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News arrow Opinion arrow Letters to the Editor Feb. 9, 2013

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Letters to the Editor Feb. 9, 2013

mea culpa (not)

I offer my apologies to those folks I reminded that in the 13th century England made a law “You shall not pollute streams and rivers.” 

But this is not England is it? We have a right to despoil our streams and rivers by driving our jeeps, trucks, or T37 surplus tanks into the Chetco anytime we feel like it. Try driving any motor vehicle into the Willamette River, and the powers will lock you in a cage and throw away the key. 

As for buffalo herds, mea culpa. We haven’t seen any buffalo herds around here in more than 100 years, (if ever), mea culpa. Also, we had a right to shoot every buffalo anywhere to deprive the Indians of their source of food, clothing, and shelter. 

Again, we had a right to force Native Americans off their land, and herd them into small groups to try to survive, while we took their lands. One of my friends who owned a log truck operation told me the best looking Douglas fir trees were those lying horizontal on a log truck. Those trees were not doing anyone any good while growing straight and tall in a forest (creating our breathing air). I noticed several areas of clear-cut logging, and was told the logging companies would replant the whole area. Then, I could not find even one new planting in that area. 

I was wondering why Mr. Pieper concerned himself with this problem since Social Security Bar is not even in Brookings city limits (Pilot. Jan. 30). His opinion carries more weight than mine, that’s why he is a city councilor.

I guess I have no voice in this area. I apologize again. 

John Baker 

Brookings

math raises rath

Taxpayers: As I look at my tax bill I see my net taxable is $105,250 for the general government that is 105 x .59 . 

Well they want to make it 105 x $2.98. That is 239 percent more, or for me $250.95 more in tax. Of this, law enforcement gets more than half, but they want a “special law enforcement tax” of $2.32 per 1,000 or, on my house, 105 x $2.32 or $243.60 in new tax. This tax gets everyone in the county, owners, renters as the owners will pass it on.

As a retired person on a fixed income I have to vote “No” so I can go on eating. Coos County tax of $1.08 x 1,000 sounds better. 

Everyone look at your tax bill, and see what your new tax would be. Can you get a raise like that to pay for it? 

Al Heyne

Ophir

no tourist mecca

The articles I’ve read in the Pilot regarding the spending of less than $10,000 to promote tourism here are hilarious considering the cost of advertising. 

The investment of local private tourist entities probably dwarfs that amount. But then what do I know? 

Actually I do know a little about tourists as thousands of them put their lives in my hands when I took them on a magic carpet ride to such historic places as the Battlefield at Gettysburg, the great Stainless Steel Arch at St. Louis and into the very bowels of the majestic Grand Canyon. My favorite place was the sun-drenched white sand beaches of the Florida Gold Coast. I was known as “Hot Dog” there because I always gave my customers a real thrill ride along the beach and into the Everglades. The magic carpet was a Bell 47 and Bell 206 Jet Ranger helicopter.  

Sure, we love our Wild Rivers Coast but a tourist mecca it is not! They know who comes here and these are the tourists, that should be the focus of this “Tourist Commission.”  

Of course I could be wrong; we do have a wonderful library, and there, art lovers and everyone else can take my thrill ride back in time to a period known as the dark ages and feast their hungry eyes on a Viking warship and the artistic designs of the Norsemen and contemplate this historic statement seen in the opening scenes of MGM’s “The Vikings:” “Protect us oh Lord from the wrath of the Northmen.” 

Arthur D. Larason 

Harbor

TAXES, TAXES, TAXES

For the last two years, all I’ve read in the Pilot from all the politicians is; “Oh my God, our O&C funds have run out, we need more taxes.” 

Commissioner Susan Brown said, “I’ve been here 11 years and heard the same story for 11 years.” She wants to put into effect a permanent levy to create a law enforcement fund. Riddle me this, Commissioner Susan Brown? I guess you thought that for the last 11 years the O&C funds were going to last forever? You and everyone in the county government had no idea that the O&C funds had a specific date to stop? 

Los Angeles County has approximately 38 million people with five county commissioners! Curry County has approximately 21,000 people with three commissioners! Why? And how much does each commissioner in Curry County make per year? I have said this before: There is one place to start cutting costs to keep taxes where they are, part-time Curry County commissioners! 

We lost our logging business on federal land a long time ago. The county got compensated for that for a certain number of years. And no one in Curry County government did anything about that until the day the money ran out. 

So now the Curry County government is screaming for taxes, taxes and more taxes. 

Andrew T. Ragan 

Brookings

clean water drive

I’m afraid that I am going to have to disagree with some of my friends when it comes to the issue of the kids driving vehicles across the Chetco River in the summertime.  

Although I frequently disagree with the Brookings City Council, I agree with the stand they have taken on this issue. The kids in Brookings only drive their vehicles across the river during  the summer. During the winter the river cleanses itself and I dare anyone to drive a vehicle across right now. Where I lived as a kid we did the same thing. 

I live in Harbor and our water is so pure that Harbor Water District only has to add chlorine as required by law. It is not even required to go through a treatment plant. 

Brookings water, although it also comes from the Chetco, has to go through a treatment plant as it is required by Oregon law because of the size of the Brookings population. I hate to burst the bubble of the environmentalist concerned with our drinking water, but Brookings and Harbor water comes from the aquifer 50 - 60 feet below the river bottom. Oil floats on the surface, therefore never comes close to our drinking water. 

This past summer we had the most productive salmon season we’ve had in years, so I guess the kids driving across the river really didn’t have that much impact on the little fishies or other critters.  

So, the forester from Eugene can go back to hugging spotted owls, and the guy from Selma can go back to cultivating his Mary Jane and leave the kids in Brookings the hell alone.

Ralph Martin

Harbor

Ugh. me know things

Ugh. 

Me Neanderthal. 

Me suspect people have extremist views and hidden agendas. Perhaps me also know other obvious things like to watch where walking when following a horse. Me also know not to roll truck in river ’cause it will knock AR-15 out of gun rack and get it wet. 

Perhaps alleged Cro-Magnon from Selma might not want to lecture Grog the Neanderthal on river when he does not live near it. Perhaps the alleged higher life form from Selma might just pay closer attention to the facts of summer flow rates and the actual realities of the situation before trying to marginalize the people who actually live in Curry County with such epithets as “Neanderthal.” 

Meanwhile please excuse me while I groom my brow ridge.

Kenneth Swanson 

Harbor

small town county

We have so many dedicated citizens, willing to find ways to raise more money, and like our federal government, they say we must raise taxes. 

And as with the feds, our credit rating and homes will again lower in value. 

The easiest way to save the money we need is to stop giving unnecessary, inflated salaries to so many people who govern so few. We have around 20,000 people in Curry County, far less than even the city of Grants Pass. 

Ralph Martin and some very intelligent people worked to change our government a few years back. They proposed an educated, professional county manager, who would be paid about what one of our present commissioners gets, and six volunteer commissioners, one from each of the different areas of the county. The proposal went down in defeat because the people said they wouldn’t “trust’’ a stranger. That shows how rampant nepotism is in Curry County. 

Our present commissioners say they can do nothing about employee salaries and benefits because of their union. Of course they can. I am a retired California state employee and a member of that same union. Governor Wilson and now Gov. Brown put a freeze on salaries, lowered them at times, made unpaid furlough days mandatory, and raised the retirement age. 

I believe the commissioners are trying to economize and find monies to carry on, but even one or two of those running thought commissioner salaries should be reduced or dispensed with. 

I think what we must consider is the shortage of money we have is not due to low taxes, its due to a shortage of taxpayers. Basically, Curry County is a small town pretending to be a big county. 

A.G. Wieczorek 

Brookings 

Going backward

I’m hearing so much controversy and hypocrisy over gun control, self defense and the Second Amendment. 

President Obama wants to ban certain military-type assault rifles and large capacity ammo clips. He is against armed guards at our children’s schools, yet he and other political families are heavily guarded on our dime. 

I’m not fond of assault rifles, but I respect the Second Amendment and the wishes of responsible people to own them. And like the bumper sticker says: “When guns are outlawed only outlaws will have them!” 

I think our armed forces would be honored to protect our precious school children and their teachers because, like our president, they pledge to protect our Constitution and our nation and the best thing about it is they’re already being paid to. There’s no better peace of mind for the parents, teachers and especially our children than to have trained and dedicated soldiers to protect us against sick people with ill intentions. 

Sadly, our cries for security aren’t heard, just like Ambassador Stevens’ in Benghazi weren’t. It appears our present administration is going backward instead of “forward.”

Lou Costa

Brookings

we pay much more

Brookings taxpayers pay eight times more for police services than taxpayers in Harbor. 

While the sheriff does provides jail and court services for all areas, much of the department’s efforts are focused on the unincorporated areas, especially Harbor. 

Commissioner Brown is right to “fix” this huge imbalance by using a sheriff’s levy.

Tim Patterson 

Brookings

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