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Out of work crabbers struggling to get by

'One of the roughest times' ever in boom and bust biz

As the California Crab industry braces for a season that may be a complete bust each person dependent on the industry is left to try and make up for the loss.

Although some are able to weather the disaster financially better than others, everyone is feeling the hit and some may lose everything.

Federal aid may come through but that can take up to 16  months, far too late to help those in need of cash now. Be it a crab boat captain, a crew member, a processor, a restaurant owner or a crab wholesaler, each could be facing a year with no crab revenue. And in a rural community where there is very little work to begin with the implications of a season without crab will be devastating. Many within the industry are already fighting for survival.


Coastal Commision fires Lester

McClure joins 7-5 majority in ousting exec. despite vocal support from public

After seven hours of public testimony on his behalf, it was determined behind closed doors late Wednesday that Dr. Charles Lester, executive director of the California Coastal Commission, had lost his job.

“If there’s a silver lining, it’s that I’m so energized by all the people who came together,” Lester said. “This was a spontaneous expression of our commitment to the coast of California, and we should all be proud of that.”

The announcement of the split 7-5 vote in favor of terminating Lester was made in Morro Bay a little after 9 p.m., despite having the public’s overwhelming support.


Only reality: part 3 in a series on domestic violence in DN

Read more...Even though people in Del Norte County have been reporting domestic violence at a staggering rate, most abuse is suffered in secrecy.

Native American communities are disproportionately affected. 

While Native people make up about 10 percent of Del Norte’s general population, they are consistently at least 25 percent of the victim caseload for the county’s major service providers and the state court system.

 Native children are a lot more likely to be included in referrals to the county’s department for Child Welfare Services, according to agency data analyzed from 2009-2012. 


Alleged victim says he was in love with cheer coach

Whether or not “cuddling” is considered “lewd and lascivious” behavior is a matter standing before a jury this morning, following three days of trial for alleged sex crimes by county employee and former cheerleading coach Joseph Young. 

The relationship between Young, 41, and his then-17 year old cheer student at Del Norte High School may have started as a friendship in the fall of 2014, said District Attorney Dale Trigg, but it reached felonious levels of intimacy before the start of 2015. 

Young’s defense attorney Mike Riese said his client “exercised bad judgment,” but has been charged with crimes for which there is no evidence. 


Coastal Voices: RSVP has a lot of ways to lend a hand

As 2016 gets underway, there are volunteer opportunities in the Del Norte community that help serve local community needs.  For those who are 55 and up, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is looking for community members who have some time and talent and want to give back.  

For those that are interested in helping those in need of food, Rural Human Services distributes 600 to 700 food boxes a month and needs volunteer help.  They will also need help at the Farmer’s Market in the summertime.  For more information about getting involved, call Ron Phillips at 464-8347.

Another option for people who might like to work outdoors is the Del Norte Gleaning Program.   Volunteer gleaners gather food that is either left over after a harvest, or is in abundance- sometimes in the trees of someone’s yard.  Contact Kelley Nolan at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


Emergency dispatch call logs, Feb. 5-7, 2016

Excerpts from the Del Norte County emergency dispatch call logs, Feb. 5-7: 

Friday, February 5

At 1:32 a.m., report of two large dogs that will not stop barking near the 100 block of Downing Street.

At 2:42 a.m., report of a couple standing outside yelling at each other on the 400 block of U.S. 101 North.

At 6:41 a.m., caller on the 1400 block of U.S. 101 South said he heard somebody yelling for help and believes they are in the water.


Hunter education classes starting

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife will offer hunter education classes starting Monday.

The classes continue Feb. 18 and Feb. 20, according to a California Department of Fish and Wildlife press release. Classes will also be offered in March, May and June.

The class is a requirement for all first-time hunters as well as non-resident hunters. To sign up students must pre-register online at https://wildlife.ca.gov/Hunt-Education/Pre-registration and bring their registration paperwork to class.


Ambulance co. helps out at Super Bowl

They may not have been in the big game, but two Del Norte EMS workers provided a valuable service for Santa Clara County — home of Super Bowl 2016.

Del Norte Ambulance Paramedic Tom Phillips and Emergency Medical Technician Matt Sutton worked a 12 hour shift, from about 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., in Santa Clara on Sunday. They weren’t at Levi’s Stadium, but could respond to an emergency elsewhere in the area.

“It’s great experience for us,” Phillips said. “It’s a great training opportunity for us going down to somewhere we’re not used to or accustomed to and (responding) to 911 calls in a larger system.”


Crabbing crews in the cold as season in doubt

Owners offered loans while employees hope for federal aid

With the Crab Season hanging on the edge of cancellation the Small Business Administration is offering boat-owners low-interest loans but  crew members appear left to fend for themselves.

The SBA came to Crescent City on Monday and will be here on today from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the harbor office meeting room, 101 Citizens Docs Road. The federal agency is offering low interest loans to businesses impacted economically by the 2015 Dungeness crab season delay and Rock crab closure, Harbormaster Charlie Helms said.

Jacob Linard, a crew member on a Crescent City crab boat, who, because of the closure was forced to leave the state to look elsewhere for work, doesn’t think the loan program offers a real solution.


Tribe plans for climate change

Read more...
In this 2011 file photo, Suzanne Fluharty, of the Yurok Tribe Environmental Program, collects mussels to be tested for toxins expected to be more common due to climate change impacts. Del Norte Triplicate file photo
The Yurok Tribe lived in harmony with their natural environment for millennia. Although tribal members today live a decidedly modern life, many tribal members still fish, hunt and gather within their ancestral lands, making them keenly in tune with the effects of climate change.

Recently, the Yurok Tribe held the second in a series of three climate change adaptation workshops designed to assess potential aquatic impacts related to climate change, develop a climate change adaptation plan, and create a web-based monitoring network to identify expected changes as they come.

“We recognize climate change is happening and the impacts we're seeing now are only going to increase,” said Joe Hostler, an environmental specialist for the Yurok Tribe Environmental Program.


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