The port’s greed

Let me start in saying that I have been associated with the Southern Oregon Kite Festival (SOKF) for only six years. This is a non-profit organization that only benefits the community and the enjoyment of thousands of people.

In years past, SOFK has paid the port $250 to rent the kite field plus $25 for each of the seven vendors who were able to get electricity (the power supply at the Kite Field cannot support more).

In return, the port treated the SOKF as an event that benefited the community and gave us a tremendous amount of support. The port loaned us picnic tables, trash cans, a stage, traffic barricades, and kept the Kite Field watered and mowed.

This was the situation from 2006 — when the port declared that it could no longer afford to produce the SOKF — through 2016.

This year, the port manager’s first suggestion was that the port should charge SOKF $4,800 for the use of the field. That was negotiated down to $600 for this year. Quite a jump for the port basically doing nothing.

The $600 fee to the port includes nothing beyond the port mowing the Kite Field; the SOKF is allowed to water and use it. There are no longer restrooms because the port restrooms are threatening to fall into the harbor, which means that SOKF has to rent a half-dozen extra Porta-Potties above what we usually rent.

We have purchased picnic tables and trash cans, rented barricades from the City of Brookings, and made arrangements to use a stage in much better condition than the port’s. We had been told the port’s barricades and trash cans were no longer available for us to use.

The port and its commissioners are trying to make up all of their past deficits by overcharging, and end up shortchanging the Brookings-Harbor community.

Gregg Brown


Relying on Medicaid

In 2016, 72.5 million Americans relied on Medicaid — 43 percent of those were children. That is more than 31 million children.

Is this cause for outrage, or for embarrassment as a nation?

Gina Soltis


Yellen and Fischer

President Trump’s chief economic advisor, Gary Cohn, gives praise for the work of Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen, but refuses to confirm her renomination when her term ends in February, 2018.

She will be a lame duck this summer if John Taylor and Kevin Warsh are announced as replacements for Yellen and Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer.

It appears the Trump administration plans to go in a new direction with a more rules-driven Federal Reserve, operating more under the control of Congress. Yellen and Fischer believe the Fed should be independent of Congress. However, Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker Paul Ryan believe the Constitution gives Congress the power to coin money and regulate its value.

It is rumored Randal Quarles will be nominated to replace Daniel Tarullo as the Fed’s point man on financial regulation. If confirmed by the Senate, Quarles would become vice chair of financial supervision and regulation. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin believes the Dodd-Frank financial law places too much bureaucratic burden on small regional banks.

There are two seats vacant on the Fed’s seven-member Board of Governors vacant and Daniel Tarullo announced he will leave on or about April, 2018. This will give President Trump the opportunity to nominate three new members. The Trump administration has interviewed David Nason, Marvin Goodfriend and Quarles to fill board vacancies. In addition, President Trump could replace board members Yellen and Fischer if they are not renominated and resign.

This would give President Trump five vacancies to fill on the seven-member board, and a chance to change the direction of the Fed. Unfortunately the Taylor rule, named after John Taylor, is based upon neo-Keynesianism, and President Trump’s candidates look a lot like the crew who bailed out Wall Street during President Bush’s administration.

Dr. Steve Johnston



Lon Goddard, S.J. Hyatt — do you read the Pilot often? The most frequently recommended solution I’ve seen for our understaffed law enforcement departments is “a gun and a big dog.”

I returned home from a recent business trip telling my significant other that I wanted to discuss this very topic. I learned of the shooting of congressmen in Virginia while I was away, and it again reminded me that we live in a violent time.

I’m sure the residents of Sandy Hook felt the same way we do about Brookings before gun violence impacted so many families in that “friendly outpost.” Hospitals, nightclubs, schools, public transit, ball fields — shootings take place so frequently we barely notice any more.

I’m not a gun advocate. I don’t believe more guns have made us safer, and I have not yet decided whether to arm my household. But if, for example, someone hopped up on meth breaks into my home with bad intent, I might prefer to defend myself with something more lethal than scissors and cats.

Chastising a reporter for considering gun ownership in a responsible way — taking a class, learning about safety and care of a gun — is mind boggling. I guarantee Jane and I are not the only ones with these concerns, and I applaud her for facing her fears in a responsible, adult manner. I intend to do the same.

And I await your outraged responses to Scott Graves’ irresponsible power-washer column …

Susan Shampo


On target

I am writing in defense of Jane Stebbins’ articles on guns.

Yes, Brookings is a pretty safe place to live and “arming yourself” probably isn’t necessary for the average citizen.

But, as an ex-law enforcement officer, I can assure you that it is a different world for law enforcement officials, field reporters, medical personnel and others who work night shifts and lonely occupations. Also, women, rightfully, feel more vulnerable than men.

Sex education in schools has reduced teen pregnancy, whereas the “hide it in the closet” approach hasn’t. Education always wins out over ignorance.

I’m of the thought that our country is in trouble because economically, people are stressed and that breeds violence. That’s sad; so many shootings. That’s a social problem.

The other problem (I’m ignoring suicides, that’s another issue) is gun safety. Remember the failed “hide it in the closet” philosophy? I’m in favor of “gun education.” I think it would be wonderful to require a gun-safety course for anyone who purchases a firearm. The more training the better.

The fact that Ms. Stebbins opted to “educate” herself on the gun issue far outweighs the over-the-top, anti-gun nut position … she is clearly “on target.”

Dan Sherman


irrational gun fears

I’d like to respond to two Letters to the Editor submitted by Lon Goddard and S.J. Hyatt (Pilot, July 1) who vehemently objected to articles written by Pilot Staff Writer Jane Stebbins. Ms. Stebbins’ articles wrote of her experiences when she began firearm training.

Both responders to Ms. Stebbins’ articles apparently have had little or no experience with weapons, and I believe their own lack of understanding drives their irrational fear of them.

The articles didn’t advocate, “… we should all be afraid and armed” as suggested by S.J. Hyatt, nor did the articles suggested that guns were, “ … fun little toys designed to amuse the child in us” as suggested by Mr. Goddard.

The articles simply shared her experience in proper training in handling a firearm. Anyone considering a concealed carry weapons (CCW) permit, this training is absolutely necessary.

For folks who believe that Brookings is so laidback having an Oregon CCW is unnecessary, consider that most people travel outside of Brookings. Tell me those stabbing victims on the train in Portland recently didn’t wish someone had a CCW permit during their assault.

For Lou Goddard and S.J. Hyatt, who don’t wish to involve themselves with firearms that’s perfectly understandable. But please don’t demean those who choose not to be a victim.

Mike Wiley


Willing to learn

I was just wondering if anyone would like to join with me in taking up an offering in order to send Lon Goddard to one of our local handgun classes.

I felt bad for Lon after reading his recent letter (Pilot, July 1) since he seems to know so many things that just aren’t true.

One may or may not like Jane, or her writing style or her sense of humor but what she wrote, in her recent gun pieces, was pretty good in expressing her thinking as she set foot in an area she really didn’t know too much about. She was willing to learn.

I wonder if Lon Goddard is willing to learn. Or maybe he’s content just believing what he’s always believed. Never learning anything new.

Cam Lynn


Don’t be a victim

Afraid and Armed? Afraid so.

Regarding the criticism of Jane Stebbins’ article about gun ownership (Pilot, July 1): I feel I must remind people that while the city of Brookings has adequate law enforcement, the residents of Harbor and other areas do not.

There is no deputy on duty after a certain time at night. There might be one in Gold Beach when you call because someone is breaking into your home. However in the 30 minutes it takes to get to your home in Harbor you may be robbed. Or injured. Or dead.

One letter writer brought up Neighborhood Watch and looking out for each other. Well, guess what. I tried initiating that, after seeing a group of people at 3 a.m. near my house.

I wrote a letter to each neighbor suggesting a Neighborhood Watch or at the least a phone list. Guess how many neighbors responded? Not a single one. So in my experience here, people don’t care about looking out for their neighbors. Nor do they care to pay a little bit more in property taxes to fund the Sheriff’s Department — it’s pathetic really.

So with little or no law enforcement, thieves and criminals knowing all about that and disinterested neighbors — yes, people should arm themselves, unless you don’t mind being a victim.

Peggy McCormick


Anti-american agenda

Gabbard of Hawaii is the only Democrat I have any respect for these days.

She is a vocal critic of our asinine foreign policy in Syria and is the author of “Stop Arming Terrorists Act.”

My Congressman Peter DeFazio would do well to follow Tulsi Gabbard’s example himself instead of involving himself in ridiculous and frivolous lawsuits against Donald Trump.

Peter DeFazio should be calling for the firing of Mad Dog Mattis.

Mad Dog Mattis is doing a terrible job in Syria and we should not be on the same side as the ISIS and Al-Nusra terrorists.

Peter DeFazio embarasses me and everyone else in this district when he carries out the anti-American agenda of Nancy Pelosi.

Nancy Pelosi is so over the hill she thinks George W. Bush is still president.

How ironic that Nancy Pelosi and Peter DeFazio always opposed impeachment for George W. Bush.

How pathetic that Nancy Pelosi and DeFazio now let the insane Maxine Waters and the bloodthirsty Hollywood crowd lead them by the nose when it comes to President Trump.

Joe Thomas