Letters to the Editor June 19, 2013

By The Curry Coastal Pilot June 18, 2013 09:30 pm

a special community

I want to express my gratitude to the staff and students of the K-School during the annual Flag Lowering program on June 12. 

I was one of the veterans who took part in this, along with many of my fellow veterans. 

It was great to hear inspiring words from the teachers; the students leading the Pledge of Allegiance; the voices singing our national anthem; respect shown to the lowering of the flag; and the applause from the student body for our service. 

This is one of the things that makes this community so special. 

Allan W Stewart 

Brookings

is this torture legal?

The show-trial of Bradley Manning continues with the government-appointed judge refusing to permit him to present a proper defense. 

Manning properly disclosed evidence of war crimes committed by U.S. troops during the illegal war of aggression against Iraq. He had a legal obligation, under treaties ratified by the United States, to act as a whistle-blower and to bring these crimes to the attention of the American people. He is not permitted to say so in his own defense. 

Prior to his trial, while presumably innocent, he was subject to inhumane treatment which the United Nations has determined constituted torture. 

What do the readers think? Do you believe it’s Constitutional for the U.S. Army to torture one of its own soldiers because he revealed the truth about U.S. war crimes to the American people?

William O. West

Brookings

offer many choices

Again the county commissioners are scrambling, trying to get a sales tax option on the next ballot. 

They want to spend extra monies we supposedly don’t have for a special September ballot. All because basically they didn’t listen to the many other proposals of the task force of 2011.

My question is, “why not give us voters more than one choice on the November ballot?” It shouldn’t have to be limited to one lousy choice, such as the last farce. Let us vote on the 3-percent tax option, the 2-percent flat tax, the home rule, and any other option they feel worthy.

All of a sudden, the county has $950,000 socked away to shuffle to the jail and sheriff. What other monies are hidden away? Then we have the posted, full-time position to basically help the overpaid commissioners. I forgot the 3-percent gesture pay cut in 2009 which one commissioner constantly keeps reminding us.

Whatever happened to “Freedom of Speech?” Recently, I write a closed email about my concerns and a conflict of interest, which I didn’t even publish. The commissioners, sheriff, and tax collector can push their own interest, with multiple published letters. Then I’m suddenly relieved of my volunteer position with the Curry County. I saved lots of county $$ over the last years, but this poor move could cost the taxpayers even more money. Someone at the top isn’t thinking. 

Mark St.James

Brookings

try something new

Why is it that all we can seem to come up with to fix our financial woes, which could have been avoided by simple fiscal responsibility, is a myriad of taxes? 

I know that you received J.R Wilson’s proposal for a Multi-Draw lottery which would be run for the county. Why not give it a try, or at least look into it, commissioners. 

Being a constituent of yours, I would like to see you consider an idea other than your own beloved taxes which we all know won’t get passed. I mean, if you read the proposal of Mr. Wilson, the county is getting 50 cents on the dollar and people all over Oregon can play it, which they will since the state lottery never pays off for anyone here. 

If we did this it could be a bounty for the county that would work for everyone and pay year after year. Enough with the taxes and try something new! 

Harvey Riesling, 

concerned citizen

Harborn

Do job, get support

All the hoopla about law enforcement funding leaves me wondering if what we get from local law enforcement is worth funding. 

Nearly every day I observe several officers just sitting semi-hidden on the side of the road trying to raise revenue by catching the occasional speeder. 

Why aren’t they out patrolling. Wouldn’t that serve our community better and make our streets safer? Do they not know that just as soon as the speeders pass by that they speed up again, endangering our lives. Law enforcement, do your job and maybe you’ll get more support. 

Harold Bailey 

Brookings

loss more than gain

No more nice guy! This time my friends and I are really upset over our highly paid commissioners and a citizens committee suggesting a 3-percent sales tax without a “by your leave” to us poor residents of almost-broke Curry County.

The list of exemptions is for items that would bring in the most money — airplanes boats, vehicles (a Ferrari, perhaps) construction material and machinery. What would you then tax? Baby diapers, houseslippers, bathrobes, bathing suits? Is Susan Brown the only one who wants to wait until the public is informed  about this newest farce ?

Do the commissioners really think a sales tax will attract tourists? You can hardly get a parking place in Freddy’s parking lot on Friday through Sunday. You will see pickup trucks with mattresses tied on top, with TV sets inside. You will see cars with large trunks with computers, vacuums, small appliances and also TV sets. Most of the vehicles with California license plates. 

Since Chetco Pharmacy started to carry big name brands of perfumes and cosmetics, I must honestly say that my daughters from California and Cincinnati load up on these items for themselves and their friends. This does bring in business. Would a sales tax bring them in or keep them out?      

It seems that no matter how a majority of the residents of Harbor and Brookings try to have a town manager instead of three well-paid commissioners, we are never successful. 

Ralph Martin, Mike Schrum, Cliff Siemens where are you?

If I sound “cranky” it’s because I am.

Geraldine Kass    

Harbor

wants us to believe

I’ve had it clear up to my eyebrows with either the dumbest administration to inhabit the White House or else they are lying to cover up all that’s bad and surfacing at once.

I thought when our brilliant President Obama gave Eric Holder executive privilege to cover their lies on Fast and Furious that we had lost a great opportunity to catch both liars. Little did I realize what the president has in mind is to change the way Washington has worked for the greatest country ever. His transparent government lie is now being exposed and if I had been a Democrat saying G.W. Bush was a liar because nuclear weapons were not found in Iraq I would be hiding under my bed in embarrassment. All Democrats except four unknowns voted to go to war with the same intelligence briefing as Bush had.

Obama cannot say these words, “there is a global war on Islamic terrorism.” That’s exactly what we have but he wants us to believe he has defeated Al-Qaeda. The terrorist has regained its strength and Al-Qaeda has changed its location from the Pakistan border to Sudan, Iraq and like countries. This war with Islamic terrorists will go on for many years and his backing away from Guantanamo will only take away our ability to question our captured and get information we need to find what fuels their hate. 

Liberals, get it out of your mind that we can try them in American courts. If you don’t know why then you qualify as an attorney general for President Obama.

Clay Dalrymple

Gold Beach

consequences of tax

The commissioners seem to have settled on a 3-percent sales tax to fund the county. Possibly this is the best solution, I don’t know. But I would like to present a possible consequence to this plan.

Brookings has two auto dealerships and some used car dealers. When shopping for a car, the average person becomes the most frugal person on earth; they will travel many miles and contact many dealerships in order to get the absolute bottom dollar on a selling price. Consider that a 3-percent sales tax on a $25,000 car is $750. That will put a Brookings car dealer in a very unfavorable position when negotiating a price against a dealer in any other county. If a dealership in Curry County can’t sell any cars because of the sales tax, they will have no option but to re-locate to another county. This will cost jobs.

Also, many Curry residents travel to other cities for medical appointments or various other reasons. It only makes sense that they would buy needed high-ticket items while they are in a non-tax county.

The anticipated revenue from this tax measure could turn out to be far less than expected, and could add to the unemployment compensation costs.

Alan Jensen

Brookings

Lottery overlooked

Your comment “There’s also talk of letting struggling counties keep some of the state lottery revenues generated within them, thereby cheating other Oregonians by diverting the funds” is totally false and cheats no one.

Our proposal is for Curry County to start its own lottery, totally separate from the state lottery and with a new and unique format.  The Oregon Lottery wouldn’t even notice it on their spreadsheets since Curry County’s lottery would be completely different and would not compete with their video games, scratch-its, or Keno. In addition, the state would receive new revenue from income taxes on the winnings.

I have a very detailed plan for our movement and also the details of how it must be set up, complete with checks and balances, with some trickling down to cities in the county to provide economic enhancement for all of Curry County. Had you taken the time to ask for more information and studied the information sent to you, you would understand why your statement (quoted above) is totally false.

The public is welcoming the information in our flyers and is showing great enthusiasm for this proposal which would allow them to be part of Curry County’s economic recovery without new taxes.

We will continue to present this information to every citizen of Curry County. With or without your support, we will see to it that the truth is told. It is unfortunate that we cannot rely on the media to always present the truth or even to present both sides without bias.

J.R. Wilson

Brookings

lottery plan is good

I have worked alongside Mr. Wilson on the development team for over a year now, and understand in depth the lottery proposal sent to our elected officials. 

Our elected officials have had more than four months to respond and it seems that they have no interest in listening to their constituents. The only response we got was from Brock Smith saying “there are hurdles.” Is it not your job to overcome hurdles in the best interests of your constituents, sir? 

In less than a week of handing out flyers and conversing with the public, the response has been overwhelming support for the lottery as if we were passing out money. 

Mr. Wilson has a plan not only for structure, for how the game would be properly run, but since he would be licensing the county with rights to the lottery this ensures that ALL the funds are publicly accounted for and properly allocated. The county would get its share for the budget, a rainy-day fund would be established, and money would spread around the entire county for REAL community enhancement. As opposed to taxes which would further strain our poor county, this form of lottery would be played online, allowing the entire state to play with the revenue benefitting Curry County. 

Think of it: The county would be solvent, schools would have the money they need for supplies, the state would get income tax as people spend winnings and jobs would be secured. Even people who don’t play benefit by having a better economy. 

A lottery or taxes? To use the old baseball term, the choice is as easy as “a chicken thigh and a can o’ corn.” 

Jackson Mark Gerald DeHaven 

Harbor

go the way of Ak., WI.

The recent list of eight examples of website comments regarding Curry County’s problems and the attempt to fix them temporarily (Pilot, June 5) was very interesting. 

Obviously fellow Oregonians have the same opinions as those of us out of state who sent letters in March and April, but the Pilot refused to print them. 

As you can see, most normal counties, evidently in all of Oregon and the U.S. purposely pay around $2.50/1,000 to keep feds and the states out of their local business. We’d never embarrass ourselves by forcing the governor to send in extra state police and National Guard all because we couldn’t/wouldn’t spend the money to provide our own security and other necessary evils.

Putting aside O&C funds in a “Permanent Fund,” like Alaska, only makes sense instead of using it as a tax subsidy. This would still leave the same political party running things, but not become an embarrassment. Both Alaska and Wisconsin have Republicans and tea party members in power making decisions, actually very close to Democrats and Progressives. 

As we said in our letters two and three months ago, isn’t it time for Curry’s 47- and 53-percenters to wake up and join the 21st century yet? Besides the property tax raise, a 2- or 3-percent sales tax would only hurt out-of-towners, just as a higher transient lodging tax. Milwaukee (city and county) has had that for years in addition to a 5-percent state sales tax. That’s why our income tax can be 3.4 percent less at 6.54 percent for most. 

Linda and Ken Smith 

Hartford, Wis.