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The Enforcer

Del Norte County Code Enforcement Officer Dave Mason is the California Code Enforcement Officer of the Year. Del Norte Triplicate / Emily Jo Cureton
The kind of November sunshine that brings poets to tears burst through the trees at one of Del Norte’s most notorious illegal dump sites Wednesday morning, lighting up dew-kissed spruce tips, blackberry tangles and a dazzling array of trash.

How to clean up this especially epic mess around Union Street, a county right-of-way with a decades-long history of crime and pollution, has largely fallen to one man, whose Herculean efforts recently earned him top honors from the California Association of Code Enforcement Officers.

Meet Dave Mason, Code Enforcement Officer of the Year. He’s worked since 2005 to clean up Del Norte. 

Feds order SkyWest to keep flights

Airline can’t leave Crescent City until new carrier in place 

Just over a week after SkyWest Airlines announced plans to pull out early from a federal contract to service Crescent City’s airport, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued an order Tuesday prohibiting SkyWest from terminating service until a new carrier is in place.

The U.S. DOT also issued a request for proposals from air carriers interested in picking up where SkyWest tried to leave off with the Essential Air Service agreement to service Crescent City; Moab and Vernal, Utah; and Pueblo, Colo.

Camp host’s RV burned at Shoreline

Crescent City firefighters knock down a fire that destroyed the Shoreline RV Park hosts’ RV on Wednesday. Del Norte Triplicate / Adam Spencer
A fire destroyed the camp host RV of the Crescent City-owned Shoreline RV Park Wednesday morning, but no one was injured and the city-owned building adjacent to the RV suffered minimal damage.

Firefighters were dispatched to the RV park at 10:52 a.m., finding the RV burning as well as the awning it was parked under, according to Crescent City Fire Chief Steve Wakefield.

Waiting for white lines

Dashes along Highway 199 indicate where Caltrans plans to add white striping, the final phase of the road project. Del Norte Triplicate / Melea Burke
The westernmost section of U.S. Highway 199 through Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park was given a fresh coat of asphalt as part of a project that began in September, but although the re-paving was completed weeks ago, Caltrans has been unable to finish striping the road due to rain.

Frequent travelers on the 199 corridor have found it hard to see where the side of the road ends at night without the white shoulder lines, but Caltrans officials say they can’t paint until there’s a long dry spell.

New Chamber board elected

A new Board of Directors will be taking the reins of the Crescent City-Del Norte Chamber of Commerce starting next month.

Chamber members voted for eight positions on Friday, with Donna Zorn of Ming Tree Realty and Christy Hernandez of Rural Human Services’ Workforce Center being elected to the board for one-year terms, according to Executive Director Jeff Parmer. 

Pedestrians die in two crashes; driver arrested

Two pedestrians were killed Tuesday in two separate and unrelated collisions in Del Norte County, including one hit-and-run that ended with the driver’s arrest.

California Highway Patrol officers arrested a 51-year-old Piercy woman in connection with a hit-and-run south of Crescent City at about 9:50 p.m. Tuesday that left the pedestrian dead.

Mopping up for the season

Read more...State firefighters are in the right place at the right time to put out residential blaze 

As wildfire season definitively wraps up in rain on the North Coast, state firefighters put out one more blazing mess on Sunday morning after a travel trailer ignited near CalFire’s base in Crescent City. 

“I was standing in front of the fire station just fueling my truck and talking when we looked across the street and a large black column of smoke suddenly started pluming,” recalled CalFire Battalion Chief Tim DeVos. 

State OK with change to loan

Sewer customers will have a chance to protest rate hikes 

The State Water Resources Control Board last week approved a graduated repayment plan and a zero-percent interest rate as Crescent City seeks to pay back its $44 million wastewater treatment plant loan.

As a result, the city will save about $15.4 million, but only if sewer customers consent to an annual 5-percent rate increase between July 2015 and July 2019, according to City Manager Eugene Palazzo. 

Commercial crabbing will open Dec. 1

Preseason testing shows high quality 

The results are in; the crabs are plump, and all ports north of Fort Bragg, including Crescent City and Brookings, will open for the commercial Dungeness crab season on Dec. 1.

Preseason testing done to ensure crab quality in northern California, Oregon and Washington “shows the crab are in exceptionally good form,” said Pete Kalvass, senior environmental scientist for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.


The Trans-Kalmiopsis Route, a 26-mile hiking trail through the wilderness, leads to stunning mountaintop views. Courtesy Siskiyou Mountain Club
Volunteers work to restore wilderness trails destroyed in 2002 wildfire 

In 2002, the half-million acre Biscuit Fire — the second-largest wildfire in Oregon history — scorched most of the 180,000-acre Kalmiopsis Wilderness, leaving the area’s trail network covered in tangled bird’s nests of fallen burnt trees with hundreds of dead snags dominating the horizons.

By the time Gabe Howe and his wife Jillian Stokes started visiting the area in 2006, the damage had only accelerated, with dozens of snags falling onto trails with each windy storm.

“We couldn’t stand the idea that these trails were being forsaken,” Howe recently told the Triplicate, describing his first encounter with the Kalmiopsis as “impassable trail conditions.” 

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