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Updated 3:10pm - Apr 16, 2014
Updated 3:46pm - Apr 15, 2014

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Coastal Voices: It's time to reconsider the state of Jefferson

It’s time we asked the question, “When is enough enough?”

It should be evident by now that the big foot of state government controlled by Los Angeles and San Francisco has embarked on a war against the rural counties of Northern California.

Even if you were living under a rock and were not paying attention, the illegal fire tax should have gotten your attention. It is only being paid by those living in rural areas even if they are already paying a separate tax for local fire protection. That state tax alone will cost you a minimum of $1,100 over the next 10 years.  

But wait, there’s more, a lot more.  Back in May I pointed out in this newspaper that the California war on rural areas was being extended to our kids with the introduction of a bill that would mandate that children who identified themselves as members of the opposite sex could use all of the facilities of that sex.

In other words, if a boy identifies himself as a girl even though he has male parts, he is allowed to play with the girls on their athletic teams, other competitions and use the facilities consistent with his gender identity. Yes, it means he can also use the girls bathroom, locker room and shower facilities.

I predicted that If this were ever to become law, it would put an end to public schools.  No parent that I know would ever send their child to a school that would abide by this law. Well, guess what? That bill with the backing of Los Angeles and San Francisco and our own assemblyman has passed and was signed by the governor and is now the law, beginning on Jan. 1, 2014.

It’s time we asked a lot of questions like: Do we really need almost 6,000 state agencies to govern every aspect of our lives?


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


In the days of leather helmets

With another Warrior football season about to stand, it is fun to look back at the difference this year’s players will face as they don their gear in the locker room, as compared to what we did when I put on a football uniform 65 years ago. 

Our pants were khaki-colored, and we wore these same pants for practice and games, even though our colors were red and white then. These bulky pants had all of your lower body pads built in. Thigh and knee pads went on at the same time you pulled your pants up. 

The shoulder pads were made of leather and were about twice as heavy as today’s pads, while not providing nearly the protection that the modern ones do. 

The helmets were also made of leather and were painted white. They did not have face masks; broken noses and lost teeth were common. 

Our game jerseys were red with white trim and were made of wool. We wore these game jerseys both home and away. What made these even more uncomfortable  than just being wool was that they had a long tail that went between your legs and buttoned in the front so you could never get your shirttail pulled out. 

It was not until the 1949 season that we got more modern pants and jerseys. The pants were white and the shirts were red. Pads had to be inserted into the pants, just like now.


Despite trend, many families these days still intact

How intact is your family?

When I see families that still have good relationships, and couples who are still married after many years, I just have to think, “How wonderful!”

Our prisons are overflowing, drug abuse abounds and so very many people simply have no respect for themselves or any one else; it’s no wonder things are so crazy.

Sometimes I think it would be great if we could  return to the way things were when we seniors were growing up in the ’40s and ’50’s.  We came home from school, did our homework, and went outside to play until supper.

We climbed trees, rode bicycles, roller-skated and played tag and hide ’n’ seek. For much of that time, TV hadn’t made an appearance yet. I’d often curl up in my grandfather’s old Morris chair, listening intently to the radio — to those scary old mystery stories like The Green Hornet and others.

But things have changed, and way too many of our families have crumbled. Marriages falling apart, fathers simply walking away — and children left with no direction.

Thank God many families are still intact.


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.



Coastal Voices: Sutter, critical access not bogeymen they're portrayed as

Read more... By now, many people have heard that I have accepted an offer to help open a new hospital and expand an obstetrics and gynecology program in Denver, so our family will be leaving Del Norte County by the end of this year. This was a difficult decision, not easy to make, especially since we have been deeply involved in this community and have made many friends over the past 14 years who will be difficult to leave behind.

As such, I feel like it is time that I share publicly my feelings about the recent conflict and rancor over the future of Sutter Health in the management and operation of Sutter Coast Hospital. I have served on the board of the hospital myself, as well as the Medical Executive Committee of the medical staff (including 2 years as chief of staff) for most of the time I have lived here, and I have never witnessed a time of more turmoil for the healthcare providers of this community. 


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.


Pages of History: Dog saves man from angry boar

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

J. H. Wolgamott, who lives on Alder Road in Elk Valley, is thanking a faithful dog for saving his life Monday when he was attacked by a large boar he was feeding. 

Mr. Wolgamott had gone to the pen to feed the hog, which is 7 years old and has become very vicious, and noting that the hog was in a fighting mood he set down the slop pail to get a stick with which to defend himself. The instant Mr. Wolgamott’s eyes left the hog, the mad animal made a run for him, and in attempting to sidestep its rush Mr. Wolgamott tripped and the hog was upon him. Had it not been for the timely assistance of his faithful dog, he would probably have been torn to pieces. As it is, Mr. Wolgamott is nursing a bad wound on his left hand as a result of having been bitten by the hog. No report on the hog’s condition. 


Reel Deal: Bottom fishing strong in ocean; Klamath R. low

Courtesy of Reel Steel Sportfishing Nichole DePaolo of Humboldt County caught this chinook salmon with Reel Steel Sportfishing out of Eureka on Sunday. The salmon bite in Crescent City has been slow.
Ocean salmon are still biting in Eureka, but they’re barely present here. The better bet is to go for bottom fish in the ocean.  

Anglers and fishing guides were excited for a release of 62,000-acre feet of water in Trinity River dams, but a federal judge blocked the release on Tuesday. 

Lower Klamath R.

A federal judge’s decision to block the release of water from the Trinity River has been the hot conversation topic among anglers on the Lower Klamath River who have been battling poor fishing conditions due to low, warm water.

“Conditions are pretty low,” said guide Steve Huber. Anglers are catching a few jacks, a couple adult salmon, and some steelhead, with many more half-pounders than adults, but “there are just not a lot of fish in the system,” Huber said.

Clear weather and clear, low water is making the fishing tough for most anglers, he said.

“It’s just really spotty,” said guide James Keeling, adding that shore-based fishermen were having decent success. 

“The bottom line is that they need to release that water,” Huber said, echoing the feeling of many anglers on the lower Klamath.


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