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Another View: There is more to Easter than candy, eggs

When I was a kid, Easter was all about sweets — chocolate bunnies and marshmallow eggs, peeps and jelly beans. But now I find it bittersweet.

Death lends some bitterness to it. If Jesus hadn’t died and risen from the dead, there would be nothing to celebrate.

Though pagan fertility symbols like eggs and rabbits may be bitterly reviled by some Christians, I think they’re sweet. Eggs and rabbits, after all, bring forth abundant life through chicks and baby bunnies, just as Jesus brings forth abundant life through his resurrection.


Another View: Letís make homelessness a felony

While writing about homelessness a few years ago, I decided to try living homeless, for accuracy’s sake. I chose a city 100 miles away and left everything behind except my trusty old Honda, a half tank of gas, and the clothes on my back. My days were spent panhandling — a deeply humiliating exercise — and visiting underfunded social service agencies, churches and charities. Sleeping in the backseat of my car was so cold and cramped, I caught very few winks. 

Sleep deprivation and the lack of a home base severely disoriented me. I felt confused, forgetful, frightened and utterly low. I hadn’t realized it was possible to feel so discombobulated. After a hellish week that seemed like a year, I gave up and drove back home to avoid further mental disintegration.


Coastal Voices: People of Curry stand with Del Norters in health care fight

Hello from the other side…

We number over 14,000. We are the majority of the Curry County population. We are old and young. We are wealthy and poor. We have Medicare and insurance. A large number are veterans, and a significant percentage are Native American.


Coastal Voices: They say itís your (65th)birthday

One of the many positive things about turning 65 is the realization that you can start receiving Medicare benefits. Some people celebrate their 65th for that reason alone. Knowing that you will have a greater share of your medical insurance financially taken care of is definitely something to feel good about. 

However, what many people don’t know is that you have to apply for Medicare in order to get it if you are not already receiving Social Security benefits. If you don’t, there can be a penalty.


Community stops Sutter's downsizing plan, for now

This article tells a success story — how our community halted Sutter Health’s plan to downsize Sutter Coast Hospital to a Critical Access hospital — and how the Del Norte Healthcare District seeks your input on how we can continue to improve local health care.  

You may recall that the Sutter Coast Hospital board of directors voted in 2013 to downsize Sutter Coast to Critical Access status. Thousands of residents opposed the plan because it would greatly increase Sutter’s charges to our local Medicare patients, force more patients to be transferred elsewhere for hospital care, limit the number of days patients could stay at Sutter Coast, and cut the number of acute care hospital beds in half.

In addition, it is a fact that Critical Access hospitals have higher mortality rates.


Coastal Voices: Bringing attention to Last Chance Grade

Our Last Chance Grade Advisory Committee was formed back in 2013 in an effort to bring our community together to find a solution to Last Chance Grade.

It was this effort by our committee that brought Congressman Huffman up here in November of 2013 to take a tour of Last Chance Grade at which time he realized this issue needed his support. I believe we have been successful and we will continue our effort to keep this the focus of our community until a bypass is built.

Due to the fact that our elected officials and Caltrans weren’t making any moves to solve this highway issue we felt that by getting letters of support for a bypass it would bring Last Chance Grade to the forefront, it did, we received letters from the public, businesses, public boards, which included Humboldt, Mendocino, and Sonoma County board of Supervisors, all three Tribal Councils, Chamber of Commerce, City Council, Harbor Board, School Board, College of The Redwoods, Hospital Board, Board of Realtors, Pelican Bay State Prison and the list goes on.


Another View: Some senior citizens are tougher than they look

Karl H. Sterker is a mild-mannered, bespectacled man who often brings donations to the charity where I work. Cheerful and friendly, he likes to chat and joke with our volunteers. He’s not someone who boasts or makes up tall tales.

On his most recent visit, I noticed a mass of dark-purple bruises covering the right side of his face, and a yellowish discoloration around his right eye behind his glasses. Since he likes to kid around, I asked what he’d done to make his wife mad enough to beat him up.

“She passed away eight years ago,” he said, sounding more serious and subdued than usual. “I live alone.”


Coastal Voices: Federal solution only way to fund

Please consider the facts about Last Chance Grade. It’s too important to be tainted with fiction. As the chair of Del Norte Local Transportation Commission and a member of the Congressional Stakeholders Group convened by U.S. Congressman (Jared) Huffman, I believe that our community needs facts.

In support of finding lasting solutions for Last Chance Grade there are two parallel efforts: 1) To keep U.S. 101 open; and, 2) To build a bypass. Last Chance Grade has been subject to slides since the late 1800’s, as has much of U.S. 101. Some portions have been realigned in the past and some are in the process of realignment or bypass such as Last Chance Grade.

The mission of Caltrans is, “Provide a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation system to enhance California’s economy and livability,” and keeping U.S. 101 open is at the core of this mission. Last Chance Grade is part of the U.S. highway system and is considered a transportation lifeline and it is the business of Caltrans to keep the highway open and safe for travel.


Coastal Voices: Local L.E. needs funding not blame

I have heard some say our local city police department and sheriff’s department are not doing their job properly when they see ne’er-do-wells roaming the streets committing petty crimes. 

Don’t blame the police department — blame understaffing due to underfunding.


Another View: Crabbing is hard work and dangerous

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been amazed how calmly most crab fishermen are taking the economic storm that’s threatening to sink them. I haven’t met one yet who seemed to be panicking. Maybe it’s because they’ve survived worse storms at sea and have learned to keep their cool no matter what. To my mind, they’re handling this disaster remarkably well.


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