The Coastal Post - October, 1996

Letters Oct 96

Where Has All The Money Gone?

In a letter signed by Paul Lofholm, but written in the style of the hospital publicist, Lofholm, a former Marin General Hospital director, had some kind words about himself and some unkind words about us. His lengthy September epistle deserves considerable refutation.

Lofholm said that we seek to overturn the 30-year lease between the hospital district and the lessees. We believe that anyone who reads the lop-sided lease would wish to rescind it. The lease, which runs to 2015, gives the lessees the right to siphon patient revenues out of MGH. No return is required. Millions of dollars of patient revenue are gone forever, dollars which could have been used for patient care.

Lofholm claims that we would like to undo the merger between California Healthcare System and Sutter.The truth is that we'd be happy to see both out of MGH. The revenue which goes to the Sacramento headquarters of CHS/Sutter we'd like kept at home for patient care.

We do not seek to examine or interfere in the day-to-day operation of MGH. Lofholm is wrong about that. We would like accountability, which we have not had since the 1985 privatization of MGH. Where has all the money gone?

We would like to rescind staff reductions. Lofholm has that right. The ratio of nurses to patients is dangerously low. Lesser-qualified caretakers mean lesser care of hospital patients. That's reality!

Lofholm said, "Legally, the [elected] district board can only oversee the lease between the hospital and the district..." The elected board has more responsibility than that. For example, if the privatized hospital wishes to borrow money using the revenue bond route, permission from the elected board is mandatory. Just before the 1992 election, for example, it took no more than the votes of three directors (Valerie Berhmann, Phyllis Miller, Johanna Willman) to put MGH $53 million in bonded debt. Should there be a default, who is responsible? Then it becomes a problem for the district residents!

The people of Marin County, except those in Novato, own MGH. They lost hospital control in 1985. While we cannot get it back now, we feel the most urgent need is an elected board that serves its constituents, not the hospital administration. Lofholm made his position clear; we hope that ours is.

We believe that Dr. Diana Parnell has been an excellent director and the only consumer advocate on the current board. She should be re-elected. Two other outstanding candidates are running this November. We urge Marin voters to vote, also, for Linda Remy and Silvia Segel.

NORMAN CARRIGG, MD

DON CARNEY

MARY CORTEZ

NANCY McCARTHY, Esq.

WILLIAM ROTHMAN, MD

Black Point Forest And Wetlands Rescue Project

If you have been following the newspapers, you are no doubt aware of the Rescue Project's two most recent victories. If not, let me quickly tell you what has happened.

Just last month, Judge Lynn Duryee ruled in Marin Superior Court that the City of Novato denied citizens their constitutional right to participate in local government decision-making when they struck a deal with the golf course developer behind closed doors. The City even went so far as to guarantee that the people could not bring the project to a referendum or initiative. In other words, your right to vote was given away! As a result of the Rescue Project's legal efforts, the agreement (between the City and developers) has been thrown out of court.

The other good news concerns a decision made just one week ago by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE). Back in 1991 when Speiker Partners first started drawing up plans for their development, they had to go to the ACOE to have a "delineation" done. This delineation, or "survey," identifies how much of the Black Point site meets the official definition of wetlands. If you remember back to 1991 and 1992, we were in the thick of a drought cycle. Consequently the survey reflected little wetland or navigation (streams or creeks) potential. Ever since, the developers have further tried to reduce the quality of this area by calling it a parking lot. Their intent was always to play down any wetland or wildlife habitat. In July 1995, the ACOE jurisdictional delineation for the Black Point site expired. Speiker Partners requested a two-year extension so they could go forward with their permit process.

Meanwhile, our recent normal rain cycle has resulted in the return of an abundant runoff and ponding at the site. This restored a welcome habitat for migratory birdlife and local water fowl. Aerial and ground photos taken by the Rescue Project proved that there are substantially greater areas of wetlands than previously thought. Then suddenly in March, despite heavy rains, much of the ponds disappeared. What the developers had done was trench and dig ditches to dry up the area and make it look like the '91 and '92 years. They claimed the trenching was done for agricultural reasons.

We now know there was never a corp planted that could be harvested. Instead, a cover corp to control dust was hastily planted in June. Much of this activity was documented and then presented to the following agencies: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, California Fish and Game, the Bay Area Regional Water Quality Control Board and the ACOE. The overwhelming evidence convinced the ACOE to reevaluate their previous findings, and on August 23 they officially denied the developers' request to extend the deadline on their expired delineation.

The ACOE went on to harshly criticize the "unauthorized excavation and drainage ditches." The developers will now be required to do a full and proper study to disclose the real extent of existing wetlands. In so doing, the environmental protections that we have all come to demand will be applied to this uniquely valuable site.

Sounds like a lot of work? You bet! Out of all the people who have worked tirelessly to keep this fight alive no one has taken a risk as large as our attorney Brian Gaffney. Brian has worked for nearly two years on our behalf, and has become as passionately involved as any of us here in Black Point. This fight is not in his back yard, he doesn't even live in Marin, yet he has successfully steered us through three separate legal challenges.

So far Brian has accepted whatever we have been able to send him for his time and energy. By our accounting, he has received less than 10% of what he would normally expect from any other client. I'm not sure many of us in our professions would be as willing to forego a regular paycheck.

The city of Novato, along with the developer, fully intends to appeal our lawsuits. In fact, Brian is submitting his legal brief this very week. Even though he is eligible for reimbursement from the developers, their appeal means he hasn't seen one cent from them. There still remain many more hours of work ahead to stay in the battle. In short, we have pushed his patience and generosity to the limit.

Once again we ask you for your financial help. Think of it as an investment in your environment or a guarantee of your rights as citizens.

If we can persevere and continue to fight the appeal, the victory will be ours. We have done much, but the destiny of this forest and wetland require all of us to continue to give. Never have we lost faith in our belief that this site is special and should be protected.

Please send your contributions to P.O. Box 624, Novato, 94947. Be generous, now is the time.

Thank you from all of us at the Rescue Project.

Soon you'll be able to click onto our own website on the World Wide Web. Look for it under Black Point, Marin County issues.

PHIL PETERSON

Plus āa Change, Plus C'est La Mźme Chose

Glad to see the Coastal Post is still going strong. I used to read you every week in the days of my youth, and I'm happy to read the same thoughtful columnists (Kirby Ferris, Frank Scott, etc.) and letter writers (Fielding Greaves, Sarah Nome, etc.)

Frank Scott's latest column on multi-culturalism was especially interesting, as it applies to Marin County, which is where I first heard the slogan "think globally, act locally." I wonder when this will be put into practice in Marin, which is probably the most segregated place I ever lived. On my most recent visit last month, it didn't look like much had changed (the new shopping center in Marin City not withstanding).

Anyway, keep up the good work with the paper.

TOM BRIMMEKAMP

Naples, Florida

To Friends of Kerry Mazzoni

Dear Ms. Mazzoni:

I would like to respond to your recent letter which contained your proposed "Joint Campaign Pledge" for my signature. First, let me try to break down the general points of your pledge and respond to each.

No personal attacks

I am from the "old school" which believes that character does still count. I believe that a person's behavior, personality, reputation, self-discipline, fortitude and moral constitution, which are all qualities of character, should be weighed right alongside their words and beliefs.

I found out a long time ago that words express promises, but character keeps promises. I also believe in the old axiom that "you should be judged by the company you keep." Legitimate debate of the issues is essential; however, the voters also deserve to know about the person behind the slogans and campaign rhetoric, be it good or bad.

Debates

I enthusiastically welcome public debate which will allow us a chance to fairly discuss the issues.

Spending limits

I will agree to a spending cap of $250,000 if you will agree to a spending cap of $125,000. Please let me explain the reasoning behind my suggestion that you be capped at 50% less than I.

Since you are the incumbent, you have enjoyed free publicity in the form of franking privileges at taxpayer expense for the last two years. You have received taxpayer-paid television coverage from the broadcasting of the Legislature when in session. You have had opportunity upon opportunity, because you are the incumbent, to make presentations and speeches, to hold hearings and to preside over numerous forums, all of which have provided you innumerable chances to expound upon your view of the issues.

Plus you have received extensive free news coverage for over the last two and a half years both as a candidate and as an incumbent. All of this publicity is worth millions of dollars.

Even if you spent nothing and I spent $250,000, I still couldn't get anywhere near the free coverage you have received. And to compound the problem of me ever receiving fair and extensive news coverage is the simple fact that the major local newspapers in our district might as well be affiliated newsletters for the Democratic Party. The chance of me receiving positive, frequent coverage or their eventual endorsement is the same as the Pope becoming an atheist.

Joint review of releases

The other day I saw an article in the local paper about how you were trying to pass a bill that would benefit Novato Schools to the tune of $975,000 a year at the expense of the rest of the county. There was a nice picture of you along with your name emblazoned in the headlines. Taken in the total context of the campaign, this is nothing less than a form of campaign literature directed at the voters of Novato. Yet, I didn't see your little message of "verified by, approved by and paid for by The Friends of Kerry Mazzoni."

When the paper prints an article that you will be speaking before the League of Women Voters, yet ignores the announcement that presidential candidate Allen Keyes and I spoke to a gathering in Sausalito, it is obvious that fair news coverage is a one-sided coin with your picture on it.

All of the free coverage you receive, day in and day out, is disguised campaign literature that is meant to promote you. It is as if you had your own personal newspapers. So I ask you, why should I let you review my campaign literature when the papers have never submitted any of their articles on you for my review?

Attached, you will find my proposed Joint Campaign Pledge. I hope you will sign it and return it to me at the address listed below. Thank you for your consideration.

DAVE CROCKETT

Candidate, 6th District

Decriminalize Drugs

I thought that it may be a good idea to write about the "Drug War."

I think it is another war we have lost. Besides losing the war, we have lost a lot of constitutional guaranteed liberties.

A person caught with a little marijuana, cocaine or whatever, is persecuted no end. People in poverty use the illegality of drugs to earn an extra buck. So we find our prisons loaded with non-violent prisoners costing us billions of dollars. The point is that drug use is still on the increase, especially with the youth. I say let's cut the war out and try some novel ideas.

All politicians are using the expansion of the drug war in their propaganda. Looks like it'll never end.

I'm no professional criminologist, but I have a few suggestions. And maybe you have some.

1) Decriminalize drug use.

2) Open up clinics which on the one hand will furnish drugs and on the other hand will help drug users kick the habit.

3) Two-thirds of the convictions revolve around marijuana. Legalize marijuana! Marijuana is no worse than cigarettes and has a lot of good health effects.

4) Set up clinics within the prison system and help users kick the habit with the incentive of release after the habit is kicked.

5) With the establishment of legalization of marijuana and of clinics, we can then release those convicted of peddling drugs.

No one will buy what they can get free.

Thus we can save billions of dollars, which could be used for better purposes, such as education, etc.

You agree? Any better ideas?

COLEMAN C. PERSILY

San Rafael

No Sales Tax

Simac's article on Marin's alleged environmental movement and its actual economic apartheid was right on the mark. It's unfortunate that so many decent, well-meaning people are sucked into this elitist clique, simply by hearing the words "save the environment" and not noticing that it is actually being destroyed by ever-increasing auto traffic, caused by keeping people from living here but forcing them to drive here.

Even worse is their latest ploy: an attempt to buy more of what the county needs least at this point, and to do it with money from the pockets of those who can least afford it. The proposed sales tax increase on the November ballot is an outrage, foisting the most regressive tax on working people, so that the same elite can drive through ever more jammed highway parking lots, smug in the knowledge that no one but they can live here. Marin's rich should tax themselves to buy more land, and leave the rest of us—who can barely survive now—alone. Vote NO on the sales tax, no matter what the liars tell you it will do the "save" the environment.

HARVEY TRAMEL

San Anselmo

Kirby Ferris Critique

Kirby sounds more like Ronald Reagan or Margaret Thatcher everyday, not that I read his stuff that much.

You would think, according to Kirby, we only pay taxes to support welfare cheats and people who work for the government.

What about the savings and loan rip-off, Kirby? Maybe close to a trillion dollars right now.

Or my personal favorite of the 1950s—250 billion to build our interstate highway system to protect us from the socialist threat. Ford and General Motors pushed that one—more roads, more cars, right?

But then we still spend a billion dollars a day on national defense, while the whole infrastructure of the USA is falling apart.

One last question, Kirby: How is it that 1% of population of this country controls 90% of its wealth?

Watch out for the socialist Medicare and Social Security stuff, Kirby. I have faith in your integrity, and know you will refuse it.

SKIP MELCHER

San Rafael

Restore MGH To Community Control

I am an "over-the-hill" Coastal Post subscriber of long-standing and have welcomed your thorough coverage of the health care damage done by the corporatization of Marin General Hospital.

In this November's election, we can take a giant step to return the hospital to community control. Linda Remy, Ph.D., a highly-respected health policy researcher, and Sylvia M. Siegel, the well-known consumer advocate, are running for the Health Care District Board. Both of these fine candidates are pledged to return community control. Doctor Remy is running in the regular District election. Sylvia Siegel is running in the election to recall the already-resigned Paul Lofholm. An election law quirk requires that Paul Lofholm still be voted out of office in order for Sylvia Siegel to replace him.

Please vote for Emy and Siegel. Both of them are pledged to give us back control of Marin General Hospital.

WILLIAM ROTHMAN, MD

Belvedere

Mental Health Care Still Inhumane

I have been hospitalized approximately 20 times during the last 31 years for mental illness, and I'd like to tell you about the last three times, which took place between July and September, 1996.

During one of them, police arrived at my door on July 4, saying neighbors had phoned the police that I had been seen running down the street screaming (this was at night). I asked who had said this. They wouldn't tell me. I denied the charges, and they handcuffed me and took me to the Crisis Unit at Marin General Hospital. They later took me to Ross Hospital from there, where I was on a 72-hour hold. It was August 2 before I was released.

On another occasion, I was again accused of screaming out on the street by anonymous neighbors. I brought out my Bible and swore on it that the charges were untrue. Again I was handcuffed, taken to the Crisis Unit at Marin General Hospital, and on to Ross Hospital.

I believe it was the second of these three visits, I protested and tried to pull away, and they took me to a small room, put me on a bed, and strapped me down completely with leather straps. My nose itched and one kind nurse rubbed it for me. Then everyone left the room and I lay there screaming for I don't know how long. They finally turned me loose, after several times loosening the straps, only to leave me partially strapped. Giving me first some hope, then dashing it.

There is much more to my story—isolation in a black room with no lights, door bolted shut—but for now I want to just give you an idea of the Bedlam that still exists in our mental hospitals, and the constant violation of patients' rights.

MARNI CHRISTIANSEN

Larkspur

Jimmy

He was the paper boy.

He came to collect one day

While I was at Barbara's house.

He said he wanted to kiss me,

Then began chasing me around the house.

I fell, purposely, and he landed

On top of me and kissed me.

It was wonderful.

On Halloween, we both attended a party,

Played Truth or Dare and Spin the Bottle.

Everyone knew how we felt.

Coming home from school one day

We met Gloria, a rich kid.

She said to Jimmy:

If you're going with Marlene,

Maybe you won't want

To come to my party.

He went to the party.

* * *

Death

I am dead inside because

I have no control

Over my own life.

I have no freedom

In the home of the free and the brave.

I am not brave.

I am a coward.

I cry of frustration.

I want freedom.

I want to be brave.

But I am not, may never be, free.

MARNI CHRISTIANSEN

Larkspur

Wizards Arise

And now o Wizards of the Wise World, how do we open the mind, heart, soul, integrity, etc. of the masses to the truth and wisdom of Dr. Edward W. Miller and people like Yousef Salem and Mary Likelhiem and the Sightful Minority?

The smegma-choked spin doctors of deceit at CNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, CNN, HNN, etc. know not what they do, for the narrow, dark tunnel that corrals the craniums of crockery, aka news directors, comes from the same places of fiction as to most politicians! May the sword of truth lop off the heads of the lying bastards, after a severe caning, of course!

MR. PISSED

Random Tolerance

We must not be selective in our tolerance of terrorism. President Clinton welcomed Jerry Adams, who is a member of a terrorist organization, with open arms, wined and dined him and gave him his blessing in collecting 1.5 million dollars, which anyone would know is money for more bombing and mayhem.

People said President Clinton hoped to secure more Irish and Irish-American votes. I would like to suggest to President Clinton and the Irish people who contributed money to Jerry Adams, that the blood of the young police officer who was murdered in Adare, County Limerick, in an IRA robbery, and all the people who have been slaughtered and maimed in bombing in Ireland and England is on their hands.

We wonder why IRA terrorists and terrorists from other countries are allowed into our country and why the justice system takes years to deport them at enormous cost to the taxpayer.

Governments who supply weapons of destruction to non-democratic, repressive and ruthless governments are indeed guilty of terrorism.

To support our economic well being in such a manner is inhumane and despicable to the greatest degree.

CATHERINE DAVIS

San Anselmo

Election Year Persecution

I get angry. Not often or easily, but it does happen. I'm angry now.

Why? Because our DA is so callous as to try to put a man in prison for the rest of his life for something minor—a non-crime—just in order to get re-elected.

Case in point: Jerry Booser, a two-time felon whose history is long past. Jerry wrote a letter from the jail to the Coastal Post. In it, he outlined his terminal illness and the current charge against him: possession of 0.1 gm of heroin that he used as a painkiller since he couldn't get an affordable one from his doctor.

What kind of monster would put a dying man in prison for the rest of his life? I don't approve of heroin, but this is swatting mosquitoes with sledgehammers!

Mine is another case. I'm a reformed sex offender. What's that, you say? There's no such thing? Sorry to disillusion, but though we may be few and far between, we exist. I haven't done anything since 1986. I served my time, but I am being tried on the basis of my past.

I wrote a check against my accounts receivable. Not too bright, but legal under California law. I paid for the check within three months. My fellow merchant elected not to press charges. Six months later the DA filed charges anyway. He wants a 25-to-life sentence.

I'm dying. I have AIDS. I have ties to the community. The DA agrees that I'm not a flight risk. Yet the man who embezzled $100,000 from Milly's Restaurant, forcing them to close, has a $10,000 bail and my lousy $1200 accidentally bounced and subsequently recovered check got a $100,000 bail!

Why? Why because I'm a danger to the community, despite the fact that for the past ten years, during which time this court has had no jurisdiction over me, I have not re-offended, have been in therapy, have started a business, volunteered at local charities, am a member of my church, and have been a productive member of society in general.

However, I've come to expect relentless unfairness from the authorities. (My one Marin conviction was for a misdemeanor which I was advised to plead guilty to, though I was entirely innocent.) What infuriates me is that a DA investigator told one of my family members that they wouldn't be putting me through this if it weren't an election year! What paucity of morals allows them to do this with such impunity?

Accounting data can set me free if only I can provide it. Not easy to do from jail, especially when my property has been packed by my beleaguered, overworked, well-meaning, but hopelessly disorganized family. My field notebook—a crucial piece of evidence—is lost in a jumble of my belongings scattered in three locations.

The business consultant who owes me (on my A/R) can likewise furnish a copy of her accounts payable (and my invoice), but she's on vacation in Canada for a month.

Because of circumstances, and the DA's political ambitions, a demonstrably innocent man—me—sits in jail. I might add that my incarceration and rather expensive medical care are now being financed by county taxpayers.

I'm taking a considerable risk by exposing myself. My family will be humiliated. I may be run out of the county. Yet something must be done. Who knows how many others the DA is victimizing? For political gain!

Lawrence Cymrot of Novato wrote in the IJ that Judge Sutro's example of who should not be subject to Three Strikes is exactly who should be subject to it. He said something to the effect that if they can't get their miserable lives together (his term), they should rot forever. When his kid gets a drunk-driving, hit-and-run, and evading arrest, and the DA structures it so that it's all Three Strikes in one case, let's see if he sings the same tune.

Because of my delicate social position, please sign me anonymously,

BUSINESS AS USUAL

Boycott Marconi

Since September, 1994, MOW & SOW, together with community support, has tried every means possible to get State of California's Marconi Conference Center in Marshal to move beyond chemical control of vegetation to non-toxic alternatives. Marconi does not warn the public of their spraying and the community is not included in their decision-making process.

The first environmentally-conscious groups, who have booked seminars in the past, will now boycott Marconi Center: Odwalla, Communities for a Better Environment, and Greenpeace, USA.

We ask your readers to do the same.

DONNA SHEEHAN

MOW & SOW

Woolsey Doesn't Get It

As I prepare to be bombarded this fall by carefully-scripted AFL-CIO Medi-"scare" radio ads and grim black and white TV images of Newt Gingrich's "extremist" 104th Congress, I stop and think just how much the face of American politics has really changed in the last two years. And I'm thankful.

Now, the debate is over how, not whether, to balance the federal budget. How, not whether, to reform welfare. How, not whether, to return power to states and local communities. How, not whether, to cut taxes. It took a Republican majority just one session (if not the first 100 days) to overturn 40 years of failed policies and point us back in the right direction.

Our Rep. Lynn Woolsey had the chance to jump on board these clear victories and take part of the credit like her President, but she still doesn't seem to get the picture. She continues to vote against the balanced budgets, against welfare reform, against breaking up federal bureaucracies, and against cutting taxes. Her newsletters regularly point out she does not agree with the legislative achievements of this Congress. I wonder when will she realize that her constituents do not agree with her?

ERIC SPENCER

Rohnert Park

No Trespassing By Permit Police

At the San Anselmo Town Council meeting of August 26, the council was questioned during open time about an ordinance that was soon to be considered for adoption that would allow town officials to come onto citizens' property uninvited. This would be done between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and the premises could be inspected at least twice a year and more upon receipt of a bona fide complaint concerning construction added without a permit.

One speaker questioned the legality of this covenant, citing the Fourth Amendment: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated." A comment was made that those who would try to come onto his property uninvited would be met at the gate and told to take a hike.

Whenever the town officials desire to inspect private property, it is possible that judicial bodies may issue a search warrant. Is this questionable covenant really legal and needed?

The San Anselmo residents appear not to be concerned now, but wait until the ax falls. Be involved in the next council meeting.

STANELY SCHRIEBMAN

Fairfax

The Fight Over Guns

This tiresome yahoo named Fielding Greaves, NRA director, is forever using contrived statistics to support gun distribution. The latest was a "survey of all 3,054 counties in the U.S. over the past 15 years demonstrating that right to carry guns...reduces crime." Dumb. Any college freshman taking Statistics 1A would recognize the absurdity of such conclusions. Greaves fails to mention that guns are the leading cause of death of individuals 24 years of age and younger. He fails to mention a gun in the house increases probability of homicide nearly three times. And increases probability of suicide nearly five times.

Hand guns cause havoc in black communities. The leading cause of death among young black people. Greaves should visit the emergency of any city hospital to see for himself.

Gun homicides represent nearly one-half of all gun deaths, one-half of all suicides. Something on the order of 40,000 Americans die of gun shots each year.

Seventy percent of Americans favor control on sales of guns. There is no purpose allowing cheap Saturday night specials, assault weapons, school kids with easy-to-steal guns.

The NRA supports, in fact practically bribes, legislators to vote down even the most trivial effort to place a lid on this mayhem. Cost for medical treatment, lost productivity, premature deaths—is enormous. Protecting largely unrestricted gun ownership is not a matter of Constitutional Right—it's a money scam, protecting the huge gun industry and its profits.

Pox on you, Greaves, the NRA and the rest of the crazies.

JOHN F. SALZ

Sausalito

Ailing Society

Surely we in Marin must be among the most oppressed Americans the planet. Consider the many ills with which we are afflicted:

• The big government pusher, concealed-carry-licensed, gun-banning, world-class hypocrite Senator Dianne Feinstein;

• The ultra-liberal, check-kiting, former House number one Big Spender, public trough expander Senator Barbara Boxer;

• The ultra-liberal, big spender emulator, illegal alien booster, Boxer-clone Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey;

• The ultra-liberal, big spender emulator, special privilege racist quota advocate, Boxer-Woolsey-clone, State Assemblywoman Kerry Mazzoni;

• Not to omit the man viewed by press and peers alike the least effective member of the State Senate, Senator Milton Marks;

• And to top if off, it looks as though the draft-dodging, womanizing, pot-smoking, cocaine-snorting, mendacious present occupant of the White House may have a chance at another four years.

Our situation surely could be no worse. However, I dare to suggest that we may take some small solace in the fact that this grim situation is as foretold ages ago, in the Book of Daniel, Chapter 4, Verse 17, wherein it is written:

"...the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men."

FIELDING GREAVES

San Rafael

Dotty LeMieux: Revisionist, Not Environmentalist

In the town of Bolinas, Dotty has sat on the other side of the aisle on development issues from where she pretends to sit now. When many of us fought a plan to level numerous groves of trees to make room for neighborhood septic mound systems, she was adamantly in support of the plan. After spending $500,000 in engineering fees, not one real solution was presented.

If the issues that Dotty supported had won, there would be no beautiful land to save here. Those on the front lines of Bolinas battles know that Dotty is a developer in ecological clothing. Some of us have had to work overtime just on damage control from 20 years of her act. For those who really do love the land, Dotty is anti-everything the heart of Bolinas stands for.

Kudos to Steve Simac for standing up for the truth.

JODY ANGEL

Bolinas Community Land Trust Treasurer

Elect MGH Consumer Advocates

In a letter signed by Paul Lofholm, but written in the style of the hospital publicist, Lofholm, a former Marin General Hospital director, had some kind words about himself and some unkind words about us. His lengthy September epistle deserves considerable refutation.

Lofholm said that we seek to overturn the 30-year lease between the hospital district and the lessees. We believe that anyone who reads the lop-sided lease would wish to rescind it. The lease, which runs to 2015, gives the lessees the right to siphon patient revenues out of MGH. No return is required. Millions of dollars of patient revenue are gone forever, dollars which could have been used for patient care.

Lofholm claims that we would like to undo the merger between California Healthcare System and Sutter. The truth is that we'd be happy to see both out of MGH. The revenue which goes to the Sacramento headquarters of CHS/Sutter we'd like kept at home for patient care.

We do not seek to examine or interfere in the day-to-day operation of MGH. Lofholm is wrong about that. We would like accountability, which we have not had since the 1985 privatization of MGH. Where has all the money gone?

We would like to rescind staff reductions. Lofholm has that right. The ratio of nurses to patients is dangerously low. Lesser-qualified caretakers mean lesser care of hospital patients. That's reality!

Lofholm said, "Legally, the [elected] district board can only oversee the lease between the hospital and the district." The elected board has more responsibility than that. For example, if the privatized hospital wishes to borrow money using the revenue bond route, permission from the elected board is mandatory. Just before the 1992 election, for example, it took no more than the votes of three directors (Valerie Berhmann, Phyllis Miller, Johanna Willman) to put MGH $53 million in bonded debt. Should there be a default, who is responsible? Then it becomes a problem for the district residents!

The people of Marin County, except those in Novato, own MGH. They lost hospital control in 1985. While we cannot get it back now, we feel the most urgent need is an elected board that serves its constituents, not the hospital administration. Lofholm made his position clear; we hope that ours is.

We believe that Dr. Diana Parnell has been an excellent director and the only consumer advocate on the current board. She should be re-elected. Two other outstanding candidates are running this November. We urge Marin voters to vote, also, for Linda Remy and Silvia Segel.

NORMAN CARRIGG, MD

DON CARNEY

MARY CORTEZ

NANCY McCARTHY, Esq.

WILLIAM ROTHMAN, MD

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COASTAL POST TYPESETTER SEEKS WORK. Speed typist, writer, admin./editorial assistant. Patricia 868-2848.