Del Norte Triplicate Readers

Doctors exemplify what makes a community worth fighting for

I appreciated Dr. Greg Duncan's and Dr. Kevin Caldwell's expertise and knowledge of the critical details at hand regarding Sutter Health's claims on "regionalization," the takeover of Sutter Coast Hospital.

These doctors truly have heart for our community! Dr. Caldwell has been practicing medicine for 28 years in Crescent City, and was on the Board of Directors for two years. Dr. Duncan has also been there for quite a long time, and is now on the Board of Directors, so they have first-hand knowledge of what is going on.

From what I understand, they do not believe it will be good for the community to turn over control of Sutter Coast Hospital to Sutter Health and its Sutter West Bay Hospitals Board of Directors in San Francisco.

This turnover will cause hardship to the people in our community, especially for those who are critically ill, if the hospital is down-sized. They would be more likely to be transported out of our area. This is not only costly, but could result in the lack of support of family, which is very important when one is facing cancer, heart attack, etc. Many family members would be limited to giving support that far away because of their jobs and responsibilities at home with other family members.

I believe we should strive to be and do the best we can, and to reach the highest levels we can reach. To do less is to be unfaithful stewards of the life entrusted to us by God. We were created to love each other, it is an action word. We are to help each other, and at this time, we have to look at all of the facts, and then pull together as a community and support our local doctors, hospital and neighbors.

As my pastor Steve Perez is always saying, "We all get to learn together." God bless America.

Linda Norbury

Crescent City

Hospital a family affair, so let's keep management in the family

You are interested, I am sure, in what the general public feels regarding the idea of "regionalization" of Sutter Coast Hospital. I am appalled! Sutter Coast Hospital was to be Del Norte County's haven of help, always standing by to assist. Because we are a very rural area, but with several situations peculiar to this area alone, we must be governed by local knowledgeable people, including doctors, medical personnel, flight personnel, Pelican Bay personnel, representatives from Brookings and other involved sources.

As a patient at the hospital, I have always had the best of care. But this "regionalization" will tend to take the family out of the hospital and make it simply a facility. There has been too much lack of transparency in what is being transacted.

I was further appalled to learn that Sutter Coast has been paying an annual "management fee" of more than $750,000 to Sutter Health. How many of us, the public, knew that?

A regional board would have the authority to make decisions regarding all clinical policies, procedures; would have control over the medical staff appointments; and would have authority to clear their credentials.

Employees are already losing their jobs, being given pay cuts, receiving directions to take on more duties. Patient stays may be limited, and life decisions would be made by telephone to Sacramento. Imagine the cost of flying patients who need more time in the hospital to other hospitals, away from family, friends and support from our own physicians here.

We Del Norters, we who are the ones directly involved with our lives, dependent on decisions made out of this area by people not aware of our problems, ask for consideration for these situations. The people from Sutter Health, Sacramento, are taking our health care decisions from us. Please don't let that happen. There is even now a distinct lack of representation and that has been true since Sutter Health became affiliated with Sutter Coast.

Sutter Coast is a family affair within our community, a very necessary help from many entities: the Coast Guard, Pelican Bay State Prison, schools. We are surrounded by water and we are far from any other complete hospital. There is such a special bond between staff and patients. Is all this to end? Let's show Sacramento just how great a small rural community can come together when such a plan is forced on us. Please help save our special hospital and staff.

Beverly Spitzner

Crescent City

Local sheriffs are right to favor

economy over environmentalism

In response to Derrick Jensen's July 28 letter ("Sheriff Wilson wrongly describes his role as an elected official"), I had to laugh at the image of the local Friends of Del Norte facing off with a scowling, gun-packing Sheriff Dean Wilson.

I am guessing that they are not aware that Jerry Brown and the Democrats at the state level are unlikely to cede any more power to largely powerless rural counties in the northern part of the state. In addition, I believe that the local sheriff still is an elected position and I don't recall ever having to brace the sheriff's violence at any time, let alone when voting.

And finally, Martha McClure's insertion on the Coastal Commission and her record as supervisor should give them plenty of comfort as to how slow government can move when it comes to any kind of change affecting the environment.

I suspect that while the local sheriffs would like us to have a more robust economy and be able to use our abundant natural resources, logging, wood and paper products, or even a rebound in the lagging fishing industry, they are smart enough men to understand that government of any form is a rather large obstacle to move.

In the meantime we are left with a largely stagnant modern economy, with its seasonal tourist industry and our government service sector which no longer enjoys any kind of expansion. As the state and federal governments struggle to pay salaries and benefits, there is less and less money for operation and maintenance.

As our young graduate from high school, we no longer have enough jobs to employ them all, hence they are forced to move on or their lives are increasingly fueled by entitlements. The environmentalists' modern economy may have plenty of fresh air, clean water and soon to-be-bountiful ocean waters for the moment, but it lacks the necessary funds to make it workable or keep it that way.

Perhaps it is time to take a much closer look at this kind of extreme philosophy. I often wonder whether the will for a workable solution to our many problems can be found, or worse yet, whether this continual crying wolf at every perceived threat to the environment will leave us unable to contain a true environmental disaster. After all, clean air and water are not free and our current modern economy has less and less to keep it that way.

Samuel Strait

Crescent City

Lucky to meet Sally Ride twice; she made teens feel special

I was so disappointed to see the passing of Astronaut Sally Ride, relegated to a 2-inch item on a back page of your newspaper.She was body and soul, a leading advocate of Aviation and Space, making her first trip into space, as you noted, in 1983 on Space Shuttle Challenger.

I was lucky enough to meet her twice.The first time in 1987, when my Civil Air Patrol Cadets were invited to attend the National Conference on Aviation and Space.She was there, along with Gen. Chuck Yeager and test pilot Scott Crossfield, among others. She made those teenagers feel like they were the best in the world, that they could do whatever they dreamed. And many did.

The second occasion, was when her name was added to the Aviation Wall of Fame in Riverside, Calif., and my Cadets presented the colors at the ceremony. Different group of teenagers, same results.

She was a special person. A special woman who realized that the future of America was in encouraging the young people of today, to reach beyond the known to the unknown.

Virginia Walworth

Crescent City