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Updated 3:10pm - Apr 16, 2014
Updated 3:46pm - Apr 15, 2014

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E & P: Publisher’s office finally open again

My column bears a new name today, and arrives with a fresh commitment to write it more regularly. The last few weeks have blown by in a whirlwind — a pretty lousy excuse for not corresponding with readers, but the best I’ve got.

With the retirement of Michele Postal in early August, I took on the dual roles of Triplicate editor and publisher. Hence the new column name.

Only this week did I move into the publisher’s office, however, after it got a bit of a makeover courtesy of my wife and Neighbors editor, Laura, a true Renaissance woman who not only painted the walls but then adorned some of them with her own oil paintings.

I’m also maintaining a desk in the newsroom, but moving into that office is an important step. Being there is a constant reminder to think like a publisher who is ultimately responsible for the entire operation of the newspaper and its printing plant.

Fortunately, I’ve got help. Last month also saw the promotion of Kyle Curtis to operations manager and the arrival of circulation director David Jeffcoat. They’re part of a management team that includes Cindy Vosburg in advertising, Stacy Pottorff in accounting and David DeLonge at the printing plant.

All of them were sitting at a conference table in the reopened publisher’s office this week. I silently marvelled at their expertise as we got down to the business of making sure we’re doing everything we can to serve our community as its primary source of local information — both news and advertising.

Meanwhile, maybe 20 feet west in the newsroom, Assistant Editor Matthew Durkee and Photography/Design Editor Bryant Anderson have stepped up to keep things rolling while their boss has been somewhat distracted.

We’re currently without a sports editor after Robert Husseman returned to his Western Oregon roots, taking a job at the McMinnville News-Register. Bear with us as we keep track of sports by committee until Robert’s replacement arrives next month.

Bottom line: Things are OK, and we’ve got the folks in place to keep it that way as the Triplicate evolves. More on that in the coming weeks.

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Letters to the Editor Sept. 17, 2013

Bypass Last Chance Grade with bridge

I am writing in response to the recent letters concerning Last Chance Grade.

I would like to suggest putting in a bridge. Start back about one-eighth of a mile in both directions where the land is stable, come out over the ocean and bypass this unstable land. 

Dorothy Heinisch, Crescent City

Criminals not held accountable here

Do you know the problem with this county? It is when someone steals something from someone else or breaks into a house or place of business and no one wants to press charges against these thieves.

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Letters to the Editor Sept. 14, 2013

Tsunami resistant, but what about rust?

Reading the Triplicate’s article on the tsunami upgrades of our harbor (“The harbor gets tougher,” Sept. 5) brought to mind an observation I made there.

Dutra Co. stored various parts in the yard all around the harbor and I noticed some hot dip galvanized weldments of varying shapes, apparently to be used on or under water.

One needs to know that weld spatter, the little droplets of metal and slack that happen to fall next to the weld seam, are only lightly fused to the base metal and are easily knocked off. If one galvanizes over them, in time rust will form under them or they will get knocked off and rust will start at that uncoated site.

Since the failure of a zinc coat is predictable, most companies would not accept improperly prepared weldments for galvanizing.

If memory serves right, in California, Caltrans has an industry-wide recognized specification for galvanizing of welded structures. It did not appear any effort was made to remove weld spatter on the weldments I saw.

So while our harbor may be tsunami-resistant, simple rust is a different matter.

Norbert Beising, Hiouchi

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California Focus: Lines blur between citizens, non-citizens

As the lines begin to blur between American citizens living in California and immigrants who are here legally, it’s fair to begin asking, what’s the difference? What rights and privileges should be reserved strictly for citizens?

These questions are highlighted by two bills that swept easily through the California Legislature, one already signed without much fanfare by Gov. Jerry Brown, the other awaiting his signature at this writing.

Essentially, they take some functions previously reserved entirely for citizens and open them up to legal residents, green card holders.

These developments really began almost 150 years ago, when the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the Constitution’s 14th Amendment applied to foreign residents of this country and not only to citizens. From then on, immigrants were entitled to equal protection under all laws. They already could own property, and right up to this day, they can hold virtually any job if they possess documents showing their presence here is legal.

So what’s left as the exclusive realm of citizens? Voting and its offshoots, for one thing. One of those offshoots is jury duty, where voting rolls are usually used when state and federal courts summon individuals to serve. Another is working at the polls, where individuals sign up with county officials to verify that voters only cast one ballot and to assist anyone who can’t understand how to use the state’s seemingly ever-changing ballots, which in the last two decades have evolved from punching chads out of cards through electronic machines to the Ink-a-Vote system used in most counties today.

But the new law and its possible companion put big dents into these former reserves for citizens.

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If only they could have played then

It is great to see former Warrior female athletes getting the recognition they deserve. This year’s Warrior Hall of Fame class of six inductees, three of which were very deserving females, made me wonder if girls in my class of 1951 had had the opportunity to compete inter-scholastically, who might be Hall of Fame candidates.

I know from watching noontime contests between teams from various physical education classes and also competing  against them at noon a few times, that there were girls that had athletic talents.

A program was in place where girls could receive some recognition for their athletic participation. Points were awarded for each sports activity that the girls participated in.

The sports that were recognized for points in my senior year were volleyball, basketball, ring tennis, baseball, tennis and archery.

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Program set to help single mothers face challenges

I can tell school is back in session.

During the week, if I go somewhere, my corner is so quiet! The family across the corner from me has several children, really cute youngsters who take note of my comings and goings. Whether  exiting the house, or my truck, returning from one errand or another, when school is out, I am always greeted with a cheerful chorus of “Hi, Martha,” and lively waves.

And every so often, there’s a quiet little knock on the door, which, when opened, reveals a couple little hands holding up lovely bouquets of dandelions, clover, and other colorful wild flowers. These grace my kitchen window often.

I enjoy it, because my grandchildren are nearly all grown, and my great-grands are in Texas and New York — so far away.

It really makes you realize how much time has flown, when even some of the great-grands are now teenagers. Seems like only yesterday my children were just little rascals keeping me on the run!

Much of that time, after a divorce, I was a single mom, and it was anything but easy.

For young single moms here today, there is help. There is a new group at Cornerstone church starting Sept. 26 for those facing the daily challenges of a one-parent family.

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Honor military’s fallen by avoiding another war

So much has happened to this country in the five years since Capt. Bruno de Solenni’s death in Afghanistan. We seem to be headed into another war in the Middle East, which, with Russia staunchly supporting Syria, could easily blow up into World War III, complete with nuclear exchanges. 

Leaders of both parties in Washington (is there a difference between them?) promote another war almost on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the commencement of World War I (August 1914), even though surveys indicate that 90 percent of the American people are opposed to another war.

The politicians in Washington and talking heads in the media clearly have not learned the lessons of the past six decades of intermittent international conflict in which the United States has played a lead role. What have we accomplished except to spend untold trillions, mostly borrowed, wasted young lives and enriched the military industrial complex, along with their bought-and-paid-for dandies in the various cathouses along the Potomac? 

For that matter what have we accomplished in the last century of warfare that hasn’t been frittered away by these same politicians? Would it have made a nickel’s worth of difference if we had elected McCain in 2008, who, along with other Republican “leaders” of Congress, such as Senator Graham, are loudly cheerleading President Obama’s expressed intent to attack Syria regardless of what Congress says or does?

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Coastal Voices: Critical Access facility delivers fine hospital care

I have a confession to make — I really enjoy working at a Critical Access Hospital (CAH).

I have been working in Crescent City as a “traveling” surgeon for almost five years. For a change of pace, my agency sent me to Sidney Health Center in Sidney, Mont., almost two years ago. 

My first impressions of the hospital in Sidney were that the facility was well staffed, the operating rooms were well stocked, the equipment was new, and the Emergency Department (ED) was very efficient. It was six months later when I learned it was a Critical Access Hospital.

Before working in Sidney, I was under the impression that a CAH was a veritable ghost town with choppers flying people to “real” hospitals day and night. That’s not true. A Critical Access Hospital is just that — a hospital.

If you come to the ED with pneumonia or appendicitis or a fish hook in your finger, you will get your care at the local hospital … even if it’s a Critical Access Hospital.

Granted, Sidney Health Center does not see the volume of patients that are seen in Sutter Coast Hospital (6,000 ED visits versus 22,000).

The ED in Sidney is staffed with a physician 24/7. There are at least two hospitalists available 24/7. OB, pediatrics, ENT, orthopaedics, and general surgery are available 24/7. There are two operating rooms and an endoscopy suite that are humming during the week. The nurses on the medical ward work in pairs, delivering amazing care to all patients.

The cafeteria is open seven days a week for three meals a day. It is a great place to work, and they (we) take excellent care of patients! If a patient is in need of services unavailable in Sidney or needs a higher level of care, transferring the patient to a tertiary care facility is a flawless process, which begins at the CEO’s desk.

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Letters to the Editor Sept. 7, 2013

Can’t something be done to get buses to and from the college?

We need a city bus to go to the college and pick up at the college. Our son started college this year. He has to walk five or more blocks to college and back to the bus stop Monday through Thursday, carrying all his books in a backpack, and if it’s raining that will be a mess.

So is there anybody else out there who needs bus transportation to and from the college? So why don’t any buses go to the college and back? We really need this service. Can something be done about this situation? 

Karen Leven, Smith River

Considering the consequences of a Last Chance Grade collapse

Mr. Kurt Stremberg’s recent Coastal Voices piece (“Find new route before economy devastated,” Aug. 22), reminded of this letter I started but hadn’t sent.

Summertime and the road work means waiting! For how many years have we been waiting for work on Last Chance Grade, Highway 101?

I don’t have to be an engineer to realize that there are some real problems necessitating yearly reconstruction, not lasting solutions. What happens when our rain, and winds, cause it to collapse again?

I’m not a pessimist, just a realist. How do people go in and out? How do supplies come in and out? How long will it take to repair again, if the hill is gone? Do we have to go around to Highway 299? 

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Coastal Voices: Tribal Council term limits, recall sought

Some Smith River Rancheria tribal members are fed up with longstanding Tribal Council leadership. Tribal members complain they are ignored when “allowed” to address their elected officials with their issues of the Tribe.

For years, the membership has been unsuccessful in getting the Tribal Council’s attention in acknowledging its membership’s needs and to answer questions and concerns during annual general membership meetings and at the bi-weekly regular “open” Tribal Council meetings.

It appears that the tribal membership does not exist in the eyes of the Tribal Council.

In March 2013, a handful of tribal members formed a grassroots, transparent group called the For Your Knowledge (FYK) Committee.  The mission of the grassroots group is to successfully amend the Smith River Rancheria Constitution to further the advancement of self-determination, self-governance and to exercise tribal sovereignty guaranteed to the tribe within the Constitution.

The FYK Committee’s motto is:  “If we don’t exercise our rights, we will lose them.”

The FYK Committee submitted its first attempt to amend the Constitution on April 29, 2013; namely, Initiative No. 1 – To Set Tribal Council Term Limits, which was revised and re-submitted to the Council secretary on May 24, 2013.

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