Wrong priorities

I read with interest the Jan. 10 Pilot article, “To Your Good Health” by Dr. Keith Roach, and must respond to his attack on gun violence and owners, with his recommendation of a physician conducted program counseling patients on the subject.

While I agree it might help in very few cases, I am much more troubled with the statistics relating to deaths caused by medical malpractice.

Roach pointed out that about 10,000 deaths (which I believe is a low estimate) are caused yearly and include accidental, suicide and gun violence. Most are in New York, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Chicago and Oakland, and exceed our patriot’s casualties fighting in the Middle East.

What concerns me more, however, and should, especially the members of our community, are the estimated 125,000 deaths (which I too believe is a low estimate) caused by medical malpractice, several of which I am personally, unfortunately, familiar.

Deaths of 10,000 by an approximate 80 million gun owners as compared to 125,000 deaths caused by 700,000 physicians is really incomprehensible. I think Roach has his priorities a bit out of whack and perhaps might want to assist his contemporaries in cleaning up their own act before taking on a relatively minor, statistically speaking, gun violence problem. Any life saved, though, is commendable.

N. J. Sprague


Recall overdue

Recently I read the Pilot headlines, “Thompson found guilty of ethics violations.”

I feel that (Roger) Thompson, an elected public official, should have been forthcoming back in November, when he pleaded guilty to not one, but three ethics violations and accepted a quiet slap on the wrist. Instead, he did his best to hide his guilt from the public.

Some of these violations took place well after his election. I think it is very likely Thompson will face more ethics violations from his illegal firing of the port manager. While ethics may not matter to Thompson, they do matter to the public.

I voted for and publicly supported Thompson, an act I have come to regret many times over. I think the time is long overdue to begin a recall.

Doug Lewis


Parental discretion

Brookings-Harbor High School is a perfect example of the inmates running the asylum as was depicted in the movie, “A Clockwork Orange.”

When I was in high school, I was tempted to sneak a peek into the girl’s bathroom but never did because I feared the consequences. Now the school system encourages such behavior.

Although those high school days are far behind me, I believe most teenage girls still cherish their modesty, their dignity and their privacy. I further believe the majority of the boys feel the same way.

So why does the school board allow a small number of students who claim to represent those with a sexual abnormality to open the bathrooms and locker rooms to anyone who desires access? This decision should be made by the parents, not the school board.

The school system is perpetuated by the taxpayers and it should be subservient to those who provide for the schooling of our children. Unfortunately, most parents cannot afford to send their children to parochial or charter schools.

Alan Jensen


Hold to a standard

The blaring front page headline, “Thompson guilty of ethics violations” was a shameful exaggeration of the actual conflict of interest charges and its letter of education consequence upon reading the article. This form of yellow journalism has no place in a small local community paper where exaggerations like this have such outsize impacts on the individuals and their families.

Roger Thompson and Ted Fitzgerald, both members of long-time families in our community, have been publicly feuding for months, if not years, over the management of the Port of Brookings Harbor. It is important that the Pilot covers this and yes, all the missteps of those involved in the running of our community’s “gem.” Yet, positioning this article with such misleading headlines infers a bias that is a disservice to everyone and raises questions about fairness.

I am a strong supporter of local newspapers like our Pilot but it also needs to hold itself to a standard that merits such support.

Georgia Nowlin



Port Manager Gary Dehlinger seems to have been wrongly fired and then temporarily reinstated to his job simply to cover the commissioners’ behinds.

In the meantime, they have proposed installing an interim manager without following legal guidelines.

Anyone with a memory of local politics will remember the Harbor Sanitary District debacle that this situation so closely resembles.

You can’t fire someone who is doing a perfectly good job for political reasons.

Since Dehlinger took over management of the port, there have been steady and incremental improvements that were not happening before. Yes, there are still a lot of problems at the port, but Dehlinger seems to be working to solve as many of them as possible within the port’s limited budget.

Perhaps his emphasis on working within the budget was a problem for the commissioners, but since they gave no other reason for his termination, who knows.

I’d like to hear an explanation from the commissioners.

Short of that, maybe they should give the man his job back and turn in their own resignations.

Let’s have some transparency in our local government.

Don Griffith


Rampant agenda

I was saddened to read that signs have been allowed to be posted near bathrooms at Brookings-Harbor High School that promote the sexual confusion of young minds.

Of course the signs are more devious and less obvious than that, but when children and young adults are encouraged to use the bathroom “…which best fits your gender identity or expression” isn’t that exactly what’s happening? During a time when young adults are forming behavioral characteristics, we’re telling these kids it’s OK to be whatever sex you want for the day.

Seeing that it’s been approved by the principal and superintendent is even more disheartening. It appears moral standards in high school have now been significantly lowered.

This is part of the homosexual agenda, which we’ve seen running rampant throughout the country.

The term that should be used here is progressive indoctrination.

Mike Wiley


Living on the edge

As a longtime resident of the Brookings area, I am very interested in the goings-on of nature. This interest includes weather, gardening and the likelihood of a major event.

Several years ago, we experienced a small tsunami that occurred after a major earthquake in Japan. I remember hearing the tsunami sirens and being able to see the destruction of this event after it happened. A lot of damage happened at our port, and many boats were damaged as well. Crescent City’s harbor had lots of damage, even though this tsunami was not considered a major event for us.

A year ago, my friend and neighbor, Diane Cavaness invited me to attend a class she was teaching at SWOCC. It was called “Living on the Edge.” Diane is a retired science teacher and she somehow makes learning very enjoyable, even while teaching us about natural disasters.

I really learned a lot about earthquakes, what makes them, how different quakes occur and most importantly, how to prepare for them. This includes how to put together a Go Bag that should be in our car or somewhere easily accessible.

I am pleased to announce she will teach this class again in February at SWOCC, our local college extension. So, if you want to learn about earthquakes, why they occur, different plate movements and tsunami histories, sign up and take the course. It’s a good way to learn some really important information.

Patt Brown


Blockbuster book

There has been considerable riveting news in recent Pilots with much high drama. Apparently without providing the port manager with either proper notice or a hearing, the Port of Brookings Harbor commissioners sans one summarily terminated him, leaving him and us taxpayers in a fog of no information and secrecy. Then nearly as quickly, the commissioners reinstated him, apparently suddenly realizing that their prior action likely would result in litigation, with the situation ongoing.

Many thanks to Pilot reporter Boyd C. Allen for clearing as much of the fog as possible. Stay tuned for further developments.

Then there was the news (Pilot, Jan. 13) that the former Curry County IT director reportedly has won a lawsuit against the county commissioners after having been fired seven months ago. More fog — the settlement terms haven’t been revealed. Discordant county politics have again been recounted in senior reporter Jane Stebbins’ article.

Next on the county front is the report the county commissioners plan to lend Road Capital Improvement Reserve Funds to special districts, apparently ignoring that if the county were to suffer a disaster such as the mudslide catastrophe that struck the Montecito, California, area in the wake of wildfires, which denuded the surrounding slopes, those funds would not be retrievable for vital road repairs.

Echoing the Jan. 13 Pilot editorial, one can hardly wait for these dramas to play out. The resulting book should be a best seller and the forthcoming film a blockbuster.

Jim Hansen