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Honor military’s fallen by avoiding another war

So much has happened to this country in the five years since Capt. Bruno de Solenni’s death in Afghanistan. We seem to be headed into another war in the Middle East, which, with Russia staunchly supporting Syria, could easily blow up into World War III, complete with nuclear exchanges. 

Leaders of both parties in Washington (is there a difference between them?) promote another war almost on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the commencement of World War I (August 1914), even though surveys indicate that 90 percent of the American people are opposed to another war.

The politicians in Washington and talking heads in the media clearly have not learned the lessons of the past six decades of intermittent international conflict in which the United States has played a lead role. What have we accomplished except to spend untold trillions, mostly borrowed, wasted young lives and enriched the military industrial complex, along with their bought-and-paid-for dandies in the various cathouses along the Potomac? 

For that matter what have we accomplished in the last century of warfare that hasn’t been frittered away by these same politicians? Would it have made a nickel’s worth of difference if we had elected McCain in 2008, who, along with other Republican “leaders” of Congress, such as Senator Graham, are loudly cheerleading President Obama’s expressed intent to attack Syria regardless of what Congress says or does?

Coastal Voices: Critical Access facility delivers fine hospital care

I have a confession to make — I really enjoy working at a Critical Access Hospital (CAH).

I have been working in Crescent City as a “traveling” surgeon for almost five years. For a change of pace, my agency sent me to Sidney Health Center in Sidney, Mont., almost two years ago. 

My first impressions of the hospital in Sidney were that the facility was well staffed, the operating rooms were well stocked, the equipment was new, and the Emergency Department (ED) was very efficient. It was six months later when I learned it was a Critical Access Hospital.

Before working in Sidney, I was under the impression that a CAH was a veritable ghost town with choppers flying people to “real” hospitals day and night. That’s not true. A Critical Access Hospital is just that — a hospital.

If you come to the ED with pneumonia or appendicitis or a fish hook in your finger, you will get your care at the local hospital … even if it’s a Critical Access Hospital.

Granted, Sidney Health Center does not see the volume of patients that are seen in Sutter Coast Hospital (6,000 ED visits versus 22,000).

The ED in Sidney is staffed with a physician 24/7. There are at least two hospitalists available 24/7. OB, pediatrics, ENT, orthopaedics, and general surgery are available 24/7. There are two operating rooms and an endoscopy suite that are humming during the week. The nurses on the medical ward work in pairs, delivering amazing care to all patients.

The cafeteria is open seven days a week for three meals a day. It is a great place to work, and they (we) take excellent care of patients! If a patient is in need of services unavailable in Sidney or needs a higher level of care, transferring the patient to a tertiary care facility is a flawless process, which begins at the CEO’s desk.

Coastal Voices: Tribal Council term limits, recall sought

Some Smith River Rancheria tribal members are fed up with longstanding Tribal Council leadership. Tribal members complain they are ignored when “allowed” to address their elected officials with their issues of the Tribe.

For years, the membership has been unsuccessful in getting the Tribal Council’s attention in acknowledging its membership’s needs and to answer questions and concerns during annual general membership meetings and at the bi-weekly regular “open” Tribal Council meetings.

It appears that the tribal membership does not exist in the eyes of the Tribal Council.

In March 2013, a handful of tribal members formed a grassroots, transparent group called the For Your Knowledge (FYK) Committee.  The mission of the grassroots group is to successfully amend the Smith River Rancheria Constitution to further the advancement of self-determination, self-governance and to exercise tribal sovereignty guaranteed to the tribe within the Constitution.

The FYK Committee’s motto is:  “If we don’t exercise our rights, we will lose them.”

The FYK Committee submitted its first attempt to amend the Constitution on April 29, 2013; namely, Initiative No. 1 – To Set Tribal Council Term Limits, which was revised and re-submitted to the Council secretary on May 24, 2013.

Church Notebook: Jewish continue holiday season

Happy New Year!

If you’re Jewish, that is.

The High Holy Days currently in progress in our Jewish community mark the new year.

Last Thursday began the 10-day celebration marking the beginning of the Hebrew New Year 5774.

During this period of time, Jews around the world reflect on their personal behavior, and how it can be improved.

After last Thursday’s service, those celebrating the holiday tossed bread off the B Street pier, symbolizing the tossing of sins into the ocean.

Friday at sunset will be the eve of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It is the most solemn of all Jewish holidays. A 24-hour period of fasting begins.

The Curry Coastal Pilot will host services Friday starting at 7 p.m. Next Saturday, Sept. 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., there will be Yom Kippur services here at Temple Beth Shalom.

Coastal Voices: Focus on presidential issues, not pettiness

This is for my political friends who believe issues are more important than perceptions.

The current outrage by a loud fringe of American political observers is a photo of President Obama, on the phone, his foot on a desk. It is a position that pretty much all of us have assumed absentmindedly at one time or the other.

It’s disrespectful, cried some. Makes my blood boil, said others. It shows Obama’s contempt for the country, said more.

Is that the same contempt that President George W. Bush had when he was photographed with his feet on the desk? Or President Ford? President Kennedy let his toddler son roam around the Oval Office. Shameful? President Ford even allowed his dog in the Oval Office. A disgrace?

Guess what? I don’t care that in a moment of concentration or relaxation, a president puts his feet on his desk. Or if he uses the carpeting for putting practice, as Richard Nixon did. (President Eisenhower actually slightly damaged the Oval Office floor with his golf spikes.)

I don’t care if they swear, ala President Johnson. I don’t care if they play poker, like President Truman. I don’t care if they turn the heat down and wear sweaters like President Carter. I don’t even care if the president has an intimate encounter there, although I would greatly prefer it was with the president’s spouse.

What I do care about is the decisions made by our presidents in that office. 

California Focus: Rejected spending and the prisoner release crisis

For every action, goes the law of both physics and politics, there is a reaction, a consequence.

Now it seems more and more that a decision by Gov. Jerry Brown may have led directly to new demands for convict releases he calls a public danger, demands now backed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Brown’s aides say he will continue pursuing an appeal of the order by three federal judges demanding the state’s prison population be cut by at least 9,600 inmates before year’s end. The idea is to to bring prisons down to 137 percent of the system’s designed capacity. Given the glacial pace of court actions, it's almost certain some prisoners will be let go – or else Brown will be held in contempt of court, with a constitutional crisis possibly ensuing.

Brown warns that the more than 24,000-prisoner reduction already made via his “realignment” program used up much of the pool of “harmless” convicts, so cutting more inmates may lead to many new crimes.

He lays any responsibility for that at the feet of the judges, saying the state moved mountains to relieve the overcrowding top courts find unconstitutional. Yet, prisoners now bunk in jammed gymnasiums and other open spaces, lack adequate room for exercise and get inferior medical care, the judges found repeatedly.

But Brown says there’s been considerable improvement, citing the recent opening of an almost $1 billion Central Valley medical facility as one sign of progress.

Church Notebook: First Baptist Church to host ‘Passion Talk’ series over 3 weeks

Once again, one of those green and growing things around me has turned nature’s schedule upside down.

We’ve gotten used to the apple tree that has taken to having an extra blooming in December every year. Of course, no apples result, though it does bloom again and produce at the proper time. There are about six to eight apples on it now, which is typical for this little tree.

It’s a “single stem” apple, from a nursery in Canandaigua, N.Y. No branches, it has 4-inch “spurs” along its 6-foot trunk. I have two of them, one a MacIntosh, the other, Golden Delicious. As you can see, I like unusual things. Now, if we can just beat the raccoons to them.

This year the surprise comes from that Gloxinia I’ve told you about in the past.

Coastal Voices: Awkward proceedings enlightening to observe

When all is said and done there is little we as community members whose health care needs are serviced by Sutter Coast Hospital can do to prevent the total takeover of the hospital we rely on and its ultimate evisceration.

The story line is old by now and most who care and follow it know the theme well. While it is true that the Board of Supervisors cannot, by itself, change the outcome of this situation, it is the voice of the people and if all members will put aside all personal and political mind sets in this singular and extremely important aspect of our lives for the good of all we can make the difference.

Unfortunately, such is not the case it appears.

Fast-forward to a 10-minute special meeting of the Board  of Supervisors on Aug. 15 (on USTREAM, Board of Supervisors) on your computer, as they attempt to appoint a member to a steering committee studying the hospital’s future.

What you will observe more closely resembles an old-fashioned three-legged sack race featuring Team  Sullivan and Hemmingsen as they try to hobble toward the finish line on three legs between them.

They  nominate  and second a replacement (David Finigan) for the discredited Martha McClure. Meanwhile, a third member of the board (Roger Gitlin) sits sidelined twiddling his thumbs as the Hemming and hawing between the two “in-charge” members moves slipshod toward a vote and a confirmation of Supervisor Finigan as the board’s newest offering to the so-called steering committee.

House Calls: Limit the time in sunshine

Barbara Woodcock
House Calls runs monthly. Today’s column is written by Barbara Woodcock, a physical therapy assistant in the Rehabilitation Department at Sutter Coast Hospital.

Living on the coast there aren’t many days that the temperature gets too hot.  However, it is common for people on the coast to go “up river” to enjoy some fun in the sun.

While exercise and sun exposure can be good things, too much time in the sun can actually lead to quite a bit of trouble for youngsters. Some things you need to remember is to apply sunscreen to children prior to exposure to the sun. Even this may not be enough protection at times.

Babies and toddlers often get “heat rash” or “prickly heat.” It is advised to dress your child comfortably for the temperatures of the day.  Heat rash can occur whether the child is over-dressed or under-dressed. If heat rash appears in spite of your efforts, treat the rash with calamine lotion to keep the child from scratching the affected area.

Sun poisoning is a sign of too much sun. This can be an allergic reaction or the first signs of a severe sunburn. If this occurs, remove the child from sun exposure. Make sure the child is getting plenty of water or sports drinks. A cool bath followed by an application of aloe cream to affected areas can be helpful as well.

Often children and teens are busy and may not recognize the signs of a heat-related illness. Some that can occur are heat stroke, heat exhaustion and heat cramps.

Heat stroke can occur quickly. The most common sign of a child suffering heat stroke is red-flushed skin without the presence of sweating, along with a rapid rise in body temperature and nausea. Children progress to being aggravated and/or disoriented with signs of difficulty breathing and a rapid pulse. With further progression a child may get a severe headache, then lose consciousness.  Then it has become a  life-threatening situation that will require  medical care.

Coastal Voices: Youths work hard to curb alcohol abuse

Editor’s note: The following was submitted by members of the Coastal Connections Youth Organizing Project and Redwood Voice.

On behalf of the Coastal Connections Youth Organizing Project (CCYOP) and Redwood Voice, we would like to thank the Triplicate for its Aug. 15 article “Youth talk about theft of alcohol by minors” on the meeting hosted Aug. 14. We’d like to share with those who weren’t able to attend some of the important details we felt were missing from the coverage.

CCYOP and Redwood Voice are programs with the objective of empowering youth and giving us voices in our community. We recognize the importance of ensuring that we are not only heard, but listened to.

Redwood Voice is a group of 10 young adults with the goal of amplifying the voices of youth in the community through media. Redwood Voice and CCYOP made the decision to collaborate on this article.

We believe it’s important for the community to know who hosted the meeting and who we represent. CCYOP is an organizing committee composed of local youth from diverse backgrounds who have come together to explore issues relevant to youth and organize for policy change. We represent the more than 200 local youth who are affiliated with Coastal Connections, a program of Del Norte Mental Health Services serving all transitional-aged youth in Crescent City.

Our work is part of a regional organizing network, where families, elders and youth, united by common values, are using a relationship-based method of organizing that supports community leaders in conducting research and creating policy solutions with decision-makers to achieve dignity and equity for all people. Our work is funded by Building Healthy Communities.

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