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News arrow Opinion arrow Letters to the Editor published Saturday, February 18, 2012

Letters to the Editor published Saturday, February 18, 2012 Print E-mail
Written by The Curry Coastal Pilot   
February 17, 2012 09:07 pm

 

Why don’t they tackle real issues?

Editor: 

I have friends in Europe who are snickering, or laughing at the antics of the GOP primary debates. 

They ask me why they don’t discuss real issues pertinent to our country and the world, like foreign affairs, our economy, world trade, manufacturing, the military, jobs, environment, healthcare, education, and I have to tell them I don’t know. I simply cannot understand what religion, birth control, abortion, disenfranchising voters, and reducing women’s access to healthcare have to do with the future success of our country. How does any of this craziness put food on the table? How does this help get Americans back to work? The GOP talks about freedom out of one side of their mouths and out of the other side they want to tell women how to manage their vaginas. They simply want power over our lives. And, re-election of course. 

Have you ever tried to engage a “Joe Average” GOPer in this county? They will not talk to you. If you ask them a question they get mad and start yelling at you to get away. Try engaging a GOPer with a serious question and you’ll see what I mean. 

Why do they support the  one percent? The GOP is the party of wealth and big business. Their motto: Welfare is good for oil companies, but bad for poor people. As far as I can tell, the GOP wants to quickly take our country back into the dark ages. “The GOP is pro-life until birth.” 

Mike Schrum

Brookings

 

Mike Adams and the ‘Chetco’

Editor:

Almost unbelievable! The research, the documentation, the writing and the photography that brings it all together – it’s all bound between the covers of “Chetco,” the long overdue story of our beautiful south coast.

With remarkable attention to accuracy and with the invaluable contribution of so many of our local citizens, Mr. Adams has put together an interesting, fun-to-read history starting with the original Native Americans and continuing up to the present day. Never boring, the book covers the history of so many of the family names familiar to us – names like McVay, Payne, Gardner, Cooley, and Garvin to name just a few. It covers the first pioneers to enter the valley and it covers the people who followed, the miners and the loggers and the farmers and the fishermen.

I was a school teacher when my wife and I moved here in 1969. I wish such a book had been available then. What an excellent resource for teachers!

They say the first printing of over a thousand books sold out in December. Hopefully, more will be coming soon.   It’s a great read!

Karl Johnson

Brookings 

 

$5K to study tax is a waste of money

Editor:

The county is going to spend five thousand dollars of taxpayer money to determine the feasibility of a county sales tax.  

I can answer that question for free and we can retain the five thousand in the general fund. It won’t work! Every few years someone places a sales tax measure on the Oregon ballot and every time it is overwhelmingly defeated. A county-wide measure will be no different. Here are some of the reasons it will be rejected by the voters:

Years ago California voted for a modest sales tax. That modest tax has grown to become the largest sales tax rate in the nation and it is still growing.

A county-wide tax will cause Curry residents to cross borders to make their purchases in other counties, especially on high value items. Curry business owners should be outraged by this proposal.

Curry County businesses rely heavily on revenue from tourism including motels, restaurants and retail purchases. If Curry has a sales tax the tourists will continue to drive a bit further north.

Do you think that Bi-Mart would have built a new store in Brookings if a sales tax already existed in this county?

Do you think that Curry County having the only sales tax in Oregon may affect the decision of new arrivals to make their home here?

The financial crisis this county and the entire nation is experiencing is temporary, likely things will begin to improve next year. But a sales tax is like a malignant cancer, it will never go away and will cause irreparable problems.

What we need are temporary fixes that are adopted with an expiration date.

Alan Jensen

Brookings

 

Higher taxes is not the answer for Curry

Editor:

Tax, tax, and more tax! 

I have been reading the on-going financial dilemma of Curry County throughout the year. I was mentioned once in the Curry Coastal Pilot, how the county commissioners in the past, saw this day coming and ignored it. “Kicking the can down the road” has been going on with the federal, state, and county government ever since God created dirt! This is not something new. 

Now, Curry County government is scrambling to fill a $2 million gap in the county budget by creating new and/or increased taxes. I’ve read the word “temporary” when some of the proposed taxes are mentioned. What a joke! We are still paying on some taxes that were “temporary;” which were enacted by the feds for the Civil War in the 1860s. 

I was offended by Commissioner Chairman Dave Itzen use of the word, “intrigued” by a county sale tax and other taxes. I wish he was more “intrigued” in the past years, and had addressed the problem of the county losing their federal grants. 

If I had the right answers, I would have run for county government, but I don’t! But I feel that more taxes are not the answer. That is why a lot of us who live here, have fled California – high taxes! Like I said, “ I don’t have the answers!” But I for one will vote “No” on any new or higher taxes put on a ballot.

Andrew T. Ragan

Brooking

 

Marine reserves: the new spotted owl

Editor: 

Oregon, please welcome marine reserves: they’re the new spotted owl. 

I notice the State is trying to add three more marine reserves. The motivation is not necessarily due to sound science or any other legitimate need. No, its partly out of fear that if the State doesn’t take some small preemptive action, conservation groups will propose a ballot measure promoting a much larger reserve area. 

Senator Betsy Johnson believes the current bill recently approved by the Senate will protect the coast from an economic Armageddon. Now THAT would be severe! This decision by the Oregon Senate is naive at best. The State could lock up 50 percent of State waters in reserves instead of 5 percent and environmental groups would want still more. And they’d get it, too! 

Like the spotted owl issue in times past, marine reserves have little to do with science and everything to do with putting those that actually produce out of work. Do you remember the headline in the Pilot from last December? “Marine reserve opens Sunday off Port Orford. There will be no fishing allowed. ...” It just struck me funny. 

Sadly, those that now make their living from the sea, like those that used to make their living in the woods, will probably not see the humor. 

Cam Lynn 

Brookings

Getting needed coats to the kids

Editor:

Brookings Emblem Club 265 would like to thank everyone who lent a helping hand in donating coats for kids. They were very much appreciated in every way.

I also add the businesses that allowed us to put our red barrels, thank you so much.

There are also extra coats at the schools and if more are needed, please call President Cleo Curtiss at 541-412-7098.

We would like to thank Matt Galli, manager at Fred Meyer, for allowing us to use their facility for our Christmas wrap, which helps a number of charities in our community.

Thank you so much.

Cleo Curtiss, president

Sharon Westbury, PP, OSAEC 3rd trustee

Brookings Emblem Club 265

 

County sales tax not fair to anyone

Editor:

County sales tax fair to everyone? Actually a county sales tax is not fair to anyone. 

We have a home in Harbor but are still stuck in sales tax goofy California part time. A few thoughts on a sales tax that should be considered: Establishing a sales tax collection agency ( County Board Of Equalization?) will be expensive. All of the County’s business folks that offer goods for sale will become unpaid tax collectors. Enforcing tax collection is a nasty business. We are small business owners in California and we’ve been there and done that for the state.  

Curry’s neighbors to the south won’t be as compelled to come here to shop and eat. And once that sales tax door is open, it will probably get blown off its hinges. Figure how many dollars we need to run the County, and raise property taxes equitably. 

Also, stop discounting property tax bills by 3 percent if paid in full. It’s a bill, pay the amount owed. If you have to make payments, there should be a processing fee. A transient fee at motels, hotels, and RV parks probably makes sense, and would be relatively easy to collect.  

Daryl and Bonnie Rosta

Harbor

 

America: Asleep at the wheel

Editor: 

The agenda of capitalism has some unintended consequences that cross intersections of natural events. 

The risk assumed by notions of improvement have the idiom of marginalized systems whose value for success means dehumanizing others in either the workplace or in basic survival. Americans, convinced of their moral superiority, seek to impose capitalism throughout the world, the profit motive being the freedom and democracy they offer, no matter the fact that it imposes a racial hierarchy and industrial politics that enthrones machinery while ethics and humans become irrelevant. 

Capitalism means corporate imperialism; the real virtues of simplicity, patience, frugality, are thus considered backward. The material wellbeing of artifice and architecture as greed and violence related, are the Antichrist the Bible warned about, not any individual, but of a concept of living which denies true compassion for fellow humans. 

Capitalism has plenty of good qualities, same with religions, but they can go too far, or, they can bring you only so far, and the rest is a different story. This goes for government, too. A little dab will do you, but it’s insane to think any nation can do without social mechanics. There are things people have overlooked by being workers alone, or religious alone, their Bible warned of Mammon, not far off from Morgan, the ultra capitalist, the empire of U.S. Steel, General Motors, and every other corporate “general.”

American has been asleep at the wheel, and Morgan Stanley, Stanley Morgan, J.P. Morgan (Chase now) have taken over and been the Oz behind the screen for almost 120 years now. Is that good? I don’t know, they are old money and at large. 

Power is a priori innocent, no words retain any meaning, the mask of capitalism is an iron cage of greed. Maybe re-occupy America should look deeper. 

G.G. Thompson

Brookings 

 

Rethink needs, eliminate wants

Editor: 

I am disheartened at the suggestions made by the committee to solve Curry County’s financial problems. Especially those that suggest increasing taxes and adding a sales tax. 

According to the article in your paper, 53 percent of the students in the county need assistance to buy lunches; that would indicate to me that their families don’t have enough income to provide other necessities of life.

People on fixed incomes are faced with increasing costs of everything they buy and very low interest rates on their savings.

The sales tax suggestion started out a 1 percent; the last I read it was up to 4 percent. Other states seem to find ways to increase the rate of sales tax, to add groceries and prescription medicine to the tax roll.

If the sales tax were limited to Curry County, everyone who could would go to Coos County to do their shopping, and those people from Northern California would stop coming here to shop.

While we are struggling for ways to provide police protection and keep the schools going, some group thinks Brookings needs a bike path. Where do they think federal grant money comes from? 

If the Jerry’s Flat bike path is an example of safe, well constructed bike paths, it will be another waste of federal (the taxpayers’) money.

Let’s rethink our “needs” and eliminate the “wants” and eliminate every county expense that is not a necessity.

Carolyn Smith

Gold Beach 

 

Boaters: Good news and bad news

Editor: 

It was brought to our attention the Port of Brookings Harbor is getting the docks and boat slips operational in the commercial boat basin. That is the good news. 

Bad news – the slip you paid for and used over the years is no more! Several of the boat slips have been re-assigned. 

After hearing some of the Port’s proposed plans, we strongly urge everyone to attend the Port’s monthly meeting. It is in the best interest of all boat owners to hear their agenda. The meeting is held at the Best Western Beachfront Inn on Boat Basin Road on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. in one of the conference rooms.

If you haven't attended a meeting, this is one you do not want to miss. It may be time to unite and form a Boat Owners Association.

W. L. Broer

Brookings

 

New sales tax will make life harder

Editor:

Curry County is going broke. 

Since the effective end of timber payments, the county spends more money for essential services than it takes in. Services have already been cut to the bone, but the county still needs about $3 million per year more to stay solvent. What to do?

A proposal that’s on the table is a new county-wide sales tax. Everyone assumes that it would be fair to everyone, since everyone pays the same percentage. Except is isn’t, and they don’t.

The sales tax is a regressive tax, meaning that the more money you make the less you pay as a percentage of your income. The wealthy end up paying a tiny part of their income in sales tax, while the poor pay a lot. Two states with a sales tax are California and Washington (http://goo.gl/GqA4q). In California the bottom 20 percent pay an average of 3.2 percent of their income in sale tax while the top 1 percent pay only 0.5 percent. It’s even worse in Washington. In Washington the bottom 20 percent pay an effective rate of 4.4 percent while the top 1 percent pay only 0.7 percent.

What does this mean for Curry County? It means that a new sales tax will make life much harder for the poor and near poor who already struggle just to pay for essentials like food and rent, but the prosperous will hardly feel it.

This isn’t tax fairness. This is tax abuse. Let our county commissioners know that a sales tax is wrong for Curry County.

Tomas Bozack

Brookings

 

Brown: Economic development

Editor:

With all the challenges facing Curry County, why do we need a change in the Board of Commissioners? 

Here is a BIG reason why:  Our ranchers ship their meats to processors that are, in many cases, thousands of miles away. This adds high transportation costs to their sales. A local facility would give Curry ranchers the ability to market their product locally and provide residents a local supply of meats.  

In 2007, Susan Brown, then director of Economic Development for Curry County, looked for a meat processor in the county willing to expand his facility to meet USDA requirements and found none. Then one near Bandon was found and Susan drew up proposals to start a co-op style marketing company here in Curry County that would allow ranchers to process and sell their products under their own brands. 

Susan’s proposals caught the interest of the USDA.  Washington was interested in finding a pilot project in small scale (local) meat processing and offered to fund the initial start-up plans for $50,000. Susan was working directly with USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and the project was written up in The Washington Post. Susan drew up the business and marketing plans and the USDA approved them.

Then the commissioners decided to shut down the office of Economic Development and use the office funds themselves. The funds come from Oregon Lottery dollars and are earmarked for economic development. Oh, and what did they do with some of the lottery money? They paid Oregon Solutions $9,000 to do a study that ended up telling them they needed an Office of Economic Development! And the pilot project with the USDA?  Ignored and ultimately canceled.  

See more of what Susan Brown has done to pursue economic development in Curry County at www.ElectSusanBrown.com (click on “About the Candidate”). 

Eileen Sorrels

Harbor

 

Good people on the wrong path

Editor:

Let’s take a few minutes to define a few terms and we can begin with the “99s.” What are they? Who are they? 

They appear to be a group of unrelated factions with the only commonality being an intense desire to fix all that is supposedly wrong in our society by destroying a group they have labeled the “1s.” 

These factions include, but are not just limited to: anarchists, homeless, hobos, crazies, unemployed, underemployed, people with nothing else to do, and just gobs and gobs of liberals, progressives and socialists. 

Now, please don’t misunderstand. A lot of these are good, sincere and very frustrated folks who through no fault of their own have been caught up in this Utopian dream turned nightmare. They have worked hard all of their lives, paying their bills, their mortgages, and raising their families. It is truly sad that they have been reduced to this level due to the impossible theories of the “ideologues” and their hallucinations of ever-expanding entitlements (think all of those mortgages taken out by people who had virtually no way to keep up the payments, etc.).

Wow! We’ll get to the “1s” next time and then we can really try to honestly assess the “blame game.”

 Jim Hajek

 Port Orford 

 

 

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