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Letters to the Editor Feb. 5, 2014

I hope I’m wrong

After much debating with myself and after reading some of the letters to the editor, I have decided to concede defeat. 

For many years many of us like Cliff Siemens have been advocating for fewer commissioners, thoughtful spending of county money and we seem to talk to deaf ears. He never gives up, but I am afraid that I will.

Instead of spending money on education, there was an article about watering the golf course. Incidentally, how many people belong to the golf club? I was there once and many of the people I know have never been there. Wasn’t it on the verge of bankruptcy or am I wrong?

I go into town and look at the empty stores. The area around Sears is desolate. Will the Apple Peddler restaurant ever come back to life? Will we ever get another shoe store, Italian restaurant, clothing store? Aren’t we lucky that Fred Meyer sells apparel? Will we ever let the overworked and underpaid Sheriff have a real security force? Will the residents living in Harbor realize that their living conditions safety-wise are precarious?

Will the leash and license law for dogs ever be enforced? Money can be made from dog licenses which will benefit the town.

Okay, I am through whining. Sorry. It’s just that I really love my town and am so sad that it seems to be going downhill. Am I wrong? Hope so.

Geraldine Kass

Harbor

Leadership quality

Other readers including myself have recommended our County commissioners take a reduction in pay and benefits to be more in line with the folks they represent. 

I have never seen a reply to this idea so presumably they do not want to do this. Neither would I in their position. 

I have a question for city Council Member Brent Hodges, who said at the council meeting he was unsure of the quality of leadership citizens might get for $10,000. City council members are unpaid; therefore, should we extrapolate Hodges’ remark to assume that all unpaid help, including his own, is worthless? 

We have many volunteers in Brookings helping with all manner of tasks, Crabfest, animal care, health care, feeding the poor, and tax preparation to name but a few. These people do a fine job so why should local government be any different. 

I say let us give Home Rule a try. 

Roger Mitchell 

Brookings

More info please

I can understand why the city of Brookings wants a change to a home rule charter: they’ve been fighting with the commissioners for the last two years. 

I can understand replacing three commissioners with five: it would stop Itzen and Smith from violating Oregon’s open meeting laws again the next time they crash a Republican Central Committee meeting. And, after the overall dismal performances of Brown, Schafer, Rhodes, Waddle, Itzen, and Smith, I can understand why a professional administrator would be an asset. 

However, I cannot understand why certain offices were decided to be elected rather than appointed. I never saw a copy of the petition while it was being circulated and I’ve never read anything in the Pilot beyond Saturday’s vague comment that “A home rule charter ... gives local control to the county as long as it doesn’t supersede state statutes,” so I cannot understand what else this initiative will accomplish. Therefore, I’m very interested in learning what has been included in the fine print. 

In short, the initiative’s backers seem to have discussed nothing beyond the benefits of five commissioners and an administrator. Is it truly impossible to obtain the expressed desired outcomes without changing the entire form of county government? I would hope that the Pilot will give us some more information before the ballot pamphlet is printed. 

This is not a decision to be taken lightly, no matter how simple the backers pretend it to be.

Michael Pitts-

Campbell 

Brookings

Potlatch possibility

Skip Howard wrote an interesting letter about humanism and human control of our evolution. I would like to remind Skip that many religious people are in favor of conscious evolution and directing our own destiny. There are also many of us in favor of survival and viability.

Wherever you earned your mistrust of “immature” religious values, it wasn’t in the same college that I attended. Have you heard of the custom of potlatch? It is when the luckiest member of society voluntarily gives away everything he owns to his society and lives at their mercy and compassion. It keeps the wealthy grateful and humble. How about the jubilee year to celebrate every 50 years, when we give away everything and forgive all debts? That would be a useful law to put more trust in our society nowadays, don’t you think? Because debt would not get out of control. Respect for the purity of air, water and earth are religious values to many millions of earth’s inhabitants. We would do well to learn from those practitioners. 

Beware lest you make a god of genetics or evolution or Darwin’s theory. Who will be appointed the arbiter of this super-human genome project you have in mind. A brain trust? A committee of powerful entrepreneurs? The super-rich?

I espouse an open-minded religion. One where we learn from all others who are successful at the religious values that promote survival, viability and sustainability. Also tolerance, cooperation, compassion and harmony. That is true spirituality.

Kathryn Justman

Brookings

DeFazio is silent

Congressman Peter DeFazio is to be congratulated for his public opposition to GMOs. 

Monsanto and other agribusiness companies have been allowed to poison the American people for far too long. 

It’s too bad that my congressman does not seem to get much else right these days. 

Senator Ron Wyden has done a tremendous job on the NSA spying issue, but Congressman DeFazio has been strangely silent on the issue. 

President Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton are directly responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths in Syria and Libya; DeFazio has been silent. 

The health care Website is still not secure, but DeFazio doubles down on his support for Obamacare. 

Obama grabs more and more power for himself all the time and Congress becomes more and more irrelevant, but DeFazio is silent. 

President Obama is the greatest danger facing the Constitution today. That isn’t Joe Thomas saying that, but from Jonathan Turley, a Progressive professor who teaches at George Washington University. Jonathan Turley actually voted for Obama in the last election! Jonathan Turley says that Obama just does what he wants to do on issues like immigration, when Congress doesn’t do what he wants them to do. 

Congressman DeFazio has indicated that he will vote for the Amnesty Immigration Bill; if he does that he will not get my vote in this next election. 

He should be joining Walter Jones of North Carolina who has drawn up Articles of Impeachment against Obama. 

I know that Peter DeFazio will not do this. After all, he dropped the ball when it came to impeaching the war criminals Bush and Cheney. 

Joe Thomas

Brookings

Next year’s Crabfest

Although the crab festival occurred more than a week ago, residents in our community are still talking about this year’s Crabfest.

It was such an enjoyable day for Brookings-Harbor residents and visitors. Robert Grosz, along with his committee, volunteers, vendors, and the generous sponsors are to be saluted for a wonderful, fun-filled, first-year event. 

Another group which deserves recognition is the talented BHHS Computer Graphics Production crew that produced the clever promotional crab festival video which appeared in the advertising loop at the Redwood Theater before the featured film.

This unique video sparked interest in the viewers and helped to make the festival a well-attended event.

Emily Grimes

Brookings 

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