Illinois Valley News, Cave Junction, OR Wednesday, September 4, 2002 Page 2 Laboring on Labor Day seems to be the lot of those who crank out newspapers, including this very Illinois Valley “Noosepaper.” Thank God the staff is first-rate and in good hu- mor, or El Jefe would be up the creek without a paddle, a boat or MREs (Meals Rejected by Ethiopians). Some might recall that a couple of weeks ago I spoke of lay- ing out the “Noose” electronically and transmitting same for printing. It came to pass that last week’s issue was our baptism of fire, ire and a perfectly almost intolerable bleary-eyed time. Some of us were at the office from before 8 on that fateful Tuesday morn until 1:30 a.m. the next day. And there was a glitch that required one of us (not me) to re- turn to the office at midmorning to resend or fix something that went awry the night before. And it was a 20-page paper, as some may have noticed. As this is written on Monday night, Sept. 2, it appears that we’ll have a 16-page “Noose” for this week. It should contain plenty-o-pictures of the 30th annual Illinois Valley Lions Club Labor Day Festival and Parade. Plus photos of other stuff from around the valley. Hey - it’s what we do. Far be it from me to jinx this week’s issue by saying that we will not be in the office, somewhat comatose, as last week. But we do have more confidence in this electronic whatsit. For some reason, this seems an appropriate time to relate our animal happening of a week or so ago at home. At one point we had our two cats, Gracie and Nitro; and our dogs, Bingo and Rocky, and we also had Rocky’s mother, Maggie, and his sister, Sadie. They came to be dog-sat while their owners went camping. Adding to this jolly menagerie were Maui, the cat that Jan rescued, and her four kittens. She had the kittens after being en- sconced in our guest closet. They are truly cute little critters, who’ve been named Bubba, Buttercup, The Dread Pirate Robert, and Cipher. This chorus of mewers should be weaned in another three to four weeks. I call them Velcro cats with their distinct tal- ent of hooking onto our shirts, pants, bare skin and the like. For a while we looked like an animal refuge. Come to think of it, that’s exactly what we have become. Although I would deny it if you asked, the little purr machines are somewhat comforting. What’s not comforting is Gracie’s horrible attitude toward them. She regards them as something akin to Bubonic Plague, and hisses and snarls when they approach. Nitro, on the other hand, isn't sure if they’re someone to play with, or maybe something fun to hunt and eat. You’ve heard of it raining cats and dogs? We’re in the neighbor- hood. And now, exit stage right. Tuesday - Saturday 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. Closed Sunday & Monday 592-3228 355 Caves Hwy. Lunch & Dinner Illinois Valley News An Independent Weekly Newspaper Co-owned and published by Robert R. (Bob) and Jan Rodriguez Bob Rodriguez, Editor El Jefe Entered as second class matter June 11, 1937 at Post Office as Official Newspaper for Josephine County and Josephine County Three Rivers School District, published at 321 S. Redwood Hwy., Cave Junction, OR 97523 Periodicals postage paid at Cave Junction, OR 97523 Post Office Box 1370 USPS 258-820 Telephone (541) 592-2541, FAX (541) 592-4330 Volume 65, No. 24 STAFF: Virginia Gilliam, Cindy Newton, Sherri Hopper, Chris Robertson and Becky Loudon Member: Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association DEADLINES: News, Classified Ads NOON MONDAYS POLICY ON LETTERS: ‘Illinois Valley News’ welcomes letters to the editor provided they are of general interest, in good taste, legible and not libelous. All letters must be signed, using complete name, and contain the writer’s address and telephone number. The latter need not be published, but will be used to verify authenticity. The ‘News’ reserves the right to edit letters. One letter per person per month. Letters are used at the discretion of the publisher. Unpublished letters are neither acknowledged nor returned. A prepaid charge may be levied if a letter is inordinately long in the editor's opinion. SUBSCRIPTION RATES One year in Josephine County - $20.80 One year in Jackson and Douglas Counties - $24.40 One year in all other Oregon counties and out-of-state -$28 POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to P.O. Box 1370, Cave Junction, OR. 97523 Editor’s Note: Views ex- pressed in letters to the editor are strictly those of the letter-writers. * * * We no longer will accept single-spaced hand- written letters. Typed, double-spaced letters are acceptable for considera- tion. Hand-written letters that are double-spaced and highly legible also can be considered for publication.) Measure 17.86 supports valley firefighters From Dave Toler Cave Junction Illinois Valley voters will this week receive their ballots in the mail for the Sept. 17 election. On that ballot, they will find Measure 17.86, a bond levy for Illinois Valley Rural Fire Protection District to pay for replacement of four dilapidated fire stations at Selma, O’Brien, Holland Loop, and the main station in Cave Junction. Here in Illinois Valley, between each and every wild- land or structural fire and our homes or businesses, stands a dedicated crew of volunteers, our neighbors, who risk their health, and sacrifice time from their family or jobs to protect our property. Measure 17.86 simply provides these volun- teers the minimal tools they need to do their job. During the last few weeks, I have heard several very rea- sonable concerns from com- munity members on this issue. Probably the most popular issue being the ability to af- ford what would be an aver- age of approximately $41 per year (based on a $79,000 as- sessed property) for residents. Being a property owner on a pretty limited income myself, this is an issue that is close to home for me. Yet, when I look at the numbers, it’s clear to me that I will save more by doing this now rather than doing it later. For example, Measure 17.86 will pay off the loan for the Holland Loop station, which will save taxpayers more than $47,000 in interest payments: That’s money that can instead go to replacing antiquated equipment. Another issue is the lack of volunteers today. There is no doubt that IVRFPD needs more volunteers. But how easy will it be to recruit them with such dilapidated facili- ties? With stations that lack any facilities for cleaning their uniforms or themselves, today volunteers are expected to take the residue of structural fire and injured bodies back home with them. Earlier this summer, a volunteer ruined his family’s clothing with residue from the tire fire. As long as we expect our volunteers to put up with our inadequate facilities, it seems likely that recruiting volunteers will continue to be a real challenge. Finally, thanks to the men and women who volunteer to protect our homes and busi- nesses here in the valley, fire protection for I.V. residents comes with a pretty reason- able price tag. If we want to continue with a volunteer force, we will have to furnish them with adequate tools to do their job. Protecting our property from fire is an extremely vital service for our community. I am thankful for the men and women who volunteer their time, and sometimes their lives, to ensure my commu- nity. I appreciate the men and women who volunteer their time, and sometimes their lives, to ensure my commu- nity is safe. For that, I am willing to provide them the basic facili- ties they need to do the job. Given the sacrifices they are making for my community every day, my vote is “yes” for 17.86. ‘The tire mire’ From Bill Hickerson Cave Junction As the considerable anxi- ety over the Florence Fire, to later be named the Biscuit Fire, slowly begins to fade from our minds, I want to re- visit the fire that actually, in my opinion, has affected our valley in even a more negative way than the wildland fire over the ridge. Do any of you recall a couple of months ago the large dark column of smoke that was seen throughout the valley coming from the Busk tire fire on Takilma Road? Unlike the Biscuit Fire, the tire fire was not started by an errant lightning strike; it was caused by man. Unlike the Biscuit Fire that burned countless acres of Nature, the tire fire burnt countless numbers of tires illegally hauled into a piece of property during the last sev- eral years. As rumors became rampant that Busk was going to torch his manmade mess rather than let the county take over this already county- controlled property, more tires were being hauled into the property up to the day before the big fiasco, and we have the license number of the truck. Unlike the Biscuit Fire that will slowly begin to heal in the spring, the tire fire loca- tion will only just be begin- ning to leach toxins into the soil and underground aquifers from chemicals left over from the burning rubber slop. I have several perplexing questions about both fires, of the why and how they hap- pened, but my emphasis today is about the tire fire and how, in my opinion, it was allowed to occur. Keep in mind that the county had already repos- sessed this property from Busk 10 years prior, but an arrangement allowed him to continue to stay on the prop- erty. DEQ had spent $78,000 removing thousands of tires from this illegal dumping ground in fall 1990, appar- ently only to have Busk have more tires hauled in. On the morning of the fire Busk told me personally, (I was driving the first arriving fire engine,) that his workers had appar- ently accidentally started the fire by dropping a cigarette. I have never heard anybody ask who these supposed workers were. How is it that the grape- vine around town knew this fire was going to occur days ahead of time if the fire was an accident? Why is the county to date allowing him to play the same game on an- other piece of property in the O’Brien area? Photos show this piece of property on O’Brien Street to be just an- other dumping/collecting gar- bage fire hazard site like the one Busk built on Takilma Road. I have been involved with the Illinois Valley Fire District for more than 20 years, so don’t get me wrong, I enjoy fighting fire. I relish helping my neighbor in his or her time of need. My gut feeling about this particular tire fire was that it was maliciously started. I do not enjoy having myself, or my brothers and sisters in the fire service, put in harm’s way because of someone’s mali- cious intent. If any out there in the val- ley know specific details of this crime I wish that they would come forward and let the authorities know. Folks, in all seriousness, this tire fire actually had more potential to burn us out of our little valley than did the now smoldering Biscuit Fire. Robbie Hanson bouquet From Glenda Karr Selma I am writing this on behalf of a young man I had the op- portunity and privilege to not call my friend, and who has become a very bright and hard-working individual. Not many young people today have the ambition that Robbie Hanson has shown during the years since I first met him. He has shown leadership to not only his peers, but to those of us who not only re- spect him for the young man that he has become but, for the honesty that he has shown to all who know him. I volunteered for several weekends this summer to see first-hand how a young man of Robbie Hanson’s stature could handle such responsi- bilities as those presented him at Oregon Caves Chateau. I eventually asked for weekend employment, as I also am self-employed and work during the week. The Continued on page 3 IVHS Activities Calendar Brought to you by the folks at 592-3556 Cave Jct . 469-7545 Brookings/ Harbor 471-RIVR THURSDAY, SEPT. 5 Girls volleyball at South Umpqua 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Freshman elections FRIDAY, SEPT. 6 Dance - 8 to 11 p.m. SATURDAY, SEPT. 7 Girls soccer at Phoenix Jamboree 8:30 a.m. Boys soccer at St. Marys - 10 a.m. TUESDAY, SEPT. 10 Girls volleyball vs. Henley Here - 5:45 to 6:30 p.m. Boys soccer vs. Henley Here - 4 p.m. WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 11 School pictures - morning SCHOOL STARTS, WATCH FOR RED FLASHING LIGHTS ON BUSES is pleased to announce Lucinda Kolo, M.D. will begin seeing patients TUES.,SEPT. 3RD at Siskiyou Community Health Center 319 Caves Highway, Cave Junction To schedule an appointment please phone 592-4111 Dr. Kolo joins us from Lyme, New Hampshire. She is available to provide primary care services for the entire family, including pediatrics, women’s care and OB.