Coastal Voices: Let's think big about Del Norte

By Velma Rinehart May 01, 2014 11:34 am

I loved Richard Wiens’ final editorial (“Appreciating Del Norte a Matter of Perspective,” April 17). The whole town and the Triplicate will sorely miss him and his wife, Neighbors editor Laura Wiens. 

The privilege we all have to live behind our “redwood curtain” is truly as you wrote a paradox. We have no paralyzing, stinking traffic, no 5-inch acrylic wall between us and our bank teller, and our children can play safely in our neighborhoods where we all look out for one another. 

In June of 2012 I had to spend 3 days at our Sutter Coast Hospital. The care was great, even my ER nurse brought me flowers, and the food was like a 5-star restaurant. I was quite pleasantly surprised. That brings me to the point of this letter. We live in such a beautiful location, but it is remote and hard to get out of. 

When we need to see a medical specialist we have that long drive to Medford or Eureka. Hospitals say they are “nonprofit” but come on people, everyone knows “health care” is big business. 

Instead of all this nonsense of downsizing our hospital we should be enlarging it, expanding it, adding more services, hiring more locals by bringing in teachers that can train our young people to be doctors and nurses and dieticians and maintenance engineers. 

Many hospitals are the size of small cities and very self sufficient. If we had such a full service facility here we locals wouldn’t have to travel for our own care (spending our dollars elsewhere), and people from all the surrounding coastal towns would come to Crescent City for their care, staying in our motels, eating in OUR restaurants, spending their money in our town. 

Wait, you say, We can’t get doctors to stay here because their wives get bored? Then lets make the town prettier and more interesting with better shopping and more art and cultural activities like Ashland and Newport with a darling old town port like Bandon. Let’s improve and remodel our town’s library, attract investors with financial incentives to build an amusement park by the sea. Lets get our cosmetology school up and running again. 

The older I get the less I like to drive any distance to get a service done for medical, beauty, or entertainment. Since we live in such a jaw-dropping beautiful location why can’t we bring these conveniences to our town, which will in turn bring jobs and revitalize our local economy? 

I’m quite worried if we don’t make these improvements we will lose a lot of our more stable population that needs constant better medical care and can’t make that long drive anymore. It would be quite a shame if this does turn into more of a coastal ghost town than it already is. 

I use to be a tour guide in the little gold rush town of Coloma. They were able to fill their storefronts in town by not charging a bundle of loot for rent. All they charged was a percentage of what the business earned per month. Keeping the rent affordable would encourage new business in opening up downtown. Is anyone listening? I’m full of ideas. 

Velma Rinehart is a resident of Crescent City.