Bond is insurance against losing hospital

I’m also underwhelmed by the hospital’s marketing push on the hospital bond. It seems like it’s being framed as a luxury and convenience rather than a necessity. That’s unfortunate because what we’re really voting on is this: 1. Fewer opportunities for errors and better odds of success when we’re critically ill and; 2. Insurance that we will have a hospital at all.

(Columnist Chuck) Pezeshki has a strong opinion about a complicated system he doesn’t seem to understand. The medical records system will benefit the folks in apartments as much as or more than any other demographic. We overturn 20,000-plus people in our community every four years. Their medical histories — medication allergies, chronic illnesses, etc. — are unlikely to be immediately accessible if they come in for care. The most critical patients are often unconscious. They can’t tell the doc what drug will make them sicker or what obscure underlying illness could be the key to resolving their health crisis.

If you get so sick or injured you need to be transferred to a higher level of care, you’ll probably be going to Sacred Heart. That means your new provider’s records system can’t talk to your old provider’s system and you’ll be relying on both hospitals to have someone with time to manually transfer records between systems.

The records system will also give providers more time with patients. The current system is clunky. The new system is much more efficient. The nurses and doctors will spend less time fighting with software and have more time with patients.

As far as money for a new building — the unfortunate reality is we are in long-term competition with Gritman and Whitman. We do cooperate in that we share providers, which is great for now. However, all three are dependent on supplementary federal funding to operate in the black. That funding could get pulled at any time (it nearly did during the recession). If it does, only one hospital will continue to operate as much more than an emergency department. PRH has to have the facilities in place to be more attractive to providers and patients than Gritman.

Chris Engle, Pullman


Three choices make sense for diversity, vitality

Thanks to Victoria Seever for her letter (Daily News, Oct. 22) bringing attention to an important issue for Moscow residents to be aware of with the upcoming City Council election. Seever writes: “Church seems to have entered city council elections and that’s troubling. … I would not like Moscow to become some kind of ‘Vatican’ city for any denomination. It’s critical that the whole town votes for its civic representatives for city government.”

Many in Moscow may be unaware that three of the six candidates are members of the same church. This concern is not about the many wonderful individuals who are members of this church, but rather about the power this church will potentially wield as an institution responsive to its own doctrines rather than to the needs of Moscow as a whole. If we want to insure a continued representative government, we need to elect City Council members who will represent the needs of our entire town.

Maureen Laflin, Sandra Kelly and Anne Zabala are thoughtful, committed people who have each demonstrated from their past strong civic involvement that they will listen and that they will act with the best interests of Moscow at heart. Laflin, a University of Idaho law professor and mediator with extensive experience with conflict resolution, was instrumental in bringing the lawsuit on behalf of the residents of the Syringa Mobile Home Park; Kelly works for Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute and serves on the Moscow Human Rights Commission; and Zabala is executive director of Backyard Harvest and has already proven herself to be an effective city council member.

In the interests of preserving Moscow’s diversity and vitality, I urge you to join me in voting for Laflin, Kelly and Zabala.

Judy Sobeloff, Moscow


UI students need convenient place to vote

Moscow City Council candidate James Urquidez publicly stated, “ … there is a big population of Christians in the community that I think need to be represented in City Council.”

The red flags this should raise about the separation of church and state aside, I got to wondering just how many Christians there are in Moscow. Websites I found estimate that approximately 20-30 percent of Moscow residents are Christian, whereas approximately 60 percent of all Idaho residents are of the same faith.

Why is the percentage in Moscow half of the state’s level? It’s well-publicized that younger generations are turning away from organized religion. There is a large segment of the community — the University of Idaho students make up nearly half of the city’s population – that, Christian or not, is being slighted. Students are eligible to vote and are members of our community, but isn’t it interesting that out of all of the large buildings available in Moscow, Latah County chose the two located the furthest from the University as polling places? The west-side campus with no polling places? The seat of this huge group?

Does this mean that the big population of students should be represented in the City Council? No, we should not be stacking council seats with representatives from specific groups. We should elect members who will represent all of us without ties to any special interests.

We should also enable every eligible voter in the city to have reasonable access to polling places and not marginalize the UI population. I encourage support for Kelly, Laflin, and Zabala for City Council, and I encourage Latah County to include a polling site on the west side of town nearer to or within the University of Idaho campus.

David Ackley, Moscow


Diversity is key for Moscow City Council

Please vote. A representative voter turnout and diversity on City Council reduce groupthink and fringe ideology that threaten Moscow’s celebrated status as a political and cultural outlier.

No one candidate matches every voter on every issue. Consider their positions on key issues and general comportment, on and off the political stage. We’re voting for Maureen Laflin, Sandra Kelly, and Anne Zabala.

They’ll serve our whole community, investing sufficient time to do the job well. They’re independent thinkers, resistant to peer pressure, unafraid of offering dissenting opinions to inspire better, more inclusive decisions.

Sandra has done her homework preparatory to serving on council, immersing herself in public service through volunteerism for the Humane Society, Kenworthy, historic preservation, 1912 Center, Lions, Alternative Giving Market, League of Women Voters, Moscow Human Rights Commission and more.

Anne is a networker and advocate for Moscow. She considers climate change a local issue, warranting local action. Such awareness will inform identification of the Basin’s sustainable water supply, and energy standards for public buildings like new police facilities. Sandra, Maureen, and Anne realize that business success and environmental protection — including fair regulatory oversight — are not mutually exclusive.

Maureen is a champion of underdogs. As director of UI’s Legal Aid Clinic, she filed the class-action suit that secured compensation for marginalized residents of the infamous Syringa Mobile Home Park. A skilled mediator, Maureen will bring diplomacy, critical thinking and problem-solving to the Council. She’ll advocate for quality affordable housing, resources for aging-in-place and transportation infrastructure to safely accommodate all users, including children, cyclists and people with disabilities.

Moscow is best served by policymakers who prioritize human connections, who are rational and compassionate, and recognize community-building as qualitative, not the exclusive domain of spreadsheets and statistics.

Laflin, Zabala, and Kelly understand. Please vote thoughtfully and independently. Moscow matters.

Nancy Chaney and Gary Bryan, Moscow

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