Letters to the Editor Jan. 2, 2014

Written by Del Norte Triplicate Readers January 03, 2014 01:59 pm

Sutter practices warrant tax-exempt status loss

I would like to make local readers aware that many of the same problems we are having with Sutter Health have been experienced by other communities where Sutter Health operates. 

I am a member of the Alameda County Employees Retirement Association. In San Leandro, Sutter Health planned to close the hospital, but in the face of organized community opposition, Sutter donated the hospital and it remains open as an Acute Care hospital.

I also read in the Triplicate that some of our local politicians signed non-disclosure agreements, promising not to tell the public about information regarding the hospital, in order to be part of Sutter’s so-called “independent” study on the future of the hospital. Is that even legal, elected officials agreeing to not inform the people that elected them to represent us?

Sutter Health, your secrecy needs to stop. You hold closed Board meetings, you make public officials sign non-disclosure agreements, and in the last two years, you have held a total of one “public” meeting, accessible only over the Internet. When last year’s hospital chief of staff, Dr. Greg Duncan, spoke up to inform the public, you censured him.

Sutter Health is a public benefit, tax-exempt charity, yet it pay its executives millions of dollars per year, operates in closed Board rooms, and excludes the public from decisions which affect our health. Sutter also pays no property or corporate tax on the hospital to our county. Read the Dec. 12 New York Times article by Elisabeth Rosenthal to learn more.

Let’s right this wrong, beginning with revoking Sutter’s tax-exempt status. Please write a brief letter to the State Board of Equalization, P.O. Box 942879, Sacramento, CA 94279, asking for a review of Sutter’s tax-exempt status in light of its actions in our county and statewide.

Finally, don’t be fooled by Sutter’s delay in taking ownership (“regionalizing”) the hospital — it made it clear its decision to delay the takeover is temporary and non-binding. 

Connie Morrison, Crescent City

Health district actually fighting for hospital

The headline on the front page of the Dec. 28 Triplicate (“District still firm against hospital”) is worse than misleading. It is factually incorrect.

Our Healthcare District Board is not now, nor has it ever been, against our hospital. Just the opposite. It has been fighting mightily to save our hospital. What it is against is Sutter Health Corporation’s efforts to destroy our hospital as we know it and convert it into a Critical Access facility. 

While we are on this subject, I want to say that I have a lot of respect for and am proud of our District Board and at least three members of our Board of Supervisors for recognizing Sutter Health Corporation’s “strategic options study” for what it was and choosing not to participate in that farce. 

Clif Shepard, Crescent City

Suspect's employer doesn't seem relevant

Regarding the December 24 article about Matthew Honeycutt and his arrest (“Stabbing results in 1 arrest”), why is it necessary to state who his employer is?

I have read many articles within the Triplicate about assaults that make no mention of an employer of either party involved.

Maybe this paper should stick with only the pertinent information about the incident, while leaving out all the unimportant drivel.

Scott Taylor, Crescent City