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Coastal Voices: Healthcare Dist. mired in secrecy, extravagant spending

As a board member of the Del Norte Healthcare District, I have raised concerns regarding the transparency of the decision making process by the District. As a government agency, the district is required to follow the Brown Act, a state law that requires that all decisions must be made in open public meetings following advance notification of the action that is being considered. There are few exceptions to this legal requirement.

My primary concerns center on the extravagant sum of public money that has been spent on legal fees over the last three years and the secrecy that has surrounded these decisions.

In 2012, the district sued Sutter Health to prevent the conversion of Sutter Coast Hospital to a critical access hospital. I initially supported the legal action due to the purported facts that critical access was limited to a maximum 15 acute beds and profiteering was occurring. Once those myths were dispelled it became apparent to me that legal action was not worthwhile.


Letters to the Editor, Jan. 5, 2016

Questions Sutter still hasn’t answered

To Scott Feller, Dr. Warren Rehwaldt, and Mojgan “Mosh” Arshi:

You are Del Norte County residents who were appointed to the Sutter Coast Hospital Board of Directors by Sutter Health. We all know that your hospital board meetings are closed to the public and that Sutter Coast will not release its meeting minutes. In November 2011, your board voted to transfer hospital ownership out of Del Norte County to a Sutter Health controlled corporation in San Francisco, over the objection of Chief of Staff Dr. Kevin Caldwell. Sutter Coast Hospital is locally owned. Sutter Health is contracted to manage the hospital, not to steal it from us, for nothing in return.


Letter to the Editor, Jan. 2, 2016

Exec’s arrogance shows why we need alternative to Sutter

Oh my gosh. Is this gentleman for real? Does Mr. (Mitch) Hanna think that all of Del Norte County is composed of ignorant, uninformed, uneducated, disinterested people?

His arrogance and attitude are infinitely offensive and telling. He reflects the attitude and behaviors of Sutter Health and reinforces the absolute necessity for Del Norte to go elsewhere for health care. Now is the time to request Asante and others to please, please, please consider establishing themselves within our community.


Another View: Taking stock of the good things we have here

As a new year begins, and an increasing number of disturbing events unfolds around the globe, it may lift our spirits to look at some of the good things we have going on here at home.

In days of yore, when Del Norte downpours never seemed to cease from November to April, grumbling about wet weather was the favorite local pastime.

But after four years of drought, forest fires and water restrictions, the only thing I hear these days on the subject of rain is approval and relief.


Pages of History: News from Smith River

Loitering at the Corners is replete with fascinating encounters. Last week, Rowdy Creek Joe, Smith River’s most pessimistic weather prophet. This week, it’s Santy Claus, and on his way to Sunday school Christmas festivities too.

Materializing out of nowhere, that jovial old soul claimed his reindeers were tired so he pastured them up at Johnny Cooper’s field until he made a pre-Christmas call on the kiddies to ascertain their heart’s desire.

Sunday night, the Corners took on the scene of a living Christmas card scene, a miniature village with a backdrop of forested hills. Several wisps of fog plumes were tucked here and there among the redwoods up Rowdy Creek, while High Divide wore a full moon above its crown.


Rising seas are transforming Del Norteís lakes and cliffs

A fundamental change occurred in Del Norte county during 2015, with little notice or news. Lakes Earl and Tolowa have become the Tolowa Estuary.

Tidal flows now pulse in and out of the estuary through the beach berm at the former breach site, even at the lowest tide there is a wide channel where once there was a beach berm holding the water in the lake.


Letters to the Editor, Dec. 31, 2015

Hanna shouldn’t work against district

After Sutter CEO Mitch Hanna’s vile Coastal Voices article, Mrs. (Beverly) Hussey wrote her response in her own Coastal Voices. She asked Sutter Health and Sutter Coast Hospital to make the sealed court documents available to the public, public

officials including the DA Dale Trigg, and the Triplicate so we all have the truth about Sutter and the way Sutter does business.

I support the DA to subpoena the documents. Now, while Mr. Hanna ignores this request, the CEO has moved on to attacking and criticizing the elected officials of the Del Norte Healthcare District. Mr. Hanna would be much better served working with the district and focusing on bringing in doctors that the community needs.


Coastal Voices: City should consider cannabis economy

My name is Robert Derego. I spoke at the Crescent City Council meeting on Dec. 21 that was addressed in the paper as "City favors pot ban."

The printed article said something to the effect that I did not "believe that something that could make so much money should be banned." I did not say that it quite that manner, probably a more accurate generalization would have been "something that is becoming now known more as benign than illicit with such a large market value and historical geographical association to our North Coastline should be considered in balance with the economy.".

I do not know that I said "believe" so much as cited actual revenue numbers and studies attesting to medical cannabis efficacy and its regulations association with several reductions of harm, including no increase in teen use and reduced consumption of more dangerous drugs.


Letters to the Editor, Dec. 29, 2015

Sutter a fake charity enriching executives

This is in response to the Dec. 2 Coastal Voices editorial written by Mr. (Mitch) Hanna, who has attacked someone who opposes Sutter corporation plan.

Mrs. (Beverly) Hussey is a kindhearted elderly lady. who fought bravely to honor the wishes of her late husband, who donated the land for Sutter Coast to build a locally owned hospital.


Coastal Voices: Let's shine a light on Sutter's secrets

I write to address Sutter Coast Hospital CEO Mitch Hanna’s false allegations against me, as printed in the newspaper, and to ask Sutter to release its secret documents, so our community can learn the truth about Sutter.

After reading this article, please join me in asking the hospital board of directors to release the documents, which Sutter was required to produce in my lawsuit against Sutter. I think community members would be interested to learn how the Sutter Coast board and Sutter Health executives really operate.

To the wonderful Sutter Coast employees, please know this: I deeply appreciate the care you have given me. My suit against the Sutter Coast board (which includes local residents and Sutter Health executives) was filed to hold Sutter accountable to the promises it made to my late husband Sonny when he gifted his land to Sutter Coast: that Sutter would operate a locally owned, acute care hospital, not a downsized Critical Access facility with a 25-bed limit and a restriction on how long patients could stay.


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