just because the weather forecast keeps graying.

Still, catching the show on the beach is looking iffy. It’s probably time to consider a backup plan for an inland viewing point — if we’re not completely socked in.


Our View: Passion, politics and some truths

There’s a lot at stake in the races for three of five seats on the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors, and the seven candidates spoke with genuine passion at the Triplicate candidates forum last week.

Still, an unusual thing happened when members of the newspaper’s Editorial Board assembled a few days later to discuss which candidates to endorse. We decided not to.

We feel as strongly as the candidates about the issues at play, but we just came to a group realization that it wasn’t really our place to flat-out tell people how to vote.


Coastal Voices: Our own ‘invisible children’

There’s a lot of buzz in the world about the firm, “Kony 2012” and the “invisible children” of Africa who are being kidnapped, brutalized and murdered by Joseph Kony and his army of terrorists.

While I would in no manner minimize those atrocities and the plight of the African nations being held in the thrall of Joseph Kony, I can’t help but think of the our own “invisible children” here in Del Norte County.

We don’t have a terrorist warlord brutalizing our children, but there is a segment of our population that suffers under the rule of a heartless despot and his name is “hunger.”


Editor's Note: Elections: It’s time to review rules for letters

Spring is in the air and campaign signs are competing with the fast-growing grass for space on the lawns.

I’ve even seen a couple of yards sporting placards for both candidates in a particular county supervisor race. Now that’s bipartisanship — or maybe just an inability to say “no” to either side.

All seven candidates for the three supervisor seats on the primary ballot attended the Triplicate’s forum Tuesday night, along with an audience of about 110 people. While Primary Election Day is June 5, voters who requested mail ballots could be making their decisions as soon as next week.


Coastal Voices: Thinking women look past reproductive rights

Regarding John Merte’s April 10 letter (“Supervisor candidate has implausible plan for county”) in which he criticizes the Triplicate’s coverage of candidate Bill Gray’s speech to the GOP women:

I doubt that a lunch meeting with Supervisor Martha McClure speaking, held by a Democratic women’s group, would go without notice by this newspaper.  And I am sure the article would be all about Martha’s views and be above the fold on the front page.


Never too late to study the past

I’m writing today about what I don’t know — a vastly larger field of study than what I do know.

Newspapering is a funny business. You hit town, as I did a little over four years ago, and immediately start chronicling its people and places and politics with very little knowledge of what came before.

While still in Colorado, I bought books detailing this area’s hiking trails and the history of the coast redwoods. Once I got here, the world’s tallest trees and the rugged coastline proved to be quite the distraction. Probably the Del Norte County Historical Society Museum is the first place I should have visited.


Editor's Note: Memories rise with the water

The rainy season and the political season have converged in Del Norte.

Just as we raise the curtain on the campaigns for three seats on the Board of Supervisors, the flooding advisories remind us that some things are even less predictable than Del Norte politics.

High water and the quest for votes. Both evoke memories.


Our View: Be prepared, not afraid

What to make of a worst-case scenario?

There’s a temptation to dismiss it as flat-out unlikely. You can’t go through life worrying about the worst that can happen, such as a mammoth earthquake occurring at high tide during a storm.

That’s one reason the experts would do well to equally publicize all the possibilities when it comes to a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and tsunami. Otherwise, as emergency planners go about their business, the rest of us might think they’re just being alarmists.


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