Letters to the Editor Jan. 28, 2014

By Del Norte Triplicate Readers January 29, 2014 02:33 pm

Research needed before decision to breach lake

I and members of the Friends of Del Norte have concerns about breaching Lake Earl during this period of severe drought, which is on the Board of Supervisors agenda today.

This morning the supervisors will be voting on a staff recommendation to breach the Lake Earl Lagoon in mid-February. The staff recommendation to breach offers absolutely no data or analysis of what is at stake.

If you live near the lagoon and have a well, we urge you to come share your thoughts with the supervisors. If you have experiences or records regarding your well levels, please bring them. The item will come up soon after 10 a.m. today.

We urge the supervisors to at least delay their vote, so we can all benefit from the most recent and best information available.

On Jan. 16, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted that the drought will “worsen” and likely continue through April. A lot of other information is out there and should be studied before making this decision.

The lagoon may play a role in supporting groundwater (and well) levels for people living near its edge. Apparently the county has no information about how hundreds of coastal plain wells may be impacted by breaching the lagoon, thus lowering its level by 4 feet. A big gamble is being contemplated here.

Given that last year was the driest year on record, the lagoon water level has reached only 6 feet. In a normal winter, it would have reached 8 feet or more and have been breached to the ocean by late December or early January.

We are concerned for the people of our community, as well as for the wildlife that are concentrating around this precious water source. Almost all of the dune ponds are dry, which I have never seen before, and so deer, elk, birds and other creatures have few places to access water.

I live on the coastal plain and my shallow dug well is at 5 feet. Normally in winter it is at least 14 feet. This is the lowest my well has ever been in winter by a long shot.

Check your well and call or email your supervisor. Call me at 487-4300 if you have any information or concerns about your well level.

Don Gillespie, Fort Dick, President, The Friends of Del Norte 

Can't imagine impact of downsizing hospital

My name is John Briner and I own a home in Gasquet. I just recently on Jan. 6 had a real-time experience with the Sutter Coast Hospital emergency room. I have had numerous admissions to the ER as I’m a type 1 diabetic, with a heart condition called atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and numerous complications from my diabetes. I’m 58 years young and thanks to EMTs Caleb Gasche and Janette Murray, who stopped me from panicking, among other issues, pilot Rick Susavilla of Cal-Ore Life Flight and its entire crew, and the Adventist Heart Institute in Saint Helena, I am here today.

I’ve been reading the articles and opinions about Sutter Coast. I heard that Adventist and Asante (owner of Rogue Regional Medical Center, Three Rivers Hospital and Ashland Community Hospital) are interested in operating a hospital here in Del Norte County.

As someone whose life depends on a good local hospital, I can’t imagine downsizing our only hospital, especially when we have other hospital systems interested in our area. Sutter Health focuses on health care in big cities. Rather than allowing Sutter to downsize our local hospital and transfer patients to other areas, why not find a partner who specializes in rural health care?

Based on my experience, both Asante and the Adventist system would be excellent partners. Instead of allowing Sutter to end our local ownership and full-service status, and transfer hospital ownership to San Francisco, why not partner with a hospital system that will focus on maintaining or expanding services and is actually in our region?

I appreciate how four of the five Healthcare District members continue to advocate on our behalf for a full-service hospital. Can they work with the county supervisors to expand, instead of cut, medical services in our region?

For our residents and tourists, let’s work together to improve our medical services.

John H. Briner Jr., Gasquet

Leave management of hospital in local hands

After reading the pros and cons in Tuesday’s Opinion page along with everything else printed or posted during the last year, email, newspaper or on line, about our hospital changing to Critical Access, now the confusion is starting to make more sense.

Our Dr. Greg Duncan has lived his professional life in Crescent City serving our health needs as well on the Sutter Coast Hospital’s Board of Directors and is the most well versed on what’s going on. Even though the parent organization, Sutter Health, is nonprofit, the top executives make salaries in the millions as our good doctor has pointed out, and see a chance to profit with higher salaries by making this change.

Please let’s leave the management of our fine hospital in local hands with doctors and local boards that know our needs the most.

Bill and Carlina Horn, Crescent City

Republican agenda to produce cheap labor

How smart do you have to be to figure out why the political party that wants to do away with minimum wage, labor unions and assistance for those in need would also advocate doing away with birth control for all, but most assuredly for those not able to pay from their own pocket?

Think of the places in the world our business leaders go to fill their labor needs, especially non- or low-skill. Over-populated Third World nations whose women have no access to birth control. Is that what they are trying to do here in the United States of America?

That’s what you are supporting if you feel only those with money can be allowed to decide the number of children they can take care of, and insist all others abstain from sexual activity. This will result in the supply of those desperate to work for any amount to increase, then maybe they will bring manufacturing back to this country.

Not only business profits from this desperate group, but think of all the billions of dollars nonprofit organizations get us to donate each year to take care of the starving around the world born to those who cannot take care of their basic needs.

Check the take-home pay for CEOs of these charities. Do they 
really want to put a stop to unwanted births? Think of the tax dollars you contribute to take care of children born here only because the parents couldn’t afford or had no access to birth control.

Does anyone else think it interesting it is men who write all these rules women are asked to live by? Women are to remain “pure” and untouched or be classified as irresponsible or trash while boys and men judge their manliness by how sexually successful and active they are. Women are directed in many religions to “submit” to their husbands while men without funds are provided with Viagra! Such an interesting world.

Just saying “no” works with even less effect in this area of life than it does for drugs and we know what a failure that idea has been. Perhaps it is time to demand our political and religious leaders to rethink how to make the world a better, fairer place. In the meantime, make sure you check the position of leaders to whom you give your support and vote.

Lois Munson, Crescent City