Regarding your Special Report, "Heart Trouble at St. Joe" (September). Two points require clarification:
1. The expected mortality rate for angioplasty is approximately 1 percent, not 10 percent. The 10 percent estimate applies to coronary bypass surgery performed as an emergency following failed angioplasty. In my entire career, I have never had an angioplasty-related patient death (and I did not perform the angioplasty reported in your article to have preceded a patient's death).
2. The discussion of a patient who "can't come off the pump" was a general response to your question about what this phrase means. Whichever patient you heard about elsewhere, and to whom you were referring with that phrase, was not my patient and I did not offer comment on the care of that patient. In the interest of your readers and persons who consent to give interviews, please be more accurate in your quotations.
The availability and quality of open heart surgery in Humboldt County are very important issues for residents of the North Coast. This was a technically difficult subject to treat and you researched it well.
Robert J. Lock, M.D., Eureka
Regarding Jerry Partain's Guest Opinion, "Those disappearing timber jobs" (September): Junk science isn't the problem in the debate over forestry policies in the Pacific Northwest. It's junk English.
Trees are cut down. That's with a saw. To say they are harvested is stretching the meaning of the word.
The word harvest means to gather a crop during a season. Crops are grains, vegetables and fruits -- not trees. And a season is a division of the year. To call trees a crop and 30 years a season is ridiculous. ... They could say that they are going to "downsize" a particular forest. It's certainly a more accurate description of what's going on. ...
Timber jobs are going to be lost to the unavailability of old growth. It can happen now or it can happen when all the old growth is cut down and there are no options left.
G.T. Buckley, Bayside
Among the causes Jerry omits for job loss are:
1. (Small) mill closures due to predatory monopoly control by big corporations.
2. Log exports.
3. The large Mexican tree-planting crew I met a recent winter who replanted (at $12 per hour) for Pacific Lumber.
4. The entire history of local logging -- replanting at very sporadic levels, farcical loopholes like the 3-acre exemption, "salvage" logging -- with the intention of circumventing sound forestry practices.
It is only by the private funding by environmental groups that the government-funded U.S. Forest Service was taught and forced to do its job and not be simply a rubber stamp for industry. Taxpayers pay twice.
Joshua Kinch, Arcata
Wes Chesbro (cover story, "The boys of Sacramento," October) works for the California Integrated Waste Management Board, not the "Solid Waste Management Board."
Andrew I. Jones