Reply to "Sports"
By Karl Richey
December 14, 2007
I must take issue with Eileen Small's comments on our wonderful
ballfields. Has she no concept of what a boost they give to
the local economy every year?
Ketchikan General Hospital is now the largest employer in our
borough, & the Emergency Room is a major entry point for
all its departments. I have personally stitched, debrided, splinted,
& casted our local atheletes, both young & old for over
17 years now. They're a mainstay of our department, not to mention
the business they represent for Radiology, Orthopedic Surgery,
& Physical Therapy. Then there are the pharmacies who supply
the pain meds, antibiotics, crutches, braces, Neosporin, guaze,
& Ace wraps - they have to make a living, too! What about
the paramedics, whose ambulances respond instantly for concussions,
dislocations, & compound fractures - is their training in
This is Alaska, where real men (& some women) are toughened
by suffering & deprivation. So the bleeding hearts in Coffman
Cove have coughed up the dough for a "beautiful grass ballfield".
Don't you realize what that could cost if we tried to do that
here? Why, it might raise taxes. Besides the loss to the local
economy, there could even be a BOND issue!
No, If the community can't even support our jobs with the sacrifice
of their children's bodies, then what's the point of living in
the Last Frontier? I want to thank the members of the school
board, city council & planning commission, plus the borough
assembly for their foresight & compassion in providing opportunities
for us medical professionals & emergency personnel by keeping
our athletic fields just about as dangerous as possible. I'd
also like to invite each of them to visit the ER after a tournament
to congratulate the parents, & perhaps pass out awards to
the weekend warriors who've laid their heads & extremities
down on the hard gravel of Alaskan public spirit.
So what if those repeated head injuries have shaved a few IQ
points from that sophmore's potential. The fractures & deep,
infected abrasions will heal, I've still got a job, & I don't
have to pay too much of it out in local taxes. Thank you for
Karl Richey, MD
About: "31 years in Emergency
Rooms, at KGH since 1990."
Received December 13, 2007
- Published December 14, 2007
By Eileen Small
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