E & P: Special sections are due, including ’64 flashback

By Richard Wiens, The Triplicate March 05, 2014 11:22 am

The birthing process is under way at the Triplicate for a couple of special sections that will be in readers’ hands by the end of the month.

The semi-annual Coast Vacation Guide will sport a new name and a new design when it appears March 29. Soon after that, Go Wild Rivers Coast will have a companion when the Triplicate and the Curry Coastal Pilot launch a mobile apps platform carrying the same name. It’ll be brimming with regional information for travelers and locals alike.

By the way, in the printed guide and the mobile apps, we’ll be welcoming Bandon to the north and Orick to the south into what we call America’s Wild Rivers Coast.

Even sooner on March 22, we’ll publish a special section commemorating the 50th anniversary of the tsunami that devastated Crescent City on March 27–28, 1964.

You’ll be hearing a lot about that anniversary in the coming weeks. On the very day that the special section makes its debut, organizers will be conducting walking tours of tsunami-related points of interest and the harbor will cut the ribbon to celebrate its new docks, rebuilt after the 2011 tsunami.

At triplicate.com, we’re currently asking people how they feel about Crescent City’s connection, a half-century later, to the 1964 disaster. As of Monday, 56 percent of respondents said the city has fully recovered, and any current ills are due to issues other than the catastrophe. Forty-four percent feel the city has never fully recovered, and some of its current ills can still be tied to ’64.

The survey also says ….

Before going into some other recent results, here are a couple of reminders: The website “poll” is not a scientific survey. Ballot box-stuffing is difficult, because only one response is accepted from a particular computer for a particular question. And this being part of the “worldwide web,” there’s no way of knowing where people are responding from, so the results don’t reflect the views of just Del Norters.

On to the numbers. Regarding California’s drought, most respondents (524 or 61.6 percent) believe it’s the result of cyclical weather patterns that have nothing to do with global warming, while 326 (38.4 percent) believe it’s connected to global warming and we can expect more drastic weather changes ahead.

From Jan. 14 to 28, we asked if the Board of Supervisors should support the effort to withdraw Del Norte County from California and place it in the proposed new state of Jefferson. A significant majority of respondents (946 or 81.3 percent) said “yes,” while 218 (18.7 percent) said “no.” Ultimately, of course, supervisors have taken a middle ground, approving an advisory vote of all Del Norters who cast ballots in the June primary.

Censorship? Hardly

“BLATANT CENSORSHIP BY TRIPLICATE EDITOR” reads the subject line of an emailed letter that appears elsewhere on this page. Writer Jay Chernak takes issue with my decision to reduce the number of letters the Triplicate prints about the Sutter Coast Hospital controversy.

In turn, I take issue with some of what Chernak wrote. If you think we’re censoring people on this issue, type “sutter coast” into the search engine of triplicate.com and see what you find.

He refers to my “new policy of not printing letters regarding our hospital in the paper any longer (only the few he hand-picks).” Actually the new policy is to reduce the number of letters that repeat the same basic statements. After printing dozens and dozens of such letters, I’m going to put the emphasis on missives that cover new ground in the issue of the hospital possibly down-sizing and “regionalizing.”

Chernak also complained about my editing of his Feb. 22 letter, “Keep fighting Goliath to protect our hospital.” It arrived at 647 words and got trimmed to a little under the 400-word limit. Part of what was cut involved his contention that the hospital belongs to the county, not to Sutter Health Corp.

That remains a common contention that ignores a legal settlement between Sutter Health and the Del Norte Healthcare District reached last July. In it, the district acknowledged “that Sutter Health has been the sole general member of Sutter Coast Hospital, with the right to exercise control over it, since its inception.” It also states: “The District admits that Sutter Health has the right, in its discretion, to consolidate or sell Sutter Coast Hospital, to change the number of beds or scope of services, or to execute any other lawful disposition of Sutter Coast Hospital.”

The ownership question seems to be part of the old ground that we’ve been treading for two years. There’s plenty of new ground that letter-writers are welcome to address as the hospital issue continues to play out.