Letters to the Editor published Wednesday, June 17, 2009

June 17, 2009 05:00 am

Lack of service at post office

Editor:

Thanks to Jack McMahon for his letter (Pilot, June 6).

He put into words what so many of us have been thinking. Yes, it’s about the Brookings Post Office services – or lack of services.

It’s my belief that the clock was indeed removed so as not to be a visual reminder of the long wait in lines. And, why does the post office have an unlisted and private telephone number? We occasionally have questions that if answered by telephone could save a trip to the post office.

Recently I had a personal experience of unsatisfactory service. It was regarding “mail to be held while away.”  However, our mail was delivered into the home mailbox for three days after the date requesting mail to be held at the post office, as the form I signed requested. Later, when I returned, I requested an explantation. Instead I received only a shrug of the shoulders, with no explanation offered.

Another concern is when we do not receive any mail. Usually, with our mail we receive “junk” mail as well. This causes us to wonder about these “no mail days.” Was our mail delivered to another residence? In addition is the disturbing discovery of mail addressed to someone else (and they do not even live in the neighborhood).

I imagine the postmaster’s response to these complaints would be about “doing the best they can.” Somehow that response offers no solution to the problems. Fact is, the post office is not a personally-owned business where the owner could suggest to us to take our business elsewhere.

So what can be done?

Perhaps a start would be for the postmaster to meet with the office personnel to discuss the justified complaints and at the same meeting put in place the necessary actions required to improve services.

Incidentally, my complaints are addressed only to the Brookings Post Office, as the Harbor Post Office, though smaller and with some limited services, manages to deliver quality service with a smile.

Kate Godino

Harbor 


Troubling post office policies

Editor:

I have another comment to add to those previously expressed concerns regarding the Brookings postmaster.

I am a business owner in the city. When I receive shipments via UPS or FedEx, they are addressed to my street address on Chetco Avenue because they don’t deliver to P.O. boxes. If the package is sent via the U.S. Postal Service, I don’t receive them at all because the sender uses my business address and the post office doesn’t deliver in the downtown area.

I learned recently that the Brookings postmaster has issued a directive to her staff stating that if anything is received at the post office with a street address which is not in the delivery area, that item will be immediately returned to sender. This means I have to pay shipping charges for the second time and delays in delivery and more loss for a struggling business owner.

That policy affects my business and I’m certain that other businesses in town are also affected. Brookings is not such a large city that this category of mail is an unmanageable amount. All businesses in town have a post office box. It should be a simple matter to check these items against the P.O. box list, rather than penalizing that business because the sender wasn’t aware of our postmaster’s policy.

Esperanza Jensen

Brookings


Facts about Canadian care

Editor:

Ref. the letter “Canadian Health Care Better” (Pilot, June 10), alleging that the cost for the single-payer health care system in Ontario is onerous, a few facts are in order.

The writer implies that the “about 46 percent” tax rate his brother in Ontario pays to the provincial and national governments essentially is for health care, which is not the case. As do state and federal taxes in the U.S. the Canadian taxes fund a large share of the governments’ entire range of services.

Straight from the Ontario Ministry of Revenue, the Health Premium Rate Chart shows that the monthly health premium tax rate, after income tax deductions, ranges from zero on an income of up to Cn$20,000 in stages up to the non-horrendous maximum rate of Cn$75 on incomes of Cn$200,600 and over. Compare those rates with what private health insurance costs in the U.S. and what employers who provide coverage pay with employees often picking up additional percentages of the premium charges.

For those on Medicare, the monthly deduction from Social Security payments is US$96.40, plus the virtually-mandatory prescription drugs Medicare Part D, with the least expensive I could find being $21.60, plus supplemental coverage for me at $150. For those on Medicare Advantage, a reasonably priced plan I could find cost $33 per month including Part D, which must be added to the $96.40 deducted from the Social Security benefit and that plan restricts one’s health care to network doctors and hospitals only. With the U.S. system, except for very low income people, the cost is the same regardless of one’s income level, unlike the Canadian system.

In an article in the June 10, 2009, Denver Post, “Debunking Canadian Health Care Myths” by Canadian ex-pat clinical psychologist Rhonda Hackett, who practices in the U.S., it is stated that the overhead cost for the Canadian single-payer system is 1 percent, which she contrasts with the U.S. system’s stated 33 percent, much of which goes to enrich insurance companies and their executives. The article is at  www.denverpost.com and goes into much detail.

Jim Hansen

 

Brookings Photo of plane crash distasteful

Editor:

This letter is regarding the recent story about two Brookings residents who were involved in a fatal plane accident.

We believe it was unnecessary and distasteful to run the accompanying photographs of the wreckage. The story would have been adequate and much more respectful to the affected families without them.

Alan and Vanessa Nidiffer

Brookings


‘Uncle Bruce’ will be missed

Editor:

I was notified by Judy Lopez of the death of my classmate and lifelong friend, Bruce Harden.

My adult children referred to him as “Uncle Bruce.” Bruce and I first met in the third grade, Hillcrest elementary, in Bremerton, Wash. We were together in Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Explorer Scouts. Bruce went on to become an Eagle Scout.

In 1955 I moved from Bremerton, (age 15), to Aberdeen, Wash. Bruce and I remained friends and spent time together during summer and vacations and he worked for my dad in our soft drink business. We even dated the same girls in Bremerton as we grew older.

When Bruce got out of the military after serving in Alaska at the Clear Air Force base he purchased a café and turned it into a local airport, motel, store and liquor store – and later developed a small lumber facility for local building projects. In 1986 I assumed the CEO position at Chetco Federal Credit Union. I recognized the need for quality housing in Curry County and a subdivision to provide for the growing demand for housing. Since development loans are speculative I suggested Bruce sell his assets in Alaska and develop a subdivision in Brookings – not dissimilar than he was doing in Alaska. Bruce –  tiring of the cold winters in Alaska – thought the Brookings climate would be a good change for him.

Bruce and I bought 2 acres (formerly a daffodil field) on the Harbor bench and each built our homes. Bruce took on the task and built us two fine homes. In the process of building the subdivision and homes, became well acquainted with many local businessmen. He and Sam Williams taking on many projects.

I have pictures of our 50-plus-years, close friendship for any memorial event or for family members.

 He is missed by all that knew him.

Gary Gores

Diboll, Texas


Thanks, Lonny, for being you

Editor:

I really don’t know if there are words in the human language that would express our deepest of feelings of the loss for Lonny Draheim. 

We all have lost a very special man, who never was afraid of showing his kindness, his respect to others or to brighten up your day with that unforgettable smile he had. We didn’t know him as well as a lot of others, but to this community you would only have to meet him for a minute to just know how special he was. We were one of the lucky ones to have the honor to have him touch our lives and – really – to us he was a hero of humanity.

Our prayers, thoughts and love are with the families of Lonny and of Bruce Harden.  We really didn’t know Bruce, but having Lonny as a friend he had to be very special, too.

Brookings is a very unique and special place to live and people like Lonny and Bruce continue to make it so and hopefully their spirit of their love for life will always be felt here. So when the sun shines here know it’s Lonny with that big, bright, sunny smile looking down on us all. 

Thank you so much for just being you.

Beverly Duncan

Harbor


Putting dollars in perspective

Editor:

To help Mr. Michael J. Gardner (Pilot, June 13) put our school district’s budget problems in perspective with our country’s celebration of freedom and independence, I suggest he take a blank paper and write upon it the number one million (school budget cuts).

He could then draw a line just over this number. Over the line, he could enter the a number representing the cost of the Fourth of July fireworks which appears to be $25,000. Then, with the basic education that I presume he acquired under the umbrella of this freedom and independence, he could put one number in perspective with the other, which incidentally coincides with the relative merit of his argument.

There are bigger issues to address to help balance the budget. Oooh-Rah my DD-214!

Neil Hamilton

Harbor


Irresponsible folks at school?

Editor:

For Father’s Day two years ago, my wife bought me a new computer for my home office.

Knowing the financial problems that our school system was having, I called the high school and offered them the computer that I had been using. A very appreciative member of the staff came to my home the next day and picked it up.

Two weeks ago, I had occasion to replace my computer, once again, and called the high school to offer them the computer system that I had in my office. The man with whom I spoke told me that he was going out of town the following Friday, but would call me upon his return, on Monday. During the two ensuing weeks I telephoned and left messages three times for two different individuals, according to the telephone operator, but never received a return telephone call. I thought that if the school had no use for this perfectly good computer, they might at least give it to one of the students who couldn’t afford one.

Is it any wonder that there is so little courtesy left in our world, when our children are being educated by such irresponsible individuals? I feel sorry for the recent college graduates who want to become educators, but who have to wait for the “tenured” teachers – who are so comfortably ensconced, in spite of their possible lack of ability and character – to retire and receive a pension that we taxpayers have to finance.

Bob Kass

Harbor


Saddened by loss of shop classes

Editor;

I am writing in support of Dave Miller’s letter (Pilot,  June 10).

I also feel the elimination of the shop classes will be a big loss to BHHS students and this community.

As a 2007 graduate of BHHS, my experience gained in shop class has been very helpful in my daily life since high school. I am pursuing a career in auto mechanics. My welding knowledge has been of a great help to me. I am also looking into the welding certification classes offered at College of the Redwoods. Without the background gained in high school, I probably would not have known what an interest and skill I have.

From working on the light show at Azalea Park, to the green house now being used at K-school, the ability to give back gave all of the students in class a sense of community spirit and pride.

From personal experience, I know parents and businesses in this community that will help defer the cost of this class by donations of acetylene, oxygen, and other construction materials.

As far as this program being dropped from BHHS, I am personally saddened, and feel it could be maintained if the administration wanted to. There is always a way to overcome obstacles that seem overwhelming. The school will keep what it wants and dispose of what it doesn’t. What a great loss for current and future students.

To Mr. Kucharski, thanks for the great four years you gave me and all the motivation I gained!

Austin Tidwell

Brookings


In search of an honest man

Editor:

I suppose, in these times of tribulation, it is a comfort to know cows are causing global warming.

I have been under the impression all the gas in America is coming from Washington D.C. and politicians everywhere.

Public servants, bull.

I am glad model airplanes are no longer a threat to national security. If we get rid of skateboards, roller skates, and bicycles, we may eliminate the terrorist threat in Brookings.

Someone needs to take a break. Maybe the Christians are right. If our leaders turn enough cheeks, someone will like us. It would be OK, they already own us.

I don’t go out much anymore, what with the price of food, gas, medical expenses and trying to stay alive. If you see me more than once a month, you will know you offer quality, service, a reasonable price and, most of all, friendly people.

I’m going out today, in search of an honest man; with luck I’ll be back.

Clifford Siemens

Brookings


Patients, doctors held hostage

Editor:

The system is broken!

It’s not just broken, but already controlled by the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies.

We’re not the only ones held hostage by them, so are the doctors (paper work, payment for service). Last year our daughter was held hostage and was refused emergency care, because of our inability to pay and because the insurance company was behind, paying the medical facility. This happened here in the U.S.A. at an American hospital. In Canada there would have been accountability! That’s one reason their system works. Accountability is a big part of their heath care system.

If you were Canadian, visiting in America and refused emergency care, the Canadian Health Care System would pay for you to be flown back to Canada where you would get emergency care. The provincial system might not work as well in the upper territories of Canada. Just like in the U.S., it’s difficult to get to a doctor for those living in rural areas or in an area where the care is not available or limited. A Canadian might have the same problem because of where they live, but they fly you there (for free); it’s part of the system. Everyone in, no one out!

The government already runs the VA and Medicare; it only works if taxpayers are willing to pay. You could go back and forth on this all day long, no system is perfect. As a taxpayer I would rather have the government run the health care system than the big insurance and pharmaceutical corporations!

There is no perfect solution, but it’s time to look at solutions! Single Payer is one; better yet, Medicare for all! I pray they come up with a better system for our children and grandchildren.

You shouldn’t have to lose everything to be at the mercy of the government, but we also shouldn’t have to be at the mercy of big corporations.

Tina Nattell

Brookings


Single payer healthcare is ...

Editor:

Have you heard discussions about single-payer healthcare?

Have you wondered what national single-payer healthcare is all about? Or, have you never even heard of this proposal? With Congress promising to deliver universal healthcare this year, we must all become educated about our choices.

Legislators and decision-makers (in both parties) have taken single-payer off the table in healthcare discussions, before many Americans even had a chance as to find out what it is. If you don’t know about single-payer, then you won’t even be able to enter the debate about this important healthcare option. You won’t know that your legislators didn’t even have a chance to vote for this fiscally conservative, affordable healthcare proposal.

You have a chance to find out about single-payer this Thursday, June 18, at 7 p.m.,  in the Chetco Community Public Library conference room. Dr. Rick Staggenborg, a physician from Coos Bay and an impassioned single-payer advocate, will present a town hall meeting and open your eyes. He’ll shed light on the many aspects of single-payer, address the issue of why it’s been taken off the table, why it makes good fiscal sense, and tell you what it will take to gain a place at the table for single-payer healthcare.

Whether you’re currently insured, uninsured, or underinsured, you owe it to yourself, your family and your friends to find out what  single-payer is. Come to the library conference room Thursday evening and become a well-informed member of the  healthcare debate.

Linda Bozack

Brookings


Thanks from the Emblem Club

Editor:

The Brookings Emblem Club 265 would like to thank the Azalea Festival queen and her court for making their final official appearance at our June 9 meeting and sharing their future plans for college and careers.

Our club would also like to thank the leaders of our community who accepted checks to support their groups. Those groups include The South Coast Humane Society, Brookings Police Department K-9, Oasis House Women’s Shelter, Community Food Share, Elks Christmas Food Baskets, Gospel Mission, Red Shirts, Soroptimists and the Vietnam Veterans No. 757.

Their funds are made possible by numerous fundraisers such as breakfasts, rummage sales, Christmas gift-wrapping at Fred Meyer, and our annual fashion show.

Georgeann Rudicel, press correspondent

Brookings Emblem Club No. 265


Dying a natural death

Editor:

A couple of weeks ago, a dead whale washed into a protected cove below our jobsite.

Looks to be a yearling grey. Low tide it lies on the rocks, high tide it floats. The tail moves with the tidal surge, like it’s still swimming.

The seagulls found it first and have turned the rocks white with their processed whale meat. The buzzards have spent the last few days dong their best. Ten of them filled a tiny fir tree today resting, digesting their feast. We’ve watched the whole process of mother nature working. A hundred years ago, the Indians – Native Americans – would have competed with the birds for the windfall.

Know what’s missing? Army Corps of Engineers dynamiting the carcass. Ocean scientist dissecting the carcass to “discover” what caused the death. Was it murdered by a greedy fisherman? Was it global warming? Was it pollution? Hey ... things die. This is probably the only natural passing and disposal of a grey whale to occur in decades.

Ron Bodman

Harbor