by Ryan Burns
The local blogosphere continues to reverberate with shock and sadness over the death of Chris Crawford, a passionate political figure, respected businessman and accomplished technology expert who died last weekend after a brief battle with liver cancer.
Crawford was a vibrant and active member of the local political scene. A proud "lifelong Republican," he worked tirelessly to further campaigns he believed in -- for example, chairing the local Measure N campaign to make way for the Marina Center -- and to thwart those he opposed, such as Measure T, a 2006 countywide campaign finance reform initiative. He ran for county supervisor in 2000, offering a seven-point plan for "more jobs and better county government."
J Warren Hockaday, executive director of the Greater Eureka Chamber of Commerce, remembered his friend in today's Times-Standard as "one of the most passionate and one of the brightest persons I've ever known... . Instead of just having opinions, he really put his horsepower behind the issues he believed in."
Through his activity with the Redwood Technology Consortium Crawford was instrumental in efforts to establish redundant fiber-optic connectivity to the county -- an ever-more-important communications lifeline. On the Talking Tech blog, his friend and fellow consortium member Bob Morse called him "one of the most eloquent off-the-cuff speakers I knew" and said, "Chris was gregarious, poured [a] good drink, and laughed loudly."
I met him when I was a fresh-faced business reporter for the Times-Standard. I'd gone to the Fortuna River Lodge to cover one of the first Broadband Forums held in the county. Once he learned who I was he made a point of sitting next to me, and throughout the day he kept whispering informative footnotes to the day's various speeches -- filling me in on the meaning of complicated techno-jargon and sharing bio information on the attending movers and shakers. It was a kind and selfless gesture.
There will be a memorial service at the Arkley Center on April 11 from 5 to 7 p.m., the T-S reports.