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Congressí ineptitude hits home on Klamath River

It’s easy to get angry, sometimes even laugh off this Congress so deeply divided it can’t seem to pass any legislation. Washington is far removed and, well, that’s just politics. 

Except, every odd once in awhile, they manage to pass a law and this one hits home.

Oregon Congressman Greg Walden’s latest proposed bill is a knife in the heart of Del Norte County and much of the North Coast.

Walden is Oregon’s lone Republican in Washington. His proposed legislation unleashed two weeks ago guts the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, an accord five years in the making now lingering before our do-nothing Congress since 2010.

The agreement is historic, one of those rare moments when opponents on all sides manage to somehow get together to agree the Klamath River and its fishery are far more important to the local economy and our way of life than any petty political differences. 

All except Walden. 

When it comes to the Klamath agreement, Congress, Walden in particular, could learn a thing or two about how to strike a deal. Farmers, environmentalists, Native American tribes, the utility company that owns the dams...45 stakeholders, including every state and federal agency with any jurisdiction over the river, all agree it should become federal law.

Pages of History: Smith River's light troubles

“Well, anyway,” says father, “the new light company certainly has cut down the bills since they took over.”     

“Why not,” pipes Junior, “there’s no juice to burn.”

The rest of the family just go on groping for last year’s holiday candle stubs and that antique lamp lovingly hoarded as a collector’s item.

Letters to the Editor, Dec. 17, 2015

Sewer rate changes just another way to get more money from citizens

I see where a new water/sewer rate structure is being proposed with larger charges based upon the amount of water each household uses during each billing period. At first glance that may seem fair, at least until you realize that you are being billed extra for water that never goes down the sewer.

Water used for cooking, drinking, gardening, decorative bird baths and ponds, childrens toys, even car washing, never goes into the sewer, yet you would pay extra for that water and the sewer.

Coastal Voices: Communities need to step up to end human sex trafficking

The U.S. Senate recently passed a resolution to make Jan. 11 a National Day of Human Trafficking Awareness.

In every country throughout the world—including the U.S. — women and girls are trafficked and enslaved for sex. They are someone’s mother, daughter, sister, friend — hidden behind locked doors and pulled shades, forced against their will to engage in sex acts with dozens of men a day.

Sex trafficking — the transport of women and children within and across national borders for the purposes of sexual exploitation — is a $32 billion dollar annual industry. Right here in the U.S., an estimated 14,500-17,500 victims of human trafficking are brought in each year, most of them women and girls trafficked for sex.

Letters to the Editor, Dec. 12, 2015

Union: DHSS staff dedicated, hard-working, compassionate

This is in response to the Dec. 7 article “Homeless’ Breakfast Club 2.5 Months Strong.”

Besides being an employee of Del Norte County Health & Human Services (DHHS), I am also president of the Miscellaneous/Professional employee’s union, DNCEA SEIU 1021. It is as union representative that I write in support of DHSS employees.

Unfortunately your article and DHHS director, Ms. Pierson, painted a negative view of DHHS workers, one that the union disagrees with.

Another View: Consumption-based rate won't help poor

Yet another in a long line of Crescent City sewer and water-rate hikes is in the works, even though many residents are already struggling to pay the current rate.

In the last six years, my minimum combined water and sewer bill has gone from around $62 dollars a month to about $84, and may exceed $100 after the next hike. It would be even higher if I didn’t diligently conserve water.

How are those of us who aren’t well off going to keep paying ever increasing rates, with no end in sight? I’d like to know why our city council hasn’t devised a plan to provide some sort of relief for low income ratepayers. Pacific Power provides a discount for those who can prove they need it, as does Frontier Communications.

Letters to the Editor, Dec. 15, 2015

U.S. border security has been in tatters for years

By now it is abundantly clear to me that America’s citizens must rely on their own devices for their and their family’s security.

With the southern border in tatters for over a decade while immigration officers have been doing a balancing act and local ranchers have been fighting a losing battle against the trespassing, destructive hordes, the U.S. has seemingly lost its southern demarcation. Under the Obama administration it even appears to have been carpeted in preparation for the gun show their ATF put on.

The Cartels have moved much of their operation closer to their clientele while the open door beckons to the erstwhile maniac with a penchant for the blood of unarmed Americans of all ages . The slaughter of innocent party goers in San Bernardino by two well armed jihadis has a number of lessons for those of us who will learn from it.

Sadieís special gift

December of 1955 – Del Norte Triplicate

Sadie Gorbet of Crescent City has received what is probably the most surprising Christmas gift of anyone in Del Norte for this Yuletide season.

It was a trifle early, Nov. 30 to be exact, and it wasn’t in her stocking, it was in a basket on her doorstep, but it had Sadie’s name pinned to its blanket, so there was no doubt that the tiny, brand-new girl was meant for her.

Coastal Voices: Rebuild lives by teaching reading skills

This community knows about rebuilding lives. After the 1964 tsunami, Crescent City had to rebuild the harbor and downtown area. After the 2011 tsunami, the harbor had to be rebuilt again.

“With literacy, reading rebuilds your life,” says Phoebe Lenhart, Coordinator of Del Norte Reads.  “If you put yourself in a stimulating environment, it re-energizes you.” Lenhart compares not knowing how to read to what it might feel like living in a foreign country and not knowing the language.

Letters to the Editor, Dec. 8, 2015

Two Boys Scouts helped me when I was in need

I would like to send a personal thank you to two boy scouts who were at the craft fair Dec. 5, selling mistletoe to raise money to help others. I am sorry I do not know their names.

While being a volunteer gift wrapper in a side section of the craft fair, I underwent an emergency situation, that could well have turned into a 9-1-1 call.

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