Laura Wiens, The Triplicate

Students worked hard on a month-long project at Community Day School in Crescent City, and their efforts were rewarded Thursday with the dedication of a tile mural depicting the Western lily, a wildflower found locally.

Working with the folks who brought Crescent City all those tile murals that line Third Street, Harley and Jill Munger, the students designed, created and installed the mural in the school's main hallway.

"Harley is the mastermind," said Erica Moore, a teacher at the school for seventh- through 12th-graders. Colton Steeley, 16, of Castle Rock High School, conceptualized the mural and said at the dedication he was happy with the way it turned out.

The project, which involved the actual work of 11 students and included 105 tiles, was designed to "encourage teamwork and collaboration, and increase awareness of local endangered species. Just to know what a treasure trove we live in," Erica said.

Also at the dedication were the Mungers, Superintendent Don Olson, and other district officials.

The wall of tile murals on Third Street, which took 3andfrac12; years to complete, were recently dedicated as well during the Art Walk in a ceremony attended by dozens of people. Harley and Jill also worked with young artists on that project, and their organization,

Elk Valley Artisans, just announced the awarding of college scholarships to four of them.

Sophomore Sophia Lucero received a $1,000 scholarship; College of the Redwoods student Robin Lammers, $500; Cassidy Chase and Ashli Dickenson each got $250.

Stroll down Third Street and check out the murals for a quick Del Norte history lesson. The work was co-sponsored by the Business Improvement District, a Community Development Block Grant from the city, Elk Valley Artisans and Piece by Piece Pottery.

'Whale Watching' speaks loudly

The timing couldn't have been better. When volunteers set up the latest "Whale Watching Spoken Here" station at Crescent City's Brother Jonathon Viewpoint last month, they saw 32 whales during a three-hour watch, according to coordinator Alan Justice.

Del Norte is the southernmost outpost for this program sponsored by Oregon State Parks and held over Christmas week and in March while the gray whales are usually migrating.

Justice saw even more of the marine mammoths during a recent trip to the mouth of the Klamath River, when he used high-powered binoculars to observe 83 in a single hour.

"It was by far a record for me," said Justice, and that's saying a lot because he is one of Del Norte's premiere whale-watchers.

He's always looking for more volunteers for the next round of "Whale Watching Spoken Here." Training involves a one-day course offered at various Oregon locations. For more information, call Alan at 465-4650.

First taste of college

Some 279 fourth-graders will get their first taste of higher education Friday when they visit the College of the Redwoods Del Norte campus for a half-day of educational activities promoting college attendance.

The event from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. is the culmination of the "I'm Going to College" program, which involves classroom activities throughout the school year. On Friday, the kids get to experience a day in the life of a college student, attending mini-classes especially designed for their age group. They will also hear about the advantages of a college education, financial assistance for the costs of college and the importance of doing well in their elementary classes.

Many local students and their families do not know that college is possible, a CR official said. Planting the seeds for education can never come too early. By having a first-hand experience while in elementary school, students visualize college in their future.

The job hunt

For older youths already in high school or college, it may be time to look for a job, and help is on the way.

Free job-readiness training, offering help with applications, interviewing skills, cover letters and resumes, starts next Monday and continues through May 9.

High school or college students wishing to participate should call the Workforce Center, 464-8347, or just show up the first day (Monday) at 2 p.m. Check in at the main office to get the room location.

The class runs from 2 to 4:30 p.m. the first day (May 6), then from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday (May 7-9).