Slash pesticides

All I want for Christmas is for the four major lily bulb growers: United Lily Growers, Inc. (owned by Don Crockett), Hastings Bulb Growers, Inc. (owned by Zeke and Harry Harms), Palmer Westbrook Inc. (owned by Matt and Will Westbrook), and Dahlstrom and Watt Bulb Farm, Inc. (owned by Rob Miller), to cease and desist their decades-long poisoning of the Smith River community and its namesake river, a jewel of the country’s Wild and Scenic Rivers program and a significant source of pride and tourism for the area.

The unchecked usage of 300,000 pounds of pesticides, many known carcinogens or otherwise harmful to human health and threatened and endangered aquatic species (chiefly salmonids), must end, as it is deeply immoral from both a human and ecological perspective. Not only that, but it will quite possibly prove to be economically moronic in retrospect considering the potential health care costs racked up by the affected populations (including the nearby Smith River School) and the loss of tourism dollars centered around recreational fishing.

A new report by NOAA suggests that the pesticides are a major barrier, and quite possibly the largest barrier, to salmon recovery and overall success on what is otherwise a high-quality waterbody.

So my wish this Christmas is for reason and decency to win out over madness and short-sightedness. Lily bulb farmers: please either slash your pesticide usage in favor of alternatives or voluntarily cease your operations and do the people and the fish a favor. Your community will thank you.

Mark Hansen


I was thinking, too

What started out to be complaints about our schools, things that I read about 25 years ago in the John Birch Society’s “The New American,” turned into an attack on our president. (Boyd) Allen’s article was called “I was thinking” but apparently he only thought what he wanted to, skipping over what parts he wanted to.

Saudi Arabia is a critical ally of the U.S. in the Mideast and like it or not that is the way it is. It’s been that way since the Bush years. If we pulled the plug on them it would result in $5 or $6 a gallon for gas. It would change the balance of power in the Mideast, making Iran — our enemy — more powerful.

Obama tried to empower Iran with his deal but Trump shut him down, thankfully. Jamal Khashoggi is one person who was probably murdered by the Saudis. Do you remember 9-11? How many Americans died on that day? Still, we do business with the Saudis despite the fact that many of the hijackers were from there. That is the way it is for now.

I’m really sick of you Trump haters and your continuing rhetoric. Now with Pelosi running the agenda of the House, I see nothing good happening for two more years. She will continue the attempted coup of the president, flood the country with these refugees and keep dirty cop Mueller’s phony attack going to end up starting a civil war. Mark my word, something is going to happen.

Arthur Larason


Right choice?

I never worked for government but I worked 50 years for various private companies, 29 years as controller for two different companies. I, and any of the reasonable employees I worked with, always knew that we could approach our bosses with suggestions or complaints, and have a discussion. We may affect change, we may not — the decision was not ours.

However, we also knew that if we degraded or opposed a boss’ decision in any public setting, we probably would not have a job the next day. Per many management classes, it’s a matter of morale, teamwork, company dignity, prevention of sabotage and backstabbing, etc. Opposers often sabotage a workplace. And boss does not equal tyrant.

Working for a government I am sure is vastly different. But wait, is it? Aside from political politics, aren’t the basic management politics the same? Work environments are not democratic cornerstones.

When dirty, even slightly soiled, laundry is aired in public, isn’t there still a concern how the team can continue to function well moving forward? When trust is lost, how long does it take to come back? Will it ever? How will the rest of the team handle the resulting muddle? Will they divide and take sides? Most importantly, how will it all affect productivity? Morale? Environment?

The unknown answers to those questions validate that the mayor did the right thing in requesting removal of the two volunteers.

Criticism that all perspectives must be heard, sending messages that people can’t speak up, that’s political propaganda. We all know Brookings residents are not that easily intimidated.

Their extreme outrage makes it appear they are losing a power base more than a volunteer job, making retaining them unwise.

Marian Kron