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..
From: Tammy Maygra 4/11/18
The candidate’s forum which was sponsored by Envision Columbia County was quite nice. People got too meet the candidates on a more personal level, which was nice. I think people enjoyed the forum and I think it was a success. Except when Bill Eagle made an ass of himself when he pounded the table with his fist in retaliation to a comment Mr. Johns made about empty CC Rider buses.
You have to understand Eagle loves CC Rider but Bill must understand not everyone loves CC Rider as he does.
From: Tammy Maygra 4/6/18
The candidate’s forum in Rainier was pretty good last night. I liked them all.
I was impressed with Kim Johns, him being a new comer he answered the questions very well. He came across knowledgeable on all subjects.
I am not totally convinced who I am voting for completely yet. But Mr. Johns seems to a good fit.
Mr.Campbell from Rainier did well too.
Heimuller was a good speaker polished as a seasoned politician but came across friendly and answered all the questions very well.
Paulette answered the questions well too, but had to read off a paper most of the time. I guess she is uncomfortable speaking in front of crowds, but again answered very well.
The most asked question was about Port Westward and industry
From: Wayne Mayo 4/1/18
The vote taken 23 March 2018 by the UN Human Rights Council condemning Israel not once, but five times defies reality. That European council members Belgium, Croatia, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK including Ireland didn't object, some even joining in the vote is even more troubling.
Juxtaposing Israeli behavior against the documented atrocities committed daily by North Korea, Iran, and Syria, which received only one condemning resolution each is telling.
Either the vote represents an unread, superficial analysis of current torture, repression and ethnic cleansing which is doubtful, or it reveals a latent holdover of the unreasonable and weird hatred of the Jewish people best illuminated in Hitler's Holocaust of the Jews so willingly implemented during WWII.
Six million Jews were screened out of European society, mercilessly experimented on, tortured, and killed revealing perhaps the darkest impulses of human nature ever recorded in the history of Western Civilization.
Israel's management of its defense including land seized fending off a two front surprise attack by Egypt, Syria, and Jordan on 5-10 June 1967 has been well documented. Even enemy combatants and terrorists have been afforded top medical care in Israeli hospitals.
The UN vote Friday delegitimizes the current UN Council on Human Rights. But worse, it very well may speak ominously of European cultural proclivities. That's a shame.
From: Nancy Whitney 3/26/18
I have a few tidbits of information to share.
I had two bottles of medical prescriptions for over a year, neither of which I had ever used. The message prevalent on TV lately has been to drop your unused drugs at law enforcement agencies for incineration. As no one will answer the phone at the St. Helens Police Department, I called Central Dispatch at 503-397-1521. I was told to take the drugs to the SHPD and deposit them in the drop box provided.
From: Nancy Whitney 3/21/18
Do you like surprises? Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don’t. I like to throw surprise birthday and anniversary parties. I have been the recipient of these a few times in the past - thoroughly enjoyable.
However, what I do not like are any secrets or surprises presented by government entities who are using my tax money to surprise me. There is absolutely no excuse for any government agency - whether it be city, county, state or federal - to use or plan to use my tax dollars without me knowing for what it will be used.
Open, honest government - how many, many years have citizens been pleading for this given right? How many politicians have been elected on their promises to provide open communication? Yet, here we are, with the same old “executive” meetings to which the public is not invited and confidential information to which we have no access.
I was in downtown St. Helens this past Monday, near the old Gracie’s Antiques building. It was a beautiful, sunny day and I was sitting on a bench watching the river and the activity behind the high metal fence between me and the view - with “PRIVATE PROPERTY - NO TRESPASSING” signs on the metal fence.
I then noticed City of St. Helens trucks and equipment dumping and spreading gravel in this area. I thought perhaps a much needed parking area was being readied for the waterfront development. But then - remember the Styrofoam Stonehenge “rocks” used at the Halloween festival last October? Well, these were being placed in this PRIVATE PROPERTY - NO TRESPASSING area which I know darn well belongs to the citizens of St. Helens who bought and paid for it with their taxes.
I talked to the fellows doing this work who suggested I talk with the city manager. I did so. In fact, I was lucky enough to talk with City Manager John Walsh and Events Director Tina Curry at City Hall on Tuesday.
It appears, in connection with the big push for tourism being a main topic for many of those running for elected offices in May, the City of St. Helens is planning secret, confidential SURPRISE events for the people who live in and visit St. Helens.
Â Unfortunately, I was not privy to this confidential and secret information because I am not on the Events Committee nor do I follow this committee on Facebook. I don’t do Facebook. I have a life.
I did find out, however, that between $100,00 - $140,000 is allocated for the SURPRISES we have in store for us this year in connection with the tourism projects. I also understand the City receives some of this money from “motel/tourism taxes” and also hopes to recover some of their expenditures from gate fees, parking fees and whatever other kind of fees might be connected to these events. That does not always happen.
I also asked for public information, which I readily received, in connection with the Event Director’s salary. Ms. Curry receives $120,000 per year - $10,000 per month. Granted, if she needs additional hired help at the events, that help must be paid from her salary. However, many volunteers from local organizations pitch in on these occasions.
Please understand I do not disagree with all improvements being planned for the City of St. Helens - with some exceptions.
We are not a stupid people. We do not need secrets and confidential information being kept from us. We can handle it.
We might bitch about it, or fight against it or we might praise it, but we can handle it.
I don’t like this type of SURPRISE. I want to know what I am getting for my tax dollar. I want to know with what I am going to be SURPRISED for nearly a quarter of a million dollars.
Thanks for reading.
Nancy Whitney, St. Helens
From: Richard Ellmyer 3/18/18
Guns are for killing. Guns kill 35,000 Americans a year. Guns kill 456 Oregonians a year.
“Of the more than 360 access-related gun bills proposed by Congress since the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, only one has become law.” *1
We must first focus on these essential facts whenever we discuss gun control.
Total population 3,929,214 [2018 Oregon Population 4.2 Million]
Urban 201,665 5.1% [2016 Oregon Urban 84%]
Rural 3,727,599 94.9% [2016 Oregon Rural 16%]
The one on top is percussion while the one on the bottom is flintlock.
1. To prevent the rise of a standing federal army.
2. To preserve the institution of slavery that was the key to the southern economy by protecting the slave patrol militias in the southern states. Slavery could not survive without police state enforcement.
Oct. 1, 2015 at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg. Eight students and a teacher were killed and nine others wounded.
June 10, 2014 at Reynolds High School in Troutdale. One student was killed and a teacher wounded.
Dec. 11, 2012 at Clackamas Town Center mall just outside Portland. Two people were killed and a third person seriously wounded.
April 10, 2007 at Springwater Trail High School in Gresham. Ten students were wounded.
May 21, 1998 at Thurston High School in Springfield. Two students were killed and 25 others wounded.
From: Bill Eagle 3/13/18
I am a gun owner and a former member of the NRA. Originally, the NRA used to be an organization that supported sportsmen, promoted gun safety, and fire arm education and good marksmanship. They emphasized the responsible use of fire arms.
Evidently this is no longer the case.
I quit the NRA after I started getting letters about how President Obama was working hard to take away my guns. Many of the stories and alerts that were sent to me as “News” were things that were made up in the imagination of the writers and had no basis in fact. Years ago the NRA supported responsible gun legislation and was not opposed to background checks. In the old days they never once advanced the theory that the 2nd Amendment was there to be used to keep politicians in line. And they believed the portion of the 2nd Amendment that reads: “a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free nation...”means exactly that. The 2nd Amendment says, “well regulated” not “unregulated.”
I am also disturbed when I read that Russian Oligarchs are pouring money into the NRA. Why in the world would a group of people that have no loyalty to the USA sink money into an American organization?
The NRA is now opposed to background checks, and will not take a stand on age limits, bump stocks, silencers or large magazine semi automatic weapons.
It has became very apparent that the NRA is more concerned with supporting the fire arms industry than they are in promoting education or fire arm safety.
I have joined with George HW Bush and other responsible people in refusing to continue to support this one time good organization.
If Americans want to keep their guns, then they need to support responsible firearm ownership, not anarchy or insurrection. .
From: Hal Ritz 3/3/18
Where is Paul Revere when you need him? The Brits and the Chinese government are coming. Columbia County and Cowlitz County, WA are the new Concords for Americans to protect. For such a time as this, we are the patriots called upon to save our county and country. Give us liberty or give us death!
Not true, you say? Listen up. The Chinese government is establishing a methanol footprint in two Northwest counties as I write. The Canadians are participating in this invasion by piping in their fracked natural gas to fuel this operation in Kalama and Port Westward. Yes, I said piping, and we all know how secure that is.
I listened to the presentation to the St. Helens port commissioners about the Port Westward methanol project. It was made by the representative and CEO for Northwest Innovation Works (NWIW). They are the organization that will construct and operate the methanol refineries. Key points of concern were not addressed at the meeting. The full truth must be exposed to alert county citizens of the hazards of this scheme.
The following facts have been assembled largely by Columbia Riverkeepers who have been fighting this take-over of our air, water, and soil for un-American profit:
First of all, NWIW has never constructed or operated such a potentially dangerous and destructive facility.
NWIW is owned by Pan Pacific Corp. that is administered by the government in Beijing, China. NWIW will be the developer and operator of the huge project.
Canada supplies the piped-in fracked natural gas to operate the refineries, creating risk to humans and the environment.
Water from the Columbia River will be utilized for the world’s largest catalytic processing production plant in Kalama to be matched by our Port Westward project.
The final product will be shipped to China for a huge expansion of their auto/marine transportation industry and plastic.
Profits go to Canada and China. They are using our resources and we are left to deal with the danger and pollution of our air, water, and soil.
Tax base increase is negligible in comparison to outside profits, and a more Eco-friendly industry would suffice as well and probably provide more in-county jobs.
One huge plant would utilize a labor force less than 200, most of whom would come from outside our county.
One facility would utilize more fuel energy than the combined industrial complex of the State of Washington.
The use of piped-in fracked gas for just one plant would currently require expansion of existing pipelines. Adding a second facility requires even more pipe infrastructure. We know how gas lines leak or explode.
The port authority will receive over $$$ half-million on the lease renewal, and we don’t know how much from the last three years. It would be interesting to know how these funds are used to better Columbia County citizens.
NWIW has said this “dirty” (not their word) operation will be replaced by clean energy technology, which is advancing rapidly. Who will be responsible for the clean-up from all the contaminants to our environment?
Why did NWIW’s first choice location, Tacoma, WA, get nixed while ours is viable? A large vocal population center as compared to our small counties’ much fewer voices? Think about it in relation to all the multiple issues mentioned above.
Why doesn't Canada install the facilities on their coast and save the cost of pipelines and enjoy the danger and pollution in their country? Good question for research.
In spite of every problem listed above, a resolution was unanimously passed by the port commissioners present at the meeting to extend the three-year lease for WWIW continued development of the project. A vote Wednesday the 21st by the County Commissioners will facilitate rezoning, authorizing plans to proceed.
This project is harmful to the citizens of Columbia County. Let us rally our minute-men and women to oppose this attack on our Oregon way of life and blight on our landscape and environment. Do you see what is taking place and are you ready to fight?
No methanol on our shores!
From: Joe Turner 2/25/18
A person in Portland works late into the evening and upon finishing their project walks toward their car and is greeted by a person with a knife and is robbed of their wallet and cell phone, and on the police report it is considered a mugging.
A group of politicians work late into the night scheming and plotting how to take away hard earned money from citizens by raising taxes and fees and it is called the legislative process. One is a crime while the other is signed into law.
During the budget process last week Senator Ron Paul is quoted as saying “When the Democrats are in power, Republicans appear to be the conservative party. But when Republicans are in power, it seems there is no conservative party. The hypocrisy hangs in the air and chokes anyone with a sense of decency or intellectual honesty.”
And in the 1980’s President Ronald Reagan said “We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.”
While I feel the tax reform bill was long overdue and will entice many businesses to re-invest in America, I feel these same people went on a spending spree to the tune of about $300 Billion over what is actually needed to meet the country’s need for the next two years.
The Defense Industrial Complex will be awash in cash but will we have enough to hire doctors to fill shortages at the VA hospitals? Will there be enough to assist states and communities to repair potholes and bridges? Will there be enough to restructure our neglected education system?
Not to mention Governor Brown and her henchmen pushing thru defective legislation in the short session in Salem; our political system has gone from being a swamp to a cesspool.
Its an election year and I hope Oregonians are given better choices to choose from on their ballots or will it be the same old people (parties) with their same old agenda; spending and taxes.
From: Mike George 2-17-18
I am a founding member of WFCU, and I do not know what has happened to it.
They have taken away the drive-up window and replaced it with a machine, now they are laundering money for drug (marijuana) dealers.
I talked to the CEO and he said it was for safety, for who? It is really about money, sure it is legal to have in Oregon, but ask most police officers and they will tell you it is a gate-way drug to worse stuff.
I know several people who have lost there jobs because they failed there drug test, but they said but it is legal, just look at what our young people are getting busted for, and ask them what drug they started out with to get high and then graduated up to from there to get higher.
Thank you WFCU for promoting drugs for our community.
From: Nancy Ward 2-17-18
A very important vote was taken at the Feb. 14 Port of St. Helens meeting.
The Port commissioners voted on whether to extend the lease option to Northwest Innovation Works. Here was their opportunity to follow through on previous public statements that they are not specifically seeking to promote fossil fuel projects in the future.
The vote of 4 to 0 would indicate otherwise.
However, this wasn't actually my biggest disappointment. Rather, I was more surprised by the absence of Commissioner Paulette Lichatowich. I am very familiar with her consistent support protecting our environment and was counting on her to balance the record with at least one "no" vote.
Why was she absent? Was her attendance and vote via phone impossible?
I hope she will give us an answer.
From: Scott Stockwell 2/15/18
Once again we are grieving a senseless tragedy. The St. Helens School District would like to express our deepest condolences to staff, students, families and community of Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. All families should expect their children to be safe when they are in school. Staff should not need to worry about how they would protect their students or themselves.
In light of this tragedy, we know many parents and community members might want additional information about how the St. Helens School District is ensuring the safety and security of our students and staff.
We have a very strong partnership with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, the St. Helens Police Department and local emergency managers. The St. Helens School District meets regularly with local law enforcement and building administrators to implement the Standard Response Protocol and discuss our response to different emergency scenarios. We also are improving safety through a number of bond construction projects, thanks to the wonderful support of our St. Helens community. Finally, our district is part of a network that utilizes a tip line called SafeOregon in hopes of pro-actively identifying potential threats before they become emergencies.
As much as we proactively train and plan for emergency situations, tragedies like this event in Florida are certainly difficult to comprehend. We know it may trigger emotional responses among our students, parents, staff and community members, and we will do all we can to support them. Knowing what to say at home with your own children or family members can be challenging. In times like these, talking things over openly and of course in an age-appropriate manner is helpful. I also know that as parents and family members you will navigate this carefully and decide about doing what is best at home for your own children.
A good resource for speaking with your children can be found by visiting The Center for Parenting Education webpage.
From: Hal Ritz 2/10/18
Over 200 years ago patriots fought for our freedoms where some of your and my family’s forbears were intimately involved in that struggle. Now Russia, our mortal enemy, interfered with the 2016 election. That is a fact. How and why this happened has to be determined so it will not affect the upcoming election in nine months. All Americans can agree on that. Every dedicated patriot should also be shoulder-to-shoulder to prevent a repeat and focus on sustainable remedies.
Fix the problem! That is upholding our flag of freedom and actually meaning the words of our national anthem we recently talked about Wake up America—we have been warned. It happened once; if it happens again it is stupidity, and we, the people, are not stupid and call for action.
Since experiencing President Roosevelt’s “Fireside Chats” I can remember no presidential election in which the word “collusion” appeared. Collusion. No collusion. One can hardly listen to news today without that word bandied about in the broadcast referring to the 2016 election and directly related to the current Washington administration and Republican led majority legislature.
The Latin-derived verb “collude”, is listed in Marriam-Webster as “to scheme”, among other nefarious synonyms. Collusion as a noun, means “an act of secret collaboration for an illegal purpose”. Collusion is also a legal term, so it has substance and consequences in terms of administering justice. It is a very serious matter that can be litigated and people charged with crimes.
There is an urgent need to get to the truth of how Russia was able to tamper with our election simply because another crucial election rapidly approaches. But our elected government officials of this proven faulty election seem to not want to dig out the truth of what transpired. From the President, Republican Senate, and House majority leadership, a concerted effort to stop getting to the bottom of the problem and seeking the truth is shockingly evident. Why? What can we fear from the truth that will stop encroachment of our fundamental right of non-interference by our avowed enemy into the electoral process? If there was no collusion, what is the big problem?
Here is where the word “collusion” starts to take shape. How and why did this happen? Is there a Benedict Arnold among us? We need answers to what happened. We want the truth so we can prevent recurrence. The concept of placing blame should be secondary as to who was involved in this act of secret collaboration for an illegal purpose, which election interference surely represents. The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help us God. This is mandatory from the President, our Legislature, the Justice Department including Law Enforcement, the Intelligence community, all State and Principality Governments, and every American Patriot.
We have a God-give duty to see that our elected officials protect our ballot, our voice from our arch enemy.. Truth is key and messing with Uncle Sam cannot be tolerated. Collusion or no collusion is not the urgent time-is-awaisting issue. Russia’s meddling is fact and must be prevented. The urgent question is what steps is our government currently taking to prevent another election fiasco barreling down on our country?
Russia must not interfere in our elections. Truth will prevail and freedom will ring from the rooftops across our nation.
From: Tammy Maygra 2/3/18
While Americans are focused on Trumps everyday Twitter rants of fictional truths, the Republican Party is carefully undermining the mainstays of our democratic foundation. Their attack on the middleclass is calculated. The middleclass is the buffer between the wealthy who spend time and resources trying to manipulate government policies in their favor, and the poor who are trying to survive day-to-day and have little time to worry about their political rights.
A strong middleclass keeps the rich from taking away political rights and economic security, and protects those who cannot protect themselves, in other words safety in numbers. The Republican Party is delighted with promoting inequality and is implementing policies and reforms that will only deepen the gap, by increasing taxes on the poor, reducing taxes on the wealthy, and eliminating public social services.
By executing policy directed to the wealthy at the expense of the other 99% of America, and by shrinking the middle-class, the Republicans are paving the way for the demise of our democracy.
When the Republicans and Trump demonize our government regulations, and claim the government is intrusive in our lives and limits our freedoms, take a look around you. When you go into your kitchen to prepare dinner, thank the government for regulations on food processing, expiration dates and on imported products. The next time you are in a building and it has not collapsed on you or the electricity has not electrocuted you, thank the government and bureaucracy.
Trump and the Republicans are methodically trying to dismantle the federal bureaucracy. Most of the President’s nominees are people who have literally advocated for the closure of the various departments such as; Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Energy Department, Environmental Protection Agency, Secretary of Education, and coordinator of Sanctions Policy Office. And now reduced funding to the CDC, all of these departments if closed or reduced will mostly hurt the middleclass and poor.
And finally, in order for a democracy to be a democracy people need to vote. With low voter turnout it seems that the Republican tactics are working by voter suppression and registration. Republicans have advocated literacy tests for black Americans, until deemed illegal. Gerrymandering districts, removed voting machines in heavily populated areas, required extensive I.D., changed absentee voting requirements, and was against motor voter.
Wake up and see what the Republican Party and Trump really are, they are no friend to the middleclass and poor
From: Tammy Maygra 2/2/18
All Port Commissioners:
Doug Hayes expressed a desire for the Port of St. Helens to re-brand itself something which is long over- due and necessary to be a productive and beneficial part of the community.
Burying our head into the sand and repeatedly allowing and supporting the old technology which has brought our climate to the verge of no return and the death of our oceans is asinine and someone needs to take the first step for change and the Port of St. Helens can be this someone.
From: Richard Ellmyer 1/30/18
Lies, racism, unrelenting triumphalist pursuit of transferring America’s treasure to the wealthiest among us and an unquenchable mean spirited aggressiveness to deny healthcare as a right of all Americans, including Oregonians, are the undeniable hallmarks of Donald Trump's presidency.
Trump’s recent offshore drilling order is both unnecessary and dangerous to Oregon.
President Trump’s disturbingly erratic behavior, including his most recent racist immigration vulgarity, “shithole countries” and his chaos inducing rejection of a bipartisan plan for a continuing resolution to fund the government provoked a government shutdown which is now entirely on Donald Trump.
NEVERTHELESS, the presumptive Republican gubernatorial candidate in 2018, State representative Knute Buehler, MD, is leading the other 39 elected Oregon Republicans* in justifying their continuing determination that Donald Trump remains FIT to be President of the United States of America.
Political observers in Oregon and beyond take note. By NOT revoking their support these 40 elected Oregon Republicans are saying that every policy position, appointment, decision, public utterance and tweet by Donald Trump from his inauguration on January 20, 2017 to January 20, 2018 does NOT, separately nor in the aggregate, disqualify him as unfit to be president. This would include their recognition that Donald Trump is an exemplar of the best American role model of American morals and values for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4H and every young American in every school in Oregon and America.
Prospective candidates in districts currently held by these Republicans and the Press may want to keep a copy of this message for future reference.
NAV, Non-Aligned Voter
North Portland political activist for 42 years.
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
From: Nancy Whitney 1/23/18
We were delighted to have friends visit this past weekend whom we had not seen for a few years. We have always kept in touch but did not actually meet. He was an attorney in St. Helens many years ago and she was a school teacher - both now retired for a couple of years.
These friends live in NW Portland just on the cusp of Forest Park in a beautiful 100 plus year old home. They garden more since they have retired. We walked around our gardens - now put down for the winter. I told them we cannot keep our lawn green in the summer and water our vegetable and flower gardens at the same time because of the high water prices - nearly $400 for two months at one time in the summer months.
So, then I told them about opening the South County Spotlight a couple of weeks ago to a headline reading, “St. Helens to increase water, sewer utility rates in 2018" - by 3.22 percent.
I then related when each property owner in St. Helens had to pay for a sewer line in to their home about five years ago, supposedly to separate storm water from sewage water - and then our sewage rates went up.
A trip was made to show them the beautiful property on the river purchased from Boise White Paper by the taxpayers for $3 million and the high hopes people had for a park in that area. Now the city council wants to use this land for condos and businesses.
Unfortunately, we then had to share with them that the property was also partnered with a carcinogenic, PCP filled, toxic lagoon; and that the City of St. Helens has considered (and, as far as I know, are still considering) bringing poisonous waste from a Portland Superfund and adding it to this lagoon with a liner of some sort to keep it from leeching into the river. This experiment is for the purpose of St. Helens taking Portland’s poisonous sludge - being paid $50 million plus to do so - thus enabling St. Helens to build a new sewer plant. How long and how well do you think that plan will work?
I now have a copy of the sales agreement between the City of St. Helens and Boise White Paper for the Old Mill property. I can’t even imagine anyone knowing about the toxicity on that land and signing away the citizens’ rights to litigate the cost of cleanup.
And yet - page 8 reads: “PURCHASER UNDERSTANDS AND AGREES THE PREMISES ARE SOLD AS IS WHERE IS” AND THAT SELLER MAKES NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, THAT THE PREMISES ARE FIT FOR ANY PARTICULAR USE OR PURPOSE.”
It is signed by former St. Helens Mayor Randy Pet(ersen).
Now that they are aging, our friends were considering selling their home and moving out of the city to a one level home. Regrettably they have now crossed St. Helens off their list.
Probably about a year ago, I wrote about the number of businesses which have closed in St. Helens. Monday I made another accounting of this problem. Beginning on Columbia Boulevard, on the river side of the railroad tracks, my husband and I drove to the end of St. Helens at the Old Mill Park site.
All within a two mile stretch of streets in the St. Helens city limits, 29 businesses have closed their doors. Six resale/antique stores (in which one can find great treasures) are operating in an additional six of these business closures. This is a total of 35 failed businesses in less than two miles.
This is definitely a problem that new condos and businesses on the waterfront will not help fix.
The city council just seems so scattered by their many projects - toxic waste - an insufficient sewer plant - the probability of another Superfund (toxic waste site) being declared at the old creosote plant - leaks in our water reservoirs with the very real possibility of a water shortage. It just goes on and on.
Old town St. Helens is beautiful. I love every nook and cranny of it - closed up or not. I love the old courthouse and city hall and the river and Gazebo Park and Knob Hill.
I am just asking the City Council to please not ask for or use additional money for improving the Old Mill land site or reconfiguring the downtown streets or building condos until our first needs are met. We must help businesses remain viable. We must have water and we must have sewer.
FIX ST. HELENS FIRST!! Work on the “must have” projects. That beautiful piece of river property is not going away.
Thanks for reading. Nancy Whitney, St. Helens
From: Joe Turner 1/22/18
During the last month there was a letter from Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson published in both The Chronicle and Spotlight about the dismal state of Oregon’s Department of Education with its low literacy and graduation rates, and this week I see Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney bash Oregon voters who passed Measure 5 and Measure 50 which restrict ways in how the state legislature raises fees and taxes to fund education.
In 1976 I was assigned to teach avionics at the advanced individual training school for the army. Upon arrival I found the dropout rate between 22-25%. For my program individuals were required to have a high school diploma with first year algebra. I developed a screening test which tested comprehension levels of listening and reading English, basic math, and simple algebra (E=I x R). In a class of 32 students, 5 flunked my screening test. When asked, after ten minutes, they replied they had been given passing grades because they had been star athletes. These students were from across the US; Newark, Los Angeles, Chicago, Billings and even Condon, Oregon.
Like most politicians everything is centered around money, and there seems like never enough. No one mentions the fact it is the way consolidated schools are organized and operated. I supported an aggressive school bond in 1997 that was meant to hire 12 additional teachers, open 10 additional classrooms, replace 75% of outdated and damaged textbooks, and increase computers by 50% in the district I was living in. In less than six weeks after the bond passage the district hired an executive assistant for the superintendent, a big name coach who turned out to be a loser, 6 teacher aides and 3 curricular coordinators it's no wonder classrooms are crowded, and literacy and graduation rates are down. I have never or will ever again vote for another school bond.
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