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Letters to the Editor Aug. 8, 2013

Thanks to those who turned out to 2x2 meeting

I write to thank those who attended the recent 2x2 meeting of the Board of Supervisors and the Health Care District, regarding the future of Sutter Coast Hospital.

I asked Dr. Greg Duncan to notify the public about the meeting after I was told Sutter Coast CEO Linda Horn had been invited to the meeting, and would be attending. I later determined that the Health Care District had notified Linda Horn of the meeting the week prior, before any public posting.


Letters to the Editor Aug. 6, 2013

Hospital makes flimsy defense of position

In her screed titled “Regionalization, critical access: setting the record straight,” (Coastal Voices, July 25) Sutter Health PR Specialist Linda Horn purports to (at long last) level with Del Norte and Curry County residents as relates to Sutter Health’s stealth plan to strip away the existing level of care at Sutter Coast Hospital and reduce it to a shadow of what now exists.

Sutter Health, perhaps a little stunned at the unanticipated resistance put forth by the citizenry and its representatives (both elected and unofficial) saw the necessity of replacing stodgy former Sutter Hospital CEO Eugene Suksi with an unctuous, splendiferous angel of healing and inserted Linda Horn into the strident situation to pour balm on the turbulent waters. Her observation that “the public seems eager to get the facts,” along with the statement, “we want to offer them,” has a reassuring and assuaging tone so let’s all settle down, and follow the bouncing ball.

Letters to the Editor Aug. 3, 2013

Be sure to file petition with fire fee payment

Del Norters are once again receiving their annual bill from the state for the Fire Prevention Fee.

As many of you know, the Howard Jarvis group has filed a suit against the state contending that the fee is really an illegal tax imposed without the required voter approval. In that case, the court has recently ruled that, should the fee be found to be invalid, only those who have filed a Petition for Redetermination with the state will be entitled to a refund.

Those desiring to be eligible for the refund should:

• Timely pay your bill! If you don’t the state can lien your property and add steep penalties and interest. The lien could result in your property being foreclosed upon.

• Pay your bill through the mail rather than online. This will allow you to write in the note portion of your check: “Paid under protest per Petition for Redetermination.” Send the bill in the envelope that came with it. Keep a copy of the bill handy as you will need the information on it to complete your protest.

• Download and complete a Petition for Redetermination using the information on your invoice. You can download the form, complete with the “Reason for Petition” (which outlines the grounds for the suit) online at: www.FireTaxProtest.org. Send your completed Petition for Redetermination to the Suisun address set out on the form.

Letters to the Editor Aug. 1, 2013

Article failed to get both sides, implied wrongdoing

It never ceases to amuse me that the newspaper runs a story and fails to obtain both sides, especially when this paper can include allegations that hold people in a bad light (“Ex-prosecutor Olson settles for $50K,” July 30).

I read with little surprise that a former employee who was fired, settled after six years. Whether I agree with the settlement or not, it makes perfect sense, dollar-wise.

Yet for some reason I still find myself getting disappointed when a story mentions people by name, levels or mentions some allegation and yet this paper fails to actually speak to the person whom it is writing about.

No employee would be fired for grand jury testimony since such testimony is confidential, nor could an employee be fired for political reasons. An employee could however be fired for writing off a friend’s ticket.

I guess I expect news from a paper; and yet to print an allegation, name the person whom the allegation is being leveled against in a story that highlights a monetary settlement is simply a slanted gossip piece. It is an example of how a story can be written to imply so much more than what can be factually supported.

For example, If I alleged that the editor of a paper was being sued for being a racist and then wrote an article that the paper settled the suit for $50,000 without ever speaking to the editor about the allegation, well, I would be implying that the suit had some merit; just as this paper did in its latest article. 

Mike Riese, Crescent City

Letters to the Editor July 30, 2013

Best wishes for departing publisher

Congratulations, Michele Grgas Postal, on your coming retirement. But I will really miss your stories in the paper. They are funny, touching and informative.

I hope you have fun with your grandkids, and I hope and pray you have a good life with your husband and family.

Del Norte Triplicate readers and others will greatly miss you!

Karen Leven, Fort Dick 

Hospital still obligated to match Seaside's care

As described in the July 11 Triplicate (“District drops hospital lawsuit”) the “hospital settlement” certainly was a resounding loss for the Health Care District.

In my 30-plus years of handling disputes and settlements, I don’t think I ever saw a worse settlement. There was nothing gained by delay that is worth what was parted with. If the final draft isn’t signed, it shouldn’t be. If it has been, it should be repudiated or reformed for mistake.

Letters to the Editor July 27, 2013

Youth's ignorance about flag saddening 

I was delighted to see that so many homes in Crescent City had their flags displayed on the Fourth of July. I was equally pleased to see the excellent turnout at the Fourth of July Parade.

But did you know our children are not necessarily being taught what the American Flag and the Pledge of Allegiance represents?

Recently, I was made aware that in many Crescent City classrooms the American flag is not displayed, nor is the Pledge of Allegiance being recited daily.

After further investigation I found out that California Education Code 52720 requires a daily patriotic exercise, which can include the Pledge of Allegiance in all K-12 classrooms.  In addition, California Education Code 52730 requires the teaching of the words in the Pledge of Allegiance.

I am so tired of elected officials picking and choosing which parts of their job they wish to enforce. So I challenge you to ask your children, grandchildren or family friends' and relatives' children basic information about the American flag, such as what do the 13 stripes and 50 stars represent on the flag. You will be saddened by the results.

Remember, patriotism is a way of life and needs to be taught, so become a mentor and teach every child you see so they learn to respect our flag, and make a change in our School Board come election time!

Marianne Shannon, Crescent City

Editor’s note: Del Norte School Superintendent Don Olson said students in certain grades at every school are taught about the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance. He also said every classroom now has a flag.

Letters to the Editor July 25, 2013

Sutter brings strife; go with Asante instead 

Having watched Sutter Health’s attempt to make our local hospital a Critical Access facility (with its loss of beds, loss of staff, and many more patient aircraft transfers to out of area hospitals), it is obvious the only solution is to get rid of Sutter Health and replace it with an honest healthcare administration company that has integrity.

Asante has publicly expressed an interest in a stronger affiliation with our region (as reported in The Del Norte Triplicate on Oct. 15, 2012), but the hospital Board has ignored the offer.  Sutter Health wants to downsize because it will make more money, period.  The health of our community does not matter to Sutter.  If you want more of the same, keep trying to work with Sutter Health.

This includes more lawsuits, more money diverted away from the community and toward legal matters, more “studies” that are rigged to get the results Sutter Health wants, more deception from Sutter Health about its true intentions, higher cost, more unethical behavior at board meetings, and more attacks on people of integrity, such as Doctors Greg Duncan and Kevin Caldwell. I am sure these two doctors could make a much longer list.

Letters to the Editor July 23, 2013

Let go of the past and stick with Sutter Health

I have worked in health care for 41 years, the majority of this time as a manager or director of diagnostic imaging departments. Nine years ago I relocated from the San Francisco East Bay to Crescent City, taking a position as the director of diagnostic imaging at Sutter Coast Hospital. 

There were numerous reasons why I chose to relocate to Crescent City: the ocean, the climate, no mass of people or traffic, but the biggest reason was because I was still able to work in a profession I loved and continue to be a part of Sutter Health. Sutter Coast is the fourth acute care hospital that I have worked for. I have also worked for Los Medanos Community Hospital (a small district hospital) in Pittsburg, Calif., Children’s Hospital in Oakland and Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch. 

I worked for Los Medanos Community Hospital for 21 years. Los Medanos was an independent facility that eventually declared bankruptcy. When the hospital closed, it left 600-plus employees jobless, with many losing all or most of our pensions. Los Medanos closed because it did not have the vision to affiliate with a strong partner, and when it finally tried it was too late and no one was willing to take on such a mess. That all happened around the time that Seaside Hospital in Crescent City made a decision to affiliate with Sutter Health.

Health care has been a very difficult industry to survive in ever since the early ’80s, when the federal and state governments started reducing reimbursement, and this will only become more difficult in the next 10 years. 

I have been at Sutter Coast for nine years and have seen many patients leave our area for care elsewhere, some because they needed a higher level of care, others because it was their choice and others because there were not providers that would accept them.

Letters to the Editor July 20, 2013

Taking inmates' food an overreach

According to the prison system’s own rules, any inmate of the California state prison system is on a hunger strike when they refuse prison food for nine consecutive meals. Nothing in that rule says they cannot eat of their privately purchased canteen food. 

“Fasting” does not mean a person refuses to eat. Sometimes it means that people will abstain from certain foods. In this case state prison food is the target. 

Confiscation of prisoner’s canteen food is overreaching the authority of the California prison staff and further points out the unjust conditions of life in the prison industrial complex. 

Kathy Anderson, Eureka

Don't let Pastels in the Park fade away

My husband and I have been attending your glorious Fourth of July celebration for over ten years. We drive up from Sonoma County, and spend several days in the area, camping, moteling, visiting with family and friends. 

This year, it took some effort to find one of our Fourth favorites, the Pastels in the Park. These chalk drawings are frequently the best part of our Fourth and are often spectacular. I was shocked to learn that their allocated space in the community park has all but disappeared. 

Letters to the Editor July 18, 2013

Board should work together on problems

I keep reading our county has more than 150, plus or minus, blighted areas and only Supervisor Gitlin seems to be trying to improve these properties. What are the other four Board of Supervisors doing? 

In the June 28 edition of the Triplicate, Supervisor Martha McClure complained about the cost of 12 signs, yet she apparently had no idea how to acquire them. Why not cut out the underbrush and cut tree limbs up to 4 feet high? That will chase transients away without taking the time for the Sheriff’s Office to cite them for trespassing. If any “endangered species” are there they are being trampled on right now, so getting the transients out will save the precious little plants. It seems like Supervisor Gitlin and Code Enforcement Officer Dave Mason are trying to do something. 

This brings up another issue — our airport remodeling. Fifteen years ago I did some work with the maintenance staff at the airport, and even then there was talk about remodeling it. We are still waiting. 

I’m told that the Coastal Commission wants to exchange four acres of county land for one acre of what is deemed “wetlands” at the airport before signing off on rebuilding the airport. If that is true, where is our Board of Supervisor representative who is also on the Coastal Commission? Is she more for the Coastal Commission than for the county she should be representing? 

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