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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


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.


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!


Letters to the Editor Oct. 29, 2013

Obama not acting like commander in chief

Regarding Craig Johnson’s Oct. 17 letter, “Congress puts own goals ahead of nation’s welfare,” President Obama publicly announced he would not negotiate with Republicans in Congress and his Democratic followers don’t seem to have minds of their own.

Whether Democratic or Republican, they are supposed to be working for the best interest of the American people.

For example, when Nancy Pelosi said that they had to vote yes on Obama care and then they could find out what was in it. Really! Are those the people that are working for you and I? How do you vote on a law you don’t know anything about? Because Obama says so.


Coastal Voices: State election system tinkering not over yet

Picture this happening in 2016, when California holds its next presidential primary election:

The Democrats have already determined their candidate for the White House before the campaign arrives in the Golden State, but the Republicans have not. Now imagine that Democrats can vote for any presidential candidate they like, regardless of party. So millions of them vote in the GOP primary, selecting the candidate they think will be easiest to beat in November.

Because the state GOP gives all its national convention delegates to whoever gets the most votes here, that means the candidate Democrats believe weakest now could get the single largest pot of convention delegates and become the prohibitive favorite to be the fall candidate.

Sound unlikely? Well, it could happen if an initiative now in the works qualifies for next fall’s ballot and passes.

Yes, it’s not quite two years since the first widespread trial of California’s “top-two” primary election system that sees the two leading candidates in any first-round election make the runoff, even if they belong to the same political party. It’s also not even two years since the initial crop of legislators and members of Congress were chosen from districts drawn for the first time by a nonpartisan citizens commission.

But the tinkering with California’s election system goes on. The latest proposal is for a “blanket” presidential primary listing all candidates together, regardless of party, with voters of all parties – or no party – able to vote for whomever they like.


Ray Early was DN standout at football, hoops

When the Early family opened a dry-cleaning business in Crescent City in the late 1940s they brought with them a Warrior athlete that became a fun teammate.

When I put on my first Warrior football uniform at the start of my sophomore year, I joined Ray Early as a junior, and he became a two-year teammate as a Warrior and a one-year teammate as a Humboldt State Lumberjack. 

Ray was a big, strong athletic guy with an outgoing personality.

The Warriors were coached by Brick Bralich, a former standout Lumberjack who only stayed one year. The next year, when Ray was a senior, Chuck DeAutremont took over the program and football really became fun.

Coach DeAutremont really took advantage of Ray’s ability, and he never got to leave the field, playing both offense and defense. He was a real standout on defense with his tough, aggressive attitude.

There were not a lot of games won, but we played everybody tough.


Walk Your World: Yontocket to the sea

We spent longer than we’d planned on a bluff trail between the Smith River and the ocean, which we eventually veered left to meet. Del Norte Triplicate / Richard Wiens
Tolowa Dunes State Park is a sandy, grassy wonderland stretching from Point St. George to where the Smith River opens wide on its final push to the sea. Beautiful and desolate. Mapped and yet mysterious.

When Laura and I decided to explore its northern edge Sunday afternoon, we knew we were taking on a couple of extra challenges: fog throughout and high tide at the edges. Still, we thought we’d make it all the way to the river’s mouth. What we didn’t take into account was the exhaustion induced by traipsing through deep sand while not completely sure where we were.

We’d never before driven all the way out Lower Lake Road into Del Norte’s dairy country. Cows come first here, and they’re not all behind fences. After a forced left turn onto Pala Road, we parked at the trailhead and set out across Yontocket Slough, the hallowed ground of the cemetery soon rising to our left.

We turned right onto what’s called the River Trail on the map that you can find at www.tolowa
. “River 0.4 mi, Ocean 1.2 mi,” read the sign. Piece of cake, right?

Within five minutes, the two-track trail turned sandy. At first, a pleasant development to be expected on the way to the beach. Eventually, arduous, although there were intermittent stretches of firm ground for a while.

After another right turn at a sign promising still shorter distances to the river and ocean, the trail wound through wooded and open areas. Trees draped in Spanish moss. Colorful mushrooms. A deer just off the path that froze for a photograph before springing away.


Grace Lutheran hosts Harvest Festival

A lot of those pretty yellow leaves on the maple trees are starting to drift across the yard the past few days. And it’s definitely colder. Not my cup of tea, and partly why I moved back to Crescent City.

The last couple winters have seemed colder to me, but maybe that’s just old age creeping in. At least I’m not someplace where the next thing to expect is snow!

As I’ve said before, I’d welcome a couple inches of the stuff on Christmas morning — as long as it was gone by the next day. Of course, I have no say in the matter, and have to bear with whatever we get. And it all has its proper place, orchestrated by someone who knows much better than me.

This time of year, things start getting busier, and we have lots more to tell you about this week.

It all starts Sunday.

• Redwoods Family Worship Center invites you to attend a one-day conference with Rev. Sherlock Bally, evangelist and end-times teacher. Services will be at 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Prophecy is definitely an interesting topic these days, especially when you view the current news through the lens of Biblical scripture — like, for example, Isaiah 17:1 about Damascus!

• Friday, Nov. 1, Temple Beth Shalom will hold sabbath services at 7 p.m. at the Curry Coastal Pilot building in Brookings, led by Rabbi Les Scharnberg. Then the class on the 613 commandments will take place Saturday at 10 a.m. at Temple Beth Shalom in Crescent City.


In hard times, it’s vital to buy and sell local

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

In these days of stress, each locality should, for its own preservation, cling more loyally to the cherished idea of keeping its money at home.

Only too often are we solicited by outside factors to donate to some worthy charitable cause, but as worthy as they may be, there is a greater need for charity here at home. If you can give, give locally. And too, if you buy, buy locally. One of these acts is just as important as the other, as they both keep money at home.

The local stores are doing that. They realize that money spent with the local farmer, producer, baker, canner, etc. comes back to them, without a question of doubt.

It is the correct policy. No community can possibly prosper without such local patriotism.

Money spent with mail order houses is gone and cannot return. A local store that does not give its hearty support to local producers is akin to an alien enemy and should be shunned. They have no pride in their community, and their only interest is to glean the few paltry dollars that they do not deserve. 

Getting dolled up

A number of small misses under 12 years of age were made happy at Christmastime last year with beautiful dolls awarded by Endert’s Drug Store to the winners in their first annual doll contest.


Letters to the Editor Oct. 24, 2013

Shame on Triplicate for covering family's trauma

My mom always told me that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. I was thinking the Triplicate should adopt a policy of, “If you don’t have actual news to print, don’t print anything at all.”

I write because of the Oct. 19 article, “Man dies in an accidental shooting,” where the staff writer was at a loss for actual news so he felt it OK to write about the obvious trauma the family was dealing with.

Shame on you, Triplicate, for allowing your news to get away from substance to attract readers, instead relying on describing the obvious pain the family was feeling.

Steven Jackson, Crescent City

Council members should use pay cut to fund water

Writing about this water rate hike, I do not live in Crescent City anymore but do have a home there where I stay when I am there visiting, which is probably once a month if that. I may go down for the day and return home the same day I go to the house to leave my dogs, or visit with friends there.

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