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Coastal Voices: Our forage fish are well-protected here

Recent news reports may have left some people with the wrong impression regarding the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s upcoming decision — on April 9 — to adopt the Pacific Coast Fishery Ecosystem Plan (FEP).

These stories have implied rampant overfishing of forage species — like sardines — that the FEP supposedly will address by reducing catch limits on these fish in order to maintain a food source for bigger species like salmon and albacore.

However, this simply isn’t true.

The council authorized development of the FEP to “enhance the Council’s species-specific management programs with more ecosystem science, broader ecosystem considerations and management policies that coordinate Council management across its Fishery Management Plans (FMPs) and the California Current Ecosystem (CCE).” 

The FEP’s first initiative proposes to protect unmanaged lower trophic level forage species such as Pacific sandlance and saury, which are currently not fished, by “prohibiting the development of new directed fisheries on forage species that are not currently managed by the Council, or the States, until the Council has had an adequate opportunity to assess the science relating to any proposed fishery and any potential impacts to our existing fisheries and communities.” 

In contrast, anchovy, sardines and market squid, officially known as coastal pelagic species (CPS), are already well managed under both federal and state fishery management plans, which prescribe precautionary harvest limits.


Church Notebook: Easter and Passover holidays are intertwined

What do Easter and Passover have to do with each other?

It’s so easy to think of them as the two distinctly different occasions that they are — yet they are inextricably linked for Christians.

God gave the Jewish people specific instructions for remembering how they were freed from Pharaoh’s slavery. Those instructions concluded with a special meal — the Passover seder — and it was right after Jesus celebrated this meal with his disciples that he was arrested and the events leading to his crucifixion were set in motion. Next week is the seven-day event of Passover that culminates with the Seder on Saturday.

The celebration of Passover for the Jewish communities of Curry and Del Norte counties will begin at sunset Monday. Temple Beth Shalom will host its Seder (or ritual meal) at 4 p.m. next Saturday, March 30.

This will take place at the Coast Guard Auxiliary Hall, 140 Marine Way, and the public is invited. Just bring a potluck item, and  $5  to join in this joyous festival commemorating the story in Exodus in which the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt.

In the book of Exodus (which, by the way, is in both the Torah and the Bible) the story is told of how God instructed Moses to lead his people out of Egypt, and what it took for Pharaoh to finally let them go.

Ten plagues were inflicted upon Egypt before he would release the Israelites — plagues of insects, frogs, locusts, and water turning to blood, but only after the death of every firstborn did Pharaoh relent.


Reporter's Notebook published March 16, 2013

Together at last: ‘Star Wars,’ ‘regionalization’

During a presentation by Dr. Greg Duncan on the Sutter Coast Hospital controversy, the hospital’s chief of staff poked fun at how Sutter Health executives have been referring to physicians who oppose “regionalization.”

“The physicians have been termed the ‘rebel alliance’ by our CEO — that’s how he refers to us when he talks to department managers. I’m not sure if he realizes that by that analogy, Sutter Health is the Death Star and the CEO would be Darth Vader, but he’s the one that brought it up.  I’m just carrying the analogy to the next logical step,” said Duncan.  

The doctor, who was once a self-described timid public speaker, has become quite comfortable with punchlines.

The forum was hosted by the Del Norte Tea Party Patriots.

— Adam Spencer

Special traffic advisories

Green hats, green beers and maybe some green faces — for those who drink too many, anyway.

The California Highway Patrol is advising people to take caution and plan for safe rides home for those Del Norte denizens celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this weekend; whether it be designating a driver or boosting the local economy by hiring a taxi.

Then on Tuesday, Klamath-area drivers will get some special encouragement to buckle up.

 


Vista Point: A walkathon of waves

Ocean waves fill a unique space in human experience.

“Modern quantum physics and ancient mysticism alike tell us that all life is made up of waves — light waves, sound waves, radio waves. Even physical matter, that which appears solid, is little more than a field of energy, vibrating at a certain frequency. Waves. The ocean surf we ride is the only form in which wave energy can be experienced on a human scale,” writes Tim Baker in “High Surf: The World’s Most Inspiring Surfers.”

But just because we can see a wave or ride it doesn’t mean we can easily understand how it works.

Surfers, unsurprisingly, know well the importance of watching and understanding waves before trying to ride them. Often seen standing around the edge of the beach looking like they’re being social, they may in fact be studying the waves — a task that can take some time — to know where the set is and where the wave breaks.

Wave height, direction, frequency and rhythm are important in understanding not only waves to ride but waves to avoid. For the beachcomber, potentially deadly sneaker waves (described in the last Vista Point column, “Science of sneaker waves: Seeing isn’t always believing,” March 5) fall in the latter category, and wave science is making headway in discovering the secrets of how and when they form, and why, counterintuitively, they’re more likely to occur when seas appear calm. 

A basic primer on what is well-understood: Ocean swells and waves are mostly caused by wind, typically from storms many thousands of miles away. Sometimes more than one set of swells will move through an area, products of different storms in different places and swells of different size, frequency and direction. 


House Calls: Help your kid to get through that injection

House Calls runs every other Saturday. Today’s column is written by Karen Chapman, a certified phlebotomy technician at Sutter Coast Hospital.

Before any blood draw your doctor might have ordered for your child, please explain to him or her in simple terms what is going to happen.

Children have a right to know what to expect, even if they are not going to like it. Explain why the doctor wants their blood drawn, “to see if you are sick,” etc.

It can be very frightening for children. If you stay calm and matter of fact, the child is usually calmer.

Some don’ts are, don’t tell children if they are not good, we will stick them twice. Threats make everything so much worse. We might miss and have to try twice!

 


Coastal Voices: Giving to panhandlers makes matters worse

Last week, I was exiting the market and heading toward my vehicle when I heard someone calling out, “Excuse me, sir…” I turned around and saw a man who I did not know wanting to ask me a question. Surprise! He wanted some money.

I make a practice of never ignoring anyone, especially if the person wants to talk to me. He asked me for some spare change; I politely declined. I asked him if he was hungry. He said, “Yes, I’m hungry.”

I offered to buy him a cheeseburger. He declined. When he realized he wasn’t going to collect anything from me but some conversation, he walked away. 

It should surprise no one that I do not believe in giving money to panhandlers. For the obvious reasons it sets a practice that can only worsen the condition, stimulate more begging (because it works), and most certainly not solve the endemic problem.

If I was to give this man some money, would I be helping or hurting him? Are begging and homelessness related?

To better understand this issue, I called Crescent City Police Chief Doug Plack. He was cautious to advise me there are homeless people and there are beggars and often they are not the same people. I accept that premise.

When I returned to my office, I placed a call to Rural Human Services for some data. Here are the figures I learned from RHS: In February 2013, 78 people received some services. Twenty-six received  bags of essentials, which included eating utensils, can opener,  canned goods, and assorted other food products.


Springtime abounds with events at local churches

I think this is the coldest winter I’ve experienced here in the 10 years I’ve been back — and of the five years I was here previously. But there are red tulips waving at me along my driveway, and fresh, lush growth on the miniature roses in front of the house, so there’s hope.

The seasons seemed kind of messed up to me the last couple years, so I’m anticipating that this year will be better and we’ll actually be able to grow some veggies. I had a good start last year, but all of the sudden, over a couple weeks, they just bit the dust, and someone told me it was just a bad growing year — or perhaps it was because it was just too moist due to the fog off the ocean.

The seasons of our lives tend to be like that, too. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, finding success in our endeavors seems to be a matter of two steps forward and one step back, leaving us frustrated, and at times, even bitter.

Times like that are when we need the help and encouragement faith can give us if we just let it. Too often, folks get discouraged and turn their backs on God, refusing to believe that help is available if we just ask. And then they hold on to bitterness about things, which only hurts us, not the other guy.

Our churches and various faith-based groups are numerous here, and in great variety. Check them out!

• Today the fifth Kabalah class for temple Beth Shalom will take place at 11 a.m. at the Curry Coastal Pilot building in Brookings. The class has been well-attended, and folks are reminded to park on the street and not to block parking for the Pilot folks.

• Tuesday, there will be a great Irish Variety show in the gym at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 3rd and E streets. Doors will open at 5:30, and the performance will begin at 7 p.m.


Coastal Voices: Gun-rights supporter: Let’s respect all sides

First, let me say that yes, I do belong to the National Rifle Association and the California Rifle and Pistol Association.

I am a life member of both organizations. I have a federal firearms license. Now, having said that, please understand that I respect anyone’s feelings about guns.

If they are uncomfortable around guns for whatever reason, then I certainly would not flaunt firearms in front of them. That would be rude and insensitive on the part of any gun owner.

The folks in Walnut Creek, Calif., who decided to push the envelope and go to a coffee shop with guns strapped on, unloaded, in plain sight, with full magazines on the other side of their belts, were very ignorant. They never seem to care, when interviewed, about the rest of us that are law-abiding gun owners. According to them, they did it because they could.

A little common sense would have gone a long way toward letting the anti-gun folks know that we do accept your views and ask only that you respect our views concerning gun ownership.

Did the folks at the coffee shop break the law? No. They just used really bad judgment.

I am always willing to sit and discus guns, both pro and con, with just about anyone. My hope would be to have folks walk away from a conversation with a better understanding of why I like guns and, I would have a better idea of why they do not like guns. Even if we agree to disagree, at least we gave it a shot.


Church Notebook: Family Fun Night coming up at Foursquare

Music has long been a staple of worship in our church services.

From stately, formal music in some denominations to those favorite old hymns from our childhoods, and the lively praise songs of our more contemporary services today, there is a song or two that probably speaks to you more than the rest.

“Bringing in the Sheaves” is one that I remember from those long-ago days, and one that one of you requested. Here is its story:

Knowles Shaw wrote the song in 1874. Known then as the “Singing Evangelist,” nothing made him happier than to preach Christ and see people turn their lives around.

In 1878, he was on a train from Dallas to McKinney, Texas, for a series of evangelistic meetings, when something went wrong.

The train derailed and rolled down an embankment. While many passengers made it out, Mr. Shaw did not. His song, however, lives on today. It’s a song of hope, with a sweet melody — one that, if you sing, you’ll find continuing to echo in your mind.

I first learned it 60 years ago — it, and so many other absolutely beautiful songs. While I enjoy many of today’s praise songs, the old songs I learned back then are still my favorites. Tell me yours — I’ll bet they might just be in this book I have of musical treasures and their history!


Check it out, even if it’s a broken heart

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Randy Landenberger
House Calls runs every two weeks. Today’s column is written by Randy Landenberger, registered diagnostic cardiac sonorophone at Sutter Coast Hospital.

And now for something completely different — a condition that cannot be prevented by vitamins, exercise, red wine (darn!) or any other health measure.

There are some facts, some opinions, and some theories. Bottom line on chest pains though: Don’t try to diagnose yourself. Don’t delay. Get bona fide medical help.

Even if it is “just” a broken heart.

I’ve always thought it quite miraculous that memories can be stored in our brains. If you get a head injury or disease, you may lose reminiscences. A surgeon poking around in your skull can bring back images and recollections you’d thought long gone.

We possess another type of memories, not visual, auditory or olfactory, and I don’t think they’re stored in our brains. These are our emotional memories, the good, the bad and the ugly.

There is a theory I subscribe to, that emotional memories are stored in our muscles. Poets, philosophers, song writers and storytellers have been telling us this since the Dark Ages. Massage and physical therapists have many a tale of the emotions or psychological traumas that are re-lived or released when a client has his or her muscles worked on. 


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