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Letters to the Editor Feb. 5, 2013

Tribe shouldn't gamble away money with casino

I write this with a heavy heart. No, I am not distinguished to be a member of the Yurok Tribe, and with that said, sadly, many will dismiss my thoughts solely for that matter alone.

How can anyone of Yurok heritage actually believe the consultants who painted a rosy portrait of a hotel and casino in downtown Klamath, are giving them the real deal?

The region is already saturated with casinos in Elk Valley and Smith River. Why would someone drive to a remote area? The get-rich-now approach rather than sow the seeds to the future appears to command the money.

What about building a small sawmill and market “certified, sustainable” lumber? What about building a salmon aquaculture “fish factory” up in Terwer along the banks of the Klamath alongside a Yurok heritage “living museum”?

Many persons of foreign nations would love to see such sites on a tour of the redwood region.

How about building a mussel aquaculture “shellfish factory” near the mouth of the Klamath River? Tourists passing through would love to see such industry.

I was up on Vancouver Island where First Nations people have built time-share vacation rentals.


Letters to the Editor Feb. 2, 2013

‘Call of Crescent City’ in warmth of the people

“The call of Crescent City,” Jan. 19, got me thinking. When my second husband died a year ago, I was living in Wilton, south of Sacramento. After a couple of months of successfully putting one foot in front of the other, I decided I would try to sell our four-bedroom home on five acres with a pond.

With divine intervention it sold for cash in a week for almost my asking price! Even though I thought I’d have a year before my home sold, I knew exactly where I’d go next — back to Crescent City!

I had moved to Del Norte County fresh out of college in Sacramento to begin my teaching career in 1976 at the age of 21. I drove along Pebble Beach Drive and said, “I can’t believe people are so lucky as to actually live here!” I knew not a soul, but my fellow teachers at Redwood School soon became family.

I met and married a wonderful man who was the father of my three sons. As years passed, we Redwood teachers taught each other’s children and loved them as our own.

Dave died in 1998, after we had been married 20 years. I was devastated, but being back in the classroom helped. I spent many recesses crying in the bathroom the rest of that school year.

I moved with my youngest son back to Sacramento, where my father and siblings still lived. I remarried, but for years, whenever we returned to Crescent City to visit, I’d cry as soon as I saw the ocean.


Letters to the Editor Jan. 31, 2013

Thanks, congratulations

Just got home from two weeks in the “warm country.” When we get home one of my favorite things is to pick up my stack of newspapers and find out what’s been going on while we’ve been gone. 

I ran across Rick Bennett’s letter to the editor (“Triplicate doing a great job in hard times for publishing,” Jan. 22) and wholeheartedly agreed with him. I, for one, love to sit back and read the paper, digest the words while relaxing, because being online is not relaxing to me.

So, here we go. Congratulations to my friends Hector and Eileen Brown on your Chamber of Commerce award! The pictures were great (Jan. 22). You’ve been cleaning up Crescent City for many, many years now, and I loved to see that recognized by our city fathers.

Also, congrats to Strand Hill, another good friend’s son who had a lead in a theater production here. Loved to see those pictures, too.

And what a heartwarming story about Virginia Hinkley (“‘You never saw a better sport,” Jan. 19) about the sad accident and the courage she has and most of all her gracious heart of forgiveness.

And last but not least, the House Calls columns, written in layman’s terms by Trish Walker, about heart failure. We have family members with the heart disease she spoke of, so I cut out her article and was discussing it in the office and one of our clients said he would like a copy, that he had read it and inadvertently thrown the issue away without keeping it. Another agent was listening and had not seen it and asked for a copy. So here we are, a discussion that would have never taken place should it had just been an online story rather than in print, available to easily copy and share with others.

Thank you, Triplicate, for toughing out these times and continuing to print our news.

And on another note, we who are actively fighting to keep our hospital intact, a huge thank you to Dr. Greg Duncan who is sacrificing his time and energy to keep us informed. A well-attended meeting last night at the fairgrounds opened many eyes to the travesty hidden behind closed doors to him and the people of our county who stand to lose the most.


Letters to the Editor Jan. 29, 2013

When has Indian mascot ever been derisive?

Thank you, Dave Boker, for pointing out the obvious but ignored aspect of the Warrior controversy (“DN still in search of a Warrior symbol,” Jan. 26).

The taxpayers and alumni of the community should not be held voiceless to the decision made by whatever current crop of young, impressionable students attending Del Norte at a moment in time decide when a mascot may be chosen.

I have an ongoing, 21-year commitment to Warrior sports so have a vested interest in the outcome of this decision. We have been the Warriors as long as I can remember; 60 or more from reading Coach Trone’s column. When has the Indian mascot ever been a symbol of shame or derision? Why is it wrong to take pride in an aspect of our collective history that had gained respect and admiration in spite of a sometimes harsh and atrocious (on both sides) past?

Why do the minority aggrieved have the power to claim victim status and demand we all put aside our own preferences and yield to the madness that is political correctness? If we must not speak of that which offends, history is held hostage, and history held hostage is soon forgotten.

Ultimately, our collective memory will forget great American Indian leaders and their contributions, the shame of past injustices, and the lessons to be learned from both. We will not remember the brave, formidable warriors who fought so valiantly in battle against superior numbers and advanced technology, and whose indomitable spirit prevailed in gaining the admiration of even their most ferocious enemies.

Breaking out the bingo cards and pulling the slot machine handle is not going to engender the same respect in the history that will supplant the old.


Letters to the Editor Jan. 26, 2013

Time to get angry, prevent downsizing of hospital

Just over eight months ago I wrote a letter to the editor expressing my concern regarding the transfer of ownership of Sutter Coast Hospital to Sutter Health. That concern has not abated, but has increased significantly by the events that have transpired since then.

First, the chief of staff of the hospital, Dr. Greg Duncan, has apparently been placed on double-secret probation by the Dean (see “Animal House,” the movie) of the Sutter Health legal team and is not allowed to attend certain parts of meetings of the Board of Directors. The reason for Sutter’s action is that Dr. Duncan has been deemed a subversive (see Joe McCarthy, the Red Scare) because he has publicly stated that he thinks Sutter Coast Hospital should honor the promises it made to this community when it was given monopoly privilege over hospital care in our region.

The promises as written in the original agreement between Sutter Health and the Del Norte Healthcare District are: Sutter Coast Hospital will be governed by a board, the majority of whose members will be residents of Del Norte County. The quality of care provided to patients by Sutter Coast Hospital shall meet or exceed the quality of care presently provided at the existing hospital. (Lease Agreement page 2, 3/19/1987.)

Second, it has been discovered that there are two studies that have been conducted regarding the downsizing of Sutter Coast Hospital to Critical Access status, reducing the number of beds to 25. The problem is Sutter Health will not allow anyone in the community to see the documents. Where is Daniel Ellsberg when you need him? (See Pentagon Papers).

A call to action might be to follow John Belushi’s lead in “Animal House”: “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?” or would it be more appropriate to stand at the window and shout as Howard Beale (see “Network,” the movie) did: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”

If nothing happens to change the direction of Sutter, we may not have a community economically viable to survive the next decade.

Jim Coston, Crescent City 

We’re going downhill; no leadership to stop it

As Sutter Health works quietly behind the scenes to take over our hospital and regionalize it, we need to get some serious action going to stop this! Our community has seen the lumber industry vanish and the fishing industry decimated. We brought in a huge prison which was supposed to make us a “boom town” but instead clogs our justice system and pulls in bad elements of our society, along with a terrible rise in drug trafficking.

We now see a new super-Walmart up and running, without regard for the smaller businesses in our community who are trying to make it but probably can’t compete. (Please support your local grocery stores/hardware stores!)

Where is the leadership in this town/this county? Evidently the will to do big things is not present in their thinking. If our hospital is lost to Sutter because of ineptitude, complacency, fear, or just plain ignorance, we will have no one but ourselves to blame as we see our economy and way of life tilt downward for lack of decent medical care. No thinking person would move his family here knowing that they would have to be shipped out for anything other than a minor illness. What competent physician would be willing to set up practice here?

Lilyan Wood, Crescent City


Letters to the Editor Jan. 24, 2013

Del Norte better off without Sutter Health

I want to say thank you to Dr. Greg Duncan and the other physicians and community leaders who are working tirelessly to keep Sutter Health from further reducing the availability and quality of health care in our community.

I am concerned about the potential human cost to the citizens of Del Norte, should Sutter Health continue and succeed in its quest to regionalize Sutter Coast Hospital and downgrade it to a critical access facility.

There are countless medical scenarios where the delays involved in transporting patients out of the area could mean the difference between life and death. Family members whose presence with the patient is crucial for the patient’s treatment and recovery will also be heavily affected by increased out-of-area care.

Traveling the long distances to hospitals in other cities is a hardship for many and impossible for some. It’s also expensive for all, and prohibitive for many.

Many hospital positions have already been lost as a result of Sutter Health consolidating business services elsewhere. How many more jobs will be lost at the hospital and in the community if Sutter Health receives a green light to do as it pleases, without regard to the desires and needs of the community it partners with and serves?

The manner in which Sutter Health has been systematically and unilaterally reducing the availability of medical care to the citizens of Del Norte County is unconscionable.

The better choice for our community is to pursue contracting with a health corporation, such as Asante, that will expand medical services here, not downsize them.

Elizabeth C. Green, Crescent City


Letters to the Editor Jan. 22, 2013

We need large-capacity guns; alcohol our biggest problem

In response to the Jan. 17 Coastal Voices piece, “Yes, citizens do need large-capacity guns,” I agree with this person’s point of view.

I also wonder why our elected officials cannot deal with the worst of all child safety issues: alcohol.

There are 10,000 times more innocent child fatalities due to booze then all other fatal causes. Perhaps we need to ban large-capacity bottles.

Wait, that would hinder the amount of huge tax dollars earned from their sale. Scrap that idea. That would limit their funds for buying $1,000 shovels and $120,000 bathrooms in their personal homes.

Vote, but vote non-incumbent. They’ll get the idea after a few years. Lose the partisan bickering.

Randy Hodson, Crescent City 

Enough with inflammatory statements about guns

Regarding the Jan. 17. Coastal Voices piece, “Yes, citizens do need large-capacity guns,” this is a call to encourage some mentally unhinged person to see this as a call to civil war.


Letters to the Editor Jan. 19, 2013

Idea of using wastewater to heat pool smells bad

How comforting to know pool users wont be swimming in wastewater (“Unique way to heat pool considered,” Jan. 10).

With nearly a million dollars to be spent for design, excavation, installation and maintenance between the two buildings, payback time may be 15–20 years. Installation of an electrically heated pool and building, expertly designed and installed, would seem to have a much longer life, not dependent on the wastewater plant and a shorter payback period.

I doubt there is another wastewater heated pool anywhere. The whole idea smells bad.

Bob Douglas, Smith River

Non-service dogs in stores is disrespectful

I live in Brookings so was pleased when the Walmart in Crescent City expanded to become a super-center and therefore offering an expanded grocery shopping opportunity.

On Sunday, Jan. 13, my friend and I visited Walmart. As we were shopping, we noticed, or rather heard, dogs barking. Upon approaching the check-out area, there was a woman with two small dogs in her cart. One was enclosed in a carrier in the basket and the other was sitting on a blanket in the child seat.

Both dogs were barking as the woman unloaded her items at the self-check, and proceeded to try and quiet the dogs by yelling at them to shut up. There were also words of profanity interspersed. These were definitely not service animals, and my friend and I wondered why these dogs were even in the store.

Then, as we were leaving with our purchases, we passed a line of people at the Service Desk and noticed a man with a large dog on a leash just leaving the counter. This dog was clearly not a service animal either.


Letters to the Editor Jan. 17, 2013

Rep. Huffman refuses to disclose his positions

Many of us may be surprised to know that, due to redistricting, we have a new congressman. Jared Huffman of San Raphael now represents Del Norte County in District 2.

I frequently wrote to Rep. Mike Thompson when he was our representative and I always received a reply. I did not always agree with Mike, but at least he took the time to share his positions with me. Mr. Huffman, not so much.

I have written several letters to Rep. Huffman since he was sworn in. I received no response to any of my written inquiries. Understanding that the congressman may not have established a system for reviewing consitutent mail as of yet, I called his office is Washington, D.C., to obtain a better understanding of where he stood on three particular issues.

The specif issues were gun control, deficit reduction and federal funding for Planned Parenthood. I spoke to a staffer in the congressman’s office who informed me that, although the congressman had opinions on these issues, his staff were not allowed to share these with me.

When I pushed for answers, I was told someone knowledgeable from his staff would respond via email. A few days later I received an email that said the congressman was involved in setting up his office and was unable to provide answers to the issues I had requested.

I called the congressman’s office again, demanding an answer to my questions and was transferred to a gentleman who refused to inform me of what the congressman’s position was on any of the issues important to me. I reiterated that I was a constituent and entitled to know what his position was and again was rebuffed.


Letters to the Editor Jan. 15, 2013

Gitlin's debut was a study in group dynamics

1st District Supervisor Roger Gitlin’s debut as a sitting board member Jan. 8 was a study in group dynamics from my perspective.

I was disappointed in his delayed welcome to the board as a new member in several aspects; the first being that he was not acknowledged as welcome by Chairman Mike Sullivan until after introduction of new employees and committee reports 10 minutes after the opening of the meeting. One would expect that a new board member would be be acknowledged as welcome to the board and to the public in his/her official capacity as the first order of business.

His eventual welcome came in a somewhat incidental manner, as if to say “oh! by the way, glad to have you aboard” or something similar 10 minutes after the opening.

The disappointment was furthered by Supervisor Gerry Hemmingsen with his remark of hoping Mr. Gitlin would do as well as departing Supervisor McNamer had.Not exactly a vote of confidence nor a note of welcome.

Although subtle, there was a noticeable seating distance between the positioning of Supervisor Gitlin’s chair/microphone setup from that of the other members’. I wondered if this was a sort of rite for incoming members.

Supervisor McClure’s placing of a bottle of water at Supervisor Gitlin’s space as she entered was a nice touch and might be considered a non-verbal welcome.

As the meeting went forward and people were invited to speak per the agenda, the most notable aspect was Supervisor Gitlin’s engagement with the presenters, largely consisting of questions.


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