November 1-8, 2006

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Letters to the Editor

Where there's smoke . . .

Ah, the irony. I read with dismay your half-assed endorsement of Proposition 86 (Oct. 25), which essentially said, "Geez, guys, it's a harsh tax for all of you unwashed masses, but shut up and pay it." Then I turn the page to a pullquote from an article by Stuart Kiehl (Open Mic, "Insecure Voting" ) that reads, in part, "[W]hat this country was founded on: no taxation without representation." From where I sit, this "harsh, regressive" excise tax is taxation without representation. But I guess that fact doesn't count, since the only ones being taxed will be, as you put it, "those who can least afford it, the less educated and the underemployed."

Marilyn Rysiewicz, Santa Rosa

Geed Misch Lahn

Perhaps Mr. Wolf needs to stay in Manhattan and enjoy the overpriced, overglorified and over-reviewed restaurants available there ("Zut, Abhors!" Oct. 25). Instead of rejoicing in the local restaurants that were honored with a star by Michelin, he only notes several that were not (and in my opinion don't deserve one). The people of West County have shown their good taste and appreciation for K&L Bistro and the Farmhouse Inn, which both offer consistently excellent fare at reasonable prices. Ask anyone in the area, and they invariably mention K&L Bistro as an absolute favorite in the area. Did Mr. Wolf even visit it? I do, often, and have done since it opened. I hope I can get a reservation soon.

Shirley Liberman, Sebastopol

Clark Wolf responds: I did not mean to disparage K&L (which I love) or the Farmhouse Inn (which I like), only that Michelin seemed to miss the big picture. Any positive attention for nice places is swell. Glad your feelings are so passionate. And, oh--any intimation that I am not local had better be coming from a member of Graton Rancheria.

Hospital hell

Regarding the travesty wrought upon little Sara Caddell at Petaluma Valley Hospital (the Byrne Report, "Hospital Hell," Oct. 18), I strongly recommend that Dr. Stephen Krickl be fired, stripped of his medical license and charged with child endangerment himself, not only for his failure to act appropriately and expeditiously on Sara's behalf, but for his ass-backward judgment regarding the actions of Sara's mother, Cathy, who is obviously an extremely well-informed and caring parent who acted completely within the realm of reason in regard to the safety of her child. For Dr. Krickl and Dr. Martha Cueto-Salas to treat Cathy Caddell as though she were somehow irresponsible is unforgivable. At the very least, Petaluma Valley Hospital should erase most, if not all, of the $12,000 bill, most of which was due to Dr. Krickl's unconscionable action of forcing a seven-year-old girl, who displayed absolutely no ill symptoms, to endure a night in the intensive care unit, not because of her condition, but due to his own ill-informed opinions regarding Sara's mother. I applaud Cathy and Craig Caddell for maintaining a level of restraint that I, a father of two girls, am not sure that I could have.

Regarding the related issue of "undervaccination," I implore readers to seek out the plethora of information available that discusses the extreme dangers inherent in many vaccines and prescription medications being shoved into the bloodstreams of children in the name of pharmaceutical company greed. The recent sharp rise in autism rates alone (linked to vaccines) should have parents and doctors alike screaming "No!" to overvaccination.

Mark Fassett, Sebastopol

Tough medicine

I felt infuriated reading "Hospital Hell" this morning. I have seen this sort of corporate arrogance before, and it is really frightening. Institutions forcing Western medicine on people who do not want it and labeling them negligent if they do not follow the corporate paradigm of drugs. It seems that most people in this country have relinquished their authority to doctors. Many doctors are altruistic healers, but as in any profession, there will be the few who are dysfunctional egotistical power mongers run amok in their position of authority.

In attempt be fair to Dr. Steven Krickl, whom I do not know, he may have had other patients in the ER who were dying fast from major trauma, cardiac arrest or both. Perhaps he was stressed to the max and an uppity mom (which I am too, by the way) put him over the top. He did not have the time to assess the situation fully, so called in other resources to pass it on. Better safe than sorry.

Still, the child being admitted to ICU in no apparent distress? Symptoms of pennyroyal oil poisoning usually come on soon after ingestion in the form of stomach discomfort and or rash in the mouth. The fact that Cathy Caddell selectively vaccinated tells me she is an informed mother who cares deeply about the welfare of her children. Too bad the threats of "calling the authorities" worked so well against her. Now I know not to use poison control if I ever need it, but Google instead.

Pam Lewis, Sebastopol

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