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OPINION AND EDITORIAL

CHRONICLE URGES YES VOTE ON MONROE HOSPITAL LEVY
March 19, 2013



Unlike many newspapers in America the Sky Valley Chronicle does not feel a burning need to tell readers who or what we think they should vote for whenever election time rolls around. We figure voters are smarter than newspapers and can do just fine on their own in that department.

Truth be known, we fail to comprehend why so many newspapers across the land continue in the year 2013 to adhere to what many people feel is an antiquated, offensive, 19th century newspaper-as-nanny-state habit of telling voters in their Op-Ed sections who they should vote for - and by extension seek to influence the outcome of an election - and in the same pages of the same paper try to convince the great unwashed that newspaper is fully fair and equitable in its reporting about candidates and issues.

Perhaps early in the nation's history when there was no compulsory public education, when there were many more illiterate and semi-literate citizens and there was no Google to discover in 000.1 seconds anything you'd want to know about anything, there might have been some value in the presumably more educated, better informed, highly literate (and honest?) Gods of the newspaper industry telling farmers and livery stable operators who they should vote into office.

But even that assumption is suspect if you've read the history of the newspaper barons and the age of yellow journalism they ushered in. The newspaper industry, or what's left of it rolls on through time toting a lot of ugly baggage that makes for interesting, albeit sordid tales around a campfire.

But with all that said and laid out good and proper as it should be, rules, policies and procedures were meant to be massaged or broken from time to time which is why the Sky Valley Chronicle - desperately not wishing to appear newspaper nanny state-ish and feeling a measure of discomfort at the moment - urges nonetheless a YES vote on the Valley General Hospital levy come April 23.

There. The nanny's out of the bag.

A CHEAP PRICE TO PAY WHEN MINUTES COUNT

Valley General in Monroe, recently merged with Kirkland based EvergreenHealth in a partnership after years of hard times, is asking that homeowners pay 37 cents per $1,000 of assessed home value in this levy.

We think that's a cheap price to pay considering that without this levy there may be kicked into gear a series of events that culminate in the Sky Valley having no full time, full service hospital at some point in the future.

And when its your loved one in trouble, minutes count. Minutes save lives.

When emergencies strike you want that full service hospital minutes away from your front door -- seconds away if possible. You most definitely will not want to take the extra time needed to race to a hospital in Everett or Kirkland.

Valley General, a public hospital owned by taxpayers, has been losing money for a long time. Its current levy rate of 14 cents is the lowest in Washington State among public hospitals.

One can argue that the hospital should have gone before voters long ago with levy requests to stay current with funding needs, and/or that administrators should have done this or that to prevent floating slowly to the edge of the abyss but all that is water under a bridge.

What is important now is where to go from here.

WHAT THE PRICE OF A COFFEE AND A DOUGHNUT BUYS

The average home value in the district is $200,000 so the average homeowner would pay about $74 a year if the levy passes.

That's about $6.16 a month -- the price of one specialty coffee and a doughnut at Starbucks one time a month.

Now imagine this if you will.

It is three days from now and your child, grandchild, cousin or sister is on the ground and barely breathing. She has numerous injuries and blood gushing out of an artery that's been cut open. She's is in desperate straights and begging a stranger through barely audible whispers not to let her die.

She needs to be in a well equipped, fully staffed, full time hospital right now. Minutes count.

How expensive does that six bucks a month look now?

Please vote YES on the Valley General Hospital levy April 23.





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