The Curry Coastal Pilot

Sheriff should not have benefits cut


Regarding the article (Pilot, May 5), I feel that Sheriff John Bishop has the dirtiest and toughest job in the county.

Therefore, he should not face a cut in benefits. I do agree with a wage freeze for all county employees. Regarding Bishop, he is working with a skeleton crew and the morale is still high in the department. He's the one who gets the calls of suicides and pulls dead bodies out of the rivers and spends long hours making reports. He has done an outstanding job in keeping the people in this county safe. He recently was named Sheriff of the Year in the state of Oregon.

While we are at home with our families having dinner, reading the newspaper and watching our favorite TV programs, he is on the job. Why would he stay on the job if he makes the same wages as his deputies? That's what would happen if he is included in this proposal to cut benefits of all county elected officials.

Commissioners andndash; take a hard look at this proposal. I know it's election time, but safety of the people in this county is the most important to me. From the support of two veterans:

Sam Vitale, Vietnam veteran, Grandpa Ray Bruce, Korean veteran


Young writer's work is lively, refreshing


What a smart move for the Curry Coastal Pilot to employ a Brookings-Harbor High School junior to write a well-written column for the Pilot.

Jake Westbrook, only 17 years of age, shows great talent in writing. He is lively and writes with humor of relevant matters. It's refreshing to see a young person like Jake see above the shallowness of the shows being shown on TV and viewed by addictive fans without regard or need for quality. He is so "savvy" to see at such a young age the marketing skills employed to move an individual to fame status.

Note: The reason some of us believe what the political orators tell us is that we are naive and want to believe what we hear as truth. It happens no matter how experienced we think we are.

Fame will be Jake's in whatever career he chooses, but it will come honestly.

Kudos, also to columns written by Marge, at the other end of the spectrum; Scott, Bill and our garden expert, Jerry Holcomb.

Barbara Wieneke


(Editor's note: This letter is reprinted because an error was inserted in the first version.)

Judge Obama by his own words, actions


A response to Bruce Chambers (Pilot, May 5): We don't need to listen to Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, etc., to form an opinion about Barack Obama.

We listen to his own words and we watch what he and his administration are doing.

They're not doing a great job, y'all.

Lou and Dora Costa


Taking pride in our public institutions


Republicans often portray progressives as favoring burdensome interference into the lives of private individuals and businesses by big government. But this simplistic analysis is inaccurate.

Some issues do require more robust governmental regulation. People should be free to breathe clean air, to drink clean water and to feel secure that their employers have taken precautions to ensure safety in the workplace. Likewise, government can promote equality for women by creating regulations and laws that ensure equal pay for equal work. But government can promote equality for the LGBT community by eliminating regulations that discriminate against them.

The key to the nature of progressivism is the understanding that the size and scope of government and the freedom of the individual do not stand in diametrical opposition. Government is the entity most responsible for ensuring equality of opportunity. Take education. The children of privilege will always have an advantage on the children of the poor. Government can never mandate equality but it can offer a more equal opportunity for advancement by funding public schools to ensure that everyone has chance and by offering tax-funded scholarships and grants to provide more equal access to a good college education. This is the core of the progressive view regarding the relationship between a government and its people.

Our national discourse is permeated with anti-government rhetoric. Progressives work to promote pride in our public institutions and to clarify the role that government plays in our lives as the one and only entity that ensures that everyone has a chance, that ensures equality of opportunity. This is the unique province of a democratic government.

Beverly Bacak, Wild Rivers Progressive Institute


Amateur radio club still going strong


The Pelican Bay Amateur Radio Club (PBARC) was founded in 1980 by a group of Brookings-Harbor amateur radio operators who wished to share their common interest in ham radio and be prepared to serve the community.

We are wondering if there are other continuing clubs in Brookings-Harbor who have remained in operation any longer than that.

PBARC continues, with 47 members, to maintain radio repeaters in two strategic locations, help organize the Azalea Festival parade, meet regularly and encourage and assist new or would-be hams.

For information, see our website at or email me at

Bob Wilkinson, W7VN, treasurer


New thinking about what we're eating


At First Friday Salon on June 1, we will be showing "Fresh: New thinking about what we're eating."

According to the copy on the back cover of the DVD:

"This movie celebrates farms, thinkers and business people across America who are reinventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity.

"Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet. 'Fresh' addresses an ethos that has been sweeping the nation and is a call to action America has been waiting for."

"Fresh" will start promptly at 6 p.m. followed by an open discussion.

What I'm planning to do is put together a handout listing local organic farmers, raw milk and organic dairies, grass-fed livestock and suppliers that offer their organic food products to the public. If you know someone that fits in one of these categories, please send your comments about them and their products plus any contact information you might have to

Then check out periodically to see how the list is going. All with the encouragement to "Buy local," reduce transportation cost and increase the freshness of the food you eat all with the goal that we all can become truly nourished for a longer, healthier life.

Gordon Clay


Good study about living with diabetes


I'm writing this because I have just returned from the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, Mass., to participate in a study of people who have had type 1 diabetes for at least 50 years.

I was very surprised to learn that they only have on record 3,000 people who have lived long enough to make it 50 years with type 1 diabetes. They give you a gold medal thereby referring to survivors of 50 years as "Medalists." They pay $500 toward expenses for your trip to their clinic to participate in a very important study.

"This study examines a number of different genetic, physiological, and lifestyle factors that may contribute to the success of our Medalists. Our findings provide greater understanding of preventing complications associated with long-duration type 1 diabetes." They do several tests including a "test to determine whether your pancreas is producing any insulin, which can be detected through the presence of c-peptide. Surprisingly, most of our Medalists (over 60 percent) do produce some insulin. Learning more about this insulin production is promising for treatment for those who are newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes."

I'm including the contact information and encourage anyone who has had type 1 diabetes 50 years or more to contact them. It should be noted they are in the forefront of diabetes research. Sara Turek, One Joslin Place, Room 378, Boston, MA 02215; (617) 309-3481; (888) JOSLIN-2;

Allen Wilson

Gold Beach

What's going on at Brookings port?


What is going on with the port?

It has been over a year since the tsunami destroyed the commercial boat basin. The docks are in place; however, there is no water or electricity available to all the boat slips.

When the Port of Brookings Harbor, redesigned the basin to accommodate the new docks there was no advance notice that they would change the fees and boat slips accordingly. All moorage fees increased with no compensation for the previous payment made on non-existant boat slips. It appears the port has a '"take it or leave it" attitude.

The possibility of destroying the big green building, aka "Gray Ghost," is ludicrous. A current tenant from the Brookings area could soon find a need for more space. They should consider a lease/option to purchase the building. Because the building needs completion andndash; renovate a section to habitable rooms. Rent this space to the Harbor Yacht Club to accommodate the live-aboard boaters in the harbor. Helps solve the trash problem and minimizes the contamination of the harbor water. Renting additional office space to a professional i.e. an attorney or consulting firm etc. would also help cover the leasing and renovating costs.

Hopefully the port will pursue a leasing/option to purchase agreement rather than destruction. Wasting more money on demolition shouldn't be an option. Money would be better spent on repairing those large potholes in the blacktop roads. Some of the older buildings, i.e. Fely's and Four M Tackle, are overdue for a facilities upgrade.

Renovating the green building to functional use would solve a problem and create jobs.

Lawrence J. Galler


Stop whining and starting paying



Our government is (WE are) in financial trouble.

Former Curry County commissioners, receiving generous OandC funds, did not save any for reserves.

Property taxes were not raised; people got used to paying low taxes.

Most property tax money goes to "Special Districts"andndash; schools, cities, libraries, ports, etc. The county's General Fund is a small part of the whole bill. If tax were increased on just the General Fund, it would help the county greatly and not increase the total bill as much as one might think.

Fourteen counties besides Curry have more than one-half their land owned by the state or federal government and three more have nearly 50 percent. ALL those counties except Josephine pay higher tax rates than we do; Josephine and Curry pay the very lowest property taxes in Oregon.

Timber harvesting as it once existed will not return, due to timber companies and their harvesting practices, at least as much as environmentalists.

Oregon's coastal economy has always lagged behind the rest of the state, due to fewer people and distance from cities.

Resource extracting leads to boom-and-bust.


We need county government for services we can't provide individually.

More taxes will be needed. Some think someone else should pay andndash; tourists, people who spend more than we do, anyone else.

Isn't it time we stopped whining and paid more for everyone's good? If we enjoy living here, with clean air, incomparable scenery, and slower, quieter pace of life, let's be willing to ante up.

Shirley Nelson

Port Orford

Brown, La Bontandeacute; good for Curry


Regarding Frank Hageman's letter to the editor (May 9, 2012): Frank, if you are going to continue to have David Itzen write for you, please have him get his facts straight.

Susan has done an excellent job and when elected as a commissioner will be able to hit the ground running, not like having to try and train David at the cost of the taxpayers.

I feel confidant that the people of Curry County will replace the two acting commissioners with Susan and Lucie. They will hopefully be able to bring the county from the brink of total destruction. It only takes two votes out of three to reorganize the county, so the third vote cast won't actually matter. Be smart, people,we only have one chance to get this right.

Susan and Lucie will be great public servants when elected.

Gary Davis


Have compassion for the crime victim


Mary Rowe recently wrote a letter to the Pilot (May 9, 2012) whereby she feels the Brookings community "... let Charley down." This referred to Charley Helmer, who recently pleaded guilty to a lewd act involving a teenager.

Ms. Rowe states she used to work as an advocate for prisoners, and feels Judge Cynthia Beaman should have considered Helmer's mental state before allowing him to plead to the offense.

As a retired correctional custody staff of more than 25 years, and an advocate for the victims of crime, I find it hard to have sympathy for anyone who would act inappropriately in a sexual manner toward a teenager. I have seen firsthand how traumatic lewd acts can be for any person, especially the young.

While I applaud Ms. Rowe's dedication to the incarcerated, I would suggest that her compassion may be better spent dealing with victims of crime instead of the perpetrators of crime. The victims certainly deserve compassion more than the assailants.

Mike Wiley


Best mother and wife in the world


Re: Mother's Day: My wife and I have been married for 52 years, and I think she is the best mother and wife in the world.

Why, you might ask. Well, she is the mother to three beautiful and successful daughters. She, to this day, still worries about them and five grandchildren who love her dearly. She has loved me, taken care of me, through good times and bad. This woman is an artist known in our town of Brookings. she has a hard time saying no when someone needs help. A good Christian lady who loves our Lord.

Many years ago, when we were dating, she would say to me, better stop for fuel. Well, three times, I ran out of gas, so to this day, when she says this, even if we have a half of a tank full, I stop. Well that goes for many things in our life. If I say anything unkind about anybody, she always shows me the good side of them.

You know her as Brenda Stafford, my lovely wife whom I dearly love and adore, I'm happy to say.

Robert Z. Stafford