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Coastal Voices: There should be no hurry regarding hospital's next move

According to the chairman of the local Sutter Coast Hospital Board, it may vote on whether to downsize the hospital to a Critical Access facility, and to “regionalize” the hospital, which will dissolve themselves as the governing body, and transfer hospital ownership to Sutter Health’s West Bay Region in San Francisco, before the end of the year.

What’s the hurry? 

Two years ago, the Del Norte Healthcare District filed suit to slow down the regionalization process, which Sutter Health had initiated without informing our community.

It has been wrongly stated several times and again recently in a Coastal Voices piece by a local physician that Sutter Health owns Sutter Coast Hospital. When Sutter Health and the Del Norte County Local Hospital District negotiated a contract to build a new hospital  in 1985, it was agreed that Sutter Health would manage the hospital for an annual fee, the profits that Sutter Coast Hospital generated from its local patients paid for the facility and Sutter Health did very well managing the facility over the years.

It was also agreed that Sutter Coast would be operated as a locally owned entity, with a local Board.  

If ownership is transferred it will be to the Sutter Health subsidiary The West Bay Region.

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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.

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Warriors were looking spiffy back in 1950

For a long time when Warrior football players got ready to play a game they put on the same khaki pants that were worn every day for practice and a red and white wool jersey that was really uncomfortable. It was the same home or away.

When the 1949 season started, we had fancy new red and white uniforms. They consisted of white pants and red jerseys with white shoulders and sleeves. The helmets were still the white leather ones that were made before World War II.

The new Warrior coach, Chuck DeAutremont, had raised the money for these uniforms to help raise pride in Warrior football. Little did we know that we would only get to wear these uniforms for one season.

During the spring the school changed our colors from red and white to the blue and gold we have now.

Chuck went to work again to raise funds for new blue and gold uniforms. The boxing smokers were started and proved to be great money-makers.

The Warriors had two local professional boxers to thank for making these events successful. Dale and Sandy Sanderson, local Native Americans who fought professionally, came forward and helped organize these events.

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Church Notebook: Methodist Church sets the dates for its annual Holiday Bazaar

I’ve been writing this column for over 10 years now. But, could I write anything longer?

For the past few years I’ve had an idea for a book about Mary Magdalene. Lately, it’s become more than an idea. And, no, if I do, it won’t be anything like that other book out there — the one that made her out to be Jesus’ wife.

So, we’ll see. If I can get beyond a couple chapters, perhaps ...

But away from ideas of fiction and on to the real stuff for the next week or so. There are some good things coming up. With the holidays approaching, it’s time for those holiday bazaars, with their interesting sale items and delicious edible offerings.

• We’ll start the week off Sunday with an inspiring journey into the past at the Crescent City United Methodist Church. During pioneer days, the gospel was spread via camp meeting revivals. In many places, there were no established churches, and circuit riders traveled about carrying God’s word and mountain gospel music. That music isn’t heard many places anymore — but it is on occasion, here at the Methodist Church.

And it will be Sunday! Once again, the Jefferson State Boondock Band will be a lively addition to the Sunday morning service. The music will start at 10:15 a.m., and the regular worship service at 10:30. If you’ve never experienced this, it’s worth going! I’ve heard them, and they are absolutely delightful.

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Cannery idea considered for the local area

From the pages of the Crescent City American, November 1927.

As we were driving out the Elk Valley Road Sunday, we chanced to see Joe Christensen pruning dahlias in the front yard of a farm house below the road. We stopped the car and enquired what mission brought him in that part of the woods, and his reply was that he owned the ranch and was living there. He told us that he had bought the place, which consists of 50 acres, from Glenn Robinson the forepart of September.

Mr. Christensen stated among other things that he intended putting in three acres of strawberries in the spring and would also go into the vegetable raising business with a view to starting a cannery sometime in the future. This is something that is needed here, he said, and he is of the belief that a vegetable and berry cannery can be operated on a paying basis. 

Van’s Auto Camp sold

A deal was closed here this week whereby Mr. and Mrs. John B. Endert become the owners of Van’s Auto Camp, which was built in the spring of last year by J.M. Van Cleave, and under his operation since that time.

This camp is one of the finest on the coast and contains 24 cabins. There are 30 buildings in all and it is understood that Mr. and Mrs. Endert plan some extensive improvements after they take over the business on Monday, which will include a store at the road where groceries and lunches will be served to the tourist trade.

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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?”

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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.

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Waterman could have been a star DN athlete

Editor’s note: Due to space constraints, the Warrior Memories column originally scheduled for last Saturday appears today.
Another column will be printed this coming Saturday.

Today I’m continuing my occasional look back at female athletes who demonstrated their ability before the state finally recognized that girls deserved the same types of interscholastic activities as boys had been offered for years.

When you consider that boys’ competition goes clear back to the 1920s or earlier and girls’ competition was not recognized by the state until the 1970s, you realize how unfair it was for a long, long time.

I am sure that 1949 graduate Helen Waterman would be an outstanding athlete in today’s type of competition. I can remember watching Helen participate in lunchtime competition between physical education classes.

During her sophomore year she was on the fourth period PE championship basketball team and the fourth period volleyball team that finished second. She had earned her 100 points for GAA early and by her junior year had the 600 points necessary to become a member of GAC, the girls athletic club and received her block “D” letter.

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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?

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Coastal Voices: Keep this in mind as Sutter study is released

This coming week, Sutter Health will release its long awaited “independent” study on Sutter Coast Hospital.

I am writing this update on the future of Sutter Coast Hospital because the hospital Board of Directors, of which my husband Dr. Greg Duncan is a member, voted to censure Greg for allegedly releasing confidential information outside the board room. Sutter Health and the hospital Board refuse to provide any written specific charges or evidence to support their allegations.

Sutter Health is now beginning its final push to take ownership of Sutter Coast Hospital. As Sutter’s public relations blitz begins, please remember these facts:

1) Sutter Coast Hospital is now owned and governed locally.  Regionalization is a change in ownership and governance.  If we regionalize, local ownership and governance will be lost, and all future hospital decisions will be made by a Sutter-appointed board in San Francisco.

2) Under Critical Access Hospital designation, 24 of our 49 inpatient beds would be closed. If Critical Access is implemented here, people will be transferred elsewhere as a result of the restriction in hospital bed count.

3) The Healthcare District lawsuit had nothing to do with hospital ownership — it was an effort to hold Sutter Health accountable to its promises to provide expanded care and maintain a local hospital Board, in exchange for the monopoly privilege of operating the only hospital in the county. The lawsuit was settled when the cost became prohibitive for the district’s small budget. What the settlement did prove is which side had more money.

But the lawsuit bought our community precious time to become educated on these issues.

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