Too many attempts

The latest information from the CDC reports that 45,000 people died by suicide in 2016, the most ever. That translates to 1,124,125 attempts.

Suicides in Oregon in 2017 were the most ever as well. It’s the second leading cause of death for Oregon’s 10-34 year olds, and Oregon ranks 13th in the nation.

In Curry County, suicides were the second most ever and the first two months of this year has already seen 37 suicidal subjects.

Each year, 8th and 11th graders in 600 Oregon public schools get the opportunity to take a Pride Survey asking what they think. Every year since 2009 when county data was reported, they have shown an increase in seriously considering suicide and actual attempting suicide. Curry County was following that trend until last year when both categories made a nice shift.

The scary part is that 25 Brookings’ freshmen said they had seriously considered suicide last year and 12 had actually attempted. For this year’s seniors, the numbers were 37, 18 and 9.

May 14-20 is Mental Health Awareness Week. My hope is that everyone who cares about their neighbors and friends will learn the risks and warning signs ( Better yet, watch the training schedule at for the next available date that you could invest two hours to two days so that you can build the confidence to know what to do and not do.

Don’t regret losing a friend because you felt uncomfortable asking, “R U OK?”

Gordon Clay


Not good candidate

Seems to me that Sen. Jeff Merkley speaks out of both sides of his mouth.

His real loyalty is with the Dreamers who are illegal immigrants and not with the citizens of rural Oregon who he was elected to represent.

He wants to get it both ways. He supported a bill he voted against and then claims it didn’t protect the Dreamers. Believe it or not, we have dreams also and we don’t want to give up our dreams for illegal aliens. How about protecting Oregon citizens and their dreams?

He is supporting law breakers while the government is breaking laws they made with us.

I can’t believe that he is being considered as a candidate for the POTUS. Bring it on senator. Your jeans and blazer won’t get you far outside of Portland or Salem.

Allan W. Stewart


Different action

Regarding “County asks USFS to do more” in the Pilot (March 23), I want to correct quotations and context taken from my statement at the commissioners’ meeting.

In considering salvage logging after the Chetco Bar Fire, we should remember the aftermath of the Biscuit Fire and learn from mistakes made then.

The U.S. Forest Service recommended sizable salvage sales. Douglas County insisted that five times that amount be logged. Their demand resulted in the need for additional analysis, litigation, and delays, ultimately resulting in a harvest that was smaller than what the forest service originally proposed.

When I spoke of “greed” at the meeting, I was talking about Douglas County, and I was urging our own commissioners to not repeat the same mistake by forcing the forest service to consider alternate plans that would lead to delays.

I also referred to OSU’s “Fire Science Brief,” 2010, which indicates that salvage logging does not decrease severity of future burns but rather increases it. They report salvage logging has nothing to do with future fire risk.

To address fire danger we would better focus on thinning small trees that crowd second-growth plantations along existing roads and thus create strategic fire breaks.

More important, the county should focus on actions that are among its explicit responsibilities for fire safety, such as emergency communications, evacuation plans, codes, and zoning — all of which offer better prospects for reducing fire risk than does trying to tell the forest service how to do its job.

Tim Palmer

Port Orford

Abandoning ship

Conservatives are abandoning ship. In the March Atlantic, two senior fellows at the Brookings Institute, Jonathan Rauch and Benjamin Wittes, known for their conservative views, urge conservatives to vote a straight Democratic Party ticket to save the nation and the Republican Party from Trumpism.

They offered a simple logical syllogism:

“(1) The GOP has become the party of Trumpism.

“(2) Trumpism is a threat to democratic values and the rule of law.

“(3) The Republican Party is a threat to democratic values and the rule of law.”

Their thesis, essentially, is that Trumpism poses such a severe threat to the Republican Party and the nation that it must be thwarted. And the only way to achieve this is to reject Republican candidates throughout the ticket.

Republican candidates are therefore on notice that they are not only running against Democrats, whether progressive, liberal, or moderate, but are also running against conservatives. The implication is clear: any Republican candidate in 2018 is assumed to be running as a Trumpist and comes with the entire assembly of baggage that Trump presents — from racism through sexism, xenophobia, science denial, anti-environmentalism to exploitation of public lands and workers for the benefit of the wealthy.

Trisha Vigil


Everyone clean up

I will make this letter short and sweet.

On Mar. 19, Georgia Blank and I decided to clean up part of our community. We removed 15 large bags of garbage

from the hill area at the south end of the bridge.

The job only took two-and-a-half hours over a two day period, plus the time it took to drive to the dump.

Today, Mar. 26, I walked under the bridge and the trash is starting to accumulate again. So, we are encouraging you to please grab some bags, your gloves and let’s make our community beautiful again. Thank you.

Catherine Bays


Letters to the editor