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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

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)

Letters to the Editor June 8, 2013

Why hasn’t Point of Honor been built yet?

Why hasn’t the Veterans Point of Honor been constructed yet?

I got out of the Army four years ago and I remember hearing talk about a Point of Honor being constructed. It’s been four years, what’s the hold up people?

I think the sign that stands on the S curve letting people know that there will be a Point of Honor here is starting to fall apart. So what is this, a plan put on the back burner?

I mean, financially, we must be pretty good seeing as how we are getting lighted crosswalks installed around town. Not that they’re a waste of money, but how does this town do business? What are the priorities? Keeping up with the let-me-hold-your-hand agenda or putting a shovel in the ground to start a project that got initiated four years ago.

Wow, talk about pulling a Caltrans.

Joseph Burrell, Crescent City

Kind words don’t make up for threat to hospital

The latest Sutter Coast proposal makes me think I’m watching a stereotype of “bad cop (abrasive) followed by good cop (soft-spoken).”  Former CEO Eugene Suksi followed by interim CEO Linda Horn.

Of course employees are speaking well of Ms. Horn. They’re quaking in their boots, fearing layoffs. Sutter has postponed regionalization because there’s a court order saying it can’t go ahead, yet. It’s not because of the “goodness of their heart.”

Who would propose reducing beds here, especially, like maternity? The last few times I’ve visited, there have been four women in labor. Which two stay; which two women in labor are placed in a plane? What if weather doesn’t permit flying out?

It’s cheaper to go to Medford for specialized help, not routine medical care.

Letters to the Editor June 6, 2013

Privatizing authority is of questionable legality

At the joint supervisors/City Council meeting on May 21, county Supervisor Roger Gitlin stated publicly that he had received a confidential memo from legal counsel regarding the possible legal implications of privatizing the Solid Waste Authority due to a Costa Mesa case.

As a layperson, the case seems quite simple. The Costa Mesa City Council attempted to privatize many services to allegedly save money. The employees’ union filed a lawsuit stating that according to California Government Code, a city is prohibited from privatizing city services that are not considered special such as legal, financial or engineering services.

The court ruled in favor of the employees’ union. It reached the California Supreme Court in November and the decision is now case law. This means that it serves as legal precedent (binding or persuasive) for any future cases in which a California general city attempts to privatize non-specialized city services.

The cost to Costa Mesa was great. The City Council spent $700,00 in legal fees and was forced to withdraw all pink slips. The court prohibited the layoffs from going forward until the case was resolved. Unfortunately, a maintenance worker, Huy Pham ended his life by jumping off the City Hall building after receiving his layoff notice.

When the majority of Del Norte citizens are expressing satisfaction and support for the services provided by the Solid Waste Authority, when the Triplicate has provided the figures showing that we pay less per unit weight than Curry County and when employees have desperately expressed the stress they and their families are experiencing with this unending game over their livelihood, why are supervisors Gitlin and Michael Sullivan spending time looking into privatization when the entire legality of doing so is highly questionable?

Letters to the Editor June 4, 2013

Scandals show Obama is incompetent or dishonest

 It must be clear by now, even to low-information voters, that the three Obama scandals have created a dilemma for anyone paying attention.

Namely, that since the president claims no knowledge of any of these events, it’s clear that he’s either:  A) incredibly incompetent, or B) a liar.

Carter Swart, Crescent City

I and 12 others are too brilliant to believe claims  

Get a load of these right-wing nuts who are always criticizing our beloved president.

They make insane claims about Obama invading foreign countries without congressional approval and they say the IRS is going around harassing the Tea Party movement.

Isn’t that just crazy?

Right-wing nuts say that the Obama Justice Department has been spying on the phone records of the Associated Press.

Letters to the Editor June 1, 2013

McClure watching out to keep area beautiful

In his letter May 28 letter, “Gitlin says McClure is blocking vet monument,” Leroy Bieber says he believes Supervisor Martha McClure places the importance of birds over humans. Nobody can help what Mr. Bieber believes, but the issue appears to be that of bird sanctuary versus annoying light.

But speaking of people, there are motels facing the proposed memorial site. Having a bright light outside their window all night isn’t exactly a pleasant thing to offer visitors. Thank goodness we have people like Martha McClure looking out for the natural beauty and diversity that make this area the unique jewel it is!

Diane Blackberry, Crescent City

Coast Guard needs to explain refusal to help

My wife and I listened intently to the cryptic messages of the Search and Rescue Team on our scanner Saturday evening, May 25, as an injured woman was removed from the rocks where she had fallen (Nickel Creek area) to a higher refuge by a fireman seeking to keep her from a surging tide.

The woman who had fallen from a 20-foot embankment suffered multiple injuries including fractures and a concussion.

The SAR team was on location of rescue within 15 minutes of notification while SAR Coordinator McNamara had dispatch contact the Coast Guard air station in Arcata requesting an airlift. The initial reaction from the Coast Guard was to decline. Only after Team Coordinator McNamara placed a phone call to a higher authority was a helicopter dispatched.

A later attempt to cover the refusal was made by a  Coast Guard spokesman stating that the call had been considered advisory.

Letters to the Editor May 23, 2013

Old-growth trees won't be cut down

Regarding your May 16 story, “Suit filed over 199/197 plan,” about the lawsuit filed by environmental groups over Caltrans’ widening and straightening project for routes 199 and 197, some clarification is needed.

To quote your story, “Although no old-growth redwoods would be cut down, like in the controversial Richardson Grove project ...”

That seems to suggest that old-growth redwoods will be cut down in the Richardson Grove realignment. This is simply not true.

No trees over 2 feet in diameter will be removed in the project. The large diameter trees that most of us know as old-growth will remain.

Fred Mangels, Eureka

Editor’s note: A correction to that effect appears elsewhere in this edition.

Hospital officials should face public

Been thinking, could it be time for another town hall meeting at the Crescent Elk Auditorium with local doctors, the Sutter Coast Hospital interim CEO and the board chairman?

Last year we had a town hall and the hospital CEO and board chairman attended, handed out talking points in favor of “regionalization” and answered questions. The meeting was too short and sadly, the only time any representatives from SCH attended any event to discuss/explain the decision to regionalize to our community.

Letters to the Editor May 30, 2013

Is Waste Authority time-wasting a witch hunt?

Would a bottle of hydrogen peroxide help our elected officers at the county and city clean out the ear wax in their ears? 

At the joint meeting of the city and county (“More talk, no action on waste,” May 23) the majority of the community spoke to keep the Solid Waste Authority. To the current members of the Solid Waste Authority Board, I hope that you hear what the people said at that meeting. 

Are there problems in the way the transfer station is run? No. Are there problems with how Recology picks up our garbage? The answer is no. I would hope that people who went to the meeting would come to Solid Waste Task Force meetings as it starts to work on its “five-year plan” that has to go to the state. Public input would help the members of the task force design that plan. 

I would also hope that if there are problems with the bottom line at the authority that members would focus on that problem and stop playing the soccer game that they have played for so long. If there are problems with the bottom line, how much money we are spending to run the operation of the transfer station?

Why have they wasted so much time and haven’t solved the problem with the books of the authority? 

Maybe they have other reasons to play their soccer game. Is there a witch hunt, as some claim?

Richard Miles, Crescent City

What's Gitlin's motive in blocking airport?

I am struggling to understand why county Supervisor Roger Gitlin has stated that he will oppose the proposed set-aside of some Pacific Shores lots to enable the congressionally mandated airport expansion project to go forward.

Letters to the Editor May 28, 2013

Gitlin says McClure is blocking vet monument

After reading the May 18 Coastal Voices opinion article by county Supervisor Roger Gitlin, “Supreme Court must rein in Coastal Commission,” I am reminded of my personal loss. This weekend is Memorial Day and I hark back to the day my parents shared the terrible World War II telegram that my older brother was missing in action (and later pronounced dead).

My other older brother was also killed in action. I was 11 years old. I am sure you can all relate to human loss and the devastation it leaves.

Today, according to Gitlin, the California Coastal Commission and county Supervisor Martha McClure, who serves as a commissioner, can throw a monkey wrench into the process which would approve the permit to allow the construction of Point of Honor at the S curve because of “the effects of on-site illumination and how lighting would affect our local bird life.”

Allow me to say, I am not a veteran because I am the sole surviving son of my family. I was exempted from the draft. I am not a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, but my heart is with it in its struggle to have the permit granted.

It saddens me to believe that Supervisor/Commissioner McClure places the importance of birds over humans. It makes me wonder why it has taken so long to expand our airport and how much we have to give up to bring our community into modern times. Could Martha McClure be the reason we have not expanded our airport and we do not have a Point of Honor Memorial erected?

Leroy Bieber, Crescent City

Letters to the Editor May 25, 2013

Resounding opposition to highway improvements

Recent articles concerning the Caltrans 199/197 road project could have some people believing that only environmental groups are opposed to the introduction of the huge STAA trucks on our Wild and Scenic route.

However, a review of the draft EIR and final EIR shows a resounding opposition to the project. (See Caltrans website www.dot.ca.gov/dist/1/d1proj
.) In the final EIR, Caltrans states it received 398 public comments. I could only find three letters or comments that were in favor of the project published in Volume 3 of the final EIR.

Also published in Volume 3 of the final EIR, is a report by Smith Engineering and Management (starting on page 4-2-16, volume 3 of the final EIR) which explains in detail the dangers STAA trucks would pose.

Do the research on this project and if you feel it’s unwise to proceed, contact your local supervisor, the local transportation board, and the Governor’s Office urging them to withdraw support for this project.

Donald Bruce, Gasquet 

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