Richard Wiens, The Triplicate

Sometimes, the public discourse that plays out in letters to the editor can help the community come to grips with a challenging problem. I'd put the many missives reandshy;ceived about the homeless in that category.

Other times, it can simply be interesting, even entertaining.

Then there are the times when it is little more than divisive, delineating positions in an argument that has no chance of being resolved. That's not the fault of the letter-writers, but these are the occasions when the recipient - the editor - should exercise discretion.

In retrospect, I think I let the letters about the true meaning of Christmas go on a little too long. It's clearly an issue people care about, and thus deserving of some presentation. But once we had someone writing to say the religious nature of the holiday had been hijacked, and someone responding about how people could celebrate the season without the religious overtones, well, that pretty much covered it. Various manifestations of the same positions followed, and several more were printed.

Again, it was an argument that simply was not going to be settled

through letters to the editor. Another example is the reaction to the

article about the gender change of a former longtime local educator.

Christie Lynn Rust has been and continues to be a prominent member of

the community and, when asked, was willing to share an extremely

personal story with fellow Del Norters. We did our best to present that

story in a tasteful and insightful way.

On Tuesday, we printed two letters with very different views on the

Rust story. It's unlikely that we'll print more because they'll

probably be restatements of these positions on a disagreement that

simply will not be resolved. I still welcome readers' opinions about

the Rust story and any other article that appears in The Triplicate.


I haven't produced a new installment of Walk Your World lately,

mainly because of my work on the hiking guide that was included in the

Dec. 26 edition of The Triplicate.

Laura and I will be back on the trails soon, however, and I'll be

aided by two Christmas gifts from her. One is a pedometer that will

help me be more precise in reporting the distances between points of


The second is a compass, something I've needed ever since arriving on the convoluted shores of Del Norte two years ago.

Back in Colorado Springs, I always had my bearings because Pikes

Peak loomed reliably to the west. Here, I'm never sure. Our waterways

twist and turn almost as much as the trails through the dense,

disorienting redwoods. And thanks to all those crescents, the beaches

are as likely to point southwesterly or northwesterly as they are to

face due west.

Highway 101 may be pretty much a north-south route, but Highway 199

meanders east and north on the long ride toward Grants Pass. Heck,

without a compass I'm unclear which direction I'm going even inside the

Crescent City limits.

Anyway, a new decade of traipsing through paradise has dawned. If

you have a hike to recommend, in any direction, e-mail your suggestion

to or send it to The Triplicate, P.O. Box 277,

Crescent City, CA 95531.