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News arrow Opinion arrow Letters to the Editor August 2, 2014

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Letters to the Editor August 2, 2014

Thank you Brookings

Having been a proud member of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Chapter 757 for 17 plus years. I wish to thank the gracious people of Brookings for the wonderful support of our chapter. 

Currently, a board member, membership chair and along with member Arthur Larason, co-chair of the 52-inch long model Chris-Craft-type boat raffle committee, it has been very refreshing to hear the “thank you for your service,” and “welcome home” comments from the many residents of Brookings that Art and I have met since January. It is so much different from the comments from people after coming home after my second tour in November, 1967. 

In June, 1997, when we assumed at the last moment the responsibility of the fireworks, we went door-to-door in town trying to raise $3,000. We  were brand new, unknown, and even the police chief thought we might be a vigilante group with suspicious motives. 

During our 18-plus years in existence, we grew the fireworks show from $9,000 to $25,000, grew the Avenue of the Flag project from 10 to 235, raised $30,000 to aid the then- Brookings-Harbor Youth Association’s Teen Center on Hemlock Street, opened the current Outreach Gospel Mission, of which one of our members is executive director, and dedicated the Curry County Veterans Memorial in Gold Beach last September. 

Since February 1996, we have grown from a struggling 25 veterans to 196 veterans and associate members and became National Chapter of the Year out of 670 chapters. We are the largest combined chapter in Oregon. 

We could not have done all this without the support of the wonderful people in Brookings. 

Thank you Brookings. 

William F. Farrell 

Member VVA, 

Chapter 757

Brookings 

Again, more taxes?

I don’t claim to be a writer but when I see things that are out of control or unfair, I am compelled to write as a citizen. 

We should all be concerned citizens when taxes become an issue and how our leaders misuse them The misuse leads to the increase of current property, water and sewer taxes. Many of us retired people here in Brookings (64 percent) are on fixed incomes, and cannot afford any  increase of any taxes. 

I would like to make a comment on an article by Don Vilelle, (Pilot, July 12). Putting out a gas tax and a property tax would cause all property owners to pay both taxes, which is not fair. It is obvious that he did not think this through. 

Now, regarding the arrogant attitudes of commissioners, David Brock Smith and David Itzen to give themselves and other public sector employees COLAs without bringing this increase to a vote of the taxpayers. I agree with Donna Sylvestre that these commissioners need to be removed from office. Question is, what right do these commissioners have to use our taxpayers’ money without our consent? I, for one, don’t begrudge raises — if they earn them! This means that these public employees can treat people shamefully,  because they can, and have absolutely no accountability for this behavior.  

Ricky Cane 

Brookings

Communication helps

Ever gone out to get the paper and find it not there? Do you have suspicious neighbors? Any errant dogs in the neighborhood who like to fetch? Did you search the bushes? Well, I had thought of all these things when for almost three weeks I had trouble getting my newspaper delivered to my new address.

Finally, after a few trips to the Pilot office, I was given the phone number of my carrier. I spoke with a very nice woman named Debra. She was a wealth of information into the intricacies of being a carrier for a publishing company. She made me understand that with a little communication between the front office and the back end employees things flow so much smoother. 

A little intervention on my part helped. Now I get my paper promptly. Hurrah for Debra and the girls in the office! 

Always a joy.

Pamela Vanvliet

Harbor

Behind closed doors

In 2013, our commissioners established a Public Services Financial Advisory Committee to recommend changes to make the department more self-sufficient. 

For more than a year the members of the committee (having among them over 100 years of experience with land use permitting agencies) with Commissioner Brown and Director Pratt, developed a proposal to require business licenses for businesses in the unincorporated areas of the County. 

All three cities in the county require them. 

At our July meeting it was announced that the proposal would be on the Commissioner’s agenda on July 24, 2014.

The Commissioner’s July 24 agenda did not include the committee’s proposal. Why, you may ask, does an agenda item not make it on the agenda? 

The answer is simple. Commissioner Itzen is afraid public discussion of a business license requiring a fee might hurt his re-election campaign, and Commissioner Brock-Smith wants a property tax.

Two commissioners taking action, not at a public meeting, to block even public discussion of the issue. Two commissioners who discount input by anyone who might disagree with them. Two commissioners who lack the political courage to discuss in public any topic that may endanger their continuing in office.

I served on the committee knowing that our recommendations might not be favored by the full board of commissioners, or the voters of the county. But I expected at least public discussion. I never thought that the proposals would be killed behind closed doors. 

Carl King

Nesika Beach

Keep eye on Capitol

The United States Congress will recess for a few weeks to meet with local constituents; this is necessary. 

Meanwhile, the president will be clear to take solo executive actions. It would seem prudent for Congress to divide into three groups, holding recess in an overlapping schedule, leaving two thirds in session,  yet retaining full-vote continuity. 

It’s unseemly — and clueless — to leave the White House alone in these action-filed times. 

Tom Holden 

Harbor

sanity vs. humanity

Regarding the current ongoing Central American illegal immigration: My response has nothing to do with humanitarianism, it has to do with sanity. 

The nation is under siege. The economy is struggling, despite the optimistic picture portrayed in a recent letter to the editor. Our public institutions are underfunded. 

The infrastructure needs repair and the government continues to assume more debt and taking the risk of going bankrupt in the process. How can we assume the responsibility of giving these thousands of illegals an education, as well as providing them with health care? Who is concerned about our citizens and their children? There are children in the U.S. going to bed hungry, and here we are taking on another country’s responsibility. What are we thinking? 

Since this illegal immigration of children has been going on since 2011, why weren’t we citizens informed of this activity long before now? Was it because the number of illegals crossing the border weren’t in great enough numbers to cause concern, or was it kept under cover to keep us quiet?

Does one really believe that the Democrats are the humanitarians they profess to be? The administration is catering to La Raza and the Mexican vote to ensure continued power for the Democratic Party and their march to socialism and thrashing the Constitution in the process. Wake up America! 

Both parties in power have been derelict in their duties to uphold the Constitution and the laws of our country. Shame on them.

According to estimates, the government’s plan is to reunite these illegal children with illegals already in this country — presumably relatives — with no questions asked as to their legal status. So now, we have illegals being reunited with illegals already established in our country. 

What are we thinking? 

Barbara Wieneke 

Brookings

Common Sense test

I will be the first to agree that everyone is entitled to their opinion. But what good is an opinion that does not pass the truth, reality and common sense test? 

Mr. Harken fails to consider the millions of workers not counted in the unemployment numbers. He forgot that the U.S. has been arming the Isis Syrians and their allies. He is unaware of basic laws of economics concerning minimum wage. Foreigners are buying all those houses and immigration?

I am not afraid to admit when I am wrong about something. Awhile back a writer complained about congestion at the new Humane Society thrift store in Harbor. I thought, “Give me a break; of all things to complain about.” It turns out this person was entirely correct. 

The other day as I was walking by there I saw a car trying to enter the parking lot heading south. Another car was parked on 101 close to the entrance and yet another car was pulling out. The guy trying to enter almost stopped in the inside lane of 101 and was oblivious to the gasoline truck screeching his brakes to avoid hitting his car. 

ODOT must ban parking in this area to provide a lane to turn in and out of the thrift store to prevent a serious tragedy. Don’t expect that to happen anytime soon so motorists should exercise extreme caution in this area. 

My apologies to that observant writer. 

Arthur Larason

Harbor

Leadership Crisis

 I would like to address the gentlemen that was irate with us conservatives with our border fiasco. 

He kept referring to these children as “poor immigrant children.” No, they are “illegal immigrant children.”  By the way, my grandfather came to America from Poland in 1889 legally. It cost him around $400 and took him close to five years. In 1889, $400 was a lot of money. 

Going back to our border: In 2012, Obama wanted Congress to pass the “Dream Act” bill. As it was presented to Congress; the bill was way too broad, and had amnesty all over it. So, Congress dropped it. Obama passed a version of it by executive order. 

According to our  Constitution; the Executive Branch is supposed to enforce our laws — not make them — that’s Congress’ duty. Obama’s executive order prompted the “traffickers” and “coyotes” in Mexico to start up a business of bringing young Central Americans to our borders at a cost of between $5,000 to $7,000 a person. 

Homeland Security saw this coming and so did others. A document uncovered by CNN early in June stated that Homeland Security told their accounting to start procuring transportation for approximately 60,000 to 65,000 unaccompanied illegal minors that would be crossing our borders. 

That 25 percent would be transported by local transportation — 25 percent would be transported by ICE (U.S. Immigrations and Custom Enforcement) — and 50 percent would be transported by commercial planes. This Homeland Security document came out Feb. 2. 

Going back to the border! There is no “humanitarian crisis on our border.” What we have is a “leadership crisis” on our border. 

Andrew T. Ragan 

Brookings

Keeping kids safe

Safety City has just completed its 17th year and we had 57 children attend. 

While last year was the largest class (73) in our history, this year was well attended. 

We could have had 70 children this year but 13 did not attend for whatever reason. The parents had filled out applications and were contacted, but never showed up. 

We again want to thank all our wonderful sponsors whose donations continue to maintain this as a free program. We also thank the volunteers, who have been with us for many years now. Without them, there would be no program and they give so much of their time, care and dedication. 

Dan Palicki, 

Safety City coordinator 

Brookings  

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