Your columnist Michael Palecki has the right to his opinion but his information concerning the Veterans Administration health care leaves a lot to be desired. VA health care is fine, excellent in some cases, but that does not mean that veterans using VA health care need to be treated at VA Hospitals or Clinics.
Following Palecki’s and others’ rationale, we should have VA health care in every community in America. The VA was set up to take care of service connected injuries or aliments of Veterans. This has changed over the years as Congress has spread the government health care out to include all veterans and all their aliments, whether service connected or not. Not to argue whether that is bad or good, it is a fact of life now.
Those of us who believe that a medical credit card for Veterans so that they can receive routine care at their own private doctor or medical facility, in their own neighborhood, is a good idea are not against VA Regional Centers taking care of the needs of Veterans with service connected injuries or those Veterans that can make it to the regional centers. But if a Veteran needs his hearing checked, a dermatologist, a routine health check-up, or even surgery, why is a VA medical center needed, when it makes sense to have the Veteran see their local health care provider.
Palecki buys into the anti-Trump rhetoric and it shows in spades. Even the former president, a Democrat, saw the need for VA reform and his administration started the ball rolling to bring health care to Veterans and not make the Veteran go to regional centers. Palecki is either a flaming Liberal, wanting more government run health care, or naive.
As a retired member of the military I use VA care by choice. They do a good job and with the reforms to the administrative side, will even get better. But to serve our fellow Veterans, we need the flexibility of a VA that doesn’t try to build a government facility at every corner, but that has in mind the health care of those who have served this nation.
July 3, 2017
Wrightwood’s evolution to CSD Dear Editor,
If I may digress with a bit of history, I will then offer that with the adoption of our own Community Services District (CSD), we are in a position to have our local government be the conduit to county, state and federal agencies, as well as private businesses that effect our lives here in Wrightwood. By the late 1960’s, those of us in business and community service in Wrightwood realized that it was not enough for the Chamber of Commerce, the Property Owners or the Lions and Women’s Club to speak out to government agencies regarding one thing or another regarding our life here in Wrightwood. Oh, there were many things then, just as there are now. Everything from traffic congestion, snow removal, street repair, school issues (our kids were bused to Apple Valley and Hesperia back then for middle and high school), Forest Service “neighborliness,” and the list goes on. A few of us realized that if we took the dormant CSA 56 (set up for lighting powers/taxes, with an advisory board, but with the number of lights already mapped out, the board had not met for years as the automatic payments were made through our local funds to Edison) and added park and rec powers and sewer powers (yes we were thinking ahead due to the federal and state governments starting to push the sewering in the more rural communities), we could re-form the CSA 56 agency and turn it into a Wrightwood Village Council that would work to listen, discuss and represent Wrightwood to all those agencies outside of Wrightwood. We requested the County Supervisor to do this and he did, with a new advisory board named to operate the three powers designated. I should mention that at this time, the CSA’s were almost autonomous, putting together their budgets, spending their own (the community’s) taxes that came from the property tax, and once a year submitting the budget and a year-end report to the County Supervisors for their oversight and approval. We functioned as a Village Council. It was in this “spirit” that I, and others on the Timberline Lions Board of Directors, discussed and then voted to donate the Wrightwood Community Building to CSA 56 (1974), so that the cost of operation of the necessary community asset would be maintained by the entire community through the property taxes collected. It was a sure win for the community. By the way, in 1978, with the passage of Prop. 13, the counties in California re-vamped how they operated due to reductions in property tax and the CSA’s were consolidated to a central county seat operation, with the local Board members becoming advisory only with no real operational control. The Wrightwood Village Council idea was working though, with our early board members having agenda items on their monthly meeting calendar that would allow local residents (full time and weekender) the opportunity to discuss items well beyond the three powers the CSA had. The Council would then go on record on such issues and while they didn’t have the power to make policy, fix a pothole, they had THE BULLY PULPIT, and used it. Our County Supervisor at that time understood the importance of what Wrightwood was doing and moved to make our CSA a “Municipal Advisory Council (MAC).” We were the first, and when the authority of the CSAs was taken away after 1978, the MACs remained a tool that the unincorporated/no local elected board community in San Bernardino County as well as the state could have to communicate with the County Supervisor. So with that history, it is my fervent hope that the Wrightwood CSD Board of Directors, as they take office this month, consider their role as something more than just the overseer of their three powers. The community of Wrightwood elected the five Directors, and we have the opportunity to accept our place in the community of communities in San Bernardino County with elected representation. It would be good if there were a “community concerns” Agenda item on the regular meeting format for the CSD. “Bullets” within the community concerns could include Utilities (water so important to us), Roads (Caltrans and County), Law enforcement (County Sheriff and CHP), Forest Service, and possibly more. Obviously, within reason, an open forum for locals to mention concerns could be accommodated. As an example of a “concern,” the CSD could write a letter to Caltrans, since no one in the last two years has done so, advising them that their Wrightwood Village Limit sign, with population and elevation, is situated in the wrong place on Hwy 2. It belongs just below Wright Mountain Road, not in the middle of town. The CSD doesn’t have authority to move the sign, but a letter from Wrightwood’s governmental agency just may move mountains. We are at a wonderful beginning of truly being “big kids” in charge of our destiny. While many over the years believed we should bury our heads in the sand and rely on county bureaucrats, and not so-bureaucrats in San Bernardino, to tell us what to do and how to do it, I really believe my Village has grown to the point where good people can determine our fate in the spirit of self-governance. The CSD Wrightwood Village Council can be the catalyst for a wonderful Wrightwood spirit. Tom Pinard Wrightwood
Internet Service Dear Editor,
Homeowners waiting for the fiber infrastructure from RACE Communications already know that high-speed internet alternatives have been in our area for years. I dropped Verizon telephone and DSL internet years ago and now use a cell phone and satellite high-speed internet service. For internet service on the go, I have high-speed data on my iPad tablet and on my phone. So, even those living in a cabin in the oldest residential neighborhoods can have high-speed internet now. Gary Campbell Pinon Hills
Serving Wrightwood, Phelan, Pinon HIlls and West Cajon Valley Since 1961