Del Norte Triplicate Readers

American ingenuity could make tunnel idea work

In regard to Larry Fortier's response ("Japanese construction is no model for us to follow") in the Dec. 31 Triplicate to my "tunnel" suggestion for Last Chance Grade ("Tunneling is best way to get around Last Chance," Dec. 24), he is right to an extent.

Most of the Japanese tunnels were built in the mid- to late-mid-20th century and have had their problems. I understand the more modern ones are of much better quality, like the train tunnel built after the Osaka World Expo 1970, which runs the length of the Rokko Mountains (about 6 miles) for the Shinkansen Densha (bullet train), along the north of Kobe, near where I used to live. It survived the nearby 7.2 Richter scale earthquake in 1995 just fine, even though an offshoot of that quake ran right through the southern base of those mountains, cutting some of them like butter.

Mr. Fortier's comment on Japanese tunnels is somewhat moot, as those tunnels were built with 20th century Japanese technology and care for quality. The tunnel I propose would be built with 21st century American technology and care for quality. I hope there is a world of difference there.

The thing that Japanese tunnels have done and the one I am proposing would do is preserve a lot of the environment. No cutting of trees, no desertification from a wide scar running through the forest and no barrier to animals. That is the way to go, in my thinking, instead of scarring the land with a longer surface highway.

Ronald Thompson,Crescent City

Lack of local hospital would hurt real estate

Before retiring, I owned and operated Del Norte Realty for 25 years. There was always a significant portion of my business that came from people who were looking for a nice place to retire.

One question regularly asked by these potential new residents was about the health and medical facilities available in the county. I can't imagine having to say that we really don't have a hospital here. If you own real estate in Del Norte County and are waiting for that market to recover, don't hold your breath!

Without a doubt in my mind, I can assure you as a former real estate professional, the decision to downgrade our hospital facility will have a negative effect on those people looking for a nice town to retire in and that affects all businesses, most of which are just getting by.

Shame on you, Sutter Coast. Just another example of money taking the No. 1 priority over the welfare of the community.

It's the same old corporate attitude. More money, more money, more money. Time for the leaders of this community to really do something! We'll see!

Greg Forsht,Crescent City