Work and pray

A tip of the cap to Mr. Steve Johnston for his comment in the last paragraph of his letter published in your paper Sept. 20.

Putting aside for a moment other needed discussion about the Chetco Bar Fire, the fact is, we had a small wilderness fire many miles away, explode into a raging inferno as the naturally occurring “Chetco Effect” winds stoked its embers and pushed it toward our community like an unstoppable freight train bent on our destruction. In fact, some of our people did lose everything to its fury.

Pushed by our usually friendly ‘Banana Belt’ winds, it came at us so fast that our best efforts to suppress the fire and protect our community would not have been enough without heaven’s help.

A wise spiritual leader has said we should work as if all depended upon us, and pray as if all depended upon God.

We know how to fight fires and are very grateful to all the men and women who have come to help us. They, along with our local contingent, have done outstanding work.

We don’t know how to control the Chetco winds that were pushing the fire at us, so we prayed and God calmed the winds.

We don’t know how to control the rain so badly needed, so we prayed that it would come and aid those on the front lines who were fighting this monster, and the rains came in God’s good time.

Work and pray — an unbeatable combination. I like this perspective regarding our shared experience with the fire. It makes life sweeter for me.

Mike Porter


Same old thing

The federal debt has topped $20 trillion and is projected to grow by another $10 trillion over the next decade. Nevertheless, Senate Republicans propose a $1.5 trillion tax cut.

It’s the same old Republican “trickle-down Reaganomics.” We already know what happens. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer while our government struggles.

“We’re definitely in need of something that will stimulate the economy,” said Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah.

No, Senator, we aren’t — and the Fed agrees!

We have recovered from the “Great Recession” — that Republican deregulation caused — and, some say, we have reached capacity. U.S. industry is sitting on $1.9 trillion in cash, not knowing what to do with it. Tax cuts will have little effect.

Republicans say government is the enemy of the economy. Don’t believe it.

Government, by directing resources toward work that improves our people and improves our infrastructure actually improves our ability to compete in the world. It’s like our Republican representatives have a one-track mind – tax cuts for the wealthy. It’s all they can think about.

Senator Ron Wyden warned against a proposal that would provide a “sugar hit” of economic growth and a painful hangover in the coming years.

“We’ve seen this movie before,” Mr. Wyden said, referring to previous Republican tax cuts. “It is a prescription for more trouble in the American economy in the long term.”

Fire survivors, don’t you know? Government is our friend. Don’t let the GOP destroy it.

Tracy Rupp


In a time of need

On Sunday, Aug. 21, our home in Pistol River went from a zero to a Level 3 evacuation status. We would like to thank Nancy at Turtle Rock Resort for letting us stay at the park when we were evacuated from our home.

Our evacuation status lasted longer than we hoped, but she was kind enough to let our trailer remain at the resort as long as we needed.

We would also like to thank Chris and Ryan Brose for taking in our horses and taking great care of them for what turned out to be a three-week evacuation. They even picked the horses up for us as we were scrambling to gather family photos and other irreplaceable items from our house.

Finally, we thank Lori and Mike Ferguson for taking in Kiwi, a little bird in a very big cage.

These acts of kindness made a very stressful situation much easier to deal with and were wonderful examples of people volunteering to help others in a time of need.

Thank you.

Tammy and

Dan DeLaney

Pistol River

Azalea Park Trees

For those of you who wished to see the Azalea Park trees preserved, good news. A highly-qualified arborist from Portland has made a study and turned in his report: Only eight to 10 trees need to be cut down.

Disease like conks on the rest of the trees appear to be superficial, which can either be treated or allow the tree itself to control — which a healthy tree can do very well, he stated.

All other issues of diseases can be dealt with through diversified planting among the trees. This is typically done in parks. That can be studied, too, he said.

Arborist Brian French has left a report online and in an attractive booklet, probably available at city hall. Some of the maintenance of the trees seems easy to do, like proper care of the ground around the base of the trees — this is one of the main things for healthy trees, Mr. French said.

Convincing the council to go along with tree maintenance instead of cutting them down may take some doing, as some are committed to cutting trees.

The park manager spoke of development of the park for “future generations.” I wondered if future generations have other ideas of what they want.

At any rate, the public will have to show its interest in why they want trees to be maintained in the park. And, can trees and azalea bushes thrive together? That is another issue to be cleared up.

Philip Norman