When my 5-year-old son gouged his head on a park bench, we sat outside Dominican Hospital’s emergency room for four hours waiting to be treated.
I’m not complaining. I understand things take time and there were higher priorities than a face that needed seven stitches. But as I waited, I would have paid anything to jump ahead of the line.
I think of that when I see that the struggling Watsonville Hospital is asking for a $116 million bond measure to keep its emergency room and bring its services to the highest level possible. The money will come from South County homeowners at a rate of $24 a year for every $100K for which their homes are valued.
It’s not a bad request even at a time when dollars are hard to come by. The value we’d get as a community is worth far more.
How many times have your lives and health been saved in a local emergency room? Mine has been more than a few times and I’m grateful for the work they did every time. I wouldn’t be writing this without the nurses and doctors who treated me. I’d bet most of you have also been there and done that.
The numbers are staggering: 32,000 people came through the emergency department in Watsonville, a number that is now inching toward 35,000, according to a great article by Todd Guild in Good Times Jan. 3.
That’s compared to 52,000 at Dominican Hospital and 60,000 visits at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.
The idea of losing that South County life-saving service is frightening and should be enough to convince you to vote for the bond during the March 5 primary election.
Some other benefits of the bond include the purchase of the building, saving $3 million of rent; and expanding the building for additional state-of-the-art services, making it a top hospital.
You don’t have to wait to vote in person.
County election guides will be mailed out to all active voters by Feb. 5. Some 90 percent of voters mail back those ballots. In person voting starts then at two locations, the County Clerk’s office and the Watsonville City Clerk’s office. On Feb. 24 three more locations open, the Scotts Valley Library, Temple Beth El and the community room at the sheriff’s office. On March 2, 13 more locations open and four more on March 5. There are fewer locations than the 140 in the past, but there are more days to vote.
Thanks for reading.
DOG DAY AFTERNOON Chula on a West Cliff car ride. Photo by Zoe Garcia
Cabrillo College has been selected to receive funding under the U.S. Department of Education’s Basic Needs – Supporting Student Success Program. The three-year grant of $633,334 will help support programs that address students’ basic needs and improve graduation and transfer outcomes.
The grant will help the Nourishment and Essential Supports Team (NEST) Resource Center improve students’ social, emotional, academic, and career development by creating a more deliberate and centralized navigation system for students to connect with resources for food, housing, transport, and technology, as well as health and wellness services.
At noon Saturday Jan. 20 Santa Cruz’s Romero Institute and its Lakota People’s Law Project will join UCSC’s American Indian Resource Center to host a free screening of Oyate at the Del Mar Theater. Oyate is a powerful documentary which features activist attorney Chase Iron Eyes, who will join filmmaker Brandon Jackson for a Q&A following the screening. The entire event will be live-streamed to viewers around the world. The Santa Cruz community is invited to participate in this free event (donations welcome; tickets available here).
Quote of the Week
“It was a place where some people have two houses and some people have two jobs.”
from the Netflix show, Outer Banks.