Richard Wiens, The Triplicate

As I wrote last week, the Triplicate's financial health depends for now on its paper product. If Del Norters value their only comprehensive local news source, they'll buy it (not a big expense) and advertise in it (also not that big of an expense).

That doesn't mean we ignore the Internet. At, we post breaking news as soon as we've got it. And as of this week it's easier than ever to track us on Facebook.

We started out in the world of social media as "The Daily Triplicate," but that site didn't go away when we switched to three-times-a-week publication and added a second site, "Del Norte Triplicate." So for more than a year we've been posting at both sites. Finally, we've been able to merge our "friends" and "likes" into a single site, simply "The Triplicate."

We post the breaking news there as well, along with occasional bonus photos and previews of what's coming up in the next print edition.

Since we're already talking about cyberspace, let's take a look at the results from some of our recent polls at These surveys are far from scientific, but they do generate a lot of responses.

andbull; Most recently we asked if people should be legally prohibited from walking on the Crescent City jetty, the scene of many wave-washed tragedies and rescue operations over the years.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents oppose such a move. There were 479 "no" votes (65.3 percent) and 255 "yes" votes (34.7 percent).

As reported in today's newspaper, there's a move afoot to discourage jetty walking by setting high fines for those who get into trouble out there, thus imperiling themselves and rescue workers.

Personally, I'd like to see a half-year ban, say from October through March, the months when we generally get our biggest storms and highest waves. At other times, the practice should still be discouraged, since sneaker waves can occur at any time of year.

andbull; Speaking of hazardous local conditions, people were asked what should be done about Last Chance Grade south of Crescent City, an unstable stretch of U.S. Highway 101 where frequent repairs are required.

Given two options, 510 respondents (75.9 percent) chose building a bypass farther inland, even if it affects old-growth redwoods on public land.

The other option, continuing to repair it to preserve the current route, even though a major slide could close it indefinitely, was supported by 162 respondents (24.1 percent).

Of course, Caltrans has the only vote that

really counts, and right now there's a crew out there working again to stabilize Last Chance Grade.

andbull; Finally, we noted that the Del Norte electorate consistently leans conservative (supporting Romney last year and McCain in 2008, for instance). We asked people which of three explanations came closest to their opinion of why.

The top choice was that Del Norters are especially suspicious of the state and federal governments, getting 180 votes (41.6 percent).

Second choice was that rural areas such as this are naturally conservative, getting 161 votes (37.2 percent).

A third possible explanation, that Del Norte has a relative lack of ethnic diversity, got 92 votes (21.2 percent).