A letter is circulating around Coquille and the author claims to be the sister of a local business owner and police chief wife. The author claims to have been inspired by something called ‘Oprah’s Big Give’, whatever that is.

Addressed to Dear Sir or Madame… the letter details the many economic downturns, weather calamities and building and equipment maintenance demands that plague all business owners. The reader is advised that the combined effect of these matters caused the business to fall behind on payroll taxes.

From there the letter advises the reader that the couple have given generously to people with cancer and do other good deeds and works and that we should all give generously to help them out.

Believe me I am all for giving with or without Oprah. However, I would be more inclined to give to an elderly grandfather living on a fixed income who couldn’t make an electric payment because he had to pay a fine for a seatbelt violation.

My giving will be to the young family whose child couldn’t sign up for basketball because of fines for an illegal late night u-turn. My giving will be to the young college student rushing from work to class for having a headlight out and no proof of insurance.

The reader is advised that the chief must retire early for surgery though we are not told that the city will be without a police chief for a couple of months while he draws his regular paycheck. My giving will be to the uninsured homeless veteran who can’t afford surgery.

Probably the subject of the letter knows nothing about this entreaty being circulated around the city, one would hope not anyway. Nevertheless it is quite ironic that the person who made this draconian and heartless comment should suddenly have a taste of the life that leads many people into trouble. The IRS says “… failure to to pay employment taxes is stealing from the employees of the business”.

No, my giving will be to support the young man now unemployed because he can’t drive to work because he lost his license trying to do the right thing by sleeping it off in his car. My giving will be to the family of the carpenter turned quadriplegic struggling to make ends meet but I won’t be making any donations to support barbecued ribs and lattes.