Stop the carnage

I would support an ordinance, law, etc., to create a minimum age of smartphone ownership to 21. Far too many teens die every day while texting and driving and this carnage must stop now.

Jeff McMoran

Brookings

Where to start?

This child, David Hogg, needs a trip to the woodshed, or at least get his mouth washed out with soap.

The bubble created for this child is happening across our nation, thinking at 16 or 17 years and one horrific episode in their life makes them experts on how to fix it. You will enter a real world...one that may not think you walk on water. Cars, knives, pressure cookers, U-Haul trucks, bombs, hammers. Where do you stop...Or start?

Thomas Jefferson, in 1776 wrote “no man shall ever be barred the use of arms within his own lands or tenements.” He also stated “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.”

While gun control can be argued on many levels, a thought is, individual gun ownership is the best way to oppose hypothetical tyrants. It can also be argued that with the prevalence of media attention on gun violence, causing fear and instability within society, thereby creating a perfect breeding ground for a tyrant to exploit.

Our forefathers stipulated five rules:

•Registration of our weapons.

•Right to carry.

•Retreat until you can retreat no more… then stand your ground.

•Safe storage.

•Loyalty oath.

Fact — Guns are banned in Britain. As of September 2017 there were 37,443 murders by knife, 6,694 by gun. Point being, when crazy people want to do damage, create fear and panic… they will.

Sharon Henry

Gold Beach

Bringing to light

Re: Saturday’s article muckraking our garbage problem — very revealing. We gave our problem to China, and then we wondered how we suckered them into that deal. LOL. The tables are turned now, because we never had a plan in the works for getting rid of our garbage, plastic and recycling.

Industry does not thrive with uncertain rules or rules that are disappearing. Recently, I have carried loads of recycling to CTR and been unable to find any room there in the bin. But there is some good news.

Scientific research to promote recycling and protect our environment from pollution has never been as neglected as now. But there is good news in the biochemical world, if only there were a budget to develop it. A plastic eating bacteria has been discovered, that could digest all our unwanted plastic in landfills. Maybe even in the ocean.

Also, there are recipes for edible plastics, made of wheat or soy, which can be eaten along with your picnic, or delivered to farms and fed to animals. There are toothbrushes made of wood or bamboo. We don’t even need to see plastic anymore. Where is the budget for this?

Thank you, Jane, for bringing this tragic failure of government to light.

Kathryn Justman

Brookings

That’s the story

A letter about our recent March for Our Lives said that some of the printed signs showed that the march was “astroturfed.” What even is that? Why do some assume those who disagree with them are aliens or imposters?

As one of the main organizers of this march, please note that I am not any kind of “turf”; nor are our neighbors from Indivisible. We are just your neighbors who disagree with existing gun policies, and you, if you uphold them. Please stop by the Democrats office any weekday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. to meet real, local gun control activists and see our memorial wall for the dozens of children killed since 1999 while just trying to to to school.

As to the lack of clarity about what the march stood for, please note, your neighbors for sane gun laws roughly agree on these things (not prohibit all guns). Ban assault weapons and those allowing multiple rounds of bullets to be fired rapidly without reload; 2) License citizens to own and use guns only after education, testing, insurance and licensing; 3) Adoption of longer waiting periods before purchase of guns so background checks can prevent sales to people with mental illness, batterers and those who exhibit violent behavior towards others. And 4) Raise the age of gun ownership to 21 unless the user can show exceptional proficiency (e.g., returning service persons).

That’s our story, without any “turf,” astro or otherwise.

LauRose Felicity

Curry County Democrats

On March 29, Sutter Coast Hospital Administrator Carlos Priestly told the Del Norte Healthcare District board that CEO Mitch Hanna is recommending another provider replace EmCare Holdings to staff its emergency department.

“I’m not at liberty to disclose the specifics, but I want people to be aware we’re taking it quite seriously; we’ve done our due diligence,” Priestly said. “We’ve met with a number of different groups and we’re at a point where perhaps we can take the next step. and the next step would be executing a contract with an emergency medicine group — a different group.”

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra alleges in the lawsuit the hospital giant engages in anticompetitive conduct that drives up prices for patients and employers. Sutter Health is based in the California Bay Area and owns 24 hospitals, which reported net income of $893 million last year on $12.4 billion in revenue.

“It’s time to hold health care corporations accountable,” Becerra said at a news conference March 30. “We seek to stop Sutter from continuing this illegal conduct.”

A 2016 study found that hospital prices at Sutter and Dignity Health, the two biggest hospital chains in California, were 25 percent higher than at other hospitals around the state. Researchers at the University of Southern California said the giant health systems used their market power to drive up prices, making the average patient admission at both chains nearly $4,000 more expensive.

Last week, researchers at University of California-Berkeley issued a report that examined the consolidation of the hospital, physician and health insurance markets in California from 2010 to 2016. The authors said 44 of California’s 58 counties had “highly concentrated” hospital markets.

The problem is worse in Northern California, where medical procedures are often up to 30 percent higher there than in Southern California, which has more competition. An estimated 30 percent of south Curry County residents visit Sutter Coast rather than Curry General Hospital in Gold Beach, and bring with them tens of millions of dollars to the out-of-state nonprofit.

That nonprofit status has come into question, as well, with some suggesting Sutter might be violating tax code by not operating for charitable purposes. Sutter officials have stated in the past, however, they have written off millions of dollars in charitable losses for patients who can’t pay for services.

Gold Beach resident David Barnes suggested the board send the letter to the Oregon Attorney General, noting once the case enters litigation, the letter will be moot.

“It’ll be too late to the dance,” Barnes said. “It’s not going to get you a compromise (with Sutter Coast). It’s not going to get them to come back to the table. They had that opportunity all last year. That ship has already sailed. The only thing you’re going to get is a good giggle out of them.”

Commissioners agreed, noting that it might be more appropriate to involve the Oregon Attorney General’s office and let them know how the situation is affecting south coast residents.

Boice said he’d prefer to send the letter to the California Attorney General — or back out of the situation altogether. He cited California Gov. Jerry Brown’s stance of allowing sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants and letting felons out of prison early among the reasons he feels good decisions aren’t being made there.

“We don’t want to do anything to push them over the edge,” Boice said. “We don’t want to lose that hospital.”

But Gold noted Sutter Coast has done nothing to address the problems of high bills, nor posted costs for basic procedures or addressed other malfeasances patients allege.

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