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 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” signs on the metal fence.

 

I then noticed City of St. Helens trucks and equipment dumping and spreading gravel in this area. I thought perhaps a much needed parking area was being readied for the waterfront development. But then - remember the Styrofoam Stonehenge “rocks” used at the Halloween festival last October? Well, these were being placed in this PRIVATE PROPERTY - NO TRESPASSING  area which I know darn well belongs to the citizens of St. Helens who bought and paid for it with their taxes.

 

I talked to the fellows doing this work who suggested I talk with the city manager. I did so. In fact, I was lucky enough to talk with City Manager John Walsh and Events Director Tina Curry at City Hall on Tuesday.

 

It appears, in connection with the big push for tourism being a main topic for many of those running for elected offices in May, the City of St. Helens is planning secret, confidential SURPRISE events for the people who live in and visit St. Helens.

 

 Unfortunately, I was not privy to this confidential and secret information because I am not on the Events Committee nor do I follow this committee on Facebook. I don’t do Facebook. I have a life.

 

I did find out, however, that between $100,00 - $140,000 is allocated for the SURPRISES we have in store for us this year in connection with the tourism projects. I also understand the City receives some of this money from “motel/tourism taxes” and also hopes to recover some of their expenditures from gate fees, parking fees and whatever other kind of fees might be connected to these events. That does not always happen.

 

I also asked for public information, which I readily received, in connection with the Event Director’s salary. Ms. Curry receives $120,000 per year - $10,000 per month. Granted, if she needs additional hired help at the events, that help must be paid from her salary. However, many volunteers from local organizations pitch in on these occasions.

 

Please understand I do not disagree with all improvements being planned for the City of St. Helens  - with some exceptions.

 

We are not a stupid people. We do not need secrets and confidential information being kept from us. We can handle it.

 

We might bitch about it, or fight against it or we might praise it, but we can handle it.

 

I don’t like this type of SURPRISE. I want to know what I am getting for my tax dollar. I want to know with what I am going to be SURPRISED for nearly a quarter of a million dollars.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Nancy Whitney, St. Helens

 

From: Richard Ellmyer 3/18/18

Guns are for killing. Guns kill 35,000 Americans a year. Guns kill 456 Oregonians a year.

 

“Of the more than 360 access-related gun bills proposed by Congress since the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, only one has become law.” *1

 

We must first focus on these essential facts whenever we discuss gun control.


The 2nd Amendment became law on
December 15, 1791 having been ratified by three-fourths of the states only 15 years after our 1776 Revolutionary war. At that time not a lightbulb nor a traffic light nor a train station nor an airport could be found anywhere in the country.


1790 America

Total population 3,929,214 [2018 Oregon Population 4.2 Million]

Urban 201,665  5.1% [2016 Oregon Urban  84%]

Rural 3,727,599 94.9% [2016 Oregon Rural 16%]


The most advanced firearm in 1790 would have been the Kentucky long rifle. It was capable of firing two or three .25 to .62 caliber balls per minute out to an accurate range of 300 yards.

 

 

The one on top is percussion while the one on the bottom is flintlock.


“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”


The 2nd Amendment was created
two hundred and twenty six years ago to accomplish two objectives:

1. To prevent the rise of a standing federal army.

2. To preserve the institution of slavery that was the key to the southern economy by protecting the slave patrol militias in the southern states. Slavery could not survive without police state enforcement.


Our country’s current distorted, antihistorical view of the 2nd Amendment is a
legal fiction invented by the gun industry and endorsed by the politicized U.S. Supreme Court.


Until 2008 there was no individual right to own a gun. The Supreme Court, with
no basis in constitutional history, declared in its decision in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller that such a right did exist. Former Chief Justice Warren Burger called this decision, “A fraud on the American public.” *2 That fraud now makes it impossible to legislate sensible gun control laws.


Today, elected Republicans, the National Rifle Association and the Supreme Court use the 2nd Amendment exclusively as a
political weapon to advance the economic interests of the firearms industry.


For decades we have watched senseless, horrific
massacres of our fellow Oregonians and Americans, including many children. The process is always the same: Riveted attention, Outrage, Sadness, Cries for Action, Silence, Despair, Repressed Memory ad infinitum, ad nauseam.


Lest We Forget

Oct. 1, 2015 at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg. Eight students and a teacher were killed and nine others wounded.

June 10, 2014 at Reynolds High School in Troutdale. One student was killed and a teacher wounded.

Dec. 11, 2012 at Clackamas Town Center mall just outside Portland. Two people were killed and a third person seriously wounded.

April 10, 2007 at Springwater Trail High School in Gresham. Ten students were wounded.

May 21, 1998 at Thurston High School in Springfield. Two students were killed and 25 others wounded.


The ONLY PERMANENT way to stop President Trump, Republicans, the National Rifle Association and the Supreme Court from deliberately blocking the
sensible and necessary control and regulation of firearms in Oregon and our country is to repeal the 2nd amendment thereby removing it as a political weapon.


America’s first civil war was about
control and abuse of human beings. President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation “repealed” the constitution’s inherent support for slavery on January 1, 1863. Prior to that, in March of 1857 the Supreme Court issued its Dred Scott decision which directly and affirmatively acknowledged slavery as constitutional.


Our second civil war, albeit cold, is about
control and abuse of firearms.


During America’s first Civil War Southern reporters, editors, opinion writers, clergy, elected officials and businessmen were unequivocal, to the death, in their commitment to slavery as a moral, constitutional right. Today, during America’s second Civil Cold War, descendants of these groups, without any sense of American history, continue to treat the repeal of the 2nd Amendment just as their ancestors opposed repeal of constitutional support for slavery.


Respecting the so-called second amendment rights of law-abiding citizens to bear arms is
the bogus, go-to assertion of the NRA used to deny the safety and common good of ALL the American people. This includes those who are denied the inalienable American citizen’s right of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness because they were indiscriminately murdered by those with legal access to firearms. Elected officials of any party that rely on this NRA talking point to avoid supporting repeal of the second amendment are denying the fact that when it comes to constitutional endorsements of slavery and guns you are either for it or against it. There is no middle ground.


Compromise is not going to end the rising wave of mass murder in America any more than it ended slavery.” Frank Rich. *3


The blood of mass murders in Oregon and the United States will now be on the consciences of those elected officials that do not support repeal of the 2nd Amendment. Accepting campaign contributions from the NRA by any and all elected public officials is NOW defined as taking massacre money. Those companies and individuals that aid and abet the NRA by financial support or any other means are NOW also in the massacre money business. It is NOT the Media, that as Republican President Donald Trump wrongly proclaims is “the enemy of the people”. It is, in fact, Donald Trump and the membership and staff of the NRA who are the real enemies of the American people.


President Trump, Republicans, the National Rifle Association and the Supreme Court have long demonstrated their lust for money and power over the safety of American citizens. Very sadly,
every elected Oregon Democrat in the state legislature has joined the perversely disingenuous performers of the “thoughts and prayers” show. All of their names and contact information can be found here: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov . Secretary of State Dennis Richardson (R), Governor Kate Brown (D), U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D) and Jeff Merkley (D), U.S. House of Representatives Greg Walden (R), Earl Blumenauer (D), Peter DeFazio (D), Kurt Schrader (D) and Suzanne Bonamici (D) are also included in this rogue’s gallery.


And so it goes. And so it goes. And so it goes …

 

 

From: Bill Eagle 3/13/18

I am a gun owner and a former member of the NRA.  Originally, the NRA used to be an organization that supported sportsmen, promoted gun safety, and fire arm education and good marksmanship. They emphasized the responsible use of fire arms.

Evidently this is no longer the case. 

I quit the NRA after I started getting letters about how President Obama was working hard to take away my guns.  Many of the stories and alerts that were sent to me as “News” were things that were made up in the imagination of the writers and had no basis in fact. Years ago the NRA supported responsible gun legislation and was not opposed to background checks.  In the old days they never once advanced the theory that the 2nd Amendment was there to be used to keep politicians in line. And they believed the portion of the 2nd Amendment that reads:  “a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free nation...”means exactly that.  The 2nd Amendment says, “well regulated” not “unregulated.”

I am also disturbed when I read that Russian Oligarchs are pouring money into the NRA. Why in the world would a group of people that have no loyalty to the USA sink money into an American organization?

The NRA is now opposed to background checks, and will not take a stand on age limits, bump stocks, silencers or large magazine semi automatic weapons. 

It has became very apparent that the NRA is more concerned with supporting the fire arms industry than they are in promoting education or fire arm safety.

I have joined with George HW Bush and other responsible people in refusing to continue to support this one time good organization.

If Americans want to keep their guns, then they need to support responsible firearm ownership, not anarchy or insurrection. .

 

From: Hal Ritz 3/3/18

Where is Paul Revere when you need him? The Brits and the Chinese government are coming. Columbia County and Cowlitz County, WA are the new Concords for Americans to protect. For such a time as this, we are the patriots called upon to save our county and country. Give us liberty or give us death!

 

Not true, you say? Listen up. The Chinese government is establishing a methanol footprint in two Northwest counties as I write. The Canadians are participating in this invasion by piping in their fracked natural gas to fuel this operation in Kalama and Port Westward. Yes, I said piping, and we all know how secure that is.

 

I listened to the presentation to the St. Helens port commissioners about the Port Westward methanol project. It was made by the representative and CEO for Northwest Innovation Works (NWIW). They are the organization that will construct and operate the methanol refineries. Key points of concern were not addressed at the meeting. The full truth must be exposed to alert county citizens of the hazards of this scheme.

 

The following facts have been assembled largely by Columbia Riverkeepers who have been fighting this take-over of our air, water, and soil for un-American profit:

First of all, NWIW has never constructed or operated such a potentially dangerous and destructive facility.

 

NWIW is owned by Pan Pacific Corp. that is administered by the government in Beijing, China. NWIW will be the developer and operator of the huge project.

Canada supplies the piped-in fracked natural gas to operate the refineries, creating risk to humans and the environment.

 

Water from the Columbia River will be utilized for the world’s largest catalytic processing production plant in Kalama to be matched by our Port Westward project.

The final product will be shipped to China for a huge expansion of their auto/marine transportation industry and plastic.

 

Profits go to Canada and China. They are using our resources and we are left to deal with the danger and pollution of our air, water, and soil.

 

Tax base increase is negligible in comparison to outside profits, and a more Eco-friendly industry would suffice as well and probably provide more in-county jobs.

One huge plant would utilize a labor force less than 200, most of whom would come from outside our county.

 

One facility would utilize more fuel energy than the combined industrial complex of the State of Washington.

 

The use of piped-in fracked gas for just one plant would currently require expansion of existing pipelines. Adding a second facility requires even more pipe infrastructure. We know how gas lines leak or explode.

 

The port authority will receive over $$$ half-million on the lease renewal, and we don’t know how much from the last three years. It would be interesting to know how these funds are used to better Columbia County citizens.

 

NWIW has said this “dirty” (not their word) operation will be replaced by clean energy technology, which is advancing rapidly. Who will be responsible for the clean-up from all the contaminants to our environment?

 

Why did NWIW’s first choice location, Tacoma, WA, get nixed while ours is viable? A large vocal population center as compared to our small counties’ much fewer voices? Think about it in relation to all the multiple issues mentioned above.

 

Why doesn't Canada install the facilities on their coast and save the cost of pipelines and enjoy the danger and pollution in their country? Good question for research.

 

In spite of every problem listed above, a resolution was unanimously passed by the port commissioners present at the meeting to extend the three-year lease for WWIW continued development of the project. A vote Wednesday the 21st by the County Commissioners will facilitate rezoning, authorizing plans to proceed.

 

This project is harmful to the citizens of Columbia County. Let us rally our minute-men and women to oppose this attack on our Oregon way of life and blight on our landscape and environment. Do you see what is taking place and are you ready to fight?

No methanol on our shores!

 

From: Joe Turner 2/25/18

A person in Portland works late into the evening and upon finishing their project walks toward their car and is greeted by a person with a knife and is robbed of their wallet and cell phone, and on the police report it is considered a mugging.

 

A group of politicians work late into the night scheming and plotting how to take away hard earned money from citizens by raising taxes and fees and it is called the legislative process. One is a crime while the other is signed into law.

 

During the budget process last week Senator Ron Paul is quoted as saying “When the Democrats are in power, Republicans appear to be the conservative party. But when Republicans are in power, it seems there is no conservative party. The hypocrisy hangs in the air and chokes anyone with a sense of decency or intellectual honesty.”

 

And in the 1980’s President Ronald Reagan said “We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.”

While I feel the tax reform bill was long overdue and will entice many businesses to re-invest in America, I feel these same people went on a spending spree to the tune of about $300 Billion over what is actually needed to meet the country’s need for the next two years.

 

The Defense Industrial Complex will be awash in cash but will we have enough to hire doctors to fill shortages at the VA hospitals? Will there be enough to assist states and communities to repair potholes and bridges? Will there be enough to restructure our neglected education system?

 

Not to mention Governor Brown and her henchmen pushing thru defective legislation in the short session in Salem; our political system has gone from being a swamp to a cesspool.

Its an election year and I hope Oregonians are given better choices to choose from on their ballots or will it be the same old people (parties) with their same old agenda; spending and taxes.

 

From: Mike George 2-17-18

I am a founding member of WFCU, and I do not know what has happened to it.

They have taken away the drive-up window and replaced it with a machine, now they are laundering money for drug (marijuana) dealers.

I talked to the CEO and he said it was for safety, for who? It is really about money, sure it is legal to have in Oregon, but ask most police officers and they will tell you it is a gate-way drug to worse stuff.

I know several people who have lost there jobs because they failed there drug test, but they said but it is legal, just look at what our young people are getting busted for, and ask them what drug they started out with to get high and then graduated up to from there to get higher.

Thank you WFCU for promoting drugs for our community.

 

From: Nancy Ward 2-17-18

A very important vote was taken at the Feb. 14 Port of St. Helens meeting.

The Port commissioners voted on whether to extend the lease option to Northwest Innovation Works. Here was their opportunity to follow through on previous public statements that they are not specifically seeking to promote fossil fuel projects in the future.

The vote of 4 to 0 would indicate otherwise.

However, this wasn't actually my biggest disappointment. Rather, I was more surprised by the absence of Commissioner Paulette Lichatowich. I am very familiar with her consistent support protecting our environment and was counting on her to balance the record with at least one "no" vote.

Why was she absent? Was her attendance and vote via phone impossible?

I hope she will give us an answer.

 

From: Scott Stockwell 2/15/18

Once again we are grieving a senseless tragedy.  The St. Helens School District would like to express our deepest condolences to staff, students, families and community of Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.  All families should expect their children to be safe when they are in school.  Staff should not need to worry about how they would protect their students or themselves. 

 

In light of this tragedy, we know many parents and community members might want additional information about how the St. Helens School District is ensuring the safety and security of our students and staff.

 

We have a very strong partnership with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, the St. Helens Police Department and local emergency managers. The St. Helens School District meets regularly with local law enforcement and building administrators to implement the Standard Response Protocol and discuss our response to different emergency scenarios. We also are improving safety through a number of bond construction projects, thanks to the wonderful support of our St. Helens community.  Finally, our district is part of a network that utilizes a tip line called SafeOregon in hopes of pro-actively identifying potential threats before they become emergencies.

 

As much as we proactively train and plan for emergency situations, tragedies like this event in Florida are certainly difficult to comprehend. We know it may trigger emotional responses among our students, parents, staff and community members, and we will do all we can to support them. Knowing what to say at home with your own children or family members can be challenging. In times like these, talking things over openly and of course in an age-appropriate manner is helpful. I also know that as parents and family members you will navigate this carefully and decide about doing what is best at home for your own children.

 

A good resource for speaking with your children can be found by visiting The Center for Parenting Education webpage.

 

Sincerely,

Scot Stockwell
Superintendent
St. Helens School District

 

From: Hal Ritz 2/10/18

Over 200 years ago patriots fought for our freedoms where some of your and my family’s forbears were intimately involved in that struggle.  Now Russia, our mortal enemy, interfered with the 2016 election.  That is a fact.  How and why this happened has to be determined so it will not affect the upcoming election in nine months.  All Americans can agree on that.  Every dedicated patriot should also be shoulder-to-shoulder to prevent a repeat and focus on sustainable remedies.  

 

Fix the problem! That is upholding our flag of freedom and actually meaning the words of our national anthem we recently talked about   Wake up America—we have been warned.  It happened once; if it happens again it is stupidity, and we, the people, are not stupid and call for action.

 

Since experiencing President Roosevelt’s “Fireside Chats” I can remember no presidential election in which the word “collusion” appeared.  Collusion.  No collusion.  One can hardly listen to news today without that word bandied about in the broadcast referring to the 2016 election and directly related to the current Washington administration and Republican led majority legislature.

 

The Latin-derived verb “collude”, is listed in Marriam-Webster as “to scheme”, among other nefarious synonyms.  Collusion as a noun, means “an act of secret collaboration for an illegal purpose”.  Collusion is also a legal term, so it has substance and consequences in terms of administering justice.  It is a very serious matter that can be litigated and people charged with crimes.

There is an urgent need to get to the truth of how Russia was able to tamper with our election simply because another crucial election rapidly approaches.  But our elected government officials of this proven faulty election seem to not want to dig out the truth of what transpired.  From the President, Republican Senate, and House majority leadership, a concerted effort to stop getting to the bottom of the problem and seeking the truth is shockingly evident.  Why?  What can we fear from the truth that will stop encroachment of our fundamental right of non-interference by our avowed enemy into the electoral process?  If there was no collusion, what is the big problem?  

 

Here is where the word “collusion” starts to take shape.  How and why did this happen?  Is there a Benedict Arnold among us?  We need answers to what happened.  We want the truth so we can prevent recurrence.  The concept of placing blame should be secondary as to who was involved in this act of secret collaboration for an illegal purpose, which election interference surely represents.  The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help us God.  This is mandatory from the President, our Legislature, the Justice Department including Law Enforcement, the Intelligence community, all State and Principality Governments, and every American Patriot.

 

We have a God-give duty to see that our elected officials protect our ballot, our voice from our arch enemy.. Truth is key and messing with Uncle Sam cannot be tolerated.  Collusion or no collusion is not the urgent time-is-awaisting issue.  Russia’s meddling is fact and must be prevented.  The urgent question is what steps is our government currently taking to prevent another election fiasco barreling down on our country?

 

Russia must not interfere in our elections.  Truth will prevail and freedom will ring from the rooftops across our nation. 

 

From: Tammy Maygra 2/3/18

While Americans are focused on Trumps everyday Twitter rants of fictional truths, the Republican Party is carefully undermining the mainstays of our democratic foundation. Their attack on the middleclass is calculated. The middleclass is the buffer between the wealthy who spend time and resources trying to manipulate government policies in their favor, and the poor who are trying to survive day-to-day and have little time to worry about their political rights.

A strong middleclass keeps the rich from taking away political rights and economic security, and protects those who cannot protect themselves, in other words safety in numbers. The Republican Party is delighted with promoting inequality and is implementing policies and reforms that will only deepen the gap, by increasing taxes on the poor, reducing taxes on the wealthy, and eliminating public social services.

By executing policy directed to the wealthy at the expense of the other 99% of America, and by shrinking the middle-class, the Republicans are paving the way for the demise of our democracy.

When the Republicans and Trump demonize our government regulations, and claim the government is intrusive in our lives and limits our freedoms, take a look around you. When you go into your kitchen to prepare dinner, thank the government for regulations on food processing, expiration dates and on imported products. The next time you are in a building and it has not collapsed on you or the electricity has not electrocuted you, thank the government and bureaucracy.

Trump and the Republicans are methodically trying to dismantle the federal bureaucracy. Most of the President’s nominees are people who have literally advocated for the closure of the various departments such as; Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Energy Department, Environmental Protection Agency, Secretary of Education, and coordinator of Sanctions Policy Office. And now reduced funding to the CDC, all of these departments if closed or reduced will mostly hurt the middleclass and poor.

And finally, in order for a democracy to be a democracy people need to vote. With low voter turnout it seems that the Republican tactics are working by voter suppression and registration. Republicans have advocated literacy tests for black Americans, until deemed illegal. Gerrymandering districts, removed voting machines in heavily populated areas, required extensive I.D., changed absentee voting requirements, and was against motor voter.

Wake up and see what the Republican Party and Trump really are, they are no friend to the middleclass and poor