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Letters to the editor for July 22, 2016

FILE PHOTO - Letters to the editor published July 22, 2016

Reasons to admire Mayo

I’m asking Columbia County voters to take a long, hard look at Wayne Mayo for county commissioner.

Over the last several years, I have come to admire Wayne for his courage, honesty and sincere concern for the future of our county.    

Many who run for public office shy away from issues that have the potential to be controversial, but Wayne Mayo, in his unfettered sincerity, walks right in where others fear to tread. He doesn’t tiptoe around the big business powerhouses and he’s paid a heavy price for it. We should note that Mr. Mayo’s passion for a financially sound Columbia County has resulted in thousands of dollars, coming from those who have thousands of dollars to spend on such things, being directed toward a united and ongoing campaign to keep Wayne Mayo out of public office.

Even in the face of amazingly well-financed opposition, Wayne Mayo has run effective, yet moderately priced campaigns. The campaign itself tells a great deal about a candidate. 

Managing a long-term and successful business has taught Mr. Mayo to be watchful of every penny and to spend each wisely. Those who are careful with their own money are likely to be careful with other people’s money.

Rosemary Lohrke


Mayo on point to insist for upgraded rail cars

I appreciate Wayne Mayo’s articles regarding the oil-ethanol rail tank cars. I recall in a prior article his explanation why the newer, third generation DOT111 rail cars were much safer compared to the older models. He’s insisting these safer cars be used; asking for something I hope our local officials are asking for as well.

Nothing is full-proof, but demanding the safest tankers should be a priority.Also, his concern about Portland and Western Railroad’s failing to provide written proof of a $350 million catastrophic insurance policy leads me to ask, why? Would it not be in their best interest to do so as well as ensure that Bakken crude oil and ethanol are transported in upgraded DOT111 cars only?

Carmen Kulp


Still outstanding needs for Veterans Stand Down

Everything is on schedule for our Veterans Stand Down event on Sept. 16,  but we are still needing food.

Since the huge fire that destroyed the Department of Defense military surplus storage facility in New Jersey that supplied the entire West Coast in February of this year, our efforts have been directed to finding materials to replace those lost for our homeless veterans who need these items desperately. Donations of jeans, sweaters, gloves and warm hats are definitely appreciated. I had contacted all the churches in Columbia County and not one stepped up. What does that say about our communities? Sad.

Our Stand Down will have 52 participating organizations that assist veterans in various spectrums. In addition, we will also have organizations there for the children and grandchildren of all our veterans to join,  as well as organizations that provide activities to our veterans.

A sit-down meal will also be provided to all veterans. I have provided a copy of our flyer that will be going up in your area very soon. 

Thank you for any help that you can give us on this.

Reni Nowling

Standing 4 Vets

Deer Island

Editor’s note: The Veterans Stand Down is scheuled for Friday, Sept. 16, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Columbia County Fairgrounds Pavilion. To contribute to the event, contact Reni Nowling at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 503-366-7163. For more information about the Veterans Stand Down, see page A6.

Want police to be supported, safe in their work

Many Columbia County citizens are aware of the decades-long disgust I have held for rural law enforcement in our county due to the fact that the relationship between criminal activity and hunters and gun fools has been swept under the rug by supporters of both in the Columbia County Sheriffs Office organization. Besides being a victim of many crimes, including violent felonies, and having my life threatened by local hunters, I have been in the basement of a suburban gun nut that was piled four feet high with enough explosives and ammo to destroy the neighborhood if his house caught fire. I have had to negotiate with a near-violence radical gun fool that believed the drumbeat of propaganda that convinces fearful people that the more guns you have, the safer you are.

History shows rational people that this belief is false.

Finally, with a series of police assassinations, the police are now starting to understand the feelings of citizens that do not believe that this propaganda is useful — it is simply a way to cause fear among us, in order to sell more military-style weapons to the easily tricked. It is also useful to heavily guarded politicians to ignore the issues.

The grip of the violence industry on our county is easily observed, and each politician must answer for their support. As one of the many responsible gun owners in the county, I consider it necessary for our communities and society to stop pretending that continuing to hide criminals or mentally disturbed violence-lovers, simply because they are members of your particular interest group, is useful. We do have gangs in our rural county, and they have tentacles into many entities and belief systems. There are some in those groups that celebrate the killing of honorable men like the late Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter.

The police in Columbia County should be fearful — we have some rotten criminals and disturbed people in the county hiding behind activities that have been sheltered by local law enforcement for many years due to false belief systems.

I want the police in our county to feel safe in their work and to be genuinely supported by the people. That will take a serious change in the mindset of law enforcement, as well as the whole community — if you have an armed nutball in your area, your AR15 is unlikely to assist you when he blows up your house in the night, while a larger effort to help us all understand and address the crime problem will do so. Ideological beliefs held by law enforcement or affecting community information exchange help no-one. The individuals in county law enforcement will absolutely have my support,

especially if the necessary changes occur.

Rural areas should be an asset for us all, not a hidey-hole for the dregs of our species.

Charles Bickford

Deer Island

Hillary Clinton failed, should resign

My Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) of Battalion S-3, Operations, was struck by lightning while playing golf in Nuremburg in March 1979 and, a month later, the NCOIC of S-2, Intelligence, retired three days before our yearly Inspector General (IG) inspection in April. Being shorthanded, I became the designated Battalion Classified Documents Custodian and the Acting NCOIC of S-2 when needed.With the battalion failing in the area of classified documents, I was given 21 days to straighten things out before a re-inspection by the IG’s office.

Each page of each classified document needed to be inspected for proper classification markings on the top and bottom, front and back; the front page had to have the proper disposition directions on the bottom right corner, and outdated documents had to be shredded and burned according to protocol. With hundreds of documents stored in two different safes and one vault in two locations,

this took 16 hours a day with no days off.

Being that the Secretary of State holds a critical position in foreign affairs and is fourth in line to the presidency, White House staff failed to ensure that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton used a National Security Administration-certified communication device for her emails. Hillary Clinton’s staff failed to follow and or report the mishandling of classified information, as per NSA protocol. By using a personal email server, Hillary Clinton failed to comply with “the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) which provides the public the right to request access to records from any federal agency.”

“Sanctions may be taken against individual agency employees who are found to have acted arbitrarily or capriciously in improperly withholding records,” according to 5 U.S.C. 552, signed in to law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 4, 1966.

In summation, Hillary Clinton is as guilty as President Richard Milhous Nixon, who maintained secret recording devices, in violating the public’s trust, along with the entire Barack Obama Administration.

At least “Tricky Dick” had the integrity to resign.

Joe Turner

Columbia City

Shock value

The other day I was working a crossword puzzle when I came across a word I did not know. I peeked to see what the answer was and I still did not know. Google always has the answer.

I eventually found the word. Epater — or epatered — is a French word first used by poets in 18th century. It is a verb and its meaning is “to shock complacent people.” I think it is a really good word. Unfortunately, it is considered one of 10 French words which has no viable translation into English. So we will use it in its original form.

Think about it: How many times have people told you they do not vote and you believe they should be epatered for their complacency? How many meetings have you attended and the elected officials conducting the meeting complacently tell you your questions are for discussion only in executive sessions and you cannot be part of those sessions?

People elected to public office need to be epatered — shocked into the reality that this is not openness and transparency. Surprise! We don’t believe it anymore so don’t use it in November’s elections.

How many back room meetings are held to make certain the electoral public does not know what is going on in their cities and counties?

How many of us knew about the sexual harassment within Columbia County Fire and Rescue and the ensuing coverup? The Spotlight did an incredibly good editorial on this matter in last Friday’s edition. Nancy Ward wrote an excellent letter on the same subject.

How many of us knew about the former mayor of St. Helens selling a piece of property to the city at a very large profit when he was still the mayor? How many of us knew about the present mayor of St. Helens attempting to do the same thing? Of course, we didn’t know. The discussion was held in executive session.

Please become involved in your government. Complacency just might get you on the “epatered” list and that could be quite a shock.

Nancy Whitney

St. Helens

What if ...

What if most of the Democrats who voted for the minimum wage increase in Oregon knew that it was economic suicide? What if it was passed to appease the public employees union to garner votes?

What if the PEU really doesn’t have many, if any, people who actually work for minimum wage, but by passing the minimum wage law, they would get raises anyway?

What if your “representatives” didn’t care about representing you, but only about who could keep them in power? What if the minimum wage law will destroy jobs, the middle class, and turn Oregon into Detroit?

What if the unelected governor has threatened to pull an Obozo and use executive orders to further infringe upon your God-given right to keep and bear a firearm? What if she wants the failed Oregon State Police background check system to have no accountability at all? What if “infringe” is defined as “can not be taken or given away?” What if all gun laws are illegal? What if they don’t care? What if she swore an oath to the Constitution as required by the supreme law of the land? What if she doesn’t care? What if she is also going after magazine limitations and bans? What if she wants to redefine domestic relationships so that she could ban more people from owning firearms?

What if the Oregon Legislature is in the middle of a war on guns and liberty?

What if Michael Bloomberg is actually calling the shots on guns (no pun intended) in Salem? What if the federal and state governments are bloated and tyrannical? What if gun crimes haven’t been lower in the United States in 50 years while there has never been more guns in this country? What if the lame-stream media is complicate in stealing our liberty by not doing their job? What if the United States in number 110 for gun crimes in the world and no one ranked above us is allowed to own a gun. What if the Jews would have had guns, would they have gotten on the trains?

What if gun control is about control?

What if the future of our children will be chains and slavery? What will you do about it?

Chris Brumbles

Columbia County Coordinator for

Oath Keepers and OFF

St. Helens

Veterans matter to Sen. Betsy Johnson

A veteran is like that relative no one wants to talk about.

But Sen. Betsy Johnson is someone. To her, veterans matter.

Disabled Veterans Magazine finally wrote about the U.S. Navy exposing troops to nuclear, biological and chemical agents in the 1970s. The military has been experimenting on service women and men since the end of World War II, and all the while Congress has been benefiting from insider trading of stocks for those that

do this so-called medical research. Though Johnson does not get invol-ved with military matters, she still cares.

When I wrote to her in March about the Veterans Administration’s blatant disregard of my rights (10 years now) to see a federal judge for my case (for a claim against the VA for the Navy radiation experiment they conducted on us aboard the USS Skipjack SSN-585 and the deteriorating conditions resulting from same), she referred me to one of our state’s representatives in Washington, D.C., whose office contacted me a week later to say they would take care of it. That was last March and that’s the last I heard from that representative’s office.

Just two weeks ago, Johnson wrote me a letter asking if they were able to help me. What a surprise! No, Sen. Johnson, they have yet to reveal how they will get my case before a federal judge, but after three months they still have time (about a week to meet the deadline).

Once a politician refers us elsewhere, we never expect to hear from that politician again. Perhaps. Sen. Betsy Johnson is not a politician.

I wish she was Oregon’s representative in D.C.

Dane Jaconetti