The Curry Coastal Pilot

A man of the ages

My wife and I were fortunate to be assigned to the U.S. Embassy in South Africa in 1991 thru 1995. (Our daughters would not allow us to accept assignments to SA until Mandela was released).

The black people were ecstatic about the release of Mandela and looking forward to the upcoming elections and controlling the country. The whites were wondering what the future would be.

Mandela's words of unity and working together for SA as well as his calm demeanor did much to allay many of the white citizens concerns.

We volunteered to be voter observers for the vote in 1994. An amazing event as blacks and whites, some in their best clothes, lined up peacefully to await their turn to vote. In response to their request, we guided some of the first time black voters on how to make their mark for Mandela among the 21 candidates. They were so enthused to be able to vote.

We toured the preparations at the Union building in Pretoria for Mandela's inauguration the day before the event - so many happy people and then to watch it on TV and hear the noise of the crowd - a memorable occurrence.

It took a person of Mandela's wisdom and stature to prevent a massive civil unrest problem. He truly is a "man of the ages."

Jim and Jane Benson


Re: skinny chickens

Thanks for the recent letters to the Pilot editor written by Mike Wiley, Allan Stewart, Diane Daniels, T.E. Sloat and Theodore Allwardt.

Some of these letters were in response to M. Schrum's letter attacking the GOP.

I praise the people and media that oppose the corruption and lies of President Obama and his administration.

Liberal Democrats are notorious for spinning the truth and facts and are capable of making a skinny chicken sound like a plump Christmas turkey. It's beyond me how anyone could support this administration with all their scandals, failures and broken promises.

Please wake up America, or we'll all drown in higher taxes, a crippled economy and loss of our rights.

Lou Costa


Far-fetched dream?

I went away for two weeks and when I came back I was told that Shop Smart was leaving town. I'm almost afraid to leave town again. When I come back the entire town might be gone. What is happening?

The shoe store left, the dress store left, the department store left ,the area near Sears is desolate and walking down our main street is no longer inviting. What is happening to our town and what can we do to stop the desolation?

Trying to attract tourists is a joke. What have we go to offer? Our library is great, our community theater is terrific and we do have excellent doctors and dentists. But how much fun can you have going for examinations and fillings?

I was told that there was a skating rink and a miniature golf game many years ago. What happened? Our restaurants are great and although there still is no Italian restaurant we do have a very good variety. But how long can just eating out keep you busy? The Friends of Music do have excellent concerts. There is now a Friday night salon (which I just heard of) and the Art Walks. But there are no social "get-togethers" where you can meet people. It doesn't have to be anything formal, just a place where we can congregate, talk and perhaps someone can play the piano or guitar and have a song fest. Is this so unrealistic?

It doesn't have to be a fund raiser, just a plain old-fashioned get-together. Far-fetched?

Well, there I go again ... dreaming of what was, and what I wish could be. I love this town and just hate to see it sliding into oblivion. Any ideas?

Gerry Kass


Thank you so much

Cape Ferrelo Fire Department wants to give a huge THANK YOU to the businesses in Brookings/Harbor for their generous donations to our 15th annual fish fry fund raiser. Thank you also to all our devoted diners that attend each year to enjoy the best fish fry on the coast.

Also, a big thank you to our loyal cadre of dedicated volunteers. We can't do this without you. Each and every participant deserves thanks!

We had a great turnout for our fish fry (700+ dinners served) with everyone enjoying the great meal and the beautiful weather this year.

Everything worked in our favor as we raised almost $10,000 (before expenses) for our fire department. This will help to pay for our new fire truck.

You don't want to miss the 16th annual fish fry, so mark you calendars for November 22, 2014.

Thank you again to one and all that make our event a great success.

Dianna Blazo,

board member

Cape Ferrelo Rural Fire Protection District


The moral compass

More Curry County commissioner lies were exposed during a "Special Meeting" Nov. 13, 2013. Approximately (it's hard to keep track) 18 elected officials, department heads and staff attended.

The meeting began with Commissioner Smith having a financial spreadsheet projected on screen. No one was provided a copy in advance.

Commissioner Itzen's response to Smith's request for comments was, "andhellip; I think we need to ask our department heads and elected officials to respond to your (Smith) proposal."

Sheriff Bishop responded, "Quite frankly I'm a little upset that I'm hearing this for the first time and seeing this (spreadsheet)." Bishop continued (pointing to the screen), "The first glaring thing to me is you want to cut my jail by 40 percent but you're only cutting commissioners by 10 percent. That is just, that's ridiculous and the citizens aren't gonna buy that."

Toward the end of the nearly two-hour meeting one citizen stated the county may utilize road fund reserves which exceed $30,000,000 to fund road deputies and associated support staff without the requirement to repay those funds. County counsel Herbage was challenged to correct the statement if untrue. Herbage agreed.

Smith has repeatedly stated recent funds transferred from road reserves to fund patrol deputies were "loans" that must be paid back.

Caught in yet another lie, Smith responded to the citizen. "You're correct.

"andhellip; We could take enough money from the road fund to fund 100 deputies. That's something that is within the law.

"When I speak loan of the road funds it's, it's my 'moral compass' that is speaking loan from the road fund."

Has Commissioner Smith spent too much time around the Bermuda Triangle? Clearly his "moral compass" has become tainted.

Watch video of the meeting here:

Thomas Huxley


No losers here

Just saw an article online which I thought might kill two birds with one stone.

In Amsterdam they pay alcoholics in beer to pick up trash. We could do the same here.

If those guys with their signs want booze, why not give it to them with just a little incentive. Have them clean a certain area of trash each week and pay them in beer. We get clean streets and they get their beer.

No losers here only winners ... just saying. ...

Pamela Vanvliet