Last Chance Grade must be fixed without delay
Rarely have I been so moved by the written words of any commentary as when I read the Coastal Voices piece by Kurt Stremberg on finding a new route around Last Chance Grade (“Find new route before economy devastated,” Aug. 22).
His personal tragedy of losing both his parents at Last Chance on Highway 101 in 1972 was sobering. Kurt’s message calling for the immediate replacement of a road around the problematic Last Chance Grade was riveting.
After reading the column, I asked myself, is this our last chance for Last Chance Grade? Usually, there are two sides to any subject; not in this case. U.S. 101 at Last Chance is going to collapse and when that happens, all bets are off.
Caltrans will build an alternate route through the park and there will no discussion about fauna or flora. Even a fast-track road will take 18–36 months; all the while Del Norte County will languish and suffer, and in that process will slowly, painfully succumb.
I deferred to my senior colleague on the Board of Supervisors, District 5 Supervisor David Finigan, whose district situates within Last Chance Grade. Dave’s knowledge on Last Chance is extensive and his insight to resolve the problem is imperative.
Last Chance needs to be resolved now! In 2003, Caltrans performed a full-blown study on Last Chance and decided the best way to fix the problem is to have all the equipment and materials on site to patch up the road. For the last decade, those supplies have been stored at Wilson Creek Road.
In my opinion, that choice was regrettable. Caltrans needs to go back to that study, dust it off, and re-examine the already selected alternate route and build it!
I observed the route earlier this month. Kurt, former Supervisor Chuck Blackburn and I were escorted by the Green Diamond team. The entire detour would involve less than three miles of roads and impact the state parks by about 2 acres.
Time for Del Norte to figure out its economy
There are those that have in Del Norte County and those that do not. As a former foster child of this county, I know only too well.
Were it not for a miracle escape, I too would be dependent on food stamps and public assistance. I do have to say that in my time there I was able to write three grants, one for 150 pairs of new shoes for children in need, one for a Christmas dinner for 750 people and one for a wheel chair ramp for the local food bank.
Those that have seem to make it impossible for those that do not. For example, a local doctor pays employees $10 an hour with no benefits. How is that a livable wage?
These people go to work everyday, they are not drug addicts or drunks, so how is that fair? The old saying, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, is sadly true in Del Norte County.
Not everyone has rich relatives to pay their way or old-time connections. The children in your county are hungry and it’s time for Del Norte County to step up to the 21st century and figure things out.
Alaska is booming, so much so that it has to go to the lower 48 to find employees.
Misa Heximer, Anchorage, Alaska
Questionable if Sutter isn't considering Critical Access
As most of your readers know, Sutter Health Corporation has frightened and angered this community by acting through the local Sutter Coast Hospital Board, beginning a process to eliminate the local board and moving control of our hospital to a regional board in San Francisco. Apparently, this would allow them to downgrade our hospital to a “Critical Access Hospital,” which they have done in other areas.
Critical access is a federal program to financially assist small hospitals with no more than 25 beds and some other conditions, all of which would be bad news for our hospital. It seems that Critical Access would be of financial benefit to Sutter Health Corporation, a non-profit corporation, but would drastically reduce services to this community.
A few months ago, Sutter Health replaced the CEO of Sutter Coast Hospital. The new CEO is Linda Horn. I think Ms. Horn is more proficient in public relations than was the previous CEO. I think the actions and methods of Sutter Health had destroyed all credibility with this community and that they felt the need for some public relations proficiency.
Ms. Horn told our Board of Supervisors, during their May 28 meeting, “Critical Access is not being discussed.” By that I thought she meant to convey that Critical Access was not being considered by Sutter Health nor by the Sutter Coast Hospital Board for implementation.
Perhaps I was wrong. According to Dr. Greg Duncan’s email newsletter, Critical Access discussion is alive
and well. He reports the Hospital
Board had a discussion on Critical Access at their Aug. 1 meeting and that Mr. Cohill, a Sutter Health executive, stated he believed Critical Access would be implemented here in Crescent City.
Perhaps Ms. Horn would like to clarify the current status of Critical Access discussion for our community?
Clif Shepard, Hiouchi
Walmart devastating to other businesses
Regarding the closing of Ray’s Food Place in Smith River, being from Yreka we know the devastating effect that Walmart can have on a small community.
It surprises me that the residents of Smith River are so shocked that C&K Markets would close its Ray’s store. We were warned in Yreka when Walmart came to town. Other communities let us know to expect a lowered tax base and closed local businesses. But what happened? Our city and county fathers opened their arms to Walmart and the rest is history.
In cooperation with the Chadwick Center for Children and Families at the Rady Children’s Hospital, the Children’s Health and Human Services Agency and the California Department of the Office of Child Abuse Prevention, CSM Consulting was able to coordinate an advanced Training for Trainers course titled “Mandated Reporter Train the Trainer.” Many non-profit, child-focused groups, the Del Norte Department of Health and Human Services, the Del Norte School District, and others are required by California regulation to be trained and re-certified regularly as Mandated Reporters of any circumstance that may be child abuse.
Sutter has benefitted community greatly
The financial crisis in health care today affects not only Sutter Health but every health care organization across the nation.
Sutter arrived in our community over 20 years ago. Its commitment to Del Norte and Curry counties began with building a new hospital, recruiting physicians, purchasing state of the art equipment and technology, partnering with other facilities to provide patient care not available in this remote area of California such as telemedicine in the Intensive Care Unit (advanced video and electronic monitoring — an off-site team of critical care doctors and nurses who also closely monitor ICU patients), neurology telemedicine in the Emergency Department with CPMC in the Bay area, Cal-Ore life flights to RVMC in Medford for our heart patients requiring time-sensitive heart catheterization intervention.
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.
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.
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.
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