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Updated 4:46pm - Sep 16, 2014

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Supervisor Gitlin must salvage his term on board, if he can

Nothing has attracted more attention in letters sent to the Triplicate during the past several months than the issue of whether Del Norte County Supervisor Roger Gitlin is being disenfranchised by Board of Supervisors Chairman David Finigan.

Supervisor Gitlin made the case in a Coastal Voices op-ed last week (“Prayer: It’s about due process, abuse of power,” Aug. 21) that Chairman Finigan has consistently and deliberately denied the supervisor’s right to place items on the board’s agenda, including a declaration of support for forming the state of Jefferson and placing signs on county borders welcoming veterans. The most recent conflict has been over the supervisor’s proposal to introduce nondenominational prayers at board meetings.   

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Editor's Note: A time of many changes in the Triplicate newsroom

Please pardon our dust. 

2014 has been a year of major change in the Triplicate newsroom. Longtime crime, courts and prison reporter Anthony Skeens left in February, and editor Richard Wiens wasn’t the only Wiens who left for Hawaii in April — his wife Laura, our Neighbors and Coming Attractions page editor, community calendar guru and able typist of letters to the editor, left with him. By the end of April, we found ourselves short-staffed by 40 percent in the midst of a hopping local election season. 

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A time of many changes in the Triplicate newsroom

Please pardon our dust. 

2014 has been a year of major change in the Triplicate newsroom. Longtime crime, courts and prison reporter Anthony Skeens left in February, and editor Richard Wiens wasn’t the only Wiens who left for Hawaii in April — his wife Laura, our Neighbors and Coming Attractions page editor, community calendar guru and able typist of letters to the editor, left with him. By the end of April, we found ourselves short-staffed by 40 percent in the midst of a hopping local election season. 

It’s difficult to imagine less ideal circumstances in which to become editor, but that is the situation I find myself in. Two weeks after my family moved into a new home, I was named the new editor of the Triplicate. Tall stacks of as-yet unopened boxes at home are testament to the 14-hour days I’ve been working for the past several weeks. 

 

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E&P: Appreciating Del Norte a matter of perspective

A disassembled sea serpent lies beyond my front door.

Three big rocks in the Pacific, seemingly strewn at random.

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E&P: New wave to catch; an election to cover

This isn’t what I’d intended.

The plan was to finish my career at the Triplicate, then someday retire right here between the redwoods and the sea where the housing is affordable, the traffic almost nonexistent and the hiking trails unpopulated.

Instead, Laura and I are moving to a place where the housing is overpriced, the traffic is congested and the hiking trails are … popular.

Isn’t life strange?

 

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E & P: Special sections are due, including ’64 flashback

The birthing process is under way at the Triplicate for a couple of special sections that will be in readers’ hands by the end of the month.

The semi-annual Coast Vacation Guide will sport a new name and a new design when it appears March 29. Soon after that, Go Wild Rivers Coast will have a companion when the Triplicate and the Curry Coastal Pilot launch a mobile apps platform carrying the same name. It’ll be brimming with regional information for travelers and locals alike.

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Letters to the Editor Feb. 1, 2014

Chamber brings attention to great businesspeople

Wow, we’ve come a long way, baby!

The annual Chamber of Commerce dinner was wonderful, one of the best yet, from the perfectly prepared dinner by the chefs at the Tolowa Events Center to the entertaining host Kevin Hartwick.

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It’s OK to take time on new-state plan

What’s the rush?

If Del Norte County supporters of a breakaway state of Jefferson are serious about their proposal, why wouldn’t they want it to be thoroughly examined, as the county Board of Supervisors has suggested?

True, the concept is not new. And neither is the North Coast’s widespread dissatisfaction with state government. It’s not a news flash that the local electorate is out of step with the more populated portions of California.

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E & P: Thanks for the tributes to our WWII veterans

Kudos to the organizers of Del Norte’s Veterans Day activities for recognizing the pressing need to show appreciation to our World War II service members while we still have them around.

And while organizers stopped at naming five WWII vets as parade grand marshals, hopefully the message came through to all of our oldest veterans: Monday was about honoring U.S. military personnel in general, but this one was especially for those of you who fought in the ’40s.

I was pleased to see Frank McNamara among those grand marshals. He served at Okinawa — scene of the bloodiest of the island-hopping invasions that helped bring an end to the war against Japan. Back home, he became a veteran of a different sort, narrowly escaping the two biggest surges of the ’64 tsunami, one of which rose to mid-torso at the downtown paint store he managed, and the other of which chased him up L Street toward higher ground.

Now 92, Frank is a survivor, and Crescent City is the better for it.

Another nice touch by the organizers was adding a sixth parade grand marshal, Sua Phia Lo, a captain in the Hmong Army that fought Communist forces in the Vietnam era. He cut a striking figure as the commander of a guerrilla unit in the 1966 photo on Saturday’s Northcoast Life page. And his inclusion was an appropriate gesture of appreciation to Del Norte’s Hmong community, the eldest of which migrated to America after Laos fell to the Communists in the ’70s.

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Give us our due, until we get out

He was absolutely correct, and more than a little ironic.

As Del Norte County Supervisor Roger Gitlin was warming up the audience at a Tea Party Patriots meeting to talk about the idea of joining the movement to break away from California and form the new state of Jefferson, he offered up a little geography lesson.

San Francisco, he said, “defines itself as Northern California. San Francisco is not Northern California. San Francisco is central California … we are from Northern California.”

That, he said to applause, is the terminology we should use “from this point on.”

Sign me up. I’ve been changing Associated Press references from “Northern California” to “central California” for years. The news organization even refers to some places slightly south of the Bay Area as “Northern California.”

It’s all part of a mind-set shared by pretty much the entire planet. California consists of two spheres of influence: Los Angeles and San Francisco. Never mind that half the state, geographically, is north of the Bay Area.

Frankly, it’s a viewpoint that marginalizes the true Northern California. Most folks venturing up from the Bay Area are probably headed for the vineyards of Napa and Sonoma. If they’re ambitious, they might trek to Mendocino’s Lost Coast. The truly adventurous may even make it all the way to Humboldt. That’s the absolute edge of the abyss, right?

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