Thank you for requesting my New Year's predictions for 2013. You didn't? Well, here they are anyway. Because of global warming, the Curry County coast will have another frostless winter. Fruit trees will blossom in February. The local flora will hire a lobbyist to petition for a return to colder winters. Palestine will finally recognize the state of Israel after an enormous land swap. Israel will gain all of the West Bank and Palestine will gain all of current Israel south of an east-west line just north of Beersheba and Arad. All parts of Palestine will be contiguous and will have direct access to the Mediterranean and Red seas. Israel will have more defensible borders. The Republican Party will broaden its appeal by distancing itself from its current base of theocrats, bigots, misogynists, and paranoids. The party will abandon the pledge never to raise taxes. John Boehner will retain his seat as Speaker of the House, but Mitch McConnell will be replaced with a more cooperative Senate minority leader. Nevertheless, the Fox News Channel and Rush Limbaugh will continue to spew their venom. We will indeed go over the fiscal cliff except before January 1 the House will agree to extend the middle-class tax rates, which the Senate has already done. The new Congress will not extend the top tax rates, but will selectively soften some of the across-the-board spending cuts. The biggest spending cut will be in defense spending, forcing Obama to end the combat action in Afghanistan prematurely.
Glad they Did
Another $750 was raised for the Curry County Veterans Memorial in Gold Beach on December 8th as a result of an auction at Kalmiopsis School. This event was sponsored by the Leadership class. Many items were auctioned off, including a spectacular gingerbread house, created and donated by teacher Dan Rotterman.
Thank you to all the students and teachers who participated in the letter writing campaign; the Bendis Companies for donating their time and expertise as auctioneers; everyone who donated items; and the public for participating in the auction.
My saying for today is "Will you look back on life and say, 'I wish I had, or I'm glad I did?'" - Zig Ziglar
Curry County Veterans Memorial Association
There are some Christians who are so arrogant that they claim that Christianity is censored!
Nothing could be further from the truth.
We have "in god we trust" as the national motto, it's imprinted on all our currency in violation of our constitution, "under god" has been inserted into the pledge of allegiance in violation of the first amendment to our constitution.
Jesus is not the only reason for the season, millions of others celebrate other gods or just the winter solstice.
How would you feel if the official motto of the US was 'In Dagda we trust"?
What if that was printed on all our currency?
What if you had to pledge allegiance to "one nation under Dagda"?
What if you couldn't hold office is some states because you didn't believe in Dagda?
What if you lost your job when your employer discovered you didn't believe in Dagda?
Wouldn't you feel a least a little angry, disenfranchised and discriminated against?
That's what those of us who do not believe in your god feel.
Dagda was the principle god of the Celts before being forced into Christianity.
Happy winter solstice to all!
Sheila Chambers, Brookings
Jesus is Smiling
I'm so proud for the people with the gumption to step up and take Christmas in our hearts.
To see Christmas lights. Did you see the Christmas garlands on the posts, and a large Christmas tree? Up and down Chetco Avenue?
I love it. Jesus is smiling. It's his birthday! Happy birthday, Jesus.
Merry Christmas to all.
nip this in the bud
I see where a health-care case worker in Florida was stabbed to death with a butcher-knife by one of her clients.
Well let's nip this new trend in the bud, before it gets out of hand and ban all kitchen knives. Or at least register them.
Sense of Sutter
Trying To Make Sense Of Sutter:
As I understand it, an agreement was made in 1985 between the Del Norte Healthcare District and Sutter Health. Sutter was given the privilege of having a monopoly over hospital care in this region, in exchange for a promise to provide "improved and expanded care and facilities." Also, the hospital was to be locally owned, and governed by a Board comprised of a majority of local residents. The original Sutter Coast Hospital had 59 beds, later reduced to 49 beds, in order to qualify for a federal subsidy. Over 10 years ago, Sutter also dropped Hospice care, claiming it was no longer profitable. Now Sutter Coast, with it's Board appointed by Sutter Health, wants to "Regionalize," which means dissolve the local Board and transfer hospital ownership to Sutter Health. Simultaneously, Sutter Health is considering closing half of the hospital beds to qualify for Critical Access designation, in order to receive higher government reimbursement. This doesn't seem to fit the definition of "Not For Profit."
If Sutter gets its way, the total number of beds to handle the population of Del Norte County and Brookings-Harbor would be fixed at 25 andndash; for everything from maternity care to the Intensive Care Unit (if they even keep the maternity ward and ICU open, which are optional under Critical Access). If you need a hospital bed, the closest one could be anywhere from Portland to San Francisco. There is also no requirement for a doctor to be in the Emergency Room. Is this what Sutter considers "improved and expanded care?"
Mark St. James, Brookings
We can't Afford this
There has been another recent barrage of news articles focusing on the need for a tax increase. We heard more fear mongering from the sheriff, surveys for a kitchen table project and just last week the director of the information technology (IT) dept. was denied a raise and advised commissioners he had an application on his desk from another county that paid more.
The 42-question kitchen table survey was recently made available in "paper copy". Aside from several intrusive personal questions, the survey basically asks; do you prefer a sales tax or a property tax?
Nov. 10, 2012 another fear mongering news article began with "Curry County residents could have the choice of paying higher property taxes or face home insurance cost hikes of about 60 percent." The sheriff, district attorney and juvenile director were reported saying it will cost homeowners $2.91 per $1,000 of assessed property value for their departments to run at minimum standards. That's around $7 million per year. There was no mention of any benefit reductions.
The following are actual figures of county employee's benefits fully paid by taxpayers for the fiscal year July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013 taken from the master payroll record. Numbers are rounded to the nearest $100 and exclude vacation, holiday and sick pay which equal approximately 8 percent of gross payroll.
Health Insurance $12,000
Social Security $ 5,300
PERS (county) $10,200
PERS (employee) $ 4,200
Total taxpayer cost $31,700
Sheriff's spouse (also a county employee) $29,900
(IT) and juvenile directors are at $29,800 each. The county assessor and clerk are $28,000 each.
Taxpayers cannot afford $30,000 per year per employee for health insurance and two retirement plans. To the (IT) director; submit the application.
Choose your holiday
Well, it's that time of year. Too early for manger scenes but just in time to start a menorah for Hanukkah 12/8-16. Where can I get one?
If it is so important to have a public display of the manger scene, I would think that all of the local Christian churches would put one in their lawn. I guess it's not that important.
One reason may be that Oregon ranks as the 46th least religious state (http://bit.ly/125KDXT) and the number of residents affiliated with any religious congregation represent only 35% in Del Norte County and Curry County can't even muster 20%. (http://bit.ly/rOqTDI)
Then there's the First Amendment which not only supports the right to believe what you want but also protects the rest from having to experience the dominant religion's icons on public lands that we all pay taxes on. It does bring into question why Christmas is still a Federal holiday, though. I guess it's become too much of a money maker.
Winter Solstice is on what some people say will be the last day for humans on Earth (12/21). The festival is thousands of years old and is said to be the reason the Church set Christmas on the 25th. To make it easier to indoctrinate more pagans.
December 6th is becoming a popular alternative day for gift giving to de-commercialize the celebration of Christ's birth. It celebrates St. Christopher, the patron saint of children. Or how about January 6th, the date many theologians believe to be the actual birth date of Jesus of Nazareth.
That being said, I wish you all a Happy Holiday andndash; which ever one(s) you choose.