The Coastal Post - January, 1998

Letters Jan 98

More Money-And Moral Support

Sorry for taking so long to send some money to keep the presses going. It's reassuring to have at least one paper that's got the guts to bring up issues that need to be addressed and keep us informed as to what's really going on. Keep up the good work!

TERRY BALESTRIERE

Fairfax

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Sending this from a single mom of four children. Thanks for keeping me in touch with the other struggles of life, truth and patience.

MICHELE HEALY

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Here's a buck. Good luck.

JOE SCHMUCK

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Here is my dollar plus another for somebody who didn't get around to mailing theirs.

Thanks, Coastal Post-your paper tells the truth.

RUTH M. GORTON

San Anselmo

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Great paper. Thanks.

MILES AND GRACE

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Here's one from me, and one from the unknown person who went surfing and forgot to contribute monetarily...(the person contributes by embracing and blessing nature!) Yea!

L.L.

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Great paper, guys, especially the article by Eric Margolis on "Governments Kill More People Than Wars," and other articles that are similar.

You guys do more for the truth than that ridiculous rag they call the Chronicle that gives us two pages of news and 38 pages of Macy advertisements. It's enough to make a man puke...

CHUCK GALLETTA

Novato

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I send this in honor of JFK who said we should help each other. Keep up the great work and information.

PATTY JAUNDZEMS

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Your plea for the Coastal Post broke my heart. Consider this my support for a continuing free press. Please note that in addition to my dollar, I'm throwing in an extra $24 for any illiterate slob who refuses to ante up. For shame!

ORVEL LANTER

Oakland

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Here's $5. Keep up the good work. I wish the mainstream press would pick up on some of the topics your paper writes about. Good luck and I hope you get a lot of dollar bills.

L. ORTEGA

Sausalito

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Please find enclosed a fiver for the time being. Promise to send you more when I get a job. Enjoy reading your paper, and do make sure that there are plenty of copies in full view at the Pelican Inn when I am having a pint of amber nectar, as I live in Muir Beach.

May I suggest a future expose on the Marin Humane Society. Apparently, the Director there makes over $120,000 for placing 500 animals a year. You should ask them how many they kill!

CHARLES E. MAIN

Mill Valley

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We are enjoying the Coastal Post-and especially the articles by Edward W. Miller-very much. Thanks for what you are doing.

J. NORTHFIELD

Sardis, BC, Canada

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Thanks for being there! You help keep me sane.

MARIAN RHYS

Novato

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Keep up the good work! I would gladly pay to see an expose on MMWD tiered water rates which were set up in the drought and have never been reduced! Yet MMWD is hooking up more water connections!

OLE PRAHM

Larkspur

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Thanks for the years of information and local news! Two dollars is a small price to pay.

GRETCHEN STAGG

Mill Valley

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Here's my buck and add me to your subscription list. I've appreciate your stories through the years and am glad I can take part and help out.

JOHN KAY

San Rafael

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Here's a buck from me and 19 other guys. The Post is a great little paper and we have to keep it going.

FIELDING

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I watched a documentary on Ch. 9 called Fear and Favor in the Newsroom. It didn't surprise me to hear now TV broadcasters and editors at major newspapers will not allow their reporters to do stories, "that will rock the corporate establishment," as Studs Terkel, who narrates the film, says. That's why I read the Coastal Post.

Virtually every major news organization is owned by members of the same tiny elite, the extremely wealthy. Terkel gives eight examples, not mentioning any owners of the Chronicle and Examiner, San Jose Mercury News, Oakland Tribune or the IJ. I guess the Hearst Corporation, Knight Ridder and Gannett newspaper groups do not make enough, or could it be that this portion of the film was edited?

Keep up the good work. Enclosed you will find my contribution.

BRUCE CARLTON

Mill Valley

Immigration Hurts Blacks

I'm delighted and a bit amazed that you published Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson's letter describing the adverse effects of immigration on America's Blacks. Without question, immigration causes huge increases in Black unemployment, and therefore, homelessness and crime. What a shame that other Black leaders won't stand up and tell the truth about what immigration is doing to Blacks. What a shame that white liberals have abandoned the Blacks. Please, keep telling the truth!

JASON DINAUT

Why Prayer In School?

"Kentucky Teen Opens Fire at School Prayer-3 Die"

That was the heading on the page one article in this morning's Chronicle. The story was also on page one of my afternoon Gannet paper, the IJ. The coverage was good and fairly comprehensive, but both papers left out one little item, perhaps not too important to either of them, separation of church and state!

The 14-year-old boy who did the shooting was agnostic and resentful of these prayer meetings in the halls of his school, and of the kidding he had to take because of these differences. None of this, of course, excuses what he did, but it does begin to apportion the blame a little more fairly and evenly. How could the high school and town leaders have permitted this desecration of our Constitution to take place right in the halls of their high school? HAROLD HELLER

Mill Valley

Numbers Off

I noticed in the November issue's Letters section an error pertaining to the Headwaters Forest. Charles Hurwitz owes the U.S. taxpayers 1.6 billion, not million. In other news, a Northern California paper stated recently that in the appropriations package signed by Clinton last week. 75 thousand acres had been funded for acquisition in the Headwaters deal. Wrong-it is 75 hundred. What is not mentioned at all regarding that 7,500 acre is that 4,500 acres of it is already clear cut-logged to the ground. Once we get these zeros rolling, it's hard to keep track.

M. LEITYHOLD

Inverness

Saddam Is To Blame

In your December 1 issue, three of your staff contributors expressed pro-Iraqi, anti-American opinions on the current crisis. Since no one gave the American point of view, I feel I should bring out some facts they overlooked.

Iraq has a plentiful supply of oil. Had that nation been properly governed, it could have been one of the more prosperous nations of the Middle East. That Iraq is now in a desperate plight is due solely to the machinations of one man, Saddam Hussein. For starters, he provoked a long, bloody war with Iran, which cost both nations dearly and, in the end, gained Saddam nothing.

In a second attempt to gain glory, Saddam easily invaded a weaker nation, his neighbor Kuwait. When the United States asked him to back off, he bragged he would annihilate us. Too bad we did not do that to him when we had the chance! In the wake of his ignominious defeat, Saddam agreed to a number of things, including thorough inspections. Had he willingly done what he promised to do, all sanctions against Iraq could have been lifted within six months. Instead, by Saddam's lying, cheating and threatening, he managed to prolong it for six years.

Saddam is not suffering personally. He does not appear to be suffering from lack of food. He has the use of 32 palaces to support his lifestyle-and to hide material from U.N. inspectors. He found the money to rebuild his military. The fact that the people of Iraq are starving and desperately lack medical supplies is squarely due to Saddam's placing his own selfish interest above that of his 20 million subjects.

Saddam is a monster and a megalomaniac. Why do your writers stick up for him? In the case of your staff anti-Semite, Dr. Edward w. Miller, I can only guess. Saddam has a violent hatred of Israel. Readers of the Coastal Post are aware that at least half of Dr. Miller's article are devoted to a one-sided denunciation of Israel. It seems that anyone who hates Israel is a friend of Dr. Miller.

Dr. Miller and your other writers should be aware, however, that if they and other misguided individuals succeed in getting Iraqi sanctions lifted before Saddam's wings are clipped, he will attempt another conquest and more thousands of people will be killed.

MORTON H. TALLEN

San Rafael

The Greening Of Hypocrisy

On October 28th, Zero Population Growth hosted a reception and its Executive Director Peter Kostmayer was asked if ZPG might re-examine its policy on immigration.

"The Board recommends that ZPG not get involved with immigration issues. We don't want to be seen as another immigrant-bashing organization," Kostmayer replied. After his public remarks, several of the audience approached him and inquired if the U.S. really needed more people? Kostmayer readily commented that U.S. population ought to come down over time, and correspondingly immigration numbers should be lessened.

Sound like intellectual dishonesty? Little different than its wayward twin ZPG, the venerable Sierra Club is currently also embroiled in controversy. Enlightened Sierra Club grass-root activists have put forth a membership ballot initiative to force the issue of domestic over-population via high immigration. Executive Director Carl Pope and whiz kid Club President Adam Wehrbach has engaged in a calculated conspiracy to pack the Sierra Club National Population Committee with radical pro-immigration advocates, and sway the upcoming spring election.

Starting in 1995, the powerful pro-immigration lobby foresaw the danger of major environmental organizations acknowledging immigration as the main culprit of exploding domestic population-fully 60% of U.S. population growth since 1970 can be attributed to high levels of immigration. To avoid this potential Achilles' heel, in short time, they devised a grand plan patly named the "Immigration and Environment Campaign."

The next step was to win over the Sierra Club leadership. This task wasn't hard-for years, national pro-immigration and "social justice" organizations have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship with most mainstream environmental groups. You kindly lobby and support our political agendas, and we'll support yours! In fact, nearly all of the Sierra club's favorite politicians are pro-immigration and social justice proponents. Congressional ratings published by the Americans for Immigration Control Foundation show that 90% of the incumbents endorsed by the Club earned a "D" or an "F" on immigration reform legislative voting issues in 1996.

Thus in recent years, immigrant, feminist, gender/bender and worker rights have oddly become foremost goals for the Club-at times even eclipsing valid environmental concerns. To ensure national policy objectives stay on fast-track, Sierra leadership recently stuffed its prestigious National Population Committee with outsiders from the immigration/social justice clique.

Cathi Tactaquin, Executive Director of the National Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and Santos Games-both intimately linked to the leftist social justice/quasi-environmental organization, Political Ecology Group, have been surreptitiously placed on that key Sierra Population Committee. Working hand-in-hand with PEG's Brad Erickson, who first coined the popular propaganda slogan, "the greening of date," they are busy putting their "Immigration and Environmental Campaign" into high gear.

One tactic is to publicly smear other reputable national environmental organizations that long ago recognized the undeniable link between rising U.S. population and high levels of immigration. Using a ready stable of left-center media columnists, the Sierra Club imposters have handily attacked established organizations such as Negative Population Growth, Carrying Capacity Network, and Population Balance-firing a constant barrage of unsubstantiated accusations mixed with heavy doses of "social justice" babble. Pushing well-crafted news articles that insinuate opposing Sierra Club members are "racist" is another favorite tact.

Anything to smear and undermine backers of this upcoming spring membership ballot measure seems to be within the game book rules of fair play. Of course, this is serious business and has nothing at all to do with fair play. Where the end justifies the means and winner takes all-the Sierra Club with its 600,000 plus members is a formidable prize.

Oh, how the Sierra Club Board of Directors must be secretly smiling in approval. Meanwhile, our nation's very future well being hangs precariously in the balance.

GARY E. JORDAN

National Grassroots Alliance

San Rafael

Sutter Health Exposed

For-Profit Medicine Must Go

I am Chief of Staff of the Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital Medical Staff. But the comments I make today are my own and not meant to represent anyone else. I have practiced in the community for 18 years and have previously been the Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Roseville Community Hospital. I have never refused a patient that has needed my services regardless of ability to pay.

It is time to speak the truth. Health care in Auburn is very ill.

Currently Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital is among the leaders in quality of care in the Sutter system as proven by even Sutter Health's numbers. It is a well-run hospital, but it was well run and in the black before it was given to Sutter. We have the best support people, best nurses and best doctors anywhere. Five weeks ago when I was injured, I insisted that the ambulance bring me to Auburn and was grateful to see Dr. Williams, one of our orthopedists, standing in his surgical greens in the emergency room. My children and I have been in the emergency room several times and have always taken whichever doctor or anesthesiologist has been on call and been assured of the best of care. My goal is to preserve this high-quality of care.

However, Sutter Health's goal is not. Sutter Health represents the most malicious, two-faced, duplicitous organization that I have ever dealt with. The people that work for them will look you straight in the face and lie. Nothing that they say can be trusted. They are absolutely dishonest. They are driven by POWER, GREEN, PROFIT and CONTROL. They don't really give a DAMN about the quality of patient care. Sutter Health is the primary contributor to the destruction of local health care in Auburn.

Some Sutter primary physicians routinely send patients out of this area for care not because the care is better, but because it saves money for the Sutter system and can result in more money in their pockets-a financial incentive even if patients are inconvenienced. They disregard the fact that the patient may have to drive 25 miles each way and may not be able to get care for complications locally. This is abhorrent for patient care, but results in kick-backs for the Sutter physician. In addition, some Sutter primary doctors manage patients beyond their expertise and long after they should be referred to specialists because this saves money for their system to the detriment of patient care. Some of this occurs because Sutter primary care doctors are afraid of the consequences if they refer in the patients' best interests instead of Sutter's.

To a lesser extent, in Auburn, some physicians associated with the University of California, Davis, are guilty of the same thing.

How much is this really affecting the delivery of health care in Auburn? Here are some examples.

One of our cardiologists, Dr. David Ascarelli, in an emergency and in the best interest of patient care, transferred several patients to another hospital because the Sutter cath lab could not accommodate them in a timely manner. He was censored and the subsequent cost of the patient's emergency surgery and hospitalization as deducted from the money Sutter owed him. He is closing his practice in this community.

We have had one of the most talented endocrinologists in the Sacramento area, Dr. Michael Ashcraft, who signed with Sutter last year suddenly decided to retire at 48 due to his frustration with the climate created by Sutter Health. He will be an almost irreplaceable loss to the Auburn medical community.

One of the our general surgeons, Dr. John Foquette, has recently limited his practice because of conflicts with Sutter health. Also, several other physicians have closed or limited their practices due to the current climate in our community.

Last month the medical staff voted by a 75% to 25% vote to authorize the medial executive committee to sue Sutter Health over conflicts regarding fair treatment as related to emergency room compensation.

Morale at the hospital has never been this low. Shortly after Sutter took over we had "Black Monday" where they fired many long-time employees with large benefit packages. Many of them were rehired on a per diem basis with no benefits.

Employees were told last spring (at a meeting I attended) that there would be no more lay-offs. A month later all of our engineers were fired. Most of them were rehired at a lower salary and reduced benefits. Discharge planners in Auburn were transferred to Sutter Health's Managed Care Systems and told there would be no changes. Instead, their wages were decreased and their benefits made more expensive.

Many of our support people, the backbone of the hospital, are unhappy with their working conditions. Our nurses are among the best, but they are understaffed and overworked and often routine patient care ends up being neglected.

Patient care suffering

When Sutter Health came to town, they promised the moon- new five-story medical and surgical tower and the influx immediately of five million dollars. We never got the tower and the only money they have spent is on needed maintenance. Sutter Health is bleeding up to three and one-half million dollars in profit a year out of the Auburn community, and yet has given us the lowest capital budget I have ever seen for much needed new equipment.

Decisions about Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital are made by a regional board of directors that doesn't pay attention to the local community and is led around by the nose by Sutter administration. The Sutter Health Board of Directors have completely abdicated their responsibilities to the entire community served by Sutter Health. They have no idea what is really going on.

Decisions about the Auburn Hospital are made based on what is best for the regional Sutter system, not the local community. The members of the Auburn Faith Community Hospital Board of Directors that gave our community assets to Sutter Health were bamboozled and should have been investigated by the grand jury for a violation of their public trust. Currently many of these people have been rewarded by positions of the Sutter Board.

It is no wonder the word "community" was removed from the hospital name when they changed it from Auburn Faith Community Hospital ( a hospital built by physicians for the community on faith) to Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital (maintained only to serve Sutter's needs).

Sutter is trying to get specialty physicians to sign a contract that offers 29 percent less than Medicare rates. This would not cover our overhead. This is not about doctors becoming rich-it is about doctors trying to survive. Most specialists in Auburn have not signed this contract and have confided to me that they won't. This means that patients with a Sutter doctor will not be able to get specialty care in this town after the beginning of the year when they say they will activate this contract. Remember, it is specialists that provide most of the care in a hospital. Sutter is illegally selling their HMO product in Auburn because they do not have a full panel of specialists available.

One of Sutter's physician recruiters, Dr. Eugene Ogrood, has threatened multiple Auburn physicians with being run out of practice if they didn't sign up with Sutter. I have complained about his behavior to the Sutter Health Board of Directors and they have ignored my concerns

Health Maintenance Organization, or HMO, to Sutter Health means maintaining their economic health, not patients' health. For-profit, for-greed medicine has to end. The direction of Sutter Health must be changed or it should not survive in the health care business.

Currently, I have over 50 different contracts and every organization has its overpaid executives and duplications of management structure. There is only so much money in the health care pie, and these top-heavy, bloated health care organizations are bleeding the lifeblood from patients and providers while making themselves fat and wealthy. Administrators make more money than 99% of doctors, but I don't know of any patient that has suffered because of their absence.

The short-term solution is for patients in the current open enrollment to not sign up with physicians or systems that limit their choices in the Auburn community, and the leading offender is Sutter Health.

The long-term solution is that we need to develop a national health care system designed by providers and patients, not politicians and regulated, but not run, by the government.

WILLIAM WARNER KIRBY, M.D.

Auburn

Woman Tortured And Maimed By "Disabled" Man

There's something wrong in the Sonoma County criminal justice system. The 14th Amendment says, "all groups of people shall be treated equal by the legal system."

Hypothetically, picture this: The District Attorney gets a case report from the Sheriff's Department. His office investigates. They decide to file two felony charges-1) assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm (Rottweiler) and, 2) battery with intent to cause serious bodily injury.

The defendant, a 6'2', 180-lb. male, threatened the victim, a 5'8'', 140-lb. female, with a knife, slammed her head into a wall a couple times, yanked hunks of hair out of her head, threw her to the floor face down, threw himself on top of her, pinning her to the floor. Then he held her arms outstretched in front of her, pinning them to the floor, and ordered one of his dogs to "get her." The dog followed the command, ripping and tearing her arms like they were tug toys.

The victim required four days in the hospital, 30 stitches and after three months is still suffering physical pain, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and nightmares. She still can't go back to work to a job she used to love and may lose. she has gotten deeper and deeper into debt. Her disability check doesn't cover the rent, bills, utility and medical.

So the D.A. puts out a warrant to arrest with a $40,000 bail one month after the assault. The defendant is finally arrested 11 days later after the victim called to ask why nothing was happening. The defendant spends three weeks in jail and bails out. The preliminary hearing is set for over a month later.

The victim shows up to testify at the hearing. She is called in to talk with a deputy district attorney. He tells her his boss has decided to drop the charges. He says they don't think they could convince 12 people that a crime was committed.

The victim was living with the defendant at the time. She loved his dogs and had especially bonded with the one that did the attack. This made her ordeal that much more cruel. She had become afraid of the defendant and was attempting to move out of the house when this happened.

The defendant was not arrested at the scene. He lied to a sheriff's deputy and to an animal control officer. He told them his other dog attacked the victim, totally unprovoked. They took the wrong dog away to quarantine.

When the victim got out of the hospital, she filed a restraining order against the defendant. The day the defendant was served with it, he filed one of his own against the victim, based on more lies. Now he said it was the victim's own dog that attacked her! Her dog was outside in her van the entire time because he didn't get along with the defendant's dogs. The judges makes it a mutual restraining order.

What if the defendant's psychological profile showed that he is a classic sociopath, a Ted Bundy type? Very charming to the outside world, with an inner cruel, violent streak. His lies become his reality. He feels absolutely no remorse.

Previously, defendant had bragged to his victim several times about how he had trained this one dog to attack on command. At the scene he told deputies that he had trained a Rottweiler for the San Francisco Police Department.

Now, what does the average citizen think? Why wasn't this case brought before a judge to decide? Wouldn't you want to know why the victim had no defensive wounds? Wouldn't you want to know exactly which dog did the attack? The D.A. says we can't read "dog mind." Why can't we test them? Only one of them is trained to attack on command. The victim KNOWS these dogs. What do you think the victim should do now? Say, oh,well, he got away with it-I'll just have these horrible scars and forget about it"? Should she take justice into her own hands?

Okay, now what kind of difference would it make if you knew the defendant lost one of his legs 10 years ago? He uses a prosthetic leg, but has a wheelchair for when it suits his purpose: to look more pathetic and helpless. He gets around about as well as you or I.

He wasn't arrested at the scene, which is usually automatic in domestic violence cases. The reason told to the victim was that it would be a lot of trouble because of his disability. He was in his wheelchair by the time help arrived.

The D.A. also told the victim he was dismissing the case partly because of the defendant's disability.

Does this raise any more questions? If a person is disabled and commits a crime, does that mean leniency? Isn't a crime still a crime if the person who committed it has one leg? Would the case be dismissed if the defendant was able-bodied? Isn't this a violation of our 14th Amendment? Is it all just political? Would it cause too much uproar in the disabled community?

Now, let's say all this really happened. Does anyone have any logical explanation, comments, opinions, advice or suggestions? I'd love to hear them.

LAURE VINCENT

Santa Rosa

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