Substance and content important
Re: Pilot Article May 4, "Salary cut for county officials proposed."
On several occasions during the meeting, committee members Brand, Spicer and Colozzi mentioned "perception to the public" being very important. Substance and content are important, not perception.
According to the last four years of county budget appropriations, the total general fund increased approximately 33 percent from $7.6 million to $10.1 million. The personal services (labor) portion increased 37 percent from $4.28 million to $5.84 million. The result: bigger and bigger and more expensive government.
The average proposed cuts for all officials combined totaled $17,500 or one-sixth of 1 percent of the total current general fund budget. The article went on about the Teamsters' Union approaching the second year of a contract in which members will receive a 0.9 percent COLA (cost of living allowance) and step increases. The article failed to mention the "step increases are 5 percent each year for three years; COLA's are 0.5 to 2.5 percent in each of three years; health insurance premiums increased 14 percent over the second and third years alone to an absurd $1,160 per month per employee beginning July 1, 2012, fully paid by taxpayers.
Commissioner Itzen was quoted saying "We went to the unions ... "Committee member Colozzi commented that the commissioners had asked the unions for concessions but those requests were rejected.
One member of the audience asked "How can you give them a contract and then ask them to give something back? ... We're crazy for giving them the contracts we're giving them."
Toward the end of the meeting committee member Spicer stated "There won't be any employees if we don't get a tax levy. ... We're facing collapse is what we're doing."
Referring to the committee recommendation, committee member Brand eloquently ended the meeting with "This isn't going to make a hoot of difference."
Don't just trust, but also verify
The last question asked at the League of Women Voters on April 28 concerned an Oregon Department of Education (ODE) complaint that I filed on behalf of nine Brookings-Harbor High School (BHHS) students in September, 2010.
One parent filed a similar complaint and our complaints were joined by ODE to be investigated.
Mr. Horel and Mrs. Ryan told the group attending the League of Women Voters forum that after ODE investigation the Brookings-Harbor School District (BHSD) was found "compliant" under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) law for all nine students.
Mr. Horel and Mrs. Ryan either:
andbull;Could not comprehend what they read;
andbull;Did not read the ODE report; or
andbull;Lied about the ODE findings.
The report I got was identical to the parent's report. The parent mailed each board member a copy of the ODE findings in November 2010 by certified mail. The report said:
"Substantiated: The Department substantiates the allegation that the District failed to provide adequate transition services to the nine students. (Page 2)
"... the Department concludes that the District has denied these four students a FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education) without consideration of whether the discontinuation of these students' participation in the Snack Shack program constituted a material failure to implement the students' IEPs." (top of page 6)
ODE ordered the district to provide "compensatory services." In plain English: The district had to provide additional services to make up for what was lost during the first quarter of the 2010/2011 school year. ODE also ordered new Individualized Education Plans (IEP) which were held between Dec. 1, 2010 and March 14, 2011, to make up for missed services. However, ODE has no authority to enforce their own orders and BHSD only complied with half of the orders: they had IEP meetings.
I urge everyone concerned about our community's schools and the education of our children to vote for a board member to represent your interest.
I hope you don't just trust, but also verify. The ODE full report is available online at ODE District 17C Case #10-054-022 and 10-054-027.
Don't take my word; verify.
Mary E. Robbins
'Common Sense Club' now forming
Common sense: you can't teach it; it's not in a book; you have it or you don't.
This is a case where the "don'ts" outnumber the "dos."
There is no question the repair of the port is the number one priority, but the Festival of the Arts has been a huge success. Jo Mochulski and her group bring 9,000 people to Brookings, no bunch of wannabes can or will put on a show that matches the quality of the Festival of the Arts. Common sense, or the lack of it, example: the weigh station, Constitution Wayandndash; questionable plans for growth, water issues, sewer capacity, traffic, street repair, the sinkhole, failing businesses, empty buildings. Common sense tells you half-assed plans don't work.
If half the promises our elected leaders make were kept, we might get somewhere; right now we are on the road to nowhere and there are potholes. I recall an article in the Pilot stated that the traffic on 101 is heavier from the north than it is from the south; the number of California cars in local parking lots would cause one to question that statement, but I suppose that's the reason the Crissey Field Welcome Center is on the wrong side of the road at the California border.
I would form a "Common Sense Club" but there's a shortage of members.
Obama just one of many conspiracies
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. This whole deal with Osama bin Laden would be so laughable if it were not so tragic.
A well-known former associate of Henry Kissinger came on the Alex Jones radio show of April 24, 2002, and told his listening audience that Osama bin Laden had died of kidney failure months earlier.
It was reported in the May 25, 2010 edition of the Washington Post that the CIA has been putting out fake tapes of Osama bin Laden for years.
Madelaine Albright even complained in 2003 about the Bush Administration having Osama bin Laden "on ice" and she said the Bush- league Republicans would roll him out before the 2004 presidential election.
Lo and behold, an Osama bin Laden tape comes out three days before the election and Bush winds up winning by three points over John Kerry. What a coincidence!
Osama bin Laden has been buried at sea? How convenient.
I have come out recently and said that 9/11 was an inside job. I wish I could say it took courage to do that.
Cowardice was probably the reason I didn't say it a lot sooner.
It was a lot more convenient for me to sit by and not comment on 9/11 being an inside job for as long as I did.
Alex Jones was obviously on top of it from the very beginning and left-wing talk show hosts like Ray Taliaferro were not very far behind.
I wish I could celebrate with everyone else, but I can't.
Osama bin Laden has been dead for years. This whole thing is a cruel hoax.
McKelvey, Anderson have my vote
As the unemployment rate in Curry County hovers around 13 percent, we
are frequently reminded of the struggles of our neighbors and the
importance of creating good paying jobs in the area.
When properly funded and managed, Southwestern Oregon Community
College (SWOCC) provides opportunities for all of us andndash; from recent high
school graduates, to adults brushing up on their skills, to unemployed
workers preparing themselves for their next career. Simply put, SWOCC is
a key component to getting our local economy back on track. That's why
we need solid leadership on the SWOCC board.
This May 17 I'm supporting Mark McKelvey and Susan Anderson for the
board because they will both make job creation a top priority. Both
candidates will work to ensure that SWOCC has a central role in
capitalizing on developing technologies and programs that will put
people to work right here in Curry County.
That's why Mark McKelvey and Susan Anderson have my vote in this election.
Cheryl Davies, associate professor, Psychology
Religious freedom never guaranteed
This letter is to refute a couple of historical errors contained in
the letter, "Return to 'eternal principles of right'" in the Pilot of
James. Atherton quotes the words "endowed by our Creator" to support
his claim of God-given rights. I would point out to Mr. Atherton that
the Creator and Nature's God appealed to in our Declaration of
Independence are not the same God he has in mind.
It is a common misconception that our country was founded by
Christians like those today. Not so! A majority of the founders of our
country were Deists who believed in an abstract and impersonal
Providence and Nature's God, concepts not likely to be recognized as
Mr. Atherton goes on to say, "Liberty came to America with the
landing of the Pilgrim fathers." In fact, the Pilgrim fathers brought
with them the oppressive Puritan theocracy and absolute intolerance
which severely punished any who deviated and led eventually to the
famous Salem Witch Trials.
It is commonly believed that the guarantee of religious freedom
written into our Constitution was inspired as reaction against the
religious tyranny suffered in Europe. Not so! Our Constitutional
guarantee of religious freedom was written as a guard against the spread
of the kind of Puritan Christian tyranny then still prevalent in a few
of the American colonies. The founders of our country feared that this
poison might spread to the rest of the new nation.
Religion has NEVER been a guarantee of freedom!
Smith River, Calif.
No one has right to block off ocean areas
On Friday, April 29, I attended a public comment meeting concerning wave energy.
The committee is being pushed to get proposals and site
recommendations to the governor and feds before they even know what the
impacts will be to sea life, our fisheries, and our communities. They
will push it through quickly and then see what happens. Does that remind
you of anything?
We were shown mapping of sites in Brookings' near-shore waters. These
sites will be off limits to everyone and very visible between us and
our beautiful sunsets.
One committee member said, "The ocean belongs to everyone." So I say no one should have the right to block off areas.
There are alternatives right here on land. When Obama was campaigning
he praised T. Boone Pickens' plan for developing our abundant natural
gas resources to power vehicles, equipment and homes. Now that he is
president he cringes at the thought of any drilling on our soils, yet he
has no problem funding Brazil to drill for oil and sell it back to us.
I'm tired of having things crammed down our throats: marine reserves, healthcare, wasteful spending, wave energy, etc.
Our area is dependent on fishing and tourism. It always surprises me
how few of our local representatives, business owners and citizens
attend these meetings. We all need to take a stand and speak out against
infringements to our rights and impacts to our livelihood. We need to
pressure our county supervisors to hold town hall meetings to hear our
concerns instead of meeting with a biased committee that is tone deaf
and committed to satisfying our governor and special interest groups.
The ones who put folks out of work
Mr. Cupp, You are right that some citizens would be required to purchase health insurance.
That clause was insisted on by the insurance companies and by the
Republican delegation to Congress. They dragged out and delayed passage
of the health care bill and held the economy hostage until they exacted
that concession, and others.
Then, after passage of the bill, they turned around and called the
bill Obamacare, and blamed Democrats and Obama for what was in it, in
order to get the whole thing repealed. Then, they attacked Obama for not
focusing on job creation, after intentionally stalling the health care
bill for over a year.
Now, their idea of "job creation" is to fire public employees.
Getting our auto industry back on track andndash; that was Obama's doing. The
Republicans, especially the tea party/Libertarian ideologues, at the
behest of their hedge fund bosses, tried to destroy GM and Chrysler,
just before Obama bailed them out.
You need to understand that the mantra of "don't bail out companies"
is trumpeted by hedge fund functionaries because hedge fund operators
make money gambling that certain companies will fail andndash; and then they go
to extremes to make sure they'll fail.
They're the ones who keep putting Americans out of work, and they're the ones who bought the last election.
Oops! We got fooled again.
Bruce is best choice for school board
When we opened the Pilot this morning we were so delighted to see Joshua Bruce running for the Brookings-Harbor School Board.
To have a young, self-made professional willing to tackle this job is
most gratifying. So often we get retreads just running from one
organization to another doing so-called "unprovoked good"!
A fresh face with consummate business skills is truly welcomed in
this community and especially on this school board at this time.
We encourage each and everyone of you to vote for Joshua Bruce, our
kids and schools will be the better for it! And we know a lot of
educators in this town agree.
Let Korean vets know about compensation
I would like to bring attention to a notice which was published in the May issue of Veterans of Foreign Wars monthly magazine:
"Korean Veterans who served on the DMZ from 1 April, 1968, to 1 Aug.,
1971, may be eligible to receive (Agent Orange) compensation."
If anyone knows a Korean vet who may have missed this notice, please
alert them. Also, there is more information to be had at
VFW post 966
Our children should know the difference
Review the qualifications of those running for the school board.
Does the board have jurisdiction over learning tools, books and
lessons? Who furnishes the books? Does the education teach our children
all sides of an issue, such a all forms of government rather than what
one person may prefer.
The Constitution of our United States is gradually being changed from
a republic (rule by law) to a democracy (rule by majority). Our young
people should know and be taught the difference. Students gather to
protest without even knowing why.
Phillips a good pick for Brookings port
Congratulations to the port for making such a wise and fabulous
choice as to hire Debby Phillips as their new marketing coordinator.
I have seen Debby work andhellip; or should I say I have seen Debby fly by while she is working.
Talk about a person who truly loves her community and always puts the
best interest of the whole first. Selfless and driven are the two best
words I can use to describe Debby. I am looking forward to the new life
and energy she will bring to her position and I also hope she will call
on me to volunteer when needed.
Great job to everyone who was involved in bringing Debby aboard. Best of luck!