Letters to the Editor Feb. 27, 2013

By Scott Graves, Pilot staff writer February 26, 2013 07:59 pm

happy b-day, vva 757!

The Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 757, was started in Brookings/Harbor Feb. 13, 1996. It has been in service in the State of Oregon, Curry County, for 17 years. 

We currently have the highest membership total of veterans and associates since our beginning. We have had a lot of support from the community. 

In 2000, our Chapter received the “National Chapter of the Year” award, out of 670 Chapters competing, for the supporting the veterans and community for the previous four years. 

The Vietnam Veterans of America slogan is: “Never Again Will One Generation of Veterans Abandon Another.” The reason for this national slogan is because our founding brothers were denied membership in other veteran organizations. The reason this Chapter was formed by five Vietnam veterans was because they were also denied by other veteran organizations.  

If you still don’t understand why our slogan exists, ask a Vietnam veteran or call me. 

Also I want to mention that the VVA is chartered by Congress, along with the following organizations:  Marine Corps League, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, AmVets, and VFW.

Remember, freedom is not free!

Sam Vitale


Greg measured tax

A recent letter in the Feb. 23, 2013 issue of the Curry Coastal Pilot by Greg Empson explained our dilemma so well I wondered why our local newspapers had not reported on these points. 

Prior to election, all three commissioners agreed to cut their salaries and not raise taxes. Now after the election they have not reduced their salaries or even offer to pay for part their own benefits. 

The sheriff’s annual salary is $69,200, but when all benefits are added, the total compensation exceeds $100,000. Also mentioned in Greg’s letter is the average benefit package for all county employees (2012-2013 County Master Payroll) exceeds 60 percent and will increase to about 65 percent July, 2013.

Currently each employee receives a minimum of $1,000 per month on health, dental, and vision insurance. That amounts to approximately $1.5 million dollars each year. If that benefit were lowered to $500 per month the county would save about $750,000 per year.

For taxpayers who will vote on this tax increase, I highly recommend reading Greg’s letter and bring this information to the attention of our county government. 

Walt Edwards

Gold Beach

i.d. thief opportunity

Attached is a letter that I believe all Oregonians should read and be made aware of. 

I had to pay Oregon taxes today, which is not my complaint. I owed them. My complaint is listed below: 

February 22, 2013 Oregon Department of Revenue Electronic Return Payment P.O. Box 14720 Salem, OR 97309-0463. To Whom It May Concern: With all of the identity theft going on in the USA, I want to make a COMPLAINT to you as a government entity. 

The requirement of having to write our Social Security number on a check made payable to the Oregon Department of Revenue is definitely unacceptable. If this check were lost or stolen in the mail, all of my personal information would be there for any thief to get his hands on: 1. My name; 2. My address; 3. My phone number; 5. My checking account number as well as my routing number to my checking account; 6. My Social Security number.

What more would a thief need? 

I think that we all need to address this problem with Oregon Department of Revenue. 

Joyce Wafford 


foreign or domestic

This is a response to the recent letter submitted by William Farrell (Pilot, Feb. 20): OOHRAH! 

Welcome Home my friend! 

Warriors never stop fighting the enemy, foreign or domestic. That is part of the oath we took. 

Semper Fi! God Bless America! 

Allan Stewart 


alternatives missing

Newly elected County Commissioner Susan Brown is to be commended for keeping her word to voters and refusing to approve the proposed property tax increase. 

Brock Smith, on the other hand, is just a typical politician who, while feeding at the public trough, demands that we, the citizens, put MORE in the trough! 

Mr. Smith, before the election, told voters that he was against any tax increase, that he had many alternatives to tax increases, now he maintains that more property tax is the solution. 

How about some of those alternatives Dave?

Martin J. Sullivan



abysmally managed

I grew up in Brookings and relocated north out of town for job reasons a number of years ago and have followed the county situation since, and I completely sympathize with the argument that Curry County has done an abysmal job of managing finances. I totally agree. 

But saying, “they can cut costs more on wages and services ...” and that you “don’t need these” county services is dangerously ignorant. Police and emergency services are services that should never be compromised. Ever. 

I agree some services can be eliminated, and fat can be trimmed in others — but when you start trimming needed services more than is prudent, that trimmed fat turns to stripped muscle. 

We all hate this topic: but Oregon is still one of the last states NOT to institute a sales tax. While we may not want to hear it, a state and/or county sales tax is the best way to begin moving forward and in a short time will begin to bring in needed funds. Raising property taxes will be detrimental to elderly who barely make it now, as well as young families trying to raise their children away from city insanity in a place with lower wages, but better living. Something somewhere has to happen, and a sales tax is more than fair for everyone. 

Of course, as long as the county can manage the income properly. THAT is what needs fixed immediately, or we are doomed for a repeat. 

Heather Sundblad-Rhoade 

Forest Grove



water heater hope

The water heater in the South Coast Humane Society Shelter “hit the dust” or should I say “hit the rust.” 

We are in the process of getting estimates as I write this appeal and hopefully will have it installed ASAP.  

We need at least an 80 gallon tank. We use a lot of hot water to keep the shelter clean! CLEAN is important in a kennel  

The estimates we have range from $3900 plus parts and labor to $4900. It is an expense we can ill afford and will put a big dent in our bank account.

We ask for and would appreciate any donation you could make toward the new water heater.

Please mail your Donation to South Coast Humane Society, P.O.Box 7833 Brookings, Or. 97415 or drop by 828 Railroad St. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 4 p.m.  Meet the animals you are helping with your donation. If mailing a check, indicate it is for the Water Heater Fund. 

Thank you.  It is all of you who enable the South Coast Humane Society to take care of animals in need.

Glenda Weber, president

Board of Directors

South Coast Humane Society


poor broke county

My thanks to Judith Anderson for her letter to you of Feb. 23, and to Greg Empson for his “Public Forum” of the same date. Their information was very enlightening. 

I’ve never in any job been given health, vision, and dental insurance, plus a pension, and all of it in addition to earnings. Our poor broke county.

Also, it seems I remember some mumbling from our county commissioners in recent years about reducing their own salaries. Then they gave themselves a raise!

Our poor broke county. 

And the $100,000, 2009 “Blue Ribbon Committee law enforcement study”: What? Who are they? What did they study? What did they recommend? Why was the study needed? Our poor broke county.

But our so-called “leaders” plan to fix it all. Just give the taxpayers/voters a choice: sales tax or increase your property taxes. It’s become totally apparent that our county, state, and federal governments are complete idiots about managing money. Their alternative is to suck us citizens dry of every cent we own or earn. 

And that’s all they know.

Shannon Wilson


(Editor’s note: The last time the commissioner received a raise was a 3-percent cost of living increase in the 2009-10 fiscal year.)



how about a waiver?

With the need to increase revenue the county commissioners want to raise taxes. But there is stiff resistance. 

Many say they can’t afford it. If they can’t truly afford a raise in taxes then there should be a waiver for them. They would just need to submit a copy of their income tax to prove they can’t afford a raise in taxes. 

I myself am a renter and will be paying the raise in taxes for my landlord. I say raise my taxes. Why? Because I was raised to pay my own way and always leave something better than you found it. 

I’ve started coming to this area 20 years ago and moved to the area seven years ago. This area has slowly been going downhill because the tax rate has not kept up with inflation. Gas, electricity, insurance all cost more and this area has been living in fantasy land thinking the federal government will subsidize the area forever. 

It is time to start paying your own way again and making sure you leave the area better than when you moved or were born here. If you need a waiver, still vote for a tax increase and make sure you leave this area better than you found it!

Nick Hammon 




unsustainable us

We recently attended a very interesting discussion of a book titled “Behind the Green Mask: U.N. Agenda 21,” by Rosa Koire, a Democrat.

Agenda 21, Sustainable Development is the action plan to inventory and control all land, water, minerals, plants, animals, information, energy and human beings in the world.

The plan calls for governments to take control of all land use, leaving no decision making in the hands of private property owners.  The assumption obviously is that people are not good stewards of their land, that the government can do a better job if it is in control. Humbug!

A city could take land from an individual, thereby producing more revenue for the city. There goes your ranch, farm, or private home.

 A plan for sustainable development — created and defined by the U.N. in 1987 — was signed by President Bush and 178 other nations in 1991.

Things considered unsustainable: middle class lifestyle, single family homes, private vehicles, meat eating, air conditioning, appliances, dams, farming, and even you!

International Council on Local Environmental Initiative was created to implement U.N. Agenda 21/Sustainable Development locally.

Many cities and counties across the US have become dues paying members; in Oregon — Ashland, Beaverton, Corvallis, Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, Lincoln City, McMinnville, Milwaukie and Portland. So far we here have not but we’re still being influenced by standardized programs, grants, etc., funded and designed by OCLEI to influence and change government politices to bring them into compliance with the U.N. Agenda.

 There’s much more but space limitations rule. Political differences aside, we need to unite solidly and stop this giant step toward One World Government and the attack on our Constitution and freedom-loving Americans. 

Doris M. Roepke




where are answers?

I particularly liked the article “Brookings Considers Alternate Budget” (Pilot Feb. 17). 

Someone is thinking ahead; unlike our county commissioners! 

Even with some newly elected county commissioners, it seems that the county is still in a lot of disarray! The county commissioners are not doing their job. They didn’t consider adapting one of the 19 citizens committee’s recommendations, ignored the Blue Ribbon committee. I haven’t seen any ideas from the county commissioners except to “raise taxes.” 

The article stated that the city of Brookings operates on a volunteer councils; what a great idea. Someone Xerox that to our county commissioners that are making $68,000 per year. It sure seems that our county commissioners are acting irresponsibly. I know that having a county default would bring a lot more problems to the mounting problems we are now facing. 

Gary Milliman stated a lot of the complex problems that the county (if they defaulted) will put on the city. The city of Brookings didn’t seem to get many answer from the county commissioners. Like I stated before, the county commissioners haven’t come up with any answers, in my opinion, except higher property taxes. I do not think that is the answer. 

Under the tax proposal, my own property tax would go up $479 a year. I can probably afford that. But there are many in this county who cannot. 

I don’t know what the answer is. If I did, I would be a county commissioner. Letting the county law enforcement, jails and courts default isn’t an answer either. 

The county commissioners we have now have to force themselves to come up with new ideas, because I do not think the new tax increase will pass. 

Andrew T. Ragan 




no new taxes. period.

From your own Curry Pilot tax article (Feb. 20): “Of the $6.85 per $1,000 that everyone pays” PLUS the additional $3.70 or $3.80 per $1,000 that town dwellers pay. Plus the 3 percent counties can raise our taxes per year without the people getting to vote on it (in 10 years that’s another 30-percent tax hike, you can count on it). 

Is this not enough? This comes out of our grocery money. 

No new taxes! Period!

Melissa Bishop 

Elk River