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Letters to the Editor May 3, 2014

I support Relaford

Why I Support Jim Relaford for County commissioner:

When I entered the forum on Wednesday I had never heard of a single candidate, except Judge Beaman who coincidentally also earned my vote. 

I was immediately impressed with Itzen’s demeanor and work with “telemedicine.” Similarly, I think Randy Dowler’s idea about library modernization is the single most innovative idea that I have ever heard. I was so astounded by the character and intelligence of this group that I had introduced myself to all candidates, every single one, except Relaford by the end of the next night.

For further research I checked out a FB group “Chitter Chatter” and I saw that Jim Relaford was an active member. I noticed that he not only asked the members what they cared about in government he also has clearly spent considerable time being available to them (as an equal) and put sincere effort in trying to inspire them to think about big ideas.

I am confident that I personally would be heard by any candidate regardless of the issue because they do care and will listen. However, not everyone has the time or resources to write professional letters or stand outside buildings making sure to be heard.

Personally I consider the library making nearly as much money than the county absolute nonsense. However, the past posts of a group with 1,600-plus members show clear evidence that what many more people truly want is to feel that they are being heard. Jim Relaford has the bravery, compassion and transparency to get both jobs done.

Jessica Kensinger

Brookings

Headline misleading

The Curry Coastal Pilot published this grossly misleading headline on the front page of the April 26 edition: “Cover Oregon ends in failure”

This scary headline gives a false impression of the story and has the ring of a Fox News-style obfuscation of the actual success of the Affordable Care Act and Cover Oregon, Oregon’s implementation. Reading the article itself doesn’t help much. Based on the headline and lack of clarification in the article, the reader might easily be left with the impression that no one received health insurance through Cover Oregon or that those who did would loose their coverage.

Here are the facts:

(1) Cover Oregon didn’t fail, the Cover Oregon website failed;

(2) Cover Oregon brought affordable health insurance to 300,000 Oregonians who signed up for private insurance through the insurance exchange or qualified for coverage under Cover Oregon’s expanded Oregon Health Plan (OHP);

(3) People who acquired health insurance from either the Cover Oregon insurance exchange or expanded OHP will still be insured;

(4) People who qualify for Cover Oregon’s expanded OHP coverage can still get health insurance as soon as they qualify; and

(5) The ONLY effect on Oregonians will be that when the new enrollment period starts next fall people will sign up for coverage using the Federal website rather than the Oregon website.

Here’s how another newspaper, the Eugene Register-Guardian, headlined the story: “State leaving Cover Oregon exchange for federal website.” That’s exactly right.

Tomas Bozack

Brookings

No vote saves vote

Over the past several weeks I have had the opportunity to visit with many citizens on the subject of the County Charter Measure 8-76. 

Most people are not aware that the charter would eliminate their right to vote on the currently elected positions of county clerk, treasurer, surveyor and assessor. Upon their learning this roughly 90 percent of the people I talk to oppose Measure 8-76 and intend to vote No on the Measure. 

It appears the Measure’s authors are intent on replacing county officials with someone who will be more suitable to them without the inconvenience of standing those choices in front of the citizens for a vote. Supporters of Measure 8-76 are not confident in the voters’ ability to select their own elected officials. 

I disagree. It is an honor to serve the citizens of Curry County as assessor. I am very fortunate to have some truly excellent people here working with me serving the needs of the county. Indeed, I receive countless compliments from citizens who are happy with the service they receive. Curry County voters are quite capable of selecting their elected officials.

Proponents of Measure 8-76 admit that it will not resolve the county’s financial issues. Measure 8-76 does not appear to be well understood by the voters. Measure 8-76 takes away the citizens’ right to vote on four important elected county positions. Measure 8-76 is NOT the right solution for Curry County. 

I encourage you to vote No on Measure 8-76.

Jim Kolen

Curry County assessor

Teachers to travel

We wanted to let the community know about the professional development program we have been invited to attend. 

The Center for Geography Education in Oregon has selected a group of Oregon teachers to engage in either an 11-day exploration of Civil War battlefields, from Virginia to Pennsylvania, or a 10-day exploration of rural and small town sustainability practices n the Tuscan Region of Italy. The focus of both programs will be on the physical and human geography of the regions. As a result, our model lessons and other work products will be shared with teachers throughout Oregon. 

The selection process was competitive and was open to any Oregon classroom teacher. The program is designed to improve geography instruction in Oregon’s K-12 classrooms. It is funded by a generous grant from the Gray Family Foundation, honoring John Gray’s intent to provide travel experiences for K-12 teachers. 

The Center for Geography Education in Oregon, which is housed at Portland State University’s Geography Department, designs travel experiences with strong geography content and sound pedagogical and field experience that inform and contribute to classroom practices. Michelle Arnold, from Azalea Middle School, earned a spot in the Civil War Program. Nancy and Patrick Chew were both accepted to join the group going to Italy. We feel very fortunate to have been selected and are looking forward to sharing our new-found knowledge in the classroom. 

Michelle Arnold 

Nancy Chew 

Patrick Chew 

Brookings

Kudlac = knowledge

Dear Voter, 

It has come to my attention there exists a question about the experience of candidate Shala McKenzie Kudlac as far as having no experience as a sitting judge. 

As we all know, the existing judges now sitting were not born as judges. They were elected for the first time with no sitting experience. 

As a voter I look at the values I believe are going to be practiced. By voting I’m voting for what I as a voter believe in. 

At some point all incumbents will be replaced. I support Shala as candidate for Circuit Court judge, for the fact of her knowledge of the area, and her solid approach as an attorney. I feel confident she will approach the bench with a new perspective. 

Lance Cox

Bandon

Consider continuum

As Congressman Peter DeFazio has recently pointed out, there is general agreement that the 1872 Mining Law should be reformed, with no consensus on how to proceed. Absent from the debate is recognition that there is a continuum of landscape types and associated mining risks. In turn, this necessitates more nuanced and flexible strategy of reform. 

Two objective criteria to predict the potential risks associated with mine sites are the (1) steepness of surrounding terrain, and (2) average annual precipitation. Sites with gentle slopes and low precipitation pose lowest risk because extraction causes only localized disturbance. However, sites atop steep slopes and with high precipitation portend considerable local and collateral runoff contamination to waterways used by humans and wildlife, and exorbitant reclamation costs. Automatic withdraw of these landscapes from mining is warranted. 

Sites that fall in between these two extremes should be assessed royalties associated with their estimated risks. 

Janet S. & 

Paul W. Sherman 

Gold Beach 

Can’t-miss candidate

I am writing this letter in support of Shala McKenzie Kudlac for Curry County judge. 

I don’t live in your county, but I visit the area quite often and think you are very fortunate people to have such a great place to call home. I would like to add that I have met several hundred people from there and think the world of the type of people I have crossed paths with and gotten to know, many of which I call friends now. 

The reason I have this great experience is due to Shala Kudlac. Yes, she is my sister-in-law, so I am biased. However, she is an amazing woman, mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and attorney. She has a sense of pride and fortitude to always do what is best for the greater good for the people in your area whether it is for her personal or professional life. That is an ideal mindset for a judge, 

Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to listen to her at the recent forums, because she is one of the most intelligent, honest, focused-driven, positive, down-to·earth people I have met. 

Shala is a “can’t miss” candidate if you are looking for a positive force as a leader. She will be an enormous asset as judge for Curry County. The only problem this might create is that you will expect more out of your other civic leaders because of the example she will set. 

Without reservation, I would vote for Shala Kudlac instantly. She is a phenomenal person who will be an excellent representative for Curry County, changing the future for every single citizen she comes into contact with in a positive way. Please do the right thing and vote for Shala McKenzie Kudlac. 

Brad Kudlac

Prineville

Character matters

If truth, honesty and transparency in government matter to you then support Tom Huxley. 

Tom has stated his position clearly that he will not accept the $88,000 salary, retirement and health benefits that County Commissioner Itzen enjoys each year. Tom is running for Itzen’s seat and if elected will accept a $10,000 stipend for travel and expenses, whether Home Rule passes or not. 

Position, money and the power of office is not easy to relinquish. Curry County is in financial trouble through no fault of its citizens who have to live within their means. Expecting management and leadership, Curry citizens quickly realized that County commissioners would not lead by example and cut their salaries before asking taxpayers for more financial support. Truth matters and promises made to the public were broken.

Tom’s one man participation and intrusion into county governance and his relentless pursuit of records, facts and figures made him a threat to the status quo and business as usual. Character and principal matter in business and so does success. 

Huxley’s background: Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Technology. Full profit and loss responsibility for the operation of construction, manufacturing and service companies. Responsible for startup and operation of a business unit for a fortune 100 company servicing the offshore oil and gas industry.

Tom Huxley believes that one person can make a difference. His friends and supporters know that with Tom it is possible. With your permission and vote, Tom will represent you with common sense and integrity.

Yvonne Maitland

Harbor

Inefficient, top-heavy

If you are rich and like paying high taxes for inefficient, top-heavy government, then vote against the Home Rule Charter. 

Commission candidate Tom Huxley explained at the forums that the County has approximately 115 employees. Of those 115 employees, 40 work for the Sheriff’s Department and 20 work for the Road Department, and both departments are well run.

115 minus those 60 leaves 55 employees. Of that 55, 25 are commissioners, managers or supervisors. That leaves 30 workers being supervised by 25 people. That’s a ratio of 1.2 employees per manager/supervisor. This top heavy, inefficient government was created by Commissioners Dave Itzen and Brock Smith.

Josephine County is Home Rule and the people have voted to modify their Charter 15 times. All it takes is to start a petition, collect approximately 600 signatures and file it with the County clerk to put it on the ballot. Unlike the General Law we now have, Home Rule gives control of County government to the people.

In 2003, Curry’s commissioners voted themselves a $12,000 raise. In 2005 they gave themselves another $5,000 and now they make $68,000 a year plus benefits, car and an expense account. The people could do nothing about this greed. Under a Home Rule Charter, the people could by petition deny those raises.

Do not be sucked in by the scare tactics used by Commissioners Itzen, Smith, the County employees or their relatives that oppose 8-76. They are protecting their fat paychecks and benefits.

Vote for the Charter and Tom Huxley for commissioner. 

Ralph Martin

Harbor

New face for bench

I am so excited to have the opportunity to get a new circuit court judge with such great qualifications. 

Shala McKenzie Kudlac has the experience, fairness, stability and desire to make the community a better place to live for all.

Saying that a sitting judge should be re-elected because of experience on the bench is ridiculous. The sitting judge had no experience seven years ago when she was elected. Experience is something anyone can acquire. 

We need a new face on the bench. We need a judge that waits to hear the facts before reaching a decision. We need a judge that is fair when sentencing. We need a judge that does not believe you are guilty simply because you were arrested. We need a judge that recognizes incompetent defense attorneys in her court. We need a judge that gives young people with clean records and only one mistake the same consideration as the “Good Ol’ Boys.”

Bring a new face to the bench. Bring fairness to the bench. Bring an open mind to the bench. Elect Shala McKenzie Kudlac for circuit court judge.

Pamela Billington

Harbor

Best man for the job

I have known Tom Huxley for several years and had the pleasure of working with him on the Curry County Citizens Committee. 

Tom is a man of great integrity and has always shown to be ready and willing to help his friends and our community. Tom’s principles and love for our area are not unlike the majority of the people I know in Curry County. 

Tom likes to do his homework on a subject before speaking out and I have yet to see him shy away from a difficult task or fail to push to achieve a goal. 

Tom is the only candidate that I feel is ready and willing to serve our county whether or not the Home Rule Charter passes, further making Tom the right choice for Curry County and the only candidate prepared to serve the will of our citizens. 

There are no quick, easy solutions to our county fiscal problems; however, there are steps in the right direction. Voting for Tom Huxley is definitely the right step. 

Please join me in voting for a man I trust, Tom Huxley — The Best Man for the Job. 

Mark Hollinger 

Gold Beach

Time to get control

I’m enjoying my 14th year in Curry County and I couldn’t be happier except for one thing: The majority of voters have swallowed the false promises of the Democratic Party and are about to suffer the consequences throughout the entire state. 

Small counties that have had their timber money shut down will have the roughest time because politicians know where the votes are!

The Federal Government owns 53 percent of Oregon’s land and of course it’s mostly timber area like ours. You will not get Peter DeFazio’s promise fulfilled that he will help Curry County solve its problems.

He is a Nancy Pelosi yes ma’am boy and that’s it. Don’t accept the premise that he can get Curry’s port dredged, It won’t happen.

For the first time since my coming to Oregon we have a solid candidate for the Senate, Dr. Monica Wehby, presently the director of Pediatric Neurosurgery for the Emanuel-Randall children’s hospital.

From the conception of Obamacare its been obvious to me and most physicians that our healthcare was being dismantled. I love Dr. Ben Carson’s quote in a recent Washington Times article, “Our health is the most personal and important thing we posses therefore its care must be under our control.”

Oregon is the first blue state to discard Obamacare, it’s now time to vote out Democrats like Merkley and DeFazio that follows Reid and Pelosi’s demands. Close to 300 million dollars of taxpayers’ money in Oregon has been lost this past year on Obamacare. Its time to regain control of Oregon, vote for Wehby and Robinson.

Clay Dalrymple

Gold Beach 

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