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Letters to the Editor Sept. 7, 2013

Can’t something be done to get buses to and from the college?

We need a city bus to go to the college and pick up at the college. Our son started college this year. He has to walk five or more blocks to college and back to the bus stop Monday through Thursday, carrying all his books in a backpack, and if it’s raining that will be a mess.

So is there anybody else out there who needs bus transportation to and from the college? So why don’t any buses go to the college and back? We really need this service. Can something be done about this situation? 

Karen Leven, Smith River

Considering the consequences of a Last Chance Grade collapse

Mr. Kurt Stremberg’s recent Coastal Voices piece (“Find new route before economy devastated,” Aug. 22), reminded of this letter I started but hadn’t sent.

Summertime and the road work means waiting! For how many years have we been waiting for work on Last Chance Grade, Highway 101?

I don’t have to be an engineer to realize that there are some real problems necessitating yearly reconstruction, not lasting solutions. What happens when our rain, and winds, cause it to collapse again?

I’m not a pessimist, just a realist. How do people go in and out? How do supplies come in and out? How long will it take to repair again, if the hill is gone? Do we have to go around to Highway 299? 

Letters to the Editor Sept. 5, 2013

SHU inmates' advocates ought to be ashamed

Regarding the “Alliance for Global Justice” advertisement in the Aug. 31 edition, really? Stop the torture, huh? The “real” torture is the memories and anguish the victims and the families of the victims suffer every day as a result of the “tried and convicted” crimes these inmates perpetrated.

Why is it we seem to forget about that and give far too much attention to these predatory manipulators? These inmates keep referring to their conditions of captivity as “solitary confinement.” Really? They can have a cellmate if they qualify. They can have visitors. What’s solitary about that?

All this “hunger strike nonsense is ridiculous. These hunger strike participants are grown adults offered food three times a day with the option of purchasing additional food items from the state-managed “canteen” (store). If they don’t want to eat, so what! Don’t eat. If you starve yourself to death ... bye!

It’s disappointing and costly that “we” pay any attention at all to their “demands.” Really? Demands? They should be put back on “civilly dead” status, like they were many years ago. Imagine the millions and millions of dollars the state would save on frivolous court costs, appeals, lawsuits and abolishing all the other “rights” these criminals have acquired! If Gov. Brown truly wants to get California back in the “black” financially, this move alone would be a huge step in that direction.

In closing, the public needs to be better informed about why these SHU inmates are there. These SHU inmates have demonstrated that they cannot “program” in a general population setting and get along with the other inmates there. They are controlling, manipulating, violent predators who have been placed in the SHU for their documented continual non-compliance of the rules and regulations, and for the safety of the other inmates around them. These SHU inmates have “earned” their way into the SHU.

Letters to the Editor Aug. 29, 2013

Leaders ignorant of DA's failings is embarrassing

The Tripicate’s recent article regarding suspended  District Attorney Jon Alexander’s trying to regain his job even though he cannot currently practice law is absolutely laughable. Let me see if I understand this correctly, Mr. Alexander is claiming that the Board of Supervisors violated his due process rights, and the Brown Act? And, to further the injury, Mr. Alexander is requesting back pay and to be reinstated.

Alexander abused his prosecutorial power by speaking with a criminal defendant about her case without her lawyer present; and after learning from her that she, not her co-defendant, owned the illegal drugs found during their arrest, failed to give that exculpatory evidence to the other defendant’s lawyer; then lied to an assistant DA by saying he had not spoken with the defendant (who had recorded the conversation). This statement came directly from the judge’s opinion. 

At an eight-day Bar hearing last October, witnesses including judges, lawyers, mayors, community leaders, politicians, law enforcement officers, social workers and others testified, some of them to Alexander’s good character.

Who was the mayor at that time? Katherine Murray? I would question the integrity of these character witnesses. And finally who were the community leaders, so I and others can protect ourselves from their lack of understanding of what integrity means.

Bar Court Judge Lucy Armendariz wrote that “they invariably dismissed respondent’s misconduct as either insignificant or not at all unethical. Many did not comprehend its egregiousness.”

Letters to the Editor Aug. 27, 2013

Failed stores can't blame Walmart

All things considered, the times and economy had much more to do with grocery store failures than Walmart.

Having shopped at both failed Ray’s Food Places for many years, both stores were excellent, well run, good selections and great employees. But those factors cannot compensate for 10 to 20 percent higher prices.

Driving distance and convenience are also in the equation. For those of us in the north county, fuel costs and having several other Brookings/Harbor stores to choose from for all needs made going north a logical and economical choice.

Buy local? Ninety percent of new items coming on the market are not available locally ... or six months after release, if at all.

Medford then becomes a logical choice, at any cost, when combined with other shopping needs.

Failed stores and restaurants cannot blame Walmart for the economy or inefficiencies in current business. Shoppers always have and always will choose costs and convenience over loyalties.

Bob Douglas, Smith River

Letters to the Editor Aug. 24, 2013

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.

Letters to the Editor Aug. 20, 2013

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

Letters to the Editor Aug. 17, 2013

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

Letters to the Editor Aug. 13, 2013

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.


Thanks: Local partners help to make training event a success

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. 


Letters to the Editor Aug. 15, 2013

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.

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