Letters to the editor Oct. 2, 2013
Written by The Curry Coastal Pilot   
October 01, 2013 08:25 pm

A gift for the future

I want to thank all of the readers for allowing me this opportunity to reach out to you — my friends, patients and acquaintances — in a spirit of trust and compassion, to convey my thoughts in support of the ballot measure in November to replace Curry General Hospital in Gold Beach. 

We are here remotely on this beautiful Southern Oregon coast and are asked to consider a sacrifice of our time and treasure to be gifted to our future. This is no easy request to good folks who may have serious and thoughtful reservations, a request from me and the many fine people that endeavor to this end. 

As a Board Certified Family Physician for 25 years working in a full range of care in rural America, I have a special voice. I respectfully request that your strongest consideration and consent be given to building our new hospital for the citizens of Curry County. 

The simple facts are that medicine is changing rapidly. The facility that is tasked with the overarching need to deliver the quality care that citizens of this county deserve is in dire need of replacement. The ability to recruit and retain quality health care providers, to provide basic and enhanced modern medical care will require a new facility. Of this, there is no doubt. 

Our hospital will be your health care home. Health is your greatest wealth and is a worthy investment. Please join me in making this a reality. 

Carlin D. Utterback, M.D. Gold Beach

Ask a canadian

I want to personally thank Dr. Tom Brand for introducing the health care documentary movie to us last Wednesday night at the Senior Center. We had the opportunity to view the Canadian system firsthand through the eyes of their people.

This system speaks for itself; what a better way for us to learn if not through a system that has been in place for 50 years. Some of you like me would have argued with the idea of socialized medicine. All I ask is to research all you can about their system or, better yet, ask a Canadian.

I worked in the healthcare system for over 20 years and dealt with the beginning of the HMOs. That was not a pretty program; the greed oozed out of everyone in the program. Greed and fear can be a driving force in any new program — greed from those who organized the program and fear from the patients about change.

The best part of the movie was when they asked the Canadians if they thought their neighbor should have equal insurance as they have, with out hesitation every one of them said Yes.

We need so desperately to gain back our humanity for one another. I have said many times we would not allow an animal that is hurt to wander the streets without care. How can we as Americans let this happen any longer?

Thank you again, Dr. Tom Brand, for the eye-opening movie.

Ginger Doherty

Brookings

BHCT, CPP SHOWS A-OK

With a “gaggle of ghosts” in Harbor and “monster mayhem” in Brookings, it’s been a spooky experience at Brookings Harbor Community Theater and Chetco Pelican Players for theater-goers! 

The Canterville Ghost by BHCT had a real English Ghost (well, er, played by a Brit, Tony Hobbs). Brindel Stubbs did a fine job as a prim English housekeeper, Mrs. Umney. Then Shawna Lynn as the medium Madame Balaclava. Very eccentric and utterly funny! Alia Graves and Kendra Kauffman were a blast as two very precocious American kids. Good show all ’round. 

Now to the CPP’s “Young Frankenstein.” This show is still running and it’s a blast. It’s a musical. It’s a comedy. We’ve got a couple of fine singers, and the rest have a bit of a struggle, but do we care — NO! WHY? Because the story, the sets, (awesome!) and, most of all, the energy of the players just fill the house with positive vibes! This is Brookings, not Broadway, so give ’em a break. 

Karen de Lucca pushed for this play and it was worth the angst. Great show — go and see it! Last show Sunday, October 13. 

Jan Marney 

Brookings

It’s the law; move on

I feel compelled to respond to the letter in the Saturday, Sept. 28 Pilot regarding yet another rant on “Obamacare.” 

This law was passed by Congress, signed into law by the president, and litigated all the way to the Supreme Court. It is the law. We need to move on! 

(The letter writer) supports her position by referring to comments she overheard at a local chiropractor’s office. If people are receiving notification from their health insurance companies that they will not continue coverage past January, they can shop the State Insurance Exchange required by “Obamacare” to purchase a new policy, probably for a lower premium than they are currently paying. 

As to her argument about “job destruction,” long before this law, employers have been limiting the number of employees and restricting their hours to avoid providing them with health insurance. This is not a new concept in response to the ACA (Affordable Healthcare Act). 

Donna Marcelino 

Brookings

Nearing end-of-life

I moved to Gold Beach in 2009 when my wife accepted a position in the laboratory at Curry General Hospital, then spent several weeks looking for employment in a small town where we were strangers. 

I met many nice people, but received no job offers. Close to having to move to support my family with two incomes, I was fortunate to find employment with Curry Health Network. I’ve since become intimately familiar with issues faced at the hospital. 

The facility has core elements that are nearing end-of-life, with parts increasingly harder to find. While possible to upgrade some components, it would be highly cost-prohibitive in the current facility. Since the hospital was built in 1951, there have been many changes in building design and regulations. While not unsafe, it is inefficient and costs to replace older systems combined with the need to meet current code would likely exceed the cost to replace the hospital. 

I am concerned that if the hospital is not replaced, we will face the worst possible scenario. If not replaced before mid-2016, immediate closure is threatened due to lack of compliance with current building codes and standards. 

The immediate impact to the community at that point is obvious; long-term is more ominous. Some of the 139 employees may find work, but most would need to relocate. The ripple effects of that would be far-reaching and dire. 

I urge you to give thoughtful and informed consideration to this issue vital to the future of our community. 

Mike Drummond

Gold Beach

innovative, ingenious

Once again, the Chetco Pelican Players have put on another great performance.

Their latest production “Young Frankenstein” is well directed by Karen De Lucca, assisted by Lon Goddard, and is perfectly cast.

The stage sets are always outstanding, and the many set changes on this production are no exception with innovative backdrops and ingenious design.

Frankensteen, oops, Frankenstein, runs through Oct. 13.

Do see it and support our talented Pelican Players who devote many hours of rehearsals to entertain us.

Barbara Wieneke

Brookings

We’ll Lose Life Flights

I am proud to say I have lived in Gold Beach for almost 40 years, raised two children and have owned and managed a business. 

It has always been my husband’s and my dream to retire here and enjoy the all recreation our area has to offer. For us, and seniors like us, we need adequate health care, which includes general physicians and specialists.

I see the upcoming hospital measure as the single most important decision our community will make for many years to come. Bottom line, your vote will determine whether our town has a hospital/ER room and Cal-Ore Life Flights! With a modern hospital, we will attract more families, and seniors. We will then be equipped to hire and retain physicians. 

Question: What is wrong with our existing hospital?

Answer: Does not meet code — In 2016 our hospital threatened with closure.

Question: Why not have just an emergency room and Cal-Ore Life Flights?

ANSWER: Oregon law requires that every emergency room must be part of a hospital. Cal-Ore Life Flights can only be ordered by an emergency room.

No hospital = no emergency room = no Cal-Ore Life Flights from Gold Beach!

If you love our community and want it to thrive, this is something we all need to gather together and get passed! This is a community issue, not a political issue! 

Here’s to Curry County and saving Curry General Hospital!

Laurie Van Zante

Gold Beach