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From the Redwood Record of Feb. 10, 1983

”Our schools are a lot better than the community thinks,” Roger Adams, superintendent of the Southern Humboldt Unified School District, told the Redwood Record in February 1983.

Responding to criticism of the entire California school system, Adams noted that SHUSD is a growing district, having gained 300 students in the past eight years, compared to a decline in enrollment in most school districts in the state.

Twenty-eight years ago the local school district had an enrollment of approximately 1,500 students in six elementary schools, one junior high, and one high school, with a total budget of $4.2 million. The district employed 75 teachers and administrators, as well as 150 classified personnel, including teacher’s aides, custodians, food service workers, drivers, mechanics and clerical staff.

With state assistance, SHUSD offered several special programs offering extra help to children falling behind in critical studies such as reading and math, as well as disabled children.

”I believe that the public schools are trying hard to serve a broader spectrum and to provide an educational opportunity for every youngster who wants it. … Standards have to be geared to the ability of the child,” Adams said. “That means getting one student to be able to add and subtract and balance a checkbook, and another to learn calculus. But you never give up on either.”

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Three families who owned property in lower Redway filed a lawsuit against the Pacific Lumber Company, Canevari Timber Company, and Humboldt County, alleging negligence that led to a mudslide 600 feet long and 200 feet wide into the Eel River in Redway in December 1981.

The slide diverted the flow of the river onto properties along Eel River Drive in Redway, eroding away large segments of the parcels. Although it remained standing, one summer home became uninhabitable because of the damage.

The landowners, each of whom spent several thousand dollars to shore up their land, sued the defendants for a total of $1.5 million. The case was still in its preliminary stages and had not yet reached the courts at the time of writing.

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Area 1 on Agency on Aging (A1AA) pledged to continue financial assistance to SoHum’s senior lunch program in spite of the loss of funds from the state’s SHARE program, which was axed by the legislature.

Although its own budget was reduced by nearly 10 percent, in its 1983-84 draft operating plan A1AA continued its commitment to help with senior lunch programs in Garberville and Miranda.

Approximately 1,600 persons over 60 years old were living in the “greater Garberville area” at the time, according to census figures, but only a fraction of them participated in the lunch program.

A1AA’s plan called for 75 meals per week to be served in Garberville and 25 per week in Miranda. Spokeswoman Patty Berg said that the agency would continue to support the availability of a range of services for SoHum seniors, including the Quail bus.

*****

Vandals celebrated Friday night by throwing or using slingshots to hurl rocks at passing motorists in the Benbow area.

The first incident occurred at 7:45 p.m. when a vehicle northbound on Benbow Drive near the Village Green restaurant was hit by an “unknown object,” causing $200 worth of damages.

This assault was followed at 8:30 p.m. by an object thrown at a pickup truck as it completed crossing the Benbow freeway overpass, breaking the windshield.

At 9 p.m. a vehicle was struck at the Benbow off-ramp, to the tune of $125 in damages, and finally, another window was broken by an object hurled at a 1974 cab-over truck, which incurred $200 worth of damages.

Luckily no one was injured by these attacks, but sheriff’s deputies were unable to find and arrest the perpetrators.

*****

Local talent Kent Scown sang a lead role in a comic opera performed by the Humboldt Chamber Singers and Symphony Orchestra at a free concert at the Redway School auditorium.

Scown played Uberto, the master, in “The Maid Servant,” a comic opera by the 18th century Italian composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi. Sheila Marks portrayed the maid servant, and George Dudley took the part of Vespone, the mute.

The Humboldt Symphony Orchestra was conducted by Madeline F. Schatz.

Soroptomists of the Redwoods sponsored the concert. Redway was the first stop in northern California for the Humboldt Symphony and Chamber Singers, who would then continue to Santa Rosa, San Francisco, and Carmel.

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