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Letters to the Editor March 19, 2011

Thank you, Crescent City, for helping us to help you

An open letter to the people of Crescent City:

As the tsunami event unfolded on March 11, the world watched in wonder, struck by the awesome power of the earth and sea. The people of Crescent City witnessed this power firsthand. When the call came Friday evening to deploy to locations affected by the tsunami, many of our staff volunteered to serve in Crescent City.

They descended on Crescent City, a mass of strangers arriving in the midst of a disaster as it unfolded. We sent them under the directive to help and serve the people of Crescent City to the best of their ability.

While all of us have witnessed some of the worst of what Mother Nature can deliver, our teams in Crescent City have also witnessed some of the best of human nature. We sent our people to help Crescent City, and Crescent City responded by helping them.

The first days of any operation often come with logistical challenges as the teams set up. Even having simple things like water and a place to work can be a struggle. The harbormaster’s team opened its doors, granting our people the space needed to work. Safeway and Starbucks then provided much needed water, some food items and hot coffee, which kept them going through those critical early hours of the response.

The City responded by quickly finding a location large enough for a community meeting when our team asked what might be available. Local officials agreed without question to collaborate and participate in the meeting. The community responded by attending, listening, and then candidly and honestly sharing concerns, comments and issues with the U.S. Coast Guard and California Department of Fish and Game.

We thank you for your patience, support, cooperation and understanding. We remain committed to helping Crescent City recover from the tsunami, and our teams will work as fast, efficiently and safely as they can to stage the harbor for the recovery work to come.

Working together, we can ensure the harbor can begin serving the commercial fishing and boating community of Crescent City again. Thank you Crescent City.

Cindy Stowe

 U.S. Coast Guard

 Sector San Francisco

 Scott Schaefer

Dept. of Fish and Game

Red Cross, S.R. Fire Dept., staff at S.R. School deserve thanks

Please allow me to express my gratitude to The American Red Cross-Del Norte, Smith River Fire Department, the community and the staff of Smith River School.

You constantly amaze me. Just when I think you have done all that is possible to expect for our community, you go and do even more, and I find myself thanking you all over again!

The way in which you organized and ran the emergency shelter was nothing short of marvelous. Your enthusiasm, vigor and boundless energy were an example to us all!

I hope you realize how much you are appreciated around here and how thankful I am to have you in times of need, tireless workers for our community!

I want to extend my sincerest thanks on behalf of Smith River School. The consideration you have shown to our community this day, this year and in the past is greatly appreciated.

Paige Swan

Principal, Smith River School

Our above-ground power poles will make evacuation dangerous

As long as there are above-the-ground power poles on roads, these roads are totally useless as evacuation routes.

In a major earthquake these poles will fall and block the escape route and not only can you not drive on these roads anymore, but running in between high-voltage power lines that are lying on the ground is not a safe way to evacuate.

Our town will be another step closer to earthquake/tsunami-readiness ready if we change this.

Gabriele Sweeney

Crescent City

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