The Curry Coastal Pilot

Bringing light to a dark Thanksgiving


This is a letter of thanks and a reason why Thanksgiving was different this year.

On Wednesday, Nov. 23, the day before Thanksgiving, at about 4 p.m., our power box gave its life for our electricity; with a huge pop and smoke, it left myself and my five kids sitting in the dark. Murphy was letting me know he hangs around every now and then.

Well I was fraught with panic: no power, no Thanksgiving. Ack! My great landlords Tim and Cynthla came over and Coos Curry Electric; they shut the power completely off.

I was sure we would not get any power returned until Friday, Nov. 25, but then that's Black Friday andhellip; oh sigh. Does Taco Bell have turkey tacos? Yeah, I didn't think so.

My landlord Tim got ahold of Stadelman Electric and they came out late Wednesday night to get us power. The guys from the electric company stopped by to check on us. Pretty and sweet! By 10:15 p.m., our power was back on. Ha-ha Murphy, take that!

For Thanksgiving, I am truly thankful for Tim and Cynthia for helping my family. To the great gentlemen at Coos Curry Electric for their caring and sense of humor! And Stadelman Electric, you rock! Because of you I am thankful; oh, and to my wonderful employers at Chetco Inn, who let me borrow a lantern to beat the dark.

Many heartfelt thanks.

Victoria Vest family, Evan, Melinda, Sennett, Garrett, and Cassandra


A Christmas kids will never forget


I read the article regarding John Bishop, Chris Wallace and their wives going to the Children's Hospital in Portland, bringing gifts. You are doing a wonderful thing. I know those kids will be happy to see you in your uniforms instead of Santa Claus suits. It's something those kids will never forget and neither will all of you.

It brought me back to Vietnam 40 years ago when I went to an orphanage to bring food. The kids wanted me to take them for a ride in the military deuce-and-a-half truck. As I got into the truck, I prayed to God, "If anything is going to happen, let it happen to me without these kids in the truck." They were happy and singing songs, even though I had no idea what they were singing. I felt like I made their Christmas and I'm sure you will do the same for these kids.

God Bless you for what you are doing.

Sam Vitale

Vietnam Veteran

Donations, labor help softball team


The Brookings-Harbor High School Softball Team would like to thank anyone who has donated time and money into fixing the softball fields.

In particular, we would like to thank Rusty Strain, Lonnie Marrington, Tony Baron, Curt Deneau, Mitch Bonde, Randy Gorman, Bub Klinefelter, Daryn Farmer, Scott Darger, and Richard Yock for working on the fields and helping to supply the right things needed for this project. Thank you to Bi-Mart, Freeman Rock, Tidewater, and Da-Tone for sponsoring us and donating money to help with the fields. Last, but not least, thank you to staff members Brian Corpening and Dustin Wesel for helping with maintenance and overseeing the project.

We are still in much need of donations. If you are interested in helping with the softball program in any way please bring your donation to the high school office. Thank you.

Megan Strain, for your

Brookings-Harbor softball team

Curry tax increase is a no-brainer to me


As a soon-to-be new resident of Brookings I have been observing the debate about property tax rates in Curry County. It looks like a no-brainer to me.

If, in fact, Curry's rate is only 36 percent of the state average (ridiculously low!), and making it 65 percent of state average (still completely reasonable) would balance the budget, then doing so still puts us in a more affordable place than the rest of the state. If the opponents don't like it, they certainly can't go anywhere else that's cheaper. The extra annual expense of $49 per person is less than a dollar a week! If giving up one Coke weekly, or one latte every other week is too big a sacrifice to pay to have community services and protections, then I say people need to get a clue about community spirit and responsibility.

I wonder how many of those who snivel that the county does not spend revenues wisely in spite of drastic reductions, have looked at their own spending habits for places they could conserve in order to afford the small increase in taxes. They should also think about the jobs being eliminated from the community by the service cutbacks.

It's time to stop looking for dwindling grants and federal/state handouts. Let's build a sustainable community that takes care of its own problems in-house. And if it means a property tax increase and/or a sales tax I say let's be adults about this, do it and get on with our lives.

Joyce Hannum

Union, Wash.

Azalea light show is something to behold


On Saturday night, I took my grandson to see the Lights at Azalia Park. It is something I have always enjoyed.

Not being able to go for the past two years, this year I noticed a big change ... the lights were much brighter and so many more of them and there appeared to be some new additions. They were wonderful! Something everyone should see.

I must say that everyone involved in donating their time to putting up the lights, helping serve cider and cookies, and collecting the entry fee (which should be more than $1) needs a greatful thank you! You are wonderful and are greatly appreciated.

We thank you very much.

Linda Woods and Donovan McFarland


Hope Curry County folks wake up soon


Some recent articles were rather interesting, but we read the Curry County Crisis article (Pilot, Nov. 16) in amazement!

It's quite obvious why the county is almost bankrupt! Why would citizens want to pay only 60 cents/1,000 when the statewide average is almost five times that amount or $3/1,000!

As a point of comparison we live in a southeast Wisconsin Republican-run county, 30 to 40 miles northwest of Milwaukee. Our 2011 county rate was $2.75 or 14 percent of our total taxes. Other comparisons are 16 cents or 1 percent for the state, $5.65/28 percent for the city, $10.31/50 percent for local schools and $1.40/7 percent for vocational colleges. Except in Southwest Oregon, most of Wisconsin is similar to Oregon.

Sure our $20.27 rate is relatively high, but we used to get a lot for that amount. We're not bankrupt (yet), but before private business took over running things, citizens were well provided for. As you now know, Wisconsin business has become well provided for, with public tax money, to the detriment of the citizens.

We hope the public in Curry County wakes up soon, before what has happened to Wisconsin comes to Southwest Oregon. Unfortunately broadcast media (other than Link TV and PBS/NPR.) doesn't provide the public with real, complete and truthful information any more. When we want to hear/see the truth now we turn to Democracy Now, Mosaic and Al Jezeera, even PBS NewsHour and the BBC.

Were you even aware some right-wing American broadcasts aren't even allowed in Canada due to unreal, incomplete and untruthful information being released by their management in New York? Achieving democracy and getting unbiased info is impossible.

Linda and Ken Smith

Hartford, Wis.

A clearer picture of our property taxes


The attempted correction to the graphic of Curry County (government) General Fund Tax (Pilot, Nov. 30,) reproduces the error ($60 instead of 60 cents per $1,000 assessed value), and then introduces a completely new, out of nowhere, error, saying that the tax is per capita. And several of the letters to the editor on this topic have errors as well.

The rate of the Curry County (government) tax, (60 cents) per $1,000 assessed value, is uniform throughout the county. But the Curry County portion is a fraction of the total property tax. The proportion varies according to what other district taxes (education, fire, library) apply to the property, as they are all collected together in the one tax bill. The county figures, from the Pilot, Oct. 11, which reflect the average for the whole county, show that 6.46 percent of the total property tax collected goes to Curry County (government, general fund). So a doubling of the tax for Curry County (government, general fund) would result, on average, in a 6.46 percent increase in the property tax for a property owner.

You can look at your property tax statement to see what it would mean to you. The portion of "County General" tax in the total tax (before discount) on my bill is 8.24 percent, which is what the increase would be for me if the Curry County tax doubled. A homeowner's property tax bill would not double if the county (government, general fund) tax doubled.

The rest of the property tax (county average) goes to schools (more than 57 percent), libraries (more than 5 percent andndash; which is almost as much as to the county), and fire, health and port districts (3 percent), and the remainder is for smaller districts like 4-H and cemetery. Again, look at your own bill to see what this is for you.

And homeowners aren't the only ones paying property taxes; businesses pay as well. And some households, such as renters, don't pay property tax.

Hope this helps the picture.

Marian Boye


At least 10 holidays now through Jan. 1


Happy Holidays to you. That's right, holidays. There are at least 10 by January 1.

December 5 is Ashura, when some Muslims celebrate when Musa or Moses and his people obtained victory over the Egyptian Pharaoh.

December 8 is Bodhi Day, when Buddhists celebrate Buddha's attainment of enlightenment under the Bodhi tree.

December 16 is Las Posadas, involving the re-enactment of Mary and Joseph searching for lodgings.

On December 21, many Christians celebrate St. Thomas' Day in honor of the Apostle.

Dec 21-25 is Pancha Ganapati, a modern Hindu festival celebrating Lord Ganesha.

December 22 is the Winter solstice, marking the day with the least hours of daylight.

December 25 starts Hanukkah, celebrating the Maccabees' recapture of the second Temple from the Syrian Greeks in 165 B.C.

Christmas also falls on the 25th, and celebrates the nativity, or birth, of Jesus Christ.

On December 26 is the start of Kwanzaa, an African-American celebration that goes through New Year's Day. It is an important part of sharing African heritage and culture with family.

On January 1, Lutheran churches and others celebrate the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ, a demonstration that Christ was fully human.

You see, there's so much to celebrate this holiday season. We can be so inclusive by greeting everyone with "Happy Holidays." However, if you wish me a "Merry Christmas," assuming I'm Christian, I'll look you right in the eye and wish you a "Joyous Kwanzaa," since we all came from Africa.

Gordon Clay


Doomed to live under the house?


Bob needs a home!

He is number eight to find his way to our door. Like the others, he was cold, thin and very hungry. Unlike others he is a fraidy cat. He needs a home with no dogs, and seems to have a fear of men.

Bob is a very handsome, a Sylvester look-alike with long black fur and white markings. He loves to be held and has never scratched or bitten. He would make a wonderful pet for an older woman.

If Bob doesn't find a new home, he is doomed to live under the house Someone needs to give Bob a chance.

Barbara J. Parrett-Eary