Letters to the Editor published Wednesday, May 11, 2011

By The Curry Coastal Pilot May 11, 2011 04:00 am

Substance and content important

Editor:

Re: Pilot Article May 4, “Salary cut for county officials proposed.”

On several occasions during the meeting, committee members Brand, Spicer and Colozzi mentioned “perception to the public” being very important. Substance and content are important, not perception.

According to the last four years of county budget appropriations, the total general fund increased approximately 33 percent from $7.6 million to $10.1 million. The personal services (labor) portion increased 37 percent from $4.28 million to $5.84 million. The result: bigger and bigger and more expensive government.

The average proposed cuts for all officials combined totaled $17,500 or one-sixth of 1 percent of the total current general fund budget. The article went on about the Teamsters’ Union approaching the second year of a contract in which members will receive a 0.9 percent COLA (cost of living allowance) and step increases. The article failed to mention the “step increases are 5 percent each year for three years; COLA’s are 0.5 to 2.5 percent in each of three years; health insurance premiums increased 14 percent over the second and third years alone to an absurd $1,160 per month per employee beginning July 1, 2012, fully paid by taxpayers.

Commissioner Itzen was quoted saying “We went to the unions ... “Committee member Colozzi commented that the commissioners had asked the unions for concessions but those requests were rejected.

One member of the audience asked “How can you give them a contract and then ask them to give something back? ... We’re crazy for giving them the contracts we’re giving them.”

Toward the end of the meeting committee member Spicer stated “There won’t be any employees if we don’t get a tax levy. ... We’re facing collapse is what we’re doing.”

Referring to the committee recommendation, committee member Brand eloquently ended the meeting with “This isn’t going to make a hoot of difference.”

Thomas Huxley

Harbor


Don’t just trust, but also verify

Editor:

The last question asked at the League of Women Voters on April 28 concerned an Oregon Department of Education (ODE) complaint that I filed on behalf of nine Brookings-Harbor High School (BHHS) students in September, 2010.

One parent filed a similar complaint and our complaints were joined by ODE to be investigated.

Mr. Horel and Mrs. Ryan told the group attending the League of Women Voters forum that after ODE investigation the Brookings-Harbor School District (BHSD) was found “compliant” under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) law for all nine students.

Mr. Horel and Mrs. Ryan either:

•Can’t read;

•Could not comprehend what they read;

•Did not read the ODE report; or

•Lied about the ODE findings.

The report I got was identical to the parent’s report. The parent mailed each board member a copy of the ODE findings in November 2010 by certified mail. The report said:

“Substantiated: The Department substantiates the allegation that the District failed to provide adequate transition services to the nine students. (Page 2)

“... the Department concludes that the District has denied these four students a FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education) without consideration of whether the discontinuation of these students’ participation in the Snack Shack program constituted a material failure to implement the students’ IEPs.”  (top of page 6)

ODE ordered the district to provide “compensatory services.” In plain English: The district had to provide additional services to make up for what was lost during the first quarter of the 2010/2011 school year. ODE also ordered new Individualized Education Plans (IEP) which were held between Dec. 1, 2010 and March 14, 2011, to make up for missed services. However, ODE has no authority to enforce their own orders and BHSD only complied with half of the orders: they had IEP meetings.

I urge everyone concerned about our community’s schools and the education of our children to vote for a board member to represent your interest.

I hope you don’t just trust, but also verify. The ODE full report is available online at ODE District 17C Case #10-054-022 and 10-054-027.

Don’t take my word; verify.

Mary E. Robbins

Brookings


‘Common Sense Club’ now forming

Editor:

Common sense: you can’t teach it; it’s not in a book; you have it or you don’t.

This is a case where the “don’ts” outnumber the “dos.”

There is no question the repair of the port is the number one priority, but the Festival of the Arts has been a huge success. Jo Mochulski and her group bring 9,000 people to Brookings, no bunch of wannabes can or will put on a show that matches the quality of the Festival of the Arts. Common sense, or the lack of it, example: the weigh station, Constitution Way– questionable plans for growth, water issues, sewer capacity, traffic, street repair, the sinkhole, failing businesses, empty buildings. Common sense tells you half-assed plans don’t work.

If half the promises our elected leaders make were kept, we might get somewhere; right now we are on the road to nowhere and there are potholes. I recall an article in the Pilot stated that  the traffic on 101 is heavier from the north than it is from the south; the number of California cars in local parking lots would cause one to question that statement, but I suppose that’s the reason the Crissey Field Welcome Center is on the wrong side of the road at the California border.

I would form a “Common Sense Club” but there’s a shortage of members.

Clifton Siemens

Brookings


Obama just one of many conspiracies

Editor:

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. This whole deal with Osama bin Laden would be so laughable if it were not so tragic.

A well-known former associate of Henry Kissinger came on the Alex Jones radio show of April 24, 2002, and told his listening audience that Osama bin Laden had died of kidney failure months earlier.

It was reported in the May 25, 2010 edition of the Washington Post that the CIA has been putting out fake tapes of Osama bin Laden for years.

Madelaine Albright even complained in 2003 about the Bush Administration having Osama bin Laden “on ice” and she said the Bush- league Republicans would roll him out before the 2004 presidential election.

Lo and behold, an Osama bin Laden tape comes out three days before the election and Bush winds up winning by three points over John Kerry. What a coincidence!

Osama bin Laden has been buried at sea? How convenient.

I have come out recently and said that 9/11 was an inside job. I wish I could say it took courage to do that.

Cowardice was probably the reason I didn’t say it a lot sooner.

It was a lot more convenient for me to sit by and not comment on 9/11 being an inside job for as long as I did.

Alex Jones was obviously on top of it from the very beginning and left-wing talk show hosts like Ray Taliaferro were not very far behind.

I wish I could celebrate with everyone else, but I can’t.

Osama bin Laden has been dead for years. This whole thing is a cruel hoax.

Joe Thomas

Brookings

McKelvey, Anderson have my vote

Editor:

As the unemployment rate in Curry County hovers around 13 percent, we are frequently reminded of the struggles of our neighbors and the importance of creating good paying jobs in the area.

When properly funded and managed, Southwestern Oregon Community College (SWOCC) provides opportunities for all of us – from recent high school graduates, to adults brushing up on their skills, to unemployed workers preparing themselves for their next career. Simply put, SWOCC is a key component to getting our local economy back on track. That’s why we need solid leadership on the SWOCC board.

This May 17 I’m supporting Mark McKelvey and Susan Anderson for the board because they will both make job creation a top priority. Both candidates will work to ensure that SWOCC has a central role in capitalizing on developing technologies and programs that will put people to work right here in Curry County.

That’s why Mark McKelvey and Susan Anderson have my vote in this election.

Cheryl Davies, associate professor, Psychology

Coos Bay


Religious freedom never guaranteed

Editor:

 This letter is to refute a couple of historical errors contained in the letter, “Return to ‘eternal principles of right’” in the Pilot of May 7.

James. Atherton quotes the words “endowed by our Creator” to support his claim of God-given rights. I would point out to Mr. Atherton that the Creator and Nature’s God appealed to in our Declaration of Independence are not the same God he has in mind.

It is a common misconception that our country was founded by Christians like those today. Not so! A majority of the founders of our country were Deists who believed in an abstract and impersonal Providence and Nature’s God, concepts not likely to be recognized as Christianity today.

Mr. Atherton goes on to say, “Liberty came to America with the landing of the Pilgrim fathers.” In fact, the Pilgrim fathers brought with them the oppressive Puritan theocracy and absolute intolerance which severely punished any who deviated and led eventually to the famous Salem Witch Trials.

It is commonly believed that the guarantee of religious freedom written into our Constitution was inspired as reaction against the religious tyranny suffered in Europe. Not so! Our Constitutional guarantee of religious freedom was written as a guard against the spread of the kind of Puritan Christian tyranny then still prevalent in a few of the American colonies. The founders of our country feared that this poison might spread to the rest of the new nation.

Religion has NEVER been a guarantee of freedom!

John Cupp

Smith River, Calif.

 

No one has right to block off ocean areas

Editor:

On Friday, April 29, I attended a public comment meeting concerning wave energy.

The committee is being pushed to get proposals and site recommendations to the governor and feds before they even know what the impacts will be to sea life, our fisheries, and our communities. They will push it through quickly and then see what happens. Does that remind you of anything?

We were shown mapping of sites in Brookings’ near-shore waters. These sites will be off limits to everyone and very visible between us and our beautiful sunsets.

One committee member said, “The ocean belongs to everyone.” So I say no one should have the right to block off areas.

There are alternatives right here on land. When Obama was campaigning he praised T. Boone Pickens’ plan for developing our abundant natural gas resources to power vehicles, equipment and homes. Now that he is president he cringes at the thought of any drilling on our soils, yet he has no problem funding Brazil to drill for oil and sell it back to us.

I’m tired of having things crammed down our throats:  marine reserves, healthcare, wasteful spending, wave energy, etc.

Our area is dependent on fishing and tourism. It always surprises me how few of our local representatives, business owners and citizens attend these meetings. We all need to take a stand and speak out against infringements to our rights and impacts to our livelihood. We need to pressure our county supervisors to hold town hall meetings to hear our concerns instead of meeting with a biased committee that is tone deaf and committed to satisfying our governor and special interest groups.

Lou Costa

Brookings


The ones who put folks out of work

Editor:

Mr. Cupp, You are right that some citizens would be required to purchase health insurance.

That clause was insisted on by the insurance companies and by the Republican delegation to Congress. They dragged out and delayed passage of the health care bill and held the economy hostage until they exacted that concession, and others.

Then, after passage of the bill, they turned around and called the bill Obamacare, and blamed Democrats and Obama for what was in it, in order to get the whole thing repealed. Then, they attacked Obama for not focusing on job creation, after intentionally stalling the health care bill for over a year.

Now, their idea of “job creation” is to fire public employees. Getting our auto industry back on track – that was Obama’s doing. The Republicans, especially the tea party/Libertarian ideologues, at the behest of their hedge fund bosses, tried to destroy GM and Chrysler, just before Obama bailed them out.

You need to understand that the mantra of “don’t bail out companies” is trumpeted by hedge fund functionaries because hedge fund operators make money gambling that certain companies will fail – and then they go to extremes to make sure they’ll fail.

They’re the ones who keep putting Americans out of work, and they’re the ones who bought the last election.

Oops! We got fooled again.

Eldon Rollins

Coquille


Bruce is best choice for school board

Editor:

When we opened the Pilot this morning we were so delighted to see Joshua Bruce running for the Brookings-Harbor School Board.

To have a young, self-made professional willing to tackle this job is most gratifying. So often we get retreads just running from one organization to another doing so-called “unprovoked good”!

A fresh face with consummate business skills is truly welcomed in this community and especially on this school board at this time.

We encourage each and everyone of you to vote for Joshua Bruce, our kids and schools will be the better for it! And we know a lot of educators in this town agree.

GL Adams

Brookings


Let Korean vets know about compensation

Editor:

I would like to bring attention to a notice which was published in the May issue of Veterans of Foreign Wars monthly magazine:

“Korean Veterans who served on the DMZ from 1 April, 1968, to 1 Aug., 1971, may be eligible to receive (Agent Orange) compensation.”

If anyone knows a Korean vet who may have missed this notice, please alert them. Also, there is more information to be had at www.publichealth.VA.

gov/exposures/agentorange.

Howard Jepson,

VFW post 966

Brookings


Our children should know the difference

Editor:

Review the qualifications of those running for the school board.

Does the board have jurisdiction over learning tools, books and lessons? Who furnishes the books? Does the education teach our children all sides of an issue, such a all forms of government rather than what one person may prefer.

The Constitution of our United States is gradually being changed from a republic (rule by law) to a democracy (rule by majority). Our young people should know and be taught the difference. Students gather to protest without even knowing why.

Dale Coleman

Harbor


Phillips a good pick for Brookings port

Editor:

Congratulations to the port for making such a wise and fabulous choice as to hire Debby Phillips as their new marketing coordinator.

I have seen Debby work … or should I say I have seen Debby fly by while she is working.

Talk about a person who truly loves her community and always puts the best interest of the whole first. Selfless and driven are the two best words I can use to describe Debby. I am looking forward to the new life and energy she will bring to her position and I also hope she will call on me to volunteer when needed.

Great job to everyone who was involved in bringing Debby aboard. Best of luck!

Robyne Gue

Brookings