Healthcare district still needs dialogue
EDITOR: Thank goodness that Meaure E passed! However, the slim margins point out the need to improve community understanding of how our hospital operates. For example:
How are employee salaries set?
What dictates the organizational structure of our hospital?
Why does the hospital experience a revenue gap and why do we need a parcel tax?
Are there opportunities to cut costs and enhance the revenue of the hospital to minimize the reliance on the parcel tax?
Are there ways to increase the use of the hospital for services that generate revenue above their costs?
Jane Hirsch, chair of the Sonoma Valley Health Care District Board, has begun to address these and other questions with a guest blog on the Sonoma Valley Hospital website – svh.com. I suggest you check it out.
There is an opportunity here, as Jane suggests, to provide a civilized informative dialogue to clear up the many questions that were raised during the campaign and improve our understanding of our hospital and our health care. She extends an open invitation for anyone to attend a future district board meeting to share your questions or concerns.
Sometimes a tree is more than a tree
EDITOR: Given the state of the climate, perhaps we ought to give primary consideration to the natural world in all of our planning decisions. We don’t, of course. We all still want what we want, and we don’t think too seriously about long-term consequences.
For example, a mere tree, even an ancient, fruit-bearing, bird-hosting tree, isn’t even a road bump in our thinking (“Who Gives a Fig?” June 9). Ownership of land remains the right to do pretty much anything with whatever is on or under that land. The birds, the animals, the children learning from and eating from that tree, and certainly the air affected by the removal of CO2 and addition of oxygen or the effect of the shade and water-retaining gifts of the tree, well, they cannot compete with whatever it is we think we want.
And of course potential tourist income outweighs environmental concerns from increased traffic including those coming to the proposed development, those delivering to it, and those working there who cannot afford to live nearby.
Our children are watching. What messages are we giving them by such choices? It is appalling how even high school students make no connection between their personal decisions and the condition of the world, beyond putting pretty much everything into recycling. We educate them far more through our actions than through any posters we put on the wall.
EDITOR: Walk Score rates cities, neighborhoods and addresses on proximity to amenities useful to residences. It is a 100-point system, with anything over 80 being good. (See walkscore.com.) Walk Score correlates to greenhouse gas emissions.
The location of Hotel Project Sonoma on West Napa Street has a “walk score” of 91; “daily errands do not require a car,” which Walk Score calls a “walker’s paradise.” Note that the affordable housing development on Broadway and Clay, across from Train Town, has a walk score of 58!! And the First Street East project has a walk score of 63!