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Another View: Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's good

After spending a weekend in Weed, I began wondering how it got its name. Did the town fathers have a special fondness for dandelions? Or were they pioneer potheads? This led me to pondering the legalization of marijuana.

A number of people I’ve talked to who suffer from serious ailments swear it reduces pain and other symptoms better than pharmaceuticals, and vastly improves their quality of life. That’s probably why it has been legalized for medical purposes in 23 states and the District of Columbia.

Still, it’s listed by the federal government as a Schedule I controlled substance that cannot legally be prescribed, possessed, or sold under federal law. It’s not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for any medical use, although Dronabinol, a pharmaceutical form of THC (an active ingredient in marijuana) has been approved by the FDA to treat some conditions, as has a man-made cannabinoid drug called Nabilone.

Pages of History: Water rate rise stuns residents

From the pages of the Del Norte Triplicate, January 1958:

In November of 1957, the City of Crescent City published an ordinance for three consecutive weeks announcing new water rates to be charged and collected by the water department and establishing monthly minimum charges, yet hundreds of telephone calls swamped the water department and the Del Norte Triplicate yesterday asking “what happened”  when new bills were received this week.

Coastal Voices: Misinformation from McClure about practice

"No good deed goes unpunished” — Anonymous

The first draft of this article was limited to words of thanks to the friends, neighbors, and patients I have had the privilege of knowing during my 22 years in Crescent City. But after hearing the false statements by Supervisor McClure during open session of the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors on Jan. 12, I am compelled to once again correct the record regarding my practice, Sutter Coast Hospital, and my reason for leaving Crescent City.

Supervisor McClure stated last week that “part of the reason that we are flying so many people out and that we need to bring in backup doctors in relationship to urology and orthopedics . . . you have to have doctors that will see Medi-Cal patients and that is why they need to bring in these doctors, because there is no access to care... and I’m sorry that there are private practitioners that are suffering but their door’s not open to Medi-Cal.”

Ms. McClure’s entire comments begin at 1:07:20 at the following link: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/81348437.

Letters to the Editor, Jan. 21, 2016

Keep tabs on loved ones in nursing homes

As I read the recent article of one local assisted living facility, I became compelled to write something about that disturbing piece.

As a person with a family member in such a facility, I have seen first hand, how the care one receives is good, bad, and ugly. The good care comes from an outstanding group of caregivers. It is amazing that someone chooses a job of such, that takes extreme patience, caring, and mental stamina to complete each day. If you ever decide to take a moment to tour these types of facilities, you will get a better grasp of what I speak of.

Now, for the “Not so good care,” what goes on in these facilities during off hours, without direct supervision, can be questionable. As a family member on the other side of the doors, if I became aware of an abusive environment, which directly affected any resident member, hell would come calling. If the care affects one, it can affect all.

Coastal Voices: Ignoring race won't solve real equality issues

I’ve been giving some thought to Evelyn Cook’s opinion piece “We Are All Just Shades of Brown” that appeared in last Saturday’s Triplicate.

She expressed annoyance with having to check a box on government forms for her race — which is white — and argued “the little boxes divide us by race and keep reminding us of our differences” and are used by the “same racist system . . . to decide who gets a larger or smaller share of tax-dollar benefits, special privileges, and protections.”
 Well, I don’t think any of us recently checked a race box and suddenly experienced the discomfort of remembering what race we were. “Oh my Gosh — I forgot I was white. And look here — female. Curse you, Uncle Sam for bringing it to mind.” 
But criticism of Ms. Cook’s analogy aside, I do understand that lots of white folks, especially in rural places where there are fewer minorities to speak about their experience, tend to have the same world view that Ms. Cook expressed: white people are the victims of racism, especially promulgated by government rules and regulations. We need to stop paying attention to race; it leads to more racism. 
Admittedly, the worldview Ms. Cook expressed is progress compared to the kind of racist ideals that suggested black and brown people were lesser human beings, shouldn’t have the right to bear arms, shouldn’t have fishing rights, shouldn’t be able to attend white (read: well-funded) schools, and shouldn’t ride in the front of the bus. 
But suggesting the election of President Obama proves that we’re all equal now ignores the very real racism that still exists in our country — and our community for that matter. This racism is deeply connected to economic class as well, and hides behind and inside many of our institutions and policies. It is revealed in outcomes.

Our View: Council insists on secrecy in hiring

There are lots of reasons public officials would rather function in secret, most of them not good.

Crescent City’s method of secretly selecting an interim city manager raises all kinds of red flags.

When last the public was unable to join them behind closed doors, the City Council through its various spokespeople said they were looking at nine candidates. When the Triplicate asked for resumes of those candidates, City Council turned to its lawyers, who invoked an obscure portion of the California Public Records Act in denying the request.

The portion of the law being cited protects certain personal information on job applications from being disclosed. Not unreasonable.

Letter to the Editor, Jan. 16, 2016

Community is losing an excellent urologist, Dr. Davis

When I learned that Dr. Mark Davis was closing his urological practice, I felt a deep sadness on many levels.

First, Dr. Davis is an eminently qualified and capable specialist. When my husband, Keith, was diagnosed with bladder cancer, he became a patient of Dr. Davis; and when Keith finally succumbed to the cancer, there was none to be found in his bladder. Thanks to the treatments Dr. Davis provided, the quality and length of my husband’s life were extended.

Secondly, Dr. Davis is a valued member of our community. Twenty-two years ago, he and his wife (and nurse), Karen, came here to make their home. They bought real properties, built a house and a professional building, raised three children, created jobs, and paid their taxes.

Another View: We are all just shades of brown

One of my pet peeves has to do with those little boxes on government forms that require applicants to check off their race. I know that I’m supposed to check “white” or “Caucasian” but I refuse.

I don’t consider myself white because I’m not an albino. And none of my ancestors hailed from the Caucasus region, so in reality I’m no more a Caucasian than I am an Eskimo.

As far as skin color goes, my part-Italian ancestry gives it a hue that’s closer to caffè latte than it is to cream. It doesn’t take long in the sun to turn brown. Since I don’t feel honest checking a box for white or Caucasian, I usually leave it blank.

Letters to the Editor, Jan. 14, 2016

The ‘stink’ you smell isn’t coming from HCD

In regard to your recent editorial about the Del Norte Healthcare District: 

You have a lot of gall to come into our community and attack an elected body who is doing everything they can to make sure we have quality, affordable health care.

Coastal Voices: DN Health Care District wants to hear from you

As a senior physician in Del Norte County, three term chief of staff of Sutter Coast Hospital and incoming chair of the Del Norte Healthcare District, I review the history of local health care and seek your input.

After inviting Sutter Health to this community in 1985, the Del Norte Healthcare District enjoyed a collaborative relationship with Sutter for many years. That all changed in 2010 when in violation of California law, Sutter Health began implementing patient care policies at Sutter Coast Hospital without any input from hospital physicians. I removed those illegal policies from Sutter Coast, which was later cited for its misconduct by the Joint Commission, the certifying body for hospitals nationwide. Sutter Coast CEO Mitch Hanna has the report.

In 2011, the Sutter Coast board voted in secret, over my objection and the deliberate exclusion of this community, to transfer hospital ownership from Del Norte County to a multi-hospital corporation in San Francisco.

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