Letters to the Editor published Saturday, May 16, 2009
The Curry Coastal Pilot /
School system in bad shape
I can't believe that we, as a people, are excited about the fact that only 42 percent of our seventh grade students aren't up to standard in our educational system.
We should be outraged that only 58 percent were able to meet or exceed the standard tests. When did 42 percent failing the tests become OK?
Brookings-Harbor High School at least had 61 percent who can meet or exceed standards, but even that should be more. The students we are teaching today are our future and I don't want anyone graduating that can't pass the test. They will be the backbone of the country soon and they need to be able to stand up against any other country on this earth.
Something has to be really wrong with the educational system, if this is the best they can do. I don't blame the teachers, but I do blame the system that puts money ahead of the students. We pay more per student than any other country yet our children are falling behind.
Shame on us for allowing our schools to deteriorate to this degree. The home schooled students don't seem to have trouble learning or passing the tests, so it is not because they can't be taught, it's the methodology that's flawed.
Thank you VFW Post 966
I want to thank the VFW Post 966 again for opening its newly renovated hall for the second "Veteran's Lei of Remembrance," from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., andndash; or until the lei are strung andndash; Wednesday, May 20.
We had a great response last May with both Azalea Middle School and the Christian school students and teachers, Macklyn House, Good Sam, the Coast Guard and members of our patriotic community in stringing the more than 330 lei to be placed on the white crosses at our Ward Cemetery veterans' graves over the Memorial (holiday) weekend.
This year I didn't even have to go back to the schools to ask for their helping hands; they came to me. I am looking forward for this year's lei stringing with the 6,000 fresh Hawaiian blossoms of red and white carnations and purple sonja orchids.
I hope to see the folks of the community come and join us in honoring our veterans now gone. Thanks again to all who helped last year and we'll see you on May 20.
Discontent with our government
July Fourth TEA (Taxed Enough Already) party at Curry County courthouse.
As all of you know, July Fourth we celebrate our independence as free men, women and children. Our forefathers, family members and many of you have fought over the years to preserve our freedom and our way of life.
Today we are faced with a new challenge andndash; a challenge not seen before in our lives. Today our government is stealing our money, trashing our freedom and our Constitution. It is our time as patriotic Americans to join with others around the country and make our voices heard.
I am organizing a TEA party along with hundreds of other organizers around the country to show our discontent for the way our government is running. TEA parties are not on party lines; it's about patriotic Americans who are tired of Washington dictating our lives. July Fourth is our independence; we need to show we still have the fire to fight, fight for what this country truly stands for.
Please visit www.teapartyday.com to see and learn about all the TEA parties around the country. As of today, (May 11) there are 635 scheduled around the country. One of the scheduled TEA parties is for Gold Beach. There are many people who live in Curry County, please tell all your friends, and ask them to tell their friends. Let's make a statement that will show coast-to-coast support for one another. Remember, July 4, 2009, at noon, located in Gold Beach at the Curry County Courthouse. I hope to see a lot of you there.
Thomas Jefferson said it best: "When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." Thanks again and God Bless.
Dewey Powers Jr.
Today's lack of good manners
OK, that's it!
It's time somebody says something about this lack of common courtesy. My wife and I were at a local diner Sunday and all was going just fine. Then this couple comes in, sits next to us and guess what? Yep, you got it. The cell phone rang andndash; loud! I didn't count the calls but I'd bet there were at least six between the two. Incoming and outgoing. Some of then very private or should have been, like the one about kicking their tenant out of the rental but not before he finishes doing the remodeling!
You know, I don't care about other types of businesses but when any of us are in a restaurant andndash; fast food or not andndash; we shouldn't have to listen to phone ringers and personal conversations.
Mr. Bill O'Reilly would probably accuse me of bloviating now so I'll end this. Besides, we had our cell phones turned off so I guess I'll check them for missed calls now.
Darn! What a concept!
6,000 pounds of canned food
This is a big thank you to all the generous people of our community who donated to the post office food drive this past Saturday.
We received over 6,000 pounds of food items.
We are aware that many of you are having a difficult time feeding your own families, yet you did not hesitate to share with others.
Once again we are amazed at the kindness and caring of the people here in Brookings.
Thank you all so very much, and please remember us through the summer months.
volunteer, Brookings/Harbor Community Food Share
Cutting shop classes is idiotic
Regarding Brookings-Harbor High School (BHHS) cutting vocational classes (Pilot, May 9): Thisis one of the most idiotic moves I can think of doing to our young citizens.
We do not live in a world now that the workforce is driven by a four-year degree in literary arts. By cutting out vocational training we are all but guaranteeing that at least 50 percent of our students will be broke and jobless after finishing high school. It seems thatthe only thing oureducators are interested in preparing students for these days is the faint chance that they may get on some trivia show such as "Who wants to be a millionaire" or "Jeopardy."
I implore Superintendent John Gardner andthe restto search for other ways to cut their budget. Maybe it is timewe as a community need to rally behind our students' futures like we do the sports programs that do little to teach most involved to earn a living and survive after they leave home.We need to stophaving fundraisers to remodel the gym,redofootball fields or send the coaches toLas Vegas for the weekend and get behinddoing something that will givethese kids a fighting chance for a future.
I for one, as a skilled tradesman and business owner, would be more than willing to donate several hours a week to help prepare our high school students learn a trade. We would be much wiser to stop spending money on new police cars and transit busesthan (on) our children's futures.
School sports are important
Thank goodness the school board and educators don't have to listen to Pat Sherman (Pilot, May 13).
Extra-curricular activities, especially sports programs, are very important to the high school experience. Sports programs are certainly more important than woodshop and welding classes that only benefit a handful of boys. What data does Pat Sherman have that a woodshop or welding class would help get a job in a related field? What percentage of students that take a woodshop or welding class get a job as a result of one of those classes? Both girls and boys benefit from sports programs as do the marching band, drill teams and cheer squads.
The community, in general, also benefits from watching the sports teams compete. Keep the sports programs!
PTO works hard for our school
Thank You P.T.O. (Parent Teacher Organization).
At Kalmiopsis Elementary our P.T.O. works very hard for our school! We are so thankful for all of their dedication and enthusiasm. The Cookie Dough Sale this year was a great success! All of the profit from the Cookie Dough sales went back to the classrooms for teachers to use for student supplies.
The P.T.O. Carnival was awesome! It took a lot of hard work and planning, but the final result was incredible. The kids had so much fun and once again the P.T.O is using the money they made to benefit the students at Kalmiopsis Elementary School. The P.T.O. paid for the Pioneer Living Museum to come. The Pioneer Living Museum teaches the kids about what life was like on the Oregon Trail. This is something our fourth graders look forward to every year and without the P.T.O. this would not be possible.
Thank you so much for all of your hard work Kalmiopsis P.T.O. We are very grateful for all you do!
Victoria Snow, Sarah Sackett, Alicia Lunde, Joanne Lee, Kalmiopsis fourth grade teachers
Help us with victory garden
A small group of civic and money-minded Brookings residents have started a victory garden in light of the current recession.
Folks from all walks of life are needed and wanted to participate in this endeavor. This is not a community garden where each person gets a portion of land; it is a large area and our plan is to share the summer vegetables with all garden "workers" who invest their time (work) and/or money or in-kind donations.
We have already done nearly 60 percent of the digging, planting and weed eradication. Our first plants came up on April 30. We will be using low cost, temporary hot houses for growing tomatoes.
We really need the following:
andbull;Six to eight more helpers;
andbull;The use or money donation for a Barreto rototiller, (about $100);
andbull;The loan of a high-power water washer to wash the aphids off the plants (or a monetary donation to cover the cost);
andbull;The loan or (cash donation) of a 5 to 7 cubic yard dump truck;
andbull;Six trash cans with lids (about $15 each);
andbull;Seed potatoes for potatoes, yams and sweet potatoes;
andbull;Wood chips from tree lopping operations (about 20 loads);
andbull;And finally, 18 pieces of new or old waste plywood, 2x2 minimum.
Any excess vegetables will be sold locally and any remaining proceeds (after costs are deducted) will be given to food-related charities. This is an opportunity for camaraderie and some gardening education.
If interested, e-mail Anne2215@aol.com or call Jim, (541) 251-3990.