Del Norte Tea Party Patriots

Liberty in the Northwest

03 October
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Candidate Debates Oct. 9th

The Del Norte County Tea Party Patriots is hosting a candidate debate on Tuesday Oct. 9th 2012 at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds, Arts and Crafts Building from 6 to 8 p.m.

We will be hosting the Del Norte County Supervisor 1st District race between Leslie McNamer and Roger Gitlin.  We will also be hosting the five candidates for the three city council race.  It is so important for all of us who vote to get a chance to hear from the candidates and to ask questions.

Nothing is more important to local government than those that will represent you in those positions of government.  Make sure the ones you vote for represent your voice and values.

24 July
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Doctors Letter to the Editor

4/25/12

ARE WE LOSING CONTROL OF OUR LOCAL HOSPITAL?

Dear Local Residents:

As an isolated community, we depend on our local hospital for many urgent medical needs. Did you know our access to the hospital is now at risk?

Last November, the local Board of Directors of Sutter Coast Hospital, at the request of Sutter Health Corporation, voted to dissolve itself. The oversight of medical care and hospital finances, which are now local functions, would be turned over to a Regional Board in the Bay Area, a process known as “Regionalization.” The 8-1 vote to Regionalize was made just two months after Sutter Health “offered” to Regionalize us. Chief of Staff Kevin Caldwell, M.D., the only elected member on the Board, cast the sole dissenting vote. Regionalization would end 26 years of local control of Sutter Coast Hospital.

Local physicians then held a meeting with the hospital Board of Directors to address the following concerns:

(1) The Board of Directors, against the strenuous objections of Dr. Caldwell, made a deliberate decision to exclude physicians, Sutter employees, and the community from any educational sessions prior to their decision to Regionalize.

(2) No information on Regionalization from independent sources was considered by the Board before their vote to Regionalize.

(3) The term of Board Chairman Andy Ringgold was extended by Sutter Health, in violation of our hospital bylaws, beyond his 9 year term, in order to implement Regionalization without a change in leadership.

(4) Sutter Health has refused to guarantee us any local seats on the Regional Board.

The Board of Directors has now agreed to temporarily put the Regionalization process on hold.

However,

Sutter Health is now seriously considering converting Sutter Coast Hospital into a small “critical access” facility, which would reduce our bed count from 49 to 25. Sutter’s consideration of critical access is based on their claims of potential future financial losses. Critical access benefits the corporation financially because all hospital costs are subsidized by the federal government. Yet, Sutter Coast has been profitable for 26 consecutive years, and profits have been deposited into the “Sutter Treasury” throughout this time. In 2010, Sutter Coast reported a net profit of $5.2 million, and an additional $5.8 million was reported as “inter-company transfers” to Sutter Health.

The critical access program was originally designed for hospitals with an average of 12 or less inpatients, in order to preserve access to care in small, remote hospitals. In Del Norte county, critical access would sharply decrease access to care.

What would critical access mean to us?

Sutter Health recently implemented Regionalization and critical access at Sutter Lakeside Hospital in Lakeport, a community and a hospital similar to ours. The staff at Sutter Lakeside told us the following:

(1) Due to critical access bed limits, 44 inpatient beds were eliminated, reducing bed capacity from 69 to 25. Now, four to five patients daily are being transferred by air ambulance to other facilities. The cost of the transport is the responsibility of the patient.

(2) Cancer patients previously treated at Lakeside have been denied admission and transferred elsewhere.

(3) Patients scheduled for elective surgery have been re-scheduled, due to bed shortages.

(4) Critical access limits the average patient stay to four days.

(5) Fifty percent of the employees at Sutter Lakeside, or 300 people, were laid off.

(6) Sutter Health was the first corporation in the nation to downsize a hospital in order to qualify for critical access designation.

What does Regionalization mean to us?

It means Sutter Health could convert our hospital into a critical access facility without any local input.

For more information on this issue, to leave comments, or to join a local group opposing Sutter’s plans, please contact Dr. Duncan at his office on 1200 Marshall St., Crescent City, (707) 465-1126.

Sincerely,

Gregory J. Duncan, M.D.

Chief of Staff

Sutter Coast Hospital

Kevin Caldwell, M.D. Larry Eninger, M.D. Anne Marie Duncan, M.D.

Mark H. Davis, M.D. David Cink, M.D. Sylvia Nash, M.D.

Donna Sund, D.O. Helmuth Vollger, M.D.

Don Micheletti, M.D.

24 July
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Doctors Fight for Local Hospital Control

Over 160 citizens of Del Norte County got together to listen to a panel of local doctors and others about the critical issue of local hospital control.  Almost 30 years ago our local hospital Seaside was purchased by Sutter Hospital system and renamed Sutter Coast Hospital.  It was later moved onto donated land onto Washington Blvd., but retained the name Sutter Coast Hospital.  Since the inception it has been overseen by a local board of directors, but today Sutter Hospitals wants to place our hospital under a regional board located in the bay area.

The panel of doctors lead by Dr. Duncan current Chief of Staff at Sutter Coast,  Doctors Davis and Caldwell brought to light what will happen if local control is lost.  The primary problem is loss of control over our local hospital to a regional board that does not know or understand our needs.  The second is the direction Sutter is taking our local hospital and that is towards becoming a “critical access status” hospital.

Critical Access Status is a federal program designed to give better access to medical services in rural area.  The idea is solid, with federal funding provide the money needed to take a limited service hospital or clinic up to a 25 bed facility and improve service to that area.  Now Sutter sees this as a way to fund our Sutter Coast Hospital and improve their bottom line and all it takes is to take the 74 bed facility down to a 25 bed facility.  This will of course mean the loss of service and jobs to Del Norte County.  Sutter did with in Lake County and their 600 employees were cut in half.  Lake County is now under served, but Sutter is making more money.  Sutter has not lost a dime since taking over Sutter Coast, but more is more.

Loss of local control will only speed this approach to critical access status and harm all those who live in Del Norte and Curry Counties.  We need and deserve to have a hospital that serves the needs of the community.  We want one that allows for long term care and recovery.  Under critical access average stay is limited to 4 days.  This means we will not have doctors that specialize in surgeries that require many recovery days in the hospital staying and working in our community.  They will have to live in and around a hospital that allows them to work and see their patents as they recover.

The Sutter Hospital in Lake County now ships out patents daily in order to stay critical access, but unlike Lake County their nearest hospital is only 30 minutes away, ours is 90 minutes or more.

I have attached the link to the meeting   http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF482D79BC030BAEE  and you can listen to the doctors as they explain it in their own words.  We must stand up and fight for what is best for our community and let Sutter know that we want local control and no “Critical Access Status”

24 July
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Supporting Rural America, Del Norte Style

By Liz Bowen

Support Rural America Publicist

Posted July 20, 2012

www.SupportRuralAmerica.com

All photos by Liz Bowen

 

From left to right: Humboldt Co. Sheriff Mike Downey, Tehama Co. Sheriff Dave Hencratt, Del Norte Co. Sheriff Dean Wilson, Siskiyou Co. Sheriff Jon Lopey, Modoc Co. Sheriff Mike Poindexter and Mendocino Co. Sheriff Tom Allman participated in a panel during Del Norte Support Rural America Sheriffs’ Event on July 14, 2012 in Crescent City, CA.

Northern California Sheriffs defend public safety

Crescent City, CA – Diverse economic problems and challenges face law enforcement, but in Northern California elected county sheriffs are doing something new by holding regional Town Hall-type meetings to communicate with their citizens. Powerful networking and a broadening of understanding is the result. But there is also an unexpected bonus: An increased respect for sheriffs protecting and working with citizens.

A fifth Support Rural America Sheriffs’ Event, held on July 14, 2012, was hosted by Del Norte County Sheriff Dean Wilson up in the far northern coastal corner of California. Previous regional events have been held in Siskiyou, Modoc, Trinity and Tehama Counties this year.

The next event will be hosted by Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds in Ukiah on Aug.18, 2012. Time is 10 a.m. Admission is free.

Del Norte Co. Sheriff Dean Wilson

Sheriff Wilson knows full well the implications of economic downturns and the resulting public safety concerns facing his citizens. In March of 2011, the devastating tsunami hitting Japan also took out Crescent City’s harbor infrastructure needed for small commercial fishermen. And government agencies have not been in a hurry to aid the re-building.

Finally, on July 11, 2012, a ceremony was held to celebrate the beginning of re-establishment of desperately needed docks – more than a year after nature’s destruction. Unfortunately, in the 21stcentury, there are many government agencies with numerous hoops to jump through. Yes, red-tape is humiliatingly slow.

Sheriffs with like-minded frustrations attended this Support Rural America Event from Northern California counties including Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey, Modoc County Sheriff Mike Poindexter, Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey and Tehama County Sheriff Dave Hencratt.

Sheriff Wilson welcomed the audience and began with a statement: “Our issue is public safety, which has always been and shall always be the paramount consideration for government.”

Each man firmly believes his role, as an elected sheriff, is public safety. With rural economies taking hit after hit from unwarranted, but fear-gripping environmental regulations, livelihoods and businesses are on a steep slippery slope downward. As jobs and salaries are lost, each sheriff is noticing an increase in drug and alcohol abuse; also in domestic violence; and abuses of children and the elderly. Problems resulting from a poor economy are now a public safety issue. Crimes are increasing.

Audience before the event.

Not only do elected sheriffs have the job of enforcing the law, but they are responsible for keeping their constituents happy with the job they are doing. Yes, it is a balancing act.

Sheriffs are uniquely an American tradition and these men have sworn with an Oath of Office to defend and protect their citizens “from all enemies, both foreign and domestic.”

Some bureaucrats in high levels of a few state and federal agencies are regulating activities that greatly affect life and livelihoods in rural areas. Citizens facing over-regulations feel attacked from newly-designed agency permits for legal irrigation water, timber harvesting or fishing rights. Escalating fees and gigantic fines are attached to the newly-written codes and regulations.

These sheriffs proudly appreciate the many state and federal agencies, which provide back-up and partnerships for a variety of serious situations. But, new to the equation are unbending over-regulations from environmental agencies stifling business and local economies dragging down revenues needed for public services.

Sheriff Wilson believes there is “hope” in standing on the Constitution as the “law of the land.” Additionally, the Bill of Rights protects liberties and freedoms for the individual. It is under the U.S. Constitution, where local governments are provided equal rights. So these men are speaking out, standing up and claiming their equality to the chagrin of a few government employees, socialists and leftists.

Sheriff Wilson praised his Del Norte County Supervisors for utilizing a legal process called “coordination” to demand equality from state and federal agencies. Through coordination state and federal policy must be “consistent” with local policy. Something Sheriff Wilson said has been ignored for decades.

“Congress recognized local communities and economies,” explained Wilson, when developing the coordination process.

Siskiyou Co. Sheriff Jon Lopey

Siskiyou Sheriff Jon Lopey spoke next lamenting that his county has so many things going on, “we are under siege” from over-regulations. Sheriff Lopey was willing to take the lead with several elected local fire and community districts in demanding federal agencies come to the table and do “coordination” government-to-government.

“There are policies that threaten and destroy rural America,” said Sheriff Lopey, who explained that in the 1970s there were 22 sawmills in Siskiyou County. “Now there are two partially functioning mills.”

Yet, the mountains are full of trees “10 times” the natural amount with fuel-loading extremely heavy – just waiting for decimation by catastrophic fire. Thinning the trees would provide a regional economy, bringing forests back to health allowing more water to flow into streams for fish. But environmental regulations have nearly stopped the harvest of timber.

Recently, Sheriff Lopey was slammed by the Huffington Post blogger Glen Martin, claiming Lopey was above the law, because he is demanding coordination with federal agencies on the potential removal of four well-functioning hydro-electric dams. These dams are situated 200 miles inland on the Klamath River. Eco groups and agency officials claim dam removal will aid salmon runs, which science and scientists can prove is not true, yet perpetuated by restoration grant-loving Non-Governmental-Organizations.

Modoc Co. Sheriff Mike Poindexter

Modoc County Sheriff Mike Poindexter and Tehama County Sheriff Dave Hencratt are also utilizing the “coordination” process addressing the U.S. Forest Service’s plans to reduce roads available for travel. Both sheriffs claim a significant amount of road miles are needed in the Forest Service managed lands for public safety and rescue. Recreationists continue to travel into the back country and there will be fires, natural and man-made, they explained. Both sheriffs said they must have access to and on Forest Service roads. Public lands cannot be closed to the public.

Tehama Co. Sheriff Dave Hencratt

 

Humboldt Co. Sheriff Mike Downey

Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey said, “We are a Republic. We are a country of a rule of law – not of a mob. We are not a Democracy,” bringing shouts and applause from the crowd of 300.

Sheriff Downey said tremendous environmental issues surround the illegal marijuana business and has asked the Environmental Protection Agency for help — to no avail. EPA officials told him the agency only addresses those situations with permits. Illegal pot grows have no such permits.

Then, Sheriff Downey explained there is a chemical used by pot growers, which is toxic and killing the mammal fisher, spotted owls and deer. He also sees huge amounts of silting and sediment washed into streams from the plowed up fields and pads created by the growers. He has reported it to federal agencies. Nothing has been done.

“We are asking you to stand with us,” said Sheriff Downey to the audience, which verbally agreed, rising to their feet in yet another ovation.

Mendocino Co. Sheriff Tom Allman

Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman was last in speaking, but not least in passion. He first mentioned this is “not a political year” for the sheriffs involved in these Support Rural America Events. So there is no campaign agenda. Next he said, “We are not going to trample the rights of the citizens we are sworn to protect. We will not turn away from enforcing the law.”

The year 2011was a watershed year for Sheriff Allman, who said pot growing in his county was out of control and he needed help. It is truly a global business, as he explained many arrests have been made on citizens from 14 other countries. Needing more law enforcement support, Sheriff Allman called up neighboring sheriffs and suggested putting together a multi-county Marijuana Eradication Task Force. They did. In just three weeks, more than 632,000 marijuana plants and 57,000 pounds of trash was found and removed by the county sheriff departments.

Sheriff Allman has invited neighboring Constitutional Sheriffs to the sixth Support Rural America Sheriffs’ Event on Aug. 18, 2012 in Ukiah. It is too early to have received confirmation from sheriffs, but if possible they do attend providing needed support. Also, conservative-type of citizens and Tea Party Patriots are so enthused over these sheriffs, some are becoming “groupies” attending as many events as possible. Friendships and networking is expanding.

Solutions to the myriad of over-regulations are evolving and have not yet been found for many issues, but through these Town Hall meetings a “we can do it” attitude is emerging.

After stating, “We will never, never ever give up,” Del Norte Sheriff Dean Wilson took a deep breath, smiled and finished with, “Just look at what we can do together.”

Youtube videos were completed by Phil at State of Jefferson Podcast.com and will also be available on the SupportRuralAmerica.com website, where more information about Constitutional Sheriffs and previous events can be found.

21 June
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Dr. Houser responds to Lynch letter in local paper

Klamath Science-Informed Decision Making Process Needs Improvement

Dr. Paul R. Houser, 20 June 2012

After I questioned the accuracy of science reporting and summary documents related to the Klamath Secretarial Decision, I faced systematic reprisal and my job as the Bureau of Reclamation’s science advisor was terminated. Subsequently, I filed a scientific integrity allegation, and was invited to speak publically about it in May 2012.  I was confronted with a very wide range of questions, where I carefully offered my opinion or relevant information. Last week Mr. Dennis Lynch  (USGS) questioned some of this information. Below I summarize the rationale for my comments, and offer some additional perspective (full text available at http://prhouser.com/houser/?p=830).

1)      Mr. Lynch states that “our team summarized these findings in an Overview Report that received a second layer peer review from six independent experts.”  He fails to mention the peer review comment 3-5: “The Summary and Findings section does not sufficiently express the uncertainties in the responses to restoration options” which is generally consistent with my allegation These concerns should be addressed by writing a new summary that accurately portrays the dam removal uncertainties and risks, and the additional actions that will be needed to meet the environmental and societal goals.

4)      Mr. Lynch disagrees with my comment that a more in-depth engineering analysis is needed to assure that Iron Gate Dam is removed safely.  My comment was based on an EIS/EIR comment submitted by Stephen Koshy, who warned that notching the earth-filled Iron Gate Dam may cause it to fail. This concern can be addressed by providing a public response to Mr. Koshy along with the relevant engineering analyses.

5)      Mr. Lynch disagrees with my comment that the sediment coming out of the dams would be the equivalent volume of one to three feet covering 190 miles of a 150 foot wide channel.  The sediment volume studies have discrepancies, but my volume equivalency calculations are correct. Further, the draft EIS/EIR states: “Short-term (2–yr) aggradation of sediment from the dams could be substantial below Iron Gate Dam downstream to Willow Creek, with up to 5 feet of deposition within 0.5 miles downstream of the dam, to 1.5 feet of deposition near Willow Creek.”  Downstream impacts of sediment are a significant concern, so alternate options such as dredging may also need to be more seriously considered.

6)      Mr. Lynch disagrees with my concerns that the released sediments may be harmful to fish, and may have a significant impact for 1-2 years.  The draft EIS/EIR states “…the short-term (<2 years following dam removal) increases in SSCs [suspended sediment] in the lower Klamath River and the Klamath Estuary would be a significant impact.” Water quality and reservoir sedimentation in the Klamath basin are very complex issues.  While a 2011 DOI report did show that the reservoir sediments have toxic elements below most guidelines, the upper basin is well known to have water and sediment quality issues, and these sediments are being deposited in the reservoirs.  A 2006 PacifiCorp study concludes that the absence of the project reservoirs would exacerbate water quality impairment by reducing dissolved oxygen and promoting growth of algae.  Water quality issues above the PacifiCorp dams may be amongst the most significant risks to successful river restoration; these water quality issues should be mitigated prior to dam removal.

7)      Finally, Mr. Lynch objects to my statement that nonnative coho salmon were introduced in the Klamath starting in 1895.  A California Department of Fish and Game’s 2002 report confirms my statement and further indicates that “historically, the practice of importing non-native fish was common…” The draft EIS/EIR also states that “the vast majority of coho salmon that spawn in the Klamath Basin are believed to be of hatchery origin, although the percentage varies among years.” Based on the century-long history of nonnative salmon transfers and hatchery origin fish, it would be tough to identify a truly native wild Klamath coho.  None-the less, it is the law to protect them.

The outcomes of dam removal on this scale and in this unique environment have significant risks and uncertainties. A positive outcome is not guaranteed and a tragic outcome is possible. There are several innovative and economical solutions to meet the Klamath Basin goals that are not being actively considered because they fall outside the politics of the Klamath agreements. It is in the public trust, and a duty of scientific integrity to seriously consider these alternatives. My goal is to make sure that decision makers are aware of these risks and uncertainties, and account for them in their decision-making process. By only reporting the positive aspects of dam removal without the uncertainties and additional needed mitigation, the meaning of the science is perturbed, which may lead to poor decisions.

Dr. Paul R. Houser is a Hydrologist with over 25 years of experience. Dr. Houser in an internationally recognized expert in local to global land surface-atmospheric remote sensing, in-situ observation and numerical simulation, development and application of hydrologic data assimilation methods, scientific integrity and policy, and global water and energy cycling. More information can be found at http://www.prhouser.com.

21 June
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Supporting Rural American Coming To Del Norte

On July 14th the Constitutional Sheriff’s will be coming to Del Norte County with their message of “Supporting Rural America“.  Sheriff Dean Wilson will be hosting this event supported by the local Del Norte Tea Party Patriots.  A group of Sheriff’s from Northern California and Southern Oregon have joined up to push back on the federal overreach that is occurring.  This group of Sheriff’s have travelled all over Northern California delivering their message of concern and one of hope.

On July 14th at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds between 2 to 5 pm this Supporting Rural America event will occur.  Sheriff Wilson will be joined by as of the time of this article six other Sheriff’s: Sheriff Jon Lopey from Siskiyou County, Sheriff Tom Allman from Mendocino County, Sheriff Bruce Haney from Trinity County, Sheriff Mike Poindexter from Modoc County, Sheriff Dan Hencratt from Tehama County, and Sheriff Gil Gilbertson from Josephine County Oregon.  All of these Sheriff’s will share with you the issues they are facing in their counties and how the Sheriff’s are dealing with them.

In addition to these brave Constitutional Sheriff’s we will have Fred Kelly Grant present to tell you why the Sheriff’s role is so important in saving rural America.  The power of the Sheriff is unique as it is the only elected law enforcement official in all of government.  The Sheriff is directly elected by the people and sworn to support and defend the Constitution and the Constitution was written to limit government from interfering with an individuals “God” given rights.

If you live in Del Norte County and enjoy the outdoors then come to this meeting.  If you are a rancher, farmer, fisherman (commercial or sport), hunter, miner, or just and outdoor enthusiast then come to this meeting.  We will be discussing the Federal land management plan, travel management plan, Marine Life  Protection Act, water rights, property rights and the Salmon, the new spotted owl.

21 June
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Doctor Houser on Klamath Dam Removal

Dr.Paul Houser, Ph.D Hydrometeorology Univ of Arizona.  He is currently teaching at George Mason Univ. and had worked for NASA for 9 years receiving many awards for his work.  He is well published in scientific journals.  In 2011 to 2012 he was Science Advisor, US Department of Reclamation. It was during this time that he turned whistle blower on the flawed science used to support the dam removal proposed along the Klamath River.  Dr. Houser speaks to the residents of Siskiyou County.Ca about his findings and what he knows is happening in the Department of the Interior.  You can see the entire speech at Dr. Paul Houser speaking on Klamath Dam Removal

Dr. Houser was the only scientist hired and positioned in Washington D.C. with the department of reclamation.  His job was to review all actions taken by the department that were based upon scientific studies were proper and defensible.  He was given a press release one day to be given by head of the Department of the Interior, Ken Salazar on the removal of the Klamath Dams.  Dr. Houser did his job and reviewed the science upon which this recommended action was to be taken.

Dr. Houser’s opinion was that the study was flawed both in it’s method and in it’s final findings.  The study reported that the removal of the dams would have a positive effect upon the return of salmon to a 80+%  if certain conditions were met.  Upon review Dr. Houser questioned both the assumption of any basis for the estimate of Salmon recovery at such a rate based upon any science.  In other words it was a guess without any basis for facts.  In addition the assumptions needed for the so positive return of the Salmon were unattainable.

One condition required according to the study was for the water quality in the upper Klamath River to improve.  The quality they sited as needing to improve is natural in occurrence.  It is due to the fact that the river travels through the lava fields and that effects the quality of the water.  You cannot change that fact and that was one of the factors needed for the so positive return numbers that the dam removal was based upon.

When Dr. Houser reported to his superiors that the press release should not be given due to the flawed science he was told not to write up anything that could be subject to the freedom of information act.  He did not feel right about that request and sent an email with his findings to his superior and to several others, the email is subject to the freedom of information act.  Dr Houser is a scientist and believes completely in the ethical standards of his chosen field of work.  He would not and could not condone the deliberate deception required to push forward this action based upon bad science.

For his stand he was months later let go.  He has filed both a whistle-blower case and challenged the study used to base the dam removal.  He states that dam removal maybe a correct course of action, but no action should be taken based upon flawed science.  He feels that if Salmon is the issue then cheaper and very successful alternatives should be sought out and dam removal should be the final choice not the first one.  Fish ladders can be built cheaper then removal.  Fish hatcheries which at one point were used to replenish salmon in the Klamath, due to the dams being in place could once again spawn millions of salmon.

The fact is that fringe groups of ecology nuts that only want the return of rivers to their natural state as their goal have targeted the Klamath.  They do not care about the economy, communities, power needs, human needs, water needs, or science.  They have an agenda based on an almost religious dogma that any human evidence (dams) upon the environment is evil.  The Department of the Interior has been infected by this community and is using the influence of the federal government to force, buy off or buy support for this project.  The local tribes have been promised millions of dollars if the dams are removed.  The Power company has been given promises to stand in support.

In a time when green energy is what we want and need why on earth would be support removal of some of the greatest green energy in the world.  Water energy unlike the sun and wind is always there when we need it.  Why when water storage is what is needed most in California are we looking at tearing it out.   Why when agriculture and jobs are most needed would we remove the water needed for such business to thrive.  The answers are most troubling.

We are all being sold a bill of goods and thank God the congress now has it in their hands to make this decision.  After Dr. Houser’s findings came out Director Ken Salazar stated he cannot make the decision to remove the dams and he would call on congress to make it.

Listen and learn the facts behind those that want this to happen and also to the devastation the removal will have to those communities and economies that live along the river.

20 June
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Tea Party Host Local Hospital Control Townhall

On June 12th the Del Norte Tea Party Patriots hosted a townhall to allow local doctors to talk about issues dealing with Sutter Coast Hospitals move towards a regional board.  Currently the hospital is overseen by a local board, but in recent months the Sutter Hospital system wants to take over control and move it to a regional one.  This will mean a big change in what happens here in with our local hospital.

Doctors Duncan, Caldwell and Davis along with other speakers talked about what has been occuring around this issue.  One of the large fears is not only loosing local control, but the apparent slide towards attempting to make this hospital a Critical Access Hospital.  This is a special designation for a hospital that services a rural area.  The intent of this federal program is to improve medical access to rural areas with better federal funding.  But Sutter sees this as a way to improve profits.

While Sutter told locals that they are doing everything they can to improve medical access and get doctors into our area on the one hand, with the other they have been moving toward “Critical Access”.  They have reduced rooms in the hospital a 69 bed hospital and by reducing staff and limiting admissions they have reduced their cencus.  Now when asked they can show the numbers are already at the “Criticial Access” level of 25 beds or less and that the average hospital days is less then four.  They have been setting this up for years and now what to tell us this is normal.

The doctors informed us that Sutter has never lost money in running this local hospital, but that “Critical Access” will not improve care locally, but drive it further away from the community.  When Lake County Sutter Hospital did the same thing they now ship 3 to 5 a day out to other hospitals.  Now for them it is just a 30 to 40 minute ride, but for us it means Medford, Redding, San Francisico or Sacramento.  As medicare is still the primary provider Medford is out for transfers.  This puts a huge burden on many locally.

In addition those doctors that treat many for orthopedics, heart surgery and many others will not live or practice medicine where there is no hospital to admit and keep their patents through recovery.  This means we will loose importants jobs needed and wanted here in Del Norte and Curry Counties.  Medical jobs and those support services needed by them are some of the best paying jobs in our area.

We need to work with local government and those on the local Sutter Board to say “no” to regional control and “no” to “Criticial Access”.  We want a full service hospital with a staffed E.R., Acute Care Unit, Surgery, and able to hold patents for weeks not days locally.  We want better care not worse care.  The Federal program was designed to improve rural medicine, not to take a 69 bed hospital and by deception make it a 25 bed one in order to make more money.

You can listen to the whole town hall at Sutter Coast Hospital Regional vs Local Control Town Hall

23 April
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Del Norte Supervisor’s Candidate Debate

Del Norte Tea Party Patriots will be hosting a candidate debate Tuesday April 24th from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds.  Come and hear what the candidates as they attempt to sway you to vote for them and their positions on the issues of the day.

You will hear all of the candidates from each of the district races.  Supervisor Leslie McNamer will face off against challengers Roger Gitlin and Donna Westfall.  Supervisor Martha McClure will face challenger Bill Gray.

Come and hear their answers to tough questions critical to Del Norte County.  There will be time for questions from the floor so bring your questions to this event and get your answers.

There will be time before and after the event to meet and greet the candidates.

10 January
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Sound Money Meeting, A Stern Warning.

On 1/10/2012 our first meeting of the new year brought out Mark Kent from Redding Tea Party to talk about “Sound Money”.  Mark has been in the financial business for almost thirty years and brought a warning about the current direction our economy is heading and a strategy for people to take.

Mark laid out the problem as follows that the U.S. government has borrowed well beyond it’s means and so has Europe.  The world has never faced a global collapse of all currency at the same period of time.  The dollar is quickly becoming the place of last resort for many, but we as all so closely tied to each other through all our banking and finance that when it all starts to go we all will be taken down.

The net result of currency backed by nothing but a promise and no real value that governments will have to inflate their way out of their debt.  Inflation steals our wealth.  It is good for governments and banks but not for Joe Citizen.  The only hedge out there currently is precious metals.  Real estate use to be, but with values still not near the bottom it is not the place to retreat to just yet.

Mark recommends Silver at this time since it is greatly undervalued and the world supply is very low.  The current value on silver is being held down by investors/ banks that have shorted the market and are working hard not to loose big.  This cannot last and when it goes it will go big.  Only gold and silver hold real value and in many countries and over a dozen states is still accepted as currency for payment on debt.

I know I have long seen the coming financial problems of California and the U.S. Government.  It is what got me involved in the Tea Party to begin with the gross overspending of the federal government.  We have sold our children and grand children into slavery to a debt we and they can never repay.  We must each take action to preserve our wealth and to prepare for difficult times ahead.