Richard Wiens, The Triplicate

If San Francisco is in Northern California, where is Crescent City?

Forget for a minute that some Californians think Humboldt County is the northern terminus of the Golden State. The fact is we're living with a state of mind that encompasses only the population centers - Los Angeles/San Diego to the south, the Bay Area and Sacramento to the north.

I frequently find myself changing geographic descriptions in wire service news articles. A recent one referred to Santa Maria as being in "Central California." Santa Maria is maybe 60 miles north of Santa Barbara, which is maybe 100 miles northwest of LA.

Sorry, but Santa Maria is part of Southern California in this


Thank goodness for the expression "Bay Area," which identifies the

San Francisco/Oakland/

San Jose conglomeration without need of a compass-point adjective.

But if the news emanates from nearby points out of sight of big bodies

of water - say, Stockton or Modesto - you can bet they'll be labeled

"Northern California."

Except in The Triplicate, where, if we catch the references in time,

they'll be changed to "Central California."

Does the state's skewed sense of geography matter? After all, Del

Norte doesn't have a lot in common with SF or LA anyway. But with our

large numbers of state employees and social service recipients, we are

certainly affected by what happens in Sacramento.

Maybe if more people knew about us, we wouldn't be dealing with an

absurd plan to close Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, shutting off

access to 21 miles of hiking trails and access to more than 2,500 acres

of old-growth redwoods while saving practically no money.


That park closure plan, by the way, is the subject of the current

online poll at So far, respondents seem somewhat

optimistic. While 129 (36.3 percent) think parts of it will actually be

closed, 107 (30.1 percent) think none of it will close. Another 119

(33.5 percent) think it will completely close.

The prior poll also brought out the optimists, with 468 (65 percent)

agreeing Crescent City Harbor will "eventually be better than ever

because of tsunami repairs and recovery efforts. Another 252 respondents

(35 percent) said they were more in agreement with the statement that

the harbor "will never fully recover from tsunami damage."

Another recent poll tested public sentiment regarding the beleaguered

Business Improvement District downtown and found a statistical dead

heat. Asked if the district is good for Crescent City's core area, 152

respondents (50.3 percent) said "no" while 150 (49.7 percent) said


The recent poll question with the biggest voter turnout involved

Bigfoot. Asked what was closest to respondents' beliefs, 542 (38.9

percent) said "the creature may exist," 533 (38.3 percent) said "the

creature clearly does not exist," and 318 (22.8 percent) said "the

creature definitely exists."

Another question: If Sasquatch is wandering out there in the Del

Norte fog, do you think it knows it's in California?


A new feature of the Wednesday Neighbors page appears beneath the

simple label, "Thanks." In the past, messages thanking individuals or

organizations for this or that appeared as letters to the editor, but

they seem a better match for the community news/bulletin board page.

And finally, my apologies to Marlowe Thompson, who referred to the

two terms of our nation's first president in a recent letter to the

editor. Somehow certain in my own mind that George Washington was only

around for one term after leading the Colonials during the Revolutionary

War, I changed the letter to reflect that notion.

In my line of work, there's nothing worse than editing in a mistake.