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Updated 3:46pm - Apr 15, 2014

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Tribal Water Challenge: Taking the plunge simultaneously


Briannon Fraley, Kara Miller and Cynthia Ford take the winter water challenge Thursday on behalf of Smith River Rancheria. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
 Campaign recognizing importance of tribal water rights began in British

At 3 p.m. Thursday, more than a dozen Smith River Rancheria tribal members simultaneously took the plunge into separate frigid watersheds spread across a 40-mile span of their ancestral Tolowa territory, from the Umpqua River basin to Wilson Creek and several places in between.

They were continuing a campaign that started in British Columbia and has spread from tribe to tribe across North America, with some people jumping into holes cut into frozen lakes in Montana, others jumping into the Atlantic.

“I am Kara Miller, Tribal Chair for the Tolowa people of Smith River Rancheria.  I am accepting a challenge from Danielle Vigil-Masten, the Hoopa Tribal Chair,” Miller said into the camera, before diving into the breathtaking, jade-tinted water of Rowdy Creek. “She has challenged me in the winter challenge of water rights of indigenous people to jump in the river and show how much water is important to the Tolowa people, and I am accepting that challenge on our behalf.”



Supes discuss hospital takeover

County leaders talk about use of eminent domain option 

A potentially costly legal maneuver was proposed as one action the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors could take to prevent Sutter Coast Hospital’s move to Critical Access Hospital status.

Three residents encouraged Del Norte supervisors on Tuesday to use eminent domain to “take the hospital back for we the people.” Supervisor Roger Gitlin asked his colleagues to direct county counsel Gretchen Stuhr to research the cost and legality of using eminent domain with regards to the hospital.

Some who spoke at Tuesday’s meeting worried that Sutter Coast Hospital’s status as a Critical Access facility would mean more patients will be transferred to other facilities. Others were concerned that Critical Access would hurt efforts to recruit physicians.



Redwood to fall during highway closure

Caltrans plans to shut 101 south of Crescent City Sunday 

There will be a full closure of U.S. Highway 101 south of Crescent City starting at 9 a.m. Sunday as Caltrans undertakes the removal of a large, hollowed-out, old-growth redwood that is in immediate danger of falling on the highway.

Although full closures of a main artery highway like the North Coast’s portion of 101 would typically be done  at night, the dangerous nature of removing several tons of material ready to slide makes daylight operation necessary, according to Scott Burger, spokesman for Caltrans District 1.

The full 101 closure will be from just south of Hamilton Road to 0.6 miles south of the Mill Creek Campground entrance. The stretch is expected to reopen with one-way traffic control by 5 p.m. Sunday at the latest.



Gender identity: District prepares to institute law

A controversial new law that addresses gender identity in California public schools will not result in boys using the girls locker room or vice versa, Del Norte’s superintendent of schools said this week.

Efforts to repeal Assembly Bill 1266, the Schools Success and Opportunity Act, stalled last week with those hoping to overturn the law failing to gather enough valid signatures to qualify for the statewide ballot. 

As a result, the Del Norte County Unified School District is working with its legal counsel to review and update its non-discrimination policy, said Superintendent Don Olson. But he said he doesn’t anticipate drastic changes in Del Norte schools, although new bathrooms may be installed at some.



Researchers checking kelp for radioactivity

Researchers with the University of California, Long Beach, are taking kelp samples along the western shores of America to see if any measurable levels of radioactivity from the leaking nuclear power plants in Japan are reaching America.

So far, there’s nothing.


Anti-dam activists share struggles

Local river activists, Indian youths travel to support crusade against Brazilian dam

Team Klamazon members pose with their hosts, Xikrin villagers of Poti-Kro, at the banks of the Xingu River in Brazil’s Amazon River Basin. Photo courtesy of Team Klamazon
When Team Klamazon, a group of river activists and Indian youths from the Klamath River basin, visited the Amazon in February, the local indigenous people’s response to their presence was eerie:


Workplace tsunami safety training offered

Hundreds of people spend their regular 9-to-5 work day in the tsunami evacuation zone of Crescent City.

So many people work and live in Crescent City’s danger zone that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) predicts there could be almost 900 deaths in Crescent City from a tsunami produced by an earthquake on the Cascadia Subduction Zone.


Highway closure planned Sunday

U.S. Highway 101 south of Crescent City will be entirely closed to traffic for most of this Sunday, starting at 9 a.m., while Caltrans removes unstable slide material. 


Election field set for June

Chris Howard unopposed for District 3 supervisor post

Chris Howard is unopposed for District 3 supervisor, while two candidates will face off in the race for Del Norte County district attorney in the June 3 primary election.


Briefs March 13, 2014

CBS to feature Japan delegation

The story of the Del Norte High School students who traveled to Japan last month will probably be broadcast on national news tonight via the “CBS Evening News,” which airs at 5:30 p.m.

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