Coastal Voices: An outsider’s views on Del Norte County

By Tamara Jones June 19, 2012 09:13 am

I’ve had the pleasure of spending the past two months in your amazing community. The first thing I did upon my arrival was pick up a copy of the local newspaper and familiarize myself with Crescent City and the surrounding area.

I was pleased to see that, unlike my local paper, yours is not full of typographical errors. The reporting is good and the stories are well written and thoughtful.  I was curious to see how the local politics would shake out as you were in the midst of an election.

I arrived at a headline about dispensaries closing and public officials having faced methamphetamine and drunk driving charges. After a couple of weeks I had to give up on reading the Triplicate altogether.  I found that my knowledge of local issues was detracting from my ability to enjoy the beauty and majesty of my surroundings.

Looks to this observer like you folks would be pleased that someone is making money.  It appears that the fishing and timber industries have taken a hit. I don’t know much about the whole medical marijuana issue, but it seems like any business would be welcome.

Last week I watched a young man strap braces to his legs, grab a bunch of gear and scale a very tall tree to extract a model airplane from its branches. He did it for $50. He has three small daughters and can’t find work. As I was preparing to leave town this morning, I couldn’t help but pick up the Triplicate. Again I was impressed with the grammar and accuracy, but the content seems so out of touch.

Did I really read that your community may cut back public transportation services — possibly significantly — or at best raise the rates to compensate for a gas shortage? Really? Did I really read in the larger article directly beside this disturbing one that “the local transportation budget has already pegged $400,000” to support a Front Street revitalization project?” The same Front Street that this outsider has been observing for the past two months?  Really?

I was so overcome by the beauty that is Front Street that I never noticed the potholes.

Your local Chamber of Commerce mentioned “triggering dialogue from visitors” in this article. This visitor would like to say that I have never felt more spiritually enriched by my surrounding than I did while I was in your community. You are truly blessed with  natural beauty and resources the likes of which most states can only imagine.

I hope on my next visit I will find that your elected officials have addressed the public transportation issues.  Especially since fares are currently increasing. You are transporting people who want to work. People who need to work.  People who are climbing an enormous tree for $50. These are your working people. The high cost of gas is not something that just happened recently. At least not where I’m from.

Please don’t make a Front Street that is more attractive only to people with nothing to do. The plan as mentioned sounded like an absolute haven for the aimless people I saw on the side of the road on my way to view Front Street for the last time.  Please don’t let that happen here while cutting transportation services to the working people.

This visitor would prefer to see Front Street remain as it is.

As an outsider, the aimless foot traffic is the only thing that has detracted from my visit. Please don’t create more of it by cutting off services to your local workers.

Tamara Jones is a resident of New Braunfels, Texas.