Reporter's Notebook published Feb. 2, 2013

By Triplicate Staff February 04, 2013 06:10 pm

St. George Reef Lighthouse will dedicate a night to each Newton, Conn., massacre victim.
St. George Reef Lighthouse will dedicate a night to each Newton, Conn., massacre victim. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
The light that shines each night from the St. George Reef Lighthouse will take on special meaning this month.

The Lighthouse Preservation Society will dedicate one night during February to each of the 26 victims of the recent school massacre in Newtown, Conn.

The lighthouse is six miles off the Del Norte coastline. It was re-lit last March with an automated device that shines from dusk to dawn.

“In addition to preserving the lighthouse and its history, we feel that the light is also important as a symbol, offering hope in the darkness,” said society president Guy Towers.

The society website, stgeorgereeflighthouse.us, will  feature the name of the victim being memorialized each night.

— Richard Wiens

Smith River video

A short video providing an overview of the Smith River National Recreation Area can now be viewed online.

The film represents many of the recreational interests of the NRA including fishing and whitewater boating, but some of the most striking footage includes  aerial shots of the mountainous headwaters of the Smith River watershed and close-up, underwater shots of salmon and steelhead in the Smith.

 Recent salmon habitat restoration work in the watershed, including the construction of large log jams with heavy equipment is also featured in the film.

The video was produced by Thomas Dunklin for the U.S. Forest Service, in collaboration with the Smith River Alliance. It was funded by the Del Norte Resource Advisory Council.It can be viewed in the Gasquet Ranger Station visitor center and at vimeo.com/57657021 .

— Adam Spencer

 

Orleans mural completed

Last week, the completion of a new mural in Orleans depicting the story of attempts to remove dams on the Klamath River was announced. The mural is located on the Orleans Market on Highway 96, and was painted at the Amayav Exchange, a local farmers market and space for community trade in Orleans. 

The project was completed by the Klamath Justice Coalition, a community group along the Klamath River, local artists, elders, youth, and the Estria Foundation.

The Estria Foundation, a public arts organization based in the Bay Area is painting murals about water across the globe in a series entitled #WaterWrites. The Klamath mural will be linked with projects completed in LA, Oakland, Honolulu, The Philippines, Palestine, and El Salvador. For more information, visit www.estria.org.

— Adam Spencer

The hospital and taxes

Dr. Greg Duncan, Sutter Coast Hospital’s medical chief of staff, recently suggested reviewing the hospital’s tax-exempt status as a way of fighting regionalization.

County Assessor Louise Wilson said the hospital district has an property assessment value of $41,189,726. The hospital’s total exemption is $38,362,911. The hospital does pay taxes on an assessed value of $2,826,815, Wilson said, adding the hospital pays about $30,000 a year in taxes.

The hospital’s tax-exempt status is granted under the Welfare Exemption in the California Constitution, Article 13, Section 4 (b), Wilson said. This allows the Legislature to exempt property taxes for a property that is used exclusively for religious, hospital or charitable purposes that is a nonprofit.

Every three years the California Board of Equalization does audits of organizations that have tax-exempt status under the Welfare Exemption, she said. It then notifies county tax authorities if that organization is no longer eligible for tax-exempt status.

— Jessica Cejnar

The sheriff and guns

Del Norte County Sheriff Dean Wilson has added his name to a list of 242 sheriffs from counties in 36 states declaring that they will stand up against any gun-control measures they deem to be unconstitutional.

The list was published by the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association and can be found at this link: cspoa.org/sheriffs-gun-rights.

— Anthony Skeens