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Letters to the Editor published Jan. 20, 2010

No facts to support editorial

Editor:

The Curry Coastal Pilot editorial, Jan. 9, 2010, “Looking past knee-jerk reaction to tax measures,” was full of “opinions.” No supporting sources or data.

Pilot: “Oregon’s per capita tax burden is among the lowest in the nation. ...” According to the Tax Foundation, Oregon ranks 26th. http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/476.html.

Pilot: “Past voter decisions forced this crisis.” Decades of excessive spending in every Oregon biennium budget for the last thirty years; expansion of entitlement programs; hiring thousands of state employees in a down economy; obscene public employee benefit packages and the Mother Lode, Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) caused the crisis.

Adopted 2009-2011 Oregon Budget: http://www.leg.state.or.us/comm/lfo/2009_11_budget/highlights.pdf.

Bar charts on Page 3 of the adopted budget highlight 30 consecutive years of spending increases and, most recently, an enormous injection of “funny money” that may (if ever) be paid back by future generations. Additional graphics on Page 27 show the increase in State full-time employees. 2005-07 (47,850); 2007-09 (49, 570); 2009-11 Adopted (51,100). These numbers exclude city and county public employees.

Oregon Public Employees’ Benefit Board Summary Plan Description: http://www.oregon.gov/DAS/PEBB/docs/SPD/SPDfull.pdf

Page 4 explains that monthly premiums are fully paid by taxpayers for medical, dental and basic life insurance coverage of full-time employees and that employees need only work half time in order to qualify.

The Mother Lode: Total 2007 investments, $65 billion. Oregon taxpayers by law must guarantee PERS members an investment return of 8 percent on nearly all $65 billion. Investment losses in 2008 totaled $17 billion. Beginning 2011, Oregon budget must include funds to shore up the PERS portfolio that dwarf Measures 66 and 67 combined. According to The Oregonian: “Statewide, it’s at least a $1 billion problem in the next biennium. After that, it gets worse.” http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2009/10/looking_down_the_barrel_of_per.html.

Thomas C. Huxley

Brookings


Adopt a high school athlete

Editor:

The Brookings-Harbor High School junior class would like to encourage the community to get on board with our new program called Adopt A Player.

In order for our local sports athletes to succeed in their endeavors, it is essential that they have a strong and committed support system. So, the junior class is asking you to “become a fan” and adopt a wrestling or basketball athlete. It costs nothing to adopt a player. This is a community service project sponsored by the junior class.

Those who sign up will receive a pamphlet describing his or her adopted player, and suggestions on being a great fan.

We suggest things like attending as many of your player’s games or meets as possible, bringing them a healthy snack or sports drink, wearing your player’s number to games, or simply cheering for them in the stands. Whatever you choose to do to support your player, your encouragement makes a difference.

To adopt a player, visit our booth at any basketball game or wrestling meet. For more information call: 541-469-7443 ext. 288.

Liz Lindley, Junior Class secretary, Brookings-Harbor High School

Global warning alarm is a fraud

Editor:

A Jan. 16 letter (Pilot) proposed a scheme that claimed it didn’t return to the 1960s but at the same time described commune living.

Back to the earth sounds precious but communes either turned into cults or dissolved due to a desire for personal freedom, or adulthood. They didn’t go away because they were great to live in. Now, the rationalization for this retread concept is a lack of oil.

Nonsense, governments from local to federal just don’t want to develop known oils reserves for political reasons. We now know that global warming alarm is a fraud to make us more subservient to government and to get a few buddies rich(er): It is global fakery. Another reason includes not poking holes in sacred mother earth. What bunk! We have oil, natural gas, water power, wave power, nuclear, ground heat and coal, yes, coal in abundance.

Destination Resorts in the United States generate tourism from the entire world – just because Congress and the present executive branch wants to give away  our monetary future again, for political reasons (beyond any rational thought) doesn’t mean everyone in the world is that stupid.

Look at Bandon and the terrific development for good in that tourist town. The planned development (yes, development is not a bad word) just south of Gold Beach is a professionally developed corporation-designed resort that will be the pride of the South Coast on land that is basically marginal geography today. Who will support your new lifestyle?

Doug Bewall

Gold Beach

Troopers needed in other places

Editor:

 State troopers need to patrol other areas besides Harbor.

My wife and I recently moved to Gold Beach from Harbor. We still commute to Brookings/Harbor and back to Gold Beach daily. During our commute we are constantly tailgated and unsafely passed by other commuters who find a need to drive much faster than the posted limit.

We are always very disappointed in our local state troopers to find two, sometimes three, sitting in Harbor. We have even noticed them park next to each other chatting for more than an hour (I timed this on several occasions).

We do not need this many troopers in Brookings/Harbor. Brookings Police Department does fine in the city limits and the sheriffs can assist OSP (Oregon State Police) in Harbor if needed.

So please OSP, patrol where you’re needed, not where it’s easy and financially beneficial for you.

Harold Bailey

Gold Beach


Will not seek re-election

Editor:

March 9, 2010, is the deadline to file as a candidate for Curry County commissioner.

I will not be seeking re-election this year for that position.

Although there are many good reasons to continue to serve, there are just as many good reasons to not run again.  After much thought, I have chosen not to run again.

The truth is, I came into office with the intention of serving only one term. However, I quickly realized that the county had major challenges in the near future. So, at one point, I thought that staying in office for another term would be the best decision for the county and for myself. But after much soul searching and discussion with my husband, David, I no longer feel that is the case. So, for my health, our family and our business, the one term will be it.

It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as Curry County commissioner.

I am grateful for the many kind comments and all the support that I have received over the years.

I will continue to work hard for the county in the various capacities that I serve in to ensure the well being of the county until the end of my term.

Having made this decision, my sincere hope now is that qualified citizens of this county will “step up to the plate,” as I did four years ago, and run for county commissioner, with a clear understanding of what that means. “Qualified” is a self-determining choice for those good citizens who have the interest, desire and abilities to serve.

Many varied factors can make a good county commissioner, but the one constant factor is the person who is “invested in” and  cares about our communities and the future of Curry County.

So for a humbling, but rich and rewarding, experience, consider serving your county as county commissioner.

Georgia Yee Nowlin

Curry County commissioner

Tax measures punish voters
Editor:
So many questions, so little time and space.
Why do we have a special election, a 91-page Voters’ Pamphlet and thousands or millions of dollars in advertising, to vote on two measures that punish citizens no matter how you vote?
Is Constitution Way a make-work project, a C.I.A. secret project or just another boondoggle? Where do we weigh trucks while we build a weigh station? Are load limits suspended? Does a law forbidding cell phone use while driving, make those who did it in 2009 less stupid? If there are exceptions, or warnings, is the law stupid?
Why are we doing road work in the winter, on the roads tourists never use?
Are we going to have a playground at the port, or is the 5 acres going to be an empty parking lot for the empty buildings?
I said nothing is free. Was I wrong?
Once we give it to the government, public employees act like it’s free.
Once again our veterans have stepped up; are we going to wait a year before we create a plan for the fireworks?
Perhaps by this time next year, fireworks will be outlawed because they cause Global Warming, pollution and they destroy fish and polar bears. 
Predictions, like tossing a coin, are 50/50 propositions. Heads, there will be inflation and more poor folk. Tails, the dollar will have less value, and the job market will not improve.
Heads, we will get health care reform and seniors will get the shaft.
Tails?
Clifton Siemens
Brookings

Use accuracy and honesty
Editor:
If Sue Moro (Letters, Jan. 13, 2010) wants to grind on about the evils Measures 66 and 67, fine. This is, after all, a democracy, and the Letters to the Editor feature of the Pilot serve as a community forum of sorts.
But she should at least get her facts straight. I hesitate to call folks ignorant, just poorly informed.
First: The legislature is NOT using tax money to sponsor ads supporting passage of the measures. “Don’t you love the way they (the Legislature) spend your money.” Prove it, Ms. Moro.  Newsflash. The Legislature is prohibited from doing this sort of thing.
Second: The Legislature did not “send to the taxpayers these measures.” The Legislature passed these tax measures into law to adequately fund vital public services.  The business community was involved in the legislative process but walked out when they did not get their way,  and then supported efforts  to refer the tax issues to the voters. Maybe you signed that petition, Ms. Moro.
So, let’s have a spirited debate. Let’s feel okay to petition our government to redress grievances. But, in the least, let’s do it with a modicum of accuracy and honesty.
Barbara Eells
Gold Beach

Vote ‘No’ on tax measures 66, 67
Editor:
I’m sure they are all fine people but you have to wonder what on earth the Democrats who want a  “Yes” vote on (Measure) 66 and (Measure) 67 are thinking.
How do I know they’re Democrats? I recognize names and the others are blind-obedience followers.
Government will always try to get more money out of us and they come up with ideas they say will not affect 95 percent of us. Do you know that 75 percent of our taxes are paid by 5 percent of the population? The top wage earner will not be outsmarted by the government. Here’s what will happen:
•Move to a different state or country;
•Raise prices to cover the tax and you pay anyway.
If the state did what private business did in tough times, we wouldn’t need a new tax – trim down the workforce by one-third. What a concept! We keep prices in line; local business can stay in Oregon, plus government gets smaller.
Vote “No” on 66 and 67.
I wonder where all the hundreds of thousands of dollars came from to run the huge ad campaign for 66 and 67?
Teri Dalrymple
Gold Beach 

Making holiday a little brighter
Editor:
The Brookings-Harbor community pulled together to make the Christmas season a little brighter for many families by participating in the Community Giving Tree program.
Oregon Coast Community Action coordinates the yearly program with the Elks Lodge, local financial institutions, and businesses, but it takes the entire community to make the program a success.
The Giving Trees were provided by and located at Chase Bank, Chetco Federal Credit Union, Chetco Pharmacy & Gifts, Evergreen Federal, Sterling Savings Bank, Shop Smart, Umpqua Bank, US Bank and the Presbyterian Church.
Kerr Ace Hardware, Laureate Sigma Beta, and The Red Hats sponsored entire families. Wild Rivers Community Foundation, and others unknown to me, donated very generously to the program. Julie and Randy Garcia provided space for the many gifts that were collected. Thanks also to the many, many individuals who picked tags from the Giving Trees.
Thank you to volunteer Maggie Camacho. Thanks also to the Curry Coastal Pilot for the nice articles about our program.
This year, by pooling our efforts, 378 children received gifts. It is so wonderful to see the community come together to help those in need, especially with the country’s current financial difficulties. All of us at Community Action want everyone to know that their help was greatly needed and deeply appreciated.
Cindy Davis, Susie Brown, Kim Jones, Liberty Grubb, Oregon Coast Community Action
Brookings 

Measures will cause damage
Editor:
It was with a mixture of surprise and disappointment that I read your editorial supporting tax Measures 66 and 67.
It is strange how Scott Graves and I can attend the same meeting with our Senator and Representative and come away with different conclusions. It is obvious that you did not believe what our representatives told us. I believe that these measures will greatly damage the business climate in this state.
One of the worst features is that one of these measures taxes gross income instead of net income, which means a business can lose money but still have to pay income taxes. To support such a feature is very puzzling to me. Also, the money received goes into the general fund, not for any specific entity like education, etc., so the politicians can spend it any way they choose.
I have no pony in this race and have no job to worry about. But I fear for the workers of this state should these measures pass. It is time to cut spending, not raise taxes. State workers just got a raise, while the income of some of us have been frozen. State government is expanding while the economy is shrinking. Something is wrong in Mudville and these taxes just encourage our government to keep spending and taxing.
Frankly, I’m fed up and I hope enough others are that they will ignore your advice.
Myron Whiting
Brookings

Vote ‘No’ on all new taxes
Editor:
Well, here we go again.
The bureaucrats in Salem and their special interest folks lobbying for education, law enforcement, health care, and whatever “other services” is, are blaming the mean ol’ corporations for not paying their fair share.
Now like most small business owners, we incorporated to protect ourselves from losing our house to the unscrupulous “slip and fall” visitor and their dirt-bag lawyer. (Trust me, they’re out there.) Along with the yearly filing fee we also pay plenty in corporate and personal income tax, not to mention every fee known to man that any state and local government can come up with.
These new tax increases will be passed on to the consumer, whether it’s the small business owner or the big store at Fifth and Highway 101 here in Brookings. That’s how it works, period.
You probably make more than me, and I’m not taking the loss again and neither are the stockholders of the big guys. That’s one reason prices keep going up year after year. Lobbyists and politicians have been using this class warfare tactic to deceive the voter into thinking someone else is paying the tax, when nothing could be further from the truth.
You will pay this tax!
Until next time when they bring it up again, cut spending and government waste and vote “No” on all new taxes.
Randy Keith
Brookings

New taxes will make it worse
Editor:
Measures 66 and 67 will hurt everyone who produces goods and services and those who depend on those producers for their livelihoods.
Measure 66: Under current tax rates an individual who has taxable income in the amount of $ 10,000 would have a tax liability of $683; $25,000 taxable income would be $ 2,033 tax and $125,000 would be $ 15,537 tax. The person with taxable income of $125,000 is still just one person and will use the same amount of “essential services” as the person who has taxable income of $10,000 as they each only use “one person’s” worth of essential services.
The Big Difference – one of them will be paying $683 for those services while the other pays $15,537 for the same services. So you can see the “rich” person ALREADY pays their “fair share” and more. So that argument by the proponents does not hold water.
Due to space constraints on letters, I cannot go into Measure 67 much except to say that when costs go up for a business something else has to go – many times that means laying off employees. Reality is that Oregon has enough money in their “Other Funds” account which the legislature has the authority to allocate to the “General Fund” which pays for the “essential services.” The Legislature has the authority to do this; they just have to have the guts as well.
Raising taxes in a recession will only further deepen the recession. Vote “No” on 66 and 67.
Lyn Boniface
Pistol River

Killing most valuable asset
Editor:
After reading all the pros and cons about Measures 66 and 67, I started thinking.
I saw some new statistics on the International Planned Parenthood  Federation’s record killing of babies for 2008 and 2009 on the Internet. Surgical abortion killed 363,089. Medical abortion killed 90,035. That total is 453,124.
Now forgetting about the immorality and horrific act of the killing of babies through abortion, think of this. Why not change the system? Now take the $336.7 million dollars in 2009 the federal government gave to Planned Parenthood to kill babies and do this. Pay for the medical care for women to carry their babies to full term, not kill them. Develop a giant list of parents who want to adopt babies. Make it easy and inexpensive for the adoption. These new parents will have the child they would love to have. Over the next 18 years or more they will spend lots of money raising this child. They will spend money on medical care, dental care, food, clothing, furniture, baby supplies, toys, transportation, and many other consumer goods I can’t think of. This would make our economy grow stronger.
After the children are 18, and sometimes before, these children and young adults and then adults will be productive citizens. They will end up in every kind of employment America has available and they will pay taxes.
In the infinite ignorance of our government we are killing the most valuable asset America has – its people. More people in business, in the work place, producing, making America stronger and yes, paying lots and lots of taxes. Yes, Oregon would also enjoy the increase in revenue derived from increase in taxes.
I do not vote for new taxes and will not vote for new taxes until our politicians are responsible for their spending of our tax dollars.
For now, vote “No” on Measures 66 and 67.
Gerald Karrle
Brookings

Must denounce bigoted view
Editor:
This week, Haiti suffered an unimaginable tragedy. 
Tens of thousands of people are dead, millions are homeless in a land that has suffered enough already.
Pat Robertson said that the Haitians brought this on themselves by making a deal with the devil hundreds of years ago. This is the same man of the cloth who blamed the victims of Hurricane Katrina and 9/11 on some kind of transgression against his god. Every pulpit in this county must thunder, with condemnation, of Robertson’s insanity or those congregations that share his beliefs.
Rush Limbaugh said that the response to the tragedy in Haiti by the United States was a transparent political ploy by President Obama to curry favor with black voters. Then he told his listeners not to contribute to Haitian relief efforts because they don’t really need the help. 
Every conservative in Curry County must denounce this bigoted politicization of this unprecedented tragedy. Or, if not, we can only assume they share this psychopathic belief.
Thomas Seither
Gold Beach


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