Letters to the Editor Feb. 2, 2013

By The Curry Coastal Pilot February 01, 2013 08:53 pm

blowing my horn

I have a problem and I need your help.  

A very nice lady pointed out a problem I hadn’t thought about before. What she said was correct, but something I had not thought of myself. As I walk down the highway waving and exchanging energy with each of you, I may have either started something or at least encouraged it. I must admit, I had not thought about the consequences of my actions, until she was kind enough to point it out in a very nice way. 

You see, she lives in one of the homes near the corner of Parkview, and the highway. As I walk past her home, some of you have taken to honking your horn as you encounter me on the road. I thought it was very nice of you to give a little extra recognition by doing so, but here is the problem!  

Since I walk back and forth in front of her house, the honking of your horns is very annoying to her and I can see her point. I have often wondered how people who live in New York City put up with all that honking.  

I am grateful for your extra enthusiasm, but I was wondering if it would be OK to just wave and smile back at me, because I feel you approaching anyway, because of the energy and LOVE you send me. I also started to wonder if even the flashing of your headlights might also annoy someone. I know this may seem trivial to some people, but the last thing I want is to be a problem to anyone, or to have anyone hurt by my actions. I know you will understand and I thank you all for all the LOVE.

Ira Tozer


catalog sales shut

The JCPenney Company recently notified us of their decision to discontinue the jcp Catalog Sales Merchant Program, closing all jcp catalog stores, including the Gold Beach store located inside Flowers by the Sea and the Brookings store located inside Chetco Outdoor store. 

JCP will maintain only their retail and online businesses. Flowers by the Sea plans a whole new merchandise line to replace the jcp area, and will continue flowers, plants, gifts, kites, soil amendments, Territorial Seeds, tuxedo rental, film send-out, dry-cleaning drop-off, etc. Stop by and see what’s new! 

We’d like to thank all the customers who utilized our local catalog merchant stores for placing and receiving orders, making merchandise returns, and paying their jcp credit card bill. We realize that many local people do not care to shop online, and we regret the hardship for those who are unable to travel to retail outlets or who do not have Internet service to support shopping on their computer or other devices. 

Both jcp Catalog Sales Merchants will continue operating until March 1. Services such as placing and receiving orders, sending back merchandise returns, and making payments will continue to be available until then. JCP, however, will no longer produce any type of catalog for our customers. 

We thank all of you who utilized the local stores; we have always appreciated your patronage. Flowers by the Sea and Chetco Outdoor Store will continue normal operations, and we invite you to come and see us! 

Jim and Diane Carey

JCP Direct Sales Catalog Merchants

Gold Beach

fall down drive

In response to the news article of Jan. 26 regarding Sundown Drive storm damage of Nov. 20: 

The meeting of the county commissioners on Jan. 23 regarding this issue was a total waste of taxpayers’ money. The county roadmaster, attorney and commissioners, with the exception of Mr. Itzen, were all more concerned with covering their backsides than doing what was right and ethical by providing safe road access for the residents on Sundown Drive. 

The county ordinance regarding public access roads states that action regarding repair is totally discretionary, meaning the road can be fixed if the commissioners deem it necessary. But they are so afraid that if they fix our road then others may ask for their roads to be fixed. Isn’t that their job? They even refused to put out warning signs at a cost of $300, because that would be a sign that the county is aware of the problem but not fixing it. The estimate for repair of the road is $50,000, which the commissioners refuse to pay; but they think nothing of our home values decreasing by at least twice that amount. 

Nearly all affected homeowners here are on fixed incomes and are unable to afford repair on this road without at some assistance from the county that gets our tax dollars.

Richard and Sheryl Mendez 


no new taxes

Most residents of Curry County are old folks on fixed incomes. If taxes go up we have less money to live on. Property tax now is 59 cents per $1000. Here it says it needs to go up to $2.98 per $1000. My property tax on my land here is $470; if it goes up five-fold to $2350 I cannot afford to eat.

Most of the county money is needed for law enforcement. God bless Sheriff Bishop, we need him. But here it says they need a new jail for $3,000,000. Here it says it costs $900,000 a year to run the present jail. If they closed it they would have to transfer the crooks next door to Coos County and that would cost even more. Really? Does the paddy wagon get that bad of mileage? 

Here it says that citizens living in unincorporated areas of the county could pay a law-enforcement tax because they do not have city police departments. Since it takes the sheriffs a long time to get out there, and Curry Countians are already armed to the teeth, they might be well able to defend themselves; no extra tax needed. 

What about this 2- to 3-percent sales tax? I’ll tell you what. I’ll be going right over to Coos county to do all my shopping and I’m not the only one. 

Fixing the county roads? We already fix the potholes and slumps on the roads in front of our places; been doing it for years. 

This leaves the transient tax. Tourism is the only thing Curry County can count on. Tax the hotel rooms and RV parks. Otherwise No New Taxes.

Melissa Bishop 

Elk River

shed water rhetoric

I was dismayed to find out that Councilor Pieper knew more about my husband than I did after 43 years of marriage. 

I had no idea that he was a member of an “environmental extremist group … who has done nothing but cost property owners by the river money in litigation” and “had done nothing to better the river at all.” 

I know Councilor Pieper has not attended a Chetco Watershed Council meeting in the last couple of years and maybe he never has. What really surprises me is that the city council thinks it is better for people to enjoy the possibility of injured children, polluted water, and dead fish. 

How can the people who are protesting not being able to drive in the river call this a land grab when they never owned the river? And what rights do they have to ruin the livelihoods of the guides, damage the water supply, and potentially harm the children of the citizens of Brookings and Harbor? 

Shame on the city council for this rhetoric and lack of communication with the Chetco River Watershed Council prior to making such inflammatory statements. And shame for supporting people who feel they have the right to drive in the river no matter what damage they might cause. 

If the rule does not pass, think about going somewhere else for recreation where the water is not polluted by someone’s truck. There are many other rivers in Oregon that would love to have your tourist/recreation dollars and you can breathe easier when enjoying water untouched by someone’s pickup. 

Joanne Wasbauer 


musings and maybes

The question the song asked is, “Who Shot the Sheriff?” The answer, the Pilot. 

The sheriff was right and the Pilot shot itself in the foot. 

Thursday, Jan. 24, the Democrats began their attack. So much for premature action. I’m not sure the Pilot remembers the voters of Curry County did not support Obama or his party by anything close to a majority. 

Congressman Peter DeFazio is coming down to save us again; this time it’s dredging funds, next time it will be timber payments, then, in the nick of time, we will discover gold in the Chetco which we will be unable to mine because the water gets dirty, just like when it rains. 

Sidebar: Why do people drive in the river? Just curious. Pilot, Jan. 26, “Residents, county lack cash to repair road. Solution to county woes elusive.” 

Eighty percent of the citizens may be aware of the financial situation, but do they trust the commissioners? 

A permanent property tax increase is the proper answer. Contrary to popular belief every person who lives works or visits Curry County pays property tax; it is part of rent, product, food and daily life. It is called cost of sale, the nut, overhead, or the excuse your landlord uses to raise your rent. 

I’ll vote for it, if we cap spending, cut wages and benefits, lay off people until it passes and balance the damn budget. A sales tax will destroy us and Oregon. 

Maybe Obama will save you. 

Clifton Siemens



Why is it that whenever someone stands up to defend a thing of beauty, the Neanderthals in the audience accuse them of being extremists and having a secret agenda? The number of such people is apparently quite large on the city council. 

Everything in this world can’t be boiled down to being “my rights” or a “socialist plot.” The intermediate subtlety seems lost on many people. 

For anyone paying attention, Curry County exists only because of tourism. When some yahoo in an old mud truck rolls over in the river at summer flows and creates a nice slick on the river, I hope everyone enjoys it. I understand you can get some spectacular reflections.

Jim Gurley 


sundown showdown

Your picture of the slide washout on Sundown Drive in the Pilot Jan. 26 is worth a thousand words! 

It depicts a tenuous, unacceptable, potentially very dangerous condition requiring expeditious attention of responsible parties. Sundown Drive is a public road. (Refer page 762, Curry County Book of Records 38, acceptance 22 April, 1975) Residents of lower Sundown (where slide occurred) have taken it upon themselves at their expense, to: 1. Place the markers and signs as shown. 2. Consult a geologist for stability assessment 3. Contract to clear brush enough to gain tenuous passage of one lane. 

There has been absolutely no assistance in responsible mitigation of this obvious problem by the Curry County Road Department other than to consistently deny responsibility for any involvement (maintenance or repair); although, at my request, six markers are on loan from the road department. 

Issues of liability, setting of precedent, shortage of money, acceptance into county system were all presented at the county commissioners’ meeting on Jan. 23, 2013, by the Curry County roadmaster and Curry County Council. Discussion of subsidizing some warning signs occurred. All of which muddied the waters of this in extremis issue! 

Stabilizing the road is not discretionary. I do not believe that the consequences of inaction would be easily defended although I am not an attorney.

1. The position of county commissioner is a responsibility requiring risk assessment on each vote. Comes with the territory! 2. What precedent? The fact that you would be fulfilling your obligation of responsible government of Curry County by REPAIRING your road to “promote public health, safety, convenience and general welfare”? 3. I believe there are other assets and resources in the county that could mitigate this hazard while the fiduciary issue is investigated. 

Jack McGahley