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Moving Mountains

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A fire lookout and telecommunications site atop Red Mountain will be relocated by 2022, according to state and federal plans. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
How to get closer to God is a question every culture throughout history has asked, in some form or another. How to coordinate radio, microwave and cellular signals so that we can rely on emergency responders, phones, radios and televisions is a relatively new phenomenon.

These inquiries collide on Red Mountain, a 4,200-foot peak near Klamath, where a fire lookout with 100-mile views sits alongside a steel tower transmitting communications for untold cellular customers and 12 public agencies. Largely due to the site’s sacred nature to the Yurok Tribe, the United States Forest Service mandated in 1995 that the communications hub and lookout be moved by 2022.


Radios go fuzzy on narrowband

Relocating Red Mountain communication towers may or may not ultimately harm radio communication in the region, but what’s certain is that Del Norte County’s adoption of a federal mandate to convert mobile radio systems to narrowband at the beginning of 2013 has already diminished public safety agencies’ ability to communicate. 

In 2004, the Federal Communications Commission issued an order saying that public safety and industrial businesses using radios and operating in the 150-174 MHz and 421-512 MHz bands would be required to transition to “narrowband” using channel bandwidth of no more than 12.5 kHz technology by Jan. 1, 2013.


SkyWest to retire turboprop planes

After transition, won’t be able to land in Crescent City 

The deafening hum of a turboprop spinning outside the window of an airplane coming to or from Del Norte County Regional Airport will be a sound of the past by next summer — at least under SkyWest Airlines.

The regional carrier based in St. George, Utah, announced Monday that it will “transition to an all-jet fleet by removing all remaining 30-seat Embraer 120 Brasilia turboprop aircraft” — the aircraft that services Crescent City’s airport.


Town takes roll of new officials

The only thing close to outnumbering the personnel changes, promotions and inductions at Monday’s City Council meeting was the number of times the audience gave standing ovations in support of them.

The meeting, which was more of a celebratory roll call than an administrative session, saw the swearing-in of a new interim police chief, two police sergeants, a new police officer, two city council members and the appointment of a new mayor and mayor pro tem.


‘Jury duty’ scam reported

The Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents to be wary of a new telephone scam reported Wednesday.

The Sheriff’s Office received five calls from residents who said they were contacted by someone claiming to be an employee of the Sheriff’s Office and informing them they have a warrant out for their arrest for failing to report for jury duty, Commander Bill Steven explained.


Greyhound service to expand to Crescent City

Redwood Coast Transit Authority will still operate buses 

Greyhound bus service from Crescent City to anywhere the national bus line travels could be available as soon as two weeks from now and almost certainly by Christmas.

The Redwood Coast Transit Authority board approved an Interline Agreement with Greyhound Lines on Wednesday, a project that has been in the works for years.

“We’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” said Rich Enea, RCTA board chairman and Crescent City Council member.


Workshop to educate home-based producers

A new do-it-yourself workshop Saturday will focus on new opportunities for home-based producers and walk folks through the California Cottage Food Laws.

Sponsored by the Community Food Council, the workshop will provide an overview of the California Cottage Food Act as well as Del Norte County’s licensing requirements. The California Cottage Food Law, which took effect in January 2013, allows individuals to prepare or package non-potentially hazardous foods in their private home kitchen. 


Landing his dream job

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A self-proclaimed aviation aficionado, Matthew Leitner is the new airport director for the Border Coast Regional Airport Authority. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Blind in one eye, new airport head was flying solo before he had a driver’s license 

Self-described “lifelong aviation aficionado” Matthew Leitner was appointed to be the airport director of the Border Coast Regional Airport Authority in October, a dream job for a man who loves the outdoors and was flying planes solo before he could drive a car.

“For the past 20 years I’ve been amassing the credentials with the intention of being where I am today,” Leitner said during a recent interview with the Triplicate. “I believe this is my zenith. I like small airports. I really love what I do. I’ve been doing this all my life.”


Virus may be sea star killer

Disease seen in Del Norte an epidemic along West Coast 

Grisly sea star deaths are continuing to litter the tidelands along the West Coast with decaying, ghostly goo, but scientists now believe they, at least, may have identified a potential culprit.

New evidence suggests a mysterious wasting disease killing sea stars by the millions may be the result of a waterborne virus that has been found in starfish since at least the 1940s, according to research published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Family of 4 rescued from crash in river

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Emergency vehicles line Highway 199 after the wreck. Submitted
A driver on Saturday lost control of his truck on Highway 199 and careened down the embankment where its back half ended up in the Smith River. One of the vehicle’s four passengers was hospitalized.


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