In case of emergency…
EDITOR: As a local emergency physician, I am in favor of the renewal of the parcel tax for Sonoma Valley Hospital. The financing of a single district hospital is challenging and requires community support. However, I feel compelled to respond to statements in a recent letter to the editor (“Sonoma Needs an ER,” May 2). In his letter of support for the hospital and emergency room, the writer underlines the importance that heart attack and stroke are “highly time sensitive emergencies” and that “minutes can literally make all the difference.” I agree, and that is why if a Sonoma resident has concerning chest pain or symptoms of a stroke they should immediately call 911 and not drive to the Sonoma Valley ER.
Trained paramedics can identify heart attacks from blocked arteries, and strokes from blocked or bleeding arteries, by exam and using simple tests (i.e. EKG). They can then quickly transport patients to the appropriate hospital. Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa is the only hospital within 20 minutes of Sonoma (often less in an ambulance using lights and sirens) that has cardiologists and facilities to open blocked arteries causing a heart attack, and board-certified emergency physicians, neurologists and neurosurgeons to treat all strokes. Sonoma Valley Hospital does an excellent job in treating most emergencies, but does not yet have the resources to provide state-of-the-art cardiac and neurologic care for those with acute heart attacks and strokes. When a patient arrives at the ER at Sonoma Valley Hospital with these emergencies the doctors may provide stabilizing medications, but ultimately they will need to call an ambulance to transport the patient leading to a delay in definitive care.
On June 6 I will vote “yes” on Measure E supporting the Sonoma Valley Hospital. But it is important for Sonoma residents to remember that, regardless of the outcome of Measure E, for acute cardiac and neurologic emergencies there remains only one critical intervention in the first 20 minutes... gasoline.
Andrew Fenton, MD
Napa Valley Emergency Medical Group
Moratorium on tasting rooms?
EDITOR: I opened my hair salon, Red Loft Salon, five years ago come June 1. Sadly, I will not be able to celebrate my five-year anniversary because the out-of-town landlord has thrown my life into turmoil.
I’ve worked hard to build a five-star rating on Yelp and a predominantly local client base after 22 years in the hair business in San Francisco. Last year my “Red Loft Salon” was awarded “Best Hair Salon” in Sonoma by the Sonoma Index-Tribune’s “People’s Choice Award.” Despite those accolades, I am being forced to close my salon, simply due to an out-of-town landlord delivering a 51 percent rent increase. It’s the type of increase which, in my opinion, is financially raping and forcing small businesses to either close or relocate after years of hard work (and money, with those permits!) of building their brand.
We should all question – what is happening to our town which we all deeply love and care about?
The ever-increasing number of wine-tasting salons on the Plaza have escalated rents beyond reason on the Plaza. They have the deep financial means to afford such outrageous rents. This forces locally owned community-serving businesses providing services to people who live here to either close or relocate off the Plaza, reducing the need for locals to visit other Plaza-centric businesses and restaurants. Really, how much wine tasting can a local resident really do?