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News arrow Opinion arrow Letters to the Editor arrow Letters to the Editor May 8, 2013

Letters to the Editor May 8, 2013 Print E-mail
Written by The Curry Coastal Pilot   
May 07, 2013 07:55 pm

put johnson on bhsb

We live in a beautiful part of our country, in a community with members who care about and support each other. 

I have watched people work countless hours to serve those of all ages. I am proud to be a member of such a community. 

Each of us has the opportunity to support our community by participating in the upcoming elections. I ask you to please study the issues, get to know the candidates, support your community and participate in your future.

Katherine Johnson is one candidate who will be on your ballot this May. This talented lady who I have watched spend countless hours as a volunteer in our school system is running for a position on the Brookings-Harbor District School Board.  Katherine is an educated woman with a bachelor’s degree and working knowledge of event and budget planning. She has used this knowledge for years to support fundraising, hands-on educational learning outside school and for programs within the school system. 

Katherine knows our children; she is physically at the schools weekly, spending time with both teachers and students. One of her goals was to help the students at Azalea Middle School make a positive change in the culture. The FOR Club (Friends of Rachel) kids, with the help of Katherine, have started a “Chain Reaction” to spread acts of kindness. Take time to learn more about this program and Katherine.

Thank you to all those who volunteer.

Lisa Edwards

Brookings

all ideas considered?

Question? 

In this time of budget crisis for everyone from the government down to the citizens who fund it, has anyone considered cross-training police and fire? Of course there are pros and cons, but has it even been considered and researched? 

Have all routes to keep the burden off of the taxpayer truly been thought of?

Shae Mordja 

Gold Beach

Lies and scare tactics

Once again we are being inundated by the county commissioners, a PAC (Political Action Committee; which by definition has a political agenda), and articles in the Curry Coastal Pilot trying to convince us taxpayers that they alone know what is good for us, and we better watch out and do what they say or the “bogeyman” will get us! 

The truth is that voting for Measure 8-71 increases our property taxes by a ridiculous 27 percent in one year alone. This claim, that if we don’t vote for this tax increase the county will be taken over by the state, is a scare tactic being used by these people who have a political agenda to increase our taxes, since they have been unable to justify this tax increase using the truth. 

Do you really trust a PAC and the same inept county commissioners who got us into this financial mess, and who now want to push through an admittedly flawed tax increase using the excuse that we suddenly have an unforeseen crisis? 

So we now have a miracle occurring: Both the Democrat and Republican central committees are supporting Measure 8-71! This is not a miracle; this is just further proof that there is really no difference in the entrenched leadership of either party. 

My sincere congratulations to the Brookings City Council members for their wisdom and courage in standing firm against the browbeating rhetoric of these “concerned citizens,” with their political agenda to increase our taxes. 

May I respectfully suggest to those who want us taxpayers to pay the higher county taxes required to support their agenda for an ever-expanding government, feel free to move to one of those higher taxpaying counties; and, please, take your PAC and these county commissioners with you! 

Edward Ramsey 

Brookings

vote for security

Law Levy 8-71 is not perfect; perhaps nothing is perfect. 

However, at this time it is all that is available to us that will work toward solving our problem. Like many things, it is at least a foundation upon which to build our future security. 

I started my career in law enforcement on July 11, 1958. The last few years, before my retirement in April of 1980, I was the resident investigator for the Humboldt County (Calif.) Sheriff’s Department. I was assigned to the Garberville Substation, the purported “Marijuana Capital” of the “Emerald Triangle.” I was able to see, first hand, the results of limited law enforcement and the explosion of criminal activities in the community. The homicides, robberies, arsons, burglaries, assaults and numerous unsolved missing persons which included people of questionable morals and also innocent people. These activities often expanded and spilled out to affect the law-abiding citizens. This was before the introduction of meth to our society.

I have not had the privilege to read this issue in the Curry Coastal Pilot. Their reporters do a great job in bringing our communities awareness of current criminal activities by way of news stories, Police Log, Sheriff’s Log, State Troopers Log, County Jail Log and Court Report. 

You are invited to read these and consider which of these cases, if they were to occur in your presence, you would be willing to live with or take care of yourself.

Vote! Vote as if your life may depend on it! These circumstances may arrive in your neighborhood!

Yours for Law Enforcement,

Phil (K) Cox, retired Orange County sheriff deputy and Humboldt County sheriff’s investigator

Brookings

vote no on tax levy

This letter is regarding recent public meetings of the Curry County Budget Committee and the last minute cancellation April 24 of a committee meeting scheduled April 25 at 6 in the evening allowing citizens to ask budget-related questions of commissioners. 

Commissioner staff advised the meeting “was canceled on 4/17 due to scheduling conflicts of commissioners and some of the budget committee members.” Staff will not provide the commissioner or committee member names. The meeting has not been rescheduled. 

During the last Budget Committee meeting held April 17, Commissioner Smith referred to the meeting on April 25 being for the “public’s benefit.” About 15 minutes into the meeting, discussion on the commissioners’ department budget began. Committee member Tom Brand made a motion to transfer $160,000 from the commissioners’ budget to perhaps building and maintenance where it could be better used. Smith responded to Brand stating, “… the core of county government is the commissioner’s office. Other departments cannot function without the commissioner’s office.”

Commissioner Itzen addressed Brand saying “That’s a bucket that is so deep in terms of deferred maintenance that no matter what we do, you could throw five years budgets into that and it wouldn’t solve the problem of maintenance. In fact, I think six or seven years budgets wouldn’t solve the entire problem of maintenance.”

OK. So taxpayers approve the Tax Levy for $24 million over five years so commissioners can “solve” the county financial problem. Commissioners will quickly ask for more $$$ because additional criminals are arrested by additional law enforcement personnel and are overcrowding jail facilities which are unsafe, inadequate and must be maintained or, the criminals will be released to prey upon the citizens. 

Vote NO on the Tax Levy. 

Thomas Huxley

Harbor

wishes won’t help us

I would find the opposition to Measure 8-71 amusing if the consequences weren’t so dire. 

It’s obvious that those who oppose the property tax measure on the May 21 ballot are ignoring reality and want to talk about anything except the real problem.

Until recently most of county government was financed by timber payments from the federal government. These federal welfare payments have ended, but many Curry County voters want to ignore this fact and pretend that one simplistic idea or another will solve the problem. None of them will.

County Commissioners David Brock-Smith and David Itzen acted responsibly by proposing a plan to rescue the county from the verge of bankruptcy. It includes a temporary five-year property tax increase that will still keep Curry County’s property tax rate among the lowest in the state, and a goal to use those five years to find a long-term solution to the County’s budget problem.

Make no mistake, if Measure 8-71 fails the state will step in. Decisions about the county’s future will be made in Salem, not in Curry County, and the cost to Curry County residents will likely be much higher than the sensible tax measure proposed by the commissioners.

Wishful thinking and simplistic solutions won’t solve Curry County’s budget crisis. Measure 8-71 must pass or we will all face the unpleasant — and costly — consequences.

Tomas Bozack

Brookings

strong and ethical

I would just like to say a few words on behalf of Mrs. Katherine Johnson. I know Mrs. Johnson as an active community volunteer. She is a PTO member, volunteers regularly at Azalea Middle School, is a church youth leader and of course a mother.  

Some of her current projects include: planning the middle school’s eighth-grade trip, the Azalea music trip, and she has started and maintains the school’s “FOR” club. 

FOR Club stands for Friends of Rachel, and is a nationwide program based on the life and writings of Rachel Joy Scott. What it offers students is the chance to be involved in social behavioral changes in their environment. It is more than a good-works club and something more than an anti-bullying team. It’s about positive community communication, good deeds, and helping create more humanitarianly aware society. This club is going strong thanks to Mrs. Johnson and her desire to help create a better school environment for each student. 

Mrs. Johnson has developed a working relationship with school principals and staff. She has a genuine desire to see our children and school district succeed and become exemplary. I believe she has the skills and ability to help this happen. She is strong, capable, and intelligent. She is aware of our district’s and students’ needs. She knows the parents and families of this community and has heard their input on the key subjects affecting this district. She would be a strong, balanced, and ethical addition to the school board (Position 5).

Thank you for your time.

Z. Manning

Brookings

make do, curryites

In three weeks we get to vote on raising our taxes to keep the sheriff’s department funded to the $5.4 million a year that they desire. 

In the last few years Curry Countians have had to make do with a lot less. The cost of living has gone through the roof. Yet we have had to somehow survive within our budgets. Where is all this extra cash for the tax supposed to come from? 

May I suggest the county mounties learn to live within their $2.1 million budget. Consider if the tax levy did not pass. People who live in towns would still have their local police. State troopers would still patrol Highway 101. And it would still take a long time for the sheriffs to get to my place on Elk River if needed. Chance of that happening in the next five years? Zero.

Melissa Bishop 

Elk River

this time it’s local

This time it is different. 

This time we should vote for measure 8-71 because we need to keep our local government under local control. We don’t need a takeover from the state assigning us some unelected, unqualified administrator only because we held a grudge because the situation wasn’t solved earlier or because some think our public servants gamed the system and are getting rich because they have pensions and benefits. 

We should want local control because most of us live only 10 minutes from our city halls and 30 minutes from our county seat. If we have a suggestion or a criticism it is not a long drive. Worse case scenario — get elected with your solutions. 

We should want local control because property insurance rates are lower because we have proper law enforcement. 

We in Curry County have no influence in state or federal spending while both have an influence on us residing here. 

Here is the best part. All local taxes are deductible from state and federal income taxes. We should all want our hard-earned dollars staying here in Curry County. 

Victoria Nuss 

Brookings

we learned lessons

A recent letter writer, concerned over the health of the Chetco River, ended his letter by asking, “Why is conservation such a hard sell?” 

One reason for the hard sell is that the term conservation is like the term gay. It just doesn’t mean what it used to. 

Today, the traditional conservation principle has been co-opted by self- appointed experts who try to tell the rest of us what is in our best interest, using unsubstantiated claims and unfounded fears . 

If we didn’t learn a hard lesson from the expert-driven spotted owl nonsense decades ago we had another opportunity to learn more recently when the still-valuable remains of the Biscuit Fire were left to rot and decay instead of being used for commercial benefit. 

Both the Biscuit incident and the spotted owl fiasco left huge holes in our local economy. Additionally, leaving the Biscuit Fire residue in the forest has set the stage for another destructive fire. Thank you, experts in conservation. 

Now, these same detrimental agendas are being used to increasingly prohibit the legitimate use of our river for commercial and recreational purposes. 

Probably the most hare-brained comment in this recent letter was that the Chetco River has long been “classified as impaired due to high summer water temperatures.” This is about the same as saying that someone born with red hair is impaired. In either case, that’s just the way both were made, and you’d likely do more damage than good by trying to “fix” in either one what naturally exists. 

Conservation today is such a hard sell because so many of us refuse to accept what cannot be demonstrated through traditional logical and rational means. All these contrived and exaggerated disaster scenarios will play well in Hollywood, and that’s probably where they should be peddled. 

Cam Lynn 

Brookings

stop the pers greed

After reading the article by Aimee Green in the Sunday Oregonian, April 21, 2013, I understand that a 1953 state law demands PERS be treated as sacred to the retired government earner. 

The 1953 law makes retired PERS recipients above state laws for money matters involving other state laws — a very special category of citizen in the state: how sweet it is! 

Has any legislator thought about how greedy and unfair this law is? This makes Oregon State employees from the State Supreme Court member down to the local government day worker retirement monies as being above and out of reach of laws. Oregon finances are being destroyed by PERS; the avarice is so bad that officials involved are releasing prisoners and stopping enforcement of laws they have taken an oath to enforce. Our courts and government workers have been given a PERS system that destroys the very economy they are supposed to protect. 

California has destroyed much of that economy due to near total political over fact decisions. Don’t drill for oil but sell dope? Really? Do we really want to be another California with the most productive Oregonians leaving for rational economic opportunities. I don’t want to move to Texas, do you? 

The PERS issue must be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court; they do not have an oar in the water on Oregon’s PERS (greed). Let’s stop the greed now — because that is what it is about, nothing else. 

Doug Bewall 

Gold Beach

land not a cash cow

In the past, I have been in favor of every law enforcement tax levy. 

I understand the importance of safety and security. Without it, there is fear and chaos. That said, I have serious problems with Measure 8-71. The proposed property tax increases, added to the existing tax rate of $.59 per $1,000 of assessed value, will raise the county rate to $2.56 per $1,000 and the city rate to $2.43. That is an increase of 334 percent and 312 percent respectively. 

I find it hard to believe that county dwellers are using county services at just a $.13 margin over city dwellers.

Had the commissioners commissioned an independent audit to determine a more accurate and reasonable tax increase, Measure 8-71 might be more palatable but still hard to accept.

The notion that the proposed levy will sunset in five years and that time is needed to explore other sources of revenue is ridiculous. We all know that taxes don’t go away, and the past 10 years have not produced a solution.

Property ownership is not a cash cow. The commissioners need to remember their campaign rhetoric and come up with alternatives to increasing revenue.

James Brock

Brookings

may-lopez for swocc

I would like to add my support for Judy May-Lopez for Position 7 of the Southwest Oregon Community College Board of Education. Judy currently is holding that position and appears to be doing a good job. 

Judy is well-known in the community and has expertise in finance, having been employed by Chetco Federal Credit Union, which is now Rogue Federal Credit Union.

I believe that part of Judy’s motivation to run for this office is her sense of community value. She has been part of SWOCC in the Brookings area, having taken classes from SWOCC and graduated with a degree in business administration from Eastern Oregon University. Judy is involved with the community, with experience volunteering and serving on boards, as well as being involved with community service groups such as Rotary and the Chetco Activity Center.

Since we have a beautiful campus in the Brookings area, we should have someone on the board who is familiar with it and can bring forward any concerns from there.

Furthermore, I question whether a union member should be seeking this position, as it appears to be a conflict of interest for them to do so. I also have concerns about the motivations of special interest groups that are trying to load the board with their allies. I would suspect that it is not in the best interest of the college or its students.

I ask that you support and vote for Judy May-Lopez. She will represent all parties, our community college and the citizens that live in the district.

Wayne Krieger

Oregon state representative

House District 1

a gem in our midst

Please support Katherine Johnson for the Brookings-Harbor School District School Board Position 5). 

She is a gem in our midst and has integrity, dedication, is committed to education, and works tirelessly to support education in our schools. Katherine has spent countless hours before, during, and after school actively involved with fund raising and other educational activities for Kalmiopsis Elementary and Azalea Middle School. She is present at Azalea Middle School weekly making positive contributions. Katherine is responsible for creating the Friends of Rachel (FOR Club) for Azalea students to actively show kindness to everyone to foster a positive environment for all students. 

She will be an asset to the school board and will continue to bring positive educational changes to our district.

Marydith S. McCutchenne

Brookings

fat payday notice 

Senator Max Baucus (D. Mt.) is the leading author of Obamacare and he is now telling the Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius he “fears people do not understand how the law will work.”

He then said, “I just see a huge train wreck coming down.” I’m sure he’s right this time because he has announced he will not run for another term. 

Barney Frank and Chris Dodd ran Fannie and Freddie the entire time their leadership created a colossal failure of selling homes to those who couldn’t afford them.

How does that paragraph relate to our county’s economy you say, listen up. Please take notice of all the people who want your taxes to increase with measure 8-71 are big government supporters, Democrats or the Rhino that must maintain a fat payday. 

John Bishop, our sheriff, is the only one I feel sorry for. He has done an excellent job with few resources but may have to tighten the belt without losing weight.

It was several years ago (about 10) that we knew the Fed was going to cut off our lumber because the spotted owl was more important than the money our county was getting, so we could feel big like the counties with a 100,000 to 300,000 population. It’s time you knew the truth. 

Our county commissioners and those associated with them knew this day was coming and did absolutely nothing knowing we would be uninformed and could con us into a tax increase. 

Have you heard what Obamacare is going to cost you? It’s so bad that Max is saying goodbye. Many of the retirees will be forced to sell. 

It’s no on 8-71.

Clay Dalrymple

Gold Beach 

students her priority

If you want a competent and informed school board member, vote for Carol Slewing (Position 5). 

Carol is currently serving her fourth year as a member of the Brookings Harbor School District Board of Trustees. During this time she has attended seven Oregon School Board Association workshops and conferences in order to gain further knowledge of procedures and legalities, helping her to become an even more informed board member. 

Carol has been involved with children and education most of her life. She and her husband raised their four children, helped to raise nine foster children, and hosted seven foreign exchange students. She was employed by a California school district for 20 years as Administrative Secretary/Transportation coordinator. As administrative secretary, she was also secretary to the school board. After attending board meetings and transcribing their minutes for 20 years she became familiar with school board practices, policies, and Robert’s Rules of Order. 

She has volunteered in Azalea Middle School fifth grade class for a number of years. She is also an ASPIRE advisor and a sponsor of the Azalea Middle School music program and the yearbook. 

The students are her main priority! She is striving for quality education here in Brookings. She is experienced and caring! Vote for Carol Slewing for the school board. 

Patricia Malone 

Brookings

mantra no use here

Curry County is asked to vote on property taxes on May 21. 

There is a management mantra which prescribes that “doing it longer and harder” is not always the right solution. We have known for a long time that the “timber money” was going to run out. But the standard solutions have been “timber and taxes” to fund the same kind of governance. 

I agree we will have to pay more taxes, city and county. But I feel it is time to face the hard fact that the ship has sailed on timber funds since our federal and state governments face their own financial problems. Curry County citizens need a serious long-term solution to funding our county. 

A lot of intelligent people spent a lot of time on 19 proposals, which have been, for the most part, ignored. Sadly, I vote “no” until we have long term solutions and the people we need to put them into action. 

Garth Richey 

Brookings

help homeless pets

Gold Beach Lumber at its Gold Beach and Brookings locations are having a boot-kickin’, foot-stompin’ celebration!

There is a free gift for every customer; enter to win a door prizes, and balloons for the kids.

Enjoy the tasty barbecue lunch of hot dogs, chips and soda. Donated Proceeds go to Pennies for Pooches!  

Pennies for Pooches is a one-of-a-kind animal shelter. We have rescued dogs from kill shelters plus found loving homes for our local dogs. We are working hand-in-hand with other shelters to place all animals. Our goal is that some day there will be no more homeless pets.

Come visit our precious inmates at our facility located at 29921 Airport Way, Gold Beach.

For all donations our mailing address is P.O. 1883, Gold Beach, OR 97444.

For more information about our shelter please call 541-247-2514. 

Please remember, “Shelter Dogs Rock!”

Thanking you for support,

Carole Meuret 

PFP volunteer

 

 

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