The Curry Coastal Pilot

Setting the record straight on Bella


I want to set the record straight about Bella, the dog.

I was there when she was taken. When I entered the store, a woman with some children was crouched down around the dog. She asked me if I knew whose it was; I said no. She said she had been out there for 25 minutes and no one had come out. I went over to the dog who was very nicely groomed, and had on a beautiful new pink sweater that was not tattered and worn. She was wet on her belly. She did not have icicles hanging from her jacket. She was cold. I asked the woman if she'd asked to have customer service announce it on the intercom. She said they wouldn't do it.

I have talked to several Fred Meyer employees since then, and they all said they would have announced it. It makes me wonder now if she ever asked anyone! She told me they said her only alternative was to take the dog to the animal shelter. I went back into the store for about 10 minutes and came back with some newspaper to put around the dog The women said, "I am taking it to the shelter." I watched her walk away with the dog. She did not take Bella to the pound. She gave her away to someone else.

Bella was not out there for hours andndash; 45 minutes at the most. I met Bella's owner the following Saturday (crying her heart out; asking if anyone knew who took her beloved pet). I'm sure a lot of you saw her, too. That's when I found out this supposed good samaritan did not take Bella to the pound. That's when I went to the Pilot and helped with the article.

Thankfully, someone recognized the dog and called. I thought how wonderful andndash; a great ending. She is getting her dog back.

The woman who took the dog was painted as the hero and Bella's owner has been talked about as a bad owner. She loves her dog. Is it right for this so-called "good samaritan" to be judge and executioner and to be able to lie in the Pilot article about Bella to make herself look good? I think not. What she did was wrong. I'm just setting the record straight.

Tresa Hage


Calling parents of special-ed students


I am a concerned parent of a high school student who receives special-ed services.

I am asking parents who also have children on Individual Education Plans in the high school to contact me if your child was involved in the Snack Shack Program during the 2009-2010 school year. It has been investigated and determined by the Oregon Department of Education that eight other students besides my own have been denied a Free and Appropriate Public Education.

It's very possible that your child is one of those eight students. Please contact me immediately if your child may be involved or you have questions. You may e-mail me at: .

Thank you.

Sue Cruickshank, concerned parent Brookings

Problems caused by mental illness


The shooting of the Congresswoman and others in Arizona gives some indication of the problems caused by mental illness.

Years ago, there were institutions where people, with whom their families and/or the community could not cope, could be cared for. Those hospitals were not always well run, but at least the patients could not buy semi-automatic guns and shoot people!

In a move to save money, then California Governor Ronald Reagan closed the mental institutions, and also the county hospitals where poor people could get medical care. As a result, there were more unstable and sick people who had no one to care for then, or provide food and shelter.

Now, if someone is perceived to be mentally ill, only the wealthy can afford treatment. Mental illness and its symptoms are not discussed. Even if family and friends are worried about someone, where can they turn for help? The medical system cannot cope, and insurance would not cover treatment anyway, even if the family has it. Proper health care is not available for all citizens, and certainly not for the poor.

It is sad that a country that seems able to afford two wars cannot afford to prevent things like this recent shooting from happening.

Doris Burck


Developing culture of preparedness


Thank you, Curry County residents.

I was extremely happy with the interest and participation of Curry residents at the recent Tsunami Kick Off events in Brookings, Gold Beach and Port Orford. In Port Orford and Gold Beach more than 10 percent of the population of those communities showed up to listen to the speakers and sign up to be involved with the Red Cross, HAM radio, Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT). In Gold Beach and Brookings the attendance was around 300 for both events!

I would like to recognize some folks for their help in making these events a success: the police departments of Port Orford, Gold Beach and Brookings, as well as the sheriffs department, the forest service, Red Cross, the media for their coverage, the city councilors of all three communities, and the city managers and mayors. Special thanks to Don Kendall of Curry County Emergency Services, and super volunteer John Woodland who is our CERT and MYN trainer. There were many other volunteers who helped out andndash; too many to list them all andndash; so thank you to everyone.

What we are trying to achieve through this program is going to be tough, but anything worth doing isn't easy. We are developing a culture of preparedness. A county that is prepared for a tsunami is a county that is ready for any natural disaster that may descend upon us.

So, thank you Curry County, and especially all of you who helped me get these events going in the right direction. Let's keep the momentum going through the next few months into the spring when we will have practice evacuation drills. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for opportunities to get involved because this is really about saving lives. When the big one hits andndash; are we going to sink, or are we going to swim?

Dave Lacey

South Coast Tsunami Outreach

Nurse practitioners leaving our area


We are very disturbed and saddened to learn that two very valuable family nurse practitioners are leaving Curry Health District. One currently plans to stay in the area so her patients will still be able to see her. Unfortunately, the other is not staying.

Marge Bismarck, FNP, became our primary health care provider when she first joined Alder Medical Center. Her dedication and excellent health service delivery rapidly expanded the clinic's patient volume making it necessary to add a second provider. Jennifer Boyle, FNP, joined the clinic and continued the excellent health care standards set by Bismarck.

Their dedication resulted in increased patient volume that led to adding a third provider. By this time, the Alder Street Clinic was too small, so the clinic moved to Brookings Medical Center. Over the years, we have come to regard Marge and Jennifer as more than just the "health care provider of the day." They are very important people in our lives whom we trust with our health.

Jan and Gary Short

Gold Beach

Making our area a better place to live


I would like to say "thank you" to all of you for making the

community a better place for us all. During the season of giving, so

many of you do so much for our friends and neighbors in our communities

and by doing so, enrich the lives of all those around us. Nevertheless,

so many of you give to our communities all throughout the year.

There are numerous elected officials, board members and volunteers

who give their time to make our community a better place for all of us

and I would like to say thank you. Without your dedication to all of us

for our community, I feel we would not have the wonderful paradise we

call home.

There are so many amazing people to mention and unfortunately so

little space, but I would like to personally thank Commissioner Georgia

Nowlin for her years of dedicated service to our communities and to the

wonderful people that make them our home.

I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year andndash; may the New Year

bring happiness to us all and may we all continue to make our

communities a better place, a better home for all of our friends and


David Brock Smith

Port Orford

Easy way to treat Sudden Oak Death


I hear there's a problem with tanoak and related species andndash; the

"sudden oak death syndrome." Local and state officials have said the

only treatment is to fell the infected trees and burn them. This seems

to be drastically incorrect. According to the University of California,

there is an effective, environmentally friendly and relatively

inexpensive treatment. Here's a link to UC's online announcement:

From other sources, the treatment is reported to be 80 percent

effective. Retail sources for the chemicals are rather expensive, about

$20 a treatment, but surely the various Forestry departments can swing a

discount. And even at retail rates, it must be less expensive than the

current practice.

John Weiss


Impressed with delivery boy's effort


In response to the letter several weeks ago written by the parent or

parents of Alex the paper delivery boy: The parent or parents were

surprised at the generosity of the people on his route. Speaking for my

wife and myself, we are continually impressed with his dedication,

dependability, and attention to detail. In the past, my paper was not

delivered, or late occasionally, delivered under the car of our

neighbor, or delivered out of our carport in the common area. These were

minor inconveniences, but ones we no longer have to endure. Alex will

eventually appreciate his parents' guidance concerning work ethic. He no

doubt will be a success in life. We only wish we could afford to tip

him more generously.

Rich Ruppert