Letters to the Editor published Saturday, September 3, 2011
The Curry Coastal Pilot /
Humanity's kindness is still around
I was at a fundraising meeting for the humane society on Friday and one of the volunteers came over to me and talked about an event that changed his life; his name was Scott.
He said a little doggy got hit by a delivery truck, which did not stop to see what happened, which was unthinkable in the first place. When it happened, Scott was among a group of people who went over to comfort the little one until he went through the doggie door of heaven. They patted him and were there until the end.
After his little soul went to meet the angels someone had asked for a blanket or towel to put over the doggie until the police came. Among the people that were there was a homeless man and he went in his treasures and put over the doggie a quilt he had. For those who do not believe animals can't bring together the best in humans, this should tell a different story.
It is humans that pull apart humans. This may have been the only attention that little one has had, but what a wonderful and touching event to hold on to, his little eyes saw for the last time or maybe the only time, love and affection. I thank you Scott for showing me the window of kindness, and I pray that those who would hit or mistreat an animal or say "Oh it's just a dog", would understand they feel too.
Beware the banks' reverse mortgages
The greedy banking industry hasn't done enough to help us into financial ruin!
Many of our local banks are touting reverse mortgages. If you are really old and own your under-valued house, these bastions of integrity will pay you about 80 percent of the decreased value of your home on a monthly payout. What is not openly disclosed is the $300 monthly fees for this service. They make fees on your cell phone bill look like chicken feed.
Banks claim this money helps your peace of mind and relieves any burdens you have about asking relatives for help! Your relatives are already living with you or on the way.
If you take the reverse mortgage windfall money at once (the best way) financial planners will be ringing your doorbell with offers that would make Bernie Madoff blush. Ever wonder why financial planners are still working and not basking on some beach in an equatorial area watching their own portfolios grow?
My lovely wife says I should discard this diatribe and frankly I considered it till I found out President Obama traveled through my America touting jobs for Americans in a million dollar bus made in Canada!
I'm so angry I'll vote "Yes" on the $350 a year more I have to pay for the new school tax to assist those football players and wrestlers achieve their scholastic goals.
A sincere desire to see justice served
As some may remember I formerly served as a deputy district attorney for Curry County.
I write regarding a recent discussion about an animal abuse case I originally handled. I remember the case well and the sadness of the little girl who lost her puppy. At the time I charged the case I felt the crime fit the felony definition of a malicious killing. As it turned out, the jury disagreed. That is how our system works.
A couple years earlier, I prosecuted a man for snapping the neck of cat in front of the Curry County Animal Shelter. The jury found the man not guilty. That is how our system works.
As a prosecutor I did not always charge every crime I could in any given case. Justice is often best served in exercising prudent judgment in making charging decisions.
I did consider charging felony first degree animal abuse based on the presence of minors as well as a felony theft count. I left public service before finishing the case and the district attorney proceeded on the original charges. Our system isn't perfect, but I know those involved in the criminal justice system in Curry County, including the district attorney, have a sincere desire to see justice served in every case.
I really appreciate the opportunity I had to serve the citizens of Curry County for over five wonderful years. Curry County and the people I worked with are missed by my family and me.
A net of antibiotics, pesticides and waste
Just as multinational corporations have forever changed the way food is grown on land to the detriment of public health, the environment, local communities and food quality itself, they are poised to do the same at sea.
Many fish-lovers would be horrified to learn that huge quantities of fish and shrimp are already being grown in giant nets, cages, and ponds where antibiotics, hormones and pesticides mingle with disease and waste.
For those of you not familiar with the concept practiced in many other places, ocean fish farming is authorizing commercial finfish operations in huge, often overcrowded cages in the Exclusive Economic Zone from 3 to 200 miles off shore in the open ocean.
Massive ocean fish farms have been operating in Canada and some other countries for many years. However, there are many reasons to halt or discontinue ocean fish farming: The negative impact on local fishing communities, escapes and inbreeding with wild fish, impact on habitat, abandoned and bankrupt facilities, waste and water pollution, and treating disease to mention a few.
The only appropriate way to address the consequences of expanding into U.S. waters is through enactment of appropriate legislation and standards, separate from the fisheries law.
Representative Peter DeFazio stepped up as a co-sponsor of H.R. 574, a bill that would provide a much needed time-out until Congress can address these concerns in a way that protects ocean fisheries and our local fishing communities and pass appropriate legislation authorizing such activities. (See http://bit.ly/qcEhT4)
Let Representative DeFazio know that you support HR 574. 800.944.9603. He wants to hear from you.
Why the airport and golf course now?
According to our three county commissioners our county is in dire financial straits now.
Most, if not all, of us would agree with that. Instead of trying to solve a "now" problem now, why are they working on some "pie in the sky" idea, which if it ever did come to fruition after numerous studies and countless court challenges, would take 10 or 15 years before the county got any jobs or revenue (except for the attorneys, of course).
They keep putting on these "dog and pony shows" to make us think they will respond to the wishes of the people who elected them. Three of them: One of them "hell bent for leather" to get the deed done by any means fair or foul; the other two go along saying they are also in favor but looking like school boys being sent to the principal's office. Their lips say "yes" but the eyes look away. Undoubtedly the rogue commissioner must not intend to run for re-election.
Folks, please refer to Joel Summer's excellent editorial in the Aug. 10 edition of The Curry County Reporter and also the great letters to the editor in all of our local papers. Ask yourselves about the timeliness and practicality of this madness and then tell these three commissioners who we elected, what we want.
Let's paraphrase the following: "Remember, all that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing".
Many help make river camp a success
As a member of the Board of Riverside Charter Academy, I was pleased to take part in the planning and facilitating for the Riverside Adventure Camp, which recently took place on the Chetco River.
The camp was a huge success, with everyone having a great time and learning lots about the Chetco River. We couldn't have pulled this camp together without the enthusiastic support of our community. The Chetco River Watershed Council provided food for the barbecue on our final day, and they even sent along one of their members to prepare the barbecue and another member to photograph camp activities. Ray's Food Place donated a huge tray of veggies for the barbecue. The Riverside Market generously donated the use of twelve kayaks. The Curry Coastal Pilot sent a photographer and reporter, for the "Think Like a Journalist" Day. And, Grocery Outlet gave us a generous discount on re-usable water bottles for the campers. Escape Hatch donated the use of life vests for the campers.
What a supportive community we have!
Many other community members, including Stacy Savona, Cathy Boden, Statia Ryder, Harvey Young, Les Dethlefsen, and Ray Page enriched the learning experience by sharing their expertise. We thank them all, as everyone's effort made this a memorable week for a great group of local students.
Line between state, church getting thin
I see another Republican candidate for president has pledged to support a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
I find it interesting that conservatives are always complaining about the big federal government telling the states what to do, but when the states pass a law that goes against their beliefs they do not hesitate to use that same federal government to force the states to comply to their point of view.
Perhaps they need to look up the word hypocrite in their dictionary. It seems the separation between church and state keeps getting thinner and thinner.
Thanks for support of Dog Days at port
South Coast Humane Society wishes to thank all of the members of our fine community for coming out and participating in Dog Days and the Mutt Strutt at the port. We had a lot of fun and it was great seeing everyone out with their wonderful dogs.
We wish to thank the following businesses and individuals for their support and help at our event:
Shop Smart, One Cool Dog, Slugs 'n Stones and The Salty Dog Espresso Shop, our sincere thanks. We also wish to thank Bud Halliday, Pat Foht and Scott Graves for all the hard work they did providing entertainment for everyone who attended the event.
There is not enough room to thank all of the wonderful volunteers who helped work the event itself but you are not forgotten. You have the gratitude of every animal at the shelter who will benefit from this fundraiser.
This could not have come at a more opportune time. We just went to a hoarder's apartment on Monday and picked up 27 more animals in dire need of help and care. When we do this type of large-scale rescue every dollar counts. We wish to thank Pennies for Pooches for their financial assistance with this rescue also. We will put their pennies to good use.
We really cannot tell everyone who donates to and volunteers for the Brookings shelter and our thrift store how much they mean to us and how much we appreciate them. Once again, a grateful hug to all of you for the work you do and the animals that get saved as a result.
Audrey Morris, executive director
South Coast Humane Society
County addictedto spending
Curry County commissioners were in Brookings Aug. 20 (TEA Party event) and 22 (town hall meeting) to provide financial information and answer citizen questions. The destination resort subject dominated the town hall meeting.
A local news article July 24, 2011, combined both events. Commissioner Itzen felt the county finance problem was due to a lack of revenue. Commissioner Waddle estimated property taxes would need to increase $1.40 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
The article went on about a car at the Azalea Middle School parking lot having a Sarah Palin sticker on it. What?
What was not addressed by commissioners during these events or the news article were the following citizen comments.
andbull;The county's financial woes were caused by an addiction to spending. County general fund appropriations increased 33 percent over the last four fiscal years.
andbull;Last year taxpayers paid $2.3 million just for county employee health insurance premiums.
andbull;Last year citizens paid $24,000 just for the county clerk and assessor (husband and wife) insurance premiums.
andbull;Last year citizens paid around $1.4 million for a second county employee retirement system. (Oregon Public Employees Retirement System andndash; PERS)
andbull;Citizens guarantee (regardless of any investment losses) an 8 percent return on nearly all PERS funds.
andbull;Over the next two years citizens will pay an estimated $400,000 more into county employee PERS accounts to offset investment losses.
andbull;Dollars dedicated to PERS losses for the Brookings School District will be approximately $800,000 over two years.
andbull;Statewide this additional funding for PERS losses takes priority above all other budget items and over the next two years will be around $1 billion dollars.
There is no long term solution for the county's finances short of the elimination of collective bargaining for public employees and privatizing of county mandated services.
For more on No PERS Member Left Behind go to http://inrethepeople.wordpress.com .
Niemie, family get credit for car show
Please note: The 13th Annual MDA Benefit Car Show on Saturday, Sept 3, 2011, is NOT the Curry County Cruisers'˙ benefit car show as noted in the article "His Love of Cars" published on Aug 31.
The MDA Benefit Car Show "belongs" to Dayle Niemie and his family, and ALL the money raised goes to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. As a club and as individuals, the Curry County Cruisers are pleased to assist Dayle in keeping his fundraiser going.
Our Azalea Festival Community Benefit Car Show is held during the Azalea Festival on Memorial Day weekend.
Ron Townsend, for
Curry County Cruisers Car Club