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Coastal Voices: Sutter keeping local docs in dark about new plan

Many readers are aware of the new local EPO Health Plan being offered by Sutter Health, Anthem and CalPERS. You may or may not be aware that Redwood Medical Offices and several other local offices are not currently listed on the provider panel. Here’s why:

The new EPO plan is an “Exclusive Provider Organization.” This means that in order for you to be treated, you have to go to an approved provider and an approved hospital. None of the local independent (non-Sutter affiliated) providers we contacted were offered an opportunity to join the provider panel before the initial plan roll-out on Jan. 8. We learned of the plan in the middle of January, when patients approached our office with letters from Sutter Health/Anthem Blue Cross/CalPERS, offering them a new health plan in our area. We knew nothing of the plan until patients brought us these subscriber letters, and our patients obviously had many questions and concerns. 

Coastal Voices: Reflecting on state of the county

Editor’s note: This is the annual State of the County Address that was delivered at Tuesday’s Del Norte County Board of Supervisors meeting. A longer version entered into the meeting record can be found at www.countyofdelnorte.us/agendas/bos/publishedmeetings.htm under item 20 on the board’s Feb. 10 meeting agenda. 

2015 is anticipated to be the next positive step financially and operationally for Del Norte County. As we slowly emerge from the economic conditions that have limited Del Norte County’s ability to provide more than basic services, it is imperative that we look forward and plan for the needs of our residents and visitors in a proactive and positive manner.

Letters to the Editor Feb. 10, 2015

Answers needed about frequent Klamath outages

The recent power outage in Klamath was not a rare or unusual occurrence. While this outage was longer than is typical, it seems that Klamath has a power outage whenever the wind blows strongly. And since we live near the Pacific Coast, the wind often blows strongly.  

Klamath’s frequent power outages are an economic development liability and a public safety issue, particularly for the less well off who cannot afford a backup electric generator. For that reason, officials at both the county and tribal levels should make it a priority to achieve more reliable power service for Klamath. 

Coastal Voices: Look to independent report for truth about 199

Tamera Leighton, director of the Local Transportation Commission (a position funded by Caltrans) takes a venomous strike against environmental groups and whitewashes Caltrans’ negligence about safety issues on Highway 199/197 when it comes to putting extra long STAA trucks on our narrow winding canyon highway (“Coastal Voices: Opinion or false statements? The facts about safety on 199,” Jan. 24). It is astonishing that there is still anyone out there who thinks putting many more trucks, especially extra long STAA trucks on Highway 199/197,  is a good idea for public safety after an independent safety review by a leading, respected transportation engineer, Daniel T. Smith of Smith Engineering, revealed otherwise.  Caltrans told the public within the environmental review documents that they were exempting themselves from their own required mandatory road safety design standards for STAA trucks, and that geologic instability of the Smith River Canyon prevented sufficient widening of the road that is required for STAA trucks. We needed to find out more. 

Letters to the Editor Feb. 7, 2015

Officers in Brown, Garner shootings were doing jobs

In light of all the publicity regarding the conduct of various police department personnel across our country, I feel I need to weigh in on the two most critical incidences, which are the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in Staten Island, N.Y. 

Letters to the Editor Jan. 24, 2015

Complex problem needs attention of community

Many people become homeless because of economic troubles. Life on the streets can be very difficult. 

Many people give the homeless money. Many homeless people use signs to ask for money, food, work or other help. 

Coastal Voices: Opinion or false statements? The facts about safety on 199

My opinion is that there is a difference between an opinion and a false statement. 

“We are a travel destination,” is an opinion. “The design is so deficient that there are absolutely no improvements proposed between Hiouchi and Gasquet, which has some of the most accident-prone areas,” is a false statement. 

On Sept. 9, 2014, the Del Norte Triplicate printed a Coastal Voices column by Friends of Del Norte president Don Gillespie (“Bigger trucks on 199/197 would deter tourism, compromise safety”) that was treated as an opinion but was actually a misrepresentation of fact. While it’s unreasonable to believe that the Triplicate can fact-check everything, my opinion is that they have an obligation to basic fact-checking. 

Pages of History: Fundraiser to provide TV for elderly

From the pages of the Del Norte Triplicate, January 1955 and 1965:

The rainy, dreary days of winter time in Crescent City can also be lonely days, especially to an old man or an old woman who has no family. 

This thought came to the mind of Mrs. Harry Bienick recently, and she decided to do something about it. She called Tom Gooch, local television dealer, and she called Crescent City Grange, which immediately announced the Grange would sponsor a “Brigade of Dollars” to raise funds to purchase a television set for the old people at Casa de Manana, a rest home for the aged on Cooper Street. 

Letters to the Editor Feb. 5, 2015

Japanese delegation loved visit to Del Norte

Dear Editor, please allow me to use your newspaper to reach the greater Crescent City and Del Norte County communities to formally express gratitude on behalf of the delegation from Rikuzentakata who visited in early January.  

Your hospitality, openness, warmth, receptiveness, and acceptance left the group moved and humbled.  To those who opened their homes, to the administration and staff of Del Norte High School, to the businesses that offered food and lodging, to the Rotary members who listened to stories, and to the many from the Yurok and Tolowa communities who accepted the students, we extend our deep and profound thanks.  

Coastal Voices: State lawmakers may be last hope for lighthouse

Three years ago, I experienced the thrill of a lifetime. In November of 2011, Angela and I were at the right place at the right time. A cancellation opened up two seats on the helicopter flight out to St. George Reef Lighthouse. Without hesitation, I seized the opportunity to experience a part of American history few have been afforded. I didn’t realize then the long reach of Sacramento would close the door to one of the most famous lighthouses in the world just a few months later. 

Lady St. George rests atop an acre-wide reef, much of it submerged, 6 miles off the Del Norte County coast. She rusts away day after week after month after year. The lighthouse, an historic relic, is falling prey as you read this article to the stark reality of some of the roughest oceans and harshest climates in the world.  

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