|Letters to the Editor published Wednesday, June 24, 2009|
|June 24, 2009 05:00 am|
Plane-flying folk getting bad rap
I have been down at the kite field several times to watch Carl Tobin and others flying their RC airplanes.
I think these folks are now getting a bum rap. Like the old adage, “one bad apple spoils the bunch,” Carl and others are getting the bad rap for a few careless flyers not associated with their group. I have not one time seen Carl, Ken, Ron, or the remainder of the group do anything irresponsible while flying their planes. They usually fly what are called “slow-sticks.” These aircraft can barely fly more than a few miles an hour, not even up to 5. The controllers they use cannot be interfered with by any other radio equipment in the port.
Carl and others are now being forced to buy into an organization just so they can fly on public land. I have seen many close calls and accidents with untrained people flying high speed kites, hitting folks, vehicles, etc., while on the kite field and on Sporthaven Beach. Are the kites going to be banned next?
People let dogs run unleashed on the field. I personally have had unleashed dogs attack me and I had to fight them off until the owners came to retrieve their “friendly dogs that have never done that before.” Will pets be banned from the field?
The only thing that can be done is to put a gate across at lower Harbor by the motel and charge everyone an entrance fee. Hand folks a use permit that states what can and cannot be done while they are inside this gated area. At $5 each, the port debt could be paid off in only a few years.
Go down, watch the guys flying, talk to them, get their story before making rush judgements. Fly, Carl, fly.
When appointed to the office of Commander of VFW Post 966 in December, I wondered how I would be able to manage the position.
I had only a couple of years with the VFW and no experience as a commander. Well, you know people of the community came forward with assistance and offered to help in countless ways. We worked our way through the months ahead.
Then came May and there was a lot to accomplish with the Memorial Day services. I was then called out of town for a family emergency and had to leave over that very important day. With the help of friends Sam Vitali, Charles Fuller, Jim Thebaut, and Frank Van Meter the Memorial Day services were by all accounts amazing. It also included all of the veteran organizations in the town of Brookings. How appropriate for that very special day.
Now it is time for me to step aside and hand the commander position over to Jim Thebaut. I know he will be doing a fantastic job as the post continues on through the coming year. Thank you to everyone that has assisted the post and me.
As a pilot and airplane owner, I have frequent occasion to visit Brookings airport.
On one such visit, I had battery trouble when it came to leave and was floundering around trying to push-start the car. It was then I met Bruce Harden as he had been under his beautiful airplane doing some minor maintenance. He crawled out from under his A/C to come give us a hand, a couple of strangers (my wife and I) obviously novices not worthy of help, but nevertheless he gave us his hand!
We never talked much after that but I greatly admired the airplane he had built and we always waved when crossing. I was green with envy at the man’s talent, ability and intellect to build and fly such a magnificent machine and as recently learned, his assets were involved in the sum of his life.
The picture in the Pilot was sad but in a twist of philosophy, I submit that it was a final tribute to a man’s life, in that he “went west” doing what he loved to do. We all should be so lucky! The accident is only an event that detracts none from the man, as the evidence of quality in his life is overwhelming and an example to all.
Jack M. McGahey
Your editorial of Wednesday, June 17, seems to take a sneering delight in the financial hardship that the BLM is imposing on Cycle Oregon with its jaw-dropping demand for a $10,990 “commercial use fee.”
The actual financial impact of the three-hour peddling segment through BLM land isn’t a 10th of that. By way of comparison, the City of Medford is charging Cycle Oregon $2,182 for a two-day stay at Fichtner-Mainwaring Park. Your insinuation that these big-city folks just don’t understand public lands issues the way we backwater bumpkins do is embarrassingly provincial.
Cycle Oregon is all about promoting small communities in the state. In its 22 years, the Cycle Oregon Fund has dispersed more than $1 million in community development grants to small Oregon towns. It’s also good for small-town business. Every year, Cycle Oregon spends over $120,000 in the communities it rides through.
Where your editorial really abdicates journalistic responsibility, though, is in failing to tell your readers the rest of the story. The real loser here is the 2009 recipient of Cycle Oregon’s Signature Grant: The Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation. As with any other nonprofit, any increase in operational costs diminishes the strength of charitable giving. Cycle Oregon’s need to cough up an additional $11,000 will only reduce the gift to OPRD by the same amount. One jurisdiction of public lands is going to suffer at the greedy hands of another.
Got chili? Bring it on!
I have officially entered the Twelfth Annual Community Chili Cook-Off!
I am personally sending out a challenge to all those brave souls to try and beat me in the cook-off.
I have been practicing for six months straight and I believe I have the finest recipe ever created on the face of our small planet; well, maybe the face of Curry County, or could be the face of Brookings-Harbor?
Just bring it on y’all and let’s throw the ladles down and come out sizzlin’.
When? Fourth of July
Where? Boardwalk at the Port of Brookings-Harbor
How? Entries at Slugs ‘N Stones ‘N Ice Cream Cones
HURRY! Call Pat Silveria for entry details, (541) 469-2684.
TTFN (Ta Ta For Now)!
I must say, as citizens, our priorities in life seem somewhat warped and bewildering to me.
The local schools must cut $1.1 million from their budget: dropping trade shops, sports, arts, teachers, etc. Meanwhile, money is spent locally on much less important projects than preparing our youth for adult life. This morning’s Pilot announced a new medical center for Brookings. When I read the headline, I nearly sprayed my coffee all over the table.
We already have plenty of medical facilities, services and doctors, in Brookings to handle routine and emergency medical care. We have a hospital 30 minutes north and one 30 minutes south. We also have Cal-Ore for emergency flights to other state locations. Do we really need all the redundancy when we cannot provide the best education for our children? What’s next, another hospital in Harbor?
Rainbow Rock Road was just newly paved this past week. It seemed OK to me before repaving. Is that more important than education for our youth?
California has a budget crisis and what is happening in Del Norte County? A multi-million dollar “left turn” lane is being constructed from the border to the casino. How many people does that service, versus spending the money on education?
All of us elderly folks have lived out most of our lives. Let us take care of the children before spending more money on unnecessary clinics, trying (to) cover every last crack in the medical structure to cover “our” lives before our demise.
Let’s get our priorities straight. After all, we can’t live forever.
This past year has shown us the systemic problems in the American economy with the fallout from the sub-prime mortgage problems, home foreclosures, unemployment, the lack of medical insurance, etc.
Extreme measures had to be implemented to correct these challenges. Fortunately, we now have a government that is taking action to correct the systems that failed us.
For those narrow-minded, short-sighted folks who are concerned about the deterioration of our country, here are some thoughts on the subject. We don’t need attack weapons to go hunting. Enough people can be killed with handguns in schools, churches, drive-by killings, etc. Freedom of speech is somewhat controlled by corporations that own the media. No restrictions on religion, however when religious leaders and followers can influence politics they should no longer be tax exempt.
Consider the disastrous conditions that could have occurred if the government had not taken over GM, provided the cash to save our banking system (some banks are already paying off their loans), and implemented a job program to reduce unemployment. Figures on unemployment and foreclosures have been reduced.
The key factor to improve our economy is reducing medical costs and providing medical insurance to everyone. It is now up to our Congress to do their job. Each of us can help reduce medical costs by not relying on drugs and frequent visits to the doctors office, but being more aware of preventive health such as what we put in our mouths and getting more exercise.
Last Monday the Brookings City Council-Budget-Staff reached near final decisions regarding (a) number of fairly complex Water/ Wastewater rate “issues.”
After reviewing a nearly useless $40,000 “outside contractor study,” studying lots of details, and deliberating a great deal, they were ultimately faced with a decision: Cut the city bureaucracy, the charge that has quadrupled over past few years, or raise your taxes – oops – I should say rates.
With only Piper and Nuss voting no, the Council-Budget Committee chose rates. Barring a lot of calls to your councilpersons, watch for a $6 per month increase beginning with July’s Water/Wastewater bill. (So much for trimming government during recession times.
The New York Times’ book review, June 7, reviewed a book by Matthew B. Crawford, “Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work,” from which I am quoting.
Crawford bemoans the loss of high school classes teaching welding, woodworking, etc., to free up funds for computer labs.
Experts denigrate manual trades like plumbers, carpenters and electricians, warning our labor force needs to be “upskilled” to face the challenges of a high-tech, global economy. Students should be prepared for life as “symbolic analysts” and “knowledge workers” to add value through mental rather than physical labor.
Crawford believes two things wrong with this. First, it radically undervalues blue-collar work – manipulating things rather than ideas. Expertise in things allows individuals to have mastery over their lives – to control faucets, outlets and engines they depend on from day to day. Secondly, this vision of the postindustrial world is not one inhabited by a “creative class,” but one inhabited by people best captured by “Dilbert,” or “The Office.”
The average knowledge worker is caught in a morass of evaluations, budget projections and planning meetings, none of which bears his/her personal stamp. The kinds of mastery and excellence available to the forklift driver or mechanic are elusive.
R. H. Morneau, Jr.
This past week we lost a son, brother, and special friend to so many.
All of his recent years (15-20) he has spent as a proud Merchant Marine from entrance level to reaching the highest pinnacle – captain – just a few months ago.
Today, there shines bright a new star over the oceans of the world – my son is guiding “his ship” to heaven – and beyond.
All my love, Captain.
Regarding “Reforming our heath system” letter (Pilot, June 20): The author advocates that we use a Medicare type system.
Yes, Medicare is a blessing for us seniors, but one must consider other factors when looking at it as a model for everyone. Medicare is extremely expensive for the taxpayer. Our government would soon go broke or our taxes skyrocket. Medicare under-pays doctors. Two examples: An eye surgeon billed $1,091 and Medicare paid $382. For a $90 office visit the doctor was paid $40. These are not extreme examples. I have a family member who is a family practice physician. If he had only Medicare patients he would have to quit practicing as it frequently costs him more to treat the patient than he receives. One must realize that a physician has many overhead expenses before he can pay himself. If physicians can not earn a living commensurate with their 11 to 15 years of schooling and training, and the costs of such schooling, we will not have enough physicians to treat us. Even now we have a shortage of doctors, so it would not be long before much of our care would be rationed, as I understand is the case in Canada.
Are you aware that a doctor accepting Medicare patients can’t accept cash for a non-Medicare approved treatment for those patients? And that is now. One can imagine what would happen if we were on a national system for everyone, for even if one wanted a non-Medicare approved treatment he will not be able to get it, even if he wants to pay out of his own pocket. As nice as Medicare may be for us seniors, it will be a disaster for the country if that is the system we will have in the future. You had better think twice before you support such a system, for there are some very real downsides to it.
I loved watching the (model) airplanes fly in the Port of Brookings-Harbor.
I cannot imagine them being a nuisance to anyone! In America, the land of the free, freedom is not so free anymore.
I hope that the port will see to it soon that the flyers are allowed to resume flying their planes in the port again.
Hard to believe with everything that is going on that they would pick (on) folks enjoying themselves flying planes in the port
Virgil and Lisa Griffin
As a citizen of Curry County, I am concerned about many requirements that have not been met in regard to the Joint Management Agreement (JMA), between the city of Brookings and Curry County.
The Special Plan Area for Harbor Hills, notably, was not supposed to be developed until the Comprehensive Surface Water Management Plan (CSWMP) has been developed.
The Harbor Bench Aquifer is essential to sustainability of our unique agricultural businesses here, and to our local economy. The CSWMP must be evaluated, developed properly within Oregon and Curry County law, and be subject to legal restrictions. Without accountability of developers, or legal enforcement of existing laws, CSWMP should not be considered valid.
There should be very specific studies made as to density of housing on Harbor Hills with regard to CSWMP, and these made accessible to the public.
The idea of mixing business with residences on Harbor Hills would be detrimental to the small businesses in Brookings and Harbor, and would not enhance the beauty of Harbor Hills. I am not against development, but without a plan for open spaces, treed areas, and not too many paved areas (even with permeable concrete) a residential/business tract on Harbor Hills would not attract tourists (who like to see green hills), or people who build vacation homes there, and aren’t interested in Mom and Pop stores in their secluded retreats.
Also the problem of unstable, unbuildable land on the western slope of Harbor Hills has not been clearly addressed: Maps must be made by potential developers congruent to the geologic hazards made clear by the surveys of the USGS Geologic Hazard Map, the Rapidly Moving Landslides Provisional Map, and the recent Statewide Landslide Inventory Data for Oregon (SLIDO). This needs to be done to determine housing layout and density relative to CSWMP.
These issues are interconnected, and would benefit all Curry County citizens if the Planning Commission would consider them in the light of the best interests of the county, and not just the best interests of a select few.