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Open house for retiring teacher

The leaves on the maple trees in front of my house are starting to turn. There are several yellow ones now and before long there’ll be a lot more colors.

I love that aspect of the maples, but I hate seeing them bare in the winter. I hope the winter flies by because I’m not crazy about the cold weather.

But changes are the cycles of life, and before we know it, there will be little green buds on those branches and it will start all over again.

• Cycles of life change us, too, and are happening to a friend of mine at Grace Lutheran Church.

I first met Jane Goss several years ago when a group of folks from the various churches got together and did a benefit concert for Community Assistance Network, back when I was serving on the board there.

Beside being a very important teaching part of the school at Grace, Jane always helps out at the fair every year, taking in the baked and handcrafted items that are entered. It is always her pleasant smile that makes standing in line awaiting your turn worth the wait.

Jane is retiring after 25 years of classroom teaching, and I’m sure the kids will certainly miss her.

They won’t lose her completely, though, because she’ll still be there in an administrative position.

Today from 1 to 5 p.m., there will be an open house at the church. Guests will be encouraged to decorate a page in the memory book for her. Best wishes, Jane!

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Letters to the Editor Oct. 5, 2013

Numerous benefits of term limits for rancheria

Smith River Rancheria members have made tremendous progress to amend the tribe’s constitution to include Tribal Council term limits!

The For Your Knowledge (FYK) Committee has collected over 208 voter signatures on the initiative! We could not have accomplished this feat without the support of our tribal membership and we thank each and every one of you who felt so inclined to sign.

Once the voter signatures have been verified by the Election Board, the Tribal Council must call a special election on the initiative within 90 days. We are proud of our tribal voters that have continued their support for us to exercise our tribal sovereign rights.

We are on the verge of making effective and positive changes within our tribal governmental structure. Term limits are a good thing. Term limits will give all tribal members that aspire to become Tribal Council members an opportunity to participate in tribal leadership by providing fresh ideas as well as offering training to next generations to effectively operate fiscally sound governmental programs and projects to further our culture, language and heritage.

 There is a presumption that when council members know there is a six-year time frame to hold office they will work more efficiently and be more responsive to the needs of the general membership.

It is a known fact that effective leadership can be overwhelming. But there will be seasoned leadership available to pass on the baton since the seven-member council rotates out in staggered terms of office.

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Let’s get real: Water system is in jeopardy

Every citizen of Crescent City should be concerned about the water rate increase that is now before the City Council, not because your rates will go up, but because our water system is in jeopardy.

For parcel owners who think they have a legitimate reason to block the water rate increase, there will be a protest vote public hearing on Nov. 4 so you can be heard. If there are 50 percent plus one parcels counted against the water rate increase, the measure will fail ... and unfortunately, so will our water system at some point.

As you may have heard, our water rates are the lowest in the region and have not been raised in over a decade, which is great for the ratepayers, but not so much for maintaining a critical infrastructure project like our water system, which delivers some of the cleanest water in the region to our homes for less than 50 cents per day.

Even with the 60 percent increase, the average water customer would only be paying an additional $80 per year and getting that clean water delivered to their home for only 53 cents per day — after the initial increase.

Over the last couple of years under the guidance of our city manager, Gene Palazzo, five-year strategic plans have been put into place to help the city anticipate and plan for maintenance, repair and expansion of our critical systems, which include police, fire, buildings, sewer and water.

Without these plans, the city was working in a mainly reactionary manner and having to come up with money for repairs and replacement of assets on the fly, most of the time at greater cost to the taxpayer. With the strategic plans, the city can be more fiscally responsible by planning and saving up through corrective rate increases for services that cover the costs of these maintenance projects, which can go into the millions of dollars.

By not borrowing the money, the city is saving money in the long run.

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Tom March: part of trio of DN brothers

We have all heard the term “every Tom, Dick and Harry.” The Del Norte Warriors had their own Tom, Dick and Harry, except they were a little out of order.

Chronologically, the three March brothers appeared in the blue and gold of the Warriors as Dick, Tom and Harry. I had the privilege of being a teammate of both Dick and Tom March, but not both as Del Norte Warriors.

Dick was my teammate as a Warrior when we were both seniors. When I returned to Humboldt State after a two-year tour in the Army, I was able to have Tom as a teammate on the Lumberjacks baseball team.

Tom started his Warrior athletic career on the varsity football team as a sophomore playing for coach Tex Gatlin. He became a solid member of the offensive line. As a starter in his junior year he helped Del Norte achieve a 6-3 record, which included a big win over the Eureka Loggers.

We sometime forget that every offensive play starts with the center, so you better have a good one. Tom was a good one. He also took his talents to the Warrior baseball field, where he was the Warrior catcher.

Tom was also a well-respected student leader and held several class and student body offices. He was elected president of the freshman class, which started his student political career that ended with his being elected student body president as a senior. Tom was very active in the “D” Club, the varsity letterman’s club. 

After graduating from Del Norte, Tom enrolled at Humboldt State, where he continued his football and baseball career for the Lumberjacks.

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A rich find of ore along the Klamath

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

Two Klamath men in Monday from the lower Klamath River section, says the Yreka Journal, had specimens of ore running $25,000 to a ton. These men, yet in their early 30s, came here about a year ago from the south and hearing about the good mines on the Klamath, determined to prospect. After considerable testing, they got a better bargain then they had ever dreamed.

Running a tunnel was successfully undertaken. They took a square foot of soil and rock, crushed and washed, and when they took it to the bank they were given a $250 check in exchange. 

These miners are reticent about giving out their names to the public, or giving out a great deal of information regarding their rich find. It is better than Weepah and is not a pocket find but a defined ledge, richer the deeper they go, they stated when in.

“We have made many assays and have in so many ways tested out the ledge for a long distance that we are now confident of what we have,” the men said. Then one of them produced a piece of the rich ore, more gold than rock.

“It’s just a little piece we broke off, and there is plenty more where that came from, and just as rich,” one said.

If the ledge is all that the specimen would indicate and if it runs for miles it ought to be a mighty big thing for the Klamath River country. Here’s hoping it is the bonanza it seems!

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Coastal Voices: Even in DN, don't take water for granted

“Whisky is for drinking; water is for fighting over.”

-— Quote attributed to Mark Twain

Lets just forget the possibility of a water rate increase for a minute and take the time to reflect on what water really means to all of us.

Once the importance of water is honestly assessed, we’ll be more equipped to objectively address the rates necessary to deliver the water to our homes and businesses.

We all know from basic science classes that our bodies are actually about 97 percent water! Water is a basic building block of life. Without drinking water none of us survive very long. The majority of the world’s population lives near or depends upon freshwater environments.

My brother recently retired from a career working with the World Health Organization to improve the public health of people living in developing countries. He does not hesitate to volunteer that the biggest threat to the populations of those countries is simply the lack of clean drinking water.

We drink, bathe, cook, clean, flush and play in and around water. Our crops and animals of all kinds need and consume water. We depend on water to put out fires in our forests and buildings. Water runs all manner of machinery and provides power to our industrialized world.

Here in California it is not unusual to hear about “water wars” between special interest groups, and between populations in Northern and Southern California. Dams and reservoirs are constructed, and complex, expensive delivery systems developed.

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Letters to the Editor Oct. 3, 2013

Fire fee protesters now have a voice

I have a few questions concerning the fire fee/tax.

Did you, the readers, pay your fee under protest? I hope you were able to get a petition for redetermination, filled it out and mailed it to be received within the time frame we were allowed by the state. 

When I got this notice to pay this fee last year — which caught me off guard — I called the State Board of Equalization. They were prepared for calls about this fee, as I was told to call Cal Fire and they gave me their phone number. I was also told that they just mail these notices and have no authority to make any judgments on my complaints and that I must file a complaint in the order of the petition for redetermination to Cal Fire. 

I phoned Cal Fire and was told the same thing. So I paid my fee/tax and put “paid under protest” on it, filled out the petition and mailed it. I only had five days to get it to Cal Fire and I acted very fast. It made it in the time frame and was not late.

Sometime later, I received a reply from Cal Fire. It was of no surprise to me that my petition and letter were denied. Cal Fire told me they had no authority in making decisions, they were just the agency that receives the money. Were you told the same as me?

I then mailed copies of all of this to all of our senators, our representatives, AARP and the Howard Jarvis Tax Payers Association (HJTA). I received a form-letter type of response from them, stating that the senators and representatives handle the federal issues for the state and this was a state issue. AARP was similar, only they are working on Medicare issues only and Social Security. 

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Letters to the Editor Oct. 1, 2013

Water is not the only rate or tax hike hitting us soon

I have to agree with the Sept. 26 Coastal Voices piece by Katherine Kelly, “Poor residents can’t pay more for water,” about the many low-income people in our community.

What wasn’t mentioned is the garbage rate hike, along with some sewer rate increases coming in the future, and a higher property tax for homeowners. Plus winter is coming and heating bills are going to go up.

People are being slammed from every angle. Separately, they don’t sound so bad, but adding them together spells disaster for so many people.

Even people who don’t live in poverty are living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to make ends meet. With all that’s being thrown at them, they could be part of that low-income group.

Is this what our city wants? To make us all poor?

Marsinah Murakami, Crescent City

New bicycle law could tie up traffic for miles

The Associated Press article, “Cyclists will get a 3-foot buffer under new law,” Sept. 28, has a statement that is not included in the lengthy description I got when researching the law on Google.

The article says regarding the proposal, “It states that if drivers cannot leave 3 feet of space, they must slow down and pass only when it would not endanger the cyclist’s safety.”

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Coastal Voices: This isn’t necessarily just a ‘crackpot’ idea

What does it take for an idea to go from “crackpot” to “worthy of consideration” to “the time has come” to “acceptance?”

I imagine our ancestors asked that question as they contemplated the “crackpot” idea of organizing 13 British colonies so that they could consider the outlandish idea of breaking away from the British yoke of oppression.

 They had legitimate reasons that they enumerated in the Declaration of Independence. They were willing to risk their lives, fortunes and sacred honor for a cause.

Today we live under an oppressive state government that only listens to the citizens living in large metropolitan areas like San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. 

Our forebears fought the British because those colonists had no representation before the British crown. Is that any different than a state  imposing a tax that only applies to those living in rural areas and exempts cities?

The fire tax is a case in point where only those living in rural areas pay this $150 tax every year even though they are protected by their own local fire departments, to whom they also pay a tax.

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Letters to the Editor Sept. 28, 2013

Right to bear arms older than recorded history

Just a note to add to Gerry Dooley’s amusement (“Second Amendment doesn’t fit our times,” Sept. 21). The right of people to defend themselves was not invented by the writers of our Constitution.

It is a basic natural human right (some would say God-given) that has existed from before the advent of recorded history.

Tyrants, of course, do not respect that right because they know a defenseless population is easy to control. (Remember how Hitler managed to kill 6 million people?) 

Gerry says he is amused at the  efforts of us “right-wingers” to preserve that right. I am confused by the “left-wingers’” efforts to destroy it.

Refusing the right of honest citizens  to have guns will not prevent gun violence. In fact, an armed citizenry can often prevent violence. The bad guys are going to have and use guns no matter how many laws are passed. Making us honest law-abiding citizens defenseless will not prevent that.

Clif Shepard, Crescent City

 
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