Dear Mayor Hedenskog,
RE: The Rulemaking Hearing Limiting Vehicle Use On The Chetco
The Chetco River Watershed Council thanks you for your constructive comments at the public meeting to distinguish the two issues of the Social Security boat ramp and the driving in the river ban.
Unfortunately many public comments were off topic, off the wall, and bizarre. Many people who signed up to express their opinions at the meeting were intimidated by the unruly crowd, and did not speak. The vocal minority often interrupted anybody that supported the proposed measure, especially women.
One of these timid ladies may have been the mother of children that like to swim 50 yards downstream of the vehicle ford at Loeb State Park. This riffle is the only shallow area above the deep pools for small children to play safely.
She expressed her concerns to a council member, who investigated and found her concerns to be significant. The CRWC then initiated the proposal to ban driving in the river to protect downstream swimmers.
Who would want their children to swim directly downstream of a truck wash? Why should children be subjected to these auto pollutants in the Chetco River? Must parents tell their children to get out of the water during truck crossings? And stay out when trucks stall and flood in mid-channel?
Their rights are being trampled along with the river.
How many crossings are too many, triggering restrictions? The State Police estimate 30 crossings per day in summer when Loeb has many swimmers. The number of crossings will increase until something bad happens. This ban would protect the recreational opportunities of far more people than destructive instream four wheeling.
It sounds like I missed a good rowdy party at Brookings City Hall over the issue of driving cars and trucks into the Chetco River. Of course I have nothing but the report of the Pilot to go by, but it sounds as if Mayor Hedenskog couldn't manage to keep the level of discourse civil.
I can't imagine the rudeness that would prevent the Watershed Council spokespeople from being able to "andhellip;hardly get a word in during the contentious meeting." Of course, I can't imagine what someone's birthplace has to do with driving a truck into the drinking water for two communities but apparently it made some sort of sense to someone. After all, if it was good enough to do 30 years ago, I'm sure it's perfectly all right to do it now. It was only 40-odd years ago that the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland used to burst into flames regularly, from the pollution, so I'm sure that nothing has changed during the last couple of decades.
However, for all the talk of "rights" the Pilot reported, it failed to report any mention of the word "responsibility." I'm sure that was simply an oversight on the part of the Pilot. Wasn't it?
Is it a right?
I am writing in to agree with the proposed ban of vehicles going into the Chetco River.
I am confused about where in the Constitution it states that ripping up a pristine river with a vehicle is a right? I would like to know which amendment that is?
Those of you that claim you are somehow more of a local and have more rights because your family has been here for 200 years, I would guess that the Native Americans that have been here for 30,000 years would disagree with you. Also, what about the rights of people who prefer not to have vehicles in the river as if it were a freeway? Furthermore, since when do we need a scientific study to tell us that gas and oil leak from cars? I think this fact is pretty evident by just looking at people's driveways.
Lastly, and most importantly, the Chetco provides drinking water for the city of Brookings. Why would anyone want to drive their car through their own drinking water?
Learned life skills
I would like to say a special Thank You to the administration, teachers, aides and staff at Brookings-Harbor schools who worked with the development of my son, Christopher.
My special-needs son attended school here for 11 years until his death earlier this month. I have had people ask me, without malice, what do kids like my son learn from going to school? After all, he will never learn to write, do math, or read. Why are taxpayers funding glorified babysitting for such severe kids as Christopher? My answer is that the Life Skills class does just that - teaches Life Skills, including how to run a microwave, go to the store, get jobs, and more. Most of the kids will learn to live in a group home and some will be able to live independently.
Christopher, who was among the most severely disabled and depended upon others for all of his care, never did learn to read or run the microwave, but he did learn how to cope in situations that were impossible for him to endure in the beginning. As a single mom at that time, the simple act of going grocery shopping was difficult.
One of his disabilities was autism and, as a result, it was overpowering for him. He hated going into Fred Meyer due to the lights, noise and crowds. He would scream the whole time and I have had to abandon my cart and leave the store. Eventually, after many school "field trips," I could take him to the store and do my shopping, secure in the knowledge that he could now cope. He got an 'A' in Fred Meyer that year.
The school staff helped my son live and experience all he could of the world around him. I am grateful that he grew up here in Brookings, attending these schools.
The Polar Bear Express is a Christmas activity put on by the Brooking Merchants Association. The purpose is to attract parents to shop at their stores by using their children who are enticed by candy and prizes.
Last year, I was shocked to see the Brookings Liquor store included. I naively thought that a kind letter of protest in the Pilot would put a stop to such foolishness. It didn't.
So I called the school, (Kalmiopsis), to ask to speak to someone about the program and was directed to talk to city hall, who directed me to the Brookings Merchants Association, which has no phone number, just a P.O. Box.
There are just some businesses that are not appropriate for our children to be a part of. With the recent tragedy in Connecticut, we know that a gun store would be one of those inappropriate stores and would cause an outcry if included. A liquor store should cause the same reaction, being the misuse of alcohol, which is no less deadly than the misuse of firearms.
The Brookings Liquor Store needs to graciously remove itself from this list or the schools need to deny the Brookings Merchants Association the privilege of handing out flyers in school.
The Brookings Harbor community pulled together to make this Christmas season a little brighter for many families by participating in the Community Giving Tree program. Oregon Coast Community Action coordinates the yearly program with the Elks Lodge, local financial institutions, and businesses, but it takes the entire community to make the program a success.
The Giving Trees were provided by and located at Chase Bank, Chetco Federal Credit Union, Chetco Pharmacy and Gifts, Evergreen Federal, Sterling Savings Bank, Shop Smart, Umpqua Bank, US Bank and Brookings Presbyterian Church. The Hungry Clam and Laureate Sigma Beta sponsored entire families. Wild Rivers Community Foundation donated very generously to the program. Thanks also to the many, many individuals who picked tags from the Giving Trees.
This year, by combining our efforts more than 287 children received gifts and food for the holidays. This is a wonderful and caring community. All of us at Community Action want everyone to know that their help was greatly needed and deeply appreciated.
Cindy Davis, Tammie King, Liz McDonough - Oregon Coast Community Action