Trinidad Tidings: Students excel in competition; city faces grim budget realities

WINNERS Trinidad School fifth grade students Navah Haskell, left, and Kari Hakenen receive news that their poster Unbought and Unbiased won in the Humboldt County History Day competition. Photo by Aaron Hakenen

Kari Hakenen and Navah Haskell, fifth grade students at Trinidad School, were among the winners of the Humboldt County History Day competition on Feb. 29.   

Their well-researched work on the first African American woman, Shirley Chisholm, to be elected to the House of Representatives in 1968 and who later ran for President of the United States in 1972, was presented using a large poster at Humboldt State University in cooperation with the Humboldt County Office of Education.

More than 500 students in fourth to 12th grade from 40 area schools, with support from 50 teachers, participated in the annual History Day event, which is meant to inspire historical interest and in-depth research in young people. 

Emmet Bowman, fifth grade teacher at Trinidad School, was Kari and Navah’s coach. The theme for this year’s competition was “Breaking Barriers in History” and the girls titled their research and poster “Unbought and Unbiased” for their study of the career of Shirley Chisholm (1924-2005), who was born in Brooklyn, New York and who lived in Barbados for seven years before running for Congress.

Congratulations to Kari and Navah, to their families, and to Trinidad School.

Wellness wishes to Trinidad’s Robert McCune

Robert McCune, Korean War veteran, Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff and Investigator (1955-1979), author and photographer of The 2003 Gathering of Nations Powwow in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and of western United States ranch country books,  is ill (not COVID-19) and resting at home on View Street with his beloved wife Maggie.  

Robert is known to many Trinidadians as a first rate house painter. He learned his painting skills working under cover as an investigator with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and in his retirement carefully and patiently painted some of Trinidad’s most beautiful homes.

He also voluntarily painted dozens of Native American homes and buildings on reservations in the Southwest United States for over a decade.

He prided himself on restoring historical structures as well, taking on repairing and painting dozens of seemingly hopeless double-hung windows at a vintage Washington resort.  When Robert and Maggie set out on their many road trips in their perfectly hand-outfitted “Shadow Catcher” white van, Robert took breathtaking photographs of  western ranch country and isolated remote places of exquisite beauty, many of which were exhibited at the Morris Graves Museum and other venues.

All of Trinidad wishes for Robert’s wellness at home.

Food packages available at Town Hall

City Manager Eli Naffah announced at last week’s Webex virtual City Council meeting that the Area 1 Agency on Aging has donated 160 food boxes to local seniors during these uncertain coronavirus times.  

If you are 60 years old or over, you can collect a box of nutritious packaged food items at the City Clerk’s office in the Town Hall between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Email [email protected] or call (707) 677-0223 for details.  

In other city matters, Trinidad residents were encouraged to sign up for city meeting notifications through the City Clerk. Only four phone-in residents were in last week’s audience. The next meeting will be on Thursday, May 21 at 6 p.m.  This is not the normally scheduled time because there is some urgency to advancing the Stormwater grant work decisions prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting.  

The council discussed voting on whether or not to place the city 3/4 percent sales tax continuation on the November ballot.  

City Clerk Gabriel Adams presented figures showing that because of the decrease in taxable sales in the city, there could be a 30 percent to 50 percent reduction of in city revenues in 2020-2021.   

City Manager Naffah announced that Verizon and AT&T were in the permit and lease-signing phase of removing the cell tower from Trinidad Head and relocating it before October 2020.  Long time and much appreciated Public Works Department leader Bryan Buckman has announced his retirement.  

The City of Trinidad is complying with County Health Department COVID-19 precautions. 

Shirley Laos, a member of the Trinidad Trails Committee, gave a  report on committee suggestions for keeping trails open using social distancing and other precautions, however these recommendations will be discussed further at the next Council meeting.

Email Patti at [email protected].     






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