Letters to the Editor May 1, 2013

By The Curry Coastal Pilot April 30, 2013 09:22 pm

vote on facts, logic

I voted for and signed the resolution in support of Measure 8-71 (the tax levy) at the Curry County Republican Central Committee meeting that was held on April 11.

I regret doing this because I feel that my vote was based on fear and emotion rather than facts and logic. After much thought, further study of the issues, and soul searching, I cannot in all good conscience support the tax levy for the following reasons:

In my opinion, the County has not looked at all possible ways to cut spending. Two of the biggest areas of spending that have not yet been addressed are excessive health care benefits and the employee’s portion of PERS that is presently being paid for by the County. Negotiations are presently taking place with both the SEIU and Teamsters Unions and this is the perfect time to address these issues — to my knowledge, these issues have not yet been resolved.

The property owners will be the only ones burdened with these expenditures. Many homeowners in the County live on fixed incomes and passage of the Levy will be a hardship on them. We are already being hit by inflation (have you checked your grocery and gas prices lately), extra state fees, and additional federal taxes and fees. The vote on this levy is one area that we can have some control over government spending.

I cannot speak for all Republicans — this is my opinion and I am writing this letter because I feel it is the right thing to do. I would hope that all voters will base their vote on logic and facts rather than fear and emotion. 

Sue Gold 

Brookings

curry generous list

Once again the citizens of Curry County have generously contributed their time, energy and money to making Curry Health Foundation and Gold Beach Rotary’s fund raising event, Denim and Diamonds, a success. Your generosity netted almost $20,000 for our organizations to grant towards improving healthcare in our area. 

We wish to thank the following people and businesses for their auction and calendar date donations: Wendy Abel-Hatzel, Mangia Buff Restaurant, Sam and Leone Sharp, Redwood Memorial Chapel, Gray Whales Gallery, Picture This Photography and Custom Framing, Representative Wayne Krieger, CAL-ORE Life Flight, Paul, Kathy and Betty Wesselink, Gold Beach Books, Gold Beach Fitness Center, Becky Atherton, Fresh Hair Salon, Jazzercise, Century 21 Agate Realty, Rogue River Retreat, Leif LeFebre Photographer, Ray’s Charitable Foundation, Red Fish Restaurant, Rumiano Cheese, One Horse Coffee Company, Backwoods Home Magazine, Indian Creek Cafe, Five Star Charters, Country Cuttin’ Hair Salon, Jerry’s Rogue Jets and Gift Shop, Chinook Winds Casino Resort-An Enterprise of Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, The Mill Casino - Owned by the Coquille Tribe, Compass Rose Bed and Breakfast, Dale and Jo Ann Thomas, Nor’Wester, Port Hole Cafe, Coffee Dock, Fishermen Direct, Tidewind Sportfishing, John Spicer, Larry and Vivian Hage, Craig and Melody Reed, Marlyn Schafer, Cathy Kelly, Roseann Ismert, Mary Stansell, Rotary Club of Gold Beach, Directors of Curry Health Foundation, Doug Fleshman, Interior Coverups, Jamie Lundin, Mary Ann Bartholomew, Spinner’s, Barnacle Bistro, The Bridge Restaurant, Jim and Vicki Waltz. 

 Thanks to all for joining us in this effort.

Melody Reed,

Board of Directors

Curry Health 

Foundation

8-71, local control

It should probably be remembered that it was “Local Control” that allowed the fiscal mess that Curry County finds it self in, and finally recognizes, to occur.

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” — Albert Einstein.

Harry Freiberg

Brookings

time to negotiate

What a time for our county commissioners to have a row with the city of Brookings over state election laws. 

I thought they wanted their tax proposal to pass in the upcoming election. Citizens must be getting confused; not the best way of gaining a “Yes” vote. 

They would have been better advised to talk about reducing or eliminating their high salaries and benefits. 

It is also time to negotiate placing the responsibility for retirement plans on employees rather than taxpayers. Guaranteed pensions have had their day along with lifetime benefits; regrettable, but taxpayers can no longer afford these benefits. 

Most corporations and businesses saw this coming and exited the retirement plan business years ago. They also reduced their liability for health benefits. This should particularly apply to small government agencies in less well off localities. 

I doubt there are many employers in Curry County who are as generous with benefits as the government agencies. These are my suggestions for reducing expenditure. 

Roger Guy Mitchell 

Brookings

for rural freedom

With Curry County and Oregon State officials repeatedly forecasting dire consequences for us if we don’t support an increase in property taxes, the question is begged, What for? So we can kick the can down the road for another 5 years? 

What exactly is the plan to return Curry County to economic prosperity? How can we grow the economic pie in our county rather than just redistribute other people’s property? What does a truly free market solution look like in rural America? What if we could restore freedom to our county by decentralized, deregulation; thereby promoting local products — lumber, mining, food, goods, and services without excessive federal and state intervention?

Responsible Citizens for the Constitution’s next meeting, Sunday, May 5 at 2 p.m., will present how other rural counties in America are answering to these questions.

Liberty-loving patriot Franklin Sanders will explain how important establishing economic freedom, monetary freedom, and food freedom is to a rural county. Apache County, Arizona, chose to work on ways to effectively utilize their natural resources (primarily forest lands) to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their county; breathing life back in to their local economy within two years.

After watching video presentations on these topics, we hope to have some discussion about how Curry County can model other counties in America which have been and are presently working toward these freedoms.

Please join us, Sunday, May 5, 2 p.m., at the Gold Beach Senior Center. For more information, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

James Atherton 

Gold Beach

why i love this city

My husband and I have been vacationing in Brookings for the past five years. 

We enjoy the uncrowded beaches and the friendliness of those who live here.

This year our vacation week included my birthday. We went into Slugs ‘N Stones ‘N Ice Cream Cones for the first time. My husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday cone and the wonderful woman behind the counter said that because it was my birthday my cone would be free.

I didn’t have to sign up for a birthday club, didn’t have to have a coupon, didn’t have to show my license. This is why I love Brookings.  This is why I will bring my children and grandchildren here.

I want to say thank you for making visitors feel welcome. We look forward to our next vacation.

Kathryn and Lee Vagatai

Agoura Hills, Calif.

8-71 = basic services

For more than 70 years Curry County has benefited from a contract with federal government to provide timber payments from the multiple use of federal forest and O&C timber lands. These payments have offset the cost of County services by as much as 80 percent and have covered the cost of law enforcement, elections, the County Treasurer and Assessment and Tax Collection among other services. 

Because of federal payments, Curry County property taxpayers have the second lowest permanent property tax rate in the state for county government. In fact, when tax rates for bond measures and local option levies are added to the permanent tax rates, Curry County has the lowest combined tax rate for county services in the state. Since Curry County sends over 30 percent of our property tax statements to people outside the county even people that don’t live here receive the benefit of our low rates.

Unfortunately federal payments have dwindled to very little and Curry County is in the position of having too little resource to pay for basic county services.

Measure 8-71 is not a permanent solution, but it will provide time to develop a long term solution to providing county services. 

Measure 8-71 is a solution that provides a temporary resource for basic county services. It is a solution that is needed and will Keep Control Local.

Jim Kolen,

Curry County assessor

keep curry strong

Passage of the property tax levy this May will probably increase my rent by about $30 per month. I suppose that is an argument against it.

However, I have lived in Curry for more than 25 years and will no doubt retire here, and arguments in favor of 8-71 are much more convincing. 

That money will replace federal subsidies that allow Curry County to provide mandated services. I want my county to provide veterans’ assistance to those who’ve earned it. I want my county to have adequate law enforcement to protect us and help in emergencies. I want a strong district attorney’s office with resources to convict criminals. I want a jail to put those criminals in. And I want services and treatment for at-risk children to help keep them out of that system.

I will vote YES on 8-71 to keep my county strong and safe, and I will continue to enjoy just about the lowest property taxes in Oregon.

Art Dingle

Brookings

facts and fiction

There has been a great deal of information communicated lately, some fact and some blatant fiction disguised as facts. I personally like facts, utilizing the best data available and leave the fiction to Stephen King. 

No one denies the Fact that Curry County has a revenue problem. Federal timber payments that supported county services are gone and the county cannot provide services to its citizens on the current 59 cents collected. 

The Fact is the county has shed over 100 full time equivalent jobs in the last six years. There is no “fat on the bone”; this was clear through our budget hearings. The Fact is county public safety is essential for all citizens of Curry County regardless of location, rural or cities. The Fact is, the county Law Enforcement Levy was built to be as fair as possible to all citizens. Using the best data available, breaking down the use by rural and city areas within the individual county public safety departments. The Fact is the city residents will be paying far less (38 percent) than the rural residents (62 percent) to fund county law enforcement through the levy. The Fact is we cannot afford to lose local control. 

As my colleagues Senator Kruse and Representative Krieger stated in their recent press release, “The fact is we have run out of time, and the only other option appears to be shutting down the County. We simply cannot allow that to happen.” 

David Brock Smith

Curry County 

Commissioner

we’re on our way!

Our heartfelt thanks to our generous community for supporting the Spaghetti Fundraiser April 13 for Brookings Harbor Community Theater. We are proud to announce we raised $1,300! 

A tremendous THANK YOU to Shop Smart for donating 50 pounds of meat and to Eleanor Cook for bread and so many goodies. Big thank you to Tony Hobbs, Jaime Gagnon, Eleanor Cook, Pam Lynn, Pam Hobbs, Courtney Pruden, Rachael Dempsky, Lisa Price, Colleen Harrison, Lauren and Rory, Kristin Gagnon, Nadine Pizzi, and all of our kitchen crew including Jacque Graves, dishwashing Queen!  

Our wonderful, talented cast and crew deserve a huge, “Thank you!” for their hard work setting up, serving, cooking, dessert baking and cleaning. I was impressed how the guests were served with delight and efficiency; not one order was written down! Ah, youth.

Thank you Chetco Grange for the lovely facilities at reasonable rates. Thank you Curry Coastal Pilot and KURY Radio for your publicity and encouragement. Thank you, Grocery Outlet for providing $3 off coupons for Kendra and Dillon to use as incentives during their ticket sales and donating $2,000 to become our major sponsor for this grand musical event.

Putting on a production as large as Disney’s Beauty and the Beast with 45 charming actors is quite a feat, and with the community’s support we are well on our way to a glorious opening night May 17!

Dori Blodgett, director

Brookings Harbor Community Theater