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Pages of History: California fiscal crisis back in ’39

From the pages of the Del Norte Triplicate, September 1939.

Possible registration of state relief warrants, no matter how distasteful that may be, is certainly a very definite indication that the pruning shears must be used in our state government if we are to balance incoming revenue with outgoing, said Sen. Collier while on a visit to Del Norte County over the weekend.

“Expenses in California have been climbing all out of proportion to the general increase in population that the state has experienced. It certainly is true that we can not go back now to a 1925 or a 1930 budget, but we can return to sensibility in state governmental spending,” Collier said.

“We have certainly built up a house of cards that sooner or later will crash unless we stop building on the unstable foundation of a mortgaged future,” Collier further stated.

Railroad preview

What is expected to be the forerunner of Del Norte County’s future “railroad” passed through Smith River early yesterday morning, a deluxe diesel-engined Los Angeles-Seattle Motor Express on a beautiful silver-colored two-trailered motor truck carrying fast express.

It is making the initial run up the coast highway and this will probably be the regular route when highway and bridges are completed.

We can look forward to the time when our coast highway will be lined with countless numbers of similar vehicles after the manner of the interior through highways of today.

Bridge honors doctor

Del Norte’s proposed new bridge across the Smith River on Highway 101 will be a monument to Dr. E. M. Fine, who has befriended so many in Northern California, if a move now under way is successful.

Petitions to Gov. Olson asking that the span be named the Dr. E. M. Fine Pioneer Bridge were circulated in Crescent City by Chief of Police Jack Breen and already hundreds of people have approved the proposition with their signature.

Chief Breen said “that he hoped Gov. Olson will recognize the wonderful work done by Dr. Fine and grant the request of the petitioners.

Early day survey

An interesting visitor to Del Norte the other day was Col. George Ruhler of Los Angeles, who stopped here for a few hours on his return home from a trip north to greet his old friend, Chief of Police John R. Breen.

Col. Ruhler, then a major, was in charge of a party of surveyors who made a reconnaissance survey of this section along about 1904.

Col. Ruhler engaged Mr. Breen to act as guide for the party, Breen enlisting for a year in the U.S. Army service in order to accept the assignment. Included in the work of the party was the work of surveying the old Gasquet toll road, resulting in establishing correct mileage for the route.

Besides Mr. Breen, the party employed several local mule skinners and packers to assist in negotiating the old mountain roads and trails.

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