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Editor's Note: The best thing that’s happened

The moon followed me on a long drive home Sunday, first as the roundest white spot in a swirly afternoon sky, then as a lantern in the night.

It was about three-quarter’s full, similar to its look on July 20, 1969.

Has any human being ever left behind a greater monument than Neil Armstrong?

I was 12 years old and about to head for a weeklong church camp in the remote woods of Western Oregon. The timing was excruciating, because I was going to be one of the few who wouldn’t be watching TV that evening. Along with the rest of the world, I’d already sweated out the lunar module’s descent -— 1,000 feet, 500 feet, 200 feet, and then, “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”

Editor's Note: Recollecting the bad times

Little in life is as discretionary as the observance of anniversaries. I’m not talking about remembering wedding dates — that task clearly carries consequences — but rather the big news events of the past.

Later this week we’ll look back at a disaster that everyone who was living in this region 10 years ago will recall. The Biscuit Fire burned up a lot of southwestern Oregon and an appreciable chunk of northern Del Norte as well. At the same time, the much-smaller Shelley Creek Fire seared timberland far too close to Gasquet for comfort.

Other notable anniversaries of catastrophes are on the horizon. Crescent City’s signature tidal waves will be 50 years old in March 2014 — followed months later by the December floods that devastated the Klamath area while swamping much of the Northwest.


Coastal Voices: An update on Sutter Coast issues

Here are highlights from the Aug. 2 meeting of the medical staff, the local Sutter Coast Hospital Board of Directors and Mike Cohill, Sutter’s president of the West Bay Region, headquartered in San Francisco.

Critical access designation: Cohill said that in Lakeport, Calif., critical access was the only option other than going broke and closing the hospital. He also said those may be the only options for Crescent City. We also learned, for the first time, that Sutter has hired an outside consultant to study the feasibility of converting to the critical access designation at Sutter Coast Hospital.

Hospital ownership: Despite prior claims by Sutter Regional Vice-President Dr. Toni Brayer and Sutter Coast CEO Eugene Suksi that Sutter Coast Hospital is owned by Sutter Health, Cohill said the opposite.

“Sutter Coast Hospital is a separate hospital,” he said. Sutter Coast Hospital owns it.”

How to reach public officials


Coastal Voices: No compromise on dock safety

The July 31 article, “Harbor drilling methods debated,” may have caused some confusion in the community regarding the status of the drilling method for the new boat basin.

The article gave some people the impression that (a) the Harbor engineers doubted the validity of the alternative drilling technique, but (b) the Harbor Commission has decided to use the alternative technique because (c) the contractor is pushing it and (d) the Harbor would save a few dollars, and (e) in case the new harbor fails, the commission would rely on another engineering firm’s liability insurance to replace it.

This impression is not correct.   Here is the background:

 The harbor’s engineers designing the pilings and docks are the team of Stover Engineering, Ben C. Gerwick, and Treadwell & Rollo.  They designed the new harbor to be resistant to a 50-year tsunami event.

Coastal Voices: Action needed in park scandal

Here are excerpts from a letter sent to Gov. Jerry Brown, President Pro Tem Steinberg, and Speaker Perez:

On behalf of the California State Parks Foundation, our 130,000 members statewide, and our 43-year history of enhancing, protecting and advocating for parks, I cannot convey enough how deeply shocked and dismayed we have been to learn of the irregularities that have surfaced from the Department of Parks and Recreation in the last several days.

The news of the unauthorized vacation buyout program, coupled with the discovery of more than $50 million in 12-year fund balances that should have been disclosed and directed to parks and recreation operations, has affected our members, our partners, and the public’s trust in our state park system.

Our state parks have been used as a political football in recent years and have been repeatedly held hostage to broader budget and policy fights. That context is neither justification nor an excuse for the scandals that have come out, but contributes in part to the current state of affairs affecting our state parks.

Letters to the Editor published Aug. 4, 2012

Sutter, board,doctors should rethink, seek common ground

Sutter Coast Hospital’s Board chairman gave community members at the Town Hall Meeting a handout explaining why the board voted for regionalization last November. Regionalization would dismantle our local Board of Trustees and turn our governance over to folks in the San Francisco and Santa Rosa area.  But what’s written on Sutter Coast’s home page makes more sense to me:  “... Our local governance structure means critical health care decisions are made by experts in our community who can respond to the local health and community needs.

Here’s how I read the board’s rationale:


Editor's Note: Wanted: passionate moderates

Frank McNamara is a survivor. He came home unscathed from the World War II bloodbath of Okinawa as a Navy Seabee. He emerged damp but unhurt from the Crescent City tidal waves of 1964 as a downtown merchant.

So when Frank, now 91, passes along a piece of writing and suggests it be shared with Triplicate readers, who am I to quibble? Especially when I agree.

In the July/August edition of AARP Bulletin, editor Jim Toedtman evokes the memories and motivations of four of our nation’s founding fathers, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.

“In life these four great men did not like one another,” Toedtman wrote. “Journals of that time are full of their conniving and their bitter rivalries.

Coastal Voices: More reasons for hospital not to change

Here are excerpts from my presentation at Wednesday’s town hall about proposed hospital regionalization:

I would like to speak to you all from three perspectives.

First, as an attorney in the criminal justice system. We live and believe in a thing called due process, which basically means, you play fair and even and you don’t hide the ball. I’m offended because from what I’ve seen, Sutter Health has not played by those rules.

Our local Board of Directors voted to cede power to a board in San Francisco with no assurance of  a seat or any local input.

Editor's Note: DN has active bunch of Tea Partiers

Is Del Norte County Tea Party country?

More so than a lot of places, considering the electorate trends conservative and the local Tea Party seems more engaged than the local Democratic and Republican organizations when it comes to public events such as last Saturday’s parade of constitutional sheriffs.

About 250 people turned out at the fairgrounds as Del Norte Sheriff Dean Wilson played host to five of his colleagues in the latest regional rally for more local power in dealings with the state and federal governments. That’s a lot of folks willing to go inside and listen to speeches for three hours on a mostly blue-sky weekend.

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