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Updated 3:46pm - Apr 15, 2014

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Joe Gutierrez, class of 1981, was hoops star

In the fall of 1980 when my dream came true and I was able to return home and go to work at Del Norte High coaching football, there was a very talented young athlete wearing the blue and gold.

Joe Gutierrez, a 1981 Warrior graduate, was that athlete. Warrior fans may most remember Joe for his successes on the basketball court, which were many.

He played football during his junior and senior years under head coach Jerry Smith, and was an outstanding player both offensively and defensively. He was about 6-foot-4 with great hands and excellent speed, and these talents earned him all-league as a senior.

Joe started his Del Norte High School basketball career on the Warrior freshman team, where he led the team to a 15-4 record. He demonstrated early that he was a player that could put points on the board.

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Church Notebook: Church offers ‘Around the World’ class

When I got home from Bible study Thursday night, I made a disheartening discovery. I had forgotten to turn on the porch light before I left.

But the not thinking about it wasn’t the problem. The whole thing of it was, once again, how time has flown — that we have arrived at that point in the year when turning that light on is a necessity in order to arrive safely at the front door.

Before we know it, most of our days will be wet and windy again. At least the rose bushes and other flowering things will have a never-ending source of water that doesn’t require hauling out the garden hose!

I’m about to embark on a repeat of four years ago — the time I grew my jalapenos on the kitchen counter all winter.

Four years ago, I had four mild-variety jalapenos growing in a big pot on the back porch. I like the flavor of those peppers, but the regular variety make my mouth sore. So the mild ones seemed like a good thing to try.

They were growing beautifully, about 24 inches tall. One morning I went out to water them, and found them completely denuded of leaves. The slugs had had a feast. I watered anyway, hoping they’d come back.

Come back they did —unfortunately, for a repeat slug feast. Well, maybe they’d come back again. Water and a liberal application of slug pellets did the trick. Come back? They did so with a vengeance. At 30 inches, and just loaded with leaves and blossoms, I observed them with smug satisfaction. I was going to get some peppers after all. Really?

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Pages of History: Roughing it: Scouting trip up the Smith

From the pages of the Crescent City American, September of 1931.

Assistant Scoutmaster Oliver Morton took members of the American Legion Troop No. 27 on an overnight outing trip up the Smith River Saturday. The bunch camped at the Walker swimming hole and enjoyed a real outing. 

Eighteen boys were in the party and no prepared food was taken along. Each boy was required to build his own fire and cook his own food. This feat was performed with a skill that would put most grownups to shame. To pass this test a boy is given one match and required to build a fire. Try it sometime if you think it is easy!

Those to enjoy the trip were Buck Gurney, Jim Peterson, Rocky Peterson, Spud McNamara, Ivan Moffit, Willis Perkins, Hale Clark, Buddy  Berg, Eugene Hoar, Alex Yackamouth, Edwin Berri, Joe Dodd, Robert Morton, Lester Wilson, Ivan Peterson, Billy McConaha, Albert Schultz, Gordon Dye and Scoutmaster Morton. 

Smith River news

• Mrs. Grace Hight entertained the Sewing Club at her home on Tuesday afternoon in honor of Mrs. Barbara Pennock of Point Arena. The time was pleasantly spent together in needle work and visiting.

At the close of the afternoon delicious refreshments were served to the guests: Martha Ulrich, Teresa Tyron, Frances Westbrook, Stella Haight, Cecelia Tyron, Ethel Goodlin, Myrtle Hight, Henrietta Woodruff, Zelna Maris, Pearl Frevert, Mae Westbrook, Roberta Westbrook and guest of honor Mrs. Pennock.

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Coastal Voices: Poor residents can't pay more for water

I am the organizer of the Prop. 218 protest against the proposed water rate increase, and my reason for this action is to represent the 46 percent of the Crescent City population that lives at or below the federal poverty limit, which as anyone in that group knows, it’s a constant struggle for survival.

The majority of Crescent City citizens have an annual income of $30,000 or less. Of that group, those with an annual income of $10,000 or less is the largest, followed by the second-largest group with annual incomes in the $20,000 range. Our city’s median annual income is $19,000, which is less than half the state average.

Half the population in Crescent City literally can’t afford to pay more for such vital services as water and sewer. That isn’t saying they merely would prefer not to: they simply can’t.

Thanks to the doubling of our sewer rates back in 2007, low-income people, half the population, have already made sacrifices in food, medicine, or other necessary evils of living, to pay their increased sewer bill. We were told with that rate increase to just suck it up, and we were forced to do so. But for those living on a fixed income, or working a low wage job — which is the bulk of jobs Crescent City has to offer — the incomes have not gone up, in fact, adjusting for inflation they’ve gone down, and cost of living has increased.

Another aspect to consider that was pointed out to me by a local business person: These rate increases combined with lowered incomes take enough out of customers’ pockets that it affects their ability to buy extras: get haircuts or nails done, buy clothing or shoes, go out for an occasional meal or movie. This hurts local business.

Look around at the empty houses and closed businesses. Do we want to turn Crescent City into a ghost town? It appears to be already on its way.

But I’ve noticed a pattern with city dealings: the poorer end of the population is not even considered in its solutions. It’s as if our plight is not real to them. If they really understood what it’s like to live on $866 a month, they would not be coming with their hands out one more time.

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Letters to the Editor Sept. 24, 2013

Despicable that Obama siding with al-Qaeda

I invite anybody to show me exactly where I am wrong in thinking that America has plunged to the depths of depravity by not rising up in a tidal wave of anger and moral outrage over the most despicable act in the current political setting.

No, I am not referring to the criminal act of the Obama administration’s criminal gun-running activities in which hundreds of Mexican citizens were killed as were  two Americans agents by those weapons in the hands of cartels. No indictments were forthcoming as we move on.

No, I’m not referring to Obama’s drone execution of an American citizen suspected of terrorist ties in the of circumvention of due process.

Again, I’m not writing of the outright execution of four Americans at Benghazi, Libya, and the absolute lack of accountability of that onerous event.

The singularity of any of those events dwarfs the simplistic and naive outrage of the Nixonian era of Watergate.

The act to which I refer and attach a scathing rebuke is the action of so-called President Obama in his arming and siding with our former mortal enemy, al Qaeda, which has irrefutable ties with the so-called Syrian rebels attempting to overthrow the dictator Bashar Assad.

The blood of patriots down through the ages rebukes the actions of the Obama administration, who, along with a significant number of the 112th Congress, have now placed us in a no-win involvement in the Syrian civil war.

How much more despicable does it get than that the current occupant of the White House, after 12 years of blood letting and countless billions of dollars fighting jihadist organizations including al Qaeda, now join in a blood oath pact with a former enemy to overthrow the leader of a country with whom we have no security interests?

The blood of our fallen warriors cries out for national indignation on a scale of historic proportion with Obama’s waiver of law prohibiting the supplying of arms to a designated enemy.

By waiving the law, the Arms Export Control Act, sec. 40 and 40a, he has sided squarely on the side of the “rebels”and demonstrated his vision of America’s national security being threatened by the al Basshar regime. This action is sedition on steroids.

Dale L. Bohling, Crescent City

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Letters to the Editor Sept. 21, 2013

City not playing fair in water rate increase

Thank you for quoting me accurately in the Sept. 19 article, “Water rate hike has it critics.”

Here’s what you didn’t address. I purchased the Water Department list of addresses from the city in 2007 when we attempted the first Prop. 218 protest against raising sewer rates. The list was incorrect and inaccurate. I asked for a refund of a corrected list. I received neither. 

I also purchased the master control list in 2007 from the city. This included the parcel numbers. That list was incorrect and inaccurate. And, I purchased the county list of parcel numbers, which was outdated. Some property information was as much as 11 years outdated.

The sum total of all that was very clear. We were able to track down how fraud was committed by the city. It is for that reason we now want to double-check their numbers, names and addresses up front rather than after the fact. It is clear to us that the city wants to avoid providing that information because it allows the city to try to commit fraud once again.

It’s not about disclosing names and addresses of correctional officers or anyone in the peace keeping forces. That’s just silly and a distraction away from the real problems, which are that all ratepayers (owners of property or tenants whether or not they have their water included in their rent) have the constitutional right to protest increased taxes. This is called the Prop. 218 Protest Vote.

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California Focus: There’s still hope for political compromise

Anyone who says there was no effect from political rule changes California used for the first time last year just hasn’t been watching. These included “top two” primary elections, slightly revised term limits and use of election districts drawn by non-partisan non-politicians.

Those changes had enormous impact this year on some of the most important issues taken up by state legislators — making it obvious some similar changes could be useful at the federal level.

The main impact of the changes has been restoration of respectability to the word “compromise.”

For decades before the rule changes, behavior patterns in Sacramento were much like those so paralyzing today in Congress: almost mindless adherence to the party line of whichever party lawmakers belong to and blind unwillingness even to listen to the reasoning of the other side.

But the new rules, including a term limit change allowing legislators to serve 12 total years, whether in one house or both, has lessened the need for new lawmakers to start looking for their next jobs almost as soon as they’re elected. So there’s less pressure for rookies to please party leaders who control money they could use if and when they seek to move up the political ladder.

Meanwhile, top two frees some politicians from the fear of extremists within their own parties, who often controlled the old Democratic and Republican primaries.

And some of the new districts are more competitive than the old gerrymandered ones, making moderation more attractive.

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Henry Perdue a key part of ’46 Warriors

While still a student at Crescent Elk and with a father who taught and coached basketball and baseball at the high school, I had the privilege of watching a lot of high school teams practice.

The 1946 Warrior football team was one I spent a lot of time watching and as a result got to know many of the players.

Eleven-man football was just making a comeback after being dropped during World War II. The team was coached by Phil Crawford, who was only here for one year.

As a former coach myself,  I am amazed at the job he did coaching by himself — he had no assistants. Since I had never played football but always wanted to be an end, I took special interest in the Warrior ends.

Henry Perdue, a 1947 Warrior graduate, was one of the starting ends on the 1946 team. The team had a five- game schedule and finished with a 1-4 record, beating Ferndale 14-0.

 Henry was a three-sport Warrior, playing football, basketball and baseball. When Henry took to the basketball court he was considered one of the Warriors’ best all-around players. The team was also coached by Phil Crawford, since in the old days a coach was hired to coach everything. The team played 12 games, all against league teams, and won four.

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Walk Your World: A drive to visit the Vulcans

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After about a mile on the trail, both Vulcan Lake and Vulcan Peak come into view. From this point, the descent to the lake begins. Del Norte Triplicate / Richard Wiens
This column usually focuses on what happens afoot, but if you’re thinking about heading for Southern Oregon’s Vulcans, the lake and/or peak, the first thing to consider is the drive.

The Vulcans are about 30 road miles northeast of Brookings, but the last 14 or so miles are on gravel and get increasingly dicey as you climb. Laura and I drove them the other day in our Honda Civic, but the bumpy ride had us missing our old Jeep Cherokee. We probably wouldn’t do it again in a sedan.

The real adventure came near the top. We’d planned to head for the Vulcan Peak trailhead first, but we missed the unmarked turnoff. Plan B kicked in as we drove the last 1.7 miles of Road 1909 to the Vulcan Lake trailhead. One of our hiking books describes this stretch of road as “rough.” That’s one accurate word for it.

It was a white-knuckler. The path narrowed and bigger rocks proliferated. Fearing for the Civic’s undercarriage, I stopped twice to toss aside the largest stones. Gazing at the drop-off’s expanse of scrubby pines, I was reminded of our off-roading days in the Colorado Rockies. Did I mention we used to have a Jeep Cherokee?

There was no turning back and eventually we reached the road’s end where, miraculously, another couple was pulling hiking gear out of their sedan. Hard as they are to get to, the Vulcans attract their share of visitors.

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House Calls: Skin-to-skin contact for newborns

Jeannine Williams-Barnard is a registered nurse for the Family Birth Center at Sutter Coast Hospital.

Remember the old images of a baby being born, held upside down by the feet and spanked by the doctor to make it cry?

I’m not sure if this was actually ever done to newborns, but one thing is clear — when it comes to the experience of being born, we’ve come a long way, baby!

 All of the major organizations involved with improving health of newborns, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine and the World Health Organization recommend skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth for all stable mothers and babies.

Following Sutter Health’s lead, the staff at Sutter Coast Hospital’s Family Birth Center began practicing the “Golden Hour” of skin-to-skin bonding time a few years ago, and have seen first-hand the benefits to both mothers and babies. 

Our efforts to promote skin-to-skin bonding time led to major changes in the way mothers undergoing caesarean sections receive recovery room care as well. Previously, mothers moved from the operating room to the recovery room, causing a delay in contact with their babies. Now, mothers proceed from the operating room directly back to their Family Birth Center room for recovery and simultaneous bonding time. 

To further reduce any delay in bonding, we are beginning to give thought to how to safely achieve skin-to-skin contact in the operating room for mothers who would like to try.

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