August 2, 2012

By Contributor

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Library’s progress is taking too long

I find it mindboggling that skyscrapers can be erected in less time than it is taking for the Newcastle Library. The contractor should have been fired long ago, and the fact that the contractor has not been replaced shows the library system’s management is at best ill-suited or at worst, incompetent.

Replace both and the library would probably be completed in a few weeks, not months.

How much tax money has been wasted on this project?

Steve Fisher


Sheryl McCloud deserves support for supreme court

There is an open seat on the Washington State Supreme Court, which will be filled in the November election. Four candidates are running for this position, but one of them, Sheryl Gordon McCloud, is uniquely qualified by experience and intellect to fill the seat.

Sheryl has been a public defender, now has her own law practice and has taught law at Seattle University. So she has seen the law profession from many angles.

Through all of this, she has specialized in appellate cases, where the conduct of a fair trial is the issue. She has worked on many constitutional issues.

She has had the opportunity to appear before the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as the Washington State Supreme Court on numerous occasions.

She therefore understands what goes on in appeals courts. She has been rated as “exceptionally well qualified” by the King County Bar Association, Pierce County Bar Association and by the Cardoza Society. All of this gives her outstanding experience to serve as a Supreme Court judge.

Here you have a candidate who is respected in her profession, has a strong drive for fairness and following the constitutions of Washington and the United States, and who will work very hard for the people of Washington.

She would appreciate your vote in the Aug. 7 primary, and again Nov. 6 in the general election.

Richard V. Gidner



VMC, UW alliance supports community

As Valley Medical Center has reached the one-year anniversary of our strategic alliance with UW Medicine, I am pleased to report that we have already increased the availability of quality health care in our community.

In the July 2011 to July 2012 period, we have increased the clinical expertise and services available to our residents by expanding coverage at Valley in neurological surgery and thoracic surgery; expanding education and training through the UW emergency medicine residency; standardizing reporting for patient safety and quality; implementing a rapid process improvement program to reduce the costs of care; and creating additional access to primary care, secondary care and highly specialized care when needed.

The coming year should bring expansion to oncology services, cardiology, urology, ophthalmology and several other clinical areas. Being part of the UW Medicine system allows our physicians to have priority access to specialized care at UW Medicine when a patient needs urgent specialty services, such as open heart or organ transplant surgery.

In addition, we are working to reduce the overall cost of health care and to transform health care delivery. The recent Supreme Court decision on health care reform validates the concept of integrated delivery systems; a key component is readily available primary care. The combination of VMC’s clinics and UW Medicine’s Neighborhood Clinics has increased access to care in your neighborhoods and access to world-class specialists when needed.

Valley Medical Center is committed to continuing the progress we have achieved in the first year of the strategic alliance. The shared mission to improve the health of the public has allowed VMC and the rest of UW Medicine to focus on expansion of services and alignment of best practices as we prepare for health care reform and the growing needs of our population.

The focus of the board of trustees, with 11 trustees living in the service area, is to provide oversight to the delivery of health care in our community. We will continue to provide progress reports to let you know when new services are added. Thank you for relying on Valley Medical Center for your health care.

Lisa Jensen, chairwoman

Valley Medical 

Board of Trustees

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