Letters to the Editor published Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April 20, 2011 04:00 am

The citizens need to know this


Thank you, Bruce Warren (Pilot, April 6) for bringing up some questions many of us may have concerning the (Curry) County Sheriff’s Department.

Also, I really appreciate the response by County Sheriff John Bishop (Pilot, April 9). Both of these people have gone up a notch in my mind, as someone has to stand up and ask questions of our public officials. It’s for an official to answer those questions, as we all want transparency.

Too bad Sheriff Bishop is limited on what he can say about the firing of Deputy Ted Longton. I’ve been a member of several unions and a steward also. I’ve seen union members fired for a just cause if it was done by the collective bargaining agreement rules. No lawsuits should ensue then. I’m sure many of us would like to know the facts, and just the facts, of that story.

Another question: How many of those $36,000 sheriff’s cruisers have we been able to buy in the past two years, during this economic crunch? Oh, I should just call and ask.

Jack McMahon


Aiming for desired slant or spin


Re: April 9, article by Valliant Corley; Pilot staff writer. “County, Brookings planners to work on urban growth boundary.” Mr. Corley has a history of presenting parts of a story to attain a desired slant or spin.

This article was no exception. I was present during the meeting (April 7) Mr. Corley writes about and provided testimony alleging the previous county commissioners along with the current county attorney and planning director held secret and illegal meetings out of public scrutiny to draft the county’s Mixed Use Master Plan zone (MUMPz). A solution to this defiance of Oregon Public Meetings law was also offered. Documents supporting these allegations were provided to county commissioners that same afternoon.

The Journalist Code of Ethics states that with respect to public enlightenment “The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues.” Although Mr. Corley writes as a Pilot staff writer, the public still has an expectation of reading a comprehensive accurate account of all significant issues in a story.

We read time and again about declining revenue safety net timber payments from Mr. Corley but not that county government grew 14 percent during the two-year period 2007-2008 to 2009-2010 (county payroll department letter) or that county general fund appropriations grew 33 percent during the last four years according to county Fiscal Year Appropriation Budgets.

June 2008 a citizen questioned the accuracy of county union agreement terms reported by Mr. Corley and received a written reply from county commissioners stating “The paper didn’t state it correctly…”  Since then, citizens have learned more about county-union negotiations from letters to the editor than from articles by Mr. Corley, including a recent letter providing details of a Teamsters agreement signed nearly one year ago.

Thomas Huxley


Seeking a miracle for port festival


I have the perspective of having experienced art festivals all up and down the Pacific Coast and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Some have exorbitant entry fees, some are for only one day. None have the consistent quality of craft, the beautiful setting or the efficiency that our beloved Festival of the Arts does.

I am absolutely bereft at the thought that we will all miss out on it this year! And in this economy, how very sad it is that our merchants, restaurants and hotels will miss out on income.

Our town is so incredibly gifted with talented artists, and from an income standpoint my friends and I will personally be really missing out!

The Festival of the Arts Committee performs miracles each year and it is hard, hard work. Their timeline, I know, is very important to this end. I also cannot imagine the stress on them when they didn’t hear back in time.

Our beautiful port has been bruised and battered. I do not even know how hard it is for management to get it repaired. That they’ve been quite busy is understatement.

Everyone’s frustration is completely understandable. Yet, in my chronically Pollyannaish way, I really hope that a miracle will occur, and there will still be a festival.

If not, please, please have the best outdoor arts festival I have ever seen return to us next year!

Christina Olsen

aka “Artchick”


Thank you for your compassion, support


As of April 12, my position at KURY Radio was terminated and my services were no longer needed!

It was a great 13 years of employment. I want to publicly thank a few folks: Thank you to all the civic groups and organizations who always stepped up and helped out with my many station promotions and community events year after year.  Thank you to my clients, who became my friends. And my fellow employees, we had a blast, we watched each others’ kids grow up; we have been through thick and thin and I will miss you all very much. Most of all, thank you to my husband and my two sons, who always understood and forgave me when I would put KURY Radio and its needs before theirs. I’ll be fine; everything happens for a reason, right?

At last a big thank you to everyone for your kind words, compassion and support this past week.

Debby Phillips


Festival of the Arts gone, what’s next?


No Festival of the Arts? There really isn't anything to do here, now the art festival has bailed out all because of a phone call and a $200 short fall.

I think I will make that move to Portland after all. Anyone want to purchase a home in a town where there is nothing?

John Magurski

Gold Beach

Explanation of being self insured


Ever since the Curry County Sheriff’s patrol car was destroyed by tire there have been letters complaining that the county’s cars are “self-insured.”

Someone needs to explain to Curry County’s citizens what being “self-insured” means. I am no defender of the current commissioners, particularly Mr. Waddle and Mr. Rhodes. Their inability to communicate effectively with the citizens of Curry County has been incredible to observe. This “self insurance” issue is yet another example.

Many writers have complained that all vehicles must carry insurance in Oregon so how can Curry County be “self-insured?” The insurance all of us are required to carry is liability insurance. That insurance covers damage to people and property that is caused by our vehicle. Curry County carries liability insurance on all of its vehicles because it is required to do so by Oregon law. But liability insurance, whether yours or Curry County’s, does not cover damage to your own vehicle. It only covers the damage done to others.

Many of us carry additional insurance on our vehicles against things such as fire, theft, collision, vandalism, etc. We are not required to carry that kind of insurance and neither is Curry County. Many government organizations and large companies “self-insure” against those kinds of damages because the cost of insurance over the long term is greater than the likely benefit of coverage. Self-insuring against these risks is a prudent decision. I disagree strongly with much of what Commissioners Waddle and Rhodes have done since they took office but they got this one right.

What they have done incredibly badly is to explain this decision to the citizens of Curry County. All it would have taken was one brief letter to this and the other newspapers in the county and the issue would have been understood and forgotten. As usual, their silence has been deafening, and we are all worse off because of it.

Albert Wilson


Cut U.S. Congress, not U.S. military


Increasingly we hear that the jerk in the White House and, unfortunately, much of Congress, are planning to cut even more of the funding for the military. 

The military! Hey, you fools, these are the guys and gals who are risking their lives for this country, living in extreme heat or cold, filth beyond our imagining, often hungry and exhausted.  Why in the name of common sense would you – oh, yeah, those so-called servants of the people, our elected officials, have no common sense; it was lost when they had a lobotomy after being sworn into office.

For what it’s worth, I have an alternative suggestion: increase funding for the military. Where to get the money?  Cut the pay of those in Congress in half, cut their staff by half, require that they pay for the own health care, using the same plan they’re trying to force down our throats, putting them on Social Security and once they are not longer in Congress, they no longer get money (retirement) from the taxpayers. Voila!  Problem solved.

Doris Roepke


Shocked, angry over festival cancellation


Festival cancellation is a shame.

I was shocked at first, then I was angry. Cancelling a festival because your feelings were hurt and your ego wasn’t fed like you are used to seems more unprofessional than the treatment afforded by port officials. Both sides need to unbunch their panties and get over themselves! The first rule of event planning is expect the unexpected and above all, treat your guests, vendors, and attendees right because without them you don’t have an event!

How about the stress and uncertainty now put upon those loyal vendors who depend on this show as part of their livelihood? April 1 deadline, and now just two weeks late you are ready to seriously jeopardize an established show? This community needs this show for the business it will generate in so many ways. What were you people thinking? Obviously only about yourselves.

Liz Acebedo


Questions about festival cancellation


In reading the comments of concerned citizens on the Festival of the Arts’ Facebook page regarding the cancellation of the Festival of the Arts, I have to add my two cents to the mix.

•Since there is an existing five-year agreement signed in 2007 between the port and Festival of the Arts, why didn’t the port director just rubber stamp it as approved with the modification of the additional $200 and not wait from Feb. 7 to April 14 to respond.

•Let’s see, there were 24 business days between Feb. 7 and March 11, and the port director just never had the time to answer a phone call or e-mail from the festival committee?

•The port director wants to blame everything on the tsunami instead of accepting responsibility for his lack of concern and professionalism regarding an event that would have brought in thousands of people which equates to much-needed thousands of dollars to our entire community.

•Do the port commissioners really condone the port directors’ actions and lack of professionalism when interacting with citizens; i.e.: that he can “bully” a citizen and tell her that she is not allowed to talk to any of the commissioners?

•It has always been my understanding that the port director answered to the port commissioners. Apparently that is no longer the case.

•Were the commissioners even made aware of the festival’s application in February?

•Why wasn’t the application on the February agenda for the commissioners’ approval?

Daisy M. Kunkel


No excuse for cancelling festival


Regarding Festival of the Arts being cancelled: What a shame, shame, shame.

At a time when we need it most, one of the best and biggest events in our community is cancelled; an event that best exemplifies what is becoming the new community image i.e arts and recreation. This is unforgivable. In these economic down-turns, recreation (re-creation: to re-create the individual) is all the more important as a healthy means to escape from stress. Art, music, theater, fishing, swimming, camping, hiking, boating, beach walking are what this Southern Oregon community looks toward to survive economically.

Any event to promote, develop, and encourage this image and these types of activities, should not be taken lightly or with a cavalier attitude. What could be more important so as to take the focus off of the planning and development of these events; especially one that demonstrates such a strong track record. Unconscionable, small minded, ego-centric thoughts, and actions are the root cause. Mis-communication or lack of, is not a legitimate excuse, in this day-and-age of electronic communications.

There is no excuse that can lay aside the damages, to this community, at this time. Why not just throw salt on the wound!

Gordon Later