Letters to the Editor June 15, 2013

Written by The Curry Coastal Pilot June 15, 2013 01:09 pm

not ‘we the people’

I am responding to the letter by Paul Brousseau (Pilot, June 5, 2013) about battling deception. He puts forward the idea of wanting to share the “truths” of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence so that we can have “peace and joy inexpressible.” 

The problem is that the Founding Fathers, although ahead of their time, forgot to include some people in their vision, and I find that troubling. 

It really wasn’t quite “we the people” when it came down to it. Women, for example, were expected to be subservient to men. It wasn’t until 100 years ago that women were granted the right to vote. Black men definitely weren’t treated as equals up until fairly recently; many of those at the table who either created or signed these documents owned slaves. Native folks were booted out of their homelands as those in power moved West and “civilized” our country. All of this happened and was condoned by those in power and often in the name of God.

Today, there are still many not seen or perceived as equals. Gay and lesbian folk and many of their family and friends are holding their breath as they await for what the Supreme justices decide as to how their rights will look. So, again it looks like there are many ideas as to what these “truths” might have been and who decides as to how they will be applied.

The Constitution and Declaration of Independence were definitely great starting points, but it has taken many years to determine exactly how to interpret how they are to be applied in a just and fair society. Although I don’t doubt that Paul’s intentions might be well-meaning, I do have trouble if the truths are to be delivered to young people if there isn’t dialog … and lots of time for questions.

Scott Thiemann

Gold Beach

frolic on the chetco

Yesterday morning, I was sitting out on my deck enjoying a cup of coffee and puffing on a cigar when I noticed that a van was parked below my house behind some trees. 

It had foreign plates so I assumed it was a tourist who hid out for the night. I heard the door open and a guy gets out Buck Naked. He sets up a video camera and films himself soaping his armpits and so forth. He then proceeds to walk barefooted down to the river, sets up the camera and jumps into the river for a rinse off. 

I had four options:

•Call 911, but I know very well that a trooper is not available; 

•Yell out to him that we don’t do that stuff here in Curry County, and all of us are armed to the teeth;

•Wait and see if his girlfriend jumps out of the van and does the same stuff; 

•Honor my 8 o’clock starting time at Salmon Run. 

I had a great round of golf. All is well. The van had left when I arrived home. 

Bill Smyth 

Brookings

ward appreciated

The wonderful article about Dr. Luther Ward that appeared in the June 12 edition of the Pilot did not mention, undoubtedly because it is not widely publicized, how much volunteer work Dr. Ward has done and the support he has given to the people served at St. Timothy’s Outreach Clinic. 

The clinic provides a variety of free primary health, mental health, and dental services to uninsured adults of our area. Nearly every month for many months Dr. Ward arranged his schedule at Curry General Hospital so that he could be available to volunteer at St. Tim’s. As an added bonus to us, he often brought with him medical students who were doing rotations with him. 

We can never adequately thank Dr. Ward, his students, and, of course, the other providers who give so much unsung and unheralded compassionate and expert volunteer care to the many people who come to St. Tim’s in dire need of that care. 

We wish the Ward family God-speed and great adventure. And we second Moira Fossum’s proposal to have Dr. Ward cloned. 

Luther, you are appreciated more than you will ever know and we look forward to your return.

Fr. Bernie Lindley, vicar, St. Timothy Episcopal Church

Brookings

one-sided, biased

According to the Pilot Managing Editor the 414 word “anonymous” piece June 5 on page 5A titled “What others are saying:” was written by staff writer Jane Stebbins (who would have guessed). The June 3 Oregonian article is titled “Kitzhaber promotes county rescue plan, warns he might have to turn to National Guard if it fails”. The online link is: http://www.oregonlive.com/mapes/index.ssf/2013/06/kitzhaber_promotes_county_resc.html

The following comments are taken from those first posted last week after The Oregonian article was published and begin with the “online name” used in the post.

•lizard sun: So the residents of this county refused to be conned into raising their property taxes that they cannot afford and the governor wants to basically declare martial law. I have not heard the residents of these counties complaining only the politicians in Salem.

•featherwoodangel: What’s the point of even having elections if the politicians are just going to ignore the outcome if it isn’t the results they wanted? As far as police protection, unless you live in the city limits there hasn’t been much of that even before the budget cuts and the county residents have adapted just fine. Neighbors helping neighbors and watching out for each other. Not sure if you can understand that concept. The levy measures have been voted down several times, how about the state respect the public’s wishes?

•M1A1TC: They are asking their hallowed politicians to work within their budget and not ask for more $$. I know that might be a stretch for you to grasp but more taxes for govt is not always the answer.

Stebbins ignored the first two hundred plus reader comments posted online. Her comments June 5 were hand-picked, one-sided and biased.

Thomas Huxley

Harbor

breathe, cultivate ki 

I am still overwhelmed with the privilege and honor bestowed upon me by the 2013 Brookings-Harbor High School senior graduating class. 

What a perfect setting: Plenty of sunshine, family, friends, well-wishers, teachers, staff and administrators — all together for a common reason: to share our love with you gifted and talented young adults. 

I kept my speech brief; however, Ki energy is something I ask all of you to explore in your futures. Ki is what gives you energy to get up in the morning, to sustain your day and live your lives; Ki is life force energy; we all have it. It is present throughout the universe, and it is a gift from God. The way to cultivate Ki is to practice patterns and breathing, and it will eventually become a part in you.

I have so many memories of all of you. It has been a blessing to watch you grow — to become what and who you are begins today, and all of our tomorrows. Do it class of 2013, with forgiveness, love, patience and enthusiasm!  Please remember to treat people how you want to be treated, and go out and make great lives for yourselves and others. Some of you might not have understood what I did when I entered the stage area and proceeded to bow. This is  the ultimate sign of respect shown toward all of you.  

Parents, teachers, staff, administrators: You did a great job in raising these fine young adults! I am looking forward to hearing about the great things that will happen in all of your lives. And remember, BREATHE!

Michael J. Freels 

Brookings

old coach’s wisdom

Kudos to the new C-3 Group; true statespeople may have stepped forward. I hope people give you some positive support. 

It took many years to reach this point in county government. It may take some time to lay a new foundation while trying to avoid any unintended consequences. Quick decisions make easy targets. 

New ideas don’t come from the status-quo. This county needs some new ideas! If Curry County can format a new charter that succeeds or excels in the coming years, we may set the bar a little higher for surrounding counties.

One good player raises everybody’s game;

 One good person raises those around them;

One good county may raise those around her;

One good county may raise the entire state. 

It is worth doing this correctly. Systemic rather than cosmetic change seems necessary. 

To badly paraphrase my old coach’s pep talk: The strength of the individual player becomes that of the collective or team. Remember that an excellent  player raises the performance of those around him. Both teams improve as the excellent player forces everybody to raise their game. The sum then becomes greater than its parts. 

My old coach was proud of this punchline because he saw everybody on the same side of the fence striving for excellence. We all succeed when the individual has the right to strive for excellence. 

As the fog of youth recedes, clarity reveals that even some old coaches were closet philosophers. It’s a comfort to know that old coaches never die. The grueling practice goes on to push the team to excellence in preparation for the big game. 

Thanks coach. 

You are brave people. It is not popular to suggest transforming ourselves at this level before transforming from the top. 

Jerry Thomas 

Brookings

broken promises

“Don’t respect someone for making a promise, respect them for keeping it.” 

Remember West World? They courted our remote coastal area, in competition with Sutter Coast. Both were making promises: 

•To make medical treatment easier for the community;

•To recruit new physicians; 

•To make it easier to obtain specialized care without leaving town; 

•To continue to provide a full urgent care unit, open 24/7. 

Sutter Coast lost the support of the Southern Coast, and West World came in with promises. Within a few years, West World withdrew from our community with the excuse that being here was not profitable. We need to thank the Curry Health District for picking up the pieces. They have done a commendable job. 

Within a short time period Sutter made another appearance and was able to obtain Seaside. They built a new hospital, and made additional promises to meet the medical needs of our growing community. 

From what I understand Sutter wants to withdraw promises that were made to our community. They want to downsize to 14-17 beds. This will make them eligible for additional funds by being able to have higher reimbursement with the Critical Access program. I also understand that they are trying to regionalize. Plans are now in force merging Sutter Coast with Sutter Health District. Who knows our medical needs other than the people who live here? 

We don’t want to regress; we should grow and go forward. What benefits our community is what we need. NO MORE BROKEN PROMISES. 

Safety for ourselves and others should not be dictated by money and where we choose to live. 

Thanks to the physicians that are here and provide care for us, and for those who make a stand against Sutter’s broken promises. 

P. Johnson R.N. 

Brookings

the two connected

In response to Ralph Martin’s June 8 letter “Variety of Viewpoints,” he claims “Clay has preached against bullying in schools while ignoring the fact the kids are getting a lousy education.” 

Two points. (1) Get your facts straight before making false accusations and (2) attend a few school board meetings, Mr. Martin. I’ve dealt with this in District 17C as well as with the county commissioners.

I’ve got plenty of information on the status of our educational system and how Brookings ranks with other Oregon cities, school districts and comparative high schools, middle schools and elementary schools. Not good. http://bit.ly/uHKbfH

Oregon’s on-time graduation rate last year was 68 percent, the 43rd lowest graduation rate in the nation. And BHHS was well below that at 57 percent.

2011/12 school year, BHHS was again considerably below state averages. Math 50/63 for the state, reading 70/84, writing 54/67 and science 57/68.

A major reason for much of this, I believe, is because, according to the Oregon Healthy Teen surveys, 15 to 23 percent of students in our three schools did not feel safe at school (http://bit.ly/109y8N1) and thoughts of suicide and depression were above state norms (http://bit.ly/IZS5uo), making it difficult to concentrate on an education. Couple this with ineffective “zero tolerance” policies (http://bit.ly/169Erzk), many students don’t feel that anyone cares.

Please join me at the next school board meeting, June 19 at 6 p.m. in the K-School library.

Gordon Clay

TheCitizensWho

Care.org

Brookings

paycheck to paycheck

Here is a quote from the last issue of the Pilot that says it all: “I know deputies who would love to come here to work,” he said. “But they can’t afford to feed their families. I do it because I love this county. I love my job. But I’m struggling paycheck to paycheck.” 

— Sheriff’s Lt. John Ward 

A great many people here are also living Social Security paycheck to Social Security paycheck. 

Read Our Lips, No New Taxes.

Melissa Bishop 

Elk River

lottery alternative

I recently came across an idea by Mr. Joe Wilson for a county-run lottery. 

Being skeptical at first and going over it many times I can’t find any fault in it. Chapter 15 section 4 of the Oregon Constitution says nothing about prohibiting it. 

It seems like a great idea as opposed to taxes which seems to be all that the commissioners can come up with. It would even benefit folks who didn’t choose to play so where’s the harm. I would play it just to support the county and if I won, well its all the better. 

And there is no way it would cost $500,000 to set up as would a detrimental sales tax which seems to be taxation without representation by singling out just one county to “make an example out of us.” 

I think you should do a story on it and see what folks think about it, being as it’s a jolly good alternative to taxes, taxes and more taxes. And the state would get income tax off the money people spend. I say LOTTERY NOT LEVY.

Rick Stokes 

Gold Beach

Living in great town!

I just want to say what a great town we live in!

Back in May, there was a taco feed fundraiser to help out my family during my dad, Tim Musser’s, recovery after a serious illness. 

A special thank you to Lori Steele and the Curry Coastal Pilot, and the Brookings Elks Lodge for everything you did. To Daisy Kunkell for organizing and mentoring me on this event for my senior project. To Shirley Hicks, Gary Maceachern, and Eva Whitehead for all of your hard work and the great food you made for the taco feed. To the friends, family, businesses, and even people we did not know for the prayers, love, support, money and raffle donations you gave my family in our time of need, we appreciated everything you did! 

The Tim Musser Taco Feed was a huge success and it could not have been possible without all of you and this great community! We all should be proud to say Brookings is a great place to call home!

Thanks again.

Tim, Tammie, Blake, and Erynn Musser 

Brookings