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: Chris Brumbles 1/12/18

This month we will be asked to vote on Measure 101. Just another tax, in a long line of progressive taxes, that is slowly but surely fulfilling Goal No. 2 of communist manifesto.

The state has had two consecutive record-breaking years for tax collecting, but as always under the current leadership (cough), they always want more. They weren't happy with the vehicle tax, bicycle tax, etc.

I don't know about you, but it is not my responsibility or that of the state to pay for medical for illegal invaders. Oregon is the most corrupt state in the Union and there seems to be no accountability for anything, including where money goes, so why give them more to get laundered and feed the machine that steals our money and attacks our rights every session?

If we do not repeal this tax, the governor is planning on spending the upcoming short session on more illegal gun control. She wants to put it on steroids, because as you know, the appetite for control only grows with success. They want to try and repeal the pre-emption statute that would seriously affect concealed handgun licensing (CHL) and confuses gun laws in this state even more than they are. They want magazine bans, to get rid of flash suppressors, and on and on. Send a message, again, that we will no longer take these oppressive taxes laying down.

I urge you to vote no on measure 101.

 

From: Eldon Roskelley  1/11/18

The Lower Columbia Indivisible Group is inviting folks from throughout the Lower Columbia area to join them for a 2018 Women’s March on Saturday, January 20, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This march celebrates the anniversary of last year’s marches where more than 4 million people participated worldwide, including approximately 200 people in Longview. There’s more reason now than ever to come together. Folks will meet at the Longview Civic Circle. For those not familiar with the circle, it is a large traffic circle with a park in the middle and sidewalk that encircles the park — very visible and yet safe, because it’s out of the way of traffic. The library, post office and Monticello Hotel are all located on the circle. Participants are being invited from as far away as Pacific, Wahkiakum, Columbia, Clatsop, Lewis, and Clark Counties. Want to join us? Mark your calendar now. Tell your friends

 

From Bill Reese 1/5/18

The year 2017 ends in a war between the always faithful Boy Scouts, that volunteer to help the city in many ways and the St. Helens city parks director that decided to use tax payer funds to collect Christmas trees for disposal. The Boy Scout Troop has been collecting and recycling Columbia County Christmas trees for the past 32 years, providing a small income to help teach the Boys to develop into find upstanding members of our community. That is not the desire of our Director of City Parks, he has decided to use taxpayer funds to take away the use of the Boy Scout Drop Box system for servicing the Columbia County Citizens and collect all the 2017 Christmas Trees for free. The Boy Scouts have to pay for promotion of their collections and at times must pay for an advertisement from the tree donations. 

 

As the Charter Organization Representative to the Boy Scout Troop 106, from the American Legion, along with being a Chinook District Commissioner, I will always stand for helping all the Boy Scout Troops and packs in our District. We all need to stand together and request the removal of this current Director of St. Helens City Parks as he should not be using taxpayer funds to walk on volunteers. The Boy Scouts in 2017 have built 4 wheel chair ramps in St. Helens, collected door to door food in St. Helens and Columbia City, collected clothing in the spring, and placed flags on each veteran’s grave in three local cemeteries. In the past three years the Boy Scout troop with the financial help of our communities has served over 650 full-course Christmas hot meals to recipients in their homes, these are people that were caught down on their luck. What has the Director of City Parks volunteered for in 2017 to help our citizens? Using taxpayer dollars to give people that could afford a $30 plus Christmas tree a free disposal of their tree. Who in their right mind would turn that down? Did anyone ask the taxpayer of St. Helens if this is how he wanted his money spent?

 

From: Bruce Downing 1/1/18

Does Trickle Down really work?

Consider this agricultural analogy to explain trickle-down economics: A farmer wants to fatten up his chickens prior to taking them to market; so he feeds the horse more oats. ( I just discovered that this analogy was first used by John K. Galbraith. He referenced Sparrows, not Chickens.]

Now consider Kansas: Sam Brownback retired from the U.S. House and was elected Governor of Kansas in 2010. T-bagger that he is, Brownback rallied the troops and passed a large income tax cut. In 2017, Kansas was forced to bring back the income tax because all those tax cuts damn near bankrupted the state. Nebraska, with a similar farm economy but no tax cuts, is just fine, thank you. Brownback tried to argue that the problem was that taxes weren’t cut deeply enough; he failed to convince.

Consider President Reagan: He cut taxes (and then raised them 7 times in eight years) and over his eight years of prsidency the National DEBT added$1.86 trillion, a 186 percent increase. (To be fair, Congress didn’t bother to also cut spending along with taxes.)

Consider President George W. Bush: After cutting taxes, Dubya went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan using the national credit card. There is a lesson to learned here; if only someone were listening. The National Debt jumped $5.849 trillion, a 101 percent increase.

Bill Clinton raised taxes and actually managed to balance the budget in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001. Over his eight years, the National Debt rose $1.396 trillion, a 32 percent increase. I’m perfectly willing to share credit for this with George H.W. Bush (“read my lips, no new, oops . . . .”) and Newt Gingrich and the aberrant dot-com, tech-boom economy.

Supply side economics works when there is pent up demand like after a recession or in an underdeveloped economy. The Kennedy tax cut in the 1960’s fits this model. https://www.usnews.com/opinion/a.... The U.S. currently does not fit into this model. Ours is a mature economy; whatever pent up demand may exist in our economy is held back by low wages, not by the lack of “stuff” to buy. Just making more “stuff” without a demand for it is the model for a failed business; not an economy that spreads the wealth..

 

From Ed Carruthers 12/26/17

Dear Bill

 “What do I say to liberals to get them to understand we did not vote for Trump, we voted against Hillary and everything she represents?”

Say, “I thought Trump was the lesser evil.” That’s your position, right?  But now you have to explain why you thought everything Hillary represented was worse than what you knew about Trump. so please fill out the following:

1.    I knew Trump disrespected and abused women but I thought Hillary was worse because …

2.   I knew Trump was politically inexperienced and unqualified to be President ut  I thought Hillary was worse because …

3.   I knew Trump cheated his customers, employees, suppliers, and business partners but I thought Hillary was worse because …

4.   I knew Trump was pandering to racists but I thought Hillary was worse because …

5.   And, finally, compared to what Trump has done so far as President, here’s what I thought Hillary would have done that would have been worse …

 

I’ve kept the list short and numbered them for you, in case you want to respond in a comment. This might be a good place to practice in case you actually have a conversation with a liberal.

From Caroline Skinner 12/21/17

I am writing to thank Tammy Maygra, Bill Eagle, Nancy Whitney and others who have written to your paper regarding Margret Magruder’s Yes vote to allow the re-zoning of about 800 acres of agricultural land at Port Westward. I appreciate the letters to editor in local papers opposing the county rezoning proposal, and I am glad to many have spoken out on the issue.

 

I am astounded by Margaret Magruder’s yes vote. I think she is very wrong for voting yes, as well as being hypocritical, as others have pointed out. I’m unhappy about it and horrified that it passed the county commission’s vote. Magruder’s vote is a betrayal of those who supported her run for office. It flies in the face of both her campaign and her self-promoted reputation as part of the “AG” community. I’m deeply disappointed by her decision.

 

I find it hard to sum up the situation in a letter to the editor, so I’m very grateful to those who have taken the time to write. Ms. Magruder needs to be held accountable and called out for that unfortunate choice made in this case. Also, I am making a contribution to Columbia Riverkeeper right away to help keep up the fight.

 

From: Richard Ellmyer 12/18/17

When a mayor, Ted Wheeler, doesn’t know much about an issue, housing, then he retreats into following not leading. In this case, following means relying on the silent acceptance of the status quo by the most influential groups on housing policy in our community i.e., Portland Development Commission, Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission, Non-profits And Other Organizations That Are Involved In The Funding, Design, Construction And Management Of Public Housing Projects, Portland Business Alliance, City Club of Portland, Portland Neighborhood Associations, Gresham Neighborhood Associations and Organized Religion.

To put an
end to their silent acquiescence I asked them to publicly take a stand. Each of the organizations mentioned below has indicated that they support Portland mayor Ted Wheeler’s refusal to gather and distribute to other elected officials and the public meaningful, accurate, complete and timely Public Housing Statistical Data. Without this information, now clearly a result of their own self-inflicted ignorance, these groups can continue to avoid challenging Wheeler’s discredited, abhorrent, NIMBY favoritism, economic segregationist housing policy which is reliant upon keeping this data hidden. Wheeler’s policy of Targeted, UNLIMITED Neighborhood Concentration of Public Housing allows him to load the neighborhoods of his choice with up to 100% Public Housing Clients. My Portsmouth neighborhood has greater than 30% Public Housing clients and Wheeler is adding more. Ted Wheeler’s neighborhood has ZERO percent Public Housing.

Citizens throughout Oregon need to understand that without
local support for meaningful, accurate, complete and timely Public Housing Statistical Data from their local community groups, the local elected leadership, including legislators, will behave as followers not leaders just as they have in Portland.

There are no elected officials in Oregon who have demonstrated courage and leadership with regard to Public Housing Policy. If no influential groups in your community are willing to stand up and DEMAND the essential, fundamental data required for defensible public debate and decision making then do not expect transparent, credible and defensible Public Housing Policy from your elected officials.

Without
meaningful, accurate, complete and timely Public Housing Statistical Data there can NOT be justifiable housing goals based on inventory and need by economic constituency and neighborhood location.

Without
justifiable goals there can NOT be a defensible strategy to achieve those goals.
Without a
defensible strategy there can NOT be valid metrics to assess the progress of that strategy.
Without
valid metrics there is NO ACCOUNTABILITY.
Without Accountability Portland’s mayor Wheeler, and the elected officials in your part of Oregon, will continue to make housing policy decisions based on self-inflicted ignorance, political convenience and extortion.
And so it goes.

Richard Ellmyer
North Portland political activist for 42 years.

 

From: Al Rodin 12/12/17

I sure like the Christmas decorations that the City of Rainier has out. They are beautiful, I especially like the two red flower looking ornament. What happened at St. Helens their decorations are sorta on the ugly side. Maybe we could get the local art commission to design some new Christmas ornaments to hang around town. They do a great job on art for the town.

 

From: John B. 12/12/17

I have a good idea to stop the trouble in Jerusalem between the Jews and the Palestine’s, it is simple they both want the spot where “Jesus” was born. Cut the spot in half giving each one half the spot. Each side can do what they want with their spot. After all the Bible is all boloney anyway, so is the make believe spot where they want to believe where their false god was born. Fighting and killing people over things that were written by some ole men who wrote things to suit themselves. It is time people faced the truth, the Bible is a book of mistruths, half- truths and utter lies. Wake up to the real world and face the reality of what is actually factual, you will be better off.

 

From: Jo Turner 12/10/17

In March 1972 after 19 months in Vietnam I was welcomed home by grungy long haired protesters throwing animal defecation and rotten tomatoes and calling me a war monger and baby killer yet less than a year later, January 1973, Roe vs Wade was finalized in the Supreme Court and women and their doctors have killed thousands in the last 45 years.

While the federal government deployed me to Vietnam in 1970 and Germany in 1978 to stop the onslaught of socialism into the western hemisphere, the federal department of education allowed socialism to be taught in colleges since 1964 and later in high schools as an alternative form of government. As a registered democrat I voted for Hillary Clinton in 2008, yet after the election of Barack Obama the DNC Chair Rep Debbie Wasserman-Schultz declared that progressive liberal socialists had seized control the Democratic Party.

During the 2016 election I heard candidate Donald Trump talk of building a great wall along the southern US border to stop illegal immigration yet after his presidential inauguration it is the progressive liberal socialists who have built a new “iron curtain” along the Pacific Crest and Appalachian Trails to segregate the predominantly progressive liberal socialist coastal regions from the conservative “heartland” of America.

Now as a registered Non Affiliated Voter I can no longer participate in Oregon’s closed primary system but only vote for whatever losers Oregon allows onto their general election ballots from a primarily broken down two party system. As a disabled veteran who served under Presidents Nixon and Ford both Republicans and President Carter a Democrat, I am extremely distraught by the direction our country is going and the partisan abyss between the country’s two major parties. Even Oregon’s own elected representatives are calling for resistance against our own government at their town hall events.

The 2018 election season will quickly be upon us yet the country has still not even accepted the results from the last election. Where are we going and or what type of government will we have? Around the 2020 election cycle the Millennials Generation, those under 35, will be the new majority and the Independent and Non Affiliated Voters will make up nearly 40% of registered voters. Are there really only two sides of politics; conservative and liberal? No wonder why our founding fathers were against forming political parties.

 

From: Nancy Whitney 12/6/17

Do you recall letters I and others wrote some time back about the Superfund (toxic waste) which is being proposed for the St. Helens waste water ponds? We now have a new wrinkle in this twisted tale.

 

It seems Donald Trump has appointed a new head to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). His name is Scott Pruitt and he has been a partner to those in the oil industry.

 

Since Pruitt took office, the EPA and a large group of the Portland Superfund site polluters have written a secret agreement that could result in the long time polluters having less responsibility in the cleanup process.

 

Both the Oregon Department of Environment Quality and American Native have objected that they were not part of this group.

 

The “secret” group - Pre-RD (remedial design) - has now been identified by the Portland Tribune: Arkema is French owned and manufactured DDT on the Willamette River for years; Evraz Oregon Steel is a Russian owned manufacturer; Exxon/Mobile appears to be part of a group known as the “Marine Group” which apparently hides the true identities of one or more companies. These companies have created some of the most polluted places along the Willamette.

 

Why should we be concerned? Because the Willamette flows into the Columbia River and both continue past nearly every city in Columbia County. So, here we are, with a FEDERAL “good old boy/girl” backroom deal attempting to avoid paying for the cleanup of poisonous, toxic chemicals affecting our life, our wildlife and the future of our world.

 

All backed by the Trump Administration. Where do these people believe their descendants and ours are going to live? Oh, that’s right – it’s all about jobs and money.

 

I want to express my thanks to my friend who brings me copies of the St. Johns Review and to the Portland Tribune who lets me read online and to the South Scappoose Spotlight who publishes my letters to the editor. All are incredibly good sources for the truth.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

From: Bill Eagle 12/1/17

I had a friend of mine ask me if I thought the zone change at Port Westward was a good thing or not.  This is my answer to him.

To put things into prospective, the Port of St. Helens would like to establish a terminal to handle fossil fuels at Port Westward. A  few years ago, one of the County Commissioners told  tax payers that expanding Port Westward would create 600 jobs.  In the last 8 years, they created 22 jobs.  Most operations are automated and a number of the people that work there live in other communities.
Columbia County is short good agricultural land. The land at Port Westward is considered unique.  We have two blue berry growers that employ 60 people and a mint farm that employs 22 people. All of these people live locally and spend there money locally and attend local schools. Columbia County had dreams of expanding to becoming the blueberry capitol of Oregon. Seely Mint has gone national and Mike Seely is hoping to expand his mint candy operation. In order to meet the demand, Seely hopes to hire another 20-40 people. To my knowledge, the Port has no new tenants and last year the Planning Commission refused to approve a zone change. The County Commissioners overturned their own Commission's opinion.  Local people appealed to the Oregon Land use Board of Appeals (LUBA).  LUBA denied the zone Change. LUBA stated that the port had plenty of land and did not need to expand at the expense of local agriculture.
This year the Port of St.Helens in a 3-2 vote decided to go for a zone change again. The County Commissioners were also excited to support them. Sadly, this will mean that blueberry operations will not be able to expand. Mint grower, Mike Seely. has land in Boardman and says that diesel smoke is not compatible with chocolate candy.  He told me that he may be forced to eventually move his operation there.
Port Westward is in an Urban Renewal District and an Enterprise Zone. Under an Enterprise Zone businesses pay on a graduated schedule, qualifying business do not pay their full tax for 7 years.  All taxes in an Urban Renewal District must go into the district and be used for improvements in the district at least until all their URD bonds are paid off.  As additional money is needed so will the URD debt increase.  None of this money may be used for schools, County or local governments or any other things outside of the URD.
This decision by the commissioners will again be appealed to LUBA, an expensive process which will be costly to the County and to the people making the appeal.
Someone is getting a lot of money for this, but it is not the tax payers or any of the local people.

Is this good or bad?  You decide, it is obvious that I have already made my mind up. 

From: Richard Ellmyer 11/30/17

Dear Senators Wyden, Merkley and Representative Blumenauer:

 

Donald Trump has not only challenged the norms but broken all the rules of the game since he first stepped onto a stage as a Republican candidate for President of the United States of America. We have been in uncharted and turbulent waters ever since.

 

On January 30, 2018 the Democrats will have the first, and hopefully, the last opportunity to return fire from Donald Trump’s State of The Union Address. The very best American to give that nationally televised response is Stephen Colbert. Laugh. Yes. That’s the idea.

 

Colbert has been practicing for this role five nights a week on The Late Show since before Trump was elected. No one does it better. Yes, Stephen does occasionally end his monologue with “fuck you Mr. President.” But that is totally appropriate and deserved. Donald Trump has been saying “fuck you” to Republicans, Democrats, foreign leaders, women, minorities, the environment, gold star families, his staff, his cabinet appointees, the American people, including his own supporters, and the TRUTH since he swore to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, which he has NOT done. 

 

Democrats must match Trump’s unconventional behavior with an unexpected, outside the box performance. Democrats need to show Donald Trump the “respect" he deserves by having a master late night comedy host bring in a world wide audience on every media platform available that is larger than those watching Trump.

 

I urge you, as my representatives in congress, to do whatever is necessary to persuade the powers that be to get Stephen Colbert to give the Democratic/Majority of Americans response to Trump’s State of The Union Address. 

 

Thank you.

Richard Ellmyer, Portland/.

 

From: Tammy Maygra 11/29/17

Port Westward; Rich as the Delta of the Nile,

I hope after you read this letter regarding the re-zone of 837 acres of prime farm land at Port Westward, to industrial zoning by two of the county commissioners, on November 29,2017 Margret Magruder and Henry Heimuller, you will be as appalled as I am.

Heimuller’s reasoning was the standard political buzz words “we need Jobs”, using the recent announcement of Armstrong closing, as an excuse to destroy 1% of the county’s remaining farmland, and to support any dirty industry which this re-zone would allow, but would also hinder and cause degradation to the existing Seely Mint Farm and huge blueberry farms which all are extremely successful and employees many people in the area. And does business internationally.

Then you have Commissioner Margret Magruder, who ran for the office of county commissioner by touting her connection to the land as a farmer. Her Wool Oregon Shepard Insulation Company was used in the re-modeling of the old grange building on Millard Rd. in Warren Oregon. The building was purchased by the Soil and Water District with which Magruder has been involved for years. Conflict of interest? you decide.   

The entity…. Oregon Agriculture has Magruder Farms featured where the first comment made by Magruder states “I am Agriculture”. Ironically she just voted to kill 837 acres of prime farmland that other farmers could use in their expansions. She goes on to say;  In 1904 My grandfather found the productive soils along the Columbia River near Clatskanie Oregon, Quote “Rich as the Delta of the Nile” end Quote: over the years we have produced many different crops, oats, peppermint, cattle and sheep . Today I raise sheep for meat and wool and own Oregon Shepard Permaloft (wool) insulation business. She says Agriculture has been the Magruder’s livelihood for generations, so why would she vote to destroy other agriculture businesses? Could it be she values her own livelihood from agriculture but not her neighbors who depend on farming for their livelihood as well?

Magruder has stated the importance of the need to expand for her own business; in minutes from an August 12, 2010 Rainier City Council Meeting, she conveys to the council that her business requires sheep for wool which requires pasture land.  Why do you suppose she voted yes to re-zone valuable farm land when it could negatively impact her own business?

I would like to give a thank you to County Commissioner Tardiff for being the only commissioner to vote “No” against the re-zone and most importantly to vote no because it was simply the right thing to do.. Commissioner Tardiff’s reasoning was logical; I interrupted his statement as….we need to move forward in our thinking, because the past has not worked well for the county. It’s time for the county to move forward and not be stuck in the past with fossil fuels as they are going away. I happen to agree with commissioner Tardiff.

Columbia County needs to stop dumping scores of millions of tax dollars into Port Westward with the result of a few jobs, but many failed dirty industries where the taxpayers are stuck with the bill and with no end to the gluttonous tax breaks and numerous freebees associated with their past failures, all at the cost to, us the taxpayer.

 

From: Nancy Whitney 11/29/17

Columbia County Commissioner Alex Tardif is the voice of our future.

 

I attended the county commissioners meeting on November 29 to hear the vote on the rezoning of 837 acres of prime farmland into an industrial area at Port Westward near Clatskanie. Well - it passed. The vote from the three commissioners was two to one.

 

Commissioner Henry Heimuller and Commissioner Margaret Magruder voted to allow the rezoning of hundreds of acres of farmland into industrial use. Commissioner Alex Tardif voted no.

 

Let me explain something again please.  Only 3.6 percent of land in Columbia County continues to be considered as prime agricultural land. The 837 acres of the aforementioned Port Westward land constitutes 1 percent of that 3.6 percent.

 

Commissioner Magruder expounded on the fact that her family has farmed this same land since  1904. Part of her rhetoric in attempting to get elected to her current position was proclaiming frequently and loudly that she was a farmer - how her family had farmed this Port Westward land for over 100 years - that she would protect these farmlands. Well, you can kiss that campaign promise goodbye. Today she threw that farmland under the fossil fuel bus. I wonder who told her how to vote.

 

At least Commissioner Henry Heimuller is sticking to the same old rhetoric: jobs, jobs, jobs. It’s been the same for years. Heimuller was on the commissioners board when we were promised 600" jobs at the Port Westward facility. As I was told just today, eleven persons have permanent jobs.  Heimuller has continued to push for development of fossil fuel facilities at this location.

 

On a constant basis, I continue to see fuels being shipped through our county with the “1987 Hazardous” label which designates denatured alcohol, a “flammable liquid poison” according to Cameo Chemicals (noaa.gov). Even more tank cars glide by on railroad tracks with the “1170 Hazardous” label designating ethanol which, among other things, is a carcinogen (cancer causing) combustible.

 

Commissioner Alex Tardif voted “NO” on this rezone - I believe - because he truly is “looking to the future”. He does not believe we have to destroy the Columbia River, the land adjacent, fish and wildlife and even the possibility of the loss of human life to the detriment of job development. He stated that he believes we need to look to the future and not the past as a way of developing Port Westward.

 

Granted, there will be further hearings on today’s disastrous vote to allow the rezoning of Port Westward. However, even more important - there will be future elections.

 

We can continue to replace the people who have been in office way too long and those who are elected to just go along with the “good old boy/girl” system. Like Commissioner Tardif said in his election bid, “if you can’t accomplish something in 20 years, you need to move on”.

 

Thanks for reading.

Nancy W.

From: Jasmine Zimmer–Stucky 11/24/17

Looking for something to do post-Turkey Day? On Wednesday, November 29 at 10:00 a.m. the Columbia County Board of Commissioners will finally weigh-in on the controversial effort to open over 800 acres of high-quality farmland along the Columbia River for industrial development, including methanol export and oil-by-rail terminals. Can you make it?

You’ve persisted during this lengthy review process and used the extra time—and comment periods—to demonstrate why this rezone harms farms and the Columbia River. Please join your neighbors on November 29 to show support for protecting rural Columbia County.

· What: Columbia County Board of Commissioners vote on the proposed rezone of farmland and habitat near Port Westward

· When: Wednesday, November 29, 2017, at 10:00 a.m.

· Where: Columbia County Courthouse, 230 Strand Street, St. Helens, OR.

RSVP to get the latest updates in case there are any changes to the date or venue.

The Port of St. Helens admitted that methanol export and oil-by-rail terminals are potential candidates for the high-quality farmland threatened by the rezone. Trading high-value agricultural land for fossil fuel expansion is the wrong direction for Oregon. The November 29 meeting is your last chance to show support for farmland and unique Columbia River salmon habitat. RSVP today!

See you on Wednesday!

From: K. Fisher 1123/17

Regarding Bill Eagle's letter taking Chris Brumbles to task for his opinion on Antifa (see "Anticlimactic Antifa attack," A4, Nov. 10): Remove all of Eagle's deflection from the issue of rampaging fascist anti-First Amendment, (Anti-FA) anarchists pitching a fit that America elected the "wrong" president and you have — to quote the (D'oh!) sting-recorded mainstream media admitting their anti-Trump bias — a "big nothing burger."

`Eagle wants to focus on Soros and somebody named Alex Jones, while conveniently ignoring the very real images on our TV screens and the terrifyingly real terrorist tactics people driving through Portland have endured at the hands of Anti-FA thugs. He also conveniently ignored the complicit behavior of the governor, Portland's politicians, their police force and the "regular news outlets" (to which Mr. Eagle would direct us all) that allowed Anti-F.A. the run of the city. Until, that is, downtown business owners had incurred all the cost of property damage and rising insurance rates they could endure in furtherance of Portland's commitment to keep Portland weird.

Ignored by Eagle also was Anti-FA's very real call for anarchy in the streets all over America beginning Nov. 4 and continuing until their fascist demands that our duly elected president be unconstitutionally removed from office were met. It wasn't some "right wing websites" that alarmed those of us looking to a police force we, largely, no longer have faith in when it comes to protection from terrorist Anti-FA anarchists. It was our own eyes, our own experiences and Anti-FAs own threats that did that. A little over a year ago America elected the non-media, one world order, and political class-approved candidate. The minute these groups regained their post-election night meltdown composure, the effort to negate that propaganda-defying choice kicked into high gear.

Who cares who is paying for the Anti-FA's room and board? We just don't want them breaking down our doors to our homes and dragging us to the slaughter

 

From: K. Skinner 11/20/17

CASCADE GRAIN
Total Investment: $192 million
Jobs promised: 60
Jobs delivered, as of April 1: 9

INCENTIVES: $70.22 million (counting Port Westward infrastructure)
Special Public Works Fund loans, Port Westward: $22 million
Department of Energy Loan to Cascade Grain: $20 million
Business Energy Tax Credits to Cascade: $16 million (approved, but on hold due to bankruptcy)
Enterprise Zone property tax break: $8.38 million
Connect Oregon grants: $2.84 million
Special Public Works Fund grant: $500,000
Immediate Opportunity Fund grant: $500,000

Columbia County went into debt for approximately $34 million for Port Westward back in the late 90’s early 2000’s. And continue to put hundreds of thousands in roads etc. Plus the County drilled a well to the tune of an extra $million. What was billed as a $200 million factory was freshly assessed at between $40 million and $56 million. So the bill certainly exceeds the $70 million Mr. Pettit speaks about. Go back and read Tammy’s Takes where she reported on this many years ago.

From: Richard Ellmyer 11/17/17

My View: Medicaid suffers from failed leadership

11- 14-17 By Knute Buehler

http://portlandtribune.com/pt/10-opinion/378876-264641-my-view-medicaid-suffers-from-failed-leadership-

“This is a deflection and dodge, not leadership or accountability.” [Throw in disingenuousness, political expediency and outright LIES and Buehler could and should be talking about his Republican brethren Donald Trump, the Republican congress and their disastrous and reprehensible approach to Medicare, Medicaid and all things related to the health care of the American people, including we Oregonians.]

Published Comment

Knute Buehler has supported Donald Trump as fit to be President despite the fact that Trump was and is willing to sign ANY bill the repeals or repeals and replaces the Affordable Care Act.

 

Knute Buehler has supported Donald Trump as fit to be President despite the fact that Trump has unilaterally withheld congressionally designated funds for the Affordable Care Act.

 

Knute Buehler has supported Donald Trump as fit to be President despite the fact that Trump would sign a budget bill which removes the essential Affordable Care Act health care mandate. 

 

How many Oregonians would or will lose their health care if Trump signs a bill that would do serious harm to the Affordable Care Act?

 

Knute Buehler’s continuing support for Donald Trump over his patients and the health of Oregonians is scandalous.

 

Knute Buehler is a medical hypocrite unfit for public office in Oregon though probably not in Alabama.

 

From: Nancy Whitney 11/13/17

So, a friend and I were driving around the St. Helens area last week - she was driving - I was taking pictures.

 

I would like to give some praise to the City of St. Helens.

 

The City did a bang up job for Halloweentown. This is not my favorite holiday but I spoke with people from Washington, the Portland area, Nebraska, California, etc. - most all of them dressed in costume - and it was delightful to hear their opinions of our town.

 

They loved the Columbia River as our background with the stone courthouse and city hall. Most had their pictures taken in the Plaza. They walked up Knob Hill to see some of the wonderful old homes still there and they were wild about the old McCormick home setting at the bottom of this hill, totally in tune with the Halloween theme. Someone asked how old the magnolia tree in the front yard might be. I will find out.

 

I understand the City lost about $40,000 in this endeavor but I hope, with more experience and more volunteer help involved, this might be eliminated. I so appreciate the City’s efforts on this project and on Gazebo Park.

 

However, $40 thousand is nothing compared to the $100 thousand spent on the art project on Highway 30 across from the Dollar Store. I have not spoken with a single person who has not laughed at this rendering of a salmon and whatever the other might be. One fellow even told me the “Salmon looked like a dragon in drag”.

 

I have heard that the Arts Department put these renderings on Facebook for public comment. There are thousands of us in the county who do not do Facebook in order to count how many “friends” we have. There are some of us who still have a life - and an opinion.

 

Let’s move on to the demon which raises its ugly head every time I sit down to write - the toxic lagoon left to us by Boise Cascade - along with a multi-million dollar cleanup project. I continue to be of the opinion that Boise should be sued in federal court for this poisonous pond.

 

I have also learned the clarifier at Cascade Paper went down allowing all types of toxins to be added to the lagoon. The DEQ became involved and now even more cleanup is needed in this area. I cannot imagine it becoming any worse but apparently it has.

 

I believe it was in the latter part of September when I was walking my dogs on the old mill property now owned by the citizens of St. Helens. I noticed two young boys, one dog and two fishing poles walking through the gates of the chain link fence going onto the property containing the wicked lagoon. I was quite some distance from them but they continued up the side of the lagoon dike and were tossing their fishing lines into the water. Granted, they passed two signs - one saying No Trespassing - and another saying something about the lagoon being used to treat sewage.

 

Please - put up a sign designating the water as being full of carcinogens, PCBs, and even “poop”. Every kid understands that word. Let them know that anything they catch, touch, or fall into can potentially kill them. PUT A FENCE AROUND IT.

 

While we are on the subject of the land now owned by the City, let’s think about the nine plus acres which the City has leased to a marijuana grow business. Pot is legal now and I have no objections to its use by those who decide to do so as long as I don’t have to smell it..

 

I attempted to get into this construction site last Friday. My friend and I were stopped by a fellow in a big white truck with no insignia on the sides. This fellow told us he worked for Cascade Paper and the City of St. Helens - which I know was highly improbable - and he promptly sent us on our way.

 

The company building this marijuana grow is ASCP LLC which I have been told is licensed out of California. It appears they have signed a fifty year lease with the City with an option to purchase after 7 years.

 

In actuality, ASCP LLC is an online company located in Norman. Oklahoma which helps people or potential companies set up a limited liability company.

 

According to Investopedia, limited liability company (LLC) is a corporate structure whereby the members of the company cannot be held personally liable for the company's debts or liabilities. Limited liability companies are essentially hybrid entities that combine the characteristics of a corporation and a partnership or sole proprietorship. While the limited liability feature is similar to that of a corporation, the availability of flow-through taxation to the members of an LLC is a feature of partnerships.

 

Let us all hope the City of St. Helens did a thorough investigation of this company. I have heard good things about the current St. Helens City Council and it appears the end of the “good old boy/girl” type of government may be nearing an end. No longer should people in charge of running the cities and county be allowed to profit from their leadership and their backroom deals.

 

It seems I have a lot to say. I should probably write letters more often. Thanks for reading them.

 

From: R. Penn11/10/17

Well PCC has once again picked the pockets of the taxpayers in Columbia County. Columbia County taxpayers have paid into PCC for decades with little to no benefits. Where are the much needed night classes which many in this community need to be able to be competitive in the work force? Where is the promise for a new PCC campus in Scappoose? PCC has not signed an agreement to build as promised but instead are backing away from their original deals.

Don’t get me wrong, we need schools for higher education which is affordable for people, but we need a school and classes here closer to home for our kids, after all we have been paying top dollar for such a school with little to no representation. It is time PCC starts representing all of the people in their district instead of exclusively Washington County.

From: Bill Eagle 11/6/17

The following is a letter I wrote to the Editor in Response to other letters written about ANTIFA.

Dear Editor

It is with great relief, that I give thanks, that I did not perish in the ANTIFA Apocalypse that a number of right wing web sites predicted would occur on Nov 4th.

I am also impressed with the depth of knowledge one of your contributors has regarding ANTIFA and George Soros. 

For years I thought that George Soros was a Hungarian Jew who managed to survive Nazi occupied Hungry and later made a fortune as a Hedge fund manager during the 1970’s and 80’s.  I had no idea that he was so evil. That evil man gave half of his fortune away. He has given over 11 billion dollars to charities and various philanthropic causes.

I Also wonder how these writers discovered that Soros is the evil man behind ANTIFA… the world wide Imaginary Anti-Fascist Movement.  I also didn’t realize that the anti-fascist movement was really fascist. Thank you, letter writer, you have helped me understand why those poor NAZI’s in Charleston Virginia were forced to beat up a black man and why a “patriot” was forced to drive his car into a number of peaceful anti NAZI protestors.

I do believe that some of the “good info” that your letter writer produced may have been obtained from Alex Jones’s Info Wars web site. Lots of good info there; where you can learn about the evils of vaccination, how government airplane vaper trails                           will turn you gay, and where to purchase survival food and fluoride free tooth paste. You can also see “evidence” that President Obama was born in Kenya and Orlando and Sandy Hook were “False Flag” operations. From Jones, you can learn that our government has a weather weapon that is creating tornados and Hillary Clinton is part of a child molestation ring headquartered under a Pizza Parlor in Washington D.C.

Scary stuff. Good thing that your letter writer knows that this is all real and not the fake news that we read about in our regular news outlets.

It is with great relief that we have so far managed not to perish in an ANTIFA Apocalypse.

God Bless us all.

From: Tammy M. 10/31/17

The fountain in Scappoose is a beautiful work of art and a fun place for kids to play. It sure puts the St. Helens Art Commission on the spot for their attempt of trying to place their so-called art around the city. With the amount of money they spent on the fish sculpture? They could have gone to the bronze works in Joseph, Oregon and ordered something that people could have enjoyed. Or they could of visited  Mc. Donalds on 185th in Beaverton and had a fountain with silver salmon jumping.

 

From: Leonard Peterson 10/26/17

The proposed rezoning of Port Westward land from agricultural to industrial use is on the agenda for the Columbia County Commissioners meeting on Oct. 25. One of the commissioners requested a staff member — here referred to as "The Staff" — to respond to concerns raised in written comments from a local citizen. The staff responded in a letter dated Aug. 22, 2017. Some of the responses were good, but others deserve a closer look.

Approval will likely result in an increase in rail traffic to and from Port Westward. Long delays have been experienced in the past in Scappoose, St. Helens, Rainier and at railroad crossings near Port Westward, as unit trains of 100 rail cars or more travel past. Many of us can be trapped on one side of the tracks. We can tolerate the delays, but if there is an increased risk of collisions, derailments, delays in medical and fire responses, that might be another story.

The Staff's response included comments from a state rail planner at the Oregon Department of Transportation who said that increasing the speed of the trains will reduce delays at the crossings. While that is true, no mention was made of the corresponding increased risk of a collision (less time for vehicles to get out of the way), and the consequences should a collision occur

(including possible derailments).

This is a huge safety concern if the train is carrying a hazardous cargo.

The ODOT rail specialist also noted that for every rail car added to the line, three to four freight trucks can be removed from Highway 30, so increasing the number of unit trains can have a positive effect by reducing truck freight traffic.

This argument does not hold water for unit trains transporting cargo over long distances. I haven't seen any convoys of 300 to 400 trucks hauling volatile crude oil from North Dakota to Port Westward and back in the past, and I doubt that I will see any in the future. The increase in rail traffic will come without a corresponding decrease in Highway 30 traffic.

The Staff noted that there are some proposed upgrades to rail crossings in the 2017 Columbia County Transportation System's Plan based on existing rail traffic. However, these upgrades are identified in the plan as "Aspirational and Financially Constrained Projects." That sounds pretty "iffy" to me.

The Staff did recommend requiring that future Port Westward project developers conduct a rail impact study and propose mitigation of any negative impacts. There needs to be a requirement that ensures these mitigation measures (and other needed safety improvement projects, such as special firefighting equipment and training in case a derailment does occur) are funded and completed, not just studied.

From: Richard Ellmyer 10/24/17

State Democrats seek to expand their reach

Oct. 22, 2017 By Clair Withkycombe

http://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/376171-261750-state-democrats-seek-to-expand-their-reach

 

“Trump appears to be motivating Oregon Democrats to action.” [It should.]

 

Published Comment

The 800 pound gorilla in every election and every voting booth in America in 2018 will be Donald Trump. Republicans that have not RENOUNCED Trump as UNFIT to be President well before the election will find themselves, rightly, defending every action or inaction, every policy decision and every word spoken, written or tweeted.

 

Trump’s Daily Dramas will easily overshadow media coverage of "boring" local concerns which cannot compete.

 

Voters everywhere will be making their 2018 choices based on the most important, visible criteria, a candidates's commitment to SUPPORT or IMPEACH Donald Trump.

 

Richard Ellmyer
North Portland
NAV, Non-Aligned Voter. Forty-two years of political activism in Oregon.
Author of 
The Ellmyer Report, a newsletter that informs, educates and influences on public policy. Occasionally distributed to more than a quarter of million readers in Oregon and beyond. Facebook, Portland Politics Plus

 

Note to readers:

The message above is not sent from a listserve nor is it sent to a permanent list. The recipients of this personal email have been chosen on an ad hoc basis. If you are not interested in the political nature of this communication then you need only reply to the sender with REMOVE in the subject and you will be removed from my address book. There is no point in trying to communicate with folks that are not interested in public policy. It is counterproductive.

 

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America not only guarantees American citizens free speech but also the right "to petition the government for redress of grievances." This means that elected officials are not required to respond to or even read, listen or view citizen communications. But it does mean that elected officials cannot preemptively stop citizens from contacting them by any means, be it by visit, phone, package, letter, email or marching in front of their offices.

 

Every elected official serving in the United States of America either explicitly or implicitly affirms support for the Constitution of the United States of America. If you are an elected official in the U.S. who can produce evidence that you do NOT support the Constitution of the United States of America and therefore are NOT subject to the First Amendment then please notify me immediately.

 

In the more than fourteen years that I have been writing and publishing these commentaries about our community better than 99.5% of those receiving my "Interested Parties" emails are, in fact, interested. The numbers range from a handful to many hundreds of thousands depending on the issue of the day.

 

The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 also known as the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 specifically exempts political speech. It was authored by senator Ron Wyden. A call to his staff will clarify this legislation. Over the last nine years only a handful of the most egregious commercial violators have successfully been tried and convicted. The law did not work as many of us who helped develop it had hoped. Spam, as defined in this act, is an international problem which requires an international solution. Signed emails with true headers whose content is related to government and politics that the receiver considers "bothersome" are not spam.

 

From: Jasimine Zimmer-Stucky 10/14/17

Have you celebrated the recent permit denial for Millennium’s coal export terminal yet? If not, here’s your invite to a party (and public hearing) you don’t want to miss.

Wait? A party and a public hearing. Yes, you read correctly. Despite the Washington Department of Ecology’s decision denying a key permit, Millennium insists on moving forward with local land use permits from Cowlitz County, as well as a related permit from Ecology. We can’t stop fighting until Millennium officially throws in the towel. That’s why I’m asking you to join me at a public hearing.

But don’t come just to testify. Come to celebrate. We’ll be celebrating YOU: your commitment to keeping your communities safe from toxic coal dust, mile-long coal trains, and stopping the largest proposed coal export terminal in North America.

What: Public hearing on Millennium’s Shorelines permits & community appreciation dinner party (if you’ve attended a rally, signed a petition, or volunteered at a “no coal” event, this party is for YOU!). Remember to wear red and RSVP early!

· Where: Cowlitz County Conference Center, 1900 7th Ave SW, Longview, WA 98632. The community appreciation dinner party will be held in the Power Past Coal hospitality suite at the conference center.

· When: Thursday, November 2, 2017. Arrive by noon for the rally! Testimony begins at 1:00 pm and the community appreciation party is from 5:00-7:00 pm. Note: the hearing begins at 9:00 am with presentations by Millennium and Cowlitz County staff. It is likely that these presentations will continue on November 3, 6, and 7. We encourage you to prioritize attendance on Thursday, November 2.

Please RSVP so we know how BIG to make the community appreciation dinner!

Just a few years ago, six coal export terminals totaling nearly 150 million tons of coal were threatening to turn our region into a dirty coal chute to Asia. Today, every single project has been defeated. Please attend the hearing and community appreciation dinner on November 2 to add another nail to the coal export coffin and celebrate your success.

Please join us!

From: T. M. 10/11/17

To all the women who will experience some type of sexual harassment on the job. Do not be