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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow Letters to the Editor Aug. 18, 2012

Letters to the Editor Aug. 18, 2012

Crescent City Triathlon a wonderful family event

I love Crescent City!

For the past four years my family has traveled from Humboldt to spend the Fourth of July in your town to see your incredible fireworks display. But it wasn’t until last week’s Crescent City’s annual triathlon that I really got to know your beautiful city and its friendly citizens.

The event itself was incredible, so well organized and a fun family event. It was my first triathlon that I participated in along, with my son and a friend also from Humboldt.

The volunteers, the police cadets, the supporting businesses and the families from Crescent City that participated reflect so well on Del Norte.

We had never been on Pebble Beach Drive before! What a view!

We plan to return to Crescent City in the near future and stay more than one night to ride our bikes and enjoy your area more. Thank you so much for the wonderful event and please continue to support it.

Chris Cook

Arcata

 


Thank the city employees working at Beachfront Park

The next time you use, enjoy or even just drive past Beachfront Park, pause and really see, don’t just look. If you are not involved in the process, don’t bitch about the outcome.

There are four guys down there that to most people are invisible. Those men work seven days a week. They pick up your mess, they repair the vandalism, they clean up after the careless, they handle the homeless mess, they wade through the dog poop! Two are taciturn, almost aloof, but with a ready smile and easy laugh; two are jovial, open and conversant.

The next time you see an employee, any employee of our city in an orange vest with yellow stripes, stop and thank them. They are the ones that make Crescent City what it is, all of them.

Michael V. Haver

Crescent City

 

Critical Access program would impact Sutter Coast 

I am writing regarding Sutter Health’s plans to take ownership of our hospital. I also wish to clarify the Critical Access program, which caps a hospital’s bed capacity at 25, limits average length of stay to four days and permits the Emergency Room to operate without a physician on duty.

Sutter Coast CEO Eugene Suksi claims on an Internet message board that in order to qualify for Critical Access, “the average daily census must be under 25...” adding, “our average daily census in 2011 was around 23...so there is no need to reduce staffing or make any other significant changes if we choose to pursue (Critical Access) designation...”

Mr. Suksi’s claims are inaccurate. Average Daily Census (ADC) has nothing to do with qualifying for the Critical Access program, which imposes a strict 25-bed cap on the hospital. Qualifying for Critical Access means there are never more than 25 hospitalized patients; whenever the census reaches 25, every additional patient needing hospitalization will be transferred.

Three weeks ago, there were 36 hospitalized patients, with two awaiting admission in the Emergency Room. Therefore, 13 patients would have been shipped, at their expense, which often exceeds $20,000. Last September, there were 19 days when the hospital had more than 25 patients, so 19 days when every patient needing a hospital bed would have been shipped.

Mr. Suksi’s use of ADC figures as evidence that Sutter Coast qualifies for Critical Access is misleading. It greatly underestimates the impact Critical Access would impose on our community and our hospital employees. We currently have 49 beds. Critical Access would cut our hospital in half.

Sutter Executive Mike Cohill said much more about Critical Access during our Aug. 2 meeting, but stated Board meeting content may not be released to the public. I have twice asked Mr. Cohill for a legal opinion regarding this veil of secrecy. Ten weeks later, I continue to await a response. Please ask yourselves, dare we trust Sutter with ownership of our hospital?

Gregory J. Duncan

Crescent City

 

Sutter Coast should be 
expanding, not contracting

I can’t believe there’s even a discussion about the corporate takeover of our local hospital. It’s not like we have any other local hospitals to rely on, so why even consider giving up local ownership and local decision making?

Sutter Coast is the only acute care hospital for two hours in any direction. It serves Brookings, Ore., to Gasquet to Klamath and Orick.

It’s already hard enough for people who need dialysis or chemotherapy to have to travel to McKinleyville for treatment, but if Sutter downsizes further, imagine all the other health concerns that will have to be addressed long distance. And the cost associated with travel is only growing.

Our hospital should be expanding, not contracting. If we turn Sutter Coast into a Critical Access facility, the needs of the community will overwhelm the ability of our only hospital to take care of us. All this so we can help guarantee some distant CEO his multi-million-dollar salary.

We can do better. We need to stick up for ourselves and not let these corporate giants take advantage of our little community. We own this hospital. Let’s send these hostile raiders packing.

Katherine Kelly

Crescent City

 

Obama’s economic plan would support middle class

America is at a crossroads and there is much at stake in the November election. Voters will decide whether the country supports the Democratic Party’s position, which views government as a vehicle to promote social justice, equality and to regulate the excesses of capitalism.

The Republican Party’s view is that government should be small and the best way to promote social justice and equality is through smaller government, lower taxes and allowing capitalism to run with less government oversight.

The two parties’ economic philosophies are polar opposites, the Democrats favor demand-side economics and the Republicans support supply-side economics. Demand-side economics is about building  economic growth from the bottom of the pyramid up.  The idea is to give tax breaks and incentives to the workers and consumers at the bottom of the pyramid and they will have more money in their pockets to spend, thereby creating more demand for goods and services and in turn stimulating expansion of businesses and jobs.

The Republicans support supply-side economics, which give the larger share of tax breaks and incentives to the top of the pyramid — the wealthiest Americans, businesses and corporations.  The idea is that by stimulating the top of the pyramid the wealthy will invest the money to expand their business investments thereby creating more jobs and economic growth and the wealth will “trickle down.”

Supply-side economics was implemented by George W. Bush and the results were a disaster.  The Bush tax cuts and economic plan created wealth for the top 10 percent but did little or nothing for the 90 percent of struggling Americans. Wealth didn’t “trickle down,” in fact, since the “great recession” began in 2007-8, 93 percent of all economic growth went to the top 1 percent.

Why does the Republican Party still think that corporate America needs even more tax breaks and incentives to promote investment?    

My questions are simple: The nation’s wealth is already highly concentrated in the top 10 percent of Americans, so where are the jobs? And why is the middle class shrinking and its income declining? Why would an average middle-class American vote to elect a Republican president who wants to give even more incentives to the top 10 percent to stimulate growth?

I firmly believe it is time to support the struggling middle class through incentives proposed by President Obama and by providing tax breaks and investment in education to those that need the most help.

Tim Guzik

Crescent City

 

Regionalizing Sutter Coast would raise treatment costs

I cannot believe  the Board of Directors voted for regionalization of our local Sutter Coast Hospital.

As a long-time resident, I recall this was not the intent of our original agreement with Sutter Coast.

I have spoken with several members of the  local Board of Directors, asking questions, especially, why they did not let the residents know? We are the stakeholders. Why the secrecy? This regionalization has been a disaster  where  it has happened, Lakeside.

How would Sutter Health officials in the Bay Area like to have to come up to the Redwoods for medical treatment for themselves or family members if our hospital is down-sized?

They would have to wait for a plane, or make the seven-hour drive, and pay for motel and restaurant expenses. Obviously, since they make so much money, this would not be as daunting as it would for Curry/Del Norte residents.

 For us  to go to the Bay Area for treatment, and incur the travel, motel and living expenses,  will be prohibitive. When there are programs to help rural communities get adequate medical care, this is going completely in reverse. 

At our meeting at Crescent Elk School recently, one nurse asked, “How is the extended time for care and travel going to affect the mortality rate?”  How can Andy Ringgold, chairman of the Board, say its members “represent the community,” when they have not informed us, consulted with us or listened to us?”

Please help us in our effort to keep local control of services for our residents.

Calie Martin

Crescent City

 

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