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Gopher Gulch: Gratitude is good stuff for what ails you

If you pay much attention to the news, you might find it difficult to be properly thankful this year.

Our community is full of tweakers that are ripping off the rest of us while the Board of Supervisors  worries about marijuana dispensaries. People who served at the community dinner last Thanksgiving may well be homeless this year, and far too many people are unemployed. On the national level ... we don’t want to go there, do we?

Nevertheless, Thanksgiving is still my favorite holiday. That could have something to do with the news sources I subscribe to. The Del Norte Triplicate and one weekly news magazine are my only sources of what passes for news these days.

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Our View: Enjoy that turkey and gravy, but...

In Del Norte, there are traditions to keep, and habits to break.

Thursday is Thanksgiving, and most of us will settle down to a feast of turkey and all the trimmings. It’s a holiday in which we count our blessings, and it’s only natural that it be built around food. Sustenance is the stuff of life. If we overdo the celebration a bit, oh well …

The problem is that overeating is hardly a special occasion for many of us. If adults made Thursday the exception rather than the rule, they’d set a good example for their kids and we’d all have something to be thankful for.

Del Norte got put on the map in an unfortunate way by a recent statewide report that found nearly half our children to be overweight or obese. In fact, from 2005 to 2010, our county had the highest percentage increase in overweight kids in all of California.

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Coastal Voices: Progress seen in restoration of our harbor

Exactly eight months ago today as your mayor, I wrote a Coastal Voices article where I pledged my and our City Council and City’s support in working together with the Crescent City Harbor District to assist in the recovery of our harbor so that we could be fully operational (more or less) for the state of crab season start.

I challenged the people of the North Coast to come together for our broken harbor and much-deserving local fishing community.

Here we are eight very quick, demanding and challenging months latter and against many odds and layers of bureaucracy, we as a community are at the threshold of the 2011-12 crabbing season and although it’s not perfect, we are operational.

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House Calls: Menopause: There is help, and it is safe

House Calls runs every other Thursday. Today’s column is written by Christopher B. Cutter, a physician at Sutter Coast Community Clinic.

Few things are as certain as the eventual onset of menopause in a middle-aged woman.

At the average age of 51.2 years, the quarter million primordial eggs that she was born with will be gone. As a result of that, she will abruptly stop producing estradiol and progesterone, whose waxing and waning presence had been in her life since just prior to puberty.

If she is lucky, she may feel just fine. Otherwise, she may join the millions of women who start to suffer with prolonged hot flashes and other body changes that often become a real challenge.

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Editor's Note: Telling you where those bad guys are

Somewhere in today’s newspaper are the weekly excerpts from the call logs of the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office and the Crescent City Police Department.

You can read them as a litany of community dysfunction, or as informative hints as to where the bad guys operate.

Actually, they’re both.

Go anywhere and read a list of the calls for help and you’ll wonder a bit about the underpinnings of civilization. Domestic violence. Vandalism. Neighborhood disputes. Shoplifters. Out-in-the-open drug sales and use. Indecent exposure. Fights. Break-ins.

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Coastal Voices: Coastal Voices: Farmers Market brightens community

Congratulations to our community! It is because of you and your continued support of the Crescent City Farmers market that this year has been the most successful in our history.

You may not realize it, but as you shop our local vendors every week, you have been supporting up to 50 local small businesses. Your hard-earned dollars go to a local family, which in turn spends its hard-earned dollars locally.

This year also saw the expansion of our EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) program.  This program allows participants in the “Cal Fresh” food program to scan their cards and receive market tokens.

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Editor's Note: Uncovering the founding fathers

I’ve been spending my reading time with George Washington of late, or rather with Ron Chernow’s Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of the Father of our Country (newly released in col­ossal paperback).

Chernow and before him David McCullough with his biography of John Adams render a service to all Americans with eyes-wide-open assessments of our founding fathers.

This is not the stuff of legends, but painstakingly researched reconstruction of lives as they were really led. Frankly, the accomplishments can be better appreciated when the men behind them are viewed as fully as possible, warts and all.

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Coastal Voices: Heroes — There are more than you may realize

What is a hero?

It is an American trait to have heroes. Sports heroes, movie heroes, natural disaster heroes, military heroes and personal heroes.

Unfortunately, some heroes fade away and new heroes rise to take their place.

Since we are so close to Veterans Day, our thoughts turn to our military heroes. The definition of hero is often given only to those who have a chest full of medals for outstanding bravery. However, heroes come in many other sizes and shapes.

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Our View: Chesbro right to keep focus on state parks

Kudos to state Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro for continuing to criticize the plan to close 70 state parks.

Del Norters may be paying less attention to this issue after an agreement was achieved with the National Park Service to keep much of Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park open. After all, that was the only local park on the list of 70.

But remember that the state-federal pact to preserve public access to 21 miles of trails and 2,514 acres of old-growth redwoods is a one-year arrangement, with the possibility of an extension.

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Coastal Voices: What’s in a food policy?

Eating well isn’t only about what you eat; it’s also about where you live.

Whether you live in fast food central or around the corner from a farmers’ market, near two grocery stores or two liquor stores, your social environment helps dictate your food options.

Over the past year, I have helped coordinate the Community Food Council for Del Norte and Adjacent Tribal Lands. It’s our local version of a food policy council and its mission is to create a vibrant, sustainable local food system for all.

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