Steve Chittock

Many wolves and a sheep sitting down to decide what's for dinner

Let's call the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement what it is - many wolves and a sheep sitting down to decide what's for dinner. It's a trade where special interests bargained away the health, safety and property of those not permitted to participate in the back room secretive process. These interests cannot just "celebrate consensus" in a vacuum - wishing away the large number of people who are opposed to and potentially injured by this deal with the devil.

True to historic form, the federal and state governments appear intent on abandoning the commitments they have made to Siskiyou County to adequately address the human and environmental damage caused by dam removal. Those at the table are apparently beating a fast retreat from financial liability and accountability for their dealings.

This leaves the people of Siskiyou County holding the bag for restoration of the raw open scars of drained reservoirs and recovery from the impacts of sediment, which are likely toxic. There is no funding set aside to adequately compensate property owners around the reservoirs for the loss of their property values or Siskiyou County for the loss of tax revenues and impacts to the local economy.

To add to the burden, there is no funding dedicated to develop alternative sources of power to replace the loss of clean hydropower. The state of Oregon seeks to shield their ratepayers with a legislated limit on their responsibility for the costs of dam removal. Pacific Power wants to walk away from the dams without further liability. The federal government wants to defer responsibility to some "designated removal entity" with much shallower pockets. All refuse to admit to the fact that dam removal will cost significantly more than what proponents have claimed.

Although the Klamath Agreement gives lip service to a cost/benefit analysis to inform a final decision, it's obvious that major players consider dam removal to be a done deal. At this point, definitive scientific studies supporting the proposal are absent. What we have is an accumulated pile of biased reports commissioned by dam removal advocates intent upon stacking the deck in favor of removal. We also have a suppression of scientific analysis that points toward some serious impacts to human health and the environment - impacts that would add hundreds of millions of dollars to the costs of dam removal. This is the questionable foundation upon which the agreement has been forged.

Marcia Armstrong

Siskiyou County Fifth District Supervisor Fort Jones

We may be small, but we do things right in Crescent City

What a remarkable story and photos in our newspaper ("Blackhawks fly in," June 10) covering the visit of local hero Major Aadam Trask leading his command of five Blackhawk helicopters onto the tarmac at our airport.

Major Trask's beautiful letter to the editor ("Commander Trask honored to have flown into Crescent City," June 12) thanking all of us locals for honoring him and his company was an expressive and carefully thought-out communication; he articulated the genuine and caring attitude of a great soldier, pride in what he does and the soldiers he commands, the caring attitude of his family and the warm support of his community. We may be small, but we do things right!

This wonderful family was unknown to me before we began sending boxes to Major Trask and his command in Iraq a couple years ago.

It was a first time for me to experience a Blackhawk helicopter at close range, a most memorable and treasured event for a lifetime. It carried mixed memories for me, tearful ones when I thought of my beloved nephew, Captain Bruno de Solenni and his experience with wounded soldiers and helicopter rescues.

Another military event of note is our Troop Support group working closely with VFW in recent months and plans to have a float in the July 4 parade. We are honored to have the assistance of the Coast Guard Dorado step up to help us. We hope to have the six military services represented with their flags and uniformed personnel.

It would be wonderful to see marching veterans in uniform or hats, along with special accommodations made for non-ambulatory vets to participate, and then having a Roll Call at Parade's end, like Capt. Bruno did two years ago for their fallen Lt. at Iraq. I heard so many compliments about this event. These are some thoughts brought to our attention, needing outreach support.

If you have ideas to make our parade more meaningful, helping our older veterans, and honoring our armed services and veterans, please contact your VFW or me at Troop Support 464-9146.

We are most grateful for all your dedication in supporting us these past 6 years.

Jan Martin

Troop Support Group

Crescent City