The Curry Coastal Pilot

Is cutting school budgets right?


After reading the headline about the school budget shortfalls (Pilot, Feb. 9), I wondered how many articles I'd read recently about school money woes.

Too many. Will this be an ongoing situation? Has it become the norm to, year-after- year, put our school system in a compromising position, an acceptance of standards that are lower than is desirable? The consensus to alleviate these shortfalls is by cutting the budget, eliminating programs and curriculum necessary in the development of well-rounded students andndash; students who eventually will be our leaders, scientists, explorers andndash; our future society. But is this right? Eliminating schooling opportunities that most of us enjoyed in the past has become an acceptable means of correcting the situation. Is this the right path to follow? Facts rather than unfounded beliefs must prevail in our resolve to not pass this untenable situation on to future generations. Is it possible that the core problem(s) has not been identified? Could it be a systemic problem rather than a singular occurrence such as state or federal underfunding that has put us in this position?

A challenge was made to offer up ideas to mitigate these shortfalls. I would offer up the challenge to identify the problems first. Now, more than ever, we need insightful solutions. Anyone have one, or two?

Dave Frazier


Making us feel right at home


What a wonderful little town this is.

As new residents of Brookings since June, my wife and I have received nothing but kindness from citizens, businesses and even law enforcement.

For instance, Chris and Linda Cantwell provided a beautiful home for us to rent the same day we arrived. Another blessing is, I am working for Curry General Hospital and my wife is employed in an esteemed optometry office.

On Feb. 10, my fuel pump went out on my car coming back from Gold Beach after work. I was stranded on Highway 101 in the dark, five miles from home.

A Brookings citizen named Sean, and his dog, stopped and offered assistance. He was heading the opposite direction, but still offered me a ride home. My wife and I thank you, Sean, very much!

We also want to thank Officer Potts. He brought my attention to an overlooked matter that I had been putting off. He was kind, professional and treated me respectfully. Thank you, Officer Potts.

Thank you all for welcoming us into this community and making us feel at home! We were married on Harris Beach, Oct. 2, and plan to stay here the rest of our lives. We love it here.

Tony and Sherri Barron


Desire to help pets will not change


An open letter to the South Coast Humane Society membership and the community:

Over the past two and a half years, it has been a pleasure for me to work with this membership and community to help animals in need.

I am deeply grateful to have had this opportunity. I feel I have accomplished a lot during this time, from helping our shelter grow and take its proper place in the community to development of a quality resale store that supports our cause.

While my work has truly been from my heart, I find that it is time for me to step down. I need to spend more time with my family and friends. On Feb. 9, I resigned my position on the board of directors.

Although I am resigning from the board, I will continue to support the humane society, and will always be a positive voice in the community for the humane society. My mother shared with me, at a very early age, a passionate love for animals and that will never change. That love will always bind me to those of you who share that passion. My desire to help animals will not change as I move to a new stage of my life.

I thank each and every one of you who share a love of animals and for all that you do in our community to help animals.

Judy Pfaendler


Live by luck and circumstances


I am a former school bus driver, now retired.

I have more than two million miles of dotted lines in my rear view mirror. That was from 25 years of safe driving as an auto transport driver. I hope I can share some information with you about accidents such as the one suffered by our Bill Schlichting.

I was returning from Crescent City with a busload of parents and children, when we came upon a farm tractor driving slowly in the right lane at about 15 miles per hour. The driver, seeing no on-coming traffic, stood up in his seat and motioned for me to pass. Just as I started to pull into the oncoming lane, the tractor driver suddenly made a sharp left turn in front of me and I had to apply the air brakes and turn back into my lane. He was not asking me to pass, he was telling me that he was going to make a turn into the farm field. Some of my passengers were shocked at this instance as much as I was. I'm sure some of them still remember this even if we had a happy Hollywood ending. That's a story you didn't get to read in the Pilot.

Many years ago, my cousin in Texas hit and killed a young girl who ran out between cars parked at a curb. My cousin was not at fault, but his deep pain was so severe that he soon took his own life.

Accidents are caused sometimes by bad decisions and seem to be unavoidable. We live by luck and circumstances.

John E. Baker


Reality check on the U.S. government


It's time for a reality check on U.S. government and where responsibility lies.

First, I'd like to clear the air on the stimulus package. Congress

passed it during the last days of the Bush Administration. President

Obama inherited it and all the problems it represented. A great deal of

that money has been paid back, with interest. We, the taxpayers, made

money. Imagine that.

Let's go on to all the complaints about the president's spending of

taxpayer dollars. The president, any president, can suggest, ask, get

down on his knees and beg for funding of government programs, but he

cannot pass the budget or spend the money himself.

Congress does that. If I'm not mistaken, the House of Representatives

controls the purse strings. Who controls the House at present? The

Republicans. Therefore, if you don't like the new budget or all those

"earmarks" (pork), blame Congresss, not the president.

I'm a firm believer in all presidents having the power of line-item

veto and the ability to delete earmarks piggy-backing on really

important legislation. Of course, Congress is never going to let that


Lest anyone think I'm a whole lot left of center, let me assure you

nothing could be further from the truth. My voting history goes back

almost 60 years to President Eisenhower. In that time, I have actually

supported and voted "for" four presidential candidates: two Democrats

and two Republicans. The rest of the time, I voted for what I‚Äąconsidered

the "lesser of two evils." I have no axe to grind. I just believe in

facts, not conjecture, out and out misrepresentation, or rumor


Jan Carringer


Lions thank all for donation of food


The Brookings-Harbor Lions Club thanks the community for the successful food drive on Saturday, Feb. 5.

Due to your generosity, we collected 2,335 pounds of food and $669.69 in cash donations in six hours.

The Lions appreciate the way you stepped up to help Paul and his

staff at the Community Food Bank. We also appreciate Fred Meyer, Ray's

Food Place, Shop Smart and Grocery Outlet for allowing us to be outside

their doors and collect the donations. We serve.

Areta Schock, president George Fernandez, chairman, Brookings Emblem Club 265

Leave Cape Blanco Airport alone


Let me offer a suggestion intended to help our hard-working county commissioners.

Don't waste your time and our money trying to take over the Cape

Blanco airstrip. This is owned by the state of Oregon. Perfect! We get

the benefit of having it there for emergencies; they do the maintenance,

as they should for a multi-county airstrip big enough to land a B-52.

But according to the Pilot on Jan. 15, the commissioners are

considering taking over ownership of this airstrip. They note that the

county owns land nearby and that the runway is important in case of a

tsunami. That's precisely why it should stay in state ownership. Our

county is on the verge of bankruptcy. Programs and staff have been cut

to the bone. The state is more dependable.

If the real reason is to enhance development or sell land for private

use, let's talk about that. Don't make the mistake commissioners made

in 2005 when they tried to sign a backroom deal at the same site with

State Parks. That backfired when the dealings were recognized as an

ethical low-point of officials trying to keep the people in the dark.

And in 2008, the county paid the best economist around to consider

development in that remote gale-swept swamp, and he said forget it.

I support the commissioners in the work that needs to be done. But leave the Cape Blanco Airport alone.

Tim Palmer

Port Orford

Story really gets the message home


Arwyn Rice's lucid, full-page article (Pilot, Feb. 2) described her

personal experiences with earthquakes and her imagings regarding "the

big one" hitting Brookings.

It was a very informative, well-written description of an earthquake/tsunami aftermath.

A human-interest article, such as this, truly gets the message home

and enables the reader to fully comprehend what "the big one" will be

like when it happens.

Scary stuff!

Barbara Wieneke