Del Norte Triplicate Readers

Execs paid millions as Sutter claims hardship

I would like to add my name to the thousands of local residents who are opposing the recent decision by Sutter Health and the Sutter Coast Hospital Board of Directors to downsize the hospital in order to qualify for higher Medicare payments under the federal Critical Access program. If Sutter Coast is permitted to downsize, there will only be 25 acute care hospital beds for the communities of Crescent City and Brookings.

I read that Sutter Coast CEO Linda Horn claims the hospital needs to downsize because it is losing money. But when the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors asked Sutter to release the hospital financial information so its claims of financial losses could be verified, the hospital refused to release the data.

Here are some facts that are publicly available. In 2012, parent organization Sutter Health reported $735 million in profits. In 2010, the top 28 executives at Sutter Health were paid more than $46 million in total compensation.

Should Sutter Health be allowed to cut Sutter Coast so that it can make even more money? If your answer is no, now is the time to voice your opinion.

The Del Norte Healthcare District Board is working to stop Sutter Health. Send the Healthcare District a letter of support at 550 E. Washington Blvd., Crescent City, CA 95531.

Dale Coleman,Brookings

Good for CVS choosing not to sell tobacco

I would like to comment on the courage of CVS Pharmacy to quit selling any tobacco - period. Hats off to you and to any future places that choose to follow suit.

I will make this brief. Why is it that tobacco items are even allowed to be manufactured in the United States at all? Most of us know that they do cause cancer and are harmful to your health. Is our government so greedy that it is looking over its shoulder thinking, "hmmm, we make a lot of money from the taxes that we get from tobacco even thought we know how dangerous and deadly tobacco is to people?"

And guess who won? The taxes. But yet they will remove cars, baby items, toys and other such things because they are harmful or dangerous to consumers.

Actually, the same goes with alcohol. If we, the public, were ever told just what percentage of people are permanently disabled or killed from these products, would we still want to pay the taxes on these products? And let the government collect these taxes for something so harmful to our health?

I wonder how much we spend on trying to find a cure for cancer, and I know every cancer is not caused from tobacco. But a good part is, and is preventable.

So, once again, I thank the stores in advance that will decide to stop selling this lethal weapon, tobacco. I hope a trend will get started. Maybe these young kids who get started on smoking should visit a cancer clinic devoted to smokers who are getting eaten up by it.

Be smart, kids, don't start. That is the best way to prevent it.

Nancy Wilson,Crescent City