Is it really true that I am urging you not to vote? Yes, it's partly true. Quite possibly you have an interest in several of the local races and may feel passionately about one or more races. It could be Measure A or any of the three local countywide races for office.

You've seen the ads, heard them on radio or received a piece of mail. That's all good because you now have an idea of who would be the best choice, but what about those races where you may not have a clue?

For example, what do we know about the race for secretary of state? Have any of those candidates ever stepped foot in Del Norte County? Have you received any mail from any of the five candidates? I have not. How are we as voters supposed to be informed enough to vote if the candidates refuse to communicate with us about their positions on the issues? Rather than guess at which one to vote for, I suggest that we skip that race altogether and not vote. For me, it's better than making a bad choice.

Another race is the one about Proposition 42. Whoever heard of it before now and how are we supposed to make an intelligent decision when both the pro and con arguments are clocked in such legalese? It makes it almost impossible to make an informed choice. I'm leaving that one blank.

Speaking of this election, once you find out what each of our local candidates goes through just to ask for your vote, you have to admire their courage. Going door to door can be a hazardous experience. Believe me, I know. The candidate has to ask him or herself the question, "By the way that Pit Bulldog in the yard is growling at me, he must be thinking that I am a juicy steak. I hope he does not think I am the mailman. So should I chance it and risk getting my body torn to shreds? Is this vote worth it?"

Once the candidate gets past the angry dog, the next challenge is facing the equally angry voter. After the candidate gets his name out and the office he seeks, our angry voter proceeds to let you know what he thinks of all politicians, and it's not something I can mention in this family newspaper, but crook, liar and a racial slur are among the best words that comes out of his mouth. Then he comes forth with the statement that he would never vote for this candidate. Luckily, he never votes anyway.

Each of our local candidates seem to have sincere motivations for running. Every one of them wants to run a clean and above-board campaign and wants you to like them, but by the end of the campaign you would have thought they were the most despicable persons on God's green earth.

Why is that? It's been shown that going negative has had proven results. It's unfortunate but true. Even the most untrue accusations can have a lasting effect on a campaign. For example, a candidate says he heard that his opponent was accused of being a child molester. That alone is enough to doom a lot of campaigns. Most of these come out in the last week of the campaign because the opponent does not have a chance to respond before election day. So if you are only now being told about something for the first time, something slanderously negative about a candidate, chances are that you should not give it much credence.

Now here are the answers to the "Old-Timers Quiz" question:

What was the route taken by the stage line, to reach Gasquet from Crescent City in the 1800s?

The answer is Elk Valley, through what is now Stout Grove to South Fork

2. Who played Mama in the LRT play "I Remember Mama"?

The answer is Sandy Starets.

In the opening game of the Del Norte Warriors 1985 football season what team did Del Norte face - Eureka, Arcata, or Ferndale?

The answer is Arcata.

Bob Berkowitz is a Crescent City resident and president of LifeStyles Research Co.