letters to the editor

Frustrated with Ferrellgas

My husband and I are residents of Boulder Creek. We’ve been long-time Ferrellgas customers. Until this winter, we’d been very happy with their service. We maintained a significant positive credit balance “just in case,” and were on “automatic” tank refills. 

Then something happened—Ferrellgas stopped refilling our tank in the fall and wouldn’t tell us when they could refill it. Calls to customer service were frustrating and disappointing. With storms approaching, a nearly empty tank, and no word on a tank refill, we called another company—who installed a new tank and filled it in less than four hours!

Remember that credit balance? Since February they have acknowledged they owe us the refund but won’t return our money. Keeping something that doesn’t belong to you is unethical and unlawful. Ferrellgas won’t return $2,400. It’s our money and we’d like it back. 

We hope our experience can save others some trouble.

Margaret Bruce
Boulder Creek

Dignity Health closes Boulder Creek Clinic

On May 9, I received a letter from Tristan Kouk, the VP of Clinic Operations of Dignity Health, telling me of the closure of our Boulder Creek Clinic on Big Basin Way effective June 30, 2023. Quite a cold shock and surprise for me since my source of Primary care for the last at least 20-plus years has been here in my small town of around 7,000 people with probably 40% being seniors (as am I).  

When I called the phone number given for questions and assistance, I was connected to a patient advocate, and after telling her my concerns I was referred to another patient advocate (down in Rancho Cordova, Calif.) to get their form for my complaints. There was no specific form and I was told to respond to her email with an account of my concerns and send it to her and was also told that “we cannot provide you any additional information and the case will be closed after it is escalated.” (What does that mean?)

Further on in the email it said please allow 30-45 days for your case to be processed and completed and told me to make sure my mailing address on file is current. By the time they process our complaints, the 45-day period will be upon us and the clinic closed, having allowed inadequate time for the community’s input and complaints. 

Last, I was told that Dignity has a medical office in Scotts Valley that will take us into their care. Please note that Scotts Valley is a 30-45 minute drive from here on Highway 9 when it is fully open and has one bus line in and out of here with infrequent stops in and around town.

So, on to my concerns! I have just voiced my first and foremost concern, and that is ACCESS to medical care for our residents. We have excellent access to a pharmacy, two dentists, a veterinarian, two churches, two grocery stores and an elementary school, which all operate together with the clinic to support a healthy community and population. 

I feel abandoned by Dignity’s removal of one vital component of this system of life, and it is an unconscionable action in my opinion. It is also a total disregard for our senior population, many of whom do not drive and need a quick and easily accessible ride from a neighbor, friend or partner to get primary, preventative care. 

Many of those seniors who do drive WILL NOT go to Scotts Valley or Santa Cruz, and they will not get care at all. Many times during the year Highway 9 is closed or has one-lane closures for repairs, tree work or preventive maintenance, which complicates and lengthens everyone’s drive. And don’t forget that our senior population is growing steadily upward all over the county, even in Boulder Creek.

I would like to urge everyone who reads this letter, and/or who got Dignity’s letter, to call them at 831-888-9274 with your questions or for help to transition to their other office. If you have complaints, they will refer you to a patient advocate at 888-242-1555 for a complaint form—this is the very nice person down in Rancho Cordova who probably does not know where we are. 

Please do not ignore their letter and keep quiet—please complain in writing and send it to them. I just cannot roll over and remain silent about this huge injustice, I hope you all feel the same.

Lynn McKibbin
Boulder Creek

We welcome letters to the editor and commentaries on all topics of local interest. Email your submissions to [email protected]. Letters must include the writer’s name and hometown (for publication) and phone number (for verification). Submissions may be edited, and will be published as space permits. Letters are limited to 400 words, commentaries to 600 words.

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