Use science

Going to the original sources cited in a recent letter to the editor, I learned the U.S. Forest Service manual actually states it’s their policy to “Suppress all wildfires within wilderness (areas) in accordance with the direction for fire program implementation in accordance with the direction in FSM 5130.”

The letter writer repeats part of what Don Despain, a respected Yellowstone National Park ecologist, conversationally said in 1989 when observing fire in his study plot. It has nothing to do with the Chetco Bar Fire.

Despain (retired), later argued that 1988’s 1.4 million-acre fire in and around Yellowstone did not destroy the national park or its ecosystem. Time has proved him correct.

Some 58 percent of the Chetco River’s watershed was within the Biscuit Fire perimeter. Yet this amazing river has continued to produce prized runs of native salmon and steelhead and clean water for Brookings.

The percentage is 68 percent for the Chetco Bar Fire. With only a 10 percent increase in size, certain individuals are claiming catastrophe and that the Chetco River has been destroyed for the next 100 years.

The Kalmiopsis is one of the most rugged and diverse wild areas in the nation. Its National Wild and Scenic Rivers — the Illinois, Chetco and North Fork Smith — and their pure water and runs of native salmon and steelhead are a reflection of its integrity. Decisions about the priceless public lands surrounding these rivers and the safety of communities should be based on good science and accurate information.

Barbara Ullian

Grants Pass

Different view

Dora Costa (Pilot, Nov. 18) is entitled to her view of this president. Here is mine:

This president is a coward, a fraud and a monumental liar. He has no dignity, integrity or moral authority.

He is ignorant of American history and Constitutional law. He lacks core principles of his own and sneers at the ideals that have made this nation great — honor, freedom, promotion of democracy and our commitment to doing what John McCain calls “great good in the world.” He eschews America’s traditional leadership role and grovels before dictators, and his only “just cause” is himself — in his words, “I’m the only one that matters.”

This president cannot accept responsibility. He claims undeserved credit, blames others for whatever goes wrong, shamelessly courts flattery and brags incessantly. He demands sycophancy from underlings (that bizarre cabinet meeting!), whines about criticism and tweets infantile insults and schoolyard threats. He lacks even the basic manners we all learned as children.

Worst of all, this president is a phony patriot who sees only his supporters as constituents and despises everyone else. He dishonors our own intelligence, military and law enforcement people while fawning over our implacable enemy Putin, handing him critical security secrets and denying his sabotage of our election.

He intentionally fans the flames of fear and anger because division empowers him politically, even though it also serves Putin’s objective of weakening America.

McCain said: “We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil.” This president has no clue what that means. He shames us before the world.

Mike Gaynes


Represents county

In response to the letter (Pilot, Nov 29) about taxpayer’s rights: let me put the writer at ease.

Court Boice performed an exceptional duty as an elected commissioner representing Curry County in a time of crisis. I am a resident and he made himself readily available to answer my specific questions and listen to my concerns. I can also confirm that many other concerned citizens approached him and I simply had to wait my turn. He also gave valuable insight regarding the massive unified command activities with many government agencies involved.

By itself, this is enough for me to say thank you for being there to represent the county. I can well imagine that several others feel the same.

Don Andrzejewski


Wore many hats

Regarding Curry County Commissioner Court Boice’s outstanding leadership and support of South Curry County during the Chetco Bar Fire, many of us are grateful.

Curry County should have considered paying for Commissioner Boice’s travel expenses and the insight, perspective, first-hand knowledge and priceless sense of hope he willingly provided.

When other commissioners were nowhere to be found, Commissioner Boice wore many hats. Some are:

Visionary leader — Led the charge so we knew we had a leader in the trenches with us.

Analyst — Assessed vulnerabilities and risks to our community’s well-being. He monitored events with a keen eye, protecting the interests and well-being of the citizens of Curry County, and he obtained frontline knowledge of impacts and shortcomings of the emergency management efforts and local plan from a citizen perspective.

Master networker — Provided assistance when an individual, nonprofit or a business need was identified as critical.

Catalyst — Served as the liaison between government, private sectors and the community during a natural disaster.

Advocate — Commissioner Boice continues to advocate for funding for our local fire-related prevention and recovery priorities and leads the effort working toward policy changes at all levels of government so Curry County does not get caught in the same policy nightmare that has left our forests “natural disasters waiting to happen.”

He continues to speak up for our community while protecting the interests of both individuals and business.

Reimburse Commissioner Boice for fire-related travel expenses — a true bang for citizens’ tax bucks.

Skip Hunter


Lacking verification

The recent article published in Western Communications Inc. (WesCom) affiliate (Pilot Nov. 4) titled “Huxley, Boice clash over pulling of agenda items” continued the Pilot’s longstanding lack of diligent verification of the accuracy of their information prior to publishing news articles.

The resulting misrepresentations in this 1,200-word article are unprofessional and without foundation or knowledge of the facts. The first 900 words of the article focused on “Public Meeting Decorum” and the last 300 words on “Access to Commissioner’s Offices.” The latter will be addressed in a future letter to the editor.

While the origin of the phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words” has been debated for years, the idea that a picture can convey what might take many words to express has merit. That said; “a video is worth more than a thousand words.”

For the actual facts (a novelty for Pilot articles about me) regarding the disruptive conduct during Curry County Board of Commissioner meetings, use the following link to view a 15-minute video clip of commissioner meetings April 5, Sept. 6, Oct. 18, and Nov. 1, 2017. There were significant violations of the Rules of Decorum per order number 20401 in these meetings by Commissioner Boice and/or Mr. Barnes.

Thomas Huxley

Curry County commissioner

Tax effect

Many of you have probably been wondering “how will the new tax plan affect me?”

The reports are short on details and seem to come down to some people might see a decrease and others might see an increase.

If you want to find out how the plan will work for you go to: class="Apple-converted-space"> It is very easy to do and only takes a couple numbers from your last years tax return. We are a retired couple and our taxes would go up by close to $1,000.

Merry Christmas?

Jack Worrall


Bad for America

The current tax reform plan is another instance of Republicans rewarding rich donors and justifying it by saying tax cuts pay for themselves. This is called trickle-down or supply-side economics.

Tax revenues increased after taxes on the rich were reduced during the Reagan administration. The increase was not due to tax cuts. It was due to arms race spending, which led to full employment.

Tax cuts for the rich during the George W Bush administration turned an inherited budget surplus into deficits and asset bubbles. The next president, Barack Obama, inherited the Great Recession.

The lastest plan will increase the national debt by at least $1 trillion. Assuming the plan will spur growth by encouraging investment defies history. George H. W. Bush rightly called supply-side economics voodoo economics.

Republicans are clever. They will say the debt cannot be allowed to grow and will find ways to reduce payments to lower-income people, further increasing income equality. They will attack health care and retirement programs.

You might have heard all of this. What you have not heard is the plan is not just bad for lower-income people, it is also bad for America.

The American economy is driven by consumption. Reducing payments to lower-income people, who in contrast with rich people spend almost all of their income, will hurt the economy.

The economies of China and India are growing rapidly because these countries provide upward mobility. Why can’t Republicans understand a two-tier society is bad for America?

Leonard Azar