Letters to the Editor, Feb. 3 - 6

The drop that makes the vase overflow

EDITOR: Why not store an extra year’s water in Lake Sonoma?

The Lake Sonoma flood pool holds two years of water. Half fill the flood pool and we gain an extra year with no new construction. Do this soon perhaps starting in mid-February. Lake Mendocino has already been authorized to store extra water.

Lake Sonoma has overfilled into the flood pool in three of the past five years. Why not use this to an advantage? Surely more abundant water in drier years is desirable.

Storm forecasting two weeks ahead is better now. Build forecast-driven flexibility into the plan. Lake Sonoma can dump one year’s water in 10 days at the release rates used in mid-January.

John Dunning, Jr.


‘Keep quality emergency care’

EDITOR: I didn’t realize how important it was to have a hospital so close to home until this last Thanksgiving. My parents, who are in their mid-70s, were visiting from Southern California for their annual visit to our Sonoma home. One evening when my mother stood up from the couch, she blacked out, slumped over and landed on the living room coffee table.

Knowing that Sonoma Valley Hospital was the closest hospital to our home, we rushed her to the emergency room in fear that she had experienced a stroke or aneurism, which she had 20 years before. While she doesn’t remember a 45-minute period of time from that evening, or what happened, what she does remember, as do we all, was the professional and caring manner in which the entire ER staff interacted with each of us. A husband who feared he might be losing the love of his life, a son who saw that fear in his father’s face and the patient who was an ER nurse many years ago.

Thankfully all the tests came back negative and my mother was able to walk out of the ER several hours after our arrival.

I am supporting Measure B in the upcoming March 7 special election to ensure the hospital will be able to continue to provide this critical care. The Sonoma Valley Hospital provides the only emergency care center in the Valley and has been recognized nationally for quality and safety. As reimbursement rates decline and local hospitals like ours face uncertainty in federal funding, we need to ensure Sonoma Valley Hospital can weather changes in the coming years.

I urge you to vote “yes” on Measure B and keep quality emergency care available in the Valley.

Darren Smith


‘I owe a cancer-free life to SVH’

EDITOR: Ten years ago I went into Sonoma Valley Hospital for a routine mammogram. The technician called me later that afternoon and said an MRI had been scheduled to check on a tiny spot. It might be nothing, but didn’t want to take a chance. I went back and sure enough, the MRI and biopsy found a malignant tumor. Two weeks later I had a lumpectomy to remove a cancer smaller than a pea many would have missed.

I owe a cancer-free life to Sonoma Valley Hospital. My husband recently had surgery there, and my daughter, a Kaiser patient, got her home health services through SVH when she had a knee replacement.

I’m voting “yes” on Measure B to keep our hospital and its new emergency room viable. I hope you will, too.

Pamela Gibson