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Updated 4:46pm - Sep 16, 2014

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A Tradition of Respect

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A traditional gambling game is played among males at Smith River Rancheria’s Dee-Ni’ Day celebration on Saturday. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Tribe’s youth learn Tolowa values through games played at annual gathering 

Richard Brooks huddled closer to the burning alder logs, grateful for the warmth they provided on a chilly Saturday morning.

He had started the fire for sand bread at 5 a.m., two hours before food and artisan vendors began setting up for Smith River Rancheria’s Dee-ni’ Day. But he began preparing a key ingredient the day before.

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Hopefuls dine in Del Norte

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Neel Kashkari, upper right, the Republican candidate for governor of California, attended Saturday’s event in Fort Dick. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Delegation of Republican candidates for state offices meet Del Norters 

The Grand Old Party threw a grand old party on Saturday night, with seven Republican state candidates, more than a dozen local officials and about 200 supporters packing the barn at Alexandre Kids Egg Ranch for dinner, drinks and speeches.

The $50-per-head dinner — the proceeds of which will go toward the Del Norte County Republican Party’s local campaigning efforts in the November election — gave Del Norters a chance to meet the Republican candidates as well as bid on auction items to support local campaigns. The event brought in several thousand dollars, although Del Norte Republican Party chairwoman Karen Sanders said the final amount wasn’t yet available.

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State coast commission pays a visit

Officials to tour local sites for projects needing approval 

For most of the state, the California Coastal Commission acts as a mediator for 38 million Californians elbowing for their fair share of coastal access. But in far northern California, where beach access is abundant, many often paint the regulatory agency as an overzealous, bureaucratic barrier to much-needed economic development.

To better grasp how Del Norte differs from far-flung, heavily-populated coastlines to the south, the commission will be holding its monthly multi-day meeting in Smith River this week and taking a tour of project sites in Del Norte County in need of the regulatory agency’s approval.

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‘Strategic plan’ on Waste Board agenda for Wednesday

The embattled Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority will consider pursuing a strategic plan to guide the future of the agency that manages the county’s trash and recycling during a 3:30 p.m. meeting Wednesday in the Flynn Center, 981 H St.

During a “strategic planning” meeting in August, the authority board realized that drafting a strategic plan was not a task that was going to be accomplished in an afternoon, and Wednesday’s meeting will address how the board plans to develop such a plan.

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Two grass fires doused

Two small vegetation fires burned half an acre Sunday afternoon in the Pacific Shores subdivision before firefighters  contained the area, according to Cal Fire officials.

Cal Fire responded to the fires in Fort Dick at 2:20 p.m. and spent two hours dousing the flames, said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Tim Devos. 

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Candidate forums planned this week

Two Tea Party-sponsored forums, one for school board candidates and another for the superior court judge candidates, will take place this week.

Del Norte County Unified School District Board of Trustees hopefuls for areas 1, 2 and 5 will talk about their goals and ideas 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at the fairgrounds Floral Building. The candidates include incumbent Don McArthur and challenger Milton Reilley for Area 1; incumbent Lori Cowan and challenger Angela Greenough for Area 2 and Jamie Forkner, Verona “Ronnie” Sorensen, Beth Green and Janet Wortman for Area 5. A meet-and-greet with those running will happen before the forum at 5:45 p.m.

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Regulated recycling

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A Cascade Metal Recycling worker flame-cuts the storage tank of the defunct Crescent City Harbor Wastewater Treatment Plant last month as part of a compliance project to appease state regulators. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Old harbor wastewater treatment plant, now defunct, is demolished 

Crescent City Harbor District got out of the wastewater treatment business in 2011 when it shut down its plant and started pumping its fish processing waste to the newly opened Crescent City Wastewater Treatment Plant, but that did not absolve the district from fines it had racked up with state water quality regulators.

Instead of paying standing fines from the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, the harbor district agreed to dismantle the defunct wastewater treatment plant, an action that has been ongoing since last week.

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Drought rules still in place

California’s drought is at the top of the state’s priority list, but Del Norte County appears to be faring better than most areas in the state. 

Local city, county and state government officials gathered Thursday afternoon at a Del Norte Emergency Operations Center meeting to discuss the state of the drought. 

Experts and local officials were in agreement that conditions in the area are better than in other parts of the state, but taking precautions through conservation should be maintained in the area.

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Peterson shares his vision for office

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Pete Peterson
Republican candidate for California secretary of state Pete Peterson, who’s in town today and attending a fundraising dinner at Alexandre Eco Dairy Farms, said that he’s most interested in tackling the issues within his reach.

While those issues, which include office financial transparency as well as statewide voter education and engagement, might not sound as high-impact as the widespread political reform some politicians promise, merely reforming the office is something effective and within his reach that he can accomplish.

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Wildfire smoke thickens

Quite possibly the heaviest smoke seen in Del Norte County this entire fire season came this week from the 82,956-acre Happy Camp Complex, which was at 19 percent containment Friday evening.

State air quality regulators issued a warning for Del Norte, Humboldt and Trinity counties on Friday for wildfire smoke, which was even present on the coast for much of Friday.

Smoke was expected to travel southwest down the Klamath and Salmon River drainages this morning.

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