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Coastal Voices: They say itís your (65th)birthday

One of the many positive things about turning 65 is the realization that you can start receiving Medicare benefits. Some people celebrate their 65th for that reason alone. Knowing that you will have a greater share of your medical insurance financially taken care of is definitely something to feel good about. 

However, what many people don’t know is that you have to apply for Medicare in order to get it if you are not already receiving Social Security benefits. If you don’t, there can be a penalty.


Letters to the Editor, March 15, 2016

Support Gitlin to build bypass in five years, term limits to clear out useless politicians

At the Tuesday March 8 (Del Norte County) Board of Supervisors meeting, I heard Supervisor Roger Gitlin ask his fellow supervisors to support him and ask Caltrans to research, select, finance, and build the Last Chance Grade bypass in five years.


Letters to the Editor, March 10, 2016

Great concerts need better access

Dear Del Norte-Curry Community Concert Association:

Thank you for your wonderful concert series and grants to local schools and community music education programs performed at the Crescent Elk Auditorium.

The recent Russian international artist, Svetlana Smolina, was wonderful, what a talent.


Community stops Sutter's downsizing plan, for now

This article tells a success story — how our community halted Sutter Health’s plan to downsize Sutter Coast Hospital to a Critical Access hospital — and how the Del Norte Healthcare District seeks your input on how we can continue to improve local health care.  

You may recall that the Sutter Coast Hospital board of directors voted in 2013 to downsize Sutter Coast to Critical Access status. Thousands of residents opposed the plan because it would greatly increase Sutter’s charges to our local Medicare patients, force more patients to be transferred elsewhere for hospital care, limit the number of days patients could stay at Sutter Coast, and cut the number of acute care hospital beds in half.

In addition, it is a fact that Critical Access hospitals have higher mortality rates.


Letters to the Editor, March 8, 2016

Community needs best and brightest to come together to improve our healthcare

When reading in the Thursday Triplicate that we have stopped Sutter Health from downsizing our local hospital, and we have stopped Sutter’s plan to transfer ownership out of our community, we said kudos to all those who helped win this victory over Sutter Health.

There were thousands of us local citizens who signed the petition protesting Sutter’s plans, including some trusted, local independent doctors who lead the effort. Now that we’re on the right track, let’s band together to bring the hospital back to the outstanding care of yesteryear.


Coastal Voices: Bringing attention to Last Chance Grade

Our Last Chance Grade Advisory Committee was formed back in 2013 in an effort to bring our community together to find a solution to Last Chance Grade.

It was this effort by our committee that brought Congressman Huffman up here in November of 2013 to take a tour of Last Chance Grade at which time he realized this issue needed his support. I believe we have been successful and we will continue our effort to keep this the focus of our community until a bypass is built.

Due to the fact that our elected officials and Caltrans weren’t making any moves to solve this highway issue we felt that by getting letters of support for a bypass it would bring Last Chance Grade to the forefront, it did, we received letters from the public, businesses, public boards, which included Humboldt, Mendocino, and Sonoma County board of Supervisors, all three Tribal Councils, Chamber of Commerce, City Council, Harbor Board, School Board, College of The Redwoods, Hospital Board, Board of Realtors, Pelican Bay State Prison and the list goes on.


Another View: Some senior citizens are tougher than they look

Karl H. Sterker is a mild-mannered, bespectacled man who often brings donations to the charity where I work. Cheerful and friendly, he likes to chat and joke with our volunteers. He’s not someone who boasts or makes up tall tales.

On his most recent visit, I noticed a mass of dark-purple bruises covering the right side of his face, and a yellowish discoloration around his right eye behind his glasses. Since he likes to kid around, I asked what he’d done to make his wife mad enough to beat him up.

“She passed away eight years ago,” he said, sounding more serious and subdued than usual. “I live alone.”


Coastal Voices: Federal solution only way to fund

Please consider the facts about Last Chance Grade. It’s too important to be tainted with fiction. As the chair of Del Norte Local Transportation Commission and a member of the Congressional Stakeholders Group convened by U.S. Congressman (Jared) Huffman, I believe that our community needs facts.

In support of finding lasting solutions for Last Chance Grade there are two parallel efforts: 1) To keep U.S. 101 open; and, 2) To build a bypass. Last Chance Grade has been subject to slides since the late 1800’s, as has much of U.S. 101. Some portions have been realigned in the past and some are in the process of realignment or bypass such as Last Chance Grade.

The mission of Caltrans is, “Provide a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation system to enhance California’s economy and livability,” and keeping U.S. 101 open is at the core of this mission. Last Chance Grade is part of the U.S. highway system and is considered a transportation lifeline and it is the business of Caltrans to keep the highway open and safe for travel.


Stakeholders are hiding from public

A funny thing happened in Crescent City recently. Congressman Jared Huffman’s Last Chance Grade Stakeholder Group met here and the press was invited for the first time since its creation last year.

That’s not insignificant. At least twice in the past six months, this news organization has dutifully asked if a member of our staff might attend these so-called stakeholder meetings. The answer is always a resounding “no.”

These are not public meetings, according to Huffman’s mouthpiece John Driscoll, a former newsman who should know better. Yet, there it was on a television newscast a couple of weeks ago, video of the good congressman meeting with stakeholders and a report on what took place.


Letters to the Editor, March 5, 2016

Support struggling fishermen at fish fry

The Community Assistance Network (CAN) would like to thank everyone who has donated to the emergency fund for out-of-work crab fishermen.

Please don’t forget to show your support this afternoon (Saturday, March 5) by attending the Commercial Fishermen’s Association fish fry at the fairgrounds.


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