Del Norte Triplicate Readers

Tsunami resistant, but what about rust?

Reading the Triplicate's article on the tsunami upgrades of our harbor ("The harbor gets tougher," Sept. 5) brought to mind an observation I made there.

Dutra Co. stored various parts in the yard all around the harbor and I noticed some hot dip galvanized weldments of varying shapes, apparently to be used on or under water.

One needs to know that weld spatter, the little droplets of metal and slack that happen to fall next to the weld seam, are only lightly fused to the base metal and are easily knocked off. If one galvanizes over them, in time rust will form under them or they will get knocked off and rust will start at that uncoated site.

Since the failure of a zinc coat is predictable, most companies would not accept improperly prepared weldments for galvanizing.

If memory serves right, in California, Caltrans has an industry-wide recognized specification for galvanizing of welded structures. It did not appear any effort was made to remove weld spatter on the weldments I saw.

So while our harbor may be tsunami-resistant, simple rust is a different matter.

Norbert Beising, Hiouchi

Thanks to Gasquet Volunteer Fire Dept.

About three or four weeks ago I was getting ready to go to work around 7:15 a.m. when I heard the sound of the fire siren going off. I immediately thought to myself, "I hope the accident is northeast of here, so I'm not late to work."

Well about 15 minutes later as I was heading to Crescent City on Highway 199, there was indeed an accident on the road, and there dressed in their firefighting gear tending to the scene were several of my neighbors.

I immediately felt very ashamed for my earlier, self-centered thoughts. My only concern had been with whether or not I was going to arrive to work on time, yet here were my neighbors who had each dropped whatever they had been doing, made their way to the station, put on their gear, and rushed to the accident to help in whatever way they could.

Throughout the year, the Gasquet Volunteer Fire Department responds to many kinds of emergencies, usually car accidents, oftentimes in the middle of the night, and sometimes involving fatalities. I want to thank them for doing this job with dedication and professionalism, yet without pay and fanfare.

Since that morning, whenever I hear the siren sounding, I count my blessings to live in such a special little community where people really do care about one another, and some even train as firefighters (and all that entails), allow their lives to be disrupted, put their own safety on the line and answer the call to help those in need. Just one more wonderful reason why I am so lucky to call Gasquet my home!

Heather Blankenship,Gasquet