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Updated 5:35pm - Feb 27, 2015

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Coastal Voices: Vaccination scare preys on ill-informed

Many people right now are concerned with the media’s current frenzy about measles outbreaks and the way un-vaccinated children and their parents are being portrayed.

First, let’s consider the gravity of this “outbreak.”


Coastal Voices: Social media changes how world sees current events

As the current civil rights protests gain momentum and support, I believe it is important to see how the internet has changed the landscape of widespread knowledge. 

During a time of decreased voter turnout and increased global awareness, social media is completely changing the game in terms of information and news. The spread of information through social media has a different pattern than mainstream news channels and newspapers. Social media is interactive and timely, reporting on things as they are happening. It provides time stamps, photo and video evidence and personal accounts that would be erased if one simply looked at census data and statistics or official press statements. This enables people to gather evidence more organically and voluntarily than official press or police. 

 


Coastal Voices: DN: Yes, we can

I have lived and worked in Del Norte County for the better part of 60 years — beginning as a dock boy, then river fishing guide, teacher, coach, sportscaster and two-term county supervisor. Today more than ever, I feel our community is confronted by challenges that demand our participation if we are to prosper in the years ahead. I see three challenges to reach the goal of taking this community to the next level.

 


Coastal Voices: You be judge if gov’t tells you the science is settled

Who knew? For decades the government told us that it was settled science. Eating eggs was bad for you. Yes, eating eggs caused a person’s cholesterol to rise, which could lead to a multitude of heart and vascular problems. Now, that “settled science” is no longer settled. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is recommending that dietary cholesterol for a healthy adult may not significantly impact the level of cholesterol in the blood or increase the risk of heart disease. In other words, eating eggs is not bad for you. This is very good news for those of us who enjoy eggs. 

Speaking of eggs, I have a personal preference for eggs from local chickens raised by “Alexandre Kids.” Yes, you can tell the difference. The Alexandre Kids raise baby chicks until they become laying hens. The hens enjoy a natural farm life roaming in the local pastures so they produce the most nutritious organic eggs. They are available at Wild Rivers Market and Rumiano Cheese on 9th Street.


Coastal Voices: All who are eligible are equally welcome to VFW

On behalf of the local VFW Post 1381, this letter to the editor is in response to the one titled “All veterans deserve recognition for service,” (Feb. 5). The question the letter had was about a community calendar listing from VFW Post 1381 advertising free membership to veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The author of the letter stated that Vietnam vets were not cared about and are the same as anyone else who served.


Coastal Voices: Sutter keeping local docs in dark about new plan

Many readers are aware of the new local EPO Health Plan being offered by Sutter Health, Anthem and CalPERS. You may or may not be aware that Redwood Medical Offices and several other local offices are not currently listed on the provider panel. Here’s why:

The new EPO plan is an “Exclusive Provider Organization.” This means that in order for you to be treated, you have to go to an approved provider and an approved hospital. None of the local independent (non-Sutter affiliated) providers we contacted were offered an opportunity to join the provider panel before the initial plan roll-out on Jan. 8. We learned of the plan in the middle of January, when patients approached our office with letters from Sutter Health/Anthem Blue Cross/CalPERS, offering them a new health plan in our area. We knew nothing of the plan until patients brought us these subscriber letters, and our patients obviously had many questions and concerns. 


Coastal Voices: Reflecting on state of the county

Editor’s note: This is the annual State of the County Address that was delivered at Tuesday’s Del Norte County Board of Supervisors meeting. A longer version entered into the meeting record can be found at www.countyofdelnorte.us/agendas/bos/publishedmeetings.htm under item 20 on the board’s Feb. 10 meeting agenda. 

2015 is anticipated to be the next positive step financially and operationally for Del Norte County. As we slowly emerge from the economic conditions that have limited Del Norte County’s ability to provide more than basic services, it is imperative that we look forward and plan for the needs of our residents and visitors in a proactive and positive manner.


Coastal Voices: Look to independent report for truth about 199

Tamera Leighton, director of the Local Transportation Commission (a position funded by Caltrans) takes a venomous strike against environmental groups and whitewashes Caltrans’ negligence about safety issues on Highway 199/197 when it comes to putting extra long STAA trucks on our narrow winding canyon highway (“Coastal Voices: Opinion or false statements? The facts about safety on 199,” Jan. 24). It is astonishing that there is still anyone out there who thinks putting many more trucks, especially extra long STAA trucks on Highway 199/197,  is a good idea for public safety after an independent safety review by a leading, respected transportation engineer, Daniel T. Smith of Smith Engineering, revealed otherwise.  Caltrans told the public within the environmental review documents that they were exempting themselves from their own required mandatory road safety design standards for STAA trucks, and that geologic instability of the Smith River Canyon prevented sufficient widening of the road that is required for STAA trucks. We needed to find out more. 


Coastal Voices: Opinion or false statements? The facts about safety on 199

My opinion is that there is a difference between an opinion and a false statement. 

“We are a travel destination,” is an opinion. “The design is so deficient that there are absolutely no improvements proposed between Hiouchi and Gasquet, which has some of the most accident-prone areas,” is a false statement. 

On Sept. 9, 2014, the Del Norte Triplicate printed a Coastal Voices column by Friends of Del Norte president Don Gillespie (“Bigger trucks on 199/197 would deter tourism, compromise safety”) that was treated as an opinion but was actually a misrepresentation of fact. While it’s unreasonable to believe that the Triplicate can fact-check everything, my opinion is that they have an obligation to basic fact-checking. 


Coastal Voices: State lawmakers may be last hope for lighthouse

Three years ago, I experienced the thrill of a lifetime. In November of 2011, Angela and I were at the right place at the right time. A cancellation opened up two seats on the helicopter flight out to St. George Reef Lighthouse. Without hesitation, I seized the opportunity to experience a part of American history few have been afforded. I didn’t realize then the long reach of Sacramento would close the door to one of the most famous lighthouses in the world just a few months later. 

Lady St. George rests atop an acre-wide reef, much of it submerged, 6 miles off the Del Norte County coast. She rusts away day after week after month after year. The lighthouse, an historic relic, is falling prey as you read this article to the stark reality of some of the roughest oceans and harshest climates in the world.  


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