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Letters to the Editor Nov. 26, 2013

Incompetent group in DA's Office not needed

I could hardly believe my eyes when I read how great of a job the prosecutors in the District Attorney’s Office think they are doing (“Micks should fill out DA term,” Coastal Voices, Nov. 23).

Here is a reality check.

The second sentence authored by Lisa Specchio-Wolfe, Annamarie Padilla, Todd D. Zocchi and Rebecca Linkous states, “we are responsible for upholding the law and maintaining order in our community.”

As of today’s date and in the last eight months anyone can walk into a courtroom on any given day and discover that statement couldn’t be any further from the truth.

Our District Attorney’s Office is the most incompetent group I have ever witnessed thus far in the 20 years I have lived here. They do not protect children from child abusers, nor do they protect women from men who have beat them up, held them hostage or otherwise.

And it is laughable that they  state, “Ms. Micks has a pamphlet of victim’s rights mailed to each victim.” I can guarantee you, that is all the victims are getting, because they don’t get fair representation, nor do they get protection when they need it most.

I found it especially interesting when they noted that, “she also has an open door policy for the law enforcement agencies to contact her about any cases.”

Letters to the Editor Nov. 23, 2013

Report overlooks Sutter’s high administrative costs

After reading the conclusions of the Camden report on the Sutter Coast Hospital problem in your paper some time ago, several inconsistencies still stand out in my mind.

Each alternative explored by the committee assumed that Sutter Health’s “administrative expertise” was an advantage or that losing it would be a disadvantage. If one looks at Dr. Greg Duncan’s figures showing what huge fees Sutter Coast pays to Sutter Health, one has to conclude that the burden of supporting the corporation’s administration with its mega- bunks salary for its CEO is a definite disadvantage.

The report states that Sutter Coast is losing large sums of money. The expertise that it is paying so dearly for may not be so expert after all and of no advantage. These are the expert administrators that took over the profits that the volunteers in green earned in the gift shop.

The most attractive option considered by the report includes a governing board containing local representation. It does not specify any method of selecting these representatives other than appointment by Sutter Health.

Coastal Voices: Micks should fill out DA term

We sent this letter recently to the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors:

The District Attorney’s Office prosecutes the criminal cases in Del Norte County. We are responsible for upholding the law and maintaining order in our community. The four criminal prosecutors work under the leadership of the district attorney or acting district attorney to ensure that justice is done in every case.

It is a difficult task, considering the numerous criminal cases we file each year. Every case is unique. Many of the cases are complex. The criminal prosecutors need an intelligent, strong, and ethical leader who can establish teamwork, trust, and continuity in our office.

Ms. Katherine Micks has done an exceptional job facilitating all of that. Ms. Micks stepped into the role of acting district attorney after our office fell into disarray. She is an intelligent, strong, and ethical leader, who already had the trust of the office from her prior years of service here as the assistant district attorney. We, as the prosecutors, work well under her and fully support her.

She has established the teamwork and continuity that we need and also improved efficiency and morale.

Ms. Micks reorganized the office and also streamlined the prosecution process. She initiated team meetings with the prosecutors, investigators, and support staff. She also has an open door policy for the local law enforcement agencies to contact her about any cases.

The year DN hoops went all the way

Football season for the Warriors is getting close to an exciting close and Warrior basketball head coach Blaine Lopez is welcoming the 2013–2014 hoopsters to the basketball court.

This is always a great time of the year as Thunen Gym will again be packed with loud, supportive fans. It is also a time of year when I look back at the Del Norte basketball season that turned out to be one of the most exciting, most fulfilling experiences of my athletic career.

This was the 2001–2002 Warrior season, and I was neither a player nor a coach. The team’s head coach was Kirk Burrows, who had a very successful career with the Warriors during one stretch. He was assisted by Dale Thomas, who is a former Warrior head basketball and football coach and a recent inductee into the Del Norte Athletic Hall of Fame.

While attending an early season game, I saw that an athletic trainer was needed to help with the care of one of the players with a sprained ankle. I volunteered to help and from that day forward I got to attend every practice and every game, home or away, to take care of their training needs.

Church Notebook: Church hosts early Thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving is almost here. Most likely your plans are made and you are preparing either to travel or entertain guests.

Those of my family who are here will be getting together, but it’s a small number compared to the total. There’s one change for me here — I have a new son-in-law. Out of the area, I have a new great-granddaughter.

At any rate, being a major holiday, we can expect visitors to our little city, in our stores and our churches, and we certainly want them to leave feeling good about us. Be sure to smile even if they are strangers — it makes a difference!

I was coming out of Safeway recently, tired, and my pain level with this hip was “way up there.” All I wanted was to get home and flop in my recliner for a while. A gentleman I did not know passed me, and as he was entering the store flashed me a beautiful smile — it could not relieve my pain, but it sure gave my attitude a big lift!

We’re going to be fairly busy from here on out, I think.

• Sunday the Redwoods Family Worship Center will be hosting a special Thanksgiving service at 10:30 a.m., followed with a free Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. The church invites you to attend.

Sunday evening at 5 p.m., there will be a “Soup Surprise and Movie Night.” A beef broth soup is provided, and members are encouraged to bring their favorite ingredients to add to it making it a surprise. The movie will be a surprise as well. All are invited to come and celebrate the beginning of the holidays.

Golden Gate Bridge means more visitors

From the pages of the Crescent City American, November 1930.

The proposed bridge across the Golden Gate will, in our opinion, be one of the finest improvements that the people of the bridge district could make.

It will mean thousands upon thousands more cars over the Redwood Highway yearly, and tolls will pay for it all as the bonds are merely for the securing of the investment.

All those interested may see a whole window full of pictures of the bridge and how it is to be constructed at the American office. We also have a limited number of beautiful rotogravures for distribution to those who wish them. 

In need of a boost

What Crescent City needs is boosters.

We have all the materials, all the resources, and the natural setting for one of the finest man-made harbors on the Pacific or Atlantic coasts.

Boost your town, tell the world that you are proud that you live in Crescent City, and if you can’t boost Crescent City, don’t knock the town that is furnishing you employment and a home. 

Letters to the Editor Nov. 21, 2013

Schools’ $1M expense on phones, clocks imprudent

I have read and reread the Nov. 16 article “Schools get $1M upgrade” that disclosed the school district’s decision to spend $1 million on an upgrade to the district’s phone, clock, bell and intercom systems.

Am I the only one who finds the School Board’s decision to spend money in this way a cause of concern and trepidation? Aren’t the phones and bells and clocks that they now have in good working order? They were working the last time I was on school property.

Apparently one of the selling points of the new system is that the superintendent will be able to speak to all the students in the district at one time. Why is this important?

Does the School Board think that in the event of emergency the on-site teachers will be paralyzed with indecision and not know what to do? Does it think that the on-sight administrators will refuse to take action unless they receive instructions from on high? Does the school administration fear that the land lines and their cell phones will all go out at once and they will not be able to communicate with the schools? 

This decision by the School Board to invest $1 million in phones, clocks, bells and intercom systems hardly makes sense in the best of times.  When we consider that it is  going to borrow the money to do these things by selling bonds, its decision is even more bizarre.

Letters to the Editor Nov. 19, 2013

Hospital study smacks of undue influence

Seemingly, Del Norte/Curry area residents are approaching the point where our full service hospital will be lost. With the Triplicate reporting the completion of the Camden Group’s study and the Internet posting of same (suttercoast.org) the home stretch is dead ahead as CEO Linda Horne announced a brief public input period after which a decision will be forthcoming.

The Steering Committee comprised of 15 community and business members was conceivably steered by inclusion of CEO Horn and the chairman of the Sutter Hospital Board of Directors, Ken Hall. Also among the members was John Menaugh whose past CEO position on Sutter Coast may have heavily weighted his independence.

Sutter Health may have a ready excuse for the inclusion of the two hospital Board members and a former Sutter executive, but to me it smacks of undue influence. The kicker of course is that the Steering Committee was handpicked by Sutter Health. In cards it’s dealer’s delight to have control of the shuffle.

Its control all the way with Sutter Health picking the study group and doling out the stats and data that it (Sutter Health) wanted included in the study and withholding that which it chose not to have analyzed. In a word, there was no independent study.

Coastal Voices: Don’t lose sight of what’s good in local health care

My family and I moved to Eureka in 2003, and I have been practicing radiology at Sutter Coast Hospital since 2005.

I am writing this because there is a lot being said about the problems in medicine, not just here in Crescent City, but all over the country. The reality is that the entire system of health-care delivery needs a major overhaul, and no one has a good solution right now. Talking about these issues is healthy. Dissent is healthy, too, because sometimes thinking outside the box will spur innovation.

However, I do not want the people of Del Norte to lose sight of all the good things we have here.

Often we do not appreciate what is right in our backyard. It is easy to forget how much better things are here than in the big cities. This is certainly true when it comes to medical care.  The proverbial grass isn’t always greener.

I have been working as a radiologist for over 20 years. Over that time, I have had the opportunity to work at major medical teaching centers, HMOs, and large-, medium- and small-sized hospitals. My first choice is Sutter Coast Hospital; both as the place I choose to work and as the place my family prefers to receive medical care.

The reason is simple. The patient comes first at Sutter Coast Hospital. The staff, the physicians, the nurses and technologists treat patients as they would treat family members. In my experience, that is rarely the case in larger hospitals where, more often than not, you are treated as a disease, not as a person — or as my wife described her experience at a prestigious university cancer center, being just another “number.”

Letters to the Editor Nov. 16, 2013

Our president, what a guy ...

I can’t understand why some people are being so hard on Obamacare.  Our president just may be ahead of his time with mandatory coverages.

Science is moving so fast that it is conceivable (no pun intended) that men will one day be able to get pregnant and bear children. That’s probably why Obamacare mandates that men be covered for maternity and newborn care.

Yes, I believe that he is a true visionary. He realizes that many people losing their current health insurance coverages may become depressed because their new Obamacare insurance will double their existing premium and increase their deductibles, causing many people turn to illegal drugs. That’s why he made sure that mental health services and addiction treatments were included in every policy.

Yes, I am sure that’s why the president made sure that insurance companies cancel all policies that failed to include those essential elements.

Our president, what a guy ... always looking out for us.

Bob Berkowitz, Crescent City

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