Things to correct and made right
In response to the letter from Ms. Schmidt (Pilot, May 30): I would like to say that it is interesting and refreshing to see that someone from outside of our little village can see the same things that we can see from living here.
That is not to say that our town has nothing good going for it and there is no hope. It is saying that there are things that need to be corrected and made right.
And don't bother to write and tell me to go back to wherever. I've been an Oregonian for more than 50 years and I've lived in more than one place in the state andndash; some of them very nice. We have chosen to live here and will continue to do so because we love it in spite of its faults. Moving away will not solve anything and, who knows, changes can happen.
We will continue to hope for the best and bet on the fact that it will happen sooner or later.
School cuts must start a the top
This is a response to your story regarding the Central Curry School District layoff (Pilot, June 2).
I did the math and the budget has a cost (of) about $11,340 per student for the "school year." I can't believe you can't teach a child to do the three R's (reading, writing and arithmetic) for less than that in a year!
I noted the cuts that were made and none were in the administration of the district. Cuts were to the "front line troops" of teachers and programs for the students. Where were cuts for the administrators? I'm not that familiar with the Central Curry School District, so I don't know if there is a principal; boys' vice-principal; girls' vice-principal; assistant vice-principals, etc. Why not a cut/elimination/combining of some of those positions, or a least a reduction in salary or perks?
Why is it always the workers in the trenches, and not the administrators who take the hit?
Allan W. Stewart
Don't give up on Curry County
I am so sad that I procrastinated!
I was going to respond to Irene Schmidt's May 30 (Pilot) letter about no longer considering Curry County for retirement; but before I could do it, there was Wendy Riddle's response (Pilot, June 2). How insulting!
To Ms. Riddle I say, why would you want to discourage anyone from moving to Brookings who wants to make a contribution and could very well be an asset to the community? How shortsighted is that? Sounds like you'd rather pull up the drawbridge and let this beautiful place dry up and blow away. Shame on you!
To Mrs. Schmidt I say, please do not give up on Brookings. My husband and I are retiring there very soon and we are completely like-minded with you. If more people like us do so, perhaps we can help pull this great community up by its bootstraps and get it properly functioning again.
There may be more of us there than you realize if you're just going by the letters to the editor.
Study more before passing judgement
Our Wisconsin neighbors must think they live in the perfect place (Pilot, May 30).
I'm sure they don't have any right-wing extremists where she lives. I'll bet they never cut any trees there either.
I think she needs to look into the politics of Oregon a little closer before passing judgement. Oregon's lumber industry has been its main source of income for many decades. Now the government tells them they can't cut the trees because of some animal that lives there. This has put many people out of work and destroyed the economy of the state. If they could get the lumber mills running to the levels of 40 years ago. They wouldn't be having all the problems they have.
As for your right-wing extremists. I believe that each citizen has their own point of view when it comes to voting. That's why it's called a democracy.
Scare tactics don't serve as incentive
I see the Port of Brookings is still plagued with debris from last year's tsunami.
I was going to respond to the clean-up call as I've done before but was put off by the peevishly whiny tone of the article which quickly degenerated into the typical scare-the-pants-off-you science fiction (Pilot, May 26).
The dreaded North Pacific Gyre, a swirling mass of garbage many estimate to be twice the size of Texas floating in the Pacific Ocean? (Sounds like something from the pen of Lewis Carroll.) Of course, its size is difficult to measure since it's not easily seen; its components secretly hover just below the surface to avoid detection. Like Bigfoot, maybe? I suspect others might estimate its area to be half the size of Rhode Island. But who the heck knows?
The source for this article further lamented that the human species was like a malignant cancer and he wasn't proud to be a member.
And yet, there is good news! Perhaps he will return in a future life as a dung beetle. He'd always be more than welcome in my yard because of all the dogs in the neighborhood. A dung beetle. Now who wouldn't be proud to be a member of that species?
Cast of 'Grease' was extraordinary
Last Saturday night we watched the fantastic play, "Grease," performed at the Brookings-Harbor Performing Arts Center.
The cast andndash; extraordinarily talented andndash; plus they sang all my favorite songs.
It was great to see so many young people in the audience.
Great support for Rogue cleanup
Thank everyone at the Curry Coastal Pilot for your support and the great advertising you provided for the 2012 Rogue River Cleanup on June 2.
We had a beautiful, sunny day upriver even though it started a little rainy at the port. There were 40 students and 45 adults participating in the cleanup this year. Students and adult chaperones were taken on the river in 13 jet boats piloted by volunteer drivers.
The gravel bars along the lower Rogue and Illinois Rivers and beaches near the river mouth now have 20 cubic yards less trash, and 2 acres less Scotch broom. The barbecue at Quosatana Campground was followed by a rousing talk from the Forest Service on stewardship of our natural resources, and a surprise visit from Smokey Bear!
This year we were also fortunate to have the Salmon Tent andndash; an interactive "tent" shaped like a salmon that kids can climb around and play in. In addition to this fine treat, there were forest animal costumes for the children to dress up in as well.
The annual Cleanup could not happen without generous financial and personal support from local businesses, agencies, non-profit groups and amazing volunteers!
A very special thank you to the boat pilots andndash; those that carried students, and those that provided safety.
Thank you to the great folks that helped with the event organization and the barbecue, and all the parents and others who helped supervise the students.
The annual Rogue River Cleanup shows results by changing the way that our youth and community think about our river, invasive plants, and responsible trash disposal. We are all making a difference together.
See you on the river!
Watershed Education Program Manager
Vegetation Program Coordinator, Curry SWCD
Coordinator, Lower Rogue Watershed Council
Check the small print for charges
I've been wondering why various communications companies have been trying to talk me into bundling my telephone, Internet and television services.
So today when I received my phone bill from Frontier I noticed that they included a statement (see enclosed) of all the taxes I'm paying on my bare minimum service. I was shocked to find I'm paying over 44 percent in various excise* taxes. (*Excise simply means Extra! Surcharge also means Extra, so it's obvious politicians like to hide taxes by calling them different names.
Wouldn't it be grand if employees could raise their own wages by simply asking for an Excise raise or a Surcharge on top of their wages!
andbull;$0.60 Federal Tax
andbull;$6.50 Federal Subscriber Line Charge (tax)
andbull;$1.13 Federal USF Recovery Charge (tax)
andbull;$0.12 Oregon Telecom Service Charge (tax)
andbull;$0.82 Oregon Universal service Surcharge (tax)
andbull;$0.75 Oregon E911 State Surcharge (tax)
Maybe I should go back to the two Dixie cups on a string andhellip; but I'm sure the politicians would demand an Excise tax on string and Dixie cups!
Fiscal responsibility is the solution
I would like to address Irene Schmidt, Mt. Horeb, Wis., "No longer moving to Curry County" (Pilot May 30).
Since when does fiscal responsibility equate to right-wing letters from Curry County residents? This type of obtuse thinking by some people has turned states like California and New York and our federal government into a financial disaster!
California, according to Governor Jerry Brown, is $19,000,000,000 in debt andndash; he wishes! That's for the 2012 fiscal year. When you add all the automatic budget raises, new state employees contracts, California in 2013 will be some where in debt at $40,000,000,000.
The federal government spends $220,000,000 dollars a month more than it takes in!
So, your fiscal train of thought is: if overspending by the governments has not worked for the last 20 years and has put every one of us in hideous debt andndash; give the government more money to spend?
What a way to think! Say you personally make $4,000 a monthly. Why don't you start spending $8,000 a month! Then tell me how long your household would last?
Los Angeles County had almost 10,000,000 people. They have five county supervisors (commissioners). Curry County has 21,000 people and has four county commissioners. That's one place we people in Curry County have to start cutting. Governments just like households have to only spend according to what revenues they have coming in. If not, the households collapse!
That is how I run my household; I don't spend more than I earn. That's how my parents ran their household. That's how my grandparents ran their household. Fiscal responsible. But to you, that is just right-wing letter writing.
Andrew T. Ragan
Second-hand smoke is dangerous to all
I am finally responding to (the) Stephen Hagerman letter (Pilot, March 7).
I would be interested in any study Stephen can produce which would refute the "zealots" he speaks of regarding secondhand smoke. There isn't one! Count me in as part of the unsympathetic community.
I have long since tired of smelling smoke on the clothes, body, and breath of people in public. I have long since tired of seeing people throw cigarette butts out their car windows, on the beach, in the streets and sidewalks as they walk, and everywhere else except in an ashtray. I have long since tired of having to move out of the way or forced to change my seat location because of cigarette smoke.
I do sympathize with how hard it is to quit smoking. My parents were smokers. My sister was a smoker. My brother is a smoker. They all have struggled with quitting. I have never smoked, but now have COPD from the secondhand smoke you claim is not as bad as the "'zealots"' say it is. While you are struggling with your habit, just smoke in your own house and your own car (with your cigarette in the car not out the window).
Providing a smoking area in a park is not an answer. We can smell it, inhale it, and most smokers will toss their butt on the ground. If you smoke and are more respectful of others and use an ashtray, I am not talking about you.
Richard A. Ruppert
Leave your big-city attitude behind
In regard to all the people who don't want to move here, or want to leave: Fine.
One of the great things about the best country on earth is you can live where you want. We already have enough residents here to make a fine city and area.
I recently visited another city with a large population. I had forgotten that you're not supposed to talk to other people in a store, or let them go first at a four-way stop.
There's room here for some more people. I just hope they don't bring their big-city attitude.