Letters to the Editor Jan. 24, 2013

By Del Norte Triplicate Readers January 25, 2013 02:06 pm

Del Norte better off without Sutter Health

I want to say thank you to Dr. Greg Duncan and the other physicians and community leaders who are working tirelessly to keep Sutter Health from further reducing the availability and quality of health care in our community.

I am concerned about the potential human cost to the citizens of Del Norte, should Sutter Health continue and succeed in its quest to regionalize Sutter Coast Hospital and downgrade it to a critical access facility.

There are countless medical scenarios where the delays involved in transporting patients out of the area could mean the difference between life and death. Family members whose presence with the patient is crucial for the patient’s treatment and recovery will also be heavily affected by increased out-of-area care.

Traveling the long distances to hospitals in other cities is a hardship for many and impossible for some. It’s also expensive for all, and prohibitive for many.

Many hospital positions have already been lost as a result of Sutter Health consolidating business services elsewhere. How many more jobs will be lost at the hospital and in the community if Sutter Health receives a green light to do as it pleases, without regard to the desires and needs of the community it partners with and serves?

The manner in which Sutter Health has been systematically and unilaterally reducing the availability of medical care to the citizens of Del Norte County is unconscionable.

The better choice for our community is to pursue contracting with a health corporation, such as Asante, that will expand medical services here, not downsize them.

Elizabeth C. Green, Crescent City

Wasn't advocating civil war, just warning us

Regarding the Jan. 22 letter “Enough with inflammatory statements about guns,” responding to my Jan. 17 Coastal Voices piece (“Yes, citizens do need large-capacity guns”), it saddens me to be accused of trying to foster a second civil war.

In 1979, I enlisted in the U.S. Army, and was honorably discharged in 1983. When I enlisted, I took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. I hold myself to that oath to this day. Unfortunately, most in political office don’t.

The Constitution was written so that the common man (with a small bit of education) could understand it. In it, there are processes to change it when the need arises. It was not meant to have its meanings changed by the winds of politics or political correctness. It was meant to put limits on the government, not give it power. Yet, little more than 200 years later, every one of the amendments in the Bill of Rights, and most of them since, have been marginalized or completely violated.

I don’t feel I am trying to advocate civil war. I was and am attempting to warn people of what may come to be. I do feel, it may be forced upon us all.

Al Lammers, Crescent City 

Gitlin right to ask how county spends its funds

I hope the community will allow Supervisor Roger Gitlin time to learn the ropes at the county. I believe he has every right to ask questions about how my county spends its funds. 

I am aware there is a group here in Del Norte County that would like to see only wild fish in the Smith. There should be a balance of wild and Rowdy Creek hatchery fish. 

Also, why is my county spending $3,000 for a single mother for day care? Also, if this mother has a drug problem, what is the county doing to help her with her drug problem? 

Maybe at the next meeting Roger needs to ask Gerry and Mike this question: “Is this woman going to school or getting her GED to help herself? Or is she becoming another case of a welfare mother?”

Maybe the Child Care Council should be looking at better ways to help both the mother and child.

Until we create jobs here the caseload of welfare mothers only grows.

Richard Miles, Crescent City

Huffman's views do not represent Del Norte

Regarding Mary Jo Kenny’s Jan. 22 letter (“Huffman’s position on issues can be found at website”) responding to my Jan. 17 letter (“Rep. Huffman refuses to disclose his positons”), after reviewing VoteSmart.org, I learned nothing of Congressman Huffman’s positions on current issues. I could infer from previous statements what they would be, but there was nothing since his taking office this month.

After my letter was published, I was contacted by a representative of the congressman, who was pleasant and helpful.

Here is what I deduced:

The congressman is 100 percent behind the president’s gun control efforts. The congressman does not support any budgetary cuts. The congressman supports federal funding of abortions performed by Planned Parenthood. Rep. Huffman’s opinions are shaped by the beliefs of his constituents in Marin and Sonoma counties, and Del Norte cannot expect to influence those opinions.

Dan Smith, Crescent City 

Synopsis of views on Del Norte fisheries

First, this opinion is not an attack on Zack Larson, local fisheries biologist. With regard to some recent articles, the following is my synopsis.

The pilings being placed in the inner boat basin of the harbor may subject coho salmon, green sturgeon, and steller sea lions to harmful affects? Hold on, in reference to coho migrating into Elk Creek, when did this begin? I would love to see that documentation of numbers and locations of those observations.

Being an older local in these parts, I can attest to knowing of cutthroat trout, some steelhead and smelt working up there, but coho?

Vibration from installing pilings may have some adverse affect on that migration? The only thing that will stop a fish from migrating is lack of water, predators, and complete blockage of the route.

Let me see a coho make it to the mouth of Elk Creek with the seal population this area has, i.e., visit the Chart Room for a glance.

As for the fish-counting station for our river, the questions of ulterior motives is justifiable. Here we have Mr. Larson and associates — what are and who are associates? This brings an old question, and forgive me for jumping around subjects, about Rowdy Creek Fish Hatchery.

Does that counting station know the difference between hatchery fish and wild? When was the last time you fishermen landed a hatchery salmon above Rowdy Creek? (But the numbers are great for further regulations).

Steelhead, well that is an interesting statistic. We will provide the Chetco with our fish with little concern, but release hatchery fish in the upper Smith, and you get the “associates” coming unglued. Show me the numbers of clipped fish being released, when (dates 2003 to 2012), and where they were placed in the Smith.

By the way, can someone tell me which wild strain of steelhead we had prior to 1967? You fish guides that love wild fish, need to gather some past history of our Smith River fishery. If and when the numbers show a depleted fishery, I propose our community should prepare for tourist float trips to see our pristine river and relieve yourself of ever fishing the Smith again.

Our river system is very healthy (above the gravel mining). We have many things that stand out, that being a beautiful harbor (in totality?), beautiful parks (access?), and a beautiful river (from a future distance?).

Tom Stewart, Gasquet