Letters to the Editor published Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April 06, 2011 05:00 am

Lend Safe and Sober a hand

Editor:

It’s that time of year again.

The 2011 Safe and Sober Parent Committee is hard at work getting ready for our auction to be held April 16, at 6:30 p.m. in the Brookings-Harbor High School gymnasium. The Safe and Sober party is thrown for the graduating high school seniors in our community on the night of graduation to provide a fun night of celebration in a safe environment.

We sincerely thank the businesses and individuals who have supported us so generously. At this time we are seeking donations of items to be auctioned off. Not only are these donations vital to a successful auction, but they are a great way to advertise your business and bring new customers your way. Cash donations are appreciated as well.

This is also a call for help from any parent of a graduating senior, or anyone for that matter. Our meetings are held the first and third Tuesday of the month in the high school library at 6 p.m . We would love to see you there.

You can contact us at: P.O. Box 7901, Brookings OR 97415, or call 541-661-4761 or 541-661-3619.

With help from our local businesses and volunteers, we can make this party a night to remember.

Kristina Morris, co-chair

Safe and Sober Parent Committee

Brookings


Troubled times for public education

Editor:

Every one of the candidates who filed to run for election to the school board of the Brookings-Harbor School District deserves recognition for their willingness to serve this community and their implicit dedication to the education of our students.

But these are truly troubled times for our school district, times that demand the most competent, experienced and seasoned board members available. That’s why I am voting to keep current Chair Bob Horel on the school board. Bob has decades of experience in fiscal management and budgeting as deputy director of the entire California Department of Social Services, program manager of California’s $11-billion welfare system, and was chief fiscal officer and chief of statistical services for the department. Bob has additional advanced executive and organizational expertise gained while warden of both Pelican Bay and Solano state prisons.

Currently a mathematics professor at the College of the Redwoods, Bob has taught for years at both the high school and university level. Four of his children and one grandchild have been students in this district, his youngest will graduate with highest honors from Brookings-Harbor High School this June. Given the extraordinarily-severe budget crisis that the district is facing, our students deserve the very best this community has to offer. I strongly encourage you to join me on May 17, and cast your vote for Bob Horel. His exceptional skills, professional expertise, demonstrated high level of competency and deep and genuine commitment to education are precisely what we need on the school board.

Beverly Bacak

Harbor


Philosopy that gets me through life

Editor:

The passing of human life is such a natural and inevitable event. Why do some religions make it so complicated?

If you could ask a butterfly if it would like to go back and be a worm again, would it say “yes?”

A raindrop falls on a sidewalk. For a while there is a damp spot on the pavement, then it disappears. Did the raindrop die?

God blows the breath of life into a human body. It remains there for a period of time, a lifetime, however long or short that may be. And when the body is no longer able to contain its gift, the breath of life must vacate the body, a pure-life force returning to its source. They call it death.

The above philosophy has gotten me through the passing of many friends and family members of the past few decades.

C.K. Wood

Brookings


If you’re Republican you oppose ...

Editor:

If you’re a Republican you oppose: minimum wage regulations, worker safety regulations, food safety regulations, environmental regulations, endangered species regulations, clean water regulations, immigration regulations, health care for all Americans, tariffs on imports, a defense budget.

If you’re a Republican you favor: “free trade,” outsourcing jobs to cheaper countries that don’t have regulations, no minimum wage, open borders, no limit to immigration, private for-profit health insurance only, tax cuts for the rich, tax increases for the working class, no regulations for business, no taxes for business, huge, endless preemptive war budget, weak ineffective governments.

Let business do whatever it wants to do to make a profit! Is this the America you want? If so, vote Republican!

We, too, can become a third-world country with 2 percent very-rich people and 98 percent very-poor people with dirty air, dirty water, low wages, health care only for the rich, dangerous jobs, dirty, dying rivers, extreme overpopulation, etc. etc. etc.

We are well down that road.

Sheila Chambers

Brookings


Consolidation or cannibalization?

Editor:

“The process of uniting,” the other is, “to deprive of an essential part in creating or sustaining another.”

Commissioners Waddle and Rhodes have proposed to move the county’s tax collection from the treasurer’s office to the assessor’s office at a cost to the county rather than a savings. Another proposal is to cannibalize the essential economic and community development departrnent; who under the direction of Susan Brown over the last five years, has brought the county over $5 million with a $70,000 a year budget funded solely through state lottery dollars having no drain on the county’s general fund, but actually paying into it.

An example of economic and community developments accomplishments under Director Brown was assisting in securing the funding for the Brookings college campus. Another, the National Pilot Project through a SOK USDA Grant for a meat processing center to assist our local economy by allowing our agriculture businesses to process and inspect their product locally, giving you the opportunity to purchase the beef, for example, along with local businesses ability to sell it.

These are two examples of the numerous ongoing projects Director Brown’s department is working on for our benefit. In my opinion, Commissioners Waddle and Rhodes cannibalizing proposals reek of personal prejudices rather than attempt sound consolidation. In these economic times we need to foster economic development more than ever and not cannibalize this essential piece of our county’s economic engine. They decide April 8, 9 a.m.

David Brock Smith

Port Orford


Who’s making these decisions?

Editor:

Is it our county commissioners or the sheriff’s department that makes the decision to be “self insured?”

Isn’t it a state law that all vehicles – in order to be registered – must be insured? How much will it cost the county to learn how to make better management decisions?

 Recently, it was reported that Cam Lynn stated something to the effect that, “this county has had the same budget issues for many years and that the only change is the elected officials.” My question, then, has to do with, who makes these management decisions that keeps us in this same situation?

 Case in point, the sheriff’s department vehicle that was recently reported destroyed by fire, $36,000, and the article reported that the vehicle was “self insured?” Whose decision was that? Another recently reported item dealt with the county having to pay $150,000 for the “wrongful employment termination” of one of the sheriff’s department deputies. Again, whose decision was that? Then there was the reported issue, some time ago, about the sheriff’s department having land cleared at the airport in order to decide about building a storage facility, $25,000. Who made that decision, and what was the outcome?

 Whoever is making these kinds of decisions really needs to have their management skills reexamined or to be better trained. All of these decisions are clearly costing this county money. This county cannot continue to indulge itself in this manner. We need to change!

 Bruce Warren

 Brookings


Having your cake and eating it too

Editor:

When’s the rally?

Apparently government agencies and funding are only “evil” when benefiting someone else.

Hypocrisy, as described by Wikipedia, is the state of pretending to have beliefs, opinions, virtues, feelings, qualities, or standards that one does not actually have, or applying a criticism to others that one does not apply to oneself. The GOP tea (party) constantly rails about being Taxed Enough Already while continuing to drive on the roads, use the sewer systems and law enforcement and fire departments, among thousands of other things taxes are used for. They claim it’s the deficit, as they cut funds, jobs and classes. They scream about government spending being out of control and yet, when it comes to themselves or their local community, their silence is deafening. Not one peep of protest about the state and federal monies coming to Brookings-Harbor from the very same government agencies their representatives are working so hard to dismantle.

FEMA, Homeland Security (Coast Guard), OSHA and the EPA are all under attack. I recall something about having your cake and eating it too. Unbelievable.

Dennis Raney

Brookings

 

A change in how we deal with health care

Editor:

I have to wonder why Mr.  Allwardt feels compelled to attack what will become a great change in how we deal with health care.

Pandora's box has opened, creating a good chance of leveling the playing field in dealing with health care insurance; maybe someday having a public program without the profit rolling over to CEOs or stock dividends. We all know it is a very profitable business adventure, because if it doesn't make a huge profit the insurance industry would not be fighting so hard to keep control over it.

Mr. Allwardt's attack on Tomas Bozack (Pilot, March 30), was without merit and knowing he is a retired pastor, I am saddened by his polarizing negative tone. One would think he supports insurance corporations’ hold over humanity of greed and profit. When the Democratic party introduced Social Security, and Medicare many years ago, these, too, became a great challenge from the radical right, and time has shown both programs have become the backbone of surviving after we retire. My advice to Mr Allwardt is to step back and look at the big picture, because he feels compelled to attack anyone supporting our president. He needs to get his facts straight. Every program our society, or government wants to begin or change comes with uncertainty, but attacking a program that will help humanity, bring down cost and level the playing field shows to be a fool’s end.

I have read about many of your challenges and the validity of your statements in the past. It would appear to show a pattern of discontent. I stand with most of America in believing our president's policies are correct.

Gary Davis

Harbor


Curry County is self-insured?

Editor:

After reading the article   about the sheriff’s car that had burned (Pilot, March 30), I was really shocked to learn that Curry County is self-insured.

Sheriff Bishop’s statement that he does not know if they can afford to replace the car is very scary. What happens if a county employee hits my car or, even worse, a pedestrian?

If the county is broke and if it can’t afford to replace the burned sheriff’s car, how could it afford to pay damages or medical bills should a accident occur? I do not think that Curry County should be allowed to obtain self-insured status if it is broke.

You and I must show our ability to pay in order to be self-insured. If Curry County can’t replace a car because they are self-insured then we must demand they get insurance like the rest of us, or stop driving.

Harold Bailey

Harbor


Writing letters make you feel better?

Editor:

Since moving back to this area some three years ago, I have noticed a large number of pretty vitriolic letters on these pages.

This got me to considering, does writing these letters really make you feel better? I decided to try it out and see how it feels for myself.

I have seen teeth gnashing and wailing, laying the whole mess on the fascist right. I have seen equally strident screaming, putting the current disaster at the feet of the commie liberals.

Here are my thoughts: I believe that the combination of Christianity and capitalism have so warped the values of this society that it probablly cannot be saved.

Gee, you know, I do feel a little better. Thank you.

G.D. Whitefield

Brookings


Bargaining in good faith

Editor:

The members of SEIU (Service Employee International Union) Local 503 offered a one-year extension of our current collective bargaining agreement to Curry County officials in light of the financial issues the county is facing.

We believed the county officials should not be burdened by negotiating a three-year contract as they dealt with the county’s financial issues. Approximately half the SEIU members work for departments that do not rely on general fund money for support; those departments pay into the general fund, unlike the Teamsters members, who draw from the fund.

We offered to go without a salary increase, no cost-of-living increase, and no increase of contributions to the members’ health insurance premiums. However, the Curry County commissioners recently agreed to a three-year contract with the sheriff department and members of the Teamsters Union. They agreed to pay increases of 5 percent each year, contributions to the employees’ health insurance premiums of $1,015 (2010), $1,085 (2011), and $1,160 (2012), a cost of living increase of 0.5 percent to 2.5 percent each year, and a contribution of $50 per month to each employee’s Medical savings account.

Recent public statements to the commissioners by public citizens criticized the actions taken by the members of SEIU 503 as outrageous and unfair, demanding that county officials take aggressive action towards the SEIU Union members’ salary and benefits in negotiations. In light of the recent negotiations the county completed with the Teamsters Union, it appears the county felt the financial agreement with the Teamsters was in line with their current and long-term financial plans.

Though the members of SEIU still believe we did the right thing, and hope our county officials will find solutions to the county’s financial crisis that enable continued services to all the citizens of Curry County, SEIU Local 503 would remind the county officials to reflect on their actions in preparation for negotiations with SEIU Local 503 later this year.

Russ Willetts, president

SEIU Local 503

Gold Beach


Thanks for looking out for my boat

Editor:

I was a relatively new boat owner the day of the tsunami.

The Aquaholic was parked on the end of H dock in the Port of Brookings Harbor commercial basin. Unable to get to the harbor until 5 p.m., I pulled up in front of H  dock. There was no H dock and no boat in sight. I finally found the boat nicely tied up across the basin with pieces of H21 dock still attached.

Thanks to the port employees, Coast Guard, law enforcement and civilian volunteers, my boat received only cosmetic damages.

Thanks especially to a few volunteers, who, I understand, were specifically watching out for the Aquaholic.

Larry Rice, owner of Aquaholic

Harbor


Sheriff substation fills a need

Editor:

Responding to Mr. Bruce Warren (Pilot, April 2) about closing the  sheriff’s substation. 

F.Y.I., there are several hundred people in our community who volunteer on a regular basis, using their own cars, their own gas and their own time, giving so that many services can continue for all.

Among those are the volunteers who man the substation which is located where? In Harbor, where – guess what – there is no other law enforcement!

In addition to free labor, there is a realistic savings in gas, plus a lot of mileage saved on county cars. The substation makes sense.

And, to the editor: About the letters you accept and print, even though some are indiscriminate, I think letting them vent in print may be saving some real mischief. Thank you.

J. Jordan, volunteer

Brookings