Letters to the Editor May 31, 2012

By Del Norte Triplicate Readers June 02, 2012 12:00 am

McClure treats supporters’ money as she does taxpayers’

Elections are always the epitome of misrepresentations with the normal repeat list of cronies of which the editorials have adequately represented. If you follow the Triplicate ads one can only wonder what the other four supervisors did while Martha McClure was singlehandedly saving the county. Yet with all her accomplishments you have to question why is it that a 16-year incumbent feels the need to spend nearly two-and-a-half times the amount of her challenger ($16,200 to $6,700 as of May 18) in an effort to convince you that she is worthy.

Of course it could be she treats supporters’ money like she does taxpayers’ money. I have witnessed her assertion that if you don’t spend your allotted budget you won’t get it next year. What’s wrong with returning it to the county General Fund?

At the Tea Party forum she championed the right of freedom of speech in response to a question regarding Occupy Wall Street protestors. Yet when I attempted to address elected officials in a public meeting she not only continually interrupted me, but turned her back, then abruptly left the forum without comment only to return after I completed addressing the others and left the podium. This 16-year incumbent obviously feels that she does not need to respect or hear opinions from taxpayers, nor apologize for rude behavior.

One of McClure’s political tools if she doesn’t like something is to cause it to be studied to death or at least until the public loses interest (waste management, airport, etc.). This is a large reason why progress and development is slow in Del Norte.

For the last seven years I have been actively involved in county politics and I am not running for anything. I do believe in good government and am well aware how hard it is to get anything done in this county. Bill Gray’s DNA is that of a proven achiever and I believe he will put that work ethic to good use for Del Norte. He is not a politician and we need to break the mold of inadequate complacency.

Paul Dillard

Crescent City

 

Voters, be wary of GOP and Tea Party’s empty slogans

I am curious to know why people seem so susceptible to the empty slogans and shallow arguments of the Republicans and the Tea Party. Both nationally and locally we see this same pattern of negative, non-committal slogans and empty promises to “fix” our national, state and local governments.

Mitt Romney promises to “create jobs” without ever giving any details about how. Locally, Bill Gray says he will turn our county upside down without explaining to us how this could be a good thing, or how he will turn us right-side-up. Roger Gitlin says “let’s fix it” in relation to Del Norte’s economy, with no fresh ideas on what he will actually do for us. I think our voting public should be very wary of these naysayers, who paint a dismal picture of our leaders and governing bodies.

A classic example of my point is the May 22 letter to the editor from Samuel Strait, “The idea that government infrastructure can grow a community is fiction.”

He refers to “the widespread failure” of government entities in Del Norte County. But, he is not seeing some very large elephants in the room.  He gives zero credit to the educational requirements for good-paying jobs at Redwood National Park, Pelican Bay State Prison, Del Norte County Unified School District, College of the Redwoods, the U.S. Forest Service, the Highway Patrol and local police. Are these all “failed” government agencies that we can’t afford, with nothing for our young people to aspire to because “they now know that they no longer have to test their skills.”

 In some twisted rationale, we voting citizens should hope to replace these jobs with “the private sector.”

In a May 19 letter, “Let’s choose those who will promote our growth,” Mary Wilson claims we “continue to beg for handouts.”  Certainly we also need private enterprise, but where are the detailed statements on how to create more private businesses?

   Ask Martha McClure a question and you will get a detailed answer based on her commitment and leadership. Ask Leslie  McNamer a question and you will hear genuine concern based on collaboration with other leaders on the economic future of Del Norte. If Mr. Gitlin and Mr. Gray cannot give fresh economic solutions now, we cannot expect solutions later.

Vote for incumbents McClure and McNamer and take a stand for common sense in our local government.

Don Gillespie

Crescent City

 

Dire consequences loom if hospital loses local control

In 1986, my husband, Frances E. “Sonny” Hussey, donated 12 acres of land to Sutter Health Corporation to be used as a building site for a new hospital here in Crescent City.

He believed that hospital would always be controlled by this community that he loved, and Sutter Coast Hospital would always be run by a local Board of Directors.

Our hospital has always done well and Sonny was very proud to have helped build it. Now Sutter is trying to transfer control of our hospital to San Francisco and it refused to ask the community or hospital staff for their opinion.

Sutter is also considering reducing hospital services, which it calls “Critical Access.” Critical Access cuts the number of beds at our hospital in half and puts a limit on how long people can stay in the hospital. No doctor is even required to be on duty in the emergency room. When that small amount of beds are full, the rest of the people that need care will be flown out to another hospital.

I know that if Sonny was alive today, he would be fighting mad, as am I, to see what Sutter is considering. Sonny suffered from multiple health problems and knew people in our town that were also like himself. He felt that having a full-service hospital was of great benefit to Del Norte County, such as people that were considering retirement to our area would be more apt to come here if we had a nice new hospital, and I feel as if this has been proven to be true.

Beverly Hussey

Crescent City

 

30–40-year politcal dynasties unwise; vote for change in DN

First, a thank you to all the candidates who are running for office. You give us a choice. Most people do not realize the amount of time, energy and money it takes to run for office. Secondly, thanks to all those who serve in public office; most of the time you receive more negative comments than constructive criticism, or thanks for your efforts.

Reviewing our nation’s history, it is obvious that our Founding Fathers did not envision or recommend people serving in office for lengthy periods of time. They wanted people to serve for a while, and then let someone else serve.

Somehow, we have evolved into some dynasties that go on for generations that span 30 or 40 years. This was not the intent of our form of government, and it has caused a form of royal politician who does more harm than good. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I believe that power is like alcohol; some people can handle it, and others cannot.

It is time for a change in the status quo with our current supervisors. It’s time for a change! We have two challengers who have done their homework, and are prepared on the issues we face. Roger Gitlin and Bill Gray have a love of Del Norte, are familiar with the challenges, and bring a variety of competent experience and new ideas.

So, it’s off with the old and on with the new! Del Norte, change the agenda to a new one!

Calie Martin

Crescent City

 

Letter had innacuracy about WWI ‘In Flanders Field’ poem

Ed Fleshman is wrong on at least one point in his May 26 letter, “Vets died to keep you free — do your part to keep America free.” The beautiful poem “In Flanders Fields” has nothing to do with Americans.

It was written (and published) in 1915, two years before America entered World War I. The American cemetery wasn’t dedicated until 1918.

Jenny Mills

Crescent City

 

McClure a rock-solid citizen making DN better for all

I have lived in Del Norte County for 23 years and I still do not consider myself a local. However, during that time I have come to know some rock-solid locals who have spent a lifetime here trying to make Del Norte a better place for all citizens. I would count Martha McClure as one of these people and I strongly support her re-election as a county supervisor.

As a teacher, Martha has been a tireless advocate for our children. As a co-owner of a contracting business, she knows the importance of private industry for our community. As a county supervisor she has helped move the ball forward on many projects of benefit to the county and advocated for all county residents. As a daughter, mother and aunt, Martha has raised three successful children in Del Norte County and has been a supportive member of a storied local clan.

In contrast, her opponent comes off like a Johnny-come-lately who seems to think he is entitled to be an instant big fish in a little pond. He also does not seem to have any concrete plans. Other than to claim Martha’s seat on the Coastal Commission is irrelevant and a “conflict of interest,” despite the fact that those who understand the workings of the county disagree; or to claim that somehow the county can sue itself into solvency; or to suggest that he can mystically create private enterprise  here regardless of the subsidized loans and block grants the county has used to do just that. I have not heard a logical alternative from Mr. Gray.

I do not know Mr. Gray, but I do know Martha. Martha and I do not always see eye to eye, but when we do not she has always respected my point of view. I trust Martha and I know she does her homework and seeks to build consensus over logical solutions to local problems. As far as I can see, there is no reason to replace a hardworking local official who has a proven track record of success.

John Murphy

Crescent City

 

Del Norte needs fiscally conservative people in office

Our government has us so deep in debt that the enormity of it is hard to imagine. Fifteen-trillion dollars? How much is that? I figure if you could count a thousand million dollars in a day, and you did that every day, seven days a week, for 41 years, you would be close to fifteen-trillion.

The most troubling thing about it, is our government keeps adding to it. The so-called reductions it talks about are not reductions of the debt at all; they are just decreases in the rate of additions to the debt. The debt continues to grow. Will it ever be paid off?  Think of your grandchildren. And their children. And their children. Will history refer to us as the generation that ruined this country?

To have any chance of saving this country and the services it provides, we desperately need to elect some fiscally conservative people.

The presidential election process being what it is and the state population distribution being what it is, we pretty much have to concede that office to the big city folks. Locally, we have a different situation. Del Norte County has a lot of good conservative people. We need to vote some more of them into office.

Clif Shepard

Crescent City

 

We hope local hospital Board will prevent facility’s ruin

Thank you for keeping readers up to date about Sutter Coast Hospital. We retired here 14 years ago, and while it was the ocean and the redwoods that drew us, it was the hospital that cemented our choice.

We understand that in Lakeport, where Sutter Health recently implemented regionalization and changed Sutter Lakeside Hospital to a Critical Access facility, reducing the number of beds from 69 to 25, laying off 50 percent of employees, and resulting in patients being transferred by air ambulance to distant facilities at the patients’ expense.

This area has many retirees and opportunity for more in future, we believe. Our hospital should to be able to grow as needed over time. Retirees contribute to the economy and the good of the community in many ways.

We wonder how facilities such as Addie Meedom House would cope if Sutter Coast were reduced to a Critical Access facility. This is no light matter for all of us who live in this area. If conversion were to happen here, we may reluctantly feel the need to move for the sake of having local available medical care.

That our Hospital Board of Directors voted last November to relinquish local input into the future of our hospital by voting for regionalization, excluding physicians, Sutter Coast employees and the community from information and input before voting, is regrettable. We are thankful for Dr. Kevin Caldwell’s stand in casting the one dissenting vote and for Dr. Greg Duncan’s concern and determination in researching and drawing attention to the need for caution.

That he is being listened to and that others are now sharing his concerns seems positive. We hope that the local hospital Board will be open to rescinding its vote to regionalize if this proves to be best for our community.

Ronald, Donna Thompson

Crescent City