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Letters to the Editor Nov. 21, 2013

Schools’ $1M expense on phones, clocks imprudent

I have read and reread the Nov. 16 article “Schools get $1M upgrade” that disclosed the school district’s decision to spend $1 million on an upgrade to the district’s phone, clock, bell and intercom systems.

Am I the only one who finds the School Board’s decision to spend money in this way a cause of concern and trepidation? Aren’t the phones and bells and clocks that they now have in good working order? They were working the last time I was on school property.

Apparently one of the selling points of the new system is that the superintendent will be able to speak to all the students in the district at one time. Why is this important?

Does the School Board think that in the event of emergency the on-site teachers will be paralyzed with indecision and not know what to do? Does it think that the on-sight administrators will refuse to take action unless they receive instructions from on high? Does the school administration fear that the land lines and their cell phones will all go out at once and they will not be able to communicate with the schools? 

This decision by the School Board to invest $1 million in phones, clocks, bells and intercom systems hardly makes sense in the best of times.  When we consider that it is  going to borrow the money to do these things by selling bonds, its decision is even more bizarre.


Letters to the Editor Nov. 19, 2013

Hospital study smacks of undue influence

Seemingly, Del Norte/Curry area residents are approaching the point where our full service hospital will be lost. With the Triplicate reporting the completion of the Camden Group’s study and the Internet posting of same (suttercoast.org) the home stretch is dead ahead as CEO Linda Horne announced a brief public input period after which a decision will be forthcoming.

The Steering Committee comprised of 15 community and business members was conceivably steered by inclusion of CEO Horn and the chairman of the Sutter Hospital Board of Directors, Ken Hall. Also among the members was John Menaugh whose past CEO position on Sutter Coast may have heavily weighted his independence.

Sutter Health may have a ready excuse for the inclusion of the two hospital Board members and a former Sutter executive, but to me it smacks of undue influence. The kicker of course is that the Steering Committee was handpicked by Sutter Health. In cards it’s dealer’s delight to have control of the shuffle.

Its control all the way with Sutter Health picking the study group and doling out the stats and data that it (Sutter Health) wanted included in the study and withholding that which it chose not to have analyzed. In a word, there was no independent study.


Letters to the Editor Nov. 16, 2013

Our president, what a guy ...

I can’t understand why some people are being so hard on Obamacare.  Our president just may be ahead of his time with mandatory coverages.

Science is moving so fast that it is conceivable (no pun intended) that men will one day be able to get pregnant and bear children. That’s probably why Obamacare mandates that men be covered for maternity and newborn care.

Yes, I believe that he is a true visionary. He realizes that many people losing their current health insurance coverages may become depressed because their new Obamacare insurance will double their existing premium and increase their deductibles, causing many people turn to illegal drugs. That’s why he made sure that mental health services and addiction treatments were included in every policy.

Yes, I am sure that’s why the president made sure that insurance companies cancel all policies that failed to include those essential elements.

Our president, what a guy ... always looking out for us.

Bob Berkowitz, Crescent City


Letters to the Editor Nov. 14, 2013

Would like to have seen more Hmong coverage

Monday was a nice day for a parade; sunny, warm. The Veterans Day Parade was not so large this year, yet as a Vietnam combat veteran it is always nice that we have it.

The Tuesday paper left me confused. The largest group, and for sure the most colorful, and even one of the grand marshals, rated no photo and little press.

I took many very nice photos of beautifully dressed Hmong people. I shared combat stories will them, as I was on the Laos border during my time in Vietnam.

Here are real combat veterans working for our country, here is a group of people who have found a new place to live.

If the Hmong had not been in the parade, much of its size and color would have been lost. I send photos of them to my veteran buddies throughout the United States, to friends in England; all have replied on the beauty and the fact that these people are so much a part of this community.


Letters to the Editor Nov. 9, 2013

Play about community evocative, worth seeing

I urge you not to miss Lighthouse Repertory Theatre’s “This is Crescent City.” We went last night and today I am still feeling the emotions evoked by this incredible musical.

It tells the story of us, of our town, our neighbors. What makes us not just the last town on the continent, or the first, but what builds us as community ... the human side of us.

I knew these stories intellectually, but it took seeing these performances to truly bring these lives into my heart. There weren’t many dry eyes last night. I never cry, ever, and I was sobbing last night. I am still feeling the effects today.

I want to stand on the S curves with signs urging everyone not to miss this home-grown story of our home.

Catherine O. Despres, Cresent City

Don’t let S curve veteran monument dream die

It must be over five years now since the city, through Police Chief Douglas Plack, approached the VFW about erecting a veterans monument at the “S” curve. There were committees formed and untold meetings — does it sound familiar so far? — with questionable progress.

I’m going to pat myself on the back here as I was the one who first gave $2,500 to kick-start the project. My intent was to get things started instead of just talking and planning.


Letters to the Editor Nov. 7, 2013

Citizens must signal disapproval of new law

When I first heard about the new California “transgender” law allowing mixed-sex use of school bathrooms, I viewed it as just another obscene joke from Los Angeles or San Francisco. Now I have learned that this institutionalized perversion will actually be implemented in Del Norte beginning Jan. 1.

I am not a native Californian, thank God, so perhaps I am not passive and indoctrinated enough to accept this in my adopted county without expressing my objections.

I would not think of advocating armed rebellion, of course, but I do hope at least a few parents will pull their children out of our failed public schools, and perhaps a mass refusal to pay the property taxes due next month would help to call attention to the urgent need to separate ourselves from Southern California and establish a new state of our own here.

John Cupp, Smith River

'Up our way' farther than many Californians think

We’ve discussed that Northern vs. Central California thing down here off and on. I’ve always related the story of (who knows how many) people I’ve bumped into from out of the area. When I tell them I’m from Eureka, the usual response is something along the line of, “That’s up by San Francisco, isn’t it?”


Letters to the Editor Nov. 5, 2013

Farm bill threatens poor families, could cost gov't

I am writing you with concerns about the farm bill going under review. A lot of people may not realize this, but the farm bill addresses stricter eligibility requirements to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), known as CalFresh is California — also known as food stamps.

I read an article from the New York Times and CNBC about the budget cuts the bill suggests. Due to my professional experience with SNAP benefits I believe the program should have stricter eligibility requirements, but not necessarily the budget cuts that are being suggested.

Stricter eligibility requirements would hopefully, in time, reduce the program payout amounts as everyone knows about the economic hardships at this time. The New York Times reported that the bill suggests putting a time frame of three months on the program for each client.

I believe there are clients out there that need the benefits more than three months so putting a time frame on the program is not realistic or beneficial to the general population.


Letters to the Editor Nov. 2, 2013

Kudos for clearing brush from homeless camp

Good job to Crescent City for clearing the brush behind Safeway. The homeless can’t play hide and seek when they steal alcohol from Safeway. They will have nowhere to hide.

But knowing them, they will find another place to roost.

Tony Jacomella, Crescent City

Homeless run off land with nowhere to go

For years the community of Del Norte has not really realized how many homeless people there are in this community. I myself had become recently homeless within the last year due to being in an abusive relationship. My family basically gave up on me and my husband left for Nebraska and left me on the streets with nowhere to go.

Some very kind people took me in behind Safeway in the wilderness, gave me a place to stay, fed me, made sure I was warm with a blanket. I will be eternally grateful to these people, especially the man who started this camp. His name is Michael Myers, ironically. Now, after this man has been trying to help so many people, the government, or the state, says all the homeless people have to leave with nowhere to go.

These people are good human beings, just with no place to go. They help each other, they make sure you’re being fed, they protect each other, now they are being thrown out, into other communities with nowhere to go. Where is the justice in this?


Letters to the Editor Oct. 31, 2013

Local control key to hospital issue

Your Oct. 26 article, “Closer look at Critical Access,” seemed slanted in favor of the big money Bay Area administrator’s viewpoint. You quote a number of health industries employees without differentiating those whose bread is buttered in whole or in part by the large corporate interests.

Your use of average bed occupancy statistics is reminiscent of Mark Twain’s reference to “Lies, damned lies and statistics.” Average census figures mean a lot to the money managers, but little to the patient who needs help when the facility is at or above capacity.

It is a common strategy to attract a portion of an opponent’s position and leave the impression that you have shot down his whole argument. 

Your article fails to mention that the original point of dispute, which was whether or not highly over-paid money managers in the Bay Area would determine the fate of the hospital or whether the local medical community and the local hospital chief of staff, or for that matter, the local citizens, would have a voice. It all started when the local Board voted to disband in favor of regionalization. 

Maybe Critical Access would be a good thing for Del Norte, but that decision should come from those who will have to depend on the local resource. 

Dale Watson, Crescent City


Letters to the Editor Oct. 29, 2013

Obama not acting like commander in chief

Regarding Craig Johnson’s Oct. 17 letter, “Congress puts own goals ahead of nation’s welfare,” President Obama publicly announced he would not negotiate with Republicans in Congress and his Democratic followers don’t seem to have minds of their own.

Whether Democratic or Republican, they are supposed to be working for the best interest of the American people.

For example, when Nancy Pelosi said that they had to vote yes on Obama care and then they could find out what was in it. Really! Are those the people that are working for you and I? How do you vote on a law you don’t know anything about? Because Obama says so.


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