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Letters to the Editor Nov. 5, 2013

Farm bill threatens poor families, could cost gov't

I am writing you with concerns about the farm bill going under review. A lot of people may not realize this, but the farm bill addresses stricter eligibility requirements to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), known as CalFresh is California — also known as food stamps.

I read an article from the New York Times and CNBC about the budget cuts the bill suggests. Due to my professional experience with SNAP benefits I believe the program should have stricter eligibility requirements, but not necessarily the budget cuts that are being suggested.

Stricter eligibility requirements would hopefully, in time, reduce the program payout amounts as everyone knows about the economic hardships at this time. The New York Times reported that the bill suggests putting a time frame of three months on the program for each client.

I believe there are clients out there that need the benefits more than three months so putting a time frame on the program is not realistic or beneficial to the general population.

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Waterman could have been a star DN athlete

Editor’s note: Due to space constraints, the Warrior Memories column originally scheduled for last Saturday appears today.
Another column will be printed this coming Saturday.

Today I’m continuing my occasional look back at female athletes who demonstrated their ability before the state finally recognized that girls deserved the same types of interscholastic activities as boys had been offered for years.

When you consider that boys’ competition goes clear back to the 1920s or earlier and girls’ competition was not recognized by the state until the 1970s, you realize how unfair it was for a long, long time.

I am sure that 1949 graduate Helen Waterman would be an outstanding athlete in today’s type of competition. I can remember watching Helen participate in lunchtime competition between physical education classes.

During her sophomore year she was on the fourth period PE championship basketball team and the fourth period volleyball team that finished second. She had earned her 100 points for GAA early and by her junior year had the 600 points necessary to become a member of GAC, the girls athletic club and received her block “D” letter.

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Letters to the Editor Nov. 2, 2013

Kudos for clearing brush from homeless camp

Good job to Crescent City for clearing the brush behind Safeway. The homeless can’t play hide and seek when they steal alcohol from Safeway. They will have nowhere to hide.

But knowing them, they will find another place to roost.

Tony Jacomella, Crescent City

Homeless run off land with nowhere to go

For years the community of Del Norte has not really realized how many homeless people there are in this community. I myself had become recently homeless within the last year due to being in an abusive relationship. My family basically gave up on me and my husband left for Nebraska and left me on the streets with nowhere to go.

Some very kind people took me in behind Safeway in the wilderness, gave me a place to stay, fed me, made sure I was warm with a blanket. I will be eternally grateful to these people, especially the man who started this camp. His name is Michael Myers, ironically. Now, after this man has been trying to help so many people, the government, or the state, says all the homeless people have to leave with nowhere to go.

These people are good human beings, just with no place to go. They help each other, they make sure you’re being fed, they protect each other, now they are being thrown out, into other communities with nowhere to go. Where is the justice in this?

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Coastal Voices: Keep this in mind as Sutter study is released

This coming week, Sutter Health will release its long awaited “independent” study on Sutter Coast Hospital.

I am writing this update on the future of Sutter Coast Hospital because the hospital Board of Directors, of which my husband Dr. Greg Duncan is a member, voted to censure Greg for allegedly releasing confidential information outside the board room. Sutter Health and the hospital Board refuse to provide any written specific charges or evidence to support their allegations.

Sutter Health is now beginning its final push to take ownership of Sutter Coast Hospital. As Sutter’s public relations blitz begins, please remember these facts:

1) Sutter Coast Hospital is now owned and governed locally.  Regionalization is a change in ownership and governance.  If we regionalize, local ownership and governance will be lost, and all future hospital decisions will be made by a Sutter-appointed board in San Francisco.

2) Under Critical Access Hospital designation, 24 of our 49 inpatient beds would be closed. If Critical Access is implemented here, people will be transferred elsewhere as a result of the restriction in hospital bed count.

3) The Healthcare District lawsuit had nothing to do with hospital ownership — it was an effort to hold Sutter Health accountable to its promises to provide expanded care and maintain a local hospital Board, in exchange for the monopoly privilege of operating the only hospital in the county. The lawsuit was settled when the cost became prohibitive for the district’s small budget. What the settlement did prove is which side had more money.

But the lawsuit bought our community precious time to become educated on these issues.

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Church Notebook: Pastor Ed’s last Sunday at Northside Baptist

Happy events seem to have been on the schedule for me lately. Both my family and my plants have been full of surprises.

Two years ago, my Sanseveria (snake plant, mother-in-law’s tongue) blossomed. Like several others of my plants, I’d had it for several years. It had never bloomed, and I had never even heard of one doing so, nor had anyone else I talked to.

And, of course, there’s that Gloxinia I keep telling you about — the one that decided on an extra season this fall — it now has three beautiful blossoms, and shows no signs of going into its normal dormancy for this time of year.

And it hasn’t stopped there. My grandson called my attention to another plant in bloom this morning — still another one I’ve had for years, never blossoming, and have never ever seen one  in bloom. It’s my Creeping Charlie — I think some folks call it Swedish ivy — and it has a spike of tiny pale blue flowers that look almost like miniature orchids.

Life is full of surprises,  and it’s so nice every once in a while for those events to be happy ones!

Like my “early birthday gift.” My birthday was Thursday, but I started getting texts and pictures on my cell phone Tuesday morning — the best surprise of all — great-granddaughter No. 4 had arrived in Abilene. Big brother Josiah, 2, is completely enthralled with her. Hopefully, I’ll be able to make that trip next summer!

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House Calls: Dealing with eye injuries

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Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Know when to go to ER, when to call a doctor, and when you can handle this yourself

House Calls runs monthly. Today’s column is written by Doris Fitch, a registered nurse at Sutter Coast Hospital and trainer at College of the Redwoods.

Some eye injuries cause so much pain and abrupt changes in vision that going to the ER is a no-brainer. But other injuries may not be as obvious, even though they might still cause permanent damage or vision loss.

Most eye symptoms, whether caused by injury or something unknown, should be evaluated by a medical professional. It is difficult to determine which symptoms could result in a permanent loss of vision versus symptoms that will heal without difficulty.

The bottom line is that you are better off seeking medical attention whether you have acute or chronic symptoms. Changes in vision can be gradual or sudden; both will need to be evaluated by a medical professional.

For eye irritation due to an unknown cause, make an appointment with your eye doctor or care provider. Bloodshot eyes can be a very frightening symptom, but not always a serious condition.

The spot of blood that is visible at the surface of the eye is due to a condition called a subconjunctival hemorrhage. In this condition a small blood vessel leaks blood under the surface of the eye. It looks worse than it is and it will usually resolve on its own. Even so it is a good idea to see or call your physician.

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Pages of History: Area could see its own gold rush

From the pages the Crescent City American, 1932.

With the discovery of gold, platinum, iridium and native quicksilver about the first of the month, placer veins six miles east of Crescent City are reported to contain gold ore valued as high as $100 per yard.

This is according to Ernest Hey, metallurgist and assayer, and H.C. Mobley, Alaska mining man. Hey and Mobley filed 18 claims.

Del Norte County was undergoing suppressed excitement when it was reported by Hey that the area contained millions of yards with the gold averaging $8 per yard. 

The placer deposit, covering hundreds of yard, is an ancient river bed, Hey says, containing mercury filiform masses, or fine gold and platinum globules. 

The land on which the placer deposits were discovered is claimed by the Del Norte Timber Company, whose headquarters are in Eau Claire, Wis.

Other residents of Crescent City have filed claims, totaling more than 100.

Big shot from Big Flat

Bob Steven, whom we are given to understand will be a candidate for mayor of Big Flat, was in from that famed summer playground Wednesday.

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Letters to the Editor Oct. 31, 2013

Local control key to hospital issue

Your Oct. 26 article, “Closer look at Critical Access,” seemed slanted in favor of the big money Bay Area administrator’s viewpoint. You quote a number of health industries employees without differentiating those whose bread is buttered in whole or in part by the large corporate interests.

Your use of average bed occupancy statistics is reminiscent of Mark Twain’s reference to “Lies, damned lies and statistics.” Average census figures mean a lot to the money managers, but little to the patient who needs help when the facility is at or above capacity.

It is a common strategy to attract a portion of an opponent’s position and leave the impression that you have shot down his whole argument. 

Your article fails to mention that the original point of dispute, which was whether or not highly over-paid money managers in the Bay Area would determine the fate of the hospital or whether the local medical community and the local hospital chief of staff, or for that matter, the local citizens, would have a voice. It all started when the local Board voted to disband in favor of regionalization. 

Maybe Critical Access would be a good thing for Del Norte, but that decision should come from those who will have to depend on the local resource. 

Dale Watson, Crescent City

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Sutter well aware that it must serve ‘public benefit’

As Del Norte County learns of the report to the Hospital Board of Directors by the Camden Group, it is well worth considering the implications of the next steps, as well as recent events.

The Steering Committee for the Camden Group, about which much has been written, finished its part of the work last week, and the report has been made ready for review by the Hospital Board as of Tuesday.

The members of the Steering Committee initially opted for confidentiality, but at the last meeting of the committee those present unanimously voted to allow their participation to be made public.  Three of those members are physicians — Sandy Saunders, Nikki Schwartz and myself — and between us we have over 35 years of experience working in this community.  All three of us have been officers for the medical staff of the hospital, and two of us have been chief of staff.

I think it is safe to say we three have a front-line view of the operation of Sutter Coast, under both the current conditions, as well as past decades.

Over the past two years our community has had intense discussions of the issues concerning Sutter Coast hospital, some of which are very real and some of which have turned out to be unfounded.

Dr. Greg Duncan, our current chief of staff, has, with the vocal assistance of several other physicians, waged a very effective campaign to bring the issues to public attention. The result of that campaign has been replacement of the CEO of Sutter Coast, a hold on the decision to join the West Bay Region of Sutter Health, and the creation of the strategic options study by the Camden Group.

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Coastal Voices: The ratepayers don’t have endless pockets

Why do we have to hear and read City Council members not tell the whole truth?

I am ‘on the record’ (i.e. recorded) at a city council meeting insisting that Councilmen Ron Gastineau and Richard Holley provide their constituents a public apology.

Why? As I stated then, and is still true, both of their articles published as Coastal Voices in this paper (Oct. 4 and Oct. 7, respectively) are incomplete, I believe misleading, and possibly deceptive.  

As adults we know we can not survive without water.  We know we want it delivered reliably, immediately, inexpensively and clean.   

The water rate-payers served by the Crescent City Water department, whether city or county residents, have paid their bills to assure they get this service. 

For the future, the city would like to adjust the inexpensive idea.  In both councilmen’s articles they have presented the rate increase as 60 percent.

Reality is, the 60 percent is increase one of five!  Most water rates will approximately double by July 2015. That is 100 percent in 19 months!

Therefore, I believe the councilmen’s statements are at best, incomplete and misleading. If you agree and are a property owner served by city water, please protest today!

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