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Updated 1:49pm - Aug 20, 2014

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California Focus: California kids holding own in math, science

Maybe it’s time to stop the steady stream of handwringing over how poorly America’s schoolkids, and California’s in particular, perform in subjects like math and science and realize they are actually doing OK, even if there’s still plenty of room for improvement.

That’s the takeaway from 2011 test scores in the Trends in International Math and Science Study (TIMS), an exam given by some states and 46 other countries and provinces. The 2011 results, latest available, were released this fall.

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Letters to the Editor Dec. 17, 2013

Lovely experience flying out of Crescent City

About 2 months ago I had the pleasure of waking up at 3 a.m. to meet our red eye flight to SFO that departed at 5 a.m. When I arrived after a lot of anticipation and primping only to find the plane was fogged in and wasn’t there, I decided to go back home and get a little more beauty sleep (at my age, I need all I can get). Well, by the time we flew out at 2 p.m. the sky was sunny and blue, you could easily see the white caps on the ocean and the whale vapor from the occasional passerby. 

For anyone that has never flown out of Crescent City, I highly recommend that trip — it is so beautiful from the air. 

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Letters to the Editor Dec. 14, 2013

Criminal justice system perpetuated injustice

On Nov. 18, Deputy District Attorney Annamarie Padilla argued to keep London’s owner and the entire public from speaking at the sentencing hearing of Zachary Hinton, who entered a “no contest” plea to felony animal cruelty for shattering London’s front legs and leaving him without medical care until his Humane Society rescue and subsequent double-amputation.

 Not even that affront to justice could prepare one for the travesty that occurred at Thursday’s continued hearing (“180-day sentence in dog abuse case,” Dec. 7) to see if Judge Chris Doehle would accept the plea bargain.

Over Ms. Padilla’s strident objections, the judge allowed into evidence the laudable letters of London’s supporters from places as far away as Maryland, Alabama and Australia, all asking for a much stronger sentence. Judge Doehle then, again at the insistence of the DA’s Office, denied the right to speak to a board member of our local Humane Society who had firsthand knowledge and involvement in the rescue of London.

 

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Letters to the Editor Dec. 12, 2013

Hiker thanks all involved in rescue

Regarding the Dec. 10 article, “Helicopter Operation: Slowed by snow, hiker is flown out” by Anthony Skeens), I am so overwhelmed by the support and love my family and I were shown during this traumatic incident.

It is so humbling to know the effort that was put forth on my behalf. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

I’d especially like to thank the Crescent City Search and Rescue unit for its quick action and selfless efforts. The SAR unit is a integral part of our community. I for one, seeing their efforts first-hand, will be making a donation to its organization.

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Coastal Voices: Federal government is looking to own you

What if there was a simple non-invasive test that would show whether you had a propensity to get certain cancers or heart disease or kidney failure or were prone to get diabetes or Alzheimer’s disease sometime in the future and it only cost $99.

Would you order it?  This seems to be in the realm of science fiction, but actually is available today with current technology.

According to Wikipedia, 23andme Inc. has been marketing a simple test that uses a swab of the inside of the cheek and then runs the results through genetic testing to find out what your own genes reveal about you.  Using the results, a woman can find out her probability of getting breast cancer or a male can find out the chances of getting testicular cancer many years before the disease manifests itself.

In this way individuals, in consultation with a physician, can be proactive about their own health, modifying behaviors that can mitigate the chances of actually developing diseases. The term 23andme refers to the human DNA that consists of 23 pairs of chromosomes plus you, hence the name 23andme.

The company’s saliva-based, mail order test identifies over 240 genetic traits that offer clues to a person’s overall health. This test has been taken by hundreds of thousands of people. In addition to giving indications as to the probability of developing specific health issues in the future, it also gives the likelihood of negative drug reactions. Now a person can know in advance what the possibilities are that certain drugs will react negatively in the body.

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School fire: Spontaneous combustion?

From the pages of the Crescent City American, December 1927.

The Pine Grove schoolhouse, which is situated about one-half mile beyond Wakefield, came near burning to the ground Sunday night between 10:30 and 11 o’clock.

Flames were discovered coming out of the wall by Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Muncey, who live close by, and together they succeeded in extinguishing them before they had gained much headway. While the origin of the fire is not known, it is believed that it was from spontaneous combustion.

The estimated damage to the building was in the neighborhood of $75. Harold Jenkins is the teacher at the Pine Grove School and classes were resumed Tuesday.

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Letters to the Editor Dec. 10, 2013

Alliance pockets money in Hurdygurdy land deal

NBC “Nightly News” regularly features the “Fleecing of America,” a segment which profiles examples of government waste. Unfortunately, it appears we have an example of a “fleecing” here in Del Norte County.

The federal government, through the U.S. Forest Service, has begun to purchase the formerly private property known as “Hurdygurdy” in Del Norte County. In 2012 and 2013, the Forest Service spent $2,959,236 to purchase 3,407 acres of the property. In future years, the Forest Service intends to purchase another 2,360 acres for an additional $2,661,764, meaning it will ultimately pay $5,621,000 for 5,767 acres.

This sum matches exactly the appraised value of the property as determined by the Forest Service in January 2012. So, why is this a “fleecing?”

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California Focus: What if Jerry Brown decides he won't run?

There could be no better Christmas present for bunches of Democratic politicians than an announcement from Gov. Jerry Brown that he will not seek a second straight term in office, fourth of his lifetime.

Already the longest-serving governor in California history, Brown will be 76 if he stands for re-election next year and 77 barely three months into his fourth term, if re-elected. The question is, does he wants to?.

He’s hinted he does, of course, talking occasionally about his wish to see through the budgetary reforms he instituted after being elected in 2010 and a desire for a lasting legacy of leaving the California economy in good shape.

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Letters to the Editor Dec. 7, 2013

Sanger advocated choice prior to conception

I am writing in response to the letter by Muriel Kaye published on Saturday, Nov. 30 (“When did life become so unprecious to us?”).

Margaret Sanger was one of 10 children who in her own family experienced poverty and too many mouths to feed. As a young woman, she worked as a midwife/nurse in the slums of New York. She witnessed women dying from
having too many children or those who died from infection from abortion.

She was a crusader for population control and contraceptives, believing women should have the knowledge to choose whether or not to prevent a pregnancy and to determine the size of their families.

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Coastal Voices: Board actions motivated by its survival instincts

As long-time members of this community our interest in Sutter Coast Hospital extends beyond our fiduciary responsibility as members of the Board of Directors. Preserving quality health care options for this rural region is critical to our well-being and that of our family, friends and neighbors.

On Thursday night, the Sutter Coast Board of Directors took thoughtful, decisive action designed to help ensure that Sutter Coast is financially viable and able to meet the health care needs of our community now and in the future. At the heart of this action is confirmation of Sutter Coast Hospital’s continued affiliation with Sutter Health as the best option to continue quality care for our community and retain our valued employees and physician foundation.

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