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Letters to the Editor, April 23, 2016

Union complaints about job performance, not homelessness

The union issued a rebuttal to the county supervisors and county administrative officer to the allegations made on April 18 and reported in the paper on April 19.

The union conducted two meetings open to all DHHS employees regardless of union membership. Since the issues were only related to the entire DHHS department, the union considered the meetings and subsequent action (petition) taken as a legal work-site action. All represented employees were able to attend the meetings and sign the petition if they wanted to.

Labor law is clear that as the recognized union representative for the miscellaneous/supervisory/professional employees of Del Norte County, it is our legal responsibility to exercise due diligence and fair representation of all represented employees regardless of union membership. Work site actions are regulated to issues concerning a particular work site, aka department and its impacted employees.

Coastal Voices: Pierson just the start of needed change in DHHS

Tuesday’s Del Norte Triplicate continued its reporting on the issue of Barbara Pierson and the labor relation issues surrounding her short tenure with the Department Of Health and Human Services. On an initial reading of the various articles, it is easy to misconstrue this is nothing more than a labor relations issue, “so why should I care?”

Something greater is at stake here than labor relation issues. The issue is changing the culture of the DHHS. I have been meeting with the some of the supervisors to share in a personal way an outsider’s perspective on our experience in dealing with the Department of Health and Human Services. I have done so with the intent to advocate the critical need for wholesale change in the culture of the DHHS.

I believe change was the intent of the Del Norte County Supervisors based on their appointment of Pierson as the director. The supervisors did not appoint anyone from within the ranks of the existing staff at DHHS. The possible reason for their choice: there was a need for a different perspective and approach to the overall administration of DHHS.

Letters to the Editor, April 21, 2016

Consider local health care when picking supervisors

To the thousands of local residents who signed the petition opposing Sutter Health’s plan to transfer ownership of Sutter Coast Hospital out of our county, congratulations. Your efforts made us the only community in California to stop Sutter Health from taking ownership of our locally owned hospital.

I also congratulate everyone who fought Sutter’s effort to downsize Sutter Coast to Critical Access status and to triple charges to Medicare patients. Last week, Sutter Coast CEO Mitch Hanna revealed that the local hospital board voted to withdraw Sutter Coast’s Critical Access application. If Sutter decides to re-apply for Critical Access, our community is aware of the impact and will be watching.

Coastal Voices: Trash stored in residential areas a threat to neighbors

About two years ago, I wrote a column about litter and discards in our open lands and forests. I would now like to write about the serious environmental hazards associated with careless storage in residential neighborhoods.

You may be aware that some of your neighbors may have serious safety and environmental hazards right in their own backyards. Supervisor Roger Gitlin sponsors a litter cleanup program, “Take A Bite Out Of Blight.” My wife and I have volunteered on several occasions with other good citizens to clean up abandoned homeless camps, vacant lots, and residential homes. I would say the word “disgusting” does not begin to describe the discarded material and litter we have collected.

My earlier column spoke of discarded furniture, trash, oils, used diapers, copper wire, appliances, and bottles of stored urine (for meth recycling) in our open lands. Our forests, treasured wildlife, water supplies, recreational users, and visitors are in peril with these environmental and safety threats. As with the gentleman who wrote recently in another Coastal Voices about the Pacific Shores mess, I wrote letters of concern to federal, state, and local officials, and received scant response.

Letters to the Editor, April 19, 2016

McClure gives effort, not grand-stand tactics

During her lifetime of service to this community as a teacher, a union leader and now as a county supervisor, Martha McClure has shown herself to be a person who listens to both sides and works hard to find the best solutions for all of us.

Working on behalf of homeless veterans, Martha recently solved a long-standing problem that prevented our vets from using housing vouchers in our county. Thanks to Martha, these folks no longer have to move out of the county to get housing assistance. This is not something that was solved by slogans or grand-stand tactics but by her efforts and extensive experience in building partnerships with others.

Coastal Voices: Gitlin takes out the trash, leads fight for Last Chance

We’d like to thank Del Norte County District 1 Supervisor Roger Gitlin for his immediate response to our request that the trash on U.S. 101 North be removed ASAP.

 Last summer, we had watched litter accumulate through the entire tourist season. Both sides of the freeway and the median were just covered. It seriously looked like a third world country. Right in the middle of it was an ‘Adopt a Highway’ sign that read “Highway maintained by Redwood National Park employees.”

I called RNP several times but to no avail. Then, I called Roger Gitlin as I had seen him and a group of volunteers picking up litter in the area from the breakwall and B Street pier to the harbor beaches. I also saw the trashed area from the Washington St. off ramp to the Wal Mart parking lot flushed out and cleaned up.

Letters to the Editor, April 16, 2016

Innocent until proven guilty ignored by paper

Have you ever been unjustly accused or been the victim of slanderous gossip? Many of us have. On the other hand, many of us have also passed along damaging gossip, not realizing the possibility that we don’t have all the facts.

It was horrifying to read the vicious accusations against a man I have known and respected for years. Primo Bonilla is innocent until proven guilty.

The Triplicate must not know that because many of the accusations were presented as fact; the word alleged was used once.

Letters to the Editor, April 14, 2016

Broken system needs new blood in candidate Berkowitz

I believe that, on the national level, the political system is broken. Not the Constitution, or the republic, but the influence of career politicians and crony-capitalism. Over regulation has fostered stagnation and brought the country to a stand still, but that’s on the national level. There is still hope on the local level.

I reside in Roger Gitlin’s district of Del Norte but am being outspoken about my support of Bob Berkowitz for 5th district currently presided over by David Finigan.

Letters to the Editor, April 12, 2016

Supervisor candidate Gitlin shares my vision for Del Norte

I’m casting my vote to re-elect Roger Gitlin to the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors.

When Becky and I met Roger four years ago, he was knocking on my front door seeking offi ce; he shared his vision. He believed then as he does now the county have overlooked and ignored problems that appear to be worsening.

Letters to the Editor, April 9, 2016

Why put the sewer plant in an otherwise beautiful area?

Del Norte County has a few great things going for it. Its beaches, the harbor, the lighthouse, the redwoods and the Smith River.

Before the city decided to rebuild the sewer plant (for the 30-plus million that it cost) there was talk about it being built behind Safeway. I personally thought it was a great idea. Out of sight (and smell) out of mind. Well, after walking to the light house yesterday, I think I was right.

One of our most beautiful spots is around the jetty, B Street pier and lighthouse. It looks like a bomb went off down there. You can’t even access the B Street pier.

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