Vote ‘Yes on Measure F,’ Says Letter to the Editor

Welcome to our letters to the editor/opinion section. To submit yours for consideration, please send to mskymkemp@gmail.com. Please consider including an image to be used–either a photograph of you or something applicable to the letter. However, an image is not necessary for publication.

We would like to share with our community why we feel it is so vitally important to continue to support our local Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District and all the services it provides. 

We first came to Shelter Cove in 1989 and immediately fell in love with it and decided to eventually retire here.  In 2003 Dan finished our home and we made the move from Auburn, CA. 

In 2006 my stepmother passed away and my father Robert “Bob” Carlson found himself alone in a skilled nursing facility back in Auburn, CA.  He had recently been diagnosed with a form of bone marrow cancer that requires regular blood transfusions and specialized injections. He did not want to continue treatment living my himself.  He was legally blind due to macular degeneration and his disease weakened him so that he required supplemental oxygen and the use of a walker or a wheelchair.   I contacted the healthcare district here to see if they could provide the treatment he needed so that he could come and live with us for whatever time he had left.  They could and they did. 

We became his full-time caregivers and enjoyed two wonderful years spoiling him with his favorite hot chocolate and sunning himself on the deck overlooking the blue ocean below.  He said he didn’t mind his stays in the hospital for his transfusions because the staff treated him like a king and even serenaded him once in a while.  We even had to use the emergency room when he suffered from a fall and then his final collapse due to his cancer and congestive heart failure.  As often happens he made a slight recovery and we hoped he might be able to stay in the Skilled Nursing Facility. 

My father was a very congenial man and easy to love so the staff were appreciative and showed their love and concern back, even on the day he died.  They cried and shared their grief with us too.  Having those last two years with my father are just absolutely priceless to us.  Having the hospital, emergency room, clinic, laboratory and all those who work there serving us made it possible.  So please do what you can by voting Yes on Measure F, volunteering or donating your time and/or funds to help keep and improve these vital health services to the local community.  Thank you!

P.S.  We found out shortly after telling my father that we had bought property in Shelter Cove that he had hauled the first batch plant on a trailer over the unpaved Shelter Cove Road back in the mid-60’s and installed it on Black Sand Beach.  This was used to mix the aggregate to pave the original air strip and perhaps some of the original roads in Shelter Cove.  It is our understanding that this original batch plant tower was washed out to sea during a storm in 1973.  We asked my father why he didn’t buy up some ocean front lots while they were cheap and he said he had seen enough salt water during his time in the Navy on board the submarine tender the USS Bushnell in the Majuro Atoll, South Pacific.  Although raised a Wisconsin farm boy he preferred the warm and sunny desert.  Funny he should spend his last days back here in Shelter Cove.  At least he could sun himself on the deck, he really enjoyed that!

Connie and Dan Paul

Shelter Cove, CA

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39 comments

  • Another hospital worker wants the the half way house to keep wasting your money. Any surprise?

  • Another drop in the bucket!

    My grandmother requires labs every 3 months. If the lab was not here in Garberville, she’d have to travel north for her labs. She’d skip her labs, if she had to go to Fortuna, since the trip north takes a lot out of her. Being near the labs services allows my grandmother to continue living in her home. Being near lab services allows me to be near my grandmother and keeps her from signing up for caregiving abroad.

    P.S. I don’t work at the hospital. Just an appreciative family member of a Jerold Phelps Lab patient.

  • I had a wonderful experience at the lab as well. I needed some testing done while pregnant and having to only go to Garberville instead of Fortuna when 7 months pregnant was awesome. The lab tech was super nice and did a great job. I’m a fainter and hate needles, he hit the vein the first time every time and kept me calm. Painless and easy. Toughest part was getting the referral paper work and insurance stuff sorted out since it was my first visit there ever, but it’s like that at every medical office.

    • Taurus Ballzhoff

      Todd IS an awesome phlebotomist. Worked with him in two places.

      When I worked at Redwood Hospital, there was a steady stream of SHCHD employees and SHCHD Board Member’s families who came to the lab in Fortuna because they “didn’t trust” the SHCHD lab, or because it was “too expensive”.

      The SHCHD has had a constant succession of CLIA and CMS deficiencies, and SHCHD has been cited for failing to maintain a staff of trained, licensed, and competent persons, and more than once.

      If you use this lab, remember, there is a fully staffed lab, with the last word in modern equipment, including Beckman AU-680 Chemistry, Beckman DxH Hematology, GeneExpert, Biofire, VIDAS, and a TOF Micro ID system. The Howard Hospital lab has technology not available anywhere else in Northern CA, and is staffed 24/7 with licensed people who are citizens of the US.

      You can use the lab at SHCHD, if you dare, but quality-wise, you shouldn’t, really… Convenient? Yes.

      Good quality? Not so much.

  • Taurus Ballzhoff

    Wow. Connie, I am so glad you got to enjoy your Father!

    It somehow doesn’t follow that a longtime hospital employee expects everyone else to just pony up 13 million dollars over the next 10 years, so that someone, somewhere, sometime, will have an experience appreciating the hospital.

    Relying upon property owners and renters to absorb the cost of general operations, has gone on long enough.

    It is time for SHCHD to stand on it’s own! I am tired of supporting an organization which is incapable of operating profitably. If you are just “keeping the doors open”, as Gary Wellborn said, then they should probably be closed.

    Everyone else does not owe you a place to work.

    If people want to make donations, or tithe the Foundation, then great. It is already expensive enough to live in SoHum, without being constantly expected to provide for yet another poorly run public agency.

    DON’T BUY THIS. OF COURSE SHCHD EMPLOYEES SUPPORT IT!

    VOTE YOURSELF A TAX CUT! VOTE NO ON F!!

    • I don’t work for the hospital! I’m shocked at your will, to for go it’s services, to save $125 a year($0.34 cents a day)!!!!You’ll spend more $ later to cover the costs of no services being available. I’m completely willing to fork up $0.34 cents a day if it means the facility is there to even help 1 random person in the area. I bet you gripe when your coffee costs more than a dollar too!!! Cut out some coupons for Christ’s sake!

    • Tired of Bullies

      Paul, It’s very rude to personally attack people. You are also a former employee and your bias, however repetitious, isn’t going to make it true. Time to move on Paul

      • groba dude osnt trustafarian

        Thanks for the advice. I am currently, still, working in a small district hospital with many problems. I am on the ground, as I have been for 41 years, helping patients and communities.

        Calling me rude is interesting, calling SHCHD the poorest quality employment available in Healthcare, anywhere in Northern California, and one of the worst and most traumatic experiences of my life, would be more accurate.

        Baby, I moved on long ago, but, I paid property taxes to the district, and never intend to again.

        I do not advocate using SHCHD, and, I can’t support your tax measure.

        Your hospital is, as I said, NOT essential, poorly operated, consistently promoted in a dishonest manner, grasping, and way too political for a public agency.

        If you all are feeling sensitive, I would recommend that you not promote your employer, during an election, since it makes you appear to be as phony as SHCHD.

        If you choose to write letters, or have been directed by the Administration to testify, in some way, please don’t be surprised to find out that some people will oppose you.

        NO ON F.

  • I would only go there if I was literally bleeding out and it was closer then the vet, othwise I would drive north, south or get life flighted (everyone should be a member) I wish it was good I hate having to drive so far.

    • Hay guest i think you should go to the vet. you sound like a real jackass.

    • If I was in a life or death situation and the ambulance driver said he was taking me to garberville I would jump out and start crawling north and I believe I would have a better chance of survival as that place is a joke. And they won’t have to close if the measure doesn’t pass as many people have said, it’s a scare tactic to help their agenda. I’m thinking about actually getting allot of NO ON F signs made, is anyone interested in having one in their yard?

      • i will take four NO signs. one for each of the $125X4 i pay on the four parcels i still own (and i dont even live or vote there)…out of the 24 parcels i previously paid that waste of a tax on since 1991. 4000 lots in the cove X 40 past years – do the math, and only to have them close our clinic? we should have a measure on the ballot to fund our own hospital. the cove could have a 1st class op! NO ON “F”ailure

    • Soon-to-be Former Supervisor Ryan Dumberg

      Nobody actually believes you, Guest. Nice try!

      And as far as Mike’s comment goes, jump out & crawl north if you must, but this “…scare tactic to help their agenda…” stuff is just stupid. So, in your expert opinion (LMFAO! 😆🤣😂😭😁), what is “their agenda”? To heal sick patients? To provide medical services to the community? HOW DARE THEY?!?

      You know, Guest & Mike, just because you two are too cheap, selfish & shortsighted to pay your fair share for basic medical services that every community should have does not mean there is some sort of nefarious “agenda” at work here. It’s time to take your meds again, you two 🤪. 💊

  • Oviously, some of you naysayers don’t know someone who has been in an emergency or used it yourself. A healthy community needs an emergency room as well as provide
    For its community in times of Life & Death. I for one and many others who live here want a facility in our community. I almost died without the skilled folks who were there to help me. I know plenty others whose lives were saved by having one closeby.
    We all pay taxes one way or the other. Vote Yes & Keep our community Healthy for everyone.

    • i know quite a few, and they were my friends who either died on their way to fortuna after being misdiagnosed & released, or while in the ER entrance waiting to be noticed, or in the nursing home bed 9 hours before being discovered ( while someone stole their wedding ring off the dead finger), to name just a few of the dozen plus malpractices i know of first hand. why 2 headlines in a week about voting yes, and none about votong no when clearly the complaints outnumber the praises 5:1?

      • I know 2 folks who were misdiagnosed there & died but if they had a CT Scanner back then, those 2 outcomes, may have not ended they way they did. I was also misdiagnosed in the Fortuna & Eureka Hospitals. Eureka was recently sued for malpractice. My mother in the Bay Area was misdiagnosed for 10yrs before she found her problems were from Parkinson’s. She also had surgical scicorrs left inside her after a surgery in Orange County & almost died a week later, when they punctured an organ. So since there’s hospitals, north & south & I’m sure we can find thousands of malpractice cases across the state & so forth, it’s seems the only solution is, close em all! We can just go back to the days of bloodletting & even more death, than there already is. I’m in, Mr Magoo, where’s the test drive?

      • These are letters to the editor. If you want to express a No on F, then please send an articulate letter to mskymkemp@gmail.com. I can’t print letters that haven’t been sent to me.

  • Victor G. Flashman

    It just amazes me, Skippy, that folks from an area as diffuse and non-cohesive as SoHum, would readily volunteer their neighbors to pay for “something for everyone”… This is not the SoHum I know.

    Please do not suggest that adding to my tax burden is appropriate, that raising my costs has anything to do with altruism, or that anyone supporting SHCHD has not got a personal gain in mind…

    The letter writer here suggests that SHCHD is vital. I do not agree, and I consider SHCHD to be less than important to over half of the total population that votes, as indicated by the Measure W election. SHCHD is actually fluff, superfluous, and very poorly regarded in the Humboldt County healthcare community. At the County Health Department, they commonly refer to Jerold Phelps Hospital as “the death zone”… My suggestion:

    If you love SHCHD so much, YOU pay for it!

    SHCHD is healthcare at it’s worst, management at it’s worst, employment at it’s worst, and all disguised as a public agency. I consider to be an organization which is seriously off the course, which has lost sight of it’s mission. Some have called it evil. I call it a gang of lying thugs that play pretty rough, and that play dirty…

    Once again, I say it’s just not good enough. It needs to be operated transparently, cleanly, profitably, and in a businesslike manner, by different people. The board is lost. The administrators are lame. This is a public agency and it acts like a private club.

    Drunk with power and possessing a crazy plan is no way to run a hospital. Wasting the resources they have is not a good way to win support.

    If they want a future financed by the public, they will need a better present. Just giving them more funds will not improve anything.

    Make them earn it!

    ITS NOT GOOD ENOUGH!! VOTE NO ON F!!

  • I already have my ballot filled out and there is a big NO vote for F ! I’m sick of the endless good causes that are conceived to relieve us of our limited incomes.

    Keeping my limited income in my pocket is my priority. Before you vote on this issue think hard about how many years your money will be taken from you. Think about how tough it will be in your retirement years on a fixed income.

    Will all those who pitch funding this money pit help you pay your tax liabilities? NO

    Don’t forget to thank the big spender Democrats for the big increases in the gas & diesel fuel taxes & the fat increase in vehicle registration. You will be amazed when you pay the increases that keep on coming.

    A NO vote on F keeps your money in your pocket!

  • Don’t go to the Garberville ER unless your children are fully vaccinated. The doctor will threaten to take them away and call you a religious fanatic, and then over prescribe drugs that will make them sick. Then you just wasted a whole day before you could get to real healthcare.

    • Soon-to-be Former Supervisor Ryan Dumberg

      Guest, if you are a religious fanatic, that is your fault. Don’t make your children suffer for your mistakes any more than they no doubt already have.

      P.S. – “Christian Science” is not science; it’s superstition. Time to grow up, Guest, because one day your children will & they may not at all appreciate your apparently irresponsible parenting. Make a change in your life while you still can, before your children decide they want nothing to do with a Kool-Aid drinker like yourself.

  • I’m voting a big FAT YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I’m not gonna be cheap & whine over 34cents a day. Geez people.

    • “He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.” That’s your yes vote, and the story of your life.

      • No poor folk own houses. It can get tight on funds but homeowners are not poor. That’s your no vote & the story of your cheapness!

  • NO $0.34/DAY FOR SHCHD! NOT THIS TIME...

    “I consider SHCHD to be less than important to over half of the total population that votes, as indicated by the Measure W election. SHCHD is actually fluff, superfluous, and very poorly regarded in the Humboldt County healthcare community.”

    At the County Health Department, they commonly refer to Jerold Phelps Hospital as “the death zone”.

    If comments like these are not worth saving $.34/day, what good is an election?

    You can post the same nonsense under as many names as you like, you still get only 1 ballot.

    PLEASE JOIN ME IN VOTING NO ON F!

    • NO $0.34/DAY FOR SHCHD! NOT THIS TIME...

      Look, this is simple:

      To effectively dispense medical care, to treat the patient with efficacy, you require a deep understanding, wisdom if you will, of how the patient works, and how their condition operates.

      Respect, patronage, loyalty, support:

      These are emotions which are not cheap. And they have to be earned.

      Simply stated, SHCHD has not earned my respect. SHCHD has not earned my patronage. SHCHD has not earned my loyalty. AND, SHCHD has not earned my support.

      SHCHD is not an evil entity. It is an entity which is deeply misguided, and desperate.

      In my opinion, tough love is the best. We can still love the people who apply the services: the employees.

      When healthcare employee honestly care for the patient, with love, they earn the respect of the public.

      When the organization respects the people who apply the services with love and deep understanding of what it is that they do, the organization can evolve, and develop a deeper relationship with the public.

      The above sentence describes the application of care in a humanistic, holistic manner.

      SHCHD will never improve until it treats people, and the community as a whole, with an improved level of regard, and becomes, itself, an agency with a deep understanding of how things work and how to care for its community.

      Giving SHCHD more money will not help.

      Will SHCHD benefit from application of acquired wisdom?

      NO $0.34/DAY! VOTE NO ON F!

      • I’ve had bad & good experiences there just like any other medical facility north & south of here. Your comment screams bias! Do folks have to place a starving child on the ad, would that help?

        • Groba dude trustafarian osnt

          Well, if SHCHD is broke, then they can start a “go fund me “ like everyone else!

            • NO $0.34/DAY FOR SHCHD! NOT THIS TIME...

              More fair than taxing my property…

              • well I counted a 3 dozen Yes signs today. Yet to see one No. Good nite!

              • I feel sorry for your wife. How embarrassingly cheap you are when it comes to human compassion. Do you pocket all the free hot sauce at Taco Bell too?

                Saw bout 30 so yes signs so far. Not 1, No sign yet. If I see one, I’ll know its you.

                • NO $0.34/DAY FOR SHCHD! NOT THIS TIME...

                  Hmmmm, during the campaign for Measure W, about 1500 “yes on w” signs were erected and posted by the group hired by SHCHD to score a win.

                  The measure failed by over 20% of the necessary voters.

                  Good luck passing a tax measure in SoHum.

                  NO ON F!

                • NO $0.34/DAY FOR SHCHD! NOT THIS TIME...

                  Arrogant and presumptuous is no way to go through life…

                • Gimme gimme gimme

                  Giving SHCHD your property tax dollars is like buying your wife a cheap gaudy imitation gold necklace for $0.34 on her anniversary and parading her down the back of bayshore mall in front of the homeless men to show it off. No one cares! If it wasn’t worth $0.48 a day in Measure W it sure aint worth $0.34. Get you own job and buy your own trinkets with your own money you tax payer leech and cheapster.

                • Did I hit a nerve, since you seem so confused? Who said I was homeless, leeching & jobless? Let me rephrase that, who said I was houseless, in need of assistance & on hard times? You judge & assume as bad as an old lady. Who said, they want to give my girl a cheap trinket and take her behind the mall, other than just you perv. Maybe if you weren’t so busy, thinking of your next weak insult, you would of comprehended, I have no problem forking out my share for the ER. Need I still remind you, cheap is when your A****** puckers up tighter than a snare drum, when our local ER asks for 34cents a day?

      • Soon-to-be Former Supervisor Ryan Dumberg

        “…tough love is the best…” WTF??!! 🤨

        What in the hell is that supposed to mean – that you’re a big fan of the book “Fifty Shades of Grey”? (I bet you are… ⛓❤️📖)

        Is your real name Anastasia Steele?
        LMFAO once again! 😆🤣😂😭😆

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