Laura Wiens, The Triplicate

House dedication; Canine Olympics; Constitution celebrated

After a year and a half, a labor of love is finally paying off as Habitat For Humanity dedicates its latest new house Sunday.

The public is welcome to the 2 p.m. ceremony at 310 Bradford St. in Smith River. After an invocation and blessing of the house and a few words from Habitat officials, the keys will be handed over and refreshments will be served.

The five-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,800-square-foot house is on a cul-de-sac. It's a good-sized lot that backs up to the Smith River School.

It will house Israel Compos, his wife Estolia Luna, their daughter and son-in-law Maria and Pasqual Lara and their two kids, as well as two other children, all of them school-age.

Habitat broke ground in March 2012, and the project involved 40andndash;50 volunteers, with a core group of about 15. This is the fourth house built by Habitat in the area, according to Katie Boivin, a retired schoolteacher who is a member of the local Habitat Board of Directors.

Thirty applicants were narrowed to 10 finalists before Israel and Estolia were chosen.

"It's so sad because you meet all these families and they all have such high hopes of getting chosen," said Katie. "I wish we could build 10 houses at a time, but we just don't have the resources."

During construction, the family came and built a garden in the backyard. "The soil was horrible, full of rocks," said Katie. "I don't know how they were able to do it, but they did."

There's a set number of sweat-equity hours required of the new homeowners. "Israel and Paquel were there every single Saturday," said Katie. "Maria and Estolia brought lunch three times a week for the workers. Sometimes there were a lot of people to feed."

This is the second house Katie has volunteered to help build. She still remembers when she and a friend signed up: "We didn't know how to do anything, but we learned very quickly."

With help from experts on the job site, "We learned a lot about all phases of construction. I never used a power saw before or knew how to use a hammer correctly," she said. She also helped with the custom cabinetry.

"It's like that movie 'Ground Hog Day.' We sand and we stain and the next day we sand and we stain again. But it's worth it."

Habitat For Humanity holds various fundraisers throughout the year. Next up is its 15th annual House Party Dinner and Auction at 5:30 p.m., Oct. 5, at the Cultural Center. Tickets are on sale now for $40. Call Carol Mathews at 464-4262 for reservations.

Other fundraisers include the annual Yuletide Tea at the Anna Wulf House on Dec. 1, the sale of Christmas trees and fireworks and the Garden Tour in July.

One for the pooches

Have you got an Olympian in your family? Maybe one with four legs?

The sixth annual Coastal Canine Olympics will be held Saturday at Ace Pavilion (the livestock building) at the county fairgrounds, with registration starting at 10 a.m. Events start at 11, including a meatball race, retriever course, doggie dashes and trick contests for various-sized contestants, an owner/dog look-alike contest and beginner and advanced agility courses.

The Humane Society of Del Norte fundraiser is always great fun. The entry fee is $10 per dog with one human. Spectators pay $5 for admission, $2 if under age 12.

For more information, call 464-1686 or go to

Celebrate the Constitution

Also coming up Saturday is an event put on by the Del Norte Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in honor of this being Celebrating Constitution Week.

From 1 to 3 p.m. at the Del Norte County Library in Crescent City, there will be displays for adults and children, and a book reading for children. All kids get a free goodie bag.

For more information, contact DAR Regent Wendy Malone, 954-2210, or Vice-Regent Christine Long, (209) 996-4796.

Reach Laura Wiens at