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The latest example of lawyer animosity

In a moment of post-retirement candor earlier this year, former judge Robert Weir compared it to a “jihad.” The animosity among some of the high-profile players in the Del Norte legal community certainly isn’t abating in the spirit of the holiday season.

I won’t go into a blow-by-blow account of the professional and personal battles involving various local lawyers over the past few years, including the current district attorney and his predecessor as well as some former deputy prosecutors. But since the latest missile was launched in the form of a letter to the editor, I will address that.

Coastal Voices: Election result carries a big price tag for Del Norte

I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that gridlock in the state legislature between Democrats and Republicans has ended. The bad news is that gridlock in the state legislature Democrats and Republicans has ended.

One of the most important aspects of our form of government is that there are checks and balances. On the national level, with the Republicans owning the House of Representatives we can be sure that there will have to be compromise with the Senate and President for anything to get done. That’s a good thing. Unfortunately, with this election, that process has been lost on the state level. With the Democrats in control of two-thirds of the Assembly and Senate, they have reached their holy grail over what is going to become state law in the next two years. 

Coastal Voices: A closer look at Critical Access at Sutter Coast

I write with information on Sutter Health’s study of Critical Access designation for Sutter Coast Hospital. Critical Access is a federal program which pays qualifying hospitals a subsidy for Medicare patients. In order to qualify, we would need to close 50 percent of our beds.  Also, Sutter Coast would no longer be required to have a physician on duty in the ER, or a general surgeon or critical care specialist available “on call,” as is currently required.  

Critical Access would impact our community in two ways. First, there would be an uncertain financial impact on the hospital. Second, there would be a negative impact on patient care, due to fewer beds and services being available for sick or injured patients.

When Sutter Lakeside Hospital converted to Critical Access in 2008, the bed capacity was cut from 69 to 25 in order to qualify for the program. Despite Sutter’s assurances to the contrary, this was followed by reduction of the hospital workforce by 50 percent, closure of two clinics, and a large increase in patient transfers to outside hospitals. In 2012, three years after they became a Critical Access hospital, Sutter Lakeside laid off 10 percent of the workforce, due to continued financial troubles. (source:  Santa Rosa Press Democrat, March 30, 2012).


Coastal Voices: Making apartment complexes safer

The Crescent City Police Department is proud to announce that eight area apartment communities have received their Crime Free Multi-Unit Housing Program Phase One completion certificates.

Owners and managers of the apartment communities recently completed an eight-hour training course and the certificates will now be posted in the offices of the following apartment communities and businesses: City of Crescent City Housing Authority, Seabreeze Apartments, Seaside Village, Sunset Harbor RV Park, Surf Apartments, Totem Villa Apartments, Valhalla Townhomes and Gomez Apartments.

The program is a contract between property owners, managers and apartment tenants with the Crescent City Police Department. The goal is to set guidelines for tenant conduct to reduce crime in apartment communities.


Coastal Voices: The reasoning behind Republican positions

Contrary to letter-writer Lois Munson (“GOP endangers us,” Nov. 20) and President Obama, Republicans don’t want dirtier air and water. We love our children, all of them, and we don’t abort less than perfect kids. Nor do we believe in late-term and partial-birth abortion.

Now gender selection has become  the latest fad.  Have American women become no better than ... what? No animal, no so-called “heathen,” has ever stooped so low. I forgot, women in China are forced into all of the above.

Roe v Wade is the law, approved by the Supreme Court a long time ago, and it will probably never change. American women, especially young American women, must have slept through school, because they believe it when the left tells them that the first thing a Republican president will do is cut off their “right to choose” and birth control pills. Four years ago they were even positive that a Vice President Palin could do it. They do still teach American History and Civics in schools, don’t they?

Coastal Voices: Storm damage pales in comparison to meth’s toll

Here are excerpts from a speech at the annual Meth Summit this week.

I remember being here seven years ago in October 2005. I’d been here less than a year and had the honor of speaking that day.

If I had to pick one of my favorite Del Norte days, a day when this county’s true colors shined, it was that Saturday. First, the people of this community turned out to speak out against an epidemic we continue to fight here today. Later that afternoon, I watched as Sandy Morrison realized her dream of opening Del Norte County’s first residential rehabilitation house, the Jordan Recovery Center, and later that night, the people of this community held a benefit for the victims of Hurricane Katrina at the Veteran’s Hall.

Editor's Note: Out in front without being in San Francisco

Talk about making the most of a difficult situation.

In a time of limited financial resources, there was no way for the Triplicate to send a reporter to San Francisco for the two-week State Bar trial of Del Norte County District Attorney Jon Alexander. Travel, meals, big-city lodging — not in these tightly budgeted times. Even the many character witnesses who made the trip at their own expense to support the DA stayed maybe a day or two.

To make matters worse, the Associated Press attended only the opening day of the trial, leaving the rest of the coverage to the legal industry media – which did produce some interesting tweets, only some of which amounted to cosmopolitan scoffing at the vagaries of that small town way up just this side of Oregon.

Coastal Voices: Measure A, Prop 37 are healthy choices

What an opportunity for California and especially Crescent City voters to have more of a hand in their own health.

First there will be Proposition 37 for state-wide voters to simply require labeling of GMO products. It does seem like a natural right to have knowledge of what ingredients are contained in food we consume.

The other opportunity presents to  Crescent City  residents under Measure A, the  mandate for  the supplier of the  hydrofluorosilicic acid to present a “clean bill of health” for the substance, which is  infused into the  municipal water  supply. No submission of the health voucher, no adding it to the water. Perfectly reasonable if it is non-hazardous.

Coastal Voices: What's in your faucet? Help stop fluoridation

We tend to take for granted that when we turn on the tap our water is clean and safe. But is it?

Neither the FDA nor the EPA certifies water additives. Instead, the agency put in place to do the job, the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), is a private entity, not a government agency, and it has admitted that it doesn’t do its job when it comes to our fluoridation product, hydrofluosilicic acid (HFSA).

Measure A is on the ballot this election season to do the job the NSF refuses to do: assure that the product we use for fluoridation is safe for every person who turns on the tap. For any other water additive there are certain requirements in order to be certified under ANSI/NSF Standard 60 General Requirement 3.2.1, a standard all water additives must conform to before it is legal to add them to a public water supply.


Coastal Voices: Junk science behind fear of fluoride

They’re at it again.

This year’s Measure A is one more ill-conceived attempt by the same folks to ban fluoride in Crescent City. Two years ago, you rejected scare tactics and junk science that falsely attributes almost every known disease to fluoridated water. Reject those tactics again. Vote “No” on Measure A.

This season’s Measure A is a transparent attempt to be clever. Under the guise of requiring commercial companies to provide information, it seeks yet again to ban fluoride.

The proponents know that no commercial company is going to comply with the initiative’s requirement to submit “a written claim for safety for all water consumers of their fluoridation product.”


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