Steve Chittock

Quit smoking to fight cancer, have long life with loved ones

This time of year my heart turns to the memory of my Dad.

My father, Gaylen Blancher, passed away July 4, 1997. You might recognize his name due to the many letters to the editor he wrote.

He was a very smart man, but his weakness was cigarettes. There are moments when I think about him and get angry or sad. He missed seeing his grandchildren graduate from high school, missed meeting his great-grandchildren, knowing about his grandson's service to our country, which he was so passionate about.

He also has left my mother, his loving wife, alone for these past 11 years, all for some lousy cigarettes. I have some employees at our business, Java Hut, who smoke and have talked to them about this life-taking habit.

This year we are participating in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. I am so proud of my staff that took it apon itself to donate 10 percent of its tips to donate to this cause. We are also donating 50 percent of our drip coffee sales over the month of July.

If you truly love your family and want to be around to share in their life, please stop this horrible habit. I am sure it will be hard, but just think about what you will be missing.

We love being part of this community. We are truly unique and have a "village" that takes care of one another. We pray that you are all around for the special events in your family's lives!

Adrienne Anthony

Crescent City

Reason for starving sea lions a mystery, but it's not El Niandntilde;o

I read with interest last Friday's article on increased strandings of marine mammals brought in to the Marine Mammal Center.

This is not an El Niandntilde;o year in the California current off our coast. El Niandntilde;o is a global shift in currents that originates in equatorial waters and has a timescale of 6-24 months. More information is found at

Center director Monica Hiner and volunteer Janet Dickey were correct that El Niandntilde;o causes a collapse in the food web due to warm, nutrient-poor waters at the surface, and there was a two-week warm period in early June that coincided with the increase in marine mammal strandings. This was due to a relaxing of northwest wind and flow of oceanic water into the coast, not an El Niandntilde;o.

The question remains, why are starving young sea lions showing up? Would a two-week period of reduced prey cause animals to become emaciated? I don't think so, but it could be a contributing factor to already stressed animals.

Maybe the system is "at capacity" from huge and growing populations of these high level predators. And maybe this is a sign of large-scale changes in a complex ecosystem where we don't know the extent, or even the direction, of all the man-made impacts affecting our oceans.

Craig Strong,

Crescent Coastal Research

Crescent City