Letters to the Editor published Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March 09, 2011 04:00 am

Let our experience be a lesson to you


Be aware of what is going on around you.

A recent incident has made us become more aware of the things going on around us. While shopping at the grocery store my wife had a fat booklet with her coupons in it in her shopping cart that looked like it could be a small pocket book with cash and credit cards in it.

She turned away to get more items and when she turned back to put them in the cart it was gone. Someone could have taken it by mistake.

Later after much unrest it was found a distance away and the coupon holder had been turned in to the customer service desk. It could have been someone thinking that there was money and credit cards in it.

Keep a very close watch on your cart and never leave your pocket book or valuables in the cart.

I told her that she should have a strap from her wrist to the cart, like the ones that the surfboarders do.

This lesson not only applies to shopping but everywhere you are, especially in parking lots and at night.

Carl Tobin


Be careful when mixing averages


Here’s a joke I think Teri Dalrymple (Pilot, March 2) might enjoy. A capitalist, a Tea Party-ite and a public worker were sitting at a table.  In between them was a plate with 12 cookies.  The capitalist grabbed 11 of them and said to the Tea Party-ite, “Look, that greedy public worker is stealing your cookie.”

Public workers did not cause the recession. Period.  In Oregon at least, greatly reduced personal income tax revenues (and a historic unwillingness by corporate Oregon to step up to the plate and share sacrifice) created the budget problem.

Do public workers make more than the average worker? True, only if you compare walnuts to tuna. Government workers tend to have higher education and higher levels of skills and experience. Food service workers (no disrespect to their labors here) average just shy of $9 per hour. Public school teachers average around $22 per hour. At the minimum, five years of higher education are required to earn a teaching license; for food service workers (again, no disrespect meant) it takes several hours of on-the-job training. I would really rather have a highly-trained professional make sure there is no listeria lurking on the meat slicer than someone who can’t distinguish a bacterium from a Bactrian.

So, Teri, be careful when using averages. And mix tuna fish and walnuts only if you want to make a nice salad.  Oh, and about that last cookie. When will we ever learn that they have us fighting for the crumbs they have so generously left?

Tom Seither

Gold Beach

Both parties spend more than they earn


In reply to Mr Bischoff: While I appreciate Mr. Bischoff’s riposte (Pilot, March 5) I still am of the opinion he doesn’t quite get what he is saying.

Firstly there is no such thing as a social sense of morality that is divorced from the religious and ethical sense. They are intertwined and always have been. As for his attempt to extend the logic to abolishing taxes totally for the rich or for anyone who helps create jobs … well, that would be the ideal, I admit.

However, since we live in the real world, we will always have to deal with death and taxes. The object is to make the economy strong enough that the minimum amount of tax will suffice for a minimum amount of budget. Basic economics teaches us that any tax acts as an opposite of an investment by removing approximately five times as many dollars from the economy as the initial tax requires. Thus it acts as an anchor and should be minimized. Or at least so my college economics professor illustrated. As for the national debt vs. a balanced budget, they are speaking of the same basic idea.

For the most part the only difference between a Republican and a Democrat is usually the amount of increase to the national debt. Over the life of the country both parties have tended to spend more then they earn.

If you will note here I am not absolving the Republicans. I am excoriating the Democrats along with them.

Kenneth Swanson


Concerns about city’s water rights


Here are some facts that Brookings residents may find interesting.

Between Oct. 9, 2009, and December 10, 2010, (excluding May 2010) the city paid $10,260 to Schwabe Williamson Wyatt, the city’s water rights attorney’s firm, and $7,242.66 to GSI Water Solutions, the city’s water rights examiners firm. (Source: City Council packets). It is unknown whether these vouchers only concern the city’s water rights, or other issues as well. 

In September 2010, Oregon Water Resources Department diminished one of the city’s water rights on the North Fork Chetco River from 10 cubic feet per second to 6.16 cfs. 

In an effort to better understand the city’s water rights situation I requested communications between the city’s water rights attorney, Martha O. Pagel, and the city. Unfortunately, I was unable to afford the cost for obtaining those records, which was estimated at $1,763. The cost is legal under Oregon law.  It included, among other things, reviews of the documents by Martha Pagel, the city’s water right attorney, at $395 an hour; and Martha Rice, the city attorney, at $165 an hour.

This raises an important question. Should Oregon’s law regarding charges allowed for obtaining public records be changed so as to assure that access to those records is affordable?

Cameron La Follette


Grand Old Party is alive and well


I have been a little concerned the past year regarding those tea party people.

I was worried that somehow they would gain control of the Republican Party and change it. I mean they were talking about cutting unnecessary government spending and protecting our Constitutional rights. Right away I thought they would be bringing home those 50,000 troops we still have in Iraq. That would save billions of dollars, and then they would repeal the Patriot Act – the biggest assault on our freedom ever concocted.

Instead they voted to extend the Bush tax cuts. I guess they felt that they could make those cuts in spending somewhere else, like the home heating oil program. Then they decided to do some union busting. Something that has been on the Republican wish list for years.

Well I can tell you I am relieved to see that the Grand Old Republican Party is alive and well. In these troubled times it makes you feel good tho know that some things never change.

R.K. Armstrong


Giving taxpayers annual heartburn


Mr. Seither’s joke (Pilot, March 5) about cookies, tuna and walnuts concerning the public employees of Oregon brought up a more accurate point: Public employees were/are present at the table for the tuna and walnut courses, but left the public with the tab for their continuous increased feeding, and is “crummy,” giving the remainder of us an 8-percent annual heartburn that is not sustainable in Oregon.

Doug Bewall

Gold Beach

NASCAR and taxpayer money


To those of you who missed it, let me quote from an article that appeared in The World newspaper last week on the sport pages.

It concerns NASCAR and what I feel is an outrageous use of taxpayer money: “The National Guard spends about $20 million to sponsor Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR’s most popular driver. The U.S. Army pays $74 million to sponsor Ryan Newman, and the U.S. Air Force doles out $1.6 million to sponsor Al Alimendinger. Folks, that’s $29 million of your tax dollars going to sponsor already rich race car drivers and their ensembles.

There’s more. The Army spends an additional $8 million for NASCAR programs, and another $3.9 million to sponsor a dragster. All this while we cut teachers’ pay, or fire them, cut help for veterans, the homeless, community health centers, seniors, etc.

The military insists these sponsorships help in their recruiting, although, according to the article, there is no evidence whatsoever that anyone ever joined the military due to these recruiting efforts.

You NASCAR fans, are you okay with this? Watching children go hungry to fund some guy who drives a car around in circles for a living? How about you seniors, veterans, teachers, etc.? Does this set right with you? It’s OK to watch your tax dollars sponsor race car drivers other than go to the needy?

People, these types of things will never stop until you decide to take a stand against them. Get involved! Write your congressman if you are unhappy with this usage of your taxpayer dollars. I am, and I have.

Gary Carter

Port Orford

Act of a president, not a dictator


I would like to comment about the letter written by Laurie Reynolds, quoting the U.S. Constitution (Pilot, March 5). 

The job of the executive branch is to decide whether legislation is executable, or is something that is workable. President Obama has the right to decide if the Defense of Marriage Act is executable. This is not the act of a dictator, but the president of the United States.

Just because a law is passed by the Legislative branch does not make it executable.

The Senate’s responsibility is to decide if a bill is within the rights of the people, and the House decides whether it is the will of the people. The Supreme Court decides if the law is constitutional, and the rest of the judicial branch deals with the glitches.

Our Constitution sets us far above third-world nations. People from all over the world have come to America because of the inalienable rights it grants to us. Besides our people, it is our greatest asset.

Many Americans are standing in protest against the unfair practices of our government, just like the wave spreading across the planet. But, it is the power games that are bad, not the people.

The games must end. As a nation, we have a choice, to go up to function on a higher level, down deeper into the power games of war and genocide, or straight ahead and to ignore the crisis. I am casting my vote, and I choose “up.”

Karen Holmes


President is not a hardcore Marxist


I generally avoid political or religious discussion with persons whose minds are closed for obvious reasons, and I am not persuaded otherwise, despite this current epistle. 

However, Art Larason’s recent (Pilot, March 5) “Obama has violated his oath of office” letter has prompted me to point out the complete illogic of saying the president is a hard-core Marxist radical and saying he supports a Muslim takeover of the U.S.A. 

Marx pointed out religion is the opiate of the people. 

Lorama Malone


Safe sex and Russian roulette


Safe sex is activity within a marriage between a man and a woman.

It is closed-circuit sex, and the possibility of sexually transmitted disease (STDs) is excluded. The threat of life-long health problems, embarrassment and even early death are nonexistent.

On the other hand, sexual relationships outside of marriage are just another form of Russian roulette. You could get HIV and AIDS, or genital warts, or both. An unwanted “twofer” from your lover, the consequence of a five-minute thrill, could give the old song “Give Me Something To Remember You By” new and long-lasting meaning.

A partial list of the STD nasties include herpes (no cure), chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis, syphilis and HPV (warts, no cure).

Sex is great. But the next time you watch an offering from Hollywood or television where a couple are ripping each other’s clothes off, see if warts were discussed between kisses.

“Since the first cases of AIDS were identified in 1981, 25 million have died from AIDS.” (www.Avert.org/aids) AIDS has no cure.

Adult or teenager, be smart and wait. Scrabble, chess, Ping Pong, walking and talking, Monopoly, checkers, gin rummy and cooking are just a few of the social activities through which two people can get to know each other. Avoid the petting. Once begun, it’s hard to stop. Save the hot and heavy for your wedding night. You'll be glad you did. And, your children will be born healthy and happy.

One of many sites where you'll find more detailed information on STDs is www.kidshealth.org Material for adults and teenagers can be found there also.

Paul Pomerville


Same old wine – different bottle


I want address John Bischoff’s letter (Pilot, March 2): “GOP has become morally bankrupt.”

I have been hearing that silly rhetoric from way back in the 19th century. Fact is: U.S. government gets most of its revenue from federal income taxes. Hey John, go on www.irs.gov. You’ll see that anyone making $77,000 up to Bill Gates pays 98 percent of all income taxes. The rich pay all the taxes. Corporations have loopholes, but  percentage-wise pay way more than you do.

But don’t confuse you with facts, ’cause you’ve already made up your mind. Addressing seniors, schools, middle class, and Social Security checks, I’m 62 and will be retiring soon. The Republican and Democratic party have “kicked the can down the road” for many years – with no regard to fiscal responsibility. Now counties, states, and the federal government are broke. Look at the states under Democratic rule for years in debt; New York $60,000,000,000 California $40,000,000,000 Massachusetts bankrupt and I could list 24 more, including three or four under GOP rule like Montana, under GOP leadership, left with a deficit of $1,500,000,000,000. Under Obama and the Democrats – $13,000,000,000,000 in just two years.

And don’t talk about bailout money! The feds have no idea where that money went. Millions went to Arizona’s districts 86 and 13 – there are no districts 86 or 13. Most of Obama’s federal websites are filled with these abnormalities. So, wake up and smell the truth.

Andrew T. Ragan

Valencia, Calif.