Letters to the Editor published Wednesday, October 5, 2011

By The Curry Coastal Pilot October 04, 2011 09:23 pm

 

City doing end run around taxpayers

Editor: 

Ladies and gentlemen of Brookings, the city of Brookings is looking to make an end run around putting a tax initiative on a ballot to avoid going to the taxpayers directly for increased revenue. 

This will be achieved by charging a Franchise Fee to Coos Curry Electric Cooperative (CCEC). It is a ploy to bring more money into the city coffers without taxpayer input. The effect in the long run is essentially to raise your taxes. 

Currently, CCEC picks up the cost of street lighting in the city of Brookings, which amounts to a fee to do business. This arrangement apparently isn’t making enough money for the city administrators. The plan being discussed is to charge CCEC a Franchise Fee of 3.5 percent to 5 percent, which is a much higher cost to CCEC than the street lighting agreement. 

The city can arbitrarily charge the fee to CCEC and you will have no vote on the matter. So, guess what folks, CCEC will have to raise your electric rates. I do not know if the increase will affect residents outside of Brookings. Pretty sneaky, eh? 

Sadly the high percentage of retired folks in Brookings have not had a COLA in several years. This plan could be devastating for many. Typical: Government cannot live within its means. 

Tax money is like opium to government administrators. 

Mike Schrum 

Brookings 

 

CFCU: The truth as I knew it at the time

Editor: 

To the members and staff of Chetco Federal Credit Union: As the most recent past CEO of CFCU, I want you to know that the intervention by the National Credit Union Association was as much a surprise to me as it was to you. 

Over the nearly four months as CEO, I have spoken with many of you who had questions about the safety of your deposits and the soundness of CFCU. I shared with you that I felt that the credit union had an excellent chance of recovery and believed that the regulators would allow us time to grow out of the loan losses that had been sustained. 

The message I want to deliver is that what I told you was absolutely the truth as I knew it at the time. 

My personal thanks to both members and staff for the confidence and graciousness you have shown my husband and me. To the staff, I will miss you, CFCU and Brookings. 

Warm regards, 

Diane Johnson (Glatt)

Brookings 

 

Impact of MUMP on local businesses?

Editor:

What effect will the County’s proposed Mixed Use Master Plan (MUMP) zone have on local businesses? 

The MUMP was rejected by the Port Orford Mayor and City Council for that very reason. It is not your “Mom and Pop” store as presented in the past. The MUMP is not appropriate for the Harbor Hills with its geologic hazards and topographical constraints.

Below is the list of proposed MUMP zone uses, permitted outright by the county (without the residential zones): Commercial professional office use in a Limited Commercial Office-Retail Node: Office of a physician, dentist or therapist; Real estate sales office; Legal office, accountant office, etc.; Medical clinic; Other small professional office uses of the same type as professional office uses listed above, as authorized under Section 1 0.020. 

Commercial retail uses in a Limited Commercial Office-Retail Node: Drugstore; Grocery or food store; Bakery; Book or stationary shop; Newsstand; Restaurant, cafe, coffee shop, dining room and tea room; Handicraft or gift store; Barber or beauty shop; Laundry and dry cleaning pick-up service establishment; Post office station; Bank and/or credit union; Other small retail uses of the same type as the retail uses listed above, as authorized under Section 10.020.

Mixed-Use Buildings in a Limited Commercial Office – Retail Node. Utility facility necessary for public service (e.g. fire stations, utility substations, etc.), except commercial facilities for the purpose of generating power for sale to the public. Church, school, library, or community building for public or non-profit organizational use. Parks or open spaces for public or private use.

Sandy Dietz

Harbor

 

Basic facts about CFCU situation

Editor: 

Compliments to the after-the-fact coverage provided by our local newspapers regarding the recent National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) placing the Chetco Federal Credit Union (CFCU) into conservatorship. 

However, the general public needs to understand some basic facts as to how and why this occurred. “Fed’s” didn’t take over the Credit Union. NCUA took over operations of CFCU on behalf of the members. Credit Unions pay NCUA insurance on behalf of members as required by law to be a Credit Union. 

CFCU engaged in many risky commercial loans while being a member of NCUA. NCUA placed CFCU into conservatorship because its members were at risk. Insurance entities public or private don’t like risk. It’s bad for business. 

CFCU members elected a board of directors. On the board was the CEO until recently resigning last May. One was a General Council (in-house lawyer)/Executive VP/Secretary of the Board of Directors/Interim CEO and out of seven board members in my opinion four showed up wondering what they would be doing at the board meetings. 

And here is the point of this comment. Members of any organization need to regard elections of their board members with utmost attention. Board members must regard their term as a fiduciary responsibility regardless of how flattering or prestigious it seems to appear in the community and with a consideration of the victims that will suffer from its decisions. 

Many I know express sympathies to CFCU employees and CFCU members as a community. Hopefully, this hardship will encourage all to participate. 

Victoria Nuss, CPA

Brookings

 

Applaud choice to table golf proposal

Editor: 

I lived in Curry County for 28 years and left when I felt I could not advance my career. 

I applaud the choice to table the Floras Lake project. I would rather see efforts to develop existing private property such as the Cedar Bend course and develop county lands to benefit nature and natural resources, not another playground for the rich. 

On another note, to say that a person should not comment because he is an employee flies in the face of what it means to be an American. It is not up to our employers to speak for our personal views, it is up to us, and as long as business or government leaders feel that the worker has no business speaking up about subjects important to themselves I feel those leaders should at least read the Constitution, and in some cases resign for not representing the whole of their constituency.

Mark W Scharff 

Medford

 

State Parks a good partner with county

Editor:

I have been reading with interest the articles regarding a proposal of turning State Parks land in North County into a privately leased for-profit golf course. 

The situation shows me a couple of things. Communities want to plan and decide their own destinies, not have people from outside their communities tell them what is best for them. North County included. The democratic public process is alive and well in Curry County. 

As for State Parks Director Tim Wood, he does not act without conferring with his Commission members. I for one have worked on several projects with him; including assisting folks in Curry County solve the problems at Garrison Lake. He has my respect. 

State Parks has been a good partner with Curry County, helping us keep our own county parks in good shape, promoting tourism and being good stewards of the public lands. They have poured several million dollars into our county in the past years for projects on state and county land. Whatever their decision it is with the public interest at heart.

Lucie La Bonté,

retired county commissioner 

 

Celebrate local diversity of life

Editor: 

I moved to Brookings in August. 

Within a week I found four amphibian species in my yard (California slender salamander, rough-skinned newt, Pacific chorus frogs, and northern red-legged frogs). I was impressed by the level of diversity represented here and credit the presence of these animals to several amendments made by the former tenants: a wildlife pond, an intact stream corridor, and woodpiles. Newts and frogs breed in the pond, and all four species rely on woodlands for refuge and food.

Amphibians have long been regarded biological indicators. Their presence or absence can help gauge the health of ecosystems in part because they are particularly sensitive to toxins and because many species have very specific habitat requirements. 

When ecosystem integrity fails amphibians are among the first to go. Amphibians function as early warning systems in our communities and support local food webs. They’re also remarkably beautiful, have intriguing lives, and frequently quite endearing. Yet amphibians need our help to thrive.

Be an amphibian ally by minimizing your household’s use of herbicides and pesticides, which infiltrate streams and wetlands, threatening human and wildlife health. Properly dispose of hazardous waste. Keep riparian zones intact or consider constructing a garden pond. Respectfully observe and admire wild amphibians, but please do not collect or move amphibians or their eggs. Your consideration prevents damage to fragile wild populations and spreading Chytrid fungus, which decimates amphibian populations worldwide. 

Do learn more about them, spread the word, and celebrate this local diversity of life.

Sonja Rosas

Brookings 

 

Atheists ‘believers’ as everyone else is

Editor:

G.G. Thompson (Pilot letters, Oct. 1) at least is more honest than most atheists, for he admits: “I believe there are other dimensions to life.” 

The fact is that atheists are “believers” as everyone else is. They believe there is no God, while the rest of us believe He is. “Believing” means: to accept as true without absolute proof. No one can prove God exists and controls everything, but no one can prove He doesn’t. Instead, each believes on the basis of what that person thinks is adequate evidence. Yet atheists, while demanding the right to their beliefs, want to refuse that right to others.

Mr. Thompson also described a form of Christianity which I do not recognize. Biblical Christianity is a message of faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of one’s sins as a gift, not earned by the sinner. Because of that faith Christians help others in need; our local churches providing free meals and medical care are examples. True, there are many who claim this faith, but show they don’t actually believe it. But Christians around the world have founded innumerable charities; how many have atheists begun?

By the way, when you hear an atheist using profane language, you know that person actually does believe in God, because why use a name of God at all, if He doesn't exist?

Theodore Allwardt

Brookings