Letters to St. Helens Update

 

Letters to the Update are the opinions of the  writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Bill Eagle, or that of his wife, children, mother, father, sisters , brothers, domestic pets etc..

See My Standard Disclaimer.  Send all  letters to eaglew@sthelensupdate.com

From: Richard Ellmyer 7/8/18

Oregon’s elected Republican Trump sycophants, Oregon’s Feckless Forty, show no signs of diminished zeal and submission to their would be king/dictator Donald. 

Trump’s Republican Party including Oregon’s Feckless Forty are complicit in allowing Donald Trump to always put his needs first before our country and Americans.

We are governed by a President with no moral center.

Trump’s self-incited chaotic immigration policy has and will continue to negatively affect Oregon.

Oregon farmers are already having trouble finding workers and getting crops to market.

Child snatching/kidnapping and imprisoning children is now Republican policy.

Trump’s tariff provoking trade war will negatively affect the constituents of Oregon’s Feckless Forty with diminished jobs, purchasing power, bank accounts, pensions and IRAs. It will especially hit farmers and high tech but will ultimately affect all Oregonians.

Trump’s continuing attempts to destroy Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act will adversely affect the constituents of Oregon’s Feckless Forty.

Russian meddling in American elections is of no concern to Trump and Trump supporters, including Oregon’s Feckless Forty.

We know who the Oregon Feckless Forty are: 25 state House Rs, 13 state Senate Rs, Rep. Greg Walden (R) and Sec. of State Dennis Richardson (R). To date these Trump enablers have supported Trump’s behavior deeming him fit to be the President of the United States of America. The Oregon Feckless Forty are now part of the GOP cult of Republican voters who have decided that they will follow their leader no matter what he says or does. They believe in manipulating elections to maintain and increase their individual political power and that of the Republican Party. 

Donald Trump would rule by fiat if he could get away with it. He certainly keeps trying. Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to Oregonians and all Americans. Here are some things you can do to stop the malignant Trumpocracy and support a healthy American Democracy, Decency and the Rule of Law.

Stop buying products easily identified as connected to rich Republicans that profit from your purchases and then use your money to contribute heavily to Oregon Republicans. Start with Nike, whose cofounder, Phil Knight, gave Republican gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler $500,000 and a chart of the biggest donors.*1

Contact these and other Trump Party financial enablers and challenge them to speak publicly in defense Trump’s fitness to be President. Ask them to defend Trump/Republican arguments to eliminate Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, Trump’s Tariff Trade War Tactics, kidnapping children as a humane immigration policy and Trump’s blatantly narcissistic, self-aggrandizing ME FIRST behavior.

Respond to the Press

Oregon’s Feckless Forty and friends fortify Fox News as a Trump Party Propaganda machine. If you have been watching it, even occasionally, STOP. If you have relatives, friends or co-workers who watch Fox News, do them a favor, tell them to STOP because it’s poisoning their minds. Fox News denies reality and abhors the truth.

If you read Google News demand that they stop forcing you to accept stories from Fox News. Google News will allow its readers to hide all other news sources expect Fox News.

It is worth noting which Oregon media outlets are endorsing any of Oregon’s Feckless Forty for public office. To do so is tantamount to an endorsement for Donald Trump, his policies, his behavior, his morals, his ethics and his fitness to be President and a role model for the children of Oregon.

Contact our Oregon Senators Wyden and Merkley and tell them to vigorously oppose all of Donald Trump’s federal court nominations, especially those for the Supreme Court.

Vote against the GOP this Novemberwrites long-time, nationally respected, conservative columnist George Will. That is good advice.

 

From Michael George 7/6/18

The esteemed Columbia County Commissioners, (hereinafter referred to as the CCC) in 1999 created the “Columbia County Development Agency” (referred to as the “AGENCY”), an urban renewal agency.

 

The AGENCY submitted an application for the county’s consideration of the Port Westward Urban Renewal plan, (now known as the “PLAN”) on March 4, 2001. Here, I could go on how all the recommendations from the AGENCY to approve the PLAN. In 2001, the CCC’s created an Ordinance what IS known as Ordinance No. 2001-06, the Port Westward Urban Renewal Plan Ordinance.

 

Now for all of you Property owners in Columbia Co. (This also affects renters,) if you look at your property tax statements for 2017 to 2018, you will notice that you pay the largest amount to schools, 27 % and the second largest to CCDA, 26%. As for me, in 2009 – 2010 my property tax was $2,590.13, education total, $1,216.37, CCDA, $17.77. Now in 2017 – 2018, Property tax was $4,269.97, education total $1,064.66, $151.71 less than eight years ago. CCDA, $995.87, a $978.10 more in eight years.

 

A friend (Sharon) and I met with Columbia County Commissioner Margaret Magruder to ask questions and our concerns about CCDA, I will add that Margaret did not have anything in creating CCDA but is defending it. We asked some questions,

 

1. Was the formation and function of the agency put to a vote of Columbia County Voters, NO.

2. How is what I pay to this taxing district determined and what are the limits? Very long explanation but no real answer, kind of like a wheel, starting and the bottom and going in a big circle up and around back to the bottom, with no real answer.

3. What is the money used for; i.e., what urban renewal am I paying for and what am I getting for this money? Same circle as above.

4. Do all property owners in the county pay taxes to this district? YES

5. Why do only a few Columbia County voters get to vote for Port Commissioners when most of CCDA funds go to port projects, another long answer, big circle again

.

After getting some public records to try to see where the money has been going, I than went to a certified CPA accountant and after she looked over the papers that I had gotten, she said “a lot is in other accounts.” So basically, it is a fund controlled by the Columbia County Commissioners, which they doll out as they see fit.

 

So Columbia County Voters, you are being taxed without being able to vote on this, we need a ballot measure to disband the CCDA and also no tax of any kind be allowed unless ok’ed by the voters.

 

From: Tammy Maygra 7/4/18

Happy Fourth of July to everyone who contributes or reads the Update.

 Without your efforts, many issues would be unheard. It takes courage to speak out against the government or stand up for what you believe in popular or not, keep doing it. That is why we fought Great Britain because of the injustice’s being thrown at us. We have fought several wars to maintain freedom. Without people speaking out, we will revert back to a totalitarian society.

 May your 4th of July be great, be safe until next time.

 Tammy

 There is a NEW Democratic face book page please join.. post thoughts, pictures, discussion uncensored, BUT no Fake News

 Columbia County Democrats, Oregon

From: Brandee Dudzic 7/3/18

I’d like to extend praise and a standing ovation to fellow St. Helens resident Chelsea Strautman for her tireless work in gaining access to immigrant detainees at the federal prison in Sheridan, OR.

 

According to your recent article, “Sheridan Detainees: Local Attorney Breaks Down Immigration Law,” Chelsea took it upon herself to drive to Sheridan and attempt to provide pro-bono services to detainees. After being denied access repeatedly, she and six other attorneys authored declarations in a federal lawsuit filed by ACLU and Innovation Law Lab requesting a temporary restraining order against the government. This past Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon granted that order, allowing detainees their first access to legal counsel after nearly a month of detention.

 

According to OPB News, “despite being detained at the US/Mexico border, only 10 of the 121 detained at the Sheridan prison are Mexican. The vast majority are from India, caused by a rise in Hindu nationalism. This left many Sikh, Dalit, and Christians no choice but to flee from political or religious persecution.”

 

Again, these detainees are being held in a federal prison, without being charged with a crime, without going before a judge, and without the opportunity to speak to a lawyer.

 

As we near the 4th of July holiday, let us not set aside these gross constitutional violations in our minds as we stand in the middle of the street with bottle rockets celebrating freedom. Chelsea Strautman reminds us that “Many people who hold anti-immigrant, nationalistic viewpoints now do not realize that they themselves are likely only a couple of generations removed from some migration story in their own family.”

 

Chelsea, thank you for your example and leadership.

 

From: Joe Turner 6/25/18

After twelve years of military service I returned to my home state of Oregon to my first civilian job as a security officer at the Umatilla Army Depot near Hermiston Oregon. Part of my job included searching UPRR trains that entered the depot for transients and illegal immigrants. Having limited resources, we had two choices with these individuals, those with legal identification were taken into custody for trespassing, transferred to the county sheriff, booked into jail and went before the municipal court to be fined and released. Those without identification were placed under armed guard, INS notified and ICE agents would take them into custody and bus them to their Pasco, WA office for processing.

 

My wife is a foreign national who came to the US thru the Fiancée Visa Program. After our honeymoon we completed the required documents with photos and paid processing fees for her two-year temporary resident green card. Two years later we received another packet from INS, completed the forms with photos and paid processing fees for her 10-year permanent resident green card. Ten years later we received another packet from INS, completed the forms with photos, paid processing fees, she took the citizenship test, she had an interview with INS, raised her hand to become a citizen, a legal registered voter and voted in the 2016 election.

 

Now a decorated disabled veteran, I cannot fathom that registered Oregon voters would support politicians like Mayor Ted Wheeler, Governor Kate Brown, four of Oregon’s US congressional members or either Oregon senator for supporting illegal immigration, sanctuary status, and amnesty. I turn 67 this Friday and all my life America has had a problem with illegal immigration. Why? Because there are American citizens, businesses, and corporations willing to hire the illegals. In addition to ICE raiding businesses for illegals, the US Marshalls, Secret Service and IRS should be hunting and prosecuting those who hire the illegals. Can you or your business afford a $5 million dollar fine per each illegal immigrant employee? I can’t.

 

From: Nancy Whitney 6/18/18

Please consider this an open letter to the Mayor of St. Helens. I truly believe in complete openness in public matters.

 

Last week I placed two phone calls to Mayor of St. Helens Rick Scholl.  Something he mentioned in our second conversation on Sunday evening continues to bother me. He said "they" were only upset because of the bad view on Strand Street. I assume he meant the merchants on Strand Street in St. Helens. I also assume he was referring to my filing of a Request for Information form with the City two weeks ago.

 

Unequivocally, I want Mayor Scholl to understand I am not in cahoots with these good people. I do fully appreciate the pride they are taking in their businesses and the great cleanup they have done in that historic area, but I am not being directed on what information to ask for from the City, how to go about getting that information and how to present it to the public through letters to the editor.

 

I have been significantly involved for nearly 50 years in fighting against what I perceive as wrong and corrupt throughout this county. I don't need help in forming my opinions or in stating my opinions. Putting fences around and locks on gates on land for which I and other taxpayers paid is wrong - and you know it, Mr. Mayor. Refusing to give the public access to information as to how our tax money and the tourist tax money is spent is wrong - and you know it.

 

Making assumptions as to why I am on the City's case is wrong - and if you don't know it, you should.

 

The City now has the opportunity to make a significant change in the waterfront - to open this publically owned area to parks and recreation and relaxation and appreciation to and from the people of St. Helens.

 

In my opinion this area is the most beautiful on the Columbia River - with the confluence of the Lewis River, the Columbia River and the Multnomah Channel before flowing on to the ocean.

 

Perhaps you, Mr. Mayor, can begin to make it up to the people who have lived and died here in the St. Helens area among all the filth and poison dumped into our rivers and streams over the past one hundred plus years. Perhaps you can be the one who does what the leaders of Tillamook and other areas in the state have done - make it beautiful and clean and others will come to share our space.

 

This incredible piece of the Columbia River shoreline does not need fairies dancing on gravel and sand and clear plastic tents surrounded by a Styrofoam Stonehenge. It needs openness, cleanliness and freedom of access. It doesn’t need condos and businesses once again blocking this magnificent view. It needs swimming areas and fishing docks and picnic tables and grass and walking paths and easy access.

 

All these years St. Helens has pretty much devoted its progress to pollution discharging businesses. Very little of the waterfront has ever been designated for public access.  Years ago, we rode our bikes or drove to Columbia City beaches to swim. You can’t even do that now without money making infringements, poor access and RULES. There was nothing in St. Helens.

The whole of St. Helens is just begging to become a ”show place”. You can work to fill up the empty buildings in this City and reconnect “uptown and downtown” St. Helens and you will have a real winner - a place where people look forward to coming just to hang out. You won’t need an event director or “large metal trees” or planned events.

 

I realize St. Helens has money problems. I realize the city parks are totally neglected because of this. I do know we need a new sewage treatment plant. Perhaps the City should cease diverting funds to money-losing events and $50,000 studies. It makes me wonder who is in charge of my City.

 

Give it a go, Mr. Mayor. Come in with a real breath of fresh air. Think to the future - not to the mistakes of the past. I continue to await the delivery of the information for which I asked on May 31.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

From: Richard Ellmyer 6/18/18

Would you consider Oregon physicians fit to practice medicine who lied to their patients at the same rate Donald Trump lies to the American people?

 

Put this question to all of Oregon’s Republican legislators (Senate, House), Representative Greg Walden (R) and Secretary of State Dennis Richardson (R). Not surprisingly they all indicated that Oregon physicians that lied to their patients at the same rate as their Republican President, Donald Trump, lies to the body politic would NOT render any of them unfit to practice medicine.  There is cognitive dissonance here. We give some leeway to our American Presidents when it comes to truth telling all the time. However, we do NOT expect our doctors to withhold information or lie to us.

 Keep in mind that all forty of these Republican officials have steadfastly accepted Donald Trump’s tsunami of lies as no impediment to his fitness to care for the American people, including Oregonians. 

 

 Also keep in mind that all forty of these Republican officials obscure their belief that access to essential health care is NOT a basic right of American citizenship. In furtherance of that belief they continue to support their President, and the Congressional Republican Majority’s efforts to eliminate medicare, medicaid and the Affordable Care Act despite the disastrous impact it would have on their Oregon constituents.*1

 

 Their Republican President, Donald Trump, is taking legal action to reestablish the disastrous pre-existing conditions policy which would allow insurers to deny coverage or dramatically raise your rates. Often being a woman is considered a Pre-Existing Condition!*2  Dear Reader, How many of you, your family and your friends over the age of 60, 50, 40, 30 do NOT have a pre-existing condition? Are you prepared to vote for any Republican (especially Knute Buehler who is a doctor and should know better) who will abandon the health care needs of their Oregon constituents by continuing to support Donald Trump’s presidency? 

 State Representative and Republican gubernatorial candidate, Knute Buehler, M.D., is the de facto leader of Oregon Republicans. It should be of considerable interest to Buehler’s medical colleagues, his patients and the Oregon Medical Board that Knute Buehler remains unwilling to declare that doctors who lie to their patients at the level Donald Trump lies to Oregonians should have their medical licenses revoked.

 

 Knute Buehler has a medical degree, a science based profession. Nevertheless, Knute Buehler leads his Republican colleagues in deceptively ignoring the fact that President Trump, his administration,  and those departments that regulate air, water and fossil fuel emissions as well as Trump’s Republican Party reject science, especially the Environmental Protection Agency. Their disdain for science as a basis for policy, regulation and rule making includes denying the overwhelming scientific reality of man’s dramatic negative influence on Climate Change.

 

 Knute Buehler’s mendacity with regard to women’s health has been exposed by several groups.*3

 

"Since he became a legislator, Knute Buehler has voted against nearly all of the major advances Oregon women and mothers have made. We have no reason to believe he would govern our state any differently.” Andrea Paluso, Director of The Mother PAC.

 "Knute Buehler has repeatedly played partisan political games with Oregon women's health and rights.” Lisa Gardner, Board Member for Planned Parenthood PAC of Oregon.

 "Knute Buehler claims to be pro-choice, but he continues to attack women's rights to make the best choices for their own lives and undermine access to reproductive healthcare services for the most vulnerable Oregonians.” Grayson Dempsey, Executive Director of Naral Pro-Choice Oregon PAC.

 

 There is an evolving argument that Donald Trump’s pathologic, all-encompassing mental environment of lies leads him to believe that whatever he is saying at any given moment it true.*4  Even if this is Trump’s psychological condition it does NOT excuse those, like Knute Buehler and other Trump sycophants, who knowingly back up his falsehoods from being liars.

 Dear Reader, if you have evidence that Knute Buehler or any of his flock of elected Republicans publicly recognize that Donald Trump’s level of lying renders him unfit for the presidency then please let me know. Thank you.

 

From: Jasmin Zimmer-Stucky 6/8/18

Hi all,

Our brief was due to the Land Use Board of Appeals last week. We won't have a court date until later in the summer. 

 

In the meantime, I've attached the brief in this email. I've only skimmed though the 263 page document. If you read it and have specific questions please let me know and I can try and get them answered by our legal counsel.

 

Thank you.


Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky | Senior Organizer | Columbia Riverkeeper | 1125 SE Madison St. Suite 103A Portland, OR 97214 | 503.929.5950

River Currents 2018 Issue 1 Newsletter—Read it Now

In this Issue: How Grassroots Efforts Beat Big Oil; The Science of Unregulated Pollution; 

Spanish-Language Radio Show; and more.

 

Attached is the 262 Page LUBA Appeal

 

From: Nancy Whitney 6/6/18

I asked for and received a copy of the General Ledger for the City of St. Helens. I am not an accountant but I was easily able to discern that without the accompanying invoices, I could not make heads or tails of where my tax money or the “tourist tax” collected by Columbia County is being spent.

 

Included in that ledger were names of companies to whom the City of St. Helens made payments. There was no explanation as to why the payments were made or to what project these payments are connected.

 

I was told by Matt Brown, accountant for the City, that all payments made to companies or individuals were accompanied by an invoice. He also told me E2C Corp. originally purchased the sculpture “large metal tree” and was reimbursed by the City for this purchase.

 

The way I look at it, I now am one of the owners of the “large metal tree” and I have every right to know how much it cost.

 

So - if I wanted to trace what a certain item cost, such as the “large metal tree” displayed at the “Festival of Fairies Fiasco” and held in a fenced and locked area between Strand Street and the Columbia River - I must file a Request for Public Records.

 

I did so. Mr. Brown assured me he would have a copy of the invoice for the tree available for me on Friday, June 1. On Tuesday, June 4 I was denied access to that information.

 

In 2017, $274,317.36 was paid by the City of St. Helens to E2C Corp. and we, as taxpayers, are not allowed to know what we bought. Thus far, in 2018, E2C has received $68,170.63. Same scenario – it’s none of our business.

 

These two amounts do not even begin to include the money paid by the City of St. Helens for sand, gravel, fencing, locks, city labor, lumber, etc., etc., etc. , in support of the projects initiated by E2C. Again - none of our business.

 

I then had to file a letter or petition with the local district attorney’s office explaining these reversals of cooperation and asking for their opinion. I did that also.

 

Over a quarter of a million dollars of tax money is being allotted to one company per year and I don’t have the right to know on what it is being spent?

 

I am so sick of these backroom deals, executive privileges and “secret and confidential” plans. I wish more of you were too. I will let you know the outcome of the DA filing.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

From: Wayne Mayo 6/1/18

             Having been a candidate for local office in Columbia County through four election cycles, I've knocked on thousands of doors, put signs up, torn signs down, accepted contributions, and worked hard to comply with election laws, all while running a business.

 

I learned what it was to "value the voter."  Twice I lost by less than 1 percent. One forced a vote recount.

 

In 1998 Oregon became the first state in the union to offer vote by mail. Then, in 2016, Oregon passed the motor-voter law, coupling drivers' licenses to voter registration with the apparent result of almost 500,000 new voters since 2014. So, explaining Oregon's abysmal 33.6 percent turnout in the May 15 primary is a head-scratcher. 

 

Stranger, politically active Portland — that's Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties — saw turnouts of 32.9 percent, 30.8 percent, and 28.1 percent, respectively.  

I'd suggest that by reducing the steps, effort and identification required for someone to become a voter, we created the unintended, but very real, consequence of devaluing the process of voting.  

 

When one takes the time to fill out and mail in the paperwork, read up on the issues and candidates, then drives to the polls, making it there by 8 p.m., he hasn't just voted. He's invested in America.  

 

From: Mike Sparks 5/27/18

One hundred and fifty years ago, no family or community was untouched by the bloodiest conflict in American history — the Civil War. The four-year-long struggle claimed the lives of over 620,000 soldiers — which is more Americans than died in both World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam combined.

 

It was on May 5, 1868 that the Grand Army of the Republic, an early veterans advocacy group comprised of Civil War veterans, first urged Americans to observe a “National Memorial Day” to honor the dead of the Civil War.

 

The tradition has grown in the 150 years that have followed. Today, Memorial Day is a cherished and protected national holiday — especially in Oregon. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Oregonians attend ceremonies, town parades and other solemn events to pause and remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice — from the Civil War to the most current conflicts in the Middle East.

 

It is estimated that nearly 6,000 Oregon service members’ lives have been lost in the line of duty since our state’s inception.

 

However Memorial Day is celebrated in your community, and however different it may appear from the simple ceremonies of a grieving, post-Civil War America, the sentiment remains the same. It is that of a grateful nation to its fallen soldiers: “Thank you. We will never forget you.”

This Memorial Day, as we kick off the start of summer and turn to enjoy Oregon’s incredible parks, beaches, rivers and mountains, we invite all citizens to pause and truly honor our fallen and our Gold Star families. We stand on the shoulders of all those who came before us and will never forget the service and sacrifice of all those who gave all.

 

Thank you all for your support of Oregon veterans, and bless all those still serving, at home and overseas.

 

From: Richard Ellmyer 5/18/18

This election season is a good time for Oregon legislators to tell their fellow Oregonians where they stand on voting for the Interstate Compact for Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote. When asked, every Oregon legislator indicated that as of May 13, 2018 they all support the status quo and would not vote for change and the Interstate Compact for Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote during the next available legislative opportunity.

 

The compact requires its members to cast their Electoral College ballots for the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote. The agreement goes into effect once states representing at least 270 electoral votes — the number needed for a candidate to win the presidency — signs the compact.

 

Connecticut’s legislature recently has passed a bill that would give the state’s Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote nationally.

 

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) has promised to sign the legislation committing his state to the interstate agreement. Once he does so, the compact will have 172 electoral votes. California, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia have already signed the accord.

 

Lest we forget, our current President, Donald Trump, LOST the popular vote by 3 MILLION VOTES, yet he became President to the United States of America nonetheless.

 

Dear reader, if you think your legislators may be on the wrong track here then you may want to contact them, before the next 2020 presidential election. Should you have evidence that any of them have changed their minds please send it to me. Thank you.

 

 

Richard Ellmyer

Oregon citizen since 1971

Portland Homeowner and Citizen Activist since 1975

NAV, Non-Aligned Voter

 

From: Richard Ellmyer 5/12/18

Republican state senator Dennis Linthicum has recently sent several propaganda emails (see*1 below) devoted entirely to espousing his distorted “rural values.” Unfortunately and certainly deliberately Linthicum failed to mention his continued determination that Donald Trump is fit to be President. Linthicum and all 39 other elected Republicans (see*2 below) who still also endorse Trump’s fitness for the Presidency, conveniently ignore Trump’s demonstrated values which are now inextricably enmeshed into the Republican Party.

 

Donald Trump And His Republican Party’s Rural Values

· LYING as the basic form of public discourse (see*3 below)

· Multiple marriages and serial infidelity

· Racism

· Public wealth should flow from the poorest to the richest

· Anti-choice

· Anti-environmentalism

· Anti-public education

· Anti-science

· Xenophobia

· Homophobia

· Nepotism

· Greed

· Health care is a privilege for those who can afford it not a right of citizenship

· Using public office for personal profit

· Pretend Christian

· Conservative social issues trump economic justice 

· Stiff Creditors whenever possible

· Bankruptcy

· Bribery

· Bigotry

· Self-inflicted carefree ignorance

· Never admit to a mistake; Always blame/attack the other guy

· Extortion

· Theft

· Threats, bullying and military force before diplomacy

· Pay to play politics

· Increase national debt when a Republican is President

· Decrease national debt when a Democrat is President

· The media is the “enemy of the American people.”

· Unrestricted citizen access to automatic weapons

· Authoritarianism/Disrespect for the law

Embrace the values of Trump’s mentor, the infamous Roy Cohn. (Must Read see*4 below)

 

Republican state senator Dennis Linthicum and his gang of 39 elected Republicans can NOT separate support for Donald Trump/Republican Party from Trump’s publicly demonstrable values.

 

Republican state senator Dennis Linthicum and his gang of 39 elected Republicans would have Oregonians believe that elected Oregon Republicans magically march to the tune of a different moral drummer than that of their Republican President Donald Trump.

 

As long as they consider Donald Trump fit to be President of the United States of America they support his values.

 

From: Jay Francis 5/9/18

I sure like reading Tammy’s Take, she use to go to a lot of meetings to let the people know what was going on. I wonder why she quit doing that. 

Does anyone know why?

I still enjoy her articles. I was amazed with her letter to the editor a few months ago about green methanol which she called it. I looked it up--- and wow! It was a great idea. Why isn’t she an elected official? She has done more than those getting paid to bring jobs here. I understand she can be pretty blunt and direct to the point. Some people do not like that, but I do. Sounds like she is a no nonsense type of girl who does not play the political game.

That’s what we need in our government these days.

You go girl! And thanks for turning the Port onto the green methanol idea.

 

From: Terry E. 5/9/18

I heard that Paulette L.  Who is running for county commissioner, got into an argument with a citizen on differences of opinions on issues at the Home and Garden show..

When the man got angry and walked off Paulette grabbed her camera and then began taking pictures of the man because she said she felt threatened by him.

The man went on to have a normal conversation with another candidate.

This is a normal trait for her – anytime someone disagrees with her she claims she is threatened and takes pictures of people.

If she wins a  commissioner seat she will have citizens come before her that may not be happy campers, what is she going to do? Whip out her camera at every meeting?

Sorry but this is not the type of a personality that is county commissioner material.

 

From: Annie O. 5/9/18

I am a lifelong gun owner, never belonged to the NRA and never will. I simply do not believe banning guns will stop the problem with our children’s mental health or bad behavior.  I believe that this generation of kids lack remorse, social skills, respect and cannot handle life’s disappointments.

The lack of these skills are the parents and society’s fault that they have not been taught to the kids. I understand that there will be some adults who go on killing sprees as well, with guns and with vehicles. I think school shootings can be stopped without gun control.

All of us needs to stop and take the time with kids as soon as they are born and continue to adult hood, get rid of easy access to tv, video games cell phones . And take this time and spend it doing things with the kids. Eat dinner together at the table is a huge start and has been found that kids who eat dinner as a family do better.

Just my thoughts.

 

From: Nancy Whitney 5/6/18

A dear friend loaned me a wonderful book - Bill McKibben’s “Radio Free Vermont”.

 

This is the story of a 72 year old broadcaster who owns his own radio station and decides he must become a radical fugitive from the law by advocating for a state separate from the United States.

 

Author McKibbens is one of the foremost environmentalist in the United States. Considering the current occupant of the White House, this book is right on point. McKibbens states “ . . when confronted by small men doing big and stupid things, we need to resist with all the creativity and wit we can muster.”

 

Way back in 1847 George Perkins Marsh (born 1801) was repeating that “man cannot at his pleasure command nature yet it is certain that climate itself has . . . been gradually changed . . . or deteriorated by human action”.

 

Climate change is the most disastrous single thing humans have ever done to our planet - and the overuse of fossil fuels is the largest contributor.

 

The people of Columbia County have been arguing and protesting against the shipment of fossil fuels to Port Westward for many years now. You, as a voter can help make the changes to begin protecting our county, our country and our world. This may be a small beginning but at least it is a beginning and not the continued reelection of those who repeat the same mistakes over and over.

 

On May 15th you will have the opportunity to name a new Columbia County Commissioner. Four people are running for this position.

 

Two of those candidates, incumbent Henry Heimuller and Kimberly Johns, once again are repeating the mantra - jobs, jobs, jobs. Check back to the last census, fellows, Clatskanie and Columbia County had a better employment average than did the United States.

 

Don Campbell appears to be a bright guy and I hope he will continue to learn the needs of the entire county.

 

So, voters of Columbia County - please remember “when confronted with small men doing big and stupid things” use your resistance and wit to vote for Paulette Lichatowich. I truly believe Lichatowich can and will make a significant difference in our future and that of our descendants.

 

Remember to vote. Thanks for reading.

 

From: Bill Eagle 4/28/18

I am supporting Henry Heimuller. Why Henry over the others? Henry has experience and compassion for others, something others lack. He has a proven track record of success.

Henry was instrumental in securing grants to build the new transit center in Rainier. Henry was also responsible for our newest County Park. He saved Dibblee Point river access from DSL closing it down.

As Chair of the Northwest Area Commission on Transportation, Henry worked diligently with the Association of Oregon Counties and the legislature to get the HB2017 transportation package passed.

HB2017 provides a dedicated funding system for our public transportation system as well as a funding stream for our road department.

Henry was one of the people instrumental in restructuring and saving our County fair. He helped obtain grant funds to build our new Emergency Operations Center.

He spent countless hours working to close out all projects relating to the 2007 floods. He was one of many that worked to save people’s homes and businesses. During the Emergency, he was physically there when he was needed.

Henry has been involved in many other projects as well as being active on a number boards and commissions including chairing the Columbia Pacific Economic Development Council, Columbia County Economic team, NW workforce Consortium Board, Veterans Committees, AOC Legislative Committee and more.

All of these things are good, but Henry’s real strength is his compassion for others. Henry is a family man who cares for others, who takes time to listen to others and their views even if these views are different than his own.

I would strongly urge you to support him. Henry’s compassion and his experience make him the obvious choice.

Please cast your votes for Henry Heimuller a man who has done so much and is continuing to work hard for the people of Columbia County.

 

From: Darrel Whipple 4/28/18

“Trust us” no longer works in this county when spoken by polluting industries, especially after calamities like the following:

1) the ethanol train fire at Cornelius Pass Road intersection in 2011;

2) the six-fold violation by Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery (Global Partners) of its air emissions permit in 2013 at Port Westward;

3) the explosive derailment of a crude oil unit train near Aliceville, Alabama, in 2013 operated by the parent company of “our” Portland and Western Railroad and resulting in the fouling of a huge wetland;

4) the sickness-inducing release of six tons of ammonia vapor by Dyno Nobel in Columbia City in 2015;

5) the derailment and explosion of a crude oil unit train near a school upriver in Mosier, Oregon, in 2016; and

6) the grounding of a loaded oil tanker from Port Westward near Skamokawa in 2017.

In light of these events, together with the outrageous history of polluted plant sites in the county, we should put zero faith in any candidate or promoter claiming that Columbia County should welcome all manner of heavy industries and they will all be carefully scrutinized and of course must be shown to be safe by county officials and state permitting agencies before operating, blah, blah. Trust us.

I will no longer buy such BS. We need leaders who are open to 21st century economic notions that will create sustainable prosperity for all of us while protecting our environment. I’m voting for Paulette Lichatowich for County Commissioner.

 

From: Stephen Petersen 4/14/18

I would like to take this opportunity to voice my support for the re-election of Henry Heimuller as one of our Columbia County commissioners.

Henry has proven his excellence as a leader during his tenure. He has always given careful consideration to every decision brought before him, and clearly has no political agenda. He votes based on what he knows is best for our community.

Despite his political aptitude, what stands out the most in my mind is how much Henry loves this county. This is demonstrated in part by the many philanthropic events he not only attends, but also often has a hand in organizing.

County commissioners are not required to attend fundraisers or volunteer in the community, yet Henry does it all, and always with a smile on his face.

If you love the Columbia County Fair, thank Henry for his unwavering support. We are so fortunate to have a leader in our community that gives back at every level.

Please join me in re-electing Henry Heimuller as Columbia County commissioner, Position 2.

From: Tammy Maygra 4/11/18

The candidate’s forum which was sponsored by Envision Columbia County was quite nice. People got too meet the candidates on a more personal level, which was nice. I think people enjoyed the forum and I think it was a success. Except when Bill Eagle made an ass of himself when he pounded the table with his fist in retaliation to a comment Mr. Johns made about empty CC Rider buses.

You have to understand Eagle loves CC Rider but Bill must understand not everyone loves CC Rider as he does.

 

From: Tammy Maygra 4/6/18

The candidate’s forum in Rainier was pretty good last night. I liked them all.

I was impressed with Kim Johns, him being a new comer he answered the questions very well. He came across knowledgeable on all subjects.

I am not totally convinced who I am voting for completely yet. But Mr. Johns seems to a good fit.

Mr.Campbell from Rainier did well too.

Heimuller was a good speaker polished as a seasoned politician but came across friendly and answered all the questions very well.

Paulette answered the questions well too, but had to read off a paper most of the time. I guess she is uncomfortable speaking in front of crowds, but again answered very well.

The most asked question was about Port Westward and industry

From: Wayne Mayo 4/1/18

The vote taken 23 March 2018 by the UN Human Rights Council condemning Israel not once, but five times defies reality. That European council members Belgium, Croatia, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK including Ireland didn't object, some even joining in the vote is even more troubling. 

 

Juxtaposing Israeli behavior against the documented atrocities committed daily by North Korea, Iran, and Syria, which received only one condemning resolution each is telling.

 

Either the vote represents an unread, superficial analysis of current torture, repression and ethnic cleansing which is doubtful, or it reveals a latent holdover of the unreasonable and weird hatred of the Jewish people best illuminated in Hitler's Holocaust of the Jews so willingly implemented during WWII.

 

Six million Jews were screened out of European society, mercilessly experimented on, tortured, and killed revealing perhaps the darkest impulses of human nature ever recorded in the history of Western Civilization.

 

Israel's management of its defense including land seized fending off a two front surprise attack by Egypt, Syria, and Jordan on 5-10 June 1967 has been well documented. Even enemy combatants and terrorists have been afforded top medical care in Israeli hospitals.

 

The UN vote Friday delegitimizes the current UN Council on Human Rights. But worse, it very well may speak ominously of European cultural proclivities. That's a shame.

 

From: Nancy Whitney 3/26/18

I have a few tidbits of information to share.

I had two bottles of medical prescriptions for over a year, neither of which I had ever used. The message prevalent on TV lately has been to drop your unused drugs at law enforcement agencies for incineration. As no one will answer the phone at the St. Helens Police Department, I called Central Dispatch at 503-397-1521. I was told to take the drugs to the SHPD and deposit them in the drop box provided.

My husband was good enough to do so. Unfortunately, there is no drop box provided and his loud knocking on the front door did not bring a response. The message in this tidbit is: If you have an emergency, do not go to the SHPD because no one will answer the phone and no one will let you into the building.

Later in the day, I went to the sheriff's office and left this medication with the deputies and was told the drugs would be incinerated.

So then I thought that if it is not safe to flush the pills or to deposit them in the garbage, why would it be safe to send these incinerated chemicals into the air. I did more research. The following information is from the U.S. Library of Medicine.

Of the total wastes generated by health-care organizations, 10%-25% are biomedical wastes, which are hazardous to humans and the environment and require specific treatment and management. For decades, incineration was the method of choice for the treatment of such infectious wastes. This article goes on to state, however,  "the process of waste incineration poses a significant threat to public health and the environment" including higher incidence of cancer and respiratory problems, congenital abnormalities, hormonal defects, increase in sex ratio (??) and global warming. Whoa! This is scary stuff.

When I asked for additional information from the internet on this subject, I received 203,000 answers. Those I read were varied in their suggestions. It appears the majority of research agrees that discarding of any prescriptions - rather through flushing, trashing, incineration or through bodily waste - "contributes to the eventual destruction of our planet as we know it".

Here is another tidbit.

Remember a year or so ago when I and many others were loudly and repeatedly objecting to the St. Helens City Administrators receiving dredge materials from the Portland Harbor Superfund site? Superfund sites are declared by the EPA to be the most contaminated land in the nation.

Fortunately, it appears this plan may have been put on a back burner. St. Helens would possibly have received the $50 million needed to cleanup the "poisonous lagoon" located on the proposed waterfront development property and to build a new sewer treatment plant with this plan - but if Portland can't clean their garbage, I don't know how St. Helens can do so.

The last I heard is that "sealing" is the best method of assuring that the leakage of poisonous chemicals does not get into the ground water and eventually into the rivers. I checked online with the Environmental Protection Agency and could find no mention of effectively sealing these sites with this procedure. Perhaps it is because there is no long term study of these sealing materials actually outliving the carcinogens, PCPs, etc. which have been dumped into our rivers for well over one hundred years.

And last but not least . . .

I wrote a letter to the editor last week about a metal fence and "private property - no trespassing" signs being put around a piece of waterfront property which was bought and paid for by the taxpayers of St. Helens. Gravel was being dumped and smoothed and the infamous Styrofoam Stonehenge rocks were put in place thus blocking the river view for several thriving businesses.

This area is now locked down and one cannot walk from Gazebo Park to the Old Mill property without walking back out to a public street.

I also stated I had been told I could have no further information because what the City was planning was "secret and confidential". Obviously, the project has to do with personnel problems or with purchasing real estate property because - under Oregon law - those are the only reasons I should not be privy to the information for which I asked.

I understand that in the past, Events Director Tina Curry was not forthcoming with the Scappoose Spotlight regarding the amount of money paid for celebrities to put in an appearance and for special effects at the Spirit of Halloween event - that basically it was not the business of St. Helens residents. And I still object to Curry using St. Helens residents' funds to set up a Spirit of Halloween event in Portland.

Like I said, I don't like Surprises coming from my tax money and I do have the right to ask for and receive the information about these Surprises.

 

From: Nancy Whitney 3/21/18

Do you like surprises? Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don’t. I like to throw surprise birthday and anniversary parties. I have been the recipient of these a few times in the past - thoroughly enjoyable.

 

However, what I do not like are any secrets or surprises presented by government entities who are using my tax money to surprise me. There is absolutely no excuse for any government agency - whether it be city, county, state or federal - to use or plan to use my tax dollars without me knowing for what it will be used.

 

Open, honest government - how many, many years have citizens been pleading for this given right? How many politicians have been elected on their promises to provide open communication? Yet, here we are, with the same old “executive” meetings to which the public is not invited and confidential information to which we have no access.

 

I was in downtown St. Helens this past Monday, near the old Gracie’s Antiques building. It was a beautiful, sunny day and I was sitting on a bench watching the river and the activity behind the high metal fence between me and the view - with “PRIVATE PROPERTY - NO TRESPASSING”