A higher standard for elected officials
Mr. Horel, thank you for responding (letter to the editor, Jan. 11); however, you missed the point I was making.
I believe that elected officials should hold themselves to a higher standard. I pointed out that the charter school took the conflict of interest statement that was law and went one step further and added "it will avoid where possible even the appearance of impropriety." Although there are real concerns regarding the charter schools application, I do applaud them for striving to uphold a higher standard when their board members are not even elected officials.
I wanted to know why you did not feel you needed to abide by the same standards as your wife is being held to. I am concerned based on statements you have made in public regarding this charter school that your judgment has been clouded. Thus, I would hope you would choose to uphold yourself to a higher standard and avoid "even the appearance of impropriety." If not then please explain why you think this does not apply to you; simply stating the law is not an answer.
As for the County Citizens' Committee: you are right, the commissioners were elected to make the decisions; however, as a taxpayer it is my responsibility to question the commissioners when they chose to ignore their own criteria and appear to have a double standard, i.e., ask one member to resign because he is running for a public office and allow one member who is already elected to a public office to stay on the committee.
Charter school a risky proposal for district
While most staff believe a well-timed and planned charter school could be beneficial, we believe the proposed charter school would be detrimental to the educational environment and the majority of students in the Brookings-Harbor School District.
Many of our members voted for the current School Board believing that the integrity of education in District 17C would be stable and upheld and would not be jeopardized, undercut or threatened by willingly sending resources elsewhere. Our students deserve the best overall education possible which is why the State of Oregon demands that all teachers be "highly qualified."
What is at risk is the quality, rigor, depth and breadth of education in the Brookings-Harbor schools. You can't take away from educational resources and expect our ability to educate our students to not be diminished in some form.
Redirecting funds away from an already beleaguered school district seems irresponsible; we are concerned about the adverse conditions added expenses will surely pose, and the financial and educational uncertainty of the situation.
We sincerely hope that all School Board members will carefully examine the revised, proposed charter before voting. We also encourage all concerned community members to attend the upcoming School Board meeting for the charter school discussion and board vote next Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Kalmiopsis Library.
Leif Appanaitis, Jody Soberon, Kristi Oliphant, Nelson Goranson, Gina June
Brookings-Harbor Education Association Executive Committee
Dog parks always a plus for community
I read with interest the article regarding the possibility of a dog park in Gold Beach in Wednesday's paper (Jan. 11).
I believe a dog park is always a plus.
As a Crescent City resident I am frustrated over the lack of a safe, enclosed space where my small dog can run and play, off leash, with other dogs. It's worth the drive for us to be able to visit the dog park at McVay State Park. When visiting family in the Bay Area we always make it to the local dog parks, although since these are not enclosed, it is not as much fun for Jojo, as he must remain on leash. The McVay park is truly a godsend.
To those who have doubts, I've never encountered or seen any serious aggression displayed by the dogs using these parks. As to the big dog versus little dog concerns, they're all dogs. They are quite capable of sorting out their own rules of the game.
And if a person is unsure about any dog's behavior andndash; be it that of their own pet or a strange dog andndash; no one is forced to enter the park.
Charter school needs its own funding
Riverside Charter Academy has asked our school district board to approve the funding and accept full responsibility for a new charter school.
If approved, the charter school would then have their own appointed principal, teachers, and curriculum. In other words, the charter school committee wants to have their own school, but they want our school district funds to "pay for it all." The estimated cost to fund this charter school is over $600,000.
Larry Martindale, Sheryl Lipski, Helena Chirinian, David Lee, Diane Cavaness, along with the entire staff at Azalea Middle School have been attending recent school board meetings and publicly asking the school board not to approve the charter school proposal.
At a time when there is no extra money in the budget, teachers' wages are in negotiations, classes and extracurricular are being cut, our school board will be risking $600,000. If approved, the school district would need to eliminate six to nine teachers.
I do not oppose an alternate learning style, but the charter school needs to be funded on their own and not risk the majority of the students in our entire district.
Our district had a charter school a few years ago and it failed. The school board will be voting on this issue soon and, surprisingly, three out of five board members are in favor of this.
Please get informed and make your voice heard by contacting the board members. Their phone numbers can be found at the school district's website: www.brookings.K12.or.us.
Michael J. Freels
Was it necessary to damage cat shelter?
Wednesday night, Jan. 11, the feral cat shelter at Brookings Harbor was needlessly vandalized.
The months of hard work by the volunteers who take care of this haven for homeless cats was wasted. Why? Is it drugs or alcohol that prompts this destructive behavior?
There are so many causes out there that are crying out for people to help. Why not light a candle instead of cursing the darkness?
Holiday brighter with Giving Tree program
The Brookings-Harbor community pulled together to make this Christmas season a little brighter for many families by participating in the Community Giving Tree program.
Oregon Coast Community Action coordinates the yearly program with the Elks Lodge, local financial institutions, and businesses, but it takes the entire community to make the program a success.
The Giving Trees were provided by and located at Chase Bank, Chetco Federal Credit Union, Chetco Pharmacy and Gifts, Evergreen Federal, Sterling Savings Bank, Shop Smart, Umpqua Bank, US Bank and the Presbyterian Church. Kerr Ace Hardware, Laureate Sigma Beta, and The Red Hats sponsored entire families. Wild Rivers Community Foundation, Shirley and Albert Hedgpeth and Elaine Lortscher all donated very generously to the program. Cleo brought in lots of warm coats and Julie and Randy Garcia provided space for the many gifts that were collected. Thanks also to the many, many individuals who picked tags from the Giving Trees. Thanks also to volunteer Kurtis Sabin. This year, by combining our efforts, over 270 children received gifts and food for the holidays.
This is a wonderful and caring community. All of us at Community Action want everyone to know that their help was greatly needed and deeply appreciated.
Cindy Davis and
Oregon Coast Community Action
Thanks for coming to my assistance
Many thanks to Fire Chief Bill Sharp and his great crew of strong fireman who carried me from the ambulance and up two steep flights of stairs to my bedroom after a 10-day stay in Curry General Hospital. I would have never made it without you.
Also thanks to the Cal-Ore ambulance crew, Kari, Lisa, Oni and Stacy andndash; what a great and caring crew.
Last but not least andndash; Curry General Hospital, you're tops in your care for your patients.
Thanks again and many hugs to all.
Thank you, Harbrook for wonderful gift
On Dec. 22 while shelving books at the library I came upon a wrapped gift inside a plastic bag tied with a red ribbon.
Thinking someone had forgotten it while looking at a book I took it to the front desk where Patti and I decided to put it under the tree on the counter in hopes the person would return and claim it. The big surprise came the next morning when I saw that same gift in my cubbyhole!
The library director, Susana, informed me then that Harbrook Jewelers had placed a few wrapped gifts around our town for the holidays. What generosity from such a great store! The owner and all who work there are to be commended for their thoughtfulness and caring for the people of our small town.
I feel very fortunate to have been one of the lucky ones and every time I wear the beautiful earrings I will certainly think of Harbrook Jewelers with gratitude and I'm thankful that I live in such a wonderful place that is so full of great and caring people.
Pelican Bay assists Redshirts with gifts
The Brookings-Harbor Redshirts want to extend another big "Thank you" to the Inmate Veterans Group at Pelican Bay State Prison.
Robert Losacco, Community Resource manager at Pelican Bay State Prison recently came to a Redshirt packing and presented the Redshirts with a check for $1,250.00 from the Inmates Veterans Group. Robert stayed and helped pack some care packages for the troops on Thursday Jan. 5 at the Lighthouse Assembly of God Church in Harbor.
This is the second time the Inmate Veterans group have elected to support our troops. This year the Inmates Veterans Group at Pelican Bay had another bake sale at which different food items were purchased by the inmates. The proceeds were then donated to various non-profits and charities throughout the community.
During these difficult economic times, it's encouraging to see this organization take a role in community support. We wish to thank all of those involved, and commend them for their good work and deeds. Their donation will help the Redshirts this year with our continued support of hospitals and Combat Support Hospitals in Afghanistan.
Thanks also to our local Brookings-Harbor community for your continued support; we could not accomplish our goals without all of you.