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Coastal Voices: Are we compassionate or are we enablers?

I have read the recent columns and letters to the editor regarding blight and litter in our neighborhoods. I would like to augment those fine articles by writing about a recent experience I had that is occurring in the shadows of our community: Illegal encampments and the dangers they pose to our health, our safety and our environment.

You may be aware that District 1 County Supervisor Roger Gitlin sponsors a Take a Bite out of Blight Campaign. Mr. Gitlin has exhibited true leadership by organizing and sponsoring such cleanups. A prime example of Mr. Gitlin’s good work is the cleanup around the east parking lot of Walmart, where many of us shop.

Chamber Chatter: McGuire to join Economic Summit

The 12th annual Economic Summit is just around the corner. Please join us Friday, April 10, at Elk Valley Rancheria, 2332 Howland Hill Road. Every year we try to bring you topics and speakers that are relevant and important to you as a community member, business owner, manager or professional. 

This year we are pleased to announce that Sen. Mike McGuire will be our keynote speaker. He will address the audience on how we can work together as a community to move our economy forward and what the future economic climate looks like for the state of California. 

Coastal Voices: Klamath agreements crucial to farm survival

Last month, the Family Farm Alliance board of directors, by unanimous vote, formally supported the concept captured in recent Senate legislation to advance the settlement agreements developed for the Klamath River watershed. The Alliance is a grassroots, nonprofit organization that represents family farmers, ranchers, agricultural water purveyors and allied industries in the 17 Western states. We have long advocated that the best solutions to the challenges faced by Western irrigators come from the ground up, driven by local interests.


Coastal Voices: Troubled past gradually fades into memory

The bomb’s blast reverberated from the small TV, seeming to rattle the wall brackets that held it over my bed. As I turned sharply toward the crash, the pain flashed in shards of light from my neck through the top of my skull. The images of the buildings being blown to dust were real — as real as the cold, starched sheets that encased me and the cervical collar bracing the steel plate and screws an ER surgeon had hours before inserted into my broken neck. 

Coastal Voices: What happens to costs under Critical Access?

In 2014, Sutter Coast Hospital applied for Critical Access Hospital designation while claiming the hospital had not been profitable since 2008 and projecting heavy losses through 2016. Both of those claims were later proven false. IRS filings confirm large profits for SCH in 2009 and 2010. On Feb. 27, hospital CEO Mitch Hanna stated 2014 was a “profitable year.” At this point you may be asking: Is Sutter more interested in profits or your health care? 

In an effort to resolve our community conflict with Sutter Health, I repeatedly requested meetings with Sutter Health CEO Pat Fry and Sutter Regional President Mike Cohill. Both men declined my request. So I contacted the state agency reviewing SCH’s Critical Access application and forwarded letters from numerous individuals and groups that object to Sutter’s proposed downsizing. Our community needs more health care, not less. 

Coastal Voices: Peace of mind in ‘death with dignity’ laws

If you want to understand the benefit of a death with dignity law like the one being considered by the California legislature, you should know how it helped my father.  

My father lived most of his life in California, where he operated a small business and raised a family. When he was in his 90s, my mother died, and my dad decided to move in with my wife and I in Oregon. 

Coastal Voices: Taxes, ex-spouse benefits and you

April 14 is both Ex-Spouse Day and the eve of tax day. These two observances are doubly important if you are an ex-spouse, because Social Security pays benefits to eligible former spouses, and you may need to claim this income on your tax forms. 

If you are age 62, unmarried and divorced from someone entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits, you may be eligible to receive benefits based on his or her record. To be eligible, you must have been married to your ex-spouse for 10 years or more. If you have since remarried, you can’t collect benefits on your former spouse’s record unless your later marriage ended by annulment, divorce or death. Also, if you’re entitled to benefits on your own record, your benefit amount must be less than you would receive based on your ex-spouse’s work. In other words, we’ll pay the higher of the two benefits for which you’re eligible, but not both.

Coastal Voices: PenAir proposal is best bet for passengers

I am writing in support of the PenAir proposal and Essential Air Service application to serve Crescent City Airport with twice-daily service to Portland (PDX). This letter comes from the perspective of being a local resident, retiree from a major airline and a member of multiple airline frequent flyer programs, including Alaska Airlines. My background includes many years as an airport agent, including handling passenger flights headed for Crescent City back in 1979-81. I eventually retired as an analyst for ticketing automation, airport policy and procedures and customer experience. And I have logged well over 1 million miles as an airline passenger over six continents.

The PenAir application is by far the strongest proposal of the three applicants, which includes SeaPort Airlines and Air Excursions, LLC (dba Alaska Seaplanes, dba Redwood Airlines), and the only one meeting the Border Coast Regional Airport Authority’s request. It also will provide the most benefit at the least taxpayer expense of the three, based on the subsidy amounts requested in their proposals as posted in the “public documents” section of the Fly Crescent City website. 

Coastal Voices: I miss my friend Tommy Sparrow

Del Norte County lost an exceptional human being earlier this week. Tommy Sparrow, 61, passed away early Monday morning. 

Tommy and Donna were two of the first people Angela and I met when we moved up to Crescent City in 2009. The Sparrows and the Gitlins came from Santa Clarita, though we didn’t know each other years back. As Angie and I became familiar with the community, Tommy and I became fast friends. He was just too damn likable; you couldn’t help but want to hang out with him. I just miss my friend Tommy. 

Coastal Voices: Too many cons to choosing Redwood Airlines for C.C.

Sometimes half of a story can paint a really beautiful picture. I’m referring to Kent Craford’s recent letter to the editor and the almost full-page advertisement in the Tuesday, March 3, edition of the Triplicate. Let’s take off the rose-colored glasses for a moment and have a closer look.

If I were a businessperson who needs to be in Oakland or Portland on quick day trips, then I would say that Redwood Airlines might be right for me. I’m not a person who travels for business, though, nor am I a rock star like Beyonce or Kanye. I don’t see any benefit to picking Redwood Airlines over PenAir. In fact, all I can see is positives with PenAir. PenAir partners with other major air carriers so you can use and earn frequent flier miles; they have snack and beverage service and a lavatory, among the other amenities that I have grown accustomed to having with SkyWest.

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