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Pages of History: Living through freakishly cold winter of 1930

From the pages of the Crescent City American, January 1930.

What is said to be the coldest spell, for the Pacific Coast region, in the past 20 years, has visited Crescent City and the coast during the past week, and Crescent City people are suffering from the extreme cold that has frozen ice a quarter of an inch thick and yesterday failed to thaw all day where the ground was shaded. 

During the fore part of the week, telephone communications were cut off from the outside world, due to the storms in the mountains putting telephone lines out of commission. Stages running in from Grants Pass were hung up for three days, where the snow was said to have been 3 feet deep. The Grants Pass country is blanketed under snow that is 6–8 eight inches deep, the most snow for that section in years. 

Snow reached down toward Crescent City as far as Gasquet and Patrick’s Creek. Many people have driven their children out to see and play in their first snow. 

It is true that Crescent City is having “unusual” weather, but unusual weather is existing all over the country. Alaska is enjoying spring while Seattle is shivering in sub-zero weather and Florida has had killing frosts. The weather just seems to be freakish this winter. 

Old-timer is found

In a story written by Fred Lockley, in the Oregon Journal under the caption, “Impressions and Observations of the Journal Man,” Mr. Lockley has found one Abner Hall at Helena, Mont., who claims that he was born in Crescent City on May 1, 1859, and that just prior to 1862 his father, Solen Hall, who then lived at Eureka, was county assessor for Del Norte County.

Coastal Voices: Is Calif. a model for mental health?

One of the first bits of advice Vice President Joe Biden received after becoming the point person for shaping new federal gun control and mental health proposals in the wake of December’s mass shootings in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school was to follow the California example.

Copy this state’s strategy for funding mental health programs, suggested Darrell Steinberg, Democratic leader of the state Senate. That’s one way, he said, to lessen the chance of deranged individuals blasting dozens of children and teachers with assault rifles or machine pistols.

There was more than a little irony in Steinberg’s suggestion. Only last August, he formally requested a formal audit of billions of dollars in mental health funds raised by the 2004 Proposition 63, which imposes a 1 percent supplemental tax for mental health care on incomes over $1 million.

So far, this levy has taken more than $8 billion from high-income Californians.

 But last summer, the Associated Press reported that tens of millions of Prop. 63 dollars have gone to programs aiding state residents not diagnosed as mentally ill, including yoga, art and drama classes, horseback riding and gardening.

The audit results are not yet in, and there are explanations for some of the expenditures the AP noted. Gardening, for example, was to attract Cambodian immigrants who might otherwise avoid mental health services for cultural reasons. Yoga and art therapy can help stave off some forms of mental illness.

 There’s no doubt the Proposition 63 money has been helpful in keeping government-funded mental health care alive while other programs like in-home care for frail or disabled senior citizens were severely truncated during half a decade of severe state budget crises.

In 2011, Patricia Ryan, executive director of the California Mental Health Directors Assn., reported that “The programs made possible…are as varied as California is diverse.”

She cited the highly-individualized Vietnamese Full Service Partnership in Santa Clara County, aiming to help Vietnamese adults with serious mental illnesses like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Within a year after that program started in 2006, participants were using emergency psychiatric services 28 percent less than before and were hospitalized 65 percent less, while using long-term care facilities 82 percent less than before.


Sea salt. Special to the Triplicate / Anne Boulley
It’s sort of fun experimenting with making things even when they’re cheap and readily available at the store. It helps you understand how they are made and gives you a sense of satisfaction in knowing the process.

One thing I have made that does that for me is making my own sea salt. The first time I made it, it was very strong and had a metallic flavor to it. I have since made it with a better technique and it comes out flakier and cleaner tasting.

If you’d like to give it a try it’s easy and just requires a bit of patience.

The best place to get salt water is deep in the ocean. If you know a fisherman who can gather some for you or if you have a boat, gather up several gallons when you’re out fishing. Otherwise, you’ll have to scope out an area that has less traffic from boats and people, but look out for potential farm runoff areas.

You won’t be ingesting a lot of the salt, and salt, by its very nature, does not harbor much in the way of bacteria, but you still want the cleanest available. 

I gather salt water in clean gallon milk jugs. Then I take it home and carefully strain it twice through coffee filters. You could use a fine cheesecloth or muslin if you have it.

Then pour salt water into a glass or Pyrex baking dish to the brim and put it into the oven for 3–4 hours at 350 degrees. Keep an eye on it every so often as it gets toward the end.

You will see the salt collecting on the sides and bottom of the dish. If you see flakes on the top of the salt water when you check on it, you can use a strainer to collect the crystals and lay them on a cookie sheet to finish air drying. These, when they occur, are the flakiest pieces and great for topping truffles or using at the table to use as a finishing salt.

How long it takes depends on the temperature of your oven, the amount of water you’re trying to evaporate and the salinity of the water. With the amount of rain we get in this area it can take longer sometimes.

Church Notebook: Faith missing from school shooting discussion

“Take away their guns.”

“It’s time to put the mentally ill back in the institutions.”

“Just what’s wrong with this country that all this shooting is going on?”

More and more we hear these things. Everyone seems to think these ideas are what we need to “fix things.”

Politics and religion are two of the topics most likely to cause disagreement — and when you combine the two, watch out!

I have a granddaughter who was in Baghdad when the war was going on there. Not military, she was employed by a private security company. In an email one day, she complained bitterly that “religion is the cause of all the trouble in the world.”  I hated that she had come to feel that way, but I knew that what she was being exposed to in Iraq could certainly have given her that impression.

As a senior citizen, I have watched for many years as things have changed, and I can come to only one conclusion: The further we distance ourselves from God as a country, the worse things have become.

How can we expect our kids to act honorably if we fail to be good role models?

Perhaps it’s time that we all put more stock in our faith — start going back to church, and living more by those principles that bring out love rather than hate.

Crescent City is rich in houses of worship, both Christian and Jewish. Churches of nearly every denomination, and fellowship with some really great people. Give it a try — on this page is a directory. If you don’t “fit” in one church, try another. Whatever your choice of style, charismatic, traditional, contemporary, it’s here, as is Temple Beth Shalom if you are Jewish. Some churches provide both traditional and contemporary services, and some both English and Spanish.

For special activities coming up, we have these:

Pages of History: Redwood trees are preserved north of city

From the pages of the Crescent City American, January 1928.

Redwood trees will continue to shade the new section of the Redwood Highway north of Crescent City through the efforts of B.B. Meeks, director of the State Department of Public Works, and Ralph W. Buli, chairman of the California State Highway Commission.

The Save the Redwoods League raised funds for the purchase of a 20-acre tract of the redwoods along the highway. Del Norte County supervisors cooperated in raising enough money to buy the tract from lumbering interests who were logging off the land. 

Car lost on beach

The Ford coupe driven by Wm. Crosley into the surf opposite Van’s Auto Camp last Wednesday evening was lost in the sand and was a total wreck.

Bill, it seems, was down on the beach looking for clams when his car settled in the sand and before he could get help the tide came in and sucked it into the sand so deep that the wrecker car could not pull it out.

The accident occurred about 10 o’clock at night and due to the darkness, the driver could not see the surf and drove into it. 

The Ravioli Shack

Last week, Mrs. Silvia Berri and Mrs. Harry Webber, proprietors of the Ravioli Shack on Radio Road, dissolved partnership and the Shack is now under the management of Mrs. Berri alone. 

Mrs. Berri states that she will be glad to receive appointment orders from the public and will keep the Shack open on Saturdays and Sundays as before. 

Meat market sold

Ray Chafey, who built and has operated a meat market at new Klamath for the past year, Tuesday sold his place of business to Ed Chapman, also of Klamath. 

Mr. Chafey has sold his range land also to Mrs. Bernice Peini, which clears him of all his holdings in the county and in a few days he will move to Arcata with his family and will make his home there. 

Crescent City Garage ad

1927 Ford Coupe, new tires, guaranteed in good condition. Price $275. Cash or terms if desired. 

Slide holds up traffic

One-way traffic will be in force on the slide on the Redwood Highway near Patrick’s Creek for some time, it is stated by J. G. Bromley, resident engineer, who Monday examined the extent of the slide. Mr. Bromley expected the road to be open Tuesday afternoon.

The slide is four miles past the Patrick’s Creek Tavern and is estimated to contain about 100,000 yards of rock and dirt. The road was pushed well out into Smith River. It is the worst slide in the history of the road. The slide was about 300 feet in length. 

Buys registered cattle

L.E. Cadra, one of the progressive ranchers and dairy men of the Lake Earl District, returned home the first of the month with three head of registered Ayershire dairy cows, which he purchased in Shasta County. 

These have been added to his herd of dairy cattle, which makes six head of registered stock and a fine bull to head the herd. Mr. Cadra is now milking 28 head of cattle. 

Reach Nita Phillips at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Church Notebook: After holidays, new events ahead

Now that the Christmas rush is over, and New Year’s too, things have slowed and all but stopped when it comes to special programs and services at our churches. But that will soon change. A whole host of new special days will soon arrive.

Churches don’t all do something special on Valentine’s Day, but some do, usually a dinner and a celebration of love — God’s love for us as well as our love for each other.

And, surprise, Ash Wednesday is on Feb. 13 this year, so just before Valentines Day, we begin the prelude to Easter, which is definitely early this year — March 31!

That will make Palm Sunday March 24. There will be various events scheduled if things go like previous years. And, of course, March is also the month for St. Patrick’s Day, when there are usually a few corned beef and cabbage dinners to attend.

That’s usually the fare at my house that day — because we simply really do enjoy that meal, and the Reuben sandwiches constructed with the leftovers!

• For folks who have just managed to get through the Christmas season after losing loved ones, perhaps the grief may be starting to lighten up a bit. But people go through the process at different rates, some needing more time and help than others.

Once again, the Seventh-day Adventist Church at 1770 Northcrest will be presenting Dr. Neil Nedley’s program on depression. On Tuesday at 7 p.m., there will be a free introductory DVD viewing about the program, “Depression ... The Way Out,” which will run once weekly for eight weeks.

This preliminary DVD will provide a lot of information, and should help you to decide if you think the program will help you. If you decide it’s for you, and you also want the books — Dr. Nedley’s book and the workbook, (and other books will also be available), the cost will be $89. Those who have attended the program in the past are welcome to attend free of charge.

House Calls: What can be done about heart failure?

House Calls runs every other Saturday. Today’s column is written by Trish Walker, a registered nurse with Sutter Coast Home Care. It is the third in a four-part series about congestive heart failure.

Heart failure treatment consists of many parts, from medication, to diet/fluid restrictions, smoking cessation, and exercise. Self-care is the key.

The cornerstone of treatment is medication. Your doctor will use the results of your lab work, heart function tests, and your symptoms to determine what medications you need to take to help control your symptoms and minimize side-effects. It is important to report any changes in your symptoms, or any side-effects, to your doctor so that your medications can be adjusted correctly. Do not change medications or stop them yourself. If you do, you are risking your own health and life.

Most patients take five to seven medications daily, which can be overwhelming. You need to learn why you are taking them, how they help your heart, how often to take them, and any possible side-effects.

Some of them need adjusting every couple of weeks until you reach a level that is best for your heart. Medications that you may be taking for other diseases may interact with your heart medications. It is extremely important that your doctor is aware of all your medications. Take them with you to your doctor’s appointment, not just a list. This way your doctor can identify any omissions, duplications, and clear up any confusion.

Over-the-counter medications you take need to be discussed with your doctor, because they can cause your heart medications to be ineffective.

Here is a brief description of heart drug classifications most often prescribed:

• ACE Inhibitors are a first-choice medication leading to decreased hospitalization and improved quality of life. They decrease your blood pressure so your heart doesn’t work as hard. A common side-effect is a chronic cough.

• Beta-Blockers are given to the majority of patients and significantly decrease death rates. They decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. Common side-effects are dizziness and lightheadedness.

• Diuretics are a first-line treatment for patients with signs/symptoms of fluid overload. They promote urination, reduce swelling and decrease your blood pressure. Side-effects are dehydration and abnormal lab values. It is important to get labs drawn to monitor your sodium, potassium and kidney function.

Reel Deal: A lower Chetco draws a crowd

Graham Curry of Tucson, Ariz., holds his first ever steelhead, a 35-incher he caught and released Jan. 1 while fishing the Chetco River with guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. Courtesy of Andy Martin / Wild Rivers Fishing
After being blown out for almost two weeks, the lower Chetco River became fishable over the weekend, drawing dozens of anglers seeking some steelhead action.

Steelhead fishing on the Smith River hasn’t produced big numbers every day, but folks are catching fish.

The Trinity River has dropped to a fishable level and has a nice steelhead green, but very cold conditions have made the fishing pressure and steelhead action pretty slow.

Chetco River

Ever since the Chetco dropped to a fishable level over the weekend it’s been crowded with anglers, but even with high pressure there has been
really good fishing, according to fishing guide Tony Sepulveda.

With only light rain in the forecast, the river is predicted to continue to drop, but good fishing should stick around.

“I think it will hold up pretty well. Last year we were fishing it really low and still doing well,” Sepulveda said.

“Unlike salmon, steelhead continue to enter the rivers in even the lowest water and I’ve actually
really come to like fishing those conditions,” Sepulveda wrote in his online report, adding that last year his group caught a 20-pound Chetco buck in 2 feet of gin-clear water. 

Graham Curry, of Tucson, Ariz., caught and released the first steelhead of his life, a 35-incher,  on the Chetco River on New Year’s Day with Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. The steelhead hit a cluster of roe cured in Pautzke’s BorX O’Fire fished with a size 2 Lazer Sharp octopus hook, Martin said.

The Chetco isn’t wide open like it was when it first opened up, but they are still catching four or five fish a day, Martin said.

“There are a lot fish spread throughout the river. From the North Fork down, there’s pretty much fish in every run,” he said.

Smith River

Steelhead fishing on the Smith has been “tough,” according to guide Phil Desautels of Phil’s Smiling Salmon Guide Service.

With ’12 in mirror, still a beautiful world

I just took my nightly ride along Pebble Beach up to Point St. George and back, the muse now calling once again.

The Christmas season never fails to open up certain literary portals, this year being no different. Ubiquitously,  Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar arrived, along with O’Henry’s young newlyweds, among them, Bedsworth with his inimitable talent of converting life’s sourest lemons into lemonade.

Somewhere in the pitch dark and gale winds, just south of Fran and Terry McNamara’s cattle grate, I find myself thinking of another lawyer, weary and longing to leave something akin to Sandburg’s footprints in the sand. I think of this man named Max,  scrawling in pen, on a rainy night in Terre Haute, Ind., in 1927.

“Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.”

Which brings to mind a story about a young man just up the road apiece, 70 or so miles north of Brookings. Jake, I’ll call him, was just home from serving in Afghanistan and working at the family gas station and convenience store. A  young couple in a packed-up, ’71 Dodge Tradesman van pulled in.  Jake, ever friendly, struck up a conversation, asking where they were headed.

The man, near Jake’s age, said they were headed south, looking for a new place to live, saying good riddance to the town in their rear view mirror.

When Jake asked what their town was like, the young man and his wife intermittently scowled, saying the police were always hassling them to turn down their stereo  or tone down the  cussing and fighting. There was no night life. There was no place to shop and no jobs worth taking. When the driver finally tired and asked Jake what his town  was like, Jake just shook his head, shrugged and said, “Pretty much the same.”

A couple hours later, a fifth wheel with a shiny Airstream pulled up. A husband and wife, senior citizens. Jake asked them where they were going. The lady said they were retired and had just sold their home back up the road and had decided to see America while they “were young.”

Waiting for the tanks to fill, Jake asked what their hometown had been like.  The man replied, “Well, it was kinda quiet, not much to do at night, but we had good friends we kept up with, we had the ocean and the rivers for fishing and camping and  Lord, raising four kids — between helping with their homework, carting them to their school games and scouting events — heck, by day’s end we were tired enough.”

As the pump stopped, Darlene asked Jake what his hometown here was like.  Jake smiled and replied, “Pretty much the same, ma’am.”

Which brings me back to Bedsworth and what he taught me almost 30 years ago and again this year, about how most things in this life are kinda like Rohrschach tests, lemons if you will, that can end up sour as all get-out — or lemonade if you just take the time to make it.

Church Notebook: New Year’s Eve service on tap

The year is almost over.

For the longest time, it seemed to drag — probably because winter and then spring lasted so long we hardly had any summer.

But with the cold months also come those holidays that, while they chill the body, they warm the heart with family gatherings and friendly get-togethers.

I used to dread the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays because my family was so far away that we could not be together. But over the past few years, one of my daughters, and the son of another daughter, have moved to Crescent City. It is so nice not to be living here alone anymore.

Of course, it was my own fault. I fell in love with Crescent City the first time we lived here, 30 some years ago. Ten years ago, the pull was just too much, and I came back. Of the four states and many towns I’ve lived in, only one other comes close in my heart, and that is Abilene, Texas. Some of my family still live there, including my newest great-grandson Josiah.

Holidays, especially the more family-oriented ones like these, often result in depression for folks who have lost loved ones. That absence hits all the harder during Christmas. People often feel that no one else understands, and feel more and more alone.

• At the Crescent City United Methodist Church, Pastor Carol provides a grief support meeting on Wednesday evenings. All in need are welcome to attend.

• The Seventh-day Adventist Church on Northcrest is again presenting the seminar, “Depression — The Way Out.”

The public is invited to the free introductory DVD presentation at 7 p.m. on Jan. 8. This session will be an overview of the nine-week program (meeting once weekly), so you can decide if this might be something you would find helpful. The initial session will provide a lot of helpful information.

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