The Curry Coastal Pilot

Plan to help the homeless dismissed


We could have had a plan for the homeless in Curry County if the commissioners had gone forward with it.

In 2008, County Commissioners Schafer, LaBontandeacute; and Nowlin passed a resolution for Curry County to write a "10-Year Plan to End Homelessness." They assigned the task to Susan Brown, then Director of Economic Development. Susan worked with dozens of volunteers to develop a plan that made sense for the county's homeless and businesses being affected.

The plan was completed in 2009 and received high praise from Paul Carlson, regional coordinator, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness: "I can't tell you what a pleasure it was to receive your plan. I often have to work hard to push things along and get a local plan up and running. You and your colleagues in Curry County have not only completed a plan but have done a superb job. It has all the fundamentals of a successful plan, thoroughly directed towards housing solutions, and oriented towards measurable outcomes."

In 2009, Commissioners Waddle and Rhodes demanded that Susan quit working on this project. The plan was only the beginning. The volunteers needed leadership to get organized and design a strategy for implementing the plan, including finding funding and resources. The committee would have been three years into implementing the plan with results that would have eased the burden placed on businesses and residents in Curry County.

The shortsightedness of Waddle and Rhodes to not support this community effort leaves us with today's homeless issue.

Bruce Warren


Taxes, taxes, taxes and more taxes!


It's on everyone's mind these days: How do we charge ourselves enough to provide for the safety and services the county is required to provide us?

Since our county commissioners have allocated our property-tax revenue to everything but public safety, we have to decide how to punish ourselves further to assure our basic safety in the future.

Some people seem fearful of a county sales tax, feeling that our commissioners could raise the rate at will. Sorry guys, but a sales-tax raise would have to approved by the voters where our property taxes are automatically raised by 3 percent every year, whether we like it or not. As a property taxpayer, it grieves me to see my property assessed for less, and my tax on that property go up. At least a sales tax would be borne in part by those just passing through and spread out rather than just dumped on our property owners.

A lot of older citizens would be hurt by a raise in their property taxes, so I, as one of them, would prefer a general-sales tax by far, provided it is collected for public safety issues exclusively, and not piddled away on vote-seeking projects by the county dads!

And, by the way, being a former landlord, I seriously doubt that any landlord would raise the rent over a sales tax, but I believe most rents would likely be increased accordingly with a raise in property tax.

Larry E. Thomas


Blaming the whole for acts of the few


Once again the actions of a few individuals are used to characterize an entire group.

Some panhandlers at the Harbor South Coast Center may or may not be homeless. There are professional beggars who do this as a living. Seems like the poor have been a scapegoat for many of society's ills.

When the starving people of France called out for bread during the reign of King Louis XIV, it is thought Queen Maria Theresa was heard to say: Let them eat cake.

Joe Willett


The problem isn't independent vendors


The restaurant owners complaining (March 28 Pilot) that free-standing vendors should be banned (except for special events): Have you considered the local economy downturn as a reason for loss of business?

Have you looked at what's being plated up in your restaurant? (Sometimes not as good as school lunches.) How about your waitresses that are not customer friendly?

Your efforts to exclude a vendor making a little money andndash; and provide more food choices in Curry County andndash; are at best mean-spirited and greedy.

The problem isn't with free-standing vendors.

Vicky Kennedy


Check some reliable sources for facts


Responding to Jim Hajek's March 28 letter to the editor:  1-percenters are making considerably more than the random, rounded number you most casually threw into your letter.

Check some reliable financial websites (bankrate, CNN money, etc). You probably don't want to know that doctors, lawyers, business owners (salon owners, restauranteurs, auto repair shops, etc.) managers, (Bi-Mart, Burger King, etc.), athletes and performers, (working musicians and comedians) also support the 99-percent effort, too, as most of them make less than the casual, rounded sum you stated.

This movement is not targeting what people do for a living, only those who make it harder for one to make a living. And by the way, job creation starts at home, not by a Nike or Gap CEO (millions in bonuses a year) that's outsourced jobs to Asia.

Dan Hannum


Angels and heros among us


There are angels and heroes among us in Curry County, disguised as ordinary people until they were needed. Their names are Tony, Darla and Pat.

You see on Wednesday, March 21, there was a horrible car accident up North Bank Chetco River Road. A young wife and mother on her way home with her two small children were seriously injured. The baby (11 months) was still in his car seat. The window had broken out and he was covered in rain and glass. The 4 1/2 year old had loosened himself from the wreckage and managed to climb out the window with only one boot on. He ran up the road to find help for his mommy and brother but soon in his shock and fear he began to come back.

Enter the heros.

Pat comes toward the scene and sees Cayden running down the road. She stops and manages to comfort him and get him safely in her vehicle. He appears OK but is seriously injured. She keeps him until the ambulance arrives.

Darla is little Logan's angel. He appears okay too, but he's not. He has two broken arms and his jaw is so bruised he can't nurse for three days. She wraps the baby in a big warm blanket and cuddles him in her car until the EMT. takes him.

Tony is the UPS angel. He crawls into that wrecked car ... through glass, blood and rain, and he stabilizes the young woman's head. He keeps her still and reassures her over and over and, of course, remains with her the whole time.

We are so proud to live in the same community as these people. Everyone of you are an angel/hero in our family's heart and we thank you so very much for all you didn't have to do!

All three have made remarkable progress. They were taken to Childrens Hospital in Oakland but should be returning home to Oregon soon. With Very Thankful Hearts, The Grandmas (Daphne and Robin).

Robin Sypolt


Touched our lives and kept us going


To the communities of Gold Beach and Brookings: The entire Shaffar and Somers family would like to express our deepest gratitude to every person who has helped us through this difficult time.

To every person who came out to the pizza fundraiser and enjoyed a great meal at Sunset Family Pizza, everyone who has made a donation at CFCU and to everyone who continues to help our family.

Travis continues to make progress every day and is so grateful to each and every one of you.

It's amazing how these communities come through with prayers, well wishes in times of need.

Thank you is not enough but we want all of you to know how you have all touched our lives and kept us going!

Thank you!

With love,

Cliff and Jeannine Shaffar

Waylon and Tiffany Somers

Clearing up charter school mediation


Let's be clear concerning the article (Pilot March 24) "Charter school appeals board's denial" that the board was in favor of refusing mediation.

This implies there was a vote taken and that refusal was unanimous.

This topic was not on the agenda in either new or old business. It was brought up by the school board chair in the "Comments/Communication" section just before adjournment.

The chair stated that there was a discussion with a mediator and that the mediator wanted to insure that all five board members were supportive of mediation. The board was told that if there was any dissent by even one board member, mediation would be refused. The board chair made it clear that she was adamant that the board didn't go into mediation. During a short discussion, one board member voiced concern from a position of supporting mediation and one supported refusal. The two remaining board members didn't speak for or against the proposal and no vote was taken. To say that "...the (school) board decided to refuse mediation..." is misleading. It would be more accurate to say that "two of five members of the school board supported refusing mediation." All it took is one, even if the other four wanted to pursue mediation. At least that's what the board was told was the case.

What I believe is true and should have been communicated to the board is that mediation is voluntary and that everyone "participating" should want to be there. Also, there needed to be someone with signatory authority from both parties. Just another example of mis-information being acted upon in this on-going dispute between the chair and other members of the board concerning the Riverside Charter School proposal.

Gordon Clay


By Rhonda Gardenheir, Sponsorship chair

Relay For Life of Curry County volunteer

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Curry County would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the Brookings-Harbor School District, along with many community members and businesses who have generously helped to kick off the 2012 Relay season in our community.

Beginning with the Bruins "Pack the Pavilion" basketball fundraiser in January, the Brookings-Harbor School District helped to raise $1,382.10 for the fight against cancer. These donations were raised through a percentage of the gate fees, T-shirt sales, a silent auction and raffle ticket sales. Community cancer survivors were recognized as the heart of why we Relay. The players escorted cancer survivors from the community onto the court and then the survivors helped to cheer the players on throughout the night's basketball games. One individual was both a player and a cancer survivor!

The generosity of many individuals and businesses made the Bruins Pack the Pavilion fundraiser a success to benefit the American Cancer Society. Thank you!

The Relay For Life of Curry County committee would also like to thank the SWOCC Curry Campus for allowing the Relay For Life monthly meetings to be held in their beautiful new Community Room on the second Monday of each month (public is welcome to attend, 6:30-7:30 p.m. andndash; Relay volunteers and 7:30-8:30 p.m. andndash; Relay teams), as well as the Beachfront Best Western Inn for generously donating their space to host the Relay Kick-off party on Jan. 18, as well as on March 3 to host the Second Annual Relay For Life Trivia Night fundraiser.

On March 3, 14 teams participated in the Second Annual Relay For Life Trivia Competition. More than 50 prizes were donated by our very generous Brookings-Harbor and Gold Beach businesses. A total of $3,300 was raised with this event. We would like to thank all the businesses who made it possible.

Darlene Wheeler made a delicious spaghetti dinner and many local stores donated all of the ingredients and side dishes for the wonderful evening meal; Ron Hedenskog donated and made the fresh bread.

Ron Wheeler is the volunteer who spent countless hours creating the entire trivia game and also facilitated the evening's Trivia game and entertainment. He did an amazing job! Carol Cook and Darlene Wheeler were the Trivia scorekeepers and Sue Oliver was our official popcorn maker. Our experienced prize drawings ticket sellers were Linda Kochritz, Rita Dodson and Pamala Murphy.

On March 18 another fundraiser was hosted by one of our newest local corporate sponsors. Superfly Martini Bar and Grill opened their doors and invited the Relay For Life of Curry County volunteers to become the food servers, dishwashers, cocktail servers and table bussers for the evening. It was amazing to see the amount of volunteers who donated their time and energy to help make the evening a success! All the gratuities were collected during the five-hour window which resulted in a grand total donation of $1,007, and then one more surprise when Superfly owner, Ryan Webster, presented an additional corporate check for $500, which brought our evening's grand total to $1,507.00! We are so grateful for such generosity, both in part from Superfly Martini Bar and Grill, as well as from all of the Relay volunteers who made it possible andndash; Thank you! We look forward to making this an annual event.


Former and current cancer patients, those who have lost a loved one to cancer, families, businesses, faith-based and civic organizations, and anyone wanting to make a difference in the fight against cancer are invited to take part in the Relay For Life event from 5 p.m. on July 13 until 8 a.m. on July 14 at the BHHS track. Many teams have already registered to take part in the 2012 event.

To sign up, participate, register as a survivor or learn how you may volunteer, join us for our monthly Curry County Relay For Life meeting on Monday, April 9, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the new SWOCC campus Community Room on Lone Ranch Parkway, call 541-813-1459, or visit

Relay For Life events are held overnight as individuals and teams camp out at an athletic track, park or other gathering area, with the goal of keeping at least one team member on the track or pathway at all times throughout the evening. Teams do most of their fundraising prior to the event, but some teams also hold creative fundraisers at their campsites during Relay. Relay brings together friends, families, businesses, hospitals, schools, faith-based groups ... people from all walks of life andndash; all aimed at furthering the American Cancer Society's efforts to save lives by helping people stay well, by helping them get well, by finding cures and by fighting back.

"Relay For Life draws attention to the progress being made in the fight against cancer," said Bonnie Ell, Brookings resident and American Cancer Society staff. "Many participants are family, friends and neighbors who have faced cancer themselves. Their involvement helps bring hope that, together, we can eliminate cancer as a major health problem."

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community.

We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; by helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation's largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit

To every person who has helped support the fight against cancer through our local Relay For Life event and community fundraisers, we would like to extend a very heartfelt "thank you." Because of you, the American Cancer Society, The Official Sponsor of Birthdays, is able to continue its lifesaving mission, and help create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.