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Letters to the editor Feb. 12, 2014

Thanks, Jane Stebbins

I am so grateful to finally get not one, but three well written and clear articles about what is going on in the county! The coverage of the city council backing of the Charter to change the current, dysfunctional county government to Home Rule Charter was well done! It would make so much sense to have five elected officials who are able to meet and discuss issues. It seems that currently we have two commissioners against one (and it is easy to guess which two). Two is currently a quorum! It was ever thus that “two is company and three is a crowd.” 

Again, I thank you Jane for helping me to understand the troubles brought on to the Veteran’s Service Office and Officer Kimberley O’Neal, who got caught in the crossfire when Commissioner Smith ruined her chances of getting a grant to keep her services available to our servicemen and women. By the time she got some real help from the county commissioners (when they finally reassigned her office to Susan Brown), the damage had already been done when Smith and Itzen refused to take her recommendation for the proper amount of grant monies to be applied for. 

Thanks for the article about the proposal for the golf course near Port Orford. The clarity of Ms. Stebbins writing helped me to get the history and somewhat of an explanation of and hopes for north county.

All of the articles support my conviction that five commissioners will really help to have county issues treated fairly. At least the quorum will require three votes instead of two out of three. I am so glad that the Brookings City Council voted their support for initiative 8-76 on the May ballot.

Burrill Catanach

Harbor

Facets of evolution

I just read a very thoughtful but naive reply (to my letter). 

The writer seems to be considering that religion is a necessary aspect of human existence and evolution. 

Unfortunately, because we humans are an incipient, ignorant, immature, fearful and superstitious lot, we, in the main, react to the frightening and bewildering realities of life imaginatively, by creating fictitious supernatural entities which we, arrogantly, hope and “pray” will guide and protect us.

Evolution is chronic and absolute wherever life exists. The brain of man is epistemologically infinite. That fact is being demonstrated at this moment and will become exponentially proved by the end of this generation. 

Sophistication, education and experience are the facets of evolution which will foster the maturity and understanding that will alleviate all the necessities needed to consider the foolish notion of there being caring, omnipotent “gods.”

Why think that religion, as we are experiencing it in its myriad distressful forms, is necessary for a conscious, “intelligent” form of life to appreciate the subjects of tolerance, cooperation, compassion and harmony as they relate to “human survival, viability and sustainability?” 

For the human species to succeed, it must rise, intellectually, above the primitive, regressive concept of religion and rely upon its own dynamic abilities and time. 

We can only hope that man will, as he attempts to grasp the first rung of the evolutionary ladder, realize his many frailties and approach his future with the innate goal of all life in mind. That goal is the survival of the species! 

“Man has unravelled the marvels of nature to expose forces unknown heretofore and with a senseless act and impassioned move … he may begin the overture to blast the miracle time has wrought to the beginning … FOREVERMORE!” The biblical Armageddon!

Skip Howard 

Brookings

Turn them down flat

The foreign owned corporation that is proposing the Red Flat Nickel mining would negatively impact my family and many others. 

Most of the people in Hunter Creek and Pistol River really don’t want this at the headwaters of their watersheds. The same was true over by the Nickel Mountain mining in Riddle, Oregon. Many of the adjacent citizens became seriously ill from the pollution generated by the mining. They settled out of court and cannot tell their story due to the gag order forced upon them so they could receive their compensation to treat the cancers. 

The jobs-at-all-costs mentality continues to be a problem for our area. I do not think we are that desperate. I’m not against jobs, but some are better than others and some jobs do not leave major destruction to deal with after they are gone. 

I suppose there could also be some jobs dealing with the environmental mess and all the sick people affected by the toxic nickel extraction? We did just approve a new hospital after all. Lets hope it will have a chemotherapy department if strip mining were to occur. 

We need to look to the long haul and make decisions that provide jobs that don’t destroy the forests, rivers and the people. We can find a good balance between natural resource harvest and tourism without bending over to the most toxic industry in America (according to the EPA). 

Just say no to Red Flat Nickel mining! 

Dave Lacey 

Gold Beach

Praise for event folk

It is so nice to see people come forward and helping the community with new ideas and events. The Crabfest was delightful, fun and enjoyable. With this event the whole community benefited. 

Yes, there were people who complained but then again is there anything that anyone would do that would please them. No! Those who complained about being too crowded, eating off paper plates, plastic utensils; maybe china and crystal water glasses would have pleased them, served food at the wrong end of the table. Cooking and serving for 250 people that took time and effort, do people ever think of that? Those who weren’t happy maybe don’t understand what it takes to do an event; it takes up so much time of your life, energy, effort, working with others and downright stressful. Maybe next time come and volunteer and really see how hard it is. It takes a lot; we should show respect of this wonderful committee or anyone that puts forth effort and to give all of us an opportunity to enjoy something different instead of nonsense criticism.

We just got back from the Chocolate Festival and we were pleased to see such a variety of vendors. My favorite was Funny Fuzzies Art by Alisha Fear. What unique and fun art. Thank you all for being there and hope to see you at other art festivals and events here in Brookings. This is just another event that took time and effort and we thank you.

Also, can’t wait to see the bears back in town!!!

Beverly Duncan

Harbor

Genetics and faith

I have a wonderful new direction for many and for Mr. Skip Howard as to his letter to the editors titled “Genetics and Faith.” He mentions the SETI project (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) with its huge antennas reaching out and monitoring the cosmic radio waves looking for intelligent life through out the cosmos. Carl Sagan, the atheist manager of that project, was once asked: how would you be able to identify intelligent life. As Sagan looked at the screens monitoring the incoming cosmic radio waves he said: “look at the screen (which was displaying a bunch of snow). That is meaningless and is just a bunch of noise.” He went on to say: “Any defined ‘pattern of structured information’ would show intelligence.” If there is intelligence there must be an intelligent designer. So the criteria for intelligence or an intelligent designer was established as a “pattern of structured information.” 

Mr. Howard then connects the SETI project with evolution through the process of “natural selection.” So the question then becomes, is evolution a process of “natural selection” or is it a product of Intelligent Design? Keep in mind that the intelligent design criteria were set by the scientific community. 

The question of human evolution was laid to rest when DNA was first discovered. DNA is a “pattern of structured information” and, therefore, humans are a product of an Intelligent Designer and not evolution. 

There are good books to read on the subject of Intelligent Design.

Dennis Oliver

Brookings

No fiddler pictures

I loved all of the pictures of the Musical Fiddlers at the Grange. I wish to thank Rudy Spence for organizing it. 

I began fiddling back in 2008 when Carl Rovainen and another of my fiddling/strumming friends Sylvia, Lisa and Ann would play together. 

The Oregon Old Time Fiddlers Association helps to provide food and venues to players. As you can tell by the photos. ... 

My question would be, where ... are the fiddlers? I sometimes also ask myself the same thing as we fiddlers are rapidly either dying off, sadly, or just no youngsters coming up to play and perform. There were five or six fiddlers in the sea of acoustic stringed instruments: myself, Ed Kelly, from Brookings. Sylvia drove from Grant Pass; two others drove from Eugene, I believe, and one new face I didn’t recognize. I play guitar and could also sit and strum the beats and the chords, but when I learned the violin at age 4, I just fell in love with its high pitch and bowing. So my question regarding the wonderful photos is, Where’s the BEEF? OR, in this case, Where’s the fiddlers? Perhaps a photo of A FIDDLER, would help me feel less lonely as I try to continue this craft which is difficult at best and outnumbered by the other valuable stringed instruments. 

I had a great time. I love to play while others dance or strum, but a fiddle adds the melody. I wish there were more of us. 

I loved the spread, I love the photos. Just a small thing, a fiddle, but a huge sound and so much fun to play it.

Patricia Foht 

Brookings

Editor: You’re absolutely right! We’ll make sure to include a photo of a fiddle player with next year’s story. 

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