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'What Happens Now?' 

Editor:

Thank you for reporting on the ongoing elder abuse that is taking place in the euphemistically labeled "skilled nursing care facilities" here in Humboldt County (Profit and Pain, Nov. 17). What happens now? 

This level of criminal neglect surely warrants intervention sooner than the legislative process allows. The timeline indicated by Assemblymember Wood, "we have to fight over and over for resources" is a long-term strategy, not a remedy for the suffering of the people trapped there now. Elder neglect is a crime as defined in our state's penal code, yet there is no mention of charges against Mr. Rechnitz. Why?

The horrible conditions described within these facilities equate to what folks in disasters from fires and earthquakes experience. Citing COVID and staffing shortages is unacceptable. Governor Newsom has the power to declare a disaster. FEMA resources to these sites would be an appropriate response right now.

I look forward to reading about the remedies, and improved care that will be provided for, those who, as Assemblymember Wood states, "really need our help."

Sheila Evans, Eureka

Editor:

Thank you NCJ for reminding readers, once again, what investigative journalism looks like with Linda Stansberry's stunning report "Profit and Pain;" further exposing the Brius corporation's exploitation of 80 percent of Humboldt County's nursing home residents.

Stansberry's detailed recounting of human suffering is horrific, disgraceful and should shock everyone's conscience, especially those whose public careers require a constitutional oath framed by its commitment to the "general welfare" and "posterity." Yet, chronic mistreatment and injury of the elderly is allowed to continue, year-after-year, just blocks from our Eureka home and the homes of county supervisors, city council members, teachers, academics and Humboldt County's largest district of healthcare professionals.

With this level of corruption and cruelty perpetrated against Humboldt County's most vulnerable elderly residents, how is it possible that our elected representatives, highly paid public officials and senior advocacy organizations are failing to take aggressive action?

Surely, it's not because public officials' generous pensions become tax-free when investing in their own private, full-service retirement resorts with fully staffed professional nursing care whenever needed, physical therapy, mental health services, exercise facilities, theaters, golf, tennis, spas and gardens.

Taxpayers subsidizing the tax-free pensions, "nonprofit" tax benefits, infrastructure, emergency services, public grants and low-interest loans for these resorts is desperately needed elsewhere to properly fund public nursing homes that benefit everyone and in-home care services where retirees and the disabled live longer, healthier, happier lives instead of being "Schlomoed" in Brius facilities.

As George Orwell observed, "... one thing which enlightened people, (the 'official class'), seldom or never possess ... is a sense of responsibility ... our standard of living, and hence our 'enlightenment' demands that the robbery shall continue."

 George Clark, Eureka

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