Letters to the Editor published Saturday, May 27, 2011

May 28, 2011 04:00 am

Make healthy habits part of your daily life


June is Men’s Health Month .

With that in mind, men, I’m here to announce your untimely death. That’s right, because if you are an average man, you don’t have a primary physician and haven’t had a checkup in more than a year.

You get sick one to three times a year. You think about the healthiness of what you eat but indulge anyway. And, you eat fast-food one to three times a week.

If you’re in your 40s, you’ve never had your cholesterol tested nor had a prostate examination.

Five ailments that affect young men 18-35 are ringworm, ulcers, kidney stones, chlamydia, and an irregular heartbeat.

Men under 65 – Heart disease or stroke, cancer, pulmonary disease, pneumonia and diabetes.

It is estimated that over 1.1 million American men will die this year. And half of these deaths are preventable. This is because they are related to your lifestyle choices. The good news is that if you choose to, you have the ability to make healthy habits a part of your daily life.

Appropriate health screens can result in earlier detection of disease, which in turn can raise survival rates. Treatments also tend to be less invasive, less expensive and less troublesome when illness is found early. Simple things like cholesterol assessments, blood pressure checks, diabetes screens, prostate cancer blood tests and exams, colon cancer screens and cardiovascular screens all make a difference!

It’s time to start planning for wellness that’ll last a lifetime. Check out a couple of websites: menatrisk.com and Healthstuff.us

Remember: The rapid pace of life is nothing to worry about – the abrupt stop at the end is.

Gordon Clay


Chaperones for fifth graders were great!


We would like to thank the 11 parents that chaperoned the fifth grade science camp field trip the last week of April.

These upstanding community members spent four days away from their families, spent vacation time and took time off from their jobs, to ensure that 69 Kalmiopsis fifth grade students were looked after on the annual trek. Without the commitment of parents like these, this annual trip would not be possible.

These folks stayed in cabins with students during the night, traveled with them during 2 -3 mile hikes for field study, participated in games and activities, and did everything else needed for the education and safety of our students.

Thank you for a big job well done!

Nikki Darger and Perry Kleespies, fifth grade teachers

Kalmiopsis Elementary School


Thank you BHEF for helping students


I would like to take this time to brag about an organization within our community whose sole purpose is to help provide our area’s children with educational opportunities which augment the curriculum, but which may not be affordable by the school or the students’ families.

Brookings Harbor Education Foundation recently granted the high school students at Brookings Harbor Christian School the funds for tickets for two plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. I am fully convinced that even though my students read and discuss these plays, the viewing of them solidifies the principles of life the author intended to be learned.

Not only were we granted these tickets, but Alisa Green took an entire morning to teach me the “how-tos” of grant writing. Her expertise was invaluable and her patience admirable as she encouraged me through the quagmire of grant writing. I am actually looking forward to this summer’s respite from daily teaching so that I can put into practice what Mrs. Green taught me.

Thank you Brookings Harbor Education Foundation!

Pamela Lynn, teacher, Brookings Harbor Christian School

Continued needs at animal shelter


There has been such a great response to the needs at the Curry County Animal Shelter in Gold Beach and we have been able to find good homes for a number of dogs.

We do, however, have continuing needs at the shelter.  These currently include dry dog food (lamb and rice formula), copy paper, Pine-Sol-type disinfectant and printer ink (No. 68 for an Epson printer, both black and colors). Rawhide strips are always a special treat and more are needed. We can also use more volunteers to come down and walk the dogs to help them become socialized, and to clean pens.

One great need is a roof repair. We have the materials, just need volunteers to do the work.

We now have a small “gift” shop at the shelter. Thanks to the Brookings knitters we have some beautiful handmade items. We also have handcrafted soap and locally made earrings as well as other items. All proceeds go to Pennies for Pooches, the organization that provides payment for medical services for the dogs.

Please come and visit the shelter, see what improvements are continually being made to help the dogs have safety and nurturing. We have been so grateful for the ongoing assistance by the community.

Barbara Eells,

shelter volunteer

Gold Beach

Who can make sense of it now?


We lost a great American  May 25, 2011, when Mr. Mark Haines passed.

The New York Stock Exchange went silent. World reaction was instant with great sorrow.

What generates this level of love and respect? Mark was not a world leader, politician, war hero, famous doctor, religious leader or philanthropist.

Mark’s rare style, fun personality and search for the truth differentiated him from his peers. He was the main man left in financial reporting and journalism as the cornerstone of the financial world. Mark Haines is irreplaceable.

Right Jack: “You can’t handle the truth”! Mark interviewed thousands of people in many arenas. He put you on the spot to answer with “the facts,” in a non-political, truthful, straightforward, honest manner of a person of integrity and trustworthiness.

This extraordinary man was a country boy who loved his family, pets as family, gardening, horses and smelling the roses, entering work in his country attire at CNBC. Mark changed to his suit and great colorful ties to have fun entertaining and revealing facts and truth for his viewers. Those interviewed needed to be ready to answer, or be exposed.

Can we face life’s truths?

Michael Davis


Put your cell phone down and drive


Although the Oregon State Legislature passed a law restricting cell phone use while driving, I sure see a lot of violators locally and statewide. 

It’s too bad so many people apparently don’t worry about getting a ticket, or worse, causing an accident where some innocent people get hurt or even killed! Please encourage anyone you know that still uses their cell phone while driving to “break” this unsafe habit for the benefit of all.

John Mathison


Change needed at Brookings port


Spend $800 to rent a hotel room for a weekend, and you have the right to expect your room to be clean and safe, and that the management will respectfully address and resolve any problems.

This is not the style of the current Port (of Brookings Harbor) manager.

Minutes of the April 6, non-public port meeting record that members of the public who tried to meet with manager Fitzgerald regarding port safety, cleaning, and other issues were dismissed as “poisonous.”

In a meeting I attended on April 19, a woman living on her boat respectfully addressed the commissioners, asking them to work with Fitzgerald on his disrespectful behavior toward port tenants. She was seen as “attacking”˙ Fitzgerald and was quickly silenced. Additional April minutes confirm that “temporary consultant” Fitzgerald’s attitudes toward the public are very disrespectful.

He appears to make all the decisions about port operations, demanding that commissioners comply. He refuses to hire on as an employee unless “everyone is onboard.” Fitzgerald essentially forbids our elected commissioners from talking with the public and rebukes any who try to respond to public concerns.

Our current commissioners are woefully remiss in representing their constituents and insuring that port operations are carried out in a thoughtful, honest, participatory and respectful way. Previously, the port manager was directed by the commissioners. Currently, the manager is directing them, and both the tenants and the public are suffering for it.

Please read April’s minutes. Talk to various tenants, though some may fear retribution. If you agree that change is needed, please speak up.

Gail Scriven



District can’t afford to lose Ms. Mutch


I have been teaching at Azalea Middle School for two years, and during that time, I have had the opportunity to work under an amazing woman.

Suzanne Mutch remained with us here at AMS from the end of last year through this year. I feel privileged to have worked under such a wonderful leader. But no more. This year, using the excuse of “budget cuts,” our school board members have chosen to eradicate the position of vice-principal here at Azalea, replacing Ms. Mutch’s position with that of dean of students, the positions for which have already taken hold at both the elementary and high schools. Ms. Mutch is more than qualified to be dean of students, and the job and its responsibilities are well beneath her pay grade. Were it simply a matter of money the district did not have, I could understand why the BHSD no longer would employ Suzanne Mutch. However, money is no issue, as I know for a fact that Ms. Mutch offered to take a pay cut to the salary suitable for a dean of students.

Students love her, even those she disciplines. This year, a student – an often problematic and suspended student – wrote how inspirational he found Ms. Mutch. Students cheerfully greet her in the hallway. When she disciplines them, students usually grudgingly admit they deserved their punishments.

The middle school years are crucial when working to develop a sense of right and wrong, responsibility and respect in our students. Ms. Mutch does this all, and does it well. The Brookings-Harbor School District cannot afford to lose Suzanne Mutch, and I urge our school board to reconsider the crime they committed against our students when they chose to not rehire her.

Kelly Singleton


Consolidate school districts into one


Curry County has three independent school districts, each with a superintendent, business manager, and various administrative support staff.

Total enrollment in the three districts is fewer than 2,500 students, less than the size of one individual big city school. Article after article in the local papers laments the fact that, due to budgetary constraints, teachers must be laid off, the school year – already the shortest in the country, must be cut by several more days, and minor athletic programs must be disbanded. All of these cuts directly affect our students, while no cuts affect administration.

Has anyone considered unifying the three districts and consolidating them into one county-wide district, thereby saving an enormous amount of administrative monies that could instead be used for additional teachers, more school days, and minor athletic programs?

County commissioners’ time would be better spent attacking ideas such as unification rather than spending it on a boondoggle such as the Cape Blanco Airport.

Our elected officials should be true public servants, always striving for what is best for Curry County and its residents, not trying to settle old feuds or personal vendettas.

Gregory J. Empson

Gold Beach