All creatures, great and small
EDITOR: Sonoma and beyond has lost a beloved ambassador of kindness, patience and humor. I am shocked and tremendously saddened by the sudden and preventable death of Hump-free the therapy camel, written about in the March 14 issue of the Index-Tribune (“Remembering Hump-free the Camel”).
I knew this magnificent animal when he was young and on two occasions was one of his handlers. The most memorable was his appearance along with other Lyon therapy animals at John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek. It was a thrilling experience for me as well as the hospital patients with whom he interacted.
The ignorant and casual person/people who fed oleander and yew to this innocent 2,000 pound animal can never understand the terrible pain he suffered that took his extraordinary life in just 24 hours. Folks, don’t feed any animal you don’t live with. Familiarize yourself with the dozens of common indoor and outdoor plants plus many everyday foods that contain varying degrees of toxicity.
A soft greeting of recognition, a focus on their beauty or uniqueness, the acknowledgement they exist alongside us is adequate. Don’t assume you should or need to feed every creature you encounter. With that careful attitude you may be sparing a life.
Will Bear Flagville step up and represent?
EDITOR: Dear people of the great state of California,
Hello! I am a fourth grade student in North Carolina. In fourth grade, we do state reports and I have chosen your state! I am very excited to learn more about the great state of California as I work on my report.
Most of the information that we get for our reports will be from books and websites. We also like to get information from people who live in the state, too. This is why I am writing to you. I was hoping that you wold be willing to send me some items to help me learn more about the best things in your state. It could be things like postcards, maps, pictures, souvenirs, general information, an article from this newspaper, or any other items that would be useful. You can mail items to the address below. I really appreciate your help!
Lane Baylog, Mr. McConaughy’s class
Charlotte Latin School 9502 Providence, Road Charlotte, NC 28277
Hospital not a ‘conventional business’
EDITOR: In his letter to the editor, (“Hospital Should Stay on Budget,” March 21) Ed Shoop offers his perspective as a career business person and ascribes the need for a parcel tax subsidy to Sonoma Valley Hospital’s inability to manage to a budget. As someone who has also spent his career in private business I would be inclined to agree… that is if the hospital were a conventional business.
In fact, from what I’ve seen, the executive team at the hospital has done a remarkable job of managing expenses while providing quality health care services to our community. However, unlike the businesses with which Mr. Shoop and I are familiar, where we set pricing based on market demand, the majority of Sonoma Valley Hospital’s revenues are based on pricing models set by third parties like Medicare, and that pricing is set well below the cost of delivering the services provided. It’s simple arithmetic and no amount of careful financial management is going to erase that fundamental fact.