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House Calls: The money method for stopping smoking

House Calls runs every other Saturday. Today’s column is written by Lori A. Johns, a family nurse practitioner at Sutter Coast Health Center in Brookings-Harbor.

Ask a smoker about quitting, and you may hear a lot of possible responses:

• I do not want to quit. I like smoking, why should I quit smoking? I hate everyone nagging me about smoking.

• I have tried to quit before, many times, and failed. But I am thinking about it.


Hey Ranger: Redwood sorrel: giants’ understudy

 “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” This cliché, used many times in regards to the coast redwood forest, is for the most part true, until you actually take in the bigger top-to-bottom picture of an old-growth redwood forest.

When you look lower, to the base of the trees, you will begin to notice the remarkable understory of unique plants that have continued to accompany these giants for hundreds of years. Not unlike the community in the popular television series, “Downton Abbey,” there is an upstairs household and a downstairs household that together create one smoothly intertwining community. 

My personal favorite of the downstairs group of plants is the redwood sorrel, Oxalis oregana, a beautiful member of the Oxalis family that can create thick mats of green carpet right up to the enormous trunk bases of the towering trees.


Reel Deal: Steelies still running in smith

Although many guides have moved on to the next fishery, some guides are still pulling fresh steelhead from the Smith River.

A series of minus tides that will last today through Wednesday will provide opportunities for shellfish gathering and possibly suck some more spring salmon into the Rogue River.

Smith River steelhead

Many anglers have hung up their steelhead gear for the season, but some anglers like guide Mick Thomas of Lunker Fish Trips are still finding plenty of fresh fish.

“There’s still quite a few fresh fish in the system, and they seem to keep coming,” said Thomas, whose drift boat landed five steelhead Monday, including four fresh fish. “I’m surprised that the numbers are still this great.”

Coastal Voices: Gun-rights resolution deserving of rejection

Del Norte County, let’s not follow in the footsteps of special interest groups that create a false fear resulting in nothing being accomplished for the good of all!

After reading several articles and letters to the editor of the Triplicate, I sat down in front of my home computer and viewed the Board meeting of Feb. 26.  Next I viewed on CSPAN the current hearings on gun legislation to educate myself further on the national discussion and then I made a personal visit to a local gun store to become informed on what an assault weapon really is. The owner was very forthright and very willing to educate me on the language of gun owners and the variety of guns that are available on the open market.

In response to “What is wrong with affirming gun rights?” (letter of March 19), I ask the question what is wrong with limiting high-capacity magazines, expanding background checks, and having tougher gun-trafficking laws in place? It’s not a creative liberal movement, it’s common-sense legislation designed to enhance safety issues for citizens, not diminish anyone’s constitutional right. 


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.

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