My hope at Christmas
And now Christmas is here again, bringing its rich glow to some and its cold ache to others.
If you miss your loved one this year, I hope you can find comfort in the good memories of those times you were able to spend together.
If you're alone this year, I hope you'll find another lonely person and help each other get through it.
If you're troubled, I hope the deep peace of Christmas can ease your suffering.
If your holiday table is full, I hope you'll take a moment to share your abundance with those whose table is empty.
If your holiday is happy, I hope you'll cherish the time and store it safely in your soul for future reference. You'll probably need it someday.
It's Christmas time again. With all its goodness and all its emptiness, it's here again and soon it will be gone again.
I hope you and it will treat each other properly.
God commanded the invasion
I fully support Israel today, but I would like to clarify the letter in the Pilot of December 14, "God gave Israel to the Jews."
In the Bible, God did not give Israel to the Jews. It was not God's to give. The land was already fully populated. What the tribal God of the Israelites did was command them to invade the land and kill everything that breathes. Here is the text of God's command to the Israelites:
Deuteronomy 20:16-17 "But of the cities of these people, which the Lord thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth. But thou shalt utterly destroy them: namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee."
Perhaps the Israelites did not succeed in killing every living thing, but they certainly tried. The Bible is filled with their bloody atrocities. Here is one example: After capturing and burning a city, the Israelites took several thousand women and children as prisoners. Here is Moses' command to the Israelite troops on the treatment of the prisoners:
Numbers 31:17-18 "Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves."
For what purpose the young virgin girls were kept alive and given to the troops is not specified but, based on the brutal treatment of the other prisoners, may be imagined.
Misses Christmas tree in garden
I was born in Germany, but I've been living in the United States since 1958.
I am from Coberg, Germany, which is the same city that Prince Albert came from. When he married Queen Victoria and moved to England, he brought the Christmas tree tradition with him. The trees were decorated in the German tradition. Albert and Victoria had nine children and every Christmas they would decorate their tree together, and sing Silent Night. In German, the song is called Stille Nacht. The children grew up speaking both English and German.
When my husband and I moved to Brookings 26 years ago, there always was a Christmas tree decorated with white lights, located across the Chetco Bridge on the right side. Several years ago, this tradition stopped, possibly because the tree had grown so tall. I really miss this tradition. Would it be possible to decorate a smaller tree that is growing in that same area?
I so appreciate the beautiful display of the Festival of Lights in Azalea Park, but it would be so nice to drive across the bridge and see a tree decorated with traditional white lights. I hope I am not being demanding, but it never hurts to make a suggestion.
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.
Writer left offthe second part
My, Sheila really let off some steam in Wednesday's paper (Pilot letters, Dec. 14).
Sheila Chambers, a professed atheist, has apparently "had it up to here" with all this seasonal Jesus stuff. In fact, she even cites the U.S. Constitution (First Ammendment) to condemn the public display of Christmas ornamentation.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," Sheila quotes, then she takes off down her own path, stating: "to place any religious symbol ... on public land is a violation of that ammendment."
I know the Constitution is tedious reading, especially if you are just looking for something to prove your point, but Sheila should have at least finished the sentence she chose to quote. Because the whole sentence says this: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
She was wrong about the Constitution. Maybe she is wrong about God, too?
Anyway, Merry Christmas, everybody!
Azalea Park lights a special treat
If you haven't seen the lights in Azalea Park this year, you're missing a special treat.
When the sky darkens and the lights come on it's a wonderful fairyland. Don't miss out.
Thanks to all the hard working volunteers who helped put it all together.
Violet and Len Burton
Making censorship corporate business
Please take a look at the SOPA bill (Stop Online Piracy Act; H.R.3261).
It is a bill that Congress is trying to push though quietly that will make censorship on the Internet a corporate business, allowing companies to block any website they want for the slightly copyright infringement or what they view as infringement.
It is a clear violation of our rights of free speech. I ask that you make an article detailing this bill so that our local communities can see what is happening. This needs to be known.
Let's ban everything
I read with interest the proposed ban on vehicles in the lower Chetco.
My problem is this: If you're going to ban one group for supposedly dirting up the Chetco's water, you're going to have ban all groups that use the river.
The Chetco Watershed Council cited studies that say the river can be adversely affected by small amounts of pollutants. I couldn't agree more. We need to have everyone strip naked so the "Water Police" can check for "Invasive Species" before anyone can get in the water. If we gotta do it with boats, we gotta do it with people. Plus, anyone caught going number "1" in the water gets 40 lashes. Going number "2" gets life with Bubba in the State Pen. Heaven help us if someone wears shoes or flip-flops in the water!
I see that the "Council" wants to have "Exceptions" to their own rules, like government vehicles, motor and non-motor boats, vehicles launching boats, and something called a "permitted vehicle," both government and non-government. It seems to me that a lot of the activities above are a lot closer to the water intakes than some pickup crossing at Loeb. Why should a propeller be allowed in the water where it may cut a fish or a child swimming? Why have any boats in the water; they have to be scaring the fish and our children. And have you smelled some of those fishermen after a day on the water?! They shouldn't be allowed to get closer that a quarter of a mile from our drinking water intakes!
Here's an "Exception" that should be "Grandfathered" into the "Exceptions." Anyone that was here before 1975, served in the Armed Forces, was born here, has kids, and worked here should be "Exempt" from the ban.
Homeowners must maintain buildings
At the recent Gold Beach City Council meeting, a "dangerous building hearing" took place.
Although the "home" has been boarded up and abandoned for several years, it did not meet the city's very narrow definition of "dangerous."
The property owner stated the investment has been in that condition for several years, and for me to question its condition and potential danger is "class warfare." How ironic, that one, not living in the area of their investment, would leave such a neglected, boarded up, and potentially dangerous building in someone else's neighborhood.
As we know, Curry County is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and we do have an obligation, as neighbors, and citizens, to do the right thing and maintain its beauty, and safety throughout.
There is an easier way to keep track
Unless I am mistaken, in Pattie Cook's Dec. 14, 2011, Letter to the Editor titled, "Make it Easier to Track County Agenda," she is asking for email notifications of changes to the Curry County Board of Commissioners website.
Well, the good news is that there's a free and simple way to make that happen, and you don't have to ask the commissioners or anyone else for anything. Just go to www.watchthatpage.com, register your info with the site, and then start adding the webpage URLs you want to monitor. This is a free service and it's very simple to use.
When a Web page changes, you receive an email advising you what those changes are; the headline/title of each change, and a link to each new item on the page (even if it's a PDF file that was added to the site). You can monitor multiple Web pages and give each one its own title. That way, when you're notified (via email) of a page change, you'll know exactly which site and page it's for.
The nice folks who created and run this site live in Norway and are software developers. While this is a free service, if you find it to be a benefit and are so inclined, you can make a small donation to help defer the cost of hosting their site. Donations are not mandatory however.
Citizens exposed to scare tactics
What is it going to take to get the citizens of City of Brookings and the county to explain to our politicians that we are in a recession?
Our local credit union is in receivership.
Curry Health District laid off 22 employees.
Salmon Run golf course can't pay its rent to the city.
The county is on the verge of bankruptcy.
Revenues are down throughout our county and yet our local leaders don't see reality.
At the last city workshop the city fathers discussed three ways to raise our taxes: franchise tax on electric up to 8 percent, increase water fees and sewer fees. There was no reference to cutting expenses at all. Also, only nine citizens attended.
The county is also pleading to raise your taxes.
The sheriff says he wants five more deputies. Excuse me, didn't he just get an award for excellence? I have been told that the sheriff is provided with a new Suburban equipped to his specifications every year. Is that true? His current rig is all black with blackout windows and hidden emergency lights. Does the sheriff need a special vehicle? Imagine the cost.
How about a look at the salaries we pay city and county leaders: commissioners, managers, legal counsel, department heads?
Finally, I have asked the Curry Coastal Pilot to publish mandated spending, infrastructure spending, discretionary spending and list all employees and their salaries.
How can citizens make judgments about financial issues when we are relentlessly exposed to scare tactics instead of financial facts?
Where's the hidden agenda?
In reference to your article from Dec. 13 regarding the state's consideration of a ban on vehicles in the Chetco.
The first thing that comes to mind is "why?" My father was a preacher, my brother is a used car salesman, and I grew up in California under the first attempt of Jerry Brown as governor so I have a keen ear for weasel words.
There was nothing mentioned in your article with definitive reasons for the ban. Everything was qualified couda-shoulda-woulda and "it's for the children." Whenever I hear this kind of language I check my wallet.
Don't get me wrong. If you can provide hard numbers for the risk to the environment I would consider a ban. However, if this is the first salvo in gaining a statewide ban I must point out that this would deny the public use of huge blocks of public land accessible only by fording waterways. This seems like the most likely hidden agenda here.
But your article didn't even name which deadly toxin was so persistent that a gallon would pollute a river with a flow rate of 3,000 to 4,000 cubic feet per second (average flow in Dec. according to the USGS).
Any complaints addressed by the CRWC are already prohibited. Dumping toxins into the water is illegal, drunk driving is illegal, and running over children is going to be frowned upon by the neighbors. I fail to see the need for a regulation for what is already prohibited.