By Roger Gitlin – EYE ON DEL NORTE – December 14, 2021
Located on 199, four plus years ago, Del Norte County closed the six decade-old boys Juvenile probation camp 32 miles of Crescent City.
The good work performed by kids and Staff is unquestionable. 602 Wards (Juvenile offenders) aged 13-18 were Court-ordered to Bar O by scores of California counties scattered about the north State. Why did my colleagues and I on the Board of Supervisors shutter the highly successful Probation-run Program of Education, Discipline and Accountability?
Sadly, the State changed the funding criteria and instead of investing in sending a kid to the pristine Del Norte County wilderness, Sacramento opted to utilize lots of ankle bracelets and pull the plug on programs which actually worked. My career was spent as a Juvenile Court School teacher in Los Angeles County. LA County which operated on 18 different Probation Camps. Words fall short in relating my enriching career as a Certificated Staff.
When we moved north years ago, I often substituted at the Bar O Ranch school. What a supreme pleasure!
It saddens me to tell you Bar O remains shuttered and the Supervisors have no plans to utilize Bar O in any way.
I post this update because the opportunity to utilize this site should not be squandered. In speaking with Supervisor Starkey, I learned the County has no plans for the dormant Bar O.
Here are a few suggestions the County should place this item on an upcoming Agenda for Discussion and possible action:
* Future site for a DNUSD school/ training site
* Culinary school
* RV site
* Future housing
Indeed, ingress and egress roads would require improvement and zoning would need to change.
But no one is publicly talking about anything at Bar O except putting up larger NO TRESPASSING signage
What say you folks?