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It's the Great Pumpkin

Jim Buckles perches atop his 211-pound pumpkin, which may well be the largest gourd grown in Del Norte this year. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Many folks spend hours every day battling bugs, wind and weather to grow a giant pumpkin, but not Jim Buckles. Buckles, Del Norte County’s agricultural commissioner, is one of the Roots and Shoots Garden Club members who participates in its pumpkin-growing contest each year. 

Each participant received one pumpkin seed in the spring. They reported their progress to the rest of the club members on Wednesday.

Buckles said he planted his pumpkin seed on top of a compost pile inside his greenhouse and wound up with a plethora of the Dill’s Atlantic Giant variety of the bright orange squashes. The two largest weighed 150 and 211 pounds. 

Eyes on plan to fund the fair

The annual Thanksgiving community dinner brings hundreds of Del Norters together at the fairgrounds for food and fellowship. Triplicate file photo
Measure F could be model for other fairs if voters OK it  

As fairs across California continue to be threatened by closure after the state cut all funding for them in 2011, many California fair managers will be keenly watching the results of Del Norte County’s Measure F, a 0.25-percent sales tax lasting seven years that is intended to provide decades’ worth of funding for the county’s fair.

“We’re interested in how it will do because we think it’s a great idea,” said Stephen Chambers, executive director of the Western Fairs Association, a trade group serving fairs in the western United States, including 72 of California’s 80 fairs.  “Win or lose we admire the effort, and the other California fairs are going to watch this closely.”

School hopefuls tout transparency

Four candidates are in the running for the open Area 5 Del Norte County School Board seat, and although there’s some overlap in their qualifications and reasons for running, it’s the differences that will be of real use to voters.

For instance, all the candidates have financial management experience of varying degrees, but why they’re running for the position and the assets they would bring to the board aren’t the same.

Volunteers sought for river clean-up

A volunteer Smith River clean-up will be held Saturday afternoon,  meeting at the Forks Boat Ramp parking lot off South Fork Road around 12 p.m., rain or shine.

'Enhanced Enforcement'

California Highway Patrol officer Dina Hernandez patrols the south side of town Monday afternoon. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Federal grant aiming to cut down on wrecks will pay for 1,200 CHP overtime hours  

A newly awarded federal grant aimed at reducing collisions will allow area California Highway Patrol officers to work more hours, issue more citations and increase the number of educational safety programs the agency puts on.

Green Diamond selling sawmill

Timber company doubles land with Oregon purchase 

California Redwood Co., a subsidiary of Green Diamond, owner of the largest timber holdings in Del Norte County, is selling its sawmill in Humboldt County.

The move to sell comes soon after Green Diamond Resource Co. nearly doubled its timber land  with a 600,000-acre purchase in Southern Oregon.

DN ranks among top sleepers

But sample size unknown, might be skewed 

According to new data, Del Norters appear to get more hours of sleep per night than many other counties across the U.S.

People in Del Norte and Alpine County, Calif., average 7.5 hours a sleep per night, notably higher than most other counties in the country, according to an article titled, “The only place where people go to sleep after midnight: Brooklyn” in the Washington Post’s Wonkblog.

Honoring Veterans

Signs that read “Where We Honor Veterans” were installed last week at three major highway entrances into Del Norte, two on U.S. Highway 101 and one on U.S. Highway 199. The signs come as a result of a resolution passed by the Board of Supervisors in May.


Smith River Council to meet Wednesday

The Smith River Advisory Council, a multi-interest group of stakeholders for the Smith River basin, will hold a meeting at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Crescent City Lighthouse Inn.

Winter won't end drought

Northern California falls in a zone of “equal chances” for having a drier or wetter winter than normal. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration graphic
NOAA predicts wetter winter for SoCal, uncertainty for rest of state 

While the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had good news for much of the country on Thursday with the release of its winter forecast, predictions for the next few months in Northern California were more reserved.

Although parts of the state could get above-average rain and snowfall this winter, it won’t be enough to end the drought, which in 60 percent of California is classified as “exceptional.”

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