Keep kids safe

April 8, 2016 there was a big party at South Fork. Over 100 kids, most from Brooking-Harbor, including tweens. Lots of booze. Lots of drugs. Lots of drunks. Some sex. Brookings’ graduating athletes were picking fights with underclassmen.

Underage drinking parties happen in the county all year around but upriver is particularly dangerous because of the road coming back to town and the condition of the driver and its occupants. That combination continues to produce serious injuries and occasionally a death almost every year

I put together a rather comprehensive page at called “A River of Booze — The South Fork,” which covers many issues around teen drinking: Oregon law. Drug and alcohol statistics like 24.7 percent of Curry County 11th graders are binge drinkers compared to only 15.5 percent for the state. Opioids are known to be available including Roofies. Dealers actually announced it on Instagram before the party happened. Prevention strategies like How to talk with your kids about alcohol and drugs. Ways to have fun without drinking and much more.

Do whatever it takes to become informed and take an active role to keep your kids safe.

Gordon Clay


Pull clearances

Tucker Carlson and Rand Paul have just exposed an amazing fact. Employees of prior administrations who lose their job, retire from their job or are fired from their job get to keep their top secret security clearance. What? I’ll wager 80 percent of the American people did not know of this ridiculous situation.

In my career, I have hired and fired. At my company when an employee is fired they were required to turn in their cell phone, laptop, all company materials and their access code to the company’s mainframe computer is immediately deleted. Imagine the damage a disgruntled employee could do if allowed continued access to company and employee information.

Brennen, Clapper, Haden and others have repeatedly voiced their disdain and hatred for President Trump. They have taken to the airwaves to openly and loudly disparage Trump on almost every policy and action and they are allowed to retain top secret security clearances. Are you kidding me?

They argue their often consulted on sensitive subjects relevant to their past positions. If that’s the case, provide them with a temporary clearance for the duration of their involvement. Obama employees will never be of assistance to Trump and are openly undermining his administration.

These hateful ex-employees and all other past administration employees must have their clearances pulled immediately.

Dee Tyson


Petulant child

Recall Boice. With his dictatorial behavior and attitude as represented by the Pilot in several articles in the past, it appears that he is creating a dysfunctional culture on the county board of commissioners. It is escalating into a legal event that will be a financial impact on the county.

This is in addition to the expense he incurred, apparently unilaterally, in activities during the Chetco Bar Fire.

Were these activities condoned by the county board of commissioners for the good of the county? What did he do? Are issues pertinent to county government with a fiduciary impact being brought forth, discussed and voted on for the good of the taxpayer (the democratic process)?

I do not think so. Boice’s statement that he feels he is doing the work of the other two commissioners is absurd. I do not feel that he is doing his job by conflicting within the democratic process.

Instead he says, ignoring fiduciary ramifications, I’ll see you in court, like a petulant child that doesn’t get its way.

As a tax paying citizen of Curry County, I protest the arrogant, egotistical behavior by Boice that is generating dysfunction and impediments to the responsible functioning of the present board of commissioners to the detriment of Curry County. The current political turmoil in the USA requires the greatest stabilizing influence we can field.

With the challenges coming before the board, this Boice issue must be reconciled.

Jack M. McGahey


Legitimate science

A recent letter writer (July 17) complained that fire science was boring and didn’t make sense to him. Maybe I can help. Fighting wildfires for more than 20 years, mostly on ground crews, I learned a lot through direct experience, but I have also found it interesting to compare what I saw with what fire scientists have learned through their research. I have been pleasantly surprised to see that what I observed on various fires matches up with much of the science I have read.

The letter writer suggested there is a disconnect between the Forest Service leaving “tons of dead, dry kindling within a few miles of our homes” and fire agencies fostering firewise practices, such as sweeping one’s roof and trimming branches. He argued that our best move is more salvage logging.

I disagree. Agencies promote science-based, experience-based, firewise practices because they know wood frame houses and the people in them are vulnerable. Firefighters know that big, charred tree trunks don’t burn well, especially in the first few years after a fire like Chetco Bar. If you walk around in a burn, you quickly see that fires burn the small stuff — needles, twigs and brush — not the big trunks.

Resources are limited and future fires are inevitable so let’s get smart about how we manage burned forests. Let’s use science — which is, in fact, usually the best common sense — to help focus our efforts in the most effective directions.

Rich Fairbanks


fundraising success

Brookings Harbor Education Foundation, I wanted to thank you for your very generous grant assessing the sixth grade science tech needs. We have a brand new curriculum and it has amazing videos, interactive learning labs, and the capability of reading the textbook to students. However, I was unable to utilize this to its full potential due to our lack of headphones. I did procure six sets, many thanks to the AMS PTO Carnival fundraiser.

This allowed students to share. Now, students will be able to experience science as if they were there, at their own pace, utilizing as many tech advantages as possible.

As many of us know, some students absorb information better if they hear it. We also know that a picture (video) is worth a thousand words (long teacher lecture). Thank you again for your fine support of our young learning community.

Christal Miller

Sixth grade science teacher

Impressive job

Thanks for the help in communicating to our Curry Citizens and a most sincere note of thanks to the Oregon Department of Forestry and Coos Forest Protective Association. Their great success earlier this month in putting out the Lobster Creek Fire was impressive.

I’ve already thanked them personally, however, I wish to extend and specifically mention Dave Lorenz, Mike Robison, Link Smith, Derwin Boggs, Brett Weidemiller, and Tim Keith. Myself and state Rep. David Brock-Smith watched closely every day during that difficult week. Needless to say, all the ODF reps were very professional, effective, respectful, thorough and accountable, not to mention their historic dedication to fiercely protecting Oregon Forests.

May I offer: they’re also helping to save Oregon communities. I’m getting to know my way around the ODF campus in Salem. In our previous meetings, I’ve been able to communicate to the Oregon Department of Forestry Director, Peter Daugherty and his staffs led by CFPA, Oregon State Fire Marshall, Curry Sheriff’s Department, and all of our local Curry emergency management entities, that thankfully teamed up to save our city of Brookings. Most will remember Aug. 17, 2017 through to the final October containment of the Chetco Bar Fire. A year later, battling heavy winds; in less than 24 hours the gallant effort CFPA made kept the Lobster Creek Fire under 400 total acres. It did not grow after the first 24 hours. Simply remarkable.

Many people played a significant role in the decisive suppression of this early 2018 Oregon Seasonal Fire. For a second consecutive year our county is greatly indebted to their organizations. Our Department of Forestry is arguably the best of all 11 Western states.

I’ll be providing routine reports on the remaining two months on the Klondike and other fire-related issues.

Court Boice

Curry County commissioner