The Curry Coastal Pilot

The facts about hospital study


I would like to clarify some facts about the hospital feasibility study done by the city and underwritten by Asante some years ago.

The pro forma financial statements of the study showed that a hospital could be viable in Brookings, but the results were skewed by the assumptions used to perform the calculations.It was a case of garbage in, garbage out.

Specifically, one assumption was that there would be an occupancy rate of 80 percent, totally unrealistic when one considered the actual occupancy rate in the Gold Beach and Crescent City hospitals.Another assumption was that 10 new physicians would be sending their patients to fill up the beds, ignoring the fact that there aren't enough people in the county to fairly support 10 new physicians.

I'm still waiting for a public explanation from Curry Health District's (CHD) CEO McMillan regarding his misstatement that the proposed expansion of CHD would increase south coast property taxes by $500,000, not $1.2 million.

I would also like to see Mr. McMillan clarify to the public that the "emergency room" he has talked about opening in Brookings would earn the title of "emergency room" only by virtue of special legislation.Having been an Intensive Care/Coronary Care nurse for 15 years, I have a deep appreciation for what is done in hospital emergency rooms; and what Mr. McMillan has proposed falls short.

Improving the Brookings' health care delivery system would benefit us all.Both Sutter Coast and CHD should play an important role in achieving that goal.But it appears that CHD's intention is to go it alone in an effort to dominate the local area andndash; a strategy that puts CHD's self- interest above the needs of the people.I would like to see CHD collaborate once again with Sutter Coast, and I encourage the CHD Board to move in that direction.

Pat Sherman


Update on Stout Park railway


Stout Mountain Railway fans.

I would like to thank you for your support of our little railway.

Thank you to our sponsors for believing in our idea. Big thanks go to Bob Minshew for his generosity getting us started. Another big thank you to Herb Hedgpeth for his skill and dedication in making the Stout Mountain Railway a reality.

I would also like to thank City Manager Gary Milliman for honoring my volunteer service. I get by with a lot of help from my friends.

We have two more planned events this year, Halloween and Christmas, and are making plans for (the) 2010 season. We are putting together a creative writers group to make short videos using the Stout Mountain Railway and all its characters. This could be parodies of TV shows, movies, nursery rhymes, original short stories. Just imagine if the Three Little Pigs rode the train, or Sponge Bob was the lead in High Noon. Maybe a short story contest for students?

Remember we are a non-profit group so you know what that means andndash; no pay, more fun. Please bring you ideas to a meeting at 6 p.m., Monday, Oct. 19, at Chetco Community Public Library, 405 Alder St.

Tony Parrish

Stout Mountain Railway

Playground of Imagination


Efforts made for local students


PBS (Positive Behavior Support) Crew: We would like to extend a huge thank you to the PBS Crew at the high school for giving up three days of summer break and doing an outstanding job with Freshman Orientation.

They had such great energy, focus, and leadership throughout the entire process.

Thank you to Freshman Academy for providing a delicious and filling lunch.

Finally thank you to all the parents for making an effort to get your kids off on the right start and to the orientation. You have parented truly great kids!

Cindy Babcock, PBS CREW coordinator Brookings

Learn about Pet Rescue efforts


You're invited to stop by the Pet Rescue committee's informational table today (Sept. 26), from noon to 3 p.m., in front of Ray's Food Place.

This is a great way to find out more about what's going on locally and nationally.Wewelcome the participation of all ages! A fifth grader contributed the "Cool Dog" flyer ("Don't leave your dog in a hot car").

Learnmore about thekey emphasis that public safety is paramount, and someone should only attempt to rescue a lost dog if they can do so safely, without endangering themselves or others.

Would you know what to do if you saw a lost dog? What if he wouldn't come to you?Who should you call?

Local rescue example:

andbull;May 16, 2008 andndash; When several staffers from the Curry Coastal Pilot helped rescue a black Schnauzer namedPepper: It took two blocks and 20 minutes to coax and finally catch her in the Artwalk Alley.

Atthe Pet Rescue meeting:Ira Tozer told a story about how he had attempted to help a female dog who kept crossing back and forth on Chetco Avenue by Pancho's and the Flying Gull. He was calling her, but shesimply wouldn't come.

What a great meeting we hadat the librarylast week, which included a panel of guest speakers: Lieutenant Donny Dotson of the BrookingsPolice Department,AngelaMcSwainof Curry County Animal Control, and Brookings' own "walking, waving man" Ira Tozer.

We learned a lot about responsible pet ownership, and ways we can get the word outtohelp our community be better informed, and keep animals safe.

See you at Ray's Food Place, Saturday from noon to 3 p.m.

Cathy Cato


Thank you for saving our home


We would like to thankall those who came to help stop the fire at our place on Sept.1 in Pistol River

Thank you (to) allthe Firemen who helped save our home. God bless you all!

Mark and Jill Spurgeon

Pistol River

A caricature is just a caricature


After reading certain letters to the editor I would like to exercise my constitutional rights to free speech by voicing my opinion on the supposedly racist political cartoon by Mr. Chuck Therrien.

Fundamentally any political cartoon is a caricature of either a person, a cultural group, or simply the intangible thing known as an "idea." Just to be clear so that there is no confusion on some individuals' part, the definition of caricature according to the dictionary is "representation, especially pictorial, in which the subject's distinctive features, or peculiarities are deliberately exaggerated or distorted to produce a comic or grotesque effect." As such any political cartoon's message is solely left in the hands of the individual interpreting it.

I personally in no way found the caricature of President Obama either racist nor offensive. But certain people seem to be using their political orientation, with the subject of racism as a crutch, to immaturely assault those who do not deserve it, due to their own personal bias. This is pathetically childish, and in my opinion the most disgusting and bigoted thing here is the blatant bullying being done.

My last words of this letter goes specifically to the Pilot and their staff, I applaud your lack of bias in the letters you publish. However I find it shameful at times how easily you cow to the words of people who distinctly leave the impression they believe they are of a higher caste than the rest of us.

Matthew Carpenter


Many help rock WEB efforts


WEB rocks!

I would like to start off this letter in thanking all of the parents and guardians that took the time out of their day to make sure their sixth- grade student attended the WEB Orientation Day.

Over 80 sixth-grade students were ready, open and willing to be part of a fun, spirited time of getting to know the WEB leaders and their new school.

WEB stands for Where Everybody Belongs, and is a leadership program that trains eighth-grade students to help sixth graders feel more comfortable and help them achieve success in their first year of middle school.

I cannot say enough positive things about the awesome WEB leaders at Azalea Middle School. What an honor it has been to work with them. They took time out of their summer to attend two all-day trainings plus the big Orientation Day.

A huge thank you goes out to Adam Van Cleave and our friends from Chetco Federal Credit Union who graciously provided 100 hungry sixth and eighth graders a delicious lunch. Another community partner that contributed to the overall success of the day was Darrin and Debra Hayes of Rock Island Industries, who created the spectacular shirts for the WEB leaders and coordinator. A big thank you goes out to Jason Fulton for taking the parents on a memorable campus tour of Azalea Middle School and putting on the WEB dance last week. Over 250 sixth, seventh, and eighth graders turned out for a terrific evening dancing to a variety of songs put together by seventh grader and WEB helper Patrick Holmes.

I would also like to thank the chaperones for their attendance and support during this wonderful evening. To my WEB leaders: Thanks for giving of yourselves in service to others. You all rock!

Kristi Fulton, WEB coordinator and trainer Brookings

Call in and join town hall event


At town hall meetings over the last few months, health care has consistently been a huge concern amongst Oregonians.

I spoke with folks who were a pink slip away from losing their health care coverage and worried their insurance companies would drop them if they got sick. Local business owners expressed concerns about the rising cost of providing health care to their employees. Local residents couldn't find an insurance company that would provide them coverage because they had a preexisting condition. And many people still have questions about health care reform. They want to know what will change, what will remain, and how much reform will cost individuals, businesses, and the country.

I am grateful that so many Oregonians shared their views with me during this critical moment in our national history. Many Oregonians did not have a chance to attend one of my recent town hall meetings and that's why I wanted to reach out and ask you to join me for a Telephone Town Hall Meeting on the state of health care in Oregon. Visit my Web site today at and sign up to join me for a Telephone Town Hall Meeting on Sept. 30.

U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley

Washington D.C.

Insurance greed is like a cancer


Fellow citizens: Did you know that the wealthy top 1 percent in the U.S. have as many assets as the bottom 95 percent of the people in America combined?

With that said, why are so many in the bottom 95 percent supporting insurance companies that take 30 percent off the top and pay their executives millions per year, then giving them a "golden parachute" when they leave? Why can't the bottom 95 percent support single payer heath care reform?

I am on a single payer program. It is called Medicare. I go to a physician that I personally chose as my primary care provider. I have been referred to specialists with no questions. I have never appeared before a "death panel." I have a living will and my doctor knows what my wishes are at the end of my life. And, if I decide I don't like my doctor, I can find another one. So my friends: What is wrong with single payer system for all Americans?

Those who object to health care reform are like lemmings being led over the edge of a cliff. The current waste in our system is unsustainable over time. As more and more Americans lose insurance, the lines at emergency rooms will get longer and longer. The greed and waste perpetrated by insurance companies in our current system is like cancer, it will eventually affect many more of your family and friends.

It is embarrassing to be an American when I see bigotry, hate and the lack of civility associated with the health care reform movement.

Mike Schrum


Calling all loyal Trash Dogs


Howdy all Loyal Trash Dogs! Are you ready for a Good Old Trash Run?

We have rescheduled our 51st pickup event for Saturday, Oct. 3. We will try to complete that first mile of the Lobster Creek road, which was rained out earlier.

The Brookings Dogs will meet at 8 a.m., at the Fred Meyer outdoor garden area; The Gold Beach and Port Orford Trash Dogs will meet at 9 a.m., at Gold Beach Ranger Station at the south end of Gold Beach. Then we'll head for Lobster Creek.

The Lobster Creek road is Forest Service 3310 and begins at the Rogue River bridge. It is the only mile that wasn't cleaned up in our first 50 pickup events.

There is plenty trash out there. Drivers will be paid mileage. We are looking forward to a new batch of cookies. See you there!

Ed Gross, for the Trash Dogs