Letters to the Editor
We welcome letters to the Editor, a chance for members of the community to comment on issues of concern to them. All letters must be original, not duplications of letters addressed to public officials or written by others. The views and opinions expressed are those of the letter writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of this publication, its publishers, Editor, or staff.
To the Editor:
As you read this, Lincoln County is at imminent risk of losing one of its most precious assets – Pine Crest Nursing Home. Yes, that publicly-owned nursing home is a valuable, rare jewel. Too often vital services such as Pine Crest are sold out for short-term gain only to produce long term problems and ever-increasing costs not only for former/potential facility residents and their families, but for the entire community and its economy.
Not only does Pine Crest provide jobs for many in our community, it has demonstrated a higher standard of care for its residents. That higher standard of care enables family members to maintain their jobs and contribute to the economic health of the community while knowing that a resident family member is being cared for in a respectful and dignified manner. Too many family members have had to give up their own employment to care for the ever-growing needs of a family member who could not afford for-profit care or whose assets ran out before their needs were met.
Pine Crest belongs to the residents of Lincoln County, not the Lincoln County Board. According to the Board’s mission statement, that 22-member body exists ”…to maintain and improve the quality of life by providing fiscally responsible services in a respectful and dignified manner for those we serve.”
Pine Crest belongs to we the people, for the people, by the people, and should not be sold out to some distant, for-profit, multi-million or billion dollar hedge fund operation. Lincoln County can lead the way and demonstrate to the rest of the state, that long term care is achievable for those who need it. SPEAK UP NOW to save our valuable asset!
– Diana C. Smith
To the Editor:
As described in several recent Foto News articles, our Lincoln County Board has been “considering” a plan for Pine Crest. In my opinion, that Board had already made their decision to sell the property prior to the first public meeting. Every step the Board has taken, as outlined in several subsequent articles since the first public meeting, have been steps toward selling the Pine Crest property. There has not been a public meeting held providing transparency on solutions on how the Board can resolve budget and management issues while keeping Pine Crest.
As a community member who has had numerous family members and friends reside at Pine Crest or at the very least need short-term care, I know that once it is sold and privatized that future community family members and friends may not be able to afford or even want to reside there. I think the Lincoln Board Members may want to ask themselves if their family members will be able to afford care at a privatized care facility or if their family members will want to reside there. The decision to sell is short-sighted and will impact Lincoln County for generations to come, who may now be forced to receive care in another county or community. Again, pushing residents and their families out of Merrill to potentially seek services in other communities. Once Pine Crest is sold, there is no gaining it back.
– Courtney (Oberg) Busterud
Letters To The Editor Policy:
*Letters must be 250 words or less. (There will be no exceptions to this. Any letter longer than 250 words will not be printed.)
*The writer must include their full name, complete address, and a phone number where he/she can be easily reached for verification. Phone numbers and street addresses will not be published, but will be used for verification purposes, if necessary. Letters must be signed and the name, city, and state will be printed.
*Letters may be edited for style, grammar, and length. Form letters or those we determine to be libelous or slanderous will not be accepted. Any letter deemed derogatory, inflammatory, or involving vulgar language will not be published. We reserve all rights to reject material submitted to this publication.
*Letters will be published on a “first come, first served” basis. Any letters which we are unable to publish in the printed newspaper may be run online at www.merrillfotonews.com and/or may be printed in the paper at a later date.
*In fairness to all, and due to space constraints, there is a limit of two letters per year from an individual writer. Additional letters may be submitted to our Paid Letters to the Editor column and will require payment in full prior to publication at the same rate as Political Letters to the Editor (see policy below).
Political Letters To The Editor Policy:
All letters submitted as an endorsement for a political candidate, referendum, or political agenda will carry the same guidelines as above; however, they will be charged $40.00 per letter of up to 250 words in length. Longer political letters will be accepted but will be charged $10.00 per additional 100 words. All political letters must be prepaid prior to printing. Letters to the Editor will not be accepted from candidates running for election or representatives of an organization endorsing their own referendum, as these are clearly advertisements and not opinion letters; those submissions will be referred to our Advertising Department to be run as paid ads.