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Runaround from Caltrans continues at "Town Hall"

Caltrans promised us a town hall meeting on Last Chance Grade. What we got was the bureaucratic version of circling the wagons.

Instead of an exchange between some of the more than 100 concerned citizens who showed up and Caltrans Project Manager Sebastian Cohen, we got a scripted puff piece presentation and more empty promises. Oh yes, and should you have any questions when we’re done promising the impossible and whining about the gas tax, go see one of our many experts at the back of the room who have no answers and no power to do anything.

We haven’t been put on hold to linger until we hang up in frustration. We’re being transferred from one department to another until we wind up where we started and still have no resolution.

Another View: Reason can't explain everything

Last Sunday, 2.2 billion people around the globe celebrated the greatest miracle in history, an event the average, rational, sane person would classify as an utter impossibility — a dead man coming back to life after being sealed in a tomb for three days.

I didn’t believe in miracles until I witnessed one that couldn’t be explained away. My mother was 72 years old and had just been diagnosed with lung cancer. A malignant, egg-sized tumor was lodged in the airway between her lungs. Her doctor said it was inoperable and she’d be lucky to last six months. In the 1940s, she’d been a nurse on a TB ward. Tuberculosis had damaged her lungs, as had her years of heavy smoking.

My husband, kids and I were staying at her house in south Texas at the time, on the Mexican border, where the population was about 99 percent Mexican and Mexican-American. We were attending a church of around 200 where we were one of the few gringo families. There were tambourines available for everyone in the congregation who wanted to do something besides sing and clap hands during the praise and worship time. Musical accompaniment was provided by a large mariachi band that included trombones, trumpets, standing base fiddles, drums, violins, violas and guitars. The sound produced by the musicians, singers and tambourine pounders was so exuberant, I sometimes felt sure it would blow the roof off.

Coastal Voices: Fantastic treatment received at Sutter

I was a guest of Sutter Coast Hospital for several days last week. I am an 84-year-old woman and it appears I will be around to celebrate my 85th birthday thanks to the excellent treatment I received there.

I was transported by Del Norte Ambulance to the hospital emergency room. On arrival I was told by Julia, a registered nurse, that I would be seeing a young, very smart doctor named Dr. Torrey. She was right. Dr. Torrey had me admitted to the hospital.

After four days stay I have a long list of people to thank and no complaints. I can’t mention everyone’s name as there isn’t enough room on this page but I haven’t forgotten any of your smiling faces.

Letter to the Editor, April 2, 2016

Action needed to shorten timeline for Last Chance

The Last Chance Grade Town Hall meeting (in Crescent City) left those of us attending frustrated and angry with a plate full of unanswered questions. This was also the case at both the Eureka and Klamath meetings.

Caltrans made their presentation and didn’t allow any dialog with the public. Caltrans stated that keeping the current highway location open will not be a problem. If it continues to sink as it has, over five feet, they will cut into the unstable hillside, dropping old growth redwoods above Last Chance Grade in order to move the road bed and it will only take one or two weeks or maybe a month closure of the highway to keep it passable.

Could that be two months? How long will it take? If they have that solution so easily at hand, can we move the focus to the six bypass locations that need funding in order for Caltrans to begin the environmental studies that will take five to eight years to complete?

Letter to the Editor, March 29, 2016

Ceding oversight not an answer

Let’s see if I have this right. Crescent City Council and the Board of Supervisors are looking at giving up more oversight of the DNSWMA, an agency that has been mired in controversy since it completed the tasks originally set for it. The rationale being the current commission is already made up of elected officials.

I hate to point this out to these two august bodies, but should this go forward with the current crop of commissioners only the city will be truly represented as three of the four commissioners represent people who live in Crescent City. If a public commissioner is seated and is also a resident of the city, how is it the bulk of the county is expected to have a say in the activities of the DNSWMA if the Board of Supervisors cede their oversight.

Coastal Voices: How the community stopped Sutter Health's attempt to grab ownership

It’s been five years since Sutter Health first tried to transfer ownership of Sutter Coast Hospital out of Del Norte County. Now, Sutter’s biggest lies are finally unraveling.

This is the story of how our community stood up to the 800 pound gorilla known as Sutter Health, and won. Today, thanks to grassroots community opposition, Sutter Health has failed to complete its plans to take ownership and downsize our locally owned hospital.

Remember the big lie about Sutter Coast needing to downsize to Critical Access in order to be profitable? Sutter Coast spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a carefully crafted PR campaign to convince our community that Critical Access was a financial necessity.

Another View: There is more to Easter than candy, eggs

When I was a kid, Easter was all about sweets — chocolate bunnies and marshmallow eggs, peeps and jelly beans. But now I find it bittersweet.

Death lends some bitterness to it. If Jesus hadn’t died and risen from the dead, there would be nothing to celebrate.

Though pagan fertility symbols like eggs and rabbits may be bitterly reviled by some Christians, I think they’re sweet. Eggs and rabbits, after all, bring forth abundant life through chicks and baby bunnies, just as Jesus brings forth abundant life through his resurrection.

Letters to the Editor, March 24, 2016

Don’t believe Sutter Coast, especially about Dr. Duncan

On March 9, my husband injured his arm and went to Sutter Coast Urgent Care Clinic. We requested a referral to Dr. Gregory Duncan, the only orthopedic surgeon living in our county.

Here is the problem: The clinic staff would not refer my husband to Dr. Duncan. First, the nurse said Dr. Duncan does not take worker’s compensation (not true). Next, the physician assistant stated Dr. Duncan would not see my husband (also not true, Dr. Duncan has done two surgeries on my husband). Then, the physician assistant told us Dr. Duncan is cutting his practice back (also not true and how would the physician assistant know anyway?).

Publisher's View: Team at Sutter saved Rickís life

Most of what you’ve read in our newspaper during the past few years regarding Sutter Coast health care is political in nature about why Sutter should, or shouldn’t, convert to Critical Access status. And although most rooms inside the facility consist of dramas that take place and the medical heroes who save lives and comfort families, seldom do we as the local newspaper cover what is actually going on inside the hospital.

Letters to the Editor, March 22, 2016

Gitlin clear choice for community’s health

Our community will elect its leaders this year. Please vote with care. As a senior citizen and former volunteer at Sutter Coast Hospital, health care is my primary concern. Roger Gitlin is the clear choice when it comes to improving local health care.

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