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Coastal Voices: Federal government is looking to own you

What if there was a simple non-invasive test that would show whether you had a propensity to get certain cancers or heart disease or kidney failure or were prone to get diabetes or Alzheimer’s disease sometime in the future and it only cost $99.

Would you order it?  This seems to be in the realm of science fiction, but actually is available today with current technology.

According to Wikipedia, 23andme Inc. has been marketing a simple test that uses a swab of the inside of the cheek and then runs the results through genetic testing to find out what your own genes reveal about you.  Using the results, a woman can find out her probability of getting breast cancer or a male can find out the chances of getting testicular cancer many years before the disease manifests itself.

In this way individuals, in consultation with a physician, can be proactive about their own health, modifying behaviors that can mitigate the chances of actually developing diseases. The term 23andme refers to the human DNA that consists of 23 pairs of chromosomes plus you, hence the name 23andme.

The company’s saliva-based, mail order test identifies over 240 genetic traits that offer clues to a person’s overall health. This test has been taken by hundreds of thousands of people. In addition to giving indications as to the probability of developing specific health issues in the future, it also gives the likelihood of negative drug reactions. Now a person can know in advance what the possibilities are that certain drugs will react negatively in the body.

School fire: Spontaneous combustion?

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

The Pine Grove schoolhouse, which is situated about one-half mile beyond Wakefield, came near burning to the ground Sunday night between 10:30 and 11 o’clock.

Flames were discovered coming out of the wall by Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Muncey, who live close by, and together they succeeded in extinguishing them before they had gained much headway. While the origin of the fire is not known, it is believed that it was from spontaneous combustion.

The estimated damage to the building was in the neighborhood of $75. Harold Jenkins is the teacher at the Pine Grove School and classes were resumed Tuesday.

Letters to the Editor Dec. 10, 2013

Alliance pockets money in Hurdygurdy land deal

NBC “Nightly News” regularly features the “Fleecing of America,” a segment which profiles examples of government waste. Unfortunately, it appears we have an example of a “fleecing” here in Del Norte County.

The federal government, through the U.S. Forest Service, has begun to purchase the formerly private property known as “Hurdygurdy” in Del Norte County. In 2012 and 2013, the Forest Service spent $2,959,236 to purchase 3,407 acres of the property. In future years, the Forest Service intends to purchase another 2,360 acres for an additional $2,661,764, meaning it will ultimately pay $5,621,000 for 5,767 acres.

This sum matches exactly the appraised value of the property as determined by the Forest Service in January 2012. So, why is this a “fleecing?”

California Focus: What if Jerry Brown decides he won't run?

There could be no better Christmas present for bunches of Democratic politicians than an announcement from Gov. Jerry Brown that he will not seek a second straight term in office, fourth of his lifetime.

Already the longest-serving governor in California history, Brown will be 76 if he stands for re-election next year and 77 barely three months into his fourth term, if re-elected. The question is, does he wants to?.

He’s hinted he does, of course, talking occasionally about his wish to see through the budgetary reforms he instituted after being elected in 2010 and a desire for a lasting legacy of leaving the California economy in good shape.

Letters to the Editor Dec. 7, 2013

Sanger advocated choice prior to conception

I am writing in response to the letter by Muriel Kaye published on Saturday, Nov. 30 (“When did life become so unprecious to us?”).

Margaret Sanger was one of 10 children who in her own family experienced poverty and too many mouths to feed. As a young woman, she worked as a midwife/nurse in the slums of New York. She witnessed women dying from
having too many children or those who died from infection from abortion.

She was a crusader for population control and contraceptives, believing women should have the knowledge to choose whether or not to prevent a pregnancy and to determine the size of their families.

Coastal Voices: Board actions motivated by its survival instincts

As long-time members of this community our interest in Sutter Coast Hospital extends beyond our fiduciary responsibility as members of the Board of Directors. Preserving quality health care options for this rural region is critical to our well-being and that of our family, friends and neighbors.

On Thursday night, the Sutter Coast Board of Directors took thoughtful, decisive action designed to help ensure that Sutter Coast is financially viable and able to meet the health care needs of our community now and in the future. At the heart of this action is confirmation of Sutter Coast Hospital’s continued affiliation with Sutter Health as the best option to continue quality care for our community and retain our valued employees and physician foundation.

CC lost ‘Rocky’ 72 years ago at Pearl Harbor

Today, Dec. 7, marks the 72nd anniversary of when families across our nation lost loved ones when the attack on Pearl Harbor entered us into the Second World War.

Crescent City was no exception. Rosco “Rocky” Peterson was aboard the battleship USS Arizona when it went down.

Rocky was an outstanding basketball and baseball player while competing for the Warriors. While Rocky was good on the basketball court, he really excelled on the baseball diamond.

Church Notebook: Holiday activities pick up at various local churches

Was it ever cold!

I hadn’t gone to the window to look out Tuesday morning — I just noticed the sunshine streaming in and thought it would be a pretty nice day.

Until I stepped outside.

I was heading for my last pre-op stuff in Grants Pass, and had given no thought to any need for clearing frost from my truck windows.

And it turned out to be one hard frost to clear! (I stopped carrying a scraper ages ago!)

Grumbling to myself as I cleaned the stuff away with one of my grocery store cards so I could see to head out, I mumbled, “And I left New York to get away from this stuff!”

Fire threatens downtown Crescent City

From the pages of the Crescent City American, November 1931.

Fire of undetermined origin, but believed to have originated in the kitchen of the Silver Grill, caused an estimated loss of around $35,000 and threatened the entire business district early Sunday morning when it completely destroyed the Silver Grill, James Berri’s cigar store, M.E. Morris furniture, and Hobbs, Wall furniture store.

The fire also did great damage to the Bay Annex hotel and the chamber of commerce rooms, Howell’s barber shop, Watkins Shoe Shop, and the Public Utilities office, all of which are located in the Bay Annex building.

The fire was discovered early Sunday morning by James Berri, who conducted a cigar shop next to the Silver Grill, and had sleeping quarters at the rear of his establishment. Mr. Berri stated that when he awoke, the smoke was so bad that he did not even have time to collect his clothing, but barely escaped with his life. He immediately turned in the alarm and the firemen responded, but by that time the Silver Grill and Mr. Berri’s place were a seething mass of flames which were spreading rapidly to adjoining buildings. 

Letters to the Editor Dec. 5, 2013

Unveil mystery behind Sutter’s hospital study

Living in limbo might best describe the eerie silence of the Sutter Coast Hospital death watch as Del Norte/Curry County citizens await the impending piracy of their hospital by the health industry giant Sutter Health.

With the PR specialty-Camden Group’s announced “study” completion presented and the $170,000 check cashed we wait on the sidelines as the Sutter Health Executive Board prepares the sanitized pronouncement of corporate take-over of our cherished hospital.

Perhaps the charade of the past several years needs to be brought to the front burner by stating that if Sutter Health legally owned Sutter Coast Hospital it would have long since been a fait accompli, hospital regionalized and downsized, period.

While Dwayne Reichlin’s well-written Coastal Voices article, “There should be no hurry regarding hospital’s next move,” Nov. 12, advocated for a “take your time before you take over” approach, I take the opposite stand and challenge the Sutter Health executives to make their move and make it now. I’m weary of their delicate dance. Let’s get this next phase moving. We are tens of thousands strong and determined to stand up to this goliath. We have our stone picked from the brook.

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