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Coastal Voices: It's time to bring affordability, accountability to the hospital

Many people have been asking about Sutter Health’s plans for the communities of Crescent City and Brookings now that the Sutter Coast Hospital (SCH) Board in Crescent City has voted to downsize the only hospital in our region to a Critical Access facility in order to qualify for higher Medicare payments. 

I had stopped writing newsletters after the SCH Board, acting on the advice of Sutter Health attorney and Regional Vice President Michael Duncheon, voted to censure me for allegedly breaching Sutter’s confidentiality rules. In my roles as hospital chief of staff, and a member of the hospital Board of Directors, I felt the public had a right to be aware of, and included in, important changes at our region’s only hospital — changes which will affect all of us.

Coastal Voices: Even with Critical Access, full-service hospital remains intact

The new year brings a change of physician leadership at Sutter Coast Hospital. Dr. Nikki Schwartz was recently elected by the medical staff to serve as chief of staff.

She is a board-certified family physician and works for Sound Inpatient Physicians as the co-medical director of the inpatient hospital medicine group at Sutter Coast Hospital. She has previously served as the hospital’s chair of medicine.

Coastal Voices: Internet redundancy: Perseverance pays off

With the recent completion of the Grants Pass to Crescent City broadband redundant infrastructure project, I feel compelled to make the public aware of one of our most recent success stories.

This project is a part of the “HAS199.Com” project list (“Harbor, Airport, Sewer, Highway 199 and Internet”) and will serve our community for years to come and set the foundation for Del Norte County being the “hub” for broadband infrastructure on the North Coast.

Church Notebook: Many churches enjoy game nights

I never thought I’d say this, but I think I miss the rain!

That driving blast of water coming at me sideways that taught me when I first came here that using an umbrella was a lesson in futility. The rain isn’t really so bad, but I sure don’t like the wind.

California Focus: California’s silly season: Two plans going nowhere

The end of December and early January is usually a downtime in the co-dependent businesses of government and news, replete with vacation breaks for many. This can often net flaky ideas and words far more coverage than they deserve.

So it was when ex-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called state legislators a bunch of “girlie men,” early in his term, only to have those same folks later best him at every turn. And when ex-Gov. Gray Davis first suggested the same lawmakers exist to “implement my vision.”

E & P: The simulated tsunami had it all, except sirens

You had to be there, and hardly anybody was.

The winter’s first storm blew through Del Norte early Saturday. People trying to sleep close to the sea were serenaded by an orchestra of three sections: wind, rain and surf.

By Sunday, the first two were silenced, but the last one was booming. Then it teamed up with the morning’s high tide to create tsunami-like conditions — without the sirens.

Church Notebook: DN churches: There’s no shortage of choices

The cat did it.

No, he didn’t eat my homework — he dialed my phone.

A few mornings ago, I awakened to find the red light on my cell phone blinking. A text message from my daughter was asking if everything was all right because I had called her just after midnight but did not say anything.

Coastal Voices: Be angry, but don't let anger control your life

The horrific, violent, and senseless murder of Eureka’s Father Eric Freed has left many of us very wounded, angry, and disillusioned, asking the question: what now?

There are those who in their anger want revenge or someone to blame. But, those of us who approach life with a sense of faith know that the only way forward and the only way to heal the wound is by way of forgiveness.

California Focus: Warnings from candid, and outgoing, treasurer

Every once in awhile, California gets a major public official who thrives on telling the unvarnished truth. In recent history, these have usually held the office of state treasurer, a low-visibility post that can give its occupant plenty of time to ruminate.

First in this line in the modern era was Jesse Unruh, for whom a political studies institute at USC is now named. Unruh, the ultimate politician during his 1960s tenure as speaker of the state Assembly, predicted while treasurer in the 1970s precisely the kind of budget conundrums California would face for almost 20 years starting in the mid-1990s.

Coastal Voices: Indian mascots can be respectful

On Monday night the Florida State University Seminoles will play for the college football national championship. I would encourage everyone to watch this game with open eyes.

The FSU mascot is the product of cooperation between FSU and the Seminole people. A student wears a black wig, war paint, rides a horse named “Renegade,” and carries a flaming spear onto the field.  He is a portrayal of the great Seminole Chief Osceola.

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