Community needs medical center

The nursing team of Doctors Medical Center is its backbone and we are committed to the hospital's survival.

Times articles about the center's future rightly pointed out West Contra Costa Healthcare District cannot cut its way out of its fiscal mess by slashing compensation of its dedicated staff.

The federal and state government must reverse reimbursement reductions by Medicaid and Medi-Cal to Doctors and other community hospitals.

County government leadership and the for-profit hospital industry ought not turn their backs. Instead, Doctors and other community hospitals represent opportunities for strategic alliances and affiliations. Together, they can either let the safety net be pulled apart or they can seize the moment and collectively recommit values of quality care for all.

Andra' Kaminsky

Pinole

Kaminsky is the director of the intensive care unit and emergency department at Doctors Medical Center.

Donate to Lindsay Wildlife Museum

What if you found injured or orphaned wildlife and had no where to take it for care? What if there were no Lindsay Wildlife Museum hospital there to help? What would you do?

This year, in the holiday spirit of helping the needy, please consider making a donation to the often overlooked hospital that helps nearly 6,000 animals a year. The Walnut Creek facility, where I have been a volunteer since 2006, provides a real community service and is in desperate need of donations to continue helping animals and people.

Now is a perfect time to adopt an animal or simply donate to one of the best causes right here in our own backyard.

Kerry Kilmer

Martinez

New warhead needs five years of study

Livermore Lab has been pushing Congress to move forward with the development of a dangerous new nuclear warhead. Most of the research and development would take place in Livermore.

This project, estimated to cost upward of $14 billion, would mix elements from several existing nuclear weapons.

Some components would come from the Navy's submarine-based W88, some from the Air Force's silo-based W8, and some from other weapon designs.

This mash up of three or more different warheads would create an untested Frankenbomb with new military capabilities, thereby violating our nuclear non-proliferation treaty obligations and encouraging other nations to undertake similar new weapons programs.

Because the Navy and others have objected to the interoperable warhead's costs as well as the radical nature of the proposed new design, the Obama administration could, and should, impose a 5-year delay on the program to study alternatives.

The Livermore-based Tri-Valley CARES has brought important information to light about this new warhead and continues to challenge this dangerous and costly program.

The group serves as an important check on the Lab's otherwise unfettered nuclear ambitions. Check out their work at www.trivalleycares.org.

Scott Yundt

Oakland

Asiana accident details disturbing

Passengers flying with any airline assume the captain is in charge and in control of the airplane on which they are flying. This just is common sense and is a reasonable expectation for all passengers.

The recent hearing in Washington, D.C., on the Asiana crash paints a picture that is disturbing, to say the least.

The pilot expressed great anxiety about his first landing of a Boeing 777 at San Francisco airport. The pilot's lack of knowledge of some pretty basic and crucial control functions of the aircraft he was flying is baffling. How could such an individual be let loose to fly this airplane?

He clearly was not in control of the aircraft. He was depending on automation somehow to bail him out while he was flying too low and too slow with his engines in idle mode.

The senior pilot was making his inaugural flight as a trainer evaluating the pilot in charge of the aircraft. The combination of two trainees in charge of the aircraft does not seem to be appropriate when the lives of more than 300 people are dependent on competence in the cockpit.

Evo Alexandre

Moraga