The Curry Coastal Pilot

Building in potential tsunami flood area?


We've now had time to read and digest the headline story, "Landowners Seek City Services," Pilot, March 14, 2012.

A sewer extension and housing development is planned on the flood plain north of the Chetco River bridge. A vote of approval to proceed with planning was given by the Brookings city councilors on March 12.

The proposed development would be 10 to 30 feet above sea level and, as shown by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries' 1995 Tsunami Hazard Map, would be vulnerable to inundation flooding following a local Cascadia earthquake and tsunami. An updated 2010 map and report by the Oregon DOGAMI shows even more severe inundation flooding resulting from a local Cascadia earthquake and tsunami.

Have the city councilors considered the potential for tsunami flooding of the planned development? Inundation flooding may well be similar to that of the 2011 Fukushima earthquake in Japan. Such consideration would seem to be an important first step in furtherance of this plan.

Ed Gross


Give Navy an earful on training actitivies


I just found out that tomorrow, the U.S. Navy will hold an "open house'" (from) 5 (to) 8 p.m. at the Wharfinger Building in Eureka, to inform and hear from coastal committees about the environmental impacts of training activities in the Pacific from Shelter Cove west of Garberville, to the Strait of Juan de Fuca at the Canadaian border and includes the Olympic National Marine Sanctuary and the Keyport Range Complex, which covers areas of Hood Canal, as it pursues renewed environmental authorization to hold training activities (i.e., sea battles) in this 162,000 square nautical mile area from the coastline west to about 250 nautical miles offshore.

The major concern in a similar effort in 2009 is the use of high-impact sonar. It may have a nice ping to it when it reveals a deadly threat to a ship full of sailors, but the intensity and pitch of its sound pulses can injure and disorient whales. This is not a bunch of tree-huggers' fantasies. In 2004, about 200 melon-headed whales ended up on the shores of Hawaii in the wake of a seven-nation Pacific Rim training exercise.

A sense of the scale from the 2009 plan proposed the deployment of 886 mid-frequency sonar buoys, 631 other active-sonar devices, 34 high explosives, 110 "bomb 'dummy units," 57 missiles, 50,000 gun shells, 117,000 rounds of machine-gun fire, 231 flares, and nearly 500 targets (including 120 dumpster-sized heavy-duty inflatable red bags called "killer tomatoes"). What the Navy actually used is classified information.

Data drawn from past public comments suggest that, when it comes to whales and sonar, some-humans will come to listen, some to ask questions, and some to give the Navy an earful. Find more information at Join me in Eureka Thursday or submit your comments on line at

Gordon Clay


Convince smokers to be more considerate


In response to Dave Duffy's letter (Pilot, March 7) Mr. Duffy wanted to know "what genius thought that one up?"

I did, Mr. Duffy, and no, I am not being paid to draft "silly laws" like that andndash; just six plus years of volunteer work on the Parks and Recreation Commission along with picking up trash and cigarette butts.

My intent is to try to get people to be more considerate of others, especially children, when they decide to light up and shorten their life expectancy. To restrict people's smoking, whether it be in a park or other public places, shows that we, as a community, care about our health and future. To not care is to condone.

So smokers, continue to shorten your life here on earth if you wish. But please be considerate of those that are our future and those that cannot tolerate, for health reasons, second-hand smoke.

Don Vilelle


Why no crosswalk near Bi-Mart?


I am certainly no expert on public works projects nor can I even claim to have always been a safety-conscious pedestrian, but I do want to say that I do not understand why there is no crosswalk across Railroad Street near Bi-Mart prior to Bi-Mart's opening.

Will the city be providing hot-air balloon rides across Railroad Street for pedestrians on opening day? Will jet packs be supplied so we can fly across Railroad? Or will there be a sawdust pile for us to pole vault into?

I believe that Public Works Director Loree Pryce's statement in the Jan. 7, 2012, Curry Coastal Pilot, that "the city wait to possibly install a crosswalk until Bi-Mart opens and the traffic flow becomes apparent. That will also allow city officials to see if there's an increase in pedestrians in the area" is irresponsible and naive.

Hopefully, no pedestrians will get hurt. If any pedestrians tragically are hurt. I wonder if Brookings will be liable.

As someone who cannot drive due to a physical disability, I am deeply concerned for all disabled pedestrians.

City officials might do well to keep in mind that another group of which pedestrians are comprised is our community's precious children.

Mary Rowe


Maytag repairman can fix government


Conservatives, including Tea Party folks, need to adopt more sports logic in choosing candidates.

Football games are won, not with Hail Mary passes, but with consistent short yardage, first down plays. Same with basketball. Winning takes hard work under the basket, not mid-court long shots, Conservatives seem to lean toward the politically pure, long shot candidates who need a massive come-from-behind effort to be elected.

Some cases in point. In the 2010 Nevada primary, conservatives backed and nominated conservative Sharron Angle over the more moderate Sue Lowden. Lowden had political baggage andndash; but nothing compared to Angle. Harry Reid celebrated when Angle won the primary. In the 2010 Delaware primary they backed and nominated long shot Christine O'Donnell over the more electable ex-governor Castle. And finally in Alaska they supported Miller over the incumbent Senator Murkowski. In this case Murkowski fought back with a successful write-in campaign over Miller and Democrat Scot McDonnell. She won in spite of conservatives, not because of them.

In our current GOP presidential primary many conservatives appear to prefer the candidates with strong conservative credentials over the one with economic and management experience. The Republicans keep looking for a Knight in Shining Armor but so far only the Maytag Repairman has showed up andndash; a person, maybe not terribly exciting, but still one completely qualified to fix a broken government.

Remember last election? Votes chose the Knight (actually a Community Organizer) in Shining Armor. Let's not be forgetting how that turned out!

Jim Collis


The real cost of a local sales tax


Have any of the county commissioners actually ever run a business themselves?

A county sales tax would cost much more than it would produce. I and other business owners would be forced to collect these revenues for the county, adding additional cost for time and accounting fees. When our costs go up we have no choice but to pass this on to our customers. We do not want to be your involuntary tax collectors. You can not help solve this crisis by further injuring our local economy.

Get Real. Find a way to make money like the rest of us have to, instead of stealing it!

Harold Bailey


A matter of time before tragedy hits


I feel obligated to post this warning to all our area drivers and others who might read this.

The people who congregate near the driveway entrances to the Rite Aid shopping center complex have a habit of crossing the street without caution. Twice now I've come very close to hitting one of these people and each time it really shook me up. I've witnessed other close calls. All those close calls and mine were at dusk or early evening.

I have a sinking feeling that it's just a matter of time until you will be reporting a tragic event here.

Kevin Patrick


Putting virtue before victory


The NCAA had a "spectacular classic Mormon vs. Catholic matchup" the day before the "One Last Point" column appeared (March 14, 2012.)

After showing it was by far the superior basketball team by being ahead by 25 points, true to their Christian value that it is better to give than to receive, the Iona Gaels gave away their prize to the surprised but grateful Mormons.

And if that weren't a great enough demonstration of sacrificial love, Iona helped put its Mormon brothers in the NCAA tournament record books: "It marked the biggest comeback in an NCAA tournament game, the organization said. Previously, the largest deficit overcome was 22 points in 2001 when Duke fought back to beat Maryland 95-84 in the national semifinals."

This wasn't the first time that Iona showed its true colors, sacrificing a possible important victory for higher goals. In 1951 the coach forfeited the game and took the team home to New Rochelle (N.Y.) because its one African American was not allowed to stay in the Mississippi hotel with his teammates.

We'll forgive Jef (Hatch, sports editor) for not giving this small Catholic college credit for putting virtue before victory but not for failing to mention that this Brookings resident is a proud Iona alumnus.

Ed Kelly


Mighty in service and dedication


Just when I felt that not much can be done about an annoying and ongoing situation with a neighbor, something out of the ordinary, unexpectedly took place. It is known that Curry County has minimal police coverage, but I have to say I am impressed with what happened this morning.

In explanation, we live in the county and have had occasional noise issues with a neighbor. When it gets too loud, sometimes into the wee hours of the morning we have called the police. The dispatcher would say that there are no deputies on duty for our county residence, but she would pass the message along to the city police. They came, each time to address the issue, and that in itself deserves a thank you.

Once again last night the neighbor gave it a go; thus, so did we. Apparently, it's a battle of the wills. This morning an officer not only spoke with the neighbor, but he also took the time to follow up with my husband, in person. The officer was thorough and instilled a sense of integrity to the situation.

My point is that I believe our police department does a pretty outstanding job. They may be few in numbers, but they are mighty in service and dedication.

Sherri King-Barron


Saving lives doesn't stop at the border


There seems to be a little confusion for some people about "who" did the rescue of the small dogs, from the high- kill shelter in California.

I would like to set the facts straight so that the irate man who called South Coast Humane Society (SCHS) after reading the front news clip about the rescue can rest. He called SCHS to ask how the county could spend money on rescuing dogs when they are broke. For the record, Angela McSwain drove on her day off, over 10 hours, in her own truck, with gas and food money provided by Pennies for Pooches. We figured since we were driving the distance we might as well pick up dogs for Southcoast Humane. Pennies for Pooches also is helping pay to alter some of SCHS dogs as they took (the) bulk of the dogs. They have heated floors and we felt it would be better for the well being of the babies to have the heated floors.

How does the county play a role? Well they reap the rewards. The dogs that came into the Curry County Animal Shelter will have all of their medical needs met, spayed/neutered all paid for by Pennies for Pooches andndash; not the county. When the dogs are adopted for the fee of $85 it includes all shots including rabies and a Curry County dog license. Who gets that money? The county.

On the county defense, they do provide the shelter for the dogs, pay the lights, payroll, phone and water/garbage. Pennies for Pooches pays for all the shelter dog food and of course we are thankful for those of you who are so generous and donate food. The county could not run this shelter without the community support and the backing of Pennies for Pooches, which again is this community.

So, folks, let's take a nice deep breath and remember we save animals' lives; that is what rescuing is and it doesn't stop at the border. Thank you for the space in your paper.

Catherine Powers

Curry County Animal Shelter

Gold Beach

Humanity at its best is a joy to see


When we see humanity be at their best it truly is a joy to see.

By this, I mean the wonderful feeling and compassion that we all feel when we hear or read about rescuing lives ... in this case it is concerning the loving and innocent doggies that would be put down because they are not wanted anymore or there is no more room for them. Because of a program named "A Leg Up Rescue"; Angela McSwane, from Gold Beach, a volunteer, drove 12 hours, gas and food paid for by Pennies for Pooches, a non-profit at Gold Beach, to pick up the doggies from the rescue program so their lives could be saved. Also, to give them a second chance and to bring them back to be adopted to a loving home.

I have the upmost respect for Catherine Powers and Angela McSwane at the Gold Beach shelter for seeing the need that is so desperately needed. Please go down to the shelter at Gold Beach or call 541-247-2514 and adopt a furry friend. Remember these little ones will give you more than you could even imagine; give them that chance and open your hearts for the love you will receive from them ... all you have to do is to rescue and adopt.

Thank you seems so little to say for such a huge accomplishment of kindness. To help Pennies for Pooches, donations are welcomed at P.O. Box 1883 Gold Beach, OR 97444.

Please spay and neuter your pets.

Beverly Duncan