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Letters to the Editor July 4, 2013

Sutter telling a half-truth, concealing key facts

Sutter Health continues to try to take ownership of our hospital and is now studying downsizing Sutter Coast to a Critical Access facility. Take a look at who wins and who loses!

Under Critical Access, Sutter Health can bill higher rates for Medicare patients, but we lose half of our hospital beds and the requirement that a doctor be available to the Emergency Room at all times.

If Sutter Health takes ownership of our hospital, it gets complete control of all future decisions, including Critical Access designation. We lose our local hospital Board of Directors — which includes the chief of the medical staff, currently Dr. Greg Duncan, our knight in shining armor! Our local board will be replaced by a Sutter board in San Francisco.

Letters to the Editor July 2, 2013

Panel holding DN land hostage unacceptable 

The Board of Supervisors marathon meeting Tuesday compels me to comment on two subjects.

The first is the land mitigation required by the Coastal Commission’s insatiable greed. In what has become typical modus operandi for governmental agencies, overreach is being brought to bear on Del Norte County’s  upgrading of its airport. With the magnanimous offer of free lots at Pacific Shores by City Counsel Bob Black to be traded for the single lot contiguous with the airport (to be used for a safety buffer as required by the FAA), four of the supervisors voted to accept the offer, thus to meet the mitigation. They seem oblivious to the fact  that monster government has a voracious appetite and this would feed that appetite.

The lone dissenter, Supervisor Roger Gitlin, made the stand Del Norte County must make sooner rather than later in order to survive. With Del Norte weighing in at  an unbelievable 78 percent government/conservancy ownership, the Coastal Commission’s holding the airport buffer lot hostage is unacceptable. Why do they conceive themselves to be in a position to trade something they do not own for four times that number (also with something they do not own)? That seems much akin to banditry. The Coastal Commission’s despotic reign must be reined in. It must be required to function only  as originally  commissioned — allow unimpeded access to our beautiful coastline. Period.

If the supervisorial quartet of Hemmingsen, Sullivan, McClure and Finigan reflexively snapped at the offer of freebies at Pacific Shores, it had a veritable gag reflex at the news that the county likely will need to fence off the tree-lined property east of Walmart with requisite signage. Supervisor McClure, in the semblance of hissy fit, snapped that the supervisors had been misled after being told the cleanup was going to cost the county nothing.

Are we to assume that if Supervisor Gitlin had not taken up the crusade of blight removal in tandem with the  code enforcement officer  the  Walmart nuisance would magically disappear? Increasingly, this area is becoming a law enforcement nightmare. A perfect place for a handoff into the woods of shoplifted goods  to a waiting accomplice, then whisked off to a waiting auto  for speedy getaway. Additionally the site is becoming a magnet for drifters.

Letters to the Editor June 29, 2013

Hospital could not survive without Sutter

I am a lifelong resident of Del Norte County. I have worked in the community for 30 years; currently with Sutter Coast Hospital for the last five. I am the lead admissions clerk.

There is a lot of drama and politics being played out in our community in regards to the future state of our hospital. I am writing to support the Sutter Coast alignment with Sutter Health.

In my 30 years of working in the community, one of my previous jobs was working at a local financial institution. I started there about the time that Sutter took over the running of Seaside. We very cautiously took payroll checks from Sutter Coast, because in the very recent past there had been issues with payroll checks bouncing.

Now I realize change is painful for many of us. But the truth is with the changes that have happened in health care in the last 10 years, if you can’t change and grow, you will fail.

Hospitals and doctors get paid less and less by insurance companies with each new regulation. That is why health-care costs have skyrocketed! Basic economics tell you that.

With all of the new regulations mandated by government, Sutter Coast is poised to be working in the red again this year. Sutter Coast could not survive being a stand-alone hospital in our community while working in a deficit. We are lucky in that Sutter Health is able to absorb those losses, and help us maintain our facility.

There are over 400 employees that work here, live here, spend here, and vote here.

Letters to the Editor June 27, 2013

Alexander worked hard to fight crime in Del Norte

Just when I thought the detractors that the Triplicate usually gives ink to on things regarding Jon Alexander were on vacation, I read the letter by Jessie Ruiz attacking District Attorney Jon Alexander (“Alexander suggesting extreme racial profiling,” June 15).

In his June 8 Coastal Voices piece, “Why are we surrendering to Mexican meth?” the statement that 80 percent of the methamphetamine in America now comes form Mexican cartel super-laboratories is attributed to the DEA and the southern border Law Enforcement Command Center, not from Mr. Alexander.

There hasn’t been a meth lab busted or prosecuted in this county in the last 10 years. The fact that Mr. Alexander would recently actually drive 2,000 miles on his own time and expense to Imperial County to follow up on the biggest threat that confronts our county is more than admirable.

To say that Mr. Alexander disgraced the DA’s Office flies 180 degrees in the face of fact. In the two-plus years he has been there, criminals were actually sent to prison and cases actually were taken to trial — far more than his predecessor did in his entire last term — a fact acutely obvious and sadly missing in Alexander’s absence.

They say there is no law north of the Klamath. For two years and three months, there was and its name was Jon Alexander. If there is any disgrace, it resides with the people who have abandoned their oaths and people who attack hard-working, decent people who tried to make Del Norte County a better place for all.

Austin Larsen, Crescent City

Letters to the Editor June 25, 2013

Looking forward to work at hospital for more years

I have had the privilege to work at Sutter Coast Hospital and for Sutter Health for the last 13 years in the Nutrition Department. It has been quite a journey and I have had many opportunities that I am thankful for.

I started my work life at a small retail store and I worked there for a number of years. I made minimum wage at my previous job and always felt that is what I had to do because I had a young daughter and another on the way and I had to provide for my family. I knew I wanted more, I just needed a chance to prove what I was capable of.

I know many of us have been there or are there right now. I applied for a position in the kitchen at Sutter Coast and was thrilled when I got the job, it paid a bit more than I was used to and I started to feel really good about myself and my life.

I helped patients with menu selections and cooked on occasion as well. I worked hard and made myself available and most importantly truly cared about the people, my coworkers and my patients.

I worked that position for almost seven years. I loved it and my passion for my work showed because my supervisor and director asked me if I would like to go to school and earn my Certified Dietary Managers certificate. This would allow me to hold the supervisor position when my supervisor retired the next year.

I qualified for the Tuition Reimbursement Program through Sutter Health that would reimburse my school cost if I met the criteria and received passing grades.

Letters to the Editor June 22, 2013

Thanks to rescuers who came to adrift boaters' aid

We were just two older fishermen on a 15-foot drift boat fishing on the ocean-side and south of the Battery Point Lighthouse when our drift boat motor conked out on us (“2 boat incidents call out rescuers,” June 20).

Drifting among the rocks and being on the ocean-side of the jetty spelled trouble!  As we drifted closer to the jetty and not being able to start the outboard motor, we called 911 for help and help came. Lots of help!  Wonderful help!

We want to express our appreciation for the immediacy of the response and the well-organized rescue of us and our boat.

First, the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office and its Search and Rescue Team.  More specifically, we would like to acknowledge the personalized attention and leadership by Stephen Morris for coordinating the rescue, and Harlan Watkins of the county diving crew.

Also the U.S. Coast  Guard, Crescent City, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the California Highway Patrol. They were all there in a supportive mode.

Next time we fish, we will eat our Wheaties ahead of time, take two cans of spinach with us, and leave the kryptonite fishing jigs at home.  We desperately tried rowing out away from the jetty and against the strong drift to safety.

Everett Allen and Joseph Yabu, Crescent City

Letters to the Editor June 20, 2013

Brown-shirts ruling U.S. with intimidation, fear

President Obama has four major scandals on his plate. Fast & Furious killed one American, Benghazi killed four Americans, the Justice Deptartment stole two months of telephone records from the Associated Press and the IRS illegally pressures conservative groups for information to qualify for tax-exempt status.

Fast & Furious has been placed on executive privilege by “President” Obama. If he has nothing to hide or if Attorney General Holder is clean, why has this action been taken?

Why did “President” Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lie about what happened at Benghazi? They were told what was happening, yet they developed a lie to cover up the truth due to the presidential campaign. The “president” has not released a timeline of where he was all night. We do know he left for a fundraiser the next day. His silence on this subject is deafening.

The IRS scandal is the most serious as this over-reach of power will dry up whistle blower information and make reporters hesitant to follow a story as the they should. The job of a reporter is to get information, verify its voracity, and broadcast that information to the public. We have an administration trying to intimidate every conservative organization as a means to perpetuate the liberal agenda of larger government, more people on welfare, and raising taxes to further beat down the working people. As this drama unfolds it becomes more clear how self-serving, haughty, vindictive, and illegal this administration is.

Letters to the Editor June 15, 2013

Alexander suggesting extreme racial profiling

Regarding Jon Alexander’s June 8 Coastal Voices piece, “Why are we surrendering to Mexican meth?” it seems Alexander wants to blame the Mexicans for all the meth in this part of the country, when everyone knows that meth-cookers have been here forever and they are white good ol’ boys!

Knowing that this part of California is very prejudiced on minorities, why would he want to declare war on Mexicans? Extreme racial profiling is what he is suggesting!

He off all people should know how the lynch mobs can come out! Remember what you have done to disgrace your office of public trust!

So before you start fearing “Chapo” Guzman and his men in the Sinaloa cartel, wonder what your neighbors are cooking up on their stoves!

Josie Ruiz, Crescent City 

Impoverished hatchery is at risk of closing

Rowdy Creek Hatchery is proud to announce that it has partnered with the Smith River Rancheria to help establish a long-term enhancement and economic base for the hatchery programs.

The partnership will allow the hatchery access to technical and natural resource support from Rancheria staff, provide access to funding sources currently not available and create a closer relationship between the Smith River community, the rancheria and the Del Norte County economy.

This partnership, however, will take time to develop and the current hatchery financial situation is dire. The hatchery’s Board of Directors is asking the community for immediate help in keeping the hatchery open.

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

Letters to the Editor June 11, 2013

Make unofficial sister city in Japan official

Regarding “Tsunami boat to move to new site,” June 8, one little boat can symbolically mean so much!

It’s wonderful that efforts are being made to return the boat washed up on our shore to its owners in Rikuzentakata, Japan, while being on temporary display at our Cultural Center.

I’ve lived in Crescent City for 16 years, but I grew up in Seattle whose sister city is Kobe, Japan. There is a beautiful Japanese garden in Seattle given as a gift from Kobe, and after the devastating earthquake in Kobe in 1995 the citizens of Seattle immediately responded to send aid to the residents of Kobe.

I’ve thought for a long time that Crescent City should have a sister city for friendship, cultural exchange, education, and tourism. It appears to me that our town now has an unofficial sister city in Rikuzentakata. I would like to see this become official.

It’s sad how all this had to happen, but good is coming from it and I send greetings to our new friends in our sister city of Rikuzentakata, Japan.

Ginger Streitberger, Crescent City 

Despite our efforts, Sutter still set on regionalization

The Del Norte County Board of Supervisors, as well as the rest of us, have been very patient while resisting Sutter Health’s attempted takeover of our hospital.

In contrast, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, during a dispute with Sutter Health last year, “was positioned to issue a pointed rebuke ...” of Sutter Health, until the organization became more up-front (reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, July 18, 2012). The San Francisco supervisors also “raised concerns about ...whether the medical center has negotiated in good faith.” (July 19, 2012)

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