Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Today at 5 p.m. / Community
Crescent City Council to Discuss Sister City Landmark at Beachfront Park
Almost nine years after Kamome ran aground in Crescent City, councilors will vote on a proposal on Monday to create a monument to their sister city relationship with Rikuzentakata, Japan.
Mentioned in the city’s waterfront park master plan, the monument will be included in a section of the park dedicated to telling the story of Crescent City, City Manager Eric Wier said at the outpost on Friday. by Wild Rivers.
Although the Council will not be asked to take official action on Monday, Wier offers to work with Piece by Piece Pottery, a local community art program for young people founded by Harley and Jill Munger that specializes in mosaic murals. of ceramic tiles.
Wier said he envisions young people from both sides of the Pacific Ocean working together to create the monument.
“They are the ones who come up with the final design and they form the pieces of clay to make the tiles,” Wier said. “The hope is that we will be at a point with the pandemic that we will bring exchange students from Rikuzentakata and also have them form the tiles, so you have this continuing story of the two communities coming together and doing this mural. “
Wier’s proposal fits the origin story of how the friendship between Crescent City, Del Norte County, and Rikuzentakata began.
Kamome, a 20-foot-long fishing boat owned by Rikuzentakata High School, ran aground in South Beach almost two years after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 swept it out to sea.
Shortly after sheriff’s deputies retrieved the boat, students from Del Norte High School cleaned it up and brought it back to Rikuzentakata.
This gesture began a series of exchanges between Del Norte and Takata high schools leading to their relationship with the sister school. About three years later, dignitaries from Rikuzentakata, Crescent City and Del Norte County signed an official Sister City pact in 2018.
According to Wier, the idea to work with the Mungers came from Cindy Vosburg, executive director of the Crescent City-Del Norte County Chamber of Commerce. Wier said he hoped the monument would tell the story of Kamome, including the impact of the tsunami in Rikuzentakata and in Crescent City’s own port.
Wier will also urge Council to enter into a contract with PGA Design, which helped create the master plan for the seaside park, to design a “site-specific area” for the monument, including the installation of footpaths therein. lead, giving the viewer a sense of setting and place.
“The other part is how do we make sure that this tile mural also feels spacious; a sense of context as it revolves around Beachfront Park, ”Wier said. “When a visitor comes to Beachfront Park, the experience we want them to have is looking at the ocean, seeing the mural and reading about the Twin City relationship and living it in a way. that reflects history. “
Kamome’s story was the subject of a children’s book, “Kamome’s Extraordinary Journey,” written by Lori Dengler, professor of geology at Humboldt State University, and Amya Miller, former senior consultant. by Rikuzentakata.
Del Norte and Crescent City’s relationship with Rikuzentakata was also part of an NBC Sports feature film that aired during the Tokyo Olympics in July.
Crescent City Council will meet at 6 p.m. on Monday at the Flynn Center, 981 H Street. The public can also participate via Zoom. The meetings are also streamed live on YouTube.