Triplicate Staff

Together at last: 'Star Wars,' 'regionalization'

During a presentation by Dr. Greg Duncan on the Sutter Coast Hospital controversy, the hospital's chief of staff poked fun at how Sutter Health executives have been referring to physicians who oppose "regionalization."

"The physicians have been termed the 'rebel alliance' by our CEO - that's how he refers to us when he talks to department managers. I'm not sure if he realizes that by that analogy, Sutter Health is the Death Star and the CEO would be Darth Vader, but he's the one that brought it up. I'm just carrying the analogy to the next logical step," said Duncan.

The doctor, who was once a self-described timid public speaker, has become quite comfortable with punchlines.

The forum was hosted by the Del Norte Tea Party Patriots.

- Adam Spencer

Special traffic advisories

Green hats, green beers and maybe some green faces - for those who drink too many, anyway.

The California Highway Patrol is advising people to take caution and plan for safe rides home for those Del Norte denizens celebrating St. Patrick's Day this weekend; whether it be designating a driver or boosting the local economy by hiring a taxi.

Then on Tuesday, Klamath-area drivers will get some special encouragement to buckle up.

The Yurok Tribal Police will be conducting a seat belt and child safety seat checkpoint on Klamath Blvd. Violators may be cited.

- Anthony Skeens

Consent agenda friction

County supervisors David Finigan and Roger Gitlin exchanged words Tuesday over an agreement with Siskiyou County that will enable it to continue a state-funded nutrition program.

The board voted 4-1 in favor of allocating $75,000 in State Department of Public Health money to Siskiyou for its Community Nutrition Expansion Pilot Project. Gitlin, who pulled the issue off the board's consent agenda for discussion, dissented.

Del Norte County administers a $250,000 California Department of Public Health grant that it shares with Siskiyou and Trinity counties to provide nutrition education and obesity prevention services to low-income families, said Health and Human Services Director Gary Blatnick.

Gitlin asked Blatnick to give the board a report on how effective the nutrition program has been for Del Norte. Blatnick said he was unable to do that.

"This isn't even our county and that's where I'm conflicted," Gitlin said, adding that he asked Blatnick for a report prior to the meeting. "I've read (the agreement). I've done some research. I've even called all five supervisors of Siskiyou County for their input because this affects them."

At that point, Finigan suggested Gitlin should have called him.

"I saw the e-mails and I saw the answer and it was spot on, and I'm not sure why you keep pulling stuff like this off the agenda," Finigan told Gitlin.

Gitlin said he wanted information so he could intelligently vote on the issue.

"Thank you, Supervisor Finigan, for your wisdom in telling me how I should do my due diligence," Gitlin said.

- Jessica Cejnar