Under the heading "Whatever happened to them?" is whatever happened to Richard and Laura Wiens. For you folks who may be reading the Triplicate for the first time, Richard was the editor and Laura was the Neighbors Page editor for many years until they left for sunnier shores in Honolulu some three months ago.

I caught up with Richard at lunch at a local IHOP Restaurant on Waikiki recently. Richard is now the managing editor of City Beat, an online-only newspaper based in Honolulu. He manages three editors and six reporters. The major focus of the paper is investigative reporting with an emphasis on government, politics and the environment. I asked him what the major difference was between an online newspaper and a print paper. He says that once a reporter makes a mistake in an article and the paper is printed, that's it! There is no way to recall the error and make it right; it will be a part of that paper forever, whereas with the online newspaper, if a mistake is made, it can be corrected immediately.

Richard says the most challenging aspect of his job is the learning curve of the online technology and the mastery of pronouncing the Hawaiian names of the streets and cities.

While in Del Norte County, Laura and Richard were avid hikers. Many of those adventures appeared in the Triplicate's B section. He and Laura have continued to hike while in Hawaii. I asked him how Del Norte County rated for hiking compared to other areas. He gives Del Norte County a 9, Colorado an 8 and Hawaii a 7.

Laura, has continued with her professional painting on a full time basis. One of the most interesting things Richard found that brought back pleasant memories was finding Rumiano Cheese in a Safeway located in Honolulu.

Richard is looking to the day in about 10 years when he can retire, and he is considering coming back to Del Norte County and making it his home again.

I can't believe it! This year's Del Norte County Fair features an all new makeover with great events and shows like the "Bad Girls of Country" with our own Stephanie La Torre, the Adult Rodeo Dance, X-Treme AirDogs, the Quad Bash and much, much more. In addition, the fair will still have events we all enjoy like the rodeo, demolition derby, and the Miss Del Norte Pageant. Yes, the fair board has gone all out to make this the best fair ever.

The fair is a major attraction for our county, bringing thousands of new people into Crescent City every year along with their tourist dollars but, sadly, it could come to a screeching halt unless we all help to save it. You can do your part by volunteering to help. Just go to the main fair office and say you want to help save our fair. They will be glad to show you how.

Speaking of help, I need some help. If you have been paying attention to the news lately, you might have noticed that there is not a lot of good news from most events occurring around the world, but have you noticed how politicians refer to their position concerning bad news events? When they don't have anything definitive to say, they will state their position as "troubling," or if they are really concerned they will say "very troubling," or if the news is really bad they will say "extremely troubling." Variations of these themes are "distressed," "concerned," "dismayed," "apprehensive," etc. And of course with the appropriate adverb: "extremly," "very," and "deeply."

I have to admit that I don't know what any of this means. Does "very concerned" mean that the speaker is more or less concerned than "deeply concerned" or is "deeply concerned" more or less important than "extremely concerned"?

What does any of this mean? I get the idea of how the politician feels. OK, but what I really want to know is what the person is going to do about it. I suspect that the politician has no clue of a possible course of action, so the only thing they can convey is how they feel, but this brings me back to my original question. What does this all mean? I have no clue. All I know is that I am deeply distressed and extremely concerned. No, I guess I am just overwhelmingly troubled about all of the bad news in the world.

Just in case you were wondering what happened to the three disgraced state senators who were suspended earlier this year and barred from voting or representing their constituents, they are all drawing their full salary paid for by you and will do so until the end of the year because the Senate does not have the guts to expel them. If they had been Republicans, they would have been gone in a heartbeat. Yes, that's your state senate in inaction.

Bob Berkowitz, a Crescent City resident and president of LifeStyles Research Company, can be reached at