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

 

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From: Tammy Maygra 12/6/22

I have to express my opposition to the appointment of Charles Castner.

Mr. Castner is completely unacceptable to be on the planning commission.

 

 On September 29, 2021 Mr. Castner and his wife Rosemary filed a false

police report  against Brady Preheim. I am a witness to this false claim.

I was on the phone with Mr. Preheim on the said date and time. I heard

everything that transpired from the beginning till Brady got into the safety of his car. 

I was also interviewed by the St. Helens police and gave a

statement.  As you have been sent the video from the security camera,

you can review it yourself and see the false claims, and irregularities in the accusation.

 

 Although Mr. Castner did not file the false claim, he was a witness on the

scene and he did not attempt to correct the fraudulent statements his wife

made against Mr. Preheim. That is as unscrupulous as being the first liar.

After all Mr. Castner is an attorney and knows better.

 

 This shows his lack of character, his lack of honesty. If Mr. Castner cannot

tell the truth, how can he make important trustworthy decisions regarding the

Planning Commission.

 

 The city has other qualified candidates, that does not bring negative

baggage to the commission, and free of impending lawsuits.

 

 I urge you to make the best decision for the city and its citizens, and that

does not include Mr. Castner on the Planning Commission.

 

 

From: Tammy Maygra 11/30/22

The savior of the Republican Party, the right hand of God,

or equal to god, the Jim Jones of the MAGA Maggots had dinner

with Nick Fuentes and Kanye West at Mar-a-Lago. Fuentes is a

white nationalist and anti-Semite, and a Holocaust revisionism,

West is anti-Semite and a pure asshole.

 

Fuentes, is a rightwing Christian extremist. He believes there shall

not be any birth control available to women, he believes that girls

should marry at 12 and start producing babies. No schooling for women,

and women shall be subservient to their husbands and all men.

He even went further too say that non complying women should be burned at the stake!

 

What the hell is the matter with people who would support Trump

who was echoing these remarks? The leaders of the Republican Party

have come out in this moment to condemn Trump for not having

good judgement, some said he is disgusting, and one said there is

no room in the Republican Party for a racist and anti-Semitic.

 

But those comments will change if trump gets the presidential

nomination to Trump is a good man,  a true leader, he will be

the rock of this party and will make America prosper again.

That is after the republican leaders take his dick and balls out of their mouth.

 

There is NO Room in America for these haters, America is better than that,

 Most Americans are better than that. To the rest of the Americans who support

these vile values, go back under the rock where you were spawned before

Trump brought you forth upon our land.

 

 

 

From: Tammy Maygra 11/22/22

To the old lady who abruptly stopped in the right lane of highway 30 at the Millard Rd. intersection Sunday morning.

Apparently you do not understand or remember that a flashing yellow light means caution, not stop! Your action nearly caused a horrible wreck. Several cars who were following you had to lockem up to keep from rear ending you. People in the left lane locked them up as well, thinking there was something in the road, or a person.

Nope nothing there. The only thing there was a car waiting to pull out from Millard Rd. which was waiting for traffic to pass. Its time for you to turn in your drivers license before you kill someone, or many someone’s.

 

From: Ron Perry 11/15/22

Mr. Trump, please don't run, but help elect other, fresher Republicans. Let's go back to campaigns that emphasize the positive things a candidate wants to accomplish.

We need to reestablish our FBI, Department of Justice and Supreme Court as non-political entities. But with you as president, that will not happen.

Each of us needs to sacrifice, and I know this is asking a big sacrifice from you. Please help stop the hate. You can lead the way.

So please, Mr. Trump, don't run.

 

From: Bill Eagle 11/1/22

I have been listening to a number of local political debates and discussions.

I do like Tina Kotek and what she is willing to do for our state.

Her opponent is scary. It would appear that her opponent, Christine Drazan, does not believe a woman has a right to her own body. She says she believes in right to life, but wants to make it easier to get guns and at the same time wants to re-institute the death penalty.

Another person is Brian Stout. He is running for state representative against Anthony Sorace. Stout refuses to debate Sorace, and refuses to be interviewed on the radio. He says he wants to fight "creeping progressivism" and stop schools from teaching "critical race theory," something that no school in Oregon teaches or has ever taught. When asked what he would do if elected, he answered, "Vote no."

Sorace wants to do something about housing, children and the homeless. All Stout wants to do is "vote no," vote no on everything.

It is sad that our Oregon Republicans are so shallow. They are opposed to imaginary threats and have nothing of real value to add. What is even sadder is that there is a good chance that many of these empty-headed fools will be elected to positions of power.

It is my belief that our very democracy is at stake, and if we are not careful, we will lose it all.

 

From: Nancy Whitney 10/28/22

By now, most of the voters have received their ballots for the November 8 election. There are some very important decisions to make. I would like to comment on the Columbia County sheriff race.

Incumbent Sheriff Brian Pixley has been in office since January 2019. In that relatively short period of time  several lawsuits have been filed against him and his leadership. He admitted - in a local paper on January 24, 2020 - to misspending $190,000 of county money. He said he was going to replace that money but to date that has not happened.

I found information that  in March 2020  an inmate filed a federal lawsuit against Columbia County Jails’s indifferent response to Covid-19.

In October 2021 Columbia County was ordered to pay $140,000 to an inmate denied adequate medical treatment when another inmate broke his jaw.

Sheriff Pixley and the county were sued for releasing a mentally disturbed prisoner in the middle of the night who then attempted to kill his mother. That lawsuit was settled out of court for nearly one-half million dollars.

A case is now pending by the family of a woman who was arrested and jailed for DUII/alcohol charges. Apparently the woman repeatedly pleaded for an ambulance which was denied. She was found dead in her cell.

I easily found this information on the internet. You can too.

WE NEED A NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN. TERRY MASSEY.

Officer Massey has been with the St. Helens Police Force for five years. For 20 years he and his wife have been - and continue to be - the owners of several successful businesses throughout Oregon. He has been trained as a law officer and obviously he knows management and accounting. This is who we need.

Thanks for reading.

 

From: Josette Hugo 10/21/22

I would like to add my endorsement to those of many who support Debbie Klug for the office of county clerk.

The Clerk's Office provides us with the orderly retention of thousands of documents, and as deputy clerk, Debbie has 16 years of experience making sure that these documents are safe and accessible.

In addition, in these turbulent times regarding elections, Debbie and her crew have run a tight ship, providing a clear and transparent process that ensures the safety of the ballot in Columbia County.

I can't think of anyone more qualified to be elected to the office of county clerk.

 

From: Wayne Mayo 10/14/22

Recruitment to join the six branches of military service is reported to be way down. Even so, the Biden administration is set to wash out thousands of qualified, in many cases battle-hardened, soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.

The rule extends to the Coast Guard, where the service is set to lose 2,632 servicemen.

Among them is 18-year-veteran Aviation Survival Technician, Second Class, Zach Loesch. Zach is a rescue swimmer recently deployed in the wake of Hurricane Ian.

While this mission gained national attention when the president called to thank him, it by no means is the most dangerous mission that rescue swimmers experience on a daily basis off the coasts of Alaska, Hawaii and the continental United States.

Where the Columbia River meets the Pacific is well known as the most dangerous bar in the world. Hundreds of ships have been lost. Coast Guard rescue swimmers stationed out of Astoria, Oregon, have dropped into the frigid, often stormy waters regularly over the years to save fishermen, merchant sailors, even recreational swimmers swept out by riptides.

The intense training rescue swimmers go through guarantees they will risk their lives without a second thought.

To lose any of the 280 elite rescue swimmers (who survived the Coast Guard training with its 73% attrition rate) because they refuse to take the vaccine for COVID is a tragedy and a national loss.

Rescue swimmers don't have to be bullied to leave the choppers to save lives. Why should they be bullied to take a vaccine that they don't want that doesn't even stop the spread?

Is it really the principle of the thing?

 

 

From: Alisha Boothe 10/12/22

You have a choice between two candidates for County Commissioner, Kelly jo or Kelly Niles. I hope you cast your vote for Kelly Niles.
 
Niles has a good grasp on how the county runs, is in touch with the needs of the citizens, is not a tax and spend individual. He will do his research on every issue before casting his vote.
 
Vote Kelly Niles for County Commissioner.

 

From: Tammy Maygra 10/12/22

This November you have a choice between two candidates for County Clerk. You have the incumbent Debbie Klug. Debbie has worked in the Clerk’s office for about 20 years. She stepped into the position after our long-time clerk passed away. Debbie has fulfilled the duties as a professional. Receiving documents to be recorded, passports, marriage licenses, death records, deeds etc. BUT....

Many wonder why this position is so important. The Clerk oversees the Elections. Debbie has oversaw several elections, elections which have been fair, and honest. Debbie has made sure every eligible vote is counted, and non-eligible ones not counted. She carries out tight security to ensure the election follows every rule and regulation.

 

Her opponent claims dead people voted, illegal votes counted, people voting multiple times all which have been PROVEN False, there is no such evidence. In fact, her challenger claims our voting system is hooked into the internet--- again FALSE. In fact, every claim of election fraud has been debunked. Her opponent is crying fraud where there is none.

 

I poll watch, and the count was done strictly by the book. If there was an issue with a ballot, it was handled with strict confidentiality and sent to the Secretary of State for further action. You can be rest assured that our elections in Columbia County, Oregon are carried out fair, honest, and by the book.

 

RETAIN DEBBIE KLUG AS COUNTY CLERK

 

You can listen to an interview with Debbie and her opponent at www.cleancolumbiacounty.info

 

 

From: Joel Haugen 10/3/22

Hola COLCO Friends,

Thinking about our upcoming election on November 8th for Columbia County Commissioner I can not bring myself to vote for either candidate, so I am going to write in "Larry D Ape," a fictitious character, as my alternative.  If you have the same inclination, you might consider doing likewise and share this initiative with like-minded friends in your COLCO circles, as a rubric of discontent?

In the event you have not heard of Larry D Ape, he posted a short get-out-the-vote video at the link below.
https://youtu.be/CU7y_aaslQQ

 

From: R.W. Blue 9/23/22

We know that Betsy Johnson is a wealthy person who denies climate change, who got the ill-informed to believe in her.

 

Betsy Johnson also supports semiautomatic weapons in schools and in grocery stores and wherever she can carry one.

Really? Vote for Betsy for guns in schools in Columbia County — shoot 'em up, right, Betsy?

From: Lynnette Chiotti 9/20/22

Although I am a registered Republican, I was raised to consider the issues and the person presenting them, not the party they represented. I have stood by that stance since I first registered to vote over 55 years ago.

I have been able to work on different issues for many organizations and have always found Betsy Johnson to be candid, honest, and willing to look at all sides of an issue before taking a stand.  On issues concerning traffic safety in Columbia County, she has been an active voice for safety, attending meetings of the Columbia County Traffic Safety Commission whenever her busy schedule allowed. She listened to what we felt were serious concerns and then was able to take some of our ideas back to the Legislature. Her candor was welcome.

I have found her willing to listen and share, no matter what the issue. Betsy has helped me to navigate the Legislative process in a thoughtful, clear manner.

I am proud to take a stand in favor of Betsy Johnson being our next governor. Oregon would be proud of what she will bring to the office. For too long we have been divided on issues that mean so much to Oregonians. We may not always agree, but with Betsy, you can be assured that she will listen to what you have to say and offer an alternative if necessary. Betsy is the best, honest candidate for Oregon governor.  RunBetsyRun.

 

From: Bill Eagle 9/13/22

I love Betsy Johnson. I believe that she has one of the most incisive minds in Salem. She listens to her constituents and has been quick to act when her actions can help the people who she serves…. But, according to some political consultants, if Betsy gets more than 10% of the Democratic vote, she will become a “spoiler” and will throw the Governor’s race from Tina Kotek to Christine Drazan, her Republican opponent.

I am not sure that we can afford to have a Republican Governor.  The Republican party is not the same Republican party that existed during our parents’ time. The existing Republican Party has become the party of Q-Anon and MAGA.  They support authoritarian government and they do not support Democracy, a woman’s right to her own body, human rights, weather science, or a real version of our history.

Please think twice before you vote, our own freedoms may be at stake.

 

From: Stacy Mendoza 9/5/22

Good morning,
We are excited to begin the 2022-2023 school year and want to welcome back students, staff, and families to the St. Helens School District.

Throughout our schools, staff members have been preparing to welcome students back into the classroom. Each school held its own pre-service meetings in preparation for the upcoming school year. We welcomed new staff members to our district and Superintendent Stockwell met with each new team member to share our district's vision and mission for St. Helens Schools.

District Mission Statement - Strengthening Community Through Exceptional Schools

District Vision Statement - Exceptionally Educated Students by the Most Skilled and Highly Compassionate Staff

The St. Helens School District is committed to helping our students succeed and grow.

We have included a Welcome Back to School Video which includes a Welcome Back Message from Superintendent Stockwell.

SHSD WELCOME BACK TO SCHOOL MESSAGE

BACK-TO-SCHOOL INFORMATION PAGE

 

From: Joe Turner 8/26/22

Oregon was first in the nation to have a vote-by-mail system after nearly 17 years of testing and incremental steps of implementation, yet still the state Legislature felt it necessary to push the envelope further.

According to the latest legislative update, Oregon ballots are now accepted as long as the postmark shows the day of the election. No more announcing the winner on the 11 o'clock news the night of the election, but one or two weeks later, as seen in the Southwest Washington and Alaska elections. We may not know who the new Oregon governor is until we are sitting around the Thanksgiving dinner table. Progress!

Another step forward is the motor voter rule, registering voters as they apply for or renew their driver's license. Some of us are left wondering how many ballots are sent out to illegal immigrants.

Then there is that old question, "How accurate and complete is the Voters' Pamphlet?" and does the voter know or fully understand what or whom they're voting for or against. Have you read it aloud to check it for clarity? It takes a lawyer! But hey, be sure you sign your ballot — it's a legal document — but oh, what about that unreadable misprinted barcode?

"Ho, Ho, Ho," Secretary of State Shemia Fagan bellowed with holiday cheer as she sat around the yuletide fire validating the election, reading the list twice to find out who is naughty or nice of the county election officials.

Have a Happy Election!

 

 

From: Dustin Olsen 8/21/22

While watching Oregon’s first 2022 governor’s debate I was pleased to see three decent candidates. I was, however, annoyed that Tina Kotek took the regular Democrat playbook by playing the race card. So because some random creep allegedly wore a Confederate flag shirt at a Johnson rally, then Betsy Johnson and her supporters are sympathetic to racists?

Then in The Oregonian, a letter writer said Betsy dodged the question. (“Oregon governor candidates debate in first clash among Betsy Johnson, Christine Drazan and Tina Kotek” July 29)

That simply is not how I perceived the interaction. Betsy just said that it was ridiculous that she would be judged by somebody else’s T shirt, essentially. Betsy has since repeatedly said she doesn’t condone racist symbols at her rallies. And then like clockwork, days later, The Oregonian publishes that Betsy’s staffer published hateful comments on social media. (“Longtime legislative staffer for Betsy Johnson repeatedly voiced hateful views online toward Black, Muslim and LGBTQ people,” Aug. 5)

As an employer in Oregon, I truly hope I am not judged by what my employee posts on social media without my knowledge. Really Oregonian? We know your publication is biased towards Democrats. That’s OK. But can you come up with a policy reason to take on Betsy? Or is all you’ve got left identity politics and race wars?

 

From: Will Gehr 8/12/22

A group that I belong to, the Lower Columbia Canoe Club, was happy to add our name to this list. Our club started in the Portland area in the late 1960s and promotes river safety, skill development, a strong paddling community, and protection and preservation of rivers in the Northwest.

Though many of our members live in or near Portland, we enjoy paddling all over Oregon, and are happy to see that Sen. Wyden's bill is proposing to protect rivers and streams across the state. Close to home, protections for a stretch of the Sandy River, including the former Marmot Dam site, will be important for paddling (and non-paddling!) recreation, fish and wildlife habitat, and for providing clean drinking water for our communities. In a more remote corner of the state, we are excited to see additional protections for important headwaters of the Kalmiopsis where our state's most wild and pristine rivers can still be found.

Oregon is fortunate to have such diversity of beautiful rivers across our state, and we believe that an important part of our club's role is to take a step beyond just enjoying them. We donate annually to river conservation organizations and regularly participate in river cleanups. As some of those who know these rivers best, we have a responsibility to advocate for their protection. We want these sensitive and vulnerable resources to continue to provide all the benefits they traditionally have given us.

We hope to see Sens. Wyden and Merkley's bill pass this Congress, and invite river lovers across Oregon to join us in supporting it!

Will Gehr

Conservation Chair, Lower Columbia Canoe Club

 

From: David Pauli 7/31/22

It seems that Betsy Johnson's call for "individual responsibility" means for everyone else, but not for her.

After she caused an accident in 2013, she claimed legislative immunity and tried to get the taxpayers to pick up the tab.

Many countries and 43 states, including Oregon, have some form of this law, but it was never meant to shield our elected leaders from the consequences of their actions. The purpose, and I find this highly questionable anyway, is as follows:

This immunity protects legislators from punitive executive or judicial action. The intent is to allow lawmakers to work independently and unimpeded by the threat of intervention from the other branches of government in the discharge of their legislative duties.

No class of people should be exempt from following the law. Especially ones that make the laws.

From: Steven Topaz 7/31/22

On July 20, 2022 the majority of the St. Helens City council voted to sign an exclusive negotiation agreement with US Ecology. US Ecology manages toxic and ordinary waste dumps.

 

This agreement is needed only if the decision to put a waste dump in the lagoon has been made. In the document presented to the council by John Walsh, no cost for this work, no timeline, and no description of the work to be done was given.

 

It would be expected to put out a request for proposal to invite as many companies to bid for this project as possible, but that was not done. The document presented to the council by John Walsh has a working date of May 2020. On January 19, 2022, an executive meeting was held where US Ecology presented their qualifications to operate for St. Helens a waste facility. This meeting was reported to the ethics commission on February 8, 2022, and the ethics commission ordered an investigation case number 22-027 XSM. This investigation is still active but has not been resolved.

 

This executive meeting is similar to the meeting held in Portland in 2019 at the Portland consulting company, Maul Foster Alongi (MFA), offices where the extent of waste that could be coming to St. Helens was described. The ethics commission found this meeting, Case number 19-188 XSM to be illegal. In this meeting it was discussed that a town meeting should be held in the summer of 2019 in St. Helens to inform the residents about the toxic waste facility, this meeting has not been held.

 

I, being censured for the past year and half have not had any information shared with me on this project. The results that MFA investigation test cores around the lagoon showed that there was concern about the site. This investigation is now under review by DEQ. A second investigation by MFA placing test cores inside the lagoon have not been done at this date. Some of tests will also classify the toxicity of the sediments of the present lagoon.

 

With incomplete data and no input from the citizens of St. Helens on wanting a lagoon it seems out of place to be signing a contract with a company to operate a waste storage facility here in St. Helens.

 

 

From: Joe Turner 7/20/22

After college I worked as a Purchasing Agent/Accounts Payable for the ODHS facilities in Pendleton which included a psychiatric hospital with an average 119 patients and a long care developmentally disabled facility with 76 residents.

For seven years I had an intimate closeup daily look at the costs associated with operating and maintaining healthcare.

 

I would like to commend the outstanding work of Zoe Gottlieb in the ongoing examination of the failure of Columbia Hospital District to justify building a hospital in Columbia County (St Helens).

 

The only key factor that I see omitted was the completion of the new four-lane highway between Linnton and Columbia City which reduced patient transport time by more than 50% prior to the updated CMS Section 485.61D(c) that went into effect Jan 2006.

 

Even with the recent population growth in Columbia County, the county still lacks the industrial growth necessary for my old bosses at ODHS to approve building a facility within 35 miles of Portland considering the closures of Boise Cascade, Armstrong Ceiling Tile, the veneer plant and mill on Deer Island Road.

 

The recent approval by the county commissioners to once again spend taxpayer money to pursue a lost cause reflects directly on our local and state leadership qualities, or the lack thereof.

 

From: Wayne Mayo 7/15/22

Robert E. Crimo lll's father failed him.

In 2019, the police were called to the home because he was threatening to kill family members. Knives and a sword found in the son's closet were confiscated, only to be returned when the father claimed they were his.

His father helped him buy guns, even though for years, he knew of his son's penchant for violence spoken of frequently on multiple social media platforms and lyrics to rap diatribes he saw as his calling.

His father offered him no faith at all. One ex-classmate characterized him this way. (Crimo was) "a believer of nothing. Like nothing, no faith, nothing."

Robert Crimo didn't have a job. He loafed around the house fantasizing about killing. Where'd the money come from to afford the expense of the guns and ammo? I'd bet the enabling family.

Dads: Teach your children to produce. Teach them the joy of accomplishment. Teach them compassion and love for others. Help a stranger change a flat tire in front of your children. Teach them to have faith in God, who will one day judge their actions. Teach them the 10 Commandments, at a bare minimum. Don't lie to your kids or to others — set an example in everything you do.

Children are gifts from God, not pets. Train them, teach them — discipline them, hug them. And be sure, be sure, to play with them.

 

 

From: Dean Ebert 7/8/22

A few years back, I had given my children's story to the St. Helens and Scappoose libraries.

Then I was asked back to Scappoose for a read — only to find children, with guidance, reading my story to me. Then they began doing art objects of the story "Woolly and Hopper." All this was outstanding, and I love it.

Unbeknownst to me, this year at the St. Helens parade day, the float of Woolly and Hopper was shown. As I'm homebound now, the float was brought by for me to see. I was told then they were doing a play of "Woolly" at the new middle school in St. Helens the following weekend.

One can't be more pleased than to hear one's work will be brought to stage. I am told the children did the best of the best in their performance!

A thanks to those of the Shoestring Theater players that stepped up to the city's request for something for the children during the summer, so the children's theater workshop came to be.

Thank you from the author.

 

From: Nancy Whitney 7/2/22

How many of you have traveled Highway 30 between St. Helens and Rainier lately? Have you noticed all the brush and parts of trees that have been cut down and left to dry beside the highway?

If so, have you thought what might happen if someone tosses a cigarette out the window or sparks from train tracks fall into this debris?

A few days back I saw a cigarette thrown from a car window - from the passenger seat - toward a huge stack of dried vegetation - between the highway and the rail tracks.

I called the Columbia County Fire and Rescue (503-397-2990) with my concerns. When you call this number you get a recording with many, many choices as to whom you would like to speak. I chose Fire Marshall. After three calls someone answered.

Now, according to the Oxford University Press the term ‘Marshall’ has many meanings. Among these is “ an official responsible for supervising public events” - “to bring together with (facts, information, etc.) in an organized way” - and “a federal or municipal law officer”.

I have no idea under which of these definitions the fellow with whom I spoke might fall but his answer was that Highway 30 belonged to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and I needed to call them - not the CCFR.

So I called the Portland office of ODOT at 503-731-8200. The woman with whom I spoke was surprised at the lack of concern displayed by a Fire Marshall of a fire department.

She gave me the telephone number of the ODOT Clatskanie Maintenance Office (503-728-8200). Apparently this is the ODOT crew which is in charge of maintaining this stretch of Highway 30. It appears the maintenance determined by this entity is to “cut it down and let it lay”.

I called the above number and left a message. I have yet to receive an answer.

Climate change, global warming and catastrophic forest fires come to mind when I see this type of “passing the buck”.

I hope many of you join me in calling repeatedly to the telephone numbers I have shared. Remember - just a small group can make a big difference. Thanks for reading.

 

From: Scott Russell 6/24/22

I just returned from the rally for Betsy Johnson for governor of Oregon at the Columbia County Fairgrounds. What a breath of fresh air she is.

Betsy has always put the concerns of Oregon ahead of political party lines. The atmosphere was that of unity. It was so encouraging to meet friends of the area and county who all are enthusiastic about a positive outcome for Oregon and all the people regardless of where they live. How wonderful to be able to talk freely about the future of the county and state without worrying about ruffling political feathers. Everyone was so excited that such a well-qualified, get the job done right person will be our next governor.

Betsy has been in Oregon politics longer than either of the other candidates and has the wisdom and experience to not align with Republican or Democrat party lines.

Let's set the example for the rest of the states and the country to fix the problems we all live with. Run, Betsy, run.

 

From: Bill Eagle 6/22/22

According to Yahoo News*1 there were 11 mass shootings this last weekend. 11 people were killed and 45 others injured. I would hope that Congress can do something about this. Many of these mass shootings have been with military style weapons. These weapons are designed for one thing alone, killing people.

 

There is a myth circulating, that Jefferson stated that the 2nd Amendment was written to keep government tyranny in check. *2 The quote, falsely attributed to Thomas Jefferson is being used to justify the myth that we have the right to bear arms, to keep our government in check.

Garrett Epps*3 in the Atlantic wrote: “If good government actually came from a violent armed population, then Afghanistan and Somalia would be the two best-governed places on earth.”

Our founders would not have passed a Constitutional Amendment to liquidate a government that they worked and fought to create.  America would not be free, if our elected officials would be forced to live in fear of gun violence. Our founders who fought in the Revolutionary war had few illusions about the virtues of violence.

 

In 1787, the writers of our Constitution were aware of Shays’ Rebellion. *4This was a tax revolt by a group of Massachusetts farmers against their state government.  Washington was so upset by this rebellion that he came out of retirement to help frame a new national charter to prevent this from happening again.

 

President Washington, himself, led a national army into Western Pennsylvania to put down what has been called the “Whiskey Rebellion.”

*3Washington, in a message to Congress, showed no sympathy for “Second Amendment remedies.” 

 

The myth that the 2nd Amendment was passed to allow for the violent overthrow of our government is total nonsense. 

 

My hope is that other people will realize this as well.

 

 

*1 (https://news.yahoo.com/11-dead-45-injured-weekend-163016437.html)

*2 “When Governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.  The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

*3 Garrett Epps: Atlantic Magazine June 30 2011; Constitutional Myth #6.

*4 https://www.thoughtco.com/shays-rebellion-causes-effects-4158282

 

From: Bill Eagle 4/26/22

Hurray for Charles Bickford. 

You are NOT a “nasty person”.  You are a man who I think we all should emulate. You are setting a good positive example for our children and for the rest of humanity. You care about our planet and the people that inhabit it.  It is apparent that you are taking positive steps to live in a way that shows your concern.

Thank you for your letter. It was good, it was inspiring and it is a damn shame that more people don’t follow your example.

From: Charles Bickford 4/19/22

I am a nasty person!

 

I take long-term care of the trees in our forest because I grew up in the woods, so I am a job-taking tree-hugger.

I don't allow hunting on our forestland, so I am stealing food from babies. (The real thieves: Average full-expenses cost per pound of local "hunted meat" is between $40 and $65.)

I own a couple of guns but don't consider them toys or romance objects, so I must not be a patriot.

I don't kill or torture animals for a thrill, so I must be anti-hunting.

I have been all over the world and accept many different types and colors of people, so I must be trying to destroy the white race.

I have learned to do many things, from serious high-tech to bulldozer use, so I am an elitist.

I do not believe that humans are above all other creatures, so I must be godless.

I get most of my electricity from solar panels, so I am "redistributing wealth."

I believe in equality among genders, so I must not have read the Bible.

I am deeply angry about the prejudice, ignorance and corruption in the county Sheriff's Office, so I must be a member of antifa.

I consider outlets like Fox to be the real fake news, so I must be an uninformed lefty.

I don't like cities and live in a rural home so I must be a bigoted redneck righty.

 

These are things that I, and others, have been accused of by local fools — including county  newspapers. Our county needs to wean itself from the propaganda that streams from "talk" shows and dishonest web sites, which are not required to tell the truth or have an honest discussion about reality. They lie intentionally, for money.

 

Learning, study, and analysis are only relevant if the basic sources are observable facts, rather than assumptions based on ideological desires. Science does that for us, which is why it is hated by propagandists.

 

From: Bill Eagle 1/24/22 (Former NRCS District Conservationist for Columbia and Clatsop counties from 1980-2000)

As a person who was involved with the Columbia County Soil Survey, I would like to correct Joe Turner on his remarks regarding “Prime Farmland.”

“Prime Farmland” is a designation established by the Natural Resources Conservation Service and identifies prime farmland, farmland of statewide importance, farmland of local importance, or farmland of unique importance. It has little to do with soil aspect and everything to do with what can be produced from that soil.  The drained organic soils in the Beaver Drainage District are considered “unique.”  In the past they have produced Mint, Blueberries, grass seed, vegetable seed, pole beans, canola, cabbage and other vegetable crops.

The mint, as grown on these soils, are certainly not “weeds”. The mint oil produced by the Seely family is of such a quality that it is used as a blending oil. That is, an oil that is used to improve the quality of other mint oils.

Few other mint oils produced in this state or elsewhere can equal the quality of oil that is produced in the Beaver Drainage district.  The soils in Boardman, Klamath basin and in the Willamette, valley can produce mint, but not oil of the quality that the soils in the Clatskanie area produce. 

The soils in the Beaver District are of statewide importance. They should be considered “unique” and should be both protected and preserved for our future.

From: Joe Turner 1/19/21

Enough of this crap about Port Westward being prime farmland.

With exception of only a few crops, prime farmland faces the east and south and has an unobstructed access to direct sunlight of which Port Westward faces the northwest and has limited sunlight even during the crop growing months because of the hills.

Prior to moving to Columbia County, I spent 27 years in Umatilla County living and working around small and large corporate farming operations. You don’t have to be a genius to see first-hand the successful farming in the hills of Yankton and Warren, facing east, and the farms and vineyards on the hills facing south and southwest below Skyline Drive.

Seely Mint is extremely successful not because of prime farmland but the type of crop they produce; because mint grows like a weed and is not dependent on how much direct sunlight it has access to.

Columbia County’s attempts to develop and diversify itself are swamped by environmentalists both local and from the Portland metro area; many have never lived around or worked in the agriculture industry.

If this is prime farmland, why haven’t any of them paid the premium and started farming the land themselves?

 

From Bill Eagle 10/24/21

I think that the letter writer from 10-15-21 may be confused with what Merrick Garland is proposing. There has been well financed campaigns to go after school Board members and election workers.  These people have been followed, phoned and frightened with threats against them and their families.  There is nothing innocent about these actions. I see no reason not to call what they are doing “Terrorism.”

I agree that School boards do need to hear from parents, but not with threats and intimidation.

To my knowledge “Critical Race Theory” is being taught as a college level course in some universities. I seriously doubt if it is being taught in any elementary school anywhere. My guess is that the people complaining about it, don’t have the slightest idea what is being taught or who is teaching it.

For the general knowledge of the letter writer, Antifa isn’t an organization, it is an idea.  Conflating it with Black Lives Matter will confuse some people. BLM was formed as a social movement to protest racially motivated instances of police brutality. The violence in Portland was not instigated by BLM, but by other groups, like The Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer.

Lastly, the Spotlight letter writer advocated Education voucher.  I personally believe in our public education system and I do not desire to have public tax money going to support private schools. Vouchers would further starve our public schools and would cheapen the education for the majority of Americans.

From: Bill Eagle 6/8/21

At 4:00 AM Monday May 24th, my friend Jim Dias died.

 

Jim was a former USDA Food inspector, FFA (Future Farmers of America) teacher, Farmers Home Administrator, Realtor, and Insurance agent.  He was also a military man who served both in the Airforce and the Army (He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel).

Jim was a man of many talents. 

 

I had the privilege of serving in the military with him and I also shared an adjoining USDA office. I worked for NRCS and he worked for FmHA (Farmers Home Administration).  While I was there, Jim had the highest number of USDA loans with the lowest default rate of any office in Oregon. Thanks to Jim, a number of people, who might never have had the opportunity, were able to buy a home.

 

While in the military, he traveled to Europe and Asia and providing training to both American and foreign militaries. He instructed people in the laws of land warfare and how to treat and deal with civilians, refugees, as well as how rebuild a foreign nation’s infrastructure.  Even in the military, he was a builder, a helper and a person who did his best to try and make the world a little better place.

 

Jim Dias will be missed. He was a great person to know and a wonderful friend.

 

  From Bill Eagle 12/21/11

I wanted to drop a note to all of you and wish everyone a Merry Christmas. The way it look, I may be spending Christmas Eve in the Hospital. I am going in Friday Afternoon for an Angioplasty. No big deal, but I do have a blockage in the lower part of my heart. 

I feel very fortunate that the doctor decided that I should have a Thallium Stress Test and it showed the existence of a blockage.  They may be able to open the blocked artery with a balloon or it may require a metal stint. No matter what, they will fix me up and I will be as good or better than new in a couple of days.  Please keep sending me your barbs and letters, and your Top 10’s if you have them.

Important things are happening in St. Helens. The City Council will be choosing a Council person to replace Phil Barlow on Wednesday January 4th. I have my favorites, but my wish is that who ever the City chooses that this person will be the best person ever for the job.

Merry Christmas to you and Happy Holidays to all.. 

 

From Bill Eagle 12/26/11

My Cardiologist performed a Coronary angiogram on me, followed by a balloon angioplasty and placement of a drug-coated stent in my left anterior descending coronary artery. I stayed a night in the hospital and then they cut me loose the next day. 

Things appear to be going well for me and I should be able to start my exercises Friday.

I hope that things are all fixed, and that I can get back to doing my stuff. They are still having me carry Nitro with me. I am not sure why they seem to think that I will need it. They just said, “Keep it close, just in case.” I plan to follow the doctors orders, and I plan to stay well.

I had a wonderful Christmas, my family came over and my son brought food with him and cooked Christmas dinner for us all.  We exchanged presents. I had a very warm feeling and I felt very thankful. I do believe that this was my very best Christmas ever.

Let me wish you all a very happy New Year and I hope that for all of you that it too will be “the very best one ever.”