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Runaround from Caltrans continues at "Town Hall"

Caltrans promised us a town hall meeting on Last Chance Grade. What we got was the bureaucratic version of circling the wagons.

Instead of an exchange between some of the more than 100 concerned citizens who showed up and Caltrans Project Manager Sebastian Cohen, we got a scripted puff piece presentation and more empty promises. Oh yes, and should you have any questions when we’re done promising the impossible and whining about the gas tax, go see one of our many experts at the back of the room who have no answers and no power to do anything.

We haven’t been put on hold to linger until we hang up in frustration. We’re being transferred from one department to another until we wind up where we started and still have no resolution.


Stakeholders are hiding from public

A funny thing happened in Crescent City recently. Congressman Jared Huffman’s Last Chance Grade Stakeholder Group met here and the press was invited for the first time since its creation last year.

That’s not insignificant. At least twice in the past six months, this news organization has dutifully asked if a member of our staff might attend these so-called stakeholder meetings. The answer is always a resounding “no.”

These are not public meetings, according to Huffman’s mouthpiece John Driscoll, a former newsman who should know better. Yet, there it was on a television newscast a couple of weeks ago, video of the good congressman meeting with stakeholders and a report on what took place.


Our View: Council insists on secrecy in hiring

There are lots of reasons public officials would rather function in secret, most of them not good.

Crescent City’s method of secretly selecting an interim city manager raises all kinds of red flags.

When last the public was unable to join them behind closed doors, the City Council through its various spokespeople said they were looking at nine candidates. When the Triplicate asked for resumes of those candidates, City Council turned to its lawyers, who invoked an obscure portion of the California Public Records Act in denying the request.

The portion of the law being cited protects certain personal information on job applications from being disclosed. Not unreasonable.


Our View: Del Norte Healthcare District's lack of transparency starting to stink

Something is festering at the Del Norte Healthcare District and it is beginning to smell.

If the district wants to spend $50,000 in taxpayer money on a public relations campaign to smear Sutter Health, it is more than the secret business of a few board members.

It is the public’s business. It is this community’s business.

This kind of business needs to be conducted in the open. It hasn’t been. That much is obvious from Triplicate Staff Writer David Anderson’s recent story based on a memo to the healthcare district board’s attorney from a prominent and very expensive Sacramento public relations firm.


Congressí ineptitude hits home on Klamath River

It’s easy to get angry, sometimes even laugh off this Congress so deeply divided it can’t seem to pass any legislation. Washington is far removed and, well, that’s just politics. 

Except, every odd once in awhile, they manage to pass a law and this one hits home.

Oregon Congressman Greg Walden’s latest proposed bill is a knife in the heart of Del Norte County and much of the North Coast.

Walden is Oregon’s lone Republican in Washington. His proposed legislation unleashed two weeks ago guts the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, an accord five years in the making now lingering before our do-nothing Congress since 2010.

The agreement is historic, one of those rare moments when opponents on all sides manage to somehow get together to agree the Klamath River and its fishery are far more important to the local economy and our way of life than any petty political differences. 

All except Walden. 

When it comes to the Klamath agreement, Congress, Walden in particular, could learn a thing or two about how to strike a deal. Farmers, environmentalists, Native American tribes, the utility company that owns the dams...45 stakeholders, including every state and federal agency with any jurisdiction over the river, all agree it should become federal law.


Time to step up or step down

This really isn’t that hard to fix.

We’re talking about the latest trumped up stalemate the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors are wringing their hands over — who among them should take one of two seats the county has on the Solid Waste Management Authority.

One seat is occupied now by Supervisor Martha McClure. She accepted it as one of the responsibilities granted her by the voters when she sought county office and all its generous benefits.


Weather info is the same; its location is not

We’ve made some small changes to make sure our readers get important information in a timely manner. It also means more efficient production in getting the Del Norte Triplicate into your hands.


Making room for more of your views

 When it comes to local issues or politics, I prefer to be exposed to a good mix of diverse opinions. I don’t believe I’m that much different than most folks. That’s how adults make intelligent decisions about important issues.


Newsroom Dispatch: Still here and loving what I do

It was a bittersweet end to last week. The Saturday paper had been “put to bed,” and I had just one task left on my to-do list. On my computer I opened the layout template for page A4. Where letters and op-eds go, the page was blank. But the text at the bottom right, with the words of the First Amendment and below that the masthead and subscription policy, is kept on the template because it never changes. Or at least, nearly never.


Your community, your newspaper

Got a new year’s resolution?

May we suggest one?

Whether you’ve got a copy of the paper in front of you or you’re browsing online, consider the fact that you must care about what people have to say in the Triplicate or you wouldn’t be reading it.

That’s as it should be — this is your community newspaper. It’s not just a place to find professional reporting on local news and sports. It’s also Del Norte’s magazine, yearbook, bulletin board, shopper and town hall forum.  


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