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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.

Editor's Note: When political satire goes bad

Whenever someone mentions the comic strip Doonesbury to me — and that’s not very often — it seems to come in the form of a complaint.

Some folks feel political satire has no place on the comics page, especially if it’s satire they disagree with.

I frankly have no strong feelings about it one way or the other. The viewpoints of the comic strips we publish are pretty diverse, and I see no reason why the spectrum can’t include political satire. Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau elicits a chuckle now and then, and that’s the best I hope for from a comic strip. Plus, Doonesbury is something of a well-established tradition on comics pages around the country, as are the other strips you see in the Triplicate.

Our View: False economy threatens coast

When congressional Republicans proposed cutting tsunami safety programs just before the tidal waves of March 2011, they were guilty of false economy and bad timing. The Obama administration’s more-recent budget-cutting proposal — after the experience of a year ago — is downright ludicrous.

The proposed savings are miniscule, but their possible cost, in terms of lives and livelihoods, is significant.

The tsunami-safety programs of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are examples of the good that government can do at relatively low cost.

Editor's Note: Vignettes from a Northwest tour

“Grand Tour of the Northwest.” That’s how I describe a recent road trip north. It was designed with family visits in mind, but provided some surprises.

First to the scenery out car windows. It doesn’t matter how long the journey, if it starts out at the western terminus of U.S. Highway 199, the first five miles are the best. There’s just nothing to compare with that serpentine weave through old-growth redwoods and walls of ferns.

Beyond that, the city skylines were most memorable: Portland’s watery glitter from the Marquam Bridge in the morning darkness, even-taller Seattle in 360-degree glory from a water tower atop Volunteer Park, and Spokane’s urban compactness (it makes a great snow globe) from nearby Riverfront Park.

To the surprises:

Coastal Voices: Autism — Hopes and challenges

Another year and we are no closer to figuring out autism.

It seems the politicians are jumping on board to figure out where the money should be spent: research, prevention or cure.

As the politicians battle it out at the state and federal level thousands of autistic children are growing up in a world that still isn’t ready for them.

Coastal Voices: Great people define Del Norte

By now you’ve probably heard that our community made the pages of the Sacramento Bee last weekend.

There were several things that I found disturbing about the article, starting with the description of Del Norte County. It said that Del Norte County is known for “illicit drugs, salmon fishing and the feared Pelican Bay State Prison.”

Really? Is that the top three? I can understand the fishing and prison references, but the illicit drugs? I am not naïve to think that illicit drugs aren’t a problem here, but is that really how we define our community?

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