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Letters published Aug. 14, 2015

Problems with dialysis clinic cuts

I am a patient at the St. Helens dialysis clinic, Fresenius Medical Care PNRS.

I have been notified that, starting Sept. 7, the Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday dialysis runs have been discontinued and the only days that will be available are Monday, Wednesday and Friday. There are multiple issues with this change.

First is, this will cause a major impact on the community. There is limited transportation for this area. The local Columbia County Rider transit service does not run after 6 p.m. and the cost for patients to use the Dial-a-Ride service six times per week would be a financial hardship.

This causes the community to not have adequate medical resources that are life-sustaining in our area. This also will limit the accessibility of the Dial-a-Ride for other seniors, as dialysis patients are given priority.

Second is, if there is any individual that needs more than three dialysis runs per week, then they have to find a way into another clinic. These other clinics are not easily accessible by public transportation; in fact, they would have to change buses multiple times and again the local CC Rider does not run after 6 p.m. This means that they would have to drive, if capable; get a ride from friend or family member; or go without the necessary life-sustaining medical treatment that had been previously available in our community.

The impact on other drivers is that there would now be individuals that are incapacitated, due to a medical treatment that is necessary for them, driving on the roads. These individuals have the potential to cause fatal crashes and the loss of life. There is no reason that these individuals would be on the road other than there are no longer resources in our community to meet a medical, life-sustaining need.

The other impact is that family members would have to take time off from work, which would result in hardship from maintaining employment or, if retired, the cost of multiple trips into Portland or other areas would be a financial hardship.

Lastly, this is being driven by money and the bottom line, not the necessary medical life-sustaining treatments in an area that already has limited medical facilities.

Columbia County has limited access to necessary medical services. With the reduction in services at the dialysis clinic, this is just one more service that is no longer available for citizens and taxpayers in our county.

Daniel Zuniga and

Teresa Nickel-Zuniga

Deer Island

Cartoon was inaccurate, off base

Your political cartoon printed in the Spotlight on Aug. 7 (see Opinion, page A4) would offend most family forestland owners who currently forgo harvests along fish-bearing and along non-fish bearing streams.

The caricature illustrates a total lack of understanding of what is at stake. Expanding the riparian zone along these streams is being considered, but the scientific evidence and justification simply do not exist.

In such studies, the stream temperature might be improved by .03 degrees Fahrenheit, but that improvement is disputed. This writer would suggest no fish has died from such a neglible change in stream temperature.

The cartoon also implies that the Oregon Board of Forestry as has taken a position on this issue. Wrong again! The OBF has postponed this decision until fall.

Initial stream temperatures are a factor of water origin. Ground water from the aquifers and/or from high elevation melting snow and ice runoff are the primary sources of the lower stream temperatures. Shading the water only reduces the effect of the ambient temperature. There is, in fact, no cooling of the water by the shade.

Furthermore, such additional “taking” (e.g., stealing) might trigger the requirements under Measure 37, whereby property owners are to be compensated by such actions by the state.

I would urge the editor to filter these blatantly deceiving and erroneous contributions, otherwise long-term subscribers will likely cancel their subscriptions, including this reader.

Paul Nys


Thank you for oil train resolution

I would like to tip my hat to Mayor Scott Burge and the members of the Scappoose City Council for the passage and adoption of Resolution 15-13.

Resolution 15-13 strongly urges the U.S. Congress and U.S. Department of Transportation to strengthen bomb car design and operation laws and regulations for petroleum product shipments. The safe construction of trains should be an immediate priority, as should the minimization of the product’s volatility before it leaves the demarcation point at the source.

Thank you for taking the bold action to protect the people and property of your city. I hope the other cities along the Columbia River will take like action. Kudos!

Ann Morten

St. Helens