Letters for November 23, 2017

More on Anthem

Re “Busted” (Newslines, by Chad Terhune, Nov. 22):

Further to the article concerning Anthem’s recent fine from the state Department of Managed Health Care, and one earlier this year about refusal to cover the modern form of mammogram (see “Chico vs. The Man,” cover story, Sept. 28), I would like readers to be aware that Anthem is currently threatening to cut physician payments for some office visits by 50 percent.

This is a company making about $1 billion profit per quarter and whose CEO is paid $16 million per year. Cutting provider payments in an area that is already very short of physicians of all types will only make it harder for patients with Anthem insurance to get and keep a doctor. Many patients have open enrollment currently; I urge them to think hard about which insurer they choose.

Roy L. Bishop


Editor’s note: The author is a physician and medical director at Argyll Medical Group.

‘Hear us out’

Re “Custody battle” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, Nov. 16):

It is with great sadness that I have ended my relationship with Community Action Agency (CAA) and its CEO, Tom Tenorio, over his management and treatment of the employees at the Esplanade House.

The Esplanade House is a transitional housing program for homeless families. I along with Gary Incaudo and Lynne Bussey have been a driving force for 26 years for the Esplanade House programs and its expansion to the now 60 units. We always wanted the Esplanade House to be a place where families could work on the issues that caused them to slip into homelessness; not just a housing project.

Tenorio has stated he doesn’t need our program or monetary support, (what nonprofit wouldn’t want $75,000 to $100,000 each year). The chairman of the CAA board stated that the board has fully investigated our allegations and has found Tom Tenorio to be a great CEO. However, they didn’t read the letters written by CAA employees and former board members or interview these men and women who have had many problems with Tenorio’s management style.

I am asking the CAA board members to take the time to listen to us and the former employees at a special meeting where the board would have the time to fully investigate our allegations.

Greg Webb


Your recent article regarding the battle over the Esplanade House had a response from CAA Board Chair Doug Benander that is bewildering. He stated that CAA board members read the letters and researched the charges, and found the accusations aren’t substantiated. How could the CAA board have read our letters when we were never given a chance to submit them?

Greg Webb, Gary Incaudo and I were given 10 minutes to present a brief verbal summary of our serious concerns to the CAA board. We subsequently requested in writing that we have a closed session with CAA board members without Tom Tenorio present, to not only share the staff letters but also bring staff in so they could hear directly from them and ask questions. Our request was denied.

So, which letters have the CAA board members read? Certainly not the ones we have that continue to increase in number day by day and span over two decades. All we ask is for CAA board members to stand up and do the right thing: Hear us out!

Lynne Bussey


Editor’s note: In addition to being instrumental in establishing the Esplanade House, the authors are members of the board of the Esplanade House Children’s Fund, a nonprofit that has helped fund the organization through private donations.

‘Highly dubious claim’

Re “Six dead in shooting spree” (Downstroke, Nov. 16):

I was pleased to see that the immediate lockdown of Rancho Tehama Elementary School (a small, rural K-6 elementary school near Corning) was successful in frustrating deranged shooter Kevin Neal’s attempt to storm the campus and cause multiple fatalities.

I was disappointed to hear the NRA-originated propaganda talking point, parroted through our California 3rd District Republican Assemblyman James Gallagher, that—had some school staff members been permitted to carry concealed weapons (small handguns, I assume, as you can’t easily conceal a shotgun or a rifle)—there would have been a different result in this attack on the rural elementary school.

This is a highly dubious claim and wishful thinking to the highest degree.

No, the real problem here is not the fact that school staff members were not allowed to carry concealed firearms, the blood shed here is directly on the hands of the NRA and the multimillion-dollar munitions industry for the 2 million-3 million often poorly regulated AR-15-style assault weapons (and/or unregulated “ghost gun” copies) out there in the U.S., many in the hands of single-event serial killers.

These weapons have only one purpose—to kill and to maim.

Mark Gailey