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: Nancy Whitney 8/19/18

Datelines to remember: Mayor Rick Scholl of St. Helens was sworn in for his first term on January 6, 2017. He purchased .27 acres in March 2017 in North St. Helens near the conjunctions of 8th Street, 9th Street and Wyeth.

About this same time he offered to purchase four city lots in the same area owned by the St. Helens Senior Center for $1,500. He said he wanted to build a home and needed these lots for ingress and egress. This offer was refused.

This is a part of the same hilltop land which was involved in a controversy a couple of years back when the then owner wanted to blast all the basalt rock 18 feet below grade and fill it with slag from a gravel pit on Hankins Road. The City Council refused this petition.

Now Mayor Scholl and Ron Schlumpberger have purchased an additional .13 acres and have asked the City Planning Commission and the City Council to vacate an easement so that a road on the other side of this same property can be built.

At a hearing held Wednesday evening, it was intimated by a supporter of Scholl and Schumplberger’s project that Scholl - being the mayor and asking the city council for approval to vacate this easement - might be perceived as using his position for personal gain. This person also expressed fear that Scholl’s actions might be interpreted as a political ploy against his bid to be reelected. Further, he stated Scholl owned the property prior to becoming mayor. (Please refer to dates in first paragraph.)

According to City Planner Jacob Graichen the normal size for a street in St. Helens is 60 feet wide. There have been some “skinny” streets allowed which are 40 feet wide. This is not the norm. Scholl and Schlumpberger are asking for a 20 foot wide “alley” right of way to the hilltop property.

This 20 foot ”alley” right of way has been allowed only once before in St. Helens. That was on property formerly owned by the City of St. Helens and now owned by the owner of St. Helens Marina. An exception was made for the Marina 20 foot “alley” easement. It appears it may have set a precedent

Mr. Graichen further states that if and when the 20 foot “alley” easement is granted by the City Council, the owners of the property in question can build anything they want on that property - one home, several homes, condos, etc. - using this same 20 foot “alley” easement.

Former Mayor Randy Petersen of St. Helens attempted to sell a really bad piece of property to the City for possible “future development” for the sum of $350,000?

This possible sale was made public and the City of St. Helens wisely did not make the purchase. Soon after, Mr. Petersen lost his reelection bid for mayor.

Perception is a huge political point.

From: Hal Ritz 9/14/18

I read with dismay the Western Oregon Electric Co-op's (WOEC) report by Board President Robert Van Natta in the August issue of Ruralite. It is evident Van Natta and his policies are entrenched in the past. He fails to connect to innovations that have shaped the present and will catapult us into the future. After all, our roots are firmly grounded in the pioneering spirit that has made our nation advance to prominence in the world.

As soon as I could lift an axe in 1940 I provided kindling and firewood from family-felled trees. This fed the voracious blue-and-white enamel cook stove and our beloved pot-bellied, Eisen-glassed heater. We got up with the sun and went to bed with the light of coal-oil lamps. We had a cattle ranch with riding and work horses, up to five milk cows, 1,000 free-range chickens, a huge garden and fruit trees. We had an icehouse with blocks of ice chopped from the Columbia River and a vegetable root cellar — in other words, we were quite self-sufficient. So please don't condescend to tell me I don't know where milk and eggs originate.

What I do know, and you seem to have difficulty wrapping your mind around, is that change happened.

If we don't recognize that and find it exciting and energizing, we have no business being in positions of responsibility. More people are educated and information is only a finger-flick away. We don't have time to be bored and "discover" how we are being gouged by some of the highest electric rates while sitting on the doorstep of the Bonneville Power Administration. We are informed professionals seeking new ways to make our lives more efficient. We are not a status-quo generation, but thinkers pushing the envelope for a vibrant and sustainable green energy future.

Our family is proud to be a solar energy-producing member in your Chapman District 6. WOEC unfairly discounts reimbursement for power we pump back into the grid to WOEC's much lower energy cost and pay a meter premium. At least when the power goes out, we have back-up. This co-op has consistently tried to prevent member efforts in sustainable and more efficient energy sources. This begs the question as to why? It seems the co-op wants to hang on to the status-quo and ignore change and innovations sweeping the world.

If you are really creating a benefit for members, you would be the first to support efficiency in operations.

But your rates continue to escalate with the same tired thinking that ties Mr. Van Natta with inertia to his early years. It is precisely why your rates are so high, in the two Northwest states with the lowest national electric usage charges, that we support alternative solutions to energy. That is why we heat with a zero-emission pellet stove and cook with propane. We chose the rural life, but because we have the high cost of college education and the commute to Portland for work, we must question energy costs. With the exception of me, because I'm retired, every member of this family works. This is the reality of life today.

The WOEC depends on revenue from its members. It is time co-op energy users have more substantive transparency and efficient energy options. 

Efforts by the co-op are needed to reduce energy costs and encourage new technologies that are cost-saving, green and sustainable. We pay your salaries. We also pay for the full-color Ruralite mini-magazine, its far-flung festival announcements featuring the Tillamook Creamery, and yes, the obscure financial sheet included in its pages. But for the rates we pay, it's time to see some cost-reduction thinking and measures established for future power innovations. 

From: Nancy Whitney 9/11/18

I would appreciate you printing this LTE in your media outlet - to replace what I submitted last week. Thank you. Nancy Whitney

 

Environmentalist Bill McKibbey wrote “when confronted by small men doing big and stupid things, we need to resist with all the creativity and wit we can muster”.

 

It is my understanding that the City of St. Helens intends to allow another failed fairy fiasco to commence at the end of September and run through the end of October in conjunction with the Spirit of Halloween Town.

 

One merchant in the downtown area of St. Helens was informed last Friday that First Street and most of Strand Street would be closed completely on weekends during nearly the entire month of October.

 

A member of the city council delivered this news to this one merchant on Strand Street. The notice states that St. Helens Event Director Tina Cannard had requested a permit last Spring. Apparently no appeal period is being allowed.

 

Cement barricades will be provided by the City at “my/our expense”- “my/our expense” being in reference to “Tina Cannard/City of St. Helens”as stated on the Petition for Temporary closure of City Streets.

 

In order for residents, business owners, and customers to reach the only area open on Strand Street, it appears their only option will be to drive up 4th Street to the top of Nob Hill and then down Cowlitz to the other side. I wonder if the people on Nob Hill believe this will be of “no major conflicts” as stated in the petition.

 

And most assuredly, neither the City of St. Helens nor Tina Cannard have contacted “affected property owners, business owners and/or tenants in person or in writing of my/our intent to close the street/s listed above and that written consents of each are attached.”  This is a blatant lie.

 

Yet, Cannard submitted this Petition for Closure to the City of St. Helens. It was approved by the City Council and attested to by Kathy Payne, City Recorder, on September 6, 2018 - not last Spring.

 

Who the hell is running the City of St. Helens? How can the mayor, the city council, the city administrator and the city recorder simply accept that Cannard had contacted all those person she attested to contacting? How can they all just accept that Cannard has written consents from them without seeing the supposed “attached” consents.

 

The consents were not attached to the Petition for Temporary Closure of City Street(s) because Cannard did not notify or collect written consents.

 

This is not only immoral. I would imagine it is illegal.

 

Furthermore, there is no infrastructure for these “events” held on the waterfront property. There is no parking. There is no usable ingress and egress. There is no forward planning and the citizens of St. Helens are paying for all these errors in judgment.

 

Once again, St. Helens administration has put the cart before the horse

 

It was mentioned to me just yesterday that Halloween Town will be getting just what it needs: a town of the past - a ghost town. This breaks my heart.

 

Many promises were made by the City when this land was purchased with taxpayer money over three years ago. None of these have come to fruition. The city administrators have had enough time. I object to living on promises. I object that my town is dying.

 

Citizens of St. Helens: we obviously are confronted by small men/women doing big and stupid things. We need to resist with all the creativity and wit we can muster. Make some noise. Please get involved. Vote for change - in all areas of our local government.

 

From: Kathleen Fisher 9/7/18

The liberal outrage campaign over the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination, (which was launched amid hair-on-fire proclamations of impending annihilation from nuclear war with North Korea), is temporarily suspended for the current outrage campaign directed at the Russia Summit. Of course this is pending the initiation of a new outrage campaign tomorrow for a yet-to-be named outrage.

Power is the only thing Leftists worship and they are unraveling before our eyes without it. They can't control President Donald Trump. That alone drives them insane. They have no policies that work. Cities and states they control are criminal sanctuaries and bankrupt cesspools — just ask the Portland Police Bureau's union president and check out San Francisco and Chicago.

Each of the president's remarkable accomplishments — from unprecedented high employment, our booming economy and the tax cuts (stolen from Oregonians by Kate (tax-em-till-they-croak) Brown and the Dems in Salem) to his historic summit with Kim Jong-Un — highlights their abject failures and serves to prick their narcissistic egos. The country is doing better without them every day. Even worse, they are desperate to keep their countless crimes and abuses.

It is hard to believe that Hal Ritz (see "Putin on the Ritz," July 20) and I watched the same presser. In the course of 90 minutes or so, Hillary Clinton was skewered, Vladimir Putin put on notice, Democrats raked over the coals, America's energy supremacy touted, distrust between Trump and Putin openly acknowledged, and responses to questions were dominated by Trump in an almost comically aggressive way. Not remotely the Trump-puppy/Putin-master Kabuki theatre Leftist-Ritz choreographed.

Trump also made no bones about doing everything possible to supply Europe's energy. Europe's dependence on Russian energy is an Achilles heel, especially for Germany. Without Russian energy, homes go cold in winter and people literally die.

The only ones in "Putin's pocket" are Leftist Americans masquerading as American patriots. True American patriots stand squarely behind President Trump and his plan to Make America Great Again

 

From: Nancy Whitney 9/5/18

Environmentalist Bill McKibbey wrote “when confronted by small men doing big and stupid things, we need to resist with all the creativity and wit we can muster”.

 

It is my understanding that the City of St. Helens intends to allow another failed fairy fiasco to commence at the end of September and run through the end of October in conjunction with the Spirit of Halloween Town.

 

If you will recall the first failed fairy fiasco was held last Spring amid pouring rains, plastic tents to avoid said rain, and the disintegrating Styrofoam Stonehenges. The Nazi type fence will remain in place so that you can be charged anywhere from $15 to $60 to participate in this event and there will be no access to the waterfront property via Strand Street.

 

I assume the City will once again provide the gravel and sand and the employees to distribute it.

 

You know, I really do not care what type of “event” the City comes up with. What I do care about is that my taxes are being used to support it. I have seen nothing about a profit being made to offset these costs to the taxpayers by these attempts to encourage tourism.

 

I care that people are now being asked to contribute to enjoy 13 Nights on the River. I care that Strand Street is being partially closed on Friday nights so that a city employee can play a piano in a parking lot. I care that citizens of St. Helens are being asked to pay to sit on their own property to watch fireworks on the 4th of July.

 

I object to paying to use land which is owned by the Citizens of St. Helens. Many promises were made by the City when this land was purchased which have not come to fruition. I object to living on promises.

 

My last concern is the need of Scappoose for water and a water treatment plant - and the City of St. Helens being unable to afford to run their treatment plant and having an abundance of water. I understand NW Gas has volunteered to help with that construction. Elected officials need to work this out. That’s why they were elected.

 

Citizens of St. Helens: we obviously are confronted by small men/women doing big and stupid things. We need to resist with all the creativity and wit we can muster. Make some noise. Call your city administrators. Vote for change.

 

From: Terry Pine 9/4/18

What is this new group mentioned in the news media, which involves bringing jobs to Columbia County? I see it has Jim Lichotalich in the group- his wife was the woman running for county commissioner and did some questionable things and was deemed a quitter by almost everyone, because she could not take criticism. She did not want jobs here of any kind, no industry along the river..I see an old man named Hal Ritz whose letters to the editor makes no sense and have inaccurate information in them constantly. And these people think they can handle town halls and discussions, what do they have to offer , absolutely nothing.

 

From: Talk Nazi 9/4/18

A big election is coming up real soon. I personally do not believe in elections. I believe that our Fuhrers know who will do the business of the country best. But here in the City of St. Helens there are two qualified people running for city council, Mr. Topaz and Mr. Peterson.  If you vote for these two great men you will be voting as The Mother Country wants. They are like one, as they are in beloved lock step in their beliefs and vision for our great community. We can have a wall built around the City limits as is the dream of Mr. Topaz, and his beloved Fuhrer Trump, we could ask for numbers to be tattooed on peoples foreheads to identify if they are city citizen and for those who are not a city dweller we will have to separate them from their children, and house them in cages at the Humane Society. And around that wall you could have some beautiful art work to adorn the top of the wall such as the art work which is along -side HWY 30 across from the Dollar store. The low life mud monkeys and system mooches beware, the times might be a changen , CC Ryder can be closed down, those bus riders can get a better job and buy themselves a car, those who are handi-capped  get a better crutch, and those who cant see use pop bottles for glasses cause you are not going to have bus service anymore when these beloved Fuhrers get elected. God Bless the Mother Country and God bless our potential Fuhrers.

 

From: Nancy Whitney 8/27/18

We have lived in our home for over 43 years. A few years back my husband and I talked about selling our home and moving to Arizona. After visiting that area, we decided we did not like it. We prefer seasons.

 

Our piece of land within the city limits of St. Helens compromises just over one-half acre. In the time we have spent here, we have added considerably to the landscape and the home. I would expect we have tens of thousands of dollars invested in shrubs, trees and gardens.

 

This year we decided we must make a choice between a green lawn and keeping our gardens and trees alive. Our lawn is distinctly brown, our apple trees are dropping their fruit because of lack of water and I hand water most of the shrubs and gardens.

 

We still received a one month water bill of $286. Someone from the City even called to have us check for a water leak.

 

St. Helens Mayor Rick Scholl was kind enough to explain why we can live within two miles of the Columbia River and still have a bill that high: we no longer have Boise Cascade footing half the bill. Four other industrial businesses have vacated this area in a relatively short period of time. To put it simply, we have lost our tax base.

 

Former Mayor Randy Petersen signed an agreement with Boise when St. Helens purchased the waterfront property from Boise a few years back - so the taxpayers  got stuck with a lagoon full of carcinogens, a water treatment plant that we cannot afford to operate, and a pile of rock we have no money to develop.

 

Back when St. Helens was a thriving industrial town our tax base was just over one percent. That of Scappoose was just over three percent. Then a state bill was passed limiting tax base increases to five percent per year - thus limiting the tax increase for St. Helens far below that of Scappoose. The discrepancy continues to grow - as does Scappoose.

 

So, the Cityof St. Helens is attempting to make a comeback through tourism. They hired an “events director” to the tune of $120,000 per year. I believe this amount is more than any elected or hired official in the county is paid.

 

We now have Halloween Town and the failed fairy fiasco held last spring. We are charged to sit on our land on the Columbia River to watch the 4th of July fireworks and are charged to attend 14 Nights on the River - all on our publically owned land - with no discernable profit to the City for these events.

 

Strand Street in downtown St. Helens continues to be encased in a metal fence. Granted the barbed wire has been removed but people continue to have to walk in the street in order to access the public land at the end of Strand.

 

When attending a work session of the City of St. Helens last week, I made a plea to have the fence removed and the trees saved from the caterpillars and wisteria vines encasing them. The superintendent of public works actually interrupted me to say the fence could not come down because then it would not be possible for the “events director” to charge for entrance to the “failed fairy fiasco”. Wow - who is running this city?

 

One person did listen to my plea. Mayor Rick Scholl had a work crew at the Strand Street site within a couple of days. Unfortunately, the crew did nothing but cut down weeds and dump some bark dust.

 

I thank you, Mr. Mayor, for listening. However, the fence is still standing with no plausible reason for doing so and it will take a lot more work to save those trees. I am an Oregon Master Gardner and I volunteer to help along with many others with whom I have spoken.

 

Maybe you should forget the grandiose plans for waterfront development for which we have no money, no grants and no developers interested. Maybe we should make some decent parking space without waiting for the money, grants and developers to come through.

 

I had a woman suggest to me just today that a really beautiful travel park would bring in a lot of money. Along with beach access, parks, and walkways, you could have the development which was promised when taxpayers agreed to pay the three million dollars for the purchase of this land.

 

Salvation through tourism, condos, restaurants?? I don’t think so.

 

From: Robert Brydon 8/19/18

I can’t understand why most folks are complaining about St. Helens making a business deal with Portland to receive Portlands toxic waste. Our leaders would not accept the waste if they did not have a good safe place for it. I trust these people, they would not bring anything into our community if there was a chance that it could hurt us. Our city leaders are making a good sound and fruitful business deal, which will allow our city to make monetary gains. This gain will enable the city to develop the waterfront which will in turn bring more business’s to our town. We need the added jobs. A few condo’s will beautify the downtown area too. It a win , win for everyone.

 From: Chris Brumbles 8/16/18

This was just another unconstitutional bill passed into law by American- and liberty-hating totalitarians (Ameriphobes), with no regard to their oath of office, constituents or common sense'

It may be time to fire our so-called House District 31 representative in November. The truth is that Rep. Brad Witt only seems to represent himself and his interests. The reason we created government was to protect our rights, but Witt-less has now gone off the reservation and joined Crazy Kate in pursuing the destruction of our natural born rights and the Bill of Rights.

Dim-Witt drifted to the Bloombergites in the last session when he voted for the anti-right House Bill 4145, a law that redefines and expands the term "Family Members" for the sole purpose of confiscating guns from more people, with no protection of those falsely accused. This was just another unconstitutional bill passed into law by American- and liberty-hating totalitarians (Ameriphobes), with no regard to their oath of office, constituents or common sense.

Now I have heard from a reliable source that Witt is either writing or sponsoring a law to raise the minimum age to buy a firearm from 18 to 21. This is a guy who has bragged for years how pro-gun he is, just to get elected. It must be conflicting to be in a party where you want to let 16 year olds vote, 14 year olds have an abortion without their parents knowledge or consent, keep kids on their parents insurance until they are 26, but steal a right from a legal adult of military age .... craaaazy. It's OK to pay taxes or die for your country defending our rights, but according to Dip-Witt, you can't partake of the rights that you are willing to pay the ultimate price to protect. Shameful. Are these 18-20-year-olds adults or not?

This county is going to pass, by a huge margin, the Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance (Measure 5-270) in November. At a time when we are making our county safer, Brad the Cad wants to set us back while illegally stealing rights.

If you are 18-20, please leave a message for me at Oregon Firearms Federation to help protect your rights. Leave the message at 503-263-5830 and I will contact you. When November comes, let's hire Brian Stout and kick Nit-Witt out.

 

From: Nancy Whitney 8/14/18

May I remind you readers of the information I shared some time back.

 

At that time I had conversations with St. Helens City Manager John Walsh regarding the proposal to bring Superfund sludge from the harbors in Portland to a toxic contaminated lagoon in St. Helens.

 

Once again, Superfunds sites have been declared by the US Department of Environmental Quality to be the most toxic and filthy sites in the nation.

I was told at that time St. Helens would be paid approximately $50 million for allowing this filth to be “sealed” into the poisonous lagoon located on the waterfront property.

 

Citizens of St. Helens were told a new water treatment plant was imminently needed because the old one was wearing out and that the money received from Portland’s Superfund sludge would pay for this new treatment plant.

 

Truth be told, St. Helens had an agreement with Boise Cascade to share the water treatment building and operations costs. So, when Boise decided to close their doors and move out of town, St. Helens was stuck with a treatment plant ten times larger than needed and could no longer afford to run it - thus the “imminent” need for a new treatment plant and the willingness to accept toxic “crap” from the Port of Portland.

 

In fact, I have just been told the water treatment plant is “state of the art”. It’s just too big.

 

According to Scappoose Mayor Scott Burdge, St. Helens did approach Scappoose proposing a deal wherein St. Helens would share their excessively large water treatment plant and excessive amounts of water with Scappoose.

 

Mayor Burdge told me the pipelines needed for this venture would be abhorrently costly - that Scappoose was undergoing a water study at this time - and there were no ongoing negotiations.

 

So, here St. Helens has 22 acres of land with incredibly beautiful views of the Columbia River and its tributaries. Unfortunately, this land still contains a lagoon full of PCP, DDT and any other carcinogen one can possibly imagine. The City is nearly a year into attempting to find someone with the funds to develop this acreage and grants to fund the cleanup.

 

I was told just this past week by St. Helens Councilman Doug Morten and City Manager John Walsh that the people’s beach access to the water was their main concern. I was told there would be one-half mile of beach access beginning from the courthouse to the end of the property now owned by the citizens of St. Helens.

 

This would be the first time in my lifetime St. Helens has ever had citizen beach access to the water. So don’t hold your breath.

 

One more opinion, if you please.

 

The business section of the waterfront development property in downtown St. Helens is truly worth visiting. The merchants have done some amazing things with the beautification of their businesses. The parking sucks - but it is a unique challenge to manage to avoid running into another vehicle or over a pedestrian.

 

A metal fence continues to stretch along most of Strand Street - at a cost of approximately 3 thousand dollars every six months. This fence is unsightly, overgrown and a flat out hazard when one attempting to negotiate the Strand Street business area in order to reach the aforementioned 22 acres.

 

The trees are overrun with wisteria, blackberry bushes and dried weeds. Removal of this fence is mandatory for survival of the trees. Moths and caterpillars are destroying the apple trees and the maple tree is full of dead branches. I don’t believe there is any way to care for these tress without the fence being removed.

 

Several times, I and others have pointed out these hazards and have been appeased with “we’re working on it”. My suggestion: if the City is worried about people parking in other than designated areas, put up concrete barriers. Surely, these would cost less than $3,000 every six months for fencing.

 

Remember, there are elected offices coming up for grabs in November. You have some big decisions to make. Make them smart decisions.

 

Thanks for reading,

 

From: Kathleen Fisher 8/3/18

'True American patriots stand squarely behind President Trump and his plan to Make America Great Again

 

The liberal outrage campaign over the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination, (which was launched amid hair-on-fire proclamations of impending annihilation from nuclear war with North Korea), is temporarily suspended for the current outrage campaign directed at the Russia Summit. Of course this is pending the initiation of a new outrage campaign tomorrow for a yet-to-be named outrage.

 

Power is the only thing Leftists worship and they are unraveling before our eyes without it. They can't control President Donald Trump. That alone drives them insane. They have no policies that work. Cities and states they control are criminal sanctuaries and bankrupt cesspools — just ask the Portland Police Bureau's union president and check out San Francisco and Chicago.

 

Each of the president's remarkable accomplishments — from unprecedented high employment, our booming economy and the tax cuts (stolen from Oregonians by Kate (tax-em-till-they-croak) Brown and the Dems in Salem) to his historic summit with Kim Jong-Un — highlights their abject failures and serves to prick their narcissistic egos. The country is doing better without them every day. Even worse, they are desperate to keep their countless crimes and abuses covered up.

 

It is hard to believe that Hal Ritz (see "Putin on the Ritz," July 20) and I watched the same presser. In the course of 90 minutes or so, Hillary Clinton was skewered, Vladimir Putin put on notice, Democrats raked over the coals, America's energy supremacy touted, distrust between Trump and Putin openly acknowledged, and responses to questions were dominated by Trump in an almost comically aggressive way. Not remotely the Trump-puppy/Putin-master Kabuki theatre Leftist-Ritz choreographed.

 

Trump also made no bones about doing everything possible to supply Europe's energy. Europe's dependence on Russian energy is an Achilles heel, especially for Germany. Without Russian energy, homes go cold in winter and people literally die.

 

The only ones in "Putin's pocket" are Leftist Americans masquerading as American patriots. True American patriots stand squarely behind President Trump and his plan to Make America Great Again.

 

From: Richard Ellmyer 7/31/18

All of Oregon’s elected Republicans, aka the Complicit Oregon Feckless Forty *1, continue their cultish subservience to their leader Donald Trump. They are proudly willing to carry the weight of everything Trump has said, written and done since taking office by reaffirming his fitness to be President of the United States of America. These Republicans continue to proclaim Donald Trump a role model for Oregon’s children even with all the lying and self-aggrandizement. The majority of Oregon teachers, religious leaders, those elected to public office, the Press and citizens of Oregon take a decidedly different view.

 Most Oregonians most of the time don’t spend much time being concerned about America’s foreign policy. But even the least interested among us are rightly shocked when President Trump took Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assurance that the Russian government had not meddled in our 2016 elections over the unanimous fact based evidence presented by America’s intelligence community.*2

 

Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election.” David E. Sanger and Matthew Rosenberg *3  

 

Greg Sargent observes, “The question is no longer: Why won’t Trump accept the intelligence services’ verdict on what happened, and act accordingly? That question can be easily answered, by, say, the idea that Trump’s ego won’t let him publicly admit to anything that diminishes the greatness of his victory. But Now the question now is a lot harder: Why did doesTrump continue actively trying to deceive America into believing that Russian sabotage didn’t happen at all, after having been comprehensively briefed to a previously unknown extent on Putin’s direct involvement in that sabotage effort?” *4

 

Kurt Bardella reports that at a cabinet meeting on July 18, 2018 Trump was asked explicitly if “Russia is still targeting the U.S.” The president’s response: “No”. *5

 

Russian sabotage continues says FBI Director Christopher Wray. “The intelligence community’s assessment has not changed. … Russia attempted to interfere with the last election and that it continues to engage in malign influence operations to this day. … malign influence operations … are very active, and we could be just a moment away from it going to the next level.” *4

 

Frank Rich raises the question, “Why is an American president openly colluding with an enemy dictator who’s out to subvert Western democracy in general, and America in particular?” *6

 

Jonathan Chait strongly argued that “Trump has been a Russian asset for over three decades.” *7

 

Frank Rich argues “that Trump’s motivation for advancing Putin’s interests is not just because the Kremlin likely has the goods on him but also because Trump genuinely believes in the Russian Way. The more we’ve seen of him in office, the more it’s apparent that he does have a consistent ideology, after all, albeit one that aligns more with Putin (and at times Kim Jong-un) than America’s major political parties. Trump’s embrace of nationalist and white-supremacist authoritarianism can be found in his public statements and actions dating back at least as far as the incendiary racist newspaper ads he took out during the 1989 Central Park Five rape case. Each day this president stays in office advances his mission further … Republican “leaders” are more in fear of the wrath of Trump voters than they apparently are of Putin.”*6

 

The Complicit Oregon Feckless Forty are blind to the fact that Donald Trump is shredding the mantel of decency and democracy in our Oregon and our America. He is replacing it with an unprecedented culture of corruption. Trump has abdicated his responsibly and violated his oath as president to defend Oregon and America against hostile foreign attacks, which include cyberattacks on our election apparatus our political system and our government.

 

Disturbingly, the person responsible for the integrity of our Oregon elections is one of the Complicit Oregon Feckless Forty, Republican Secretary of State Dennis Richardson. He should be watched very closely to make sure he doesn’t erode Oregon’s democracy and voting rights.

 

Refusing to publicly announce that they no longer consider Donald Trump FIT to be President of the United States of America means that everything that Trump has said, written and done to this point will be rightfully held against the Complicit Oregon Feckless Forty in their next election. We need to do whatever is necessary to keep the Complicit Oregon Feckless Forty from public office.

 

 

From: Tammy Maygra 7/25/18

Two weeks ago a local whistle blower Brady Preheim was attacked in the local newspaper with numerous lies regarding several incidents involving the local Columbia County Democratic Central Committee and a Democratic Candidate Paulette L. . The attacks came from the Vice-President of the CCDCC’s husband.

 

The attacks did not stop there.

 

Last week Preheim was again attacked- this time not by a poison pen of lies but by hazardous material. The supporter or supporters of Paulette felt it necessary to send through the mail, a box of human excrement to Preheim, with a note saying you are a piece of sh**. This action only proves the kind of people who were supporters of Paulette. Their gift only truly reflects their value.

 

From: Nancy Whitney 7/23/18

Two years ago I worked diligently to help Paulette Lichatowich be elected as a Commissioner to the Port of St. Helens. I believed wholeheartedly in her ideas for an environmental future for Columbia County. I continue to agree with the ideas she set forth in that political race.

 

When Ms. Lichatowich declared her candidacy for Columbia County Commissioner, I was thrilled. I contributed money to her campaign and offered to provide her with any support she needed.

 

Unfortunately, Lichatowich has withdrawn from this commissioner’s race blaming her decision on the harassment, lies and bullying techniques by Scappoose business owner, Brady Preheim.

 

Brady Preheim is my nephew.  I most certainly do not agree with him on some issues and the methods he uses to make certain his beliefs become public knowledge. But, by god, he is not a liar.

 

He did not make false claims against Lichatowich. The complaints he made to the state ethics board were legitimate. It appears the board simply decided against further action after Lichatowich appeared before their committee.

 

County Commissioner Henry Heimuller had at least five ethics complaints filed against him in his first election (also made by Brady Preheim) and instead of denying them, he corrected these errors - and he was elected. And now, thanks to Lichatowich’s resignation as a candidate, he will be again.

 

I feel totally letdown that Ms. Lichatowich has made the decision not to run for Columbia County Commissioner. I believe she would have been a great asset. Ironically, she and Preheim are in agreement on nearly everything in which she believes.

 

Ms. Lichatowich cannot blame Mr. Preheim for her resignation. That was entirely her decision. He boisterously defended what he believes is right and she should have done the same.

 

I agree with Bill Eagle when he says Mr. Preheim is a whistleblower and is taking heat for what he believed was right. I agree with Mr. Eagle when he states that Preheim is a brave man and can take the heat.

 

At this point in his life, I have known Brady Preheim for longer than anyone - nearly 54 years. He is undoubtedly stubborn but he also is the most intelligent and honest person I have ever known.

 

My love for him does not cloud my opinion.  As I said, he and I disagree on some topics such as the fact that I most definitely would vote for Paulette Lichatowich if she were to get back in the race. She and Commissioner Alex Tardiff together could have made a big difference in our county.

 

I cannot help but believe that if  the use of  Facebook and the bypass of their own rules by the Democratic Party of Columbia County had not been involved, the outcome on this situation may have been completely different.

 

As I have said many times before, I don’t do Facebook. I have a life. Perhaps many of you should decide to do the same.

 

From: Bill Eagle 7/22/18

I found it interesting to read some of the comments in “letters to the Editor (Chronicle 7-18-2018) from Joan Cisneros and Doug walker regarding “dirty politics” and “Allegations against Lichatowich”.

These people stated that the allegations made by Brady Preheim against Paulette were made without any “hard cold facts” and that the State Ethics Commission stated that “…the complaint was dismissed without merit.”

Neither of these statements were correct.

The complaints were factual and backed up by “Cold hard facts”…Port finance records.

What the Commission did say was that “she did nothing illegal.”  There are a number of things that people can do that are legal, but are neither prudent, moral, or right.

People who run for public office, should be aware that their conduct is open to public scrutiny and people do have a right to question what they do, their expenses and how they use public money.  The Port of St. Helens now realizes this and will now review all future expenses.

We should give thanks to the person who submitted a complaint to the Ethics Commission. He was doing his duty as a citizen in providing oversight.

Something we all need to do.

From: Bill Eagle 7/14/18

I am writing this letter In response to a letter from Jeff Cambell in the July 13th issue of the Columbia County Spotlight; where Jeff implied that Brady Preheim was a coward and bully.

Harry Truman once famously said “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the Kitchen.”

One of the things about public service is that you are continually under public scrutiny. The more important your job, the more heat it generates. If you can’t take it then you have no business being in public service.  I do not believe that Brady is either a coward or a bully. I also do not believe that he was being mean spirited when he submitted an ethics complaint. Brady did not lie in his complaint. What he said was true. All the ethics commission said was that what Paulette did was legal. 

There are many things that are legal, but that does not make them right, good or honorable. For that matter Jeff’s personal attack on Brady was neither right, good or honorable. His attack is backed up with some half truths and sadly I hate to see him broadcasting the CCDCC’s problems to the whole community, particularly when he is not even part of that group. 

For example: Brady’s law suite was in small claims court (normally this does not require a lawyer and Brady would have been happy to have settled the suite with a simple apology).  Jeff’s Facebook page statement was also a half truth. Brady never “trolled” any face book page… but others did and were ignored.  A series of rules and an oversight committee was established and then the Central Committee Leadership bypassed their own rules and didn’t even bother using their own committee before deciding to shut their page down.

Lastly, Brady’s new Columbia Democrats facebook page is open to anyone and so far has had some very interesting and spirited discussions.

I believe that Brady Preheim is a man who has a very strong sense of right and wrong. I also believe that he is an honest person who sincerely cares for others and for our community. He is a whistle blower, and now he is enduring the heat for his reporting on something that he just did not think was right. 

Unlike others he is a brave man and I do think that he can take the heat.

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.