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Letters to the Editor June 13, 2013

Rescue debacle wasn’t Coast Guard’s fault

Regarding the May 28 article, “Rescuing DN’s rescuers: Overnight stay on beach rocks avoided,” about the Sonoma County sheriff’s helicopter rescue of the stranded Del Norte volunteers, I think it painted an inappropriate picture of the Coast Guard’s efforts.

Much of the tone can be attributed to the fire chief in Del Norte, who obviously has little notion of how much unnecessary risk he exposed the volunteers to.

As a retired Coast Guard search and rescue pilot, I believe the Coast Guard acted appropriately based on the information provided to it.

So when did things get so bad as to call the Henry One team from 300 miles away to sling people around cliffs in the dark? What information was provided to Henry One that the Coast Guard didn’t receive? What were they being rescued from? Potential exposure?

If an individual was in distress I assure you the Coat Guard would have geared back up, made the 20-minute flight and dealt with those individuals actually in distress. Those not in distress would have remained safely on the beach (like so many others camping on the beaches of Northern California this time of the year) and walked out when the tide permitted.

To opt for such an endeavor out of convenience simply is not an acceptable rationale to risk lives.

Dan Deutermann, McKinleyville

Why doesn’t hospital board explore options?

Regarding the repeated attempts by Sutter Health to “regionalize” Sutter Coast Hospital, Sutter Health Regional President Mike Cohill, in a recorded meeting, said, “Sutter Coast Hospital owns Sutter Coast Hospital.”

Sutter Health wants to own the hospital and regionalization is a transfer of ownership. The hospital Board of Directors could end all of the controversy tomorrow simply by calling Asante or Adventist Health to see what they would offer our community, but most board members refuse to talk to anyone other than Sutter Health.

Brookings board members John Jacobson, Ken Hall and Susan Bristow, and Del Norte board members Linda Horn, Thomas Polidore, Nancy Ehorn, and Mosh Arshi, please explain why you refuse to look at all options available for our hospital.

Sutter Health has been ordered by the courts to cease its attempts at regionalization. If Sutter would release the minutes of its March 17, 2013, board meeting, you would read that regionalization is only being temporarily set aside.

Linda Horn in her update to the Board of Supervisors on May 28, with eloquent words meant to soothe ruffled feathers and calm roiling waters, said regionalization is indefinitely postponed.

Ms. Horn we heard your words and we are not satisfied. Rescind the board’s vote to regionalize Sutter Coast Hospital. Actions speak louder than words. Supervisor David Finigan asked you to open the books and release the minutes of your meetings. Once again, your continued refusal to do so speaks much louder than your words.  

Why is Sutter Health fighting so hard and spending so much money to acquire a hospital that, in its own words, is losing money and will continue to lose more money in the future?

If “Sutter Coast Hospital owns Sutter Coast Hospital,” why are other opportunities not being looked at? Of the eight members on the hospital board, only Dr. Greg Duncan has looked at alternative management firms for our hospital.

Why is Sutter Health going to spend over $300,000 for a strategic options study, the results of which will be seen as biased?

To the Board of Sutter Coast Hospital, representing Del Norte County and surrounding areas, take action and look at options for our hospital other than Sutter Health. 

Leah Eidam, Crescent City


Del Norte Triplicate:

312 H Street
P.O. Box 277
Crescent City, CA 95531

(707) 464-2141

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