Grout: Thanks Sharp, Harrington and Williams for their work on hospital board

Editor:

Thanks to Barbara Sharp, Monica Harrington and Bill Williams, our three newest Public Hospital District commissioners, for taking the next step on Wednesday evening to move us closer to getting full reproductive health services for island residents. During their election campaigns 15 months ago they promised they would try to secure a reduction in the tax subsidy we pay to PeaceHealth in order to free up some money for the health care services that PeaceHealth cannot or will not provide. Those services are related to the Reproductive Privacy Act and the Death with Dignity Act, state laws that were overwhelmingly supported by SJC voters. A few months ago, Bill and Monica negotiated a $50,000 reduction in the subsidy.

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Geyman: Congratulations to PHD board for much needed step

To the Editor:

Congratulations to the Board of Commissioners of the San Juan County Public Hospital District No.1 for their decision at last night’s meeting to proceed to draft a draft contract with Planned Parenthood to be considered at a future meeting. This is a very much needed step to address an unmet need for essential women’s health care on San Juan Island.

Dr. John Geyman

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An Open Letter to Islanders with Guest Houses, Extra Bedrooms, or Even A Heated Garage

I’m writing to appeal to Islanders to do what they can to help the seasonal housing crisis in Friday Harbor, and entertain the idea of housing some workers during the summer. Our retailers, hoteliers, restaurateurs, and other business owners need your help to house the massage therapists, servers, housekeepers, bartenders, golf pros, housekeepers and other workers who keep the island economy rolling through our extremely intense, short tourist season. If you are sturdy in vetting and setting house rules, these folks can be wonderful sources of income and inspiration.

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Loftus: SJPHD takes money from Charitable Fund to give to Planned Parenthood.

San Juan Public Hospital District Commissioners have decided to amend the contract with Peace Health to remove money from the charitable fund used to help people in our community who can’t afford their hospital bills. Our community levy money is the source of the fund. The $50,000 removed will be sent to Planned Parenthood. They report it will be used for cervical cancer screening but this service is already available from doctors at Peace Island Medical Center.

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Cohen & Steere: Question the wisdom of Port spending $9,600 on insurance for director who resigned

Our Port Commissioners voted on Wednesday to offer the recently resigned Port Director six months of Cobra health insurance coverage at a cost of $9600, paid for by the Port, meaning paid by the taxpayers. This decision is difficult to understand given they have expressed such extreme concerns regarding the Port’s finances. Their motivation for this was not clearly stated but they did infer that the former director was treated unfairly by the public and feel guilty about that. We just have to question if that is a good enough reason to spend public monies when they have had to eliminate positions due their worry of budget shortfalls.

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Scanning All Fish!

Recently, FHL became home to the Karel F. Liem Bio-Imaging Center. The centerpiece of the shared research facility is a very capable micro-source CT scanner from Bruker, a model 1173. The scanner can image radio-dense tissue at resolution as fine as 5 microns, and because of variable magnification geometry it can also image specimens about the size of two grapefruits. Having the machine right down the hall from my office led to experimentation with high-speed workflow. And that led to a project called #scanAllFish.

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