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Coastal Voices: Society held back by greed and inequality

Over the last three years I have written numerous letters to the editor regarding Sutter Coast Hospital and its failure to meets its commitment to provide adequate and affordable healthcare to our community. Borrowing from Arlo Guthrie in his song “Alice’s Restaurant,” Sutter is not what I’m here to talk about. I’m here to talk about greed and inequality.

The Declaration of Independence states that all men are entitled to “certain unalienable Rights that among these are life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”.

It is difficult for the people of our country to obtain these rights if the leaders of banks, financial institutions, utilities, pharmaceutical companies and hospitals continue to compete in the market place by not playing by the rules expected of a level playing field.

Pages of History: Show your appreciation

From the pages of the Del Norte Triplicate, February 1945:

Every year for the past 45 years, the people of the community turn out to honor the Crescent City Volunteer Fire Department just before Lent. This year, 1945, will be no exception with the department all set to stage the big dance on Saturday night, Feb.10th at Memorial Hall.

Coastal Voices: Stop the witch hunt: Cannabis may just be the solution to our problem

In the light of public reaction to our leaders handling of state level cannabis reform, Evelyn Cook in her Jan. 2 column has painted cannabis users into a corner, much like addicts, homosexuals and discontent women of the past, we have psychosis. How do I argue when after my coffee and cannabis I might be hallucinating even reading this paper, and Evelyn Cook might just be a voice in my head.

Evelyn cites a study out of London that finds you are 3 times more likely to suffer psychosis if you use cannabis regularly. The meat of this conclusion comes from a sample group of people suffering from schizophrenia, of which 25 percent used cannabis regularly.

Many anti-cannabis studies get their results by assuming the adult population uses cannabis at the rate of about 4-8 percent (1 in 12 to 25). The real question is, did cannabis cause the mental health problem or did the mental health problem lead the person to self medicate, something most physicians who specialize in cannabis medicine believe all cannabis users are doing.

Letters to the Editor, Feb. 4, 2016

Carol Schach wrote a great book

I have so enjoyed the book “Fleeting Miracles” by Carol Schach. I have given both my granddaughters a copy. I am inspired each time I pick it up. What a tribute to the area, in particular Trillium Dream on Holland Hill roadside.

Coastal Voices: Improvements on U.S. 199, 197 needed, STAA trucks are not

I must add my voice to the chorus of locals who understand that the proposed work for Highways 199 and 197 in Del Norte County will not solve current road problems but will worsen already dangerous driving conditions if the work is completed and STAA-sized trucks are permitted to use both roadways.

I live off Highway 197 in Hiouchi and use the road virtually every day either heading north or south. I also use Highway 199 regularly, not just to come into town from home, but also to visit friends in Gasquet, or to travel further north into the mountains or all the way into Oregon.

I have studied the proposed plans for both roads and I know that, even though the work is needed, it will not make the roads compliant with STAA standards nor significantly safer. There are numerous sections on both roads which are more dangerous and in need of widening and straightening. Even if the proposed work is completed, mandated four-foot minimum shoulder widths will still not be created at too many spots on both roads, neither on the upslope mountain side nor on the downslope river side.

Letters to the Editor, Feb. 2, 2016

Busy signal for 911 is unacceptable

The other night my neighbor showed up screaming, “He won’t wake up!” I ran there as fast as I could to find that their infant wasn’t breathing.

I dialed 911 three times, all of which I received a busy signal. After a couple minutes I was finally connected. By this time my boyfriend was present and attempting infant CPR. Unfortunately, the baby did not make it.

Another View: From tsunamis to EMPs, it's a scary world

Some people are afraid a bombastic billionaire blowhard may become commander in chief. Others fear a self-absorbed granny with more ambition than scruples will win the presidency.

But that’s not as frightening as the possibility of a monster tsunami washing us away, or Yellowstone’s super-volcano burying us under ten feet of ash. Asteroids, solar flares, global warming, nuclear war and bioweapons could wipe out much of the human race, as could antibiotic-resistant diseases, pandemics and famine, to name just a few mass-kill-off possibilities.

One of the scariest by-products of modern science and technology is something called an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP. The enormous destructive power unleashed by one of these man-made disasters is hard to imagine. Not only is it being imagined, it’s being prioritized as a weapon by the militaries of Russia, China, North Korea, the Islamic Republic of Iran and other nations that hope to defeat the U.S. in the event of war.

Letters to the Editor, Jan. 30, 2016

Coastal Commission director being fired for support of public interests

The California Coastal Commission, charged with oversight of coastal land use and public access, is about to fire its executive director, Charles Lester. Lester’s sin is his support of public coastal access over the profit-mongering of billion dollar corporations intent on using the land for luxury home developments.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s four appointees to the commission are said to be behind this outrage. Martha McClure was appointed to the commission by Brown.

Letters to the Editor, Jan. 28, 2016

Raccoons can only see 5 feet ahead, watch out for them

This note is sent in to your paper to share some interesting information with our community about raccoons. Now that daylight is much shorter and the darkness much longer during the winter equinox, there appear to be many dead raccoons on our streets.

Do you know that the raccoon’s field of vision is only 5 feet? That is it. They can see only 5 feet around them. So, when you are driving your automobile and there is a raccoon ahead, please be aware that it literally cannot see you until you are within its 5-foot field of vision. Further, your headlights are blinding to it.

You may view these nocturnal raccoons as pests but they are really very intelligent, social mammals, who can manipulate their 5-digit paws similarly as we do our hands. They are important to the environment because they eat insects, garden pests and carrion. It’s a small inconvenience for the benefits they provide.

Coastal Voices: Misinformation's source hidden within Sutter's vault of secrets

In the ongoing Sutter conflict, a pattern emerged: four public officials reportedly signed confidentiality agreements for a private corporation, followed by their support for corporate plans.

The story begins in 2011 when the Sutter Coast Hospital Board of Directors voted in secret to transfer hospital ownership out of Del Norte County to a corporation in San Francisco controlled by Sutter Health — a process called “Regionalization.”  

The hospital Board’s action triggered a firestorm of opposition. In response, Sutter Coast paid a consulting firm, the Camden Group, to conduct a closed door study, using local residents as advisors. Amid concerns of study bias, the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors and Del Norte Healthcare District Board declined to participate. Nevertheless, one supervisor, Martha McClure, and one healthcare district director, Clarke Moore, decided to join the group.

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