To the Editor,

Sometime back, a woman with no license, no insurance and numerous driving violations ran a stop sign, killed a man and crippled his wife for life.

As I recall, Mr. Leriche did not file manslaughter or any other charges against that woman. He eventually called a grand jury but said his responsibility was to give them legal advice only.

In the Sept. 4, 2013, Pioneer, Mr. Leriche is quoted as saying, “In all cases, the district attorney’s office makes the charging decision and files charges.” He said this while explaining his charges against Dr. Beamer. Dr. Beamer is a man to whom many hundreds in this community have entrusted their lives and I know of no one other than the DA who believes he committed a crime. I do not trust Mr. Leriche’s judgment.

William Hoff


Glass house

To the Editor,

Would someone check the district attorney’s home for county-purchased ink pens, pencils, paper, etc. If there, that is theft.

Dr. Beamer has done more for Jefferson County than the district attorney ever could.

Mark Werner

Lapwai, Idaho


To the Editor,

In regards to Dr. Beamer, I find myself in total agreement with the indignation expressed by the authors of last week’s Letters to the Editor.

Maybe I have been watching too many crime shows, but doesn’t there have to be some criminal intent involved? After spending his entire career unselflessly helping so many in our community, Dr. Beamer is about as far from a criminal as one can get.

Don’t our public servants have to apply laws using common sense and reason? What a ridiculous waste of taxpayer dollars!

Sally Miller



To the Editor,

The court of public opinion has already ruled on what they think should be the demise of the Jefferson County DA. Of course, there are probably some mush-brains out there who will try to defend him saying that he is a nice person. This is all about his track record.

I sat on the County Budget Committee for seven out of eight years listening to him whining about not getting enough funding for his department. I sat on the grand jury as jury foreman and listened to victim after victim plead for justice to indict an extortionist who preyed on old people (little old ladies). She is still running free today and it’s too late as these crimes have timed out (statute of limitations).

Why is it that a doctor that was exonerated of any bad doings by the state that controls his license only to face prosecution by a jerk-water DA with a big ego?

Why is it that, last year, a man was killed when an unlicensed, uninsured driver with many citations to her credit ran a stop sign and got off on a traffic infraction? (The state had already revoked her license because they thought she was unfit to drive.) Then the man who ended Don Heckathorn’s life got indicted on vehicular homicide?

Many people don’t know that the county DA’s salary is paid by the state. The commissioners then pay him an additional almost $14,000 on top of the state’s salary. This is almost equal to the amount it would cost taxpayers to have a recall election. I think it would be ironic if this jerk were to be voted out using his own money. This $14,000 can be eliminated with a recalling of the salary review board and a vote from the county commissioners. Two of these commissioners are up for re-election next year, which might have some impact on how they handle this issue.

You readers can make this happen. Instead of brooding over this issue, do something. First, call the commissioner’s office after hours and leave a voice mail to any one of your choice (541-475-2449). The good thing about doing it this way is your message is also forwarded to the county administrator and becomes part of the record. Second, for those of you that have some free time, go down to the commissioner’s meeting at 9 a.m. (public input) Wednesday, Sept. 25, and voice your concerns.

The crooks are smarter than the noncrooks. They know how to play the system. That is why they start off with pleading not guilty. Then this DA plea bargains down to a lesser crime.

If convicted and sentenced to less than one year, they serve it in our county jail at our expense. If over one year, they serve their time at the state’s expense.

Either way, this DA’s conviction rate looks good but at our loss. With this M.O. is one of the reasons our sheriff is going out for a rate hike on his jail levy. Think about that when you vote on this upcoming jail levy.

Steve Jansen


Not smart

To the Editor,

From what I’ve seen from my interactions with District Attorney Steve Leriche, he seems to be a pretty smart man. His decision to file criminal charges against Dr. Leland Beamer, however, is not one of his smarter moves. Dr. Beamer — who has helped and positively touched so many lives during his 40-year career as a medical doctor — does not deserve this witch hunt.

As a mother whose son’s life was saved by Dr. Beamer, I wonder if Leriche has nothing more serious to prosecute than an overworked, compassionate and caring doctor who had a momentary, isolated lapse in judgment.

Tillie Ocker


Total waste

To the Editor,

I am amazed that our district attorney is using his time and our tax dollars bringing up this issue regarding Dr. Beamer.

We have many out there with no driver’s licenses or insurance who have been issued tickets and are still driving suspended and stopped multiple times, yet we slap them on the wrist and give them their vehicles back until they injure or killed some innocent person. When are we going to take care of that type of problem, so we who are legal on the road do not feel so threatened?

Or you could use your time dealing with the drug dealers or drug users who break into homes and vehicles to feed those habits.

Please, Mr. Leriche, leave the Beamers alone. The doctor was cleared by the state medical board, so what is your agenda?

The people I have heard talking regarding this issue really wonder why you are wasting your time when there are more pressing matters that need your attention.

Dr. Beamer has had to take his medical knowledge out of town and now we, the ones who have faith in his medical advice, have to look elsewhere for our health care.

Please, just drop this issue and let this family get on with their lives.

Louise Muir


Grand jury?

To the Editor,

I do not know Dr. Beamer, but I tend to agree with those who think this is quite heavy-handed, on the part of the district attorney.

However, as I understand, the case was put before the grand jury. Having served on the jury in the past, the district attorney’s case is put before them, and they give the case either a good bill vote or a bad bill vote.

So, it might just be that there is something that we the reading public don’t know, unless they gave him a bad bill vote, and he went ahead anyway.

Robert Tinnin


(Ed. Note: Others have raised this point regarding the grand jury. The charges against Dr. Beamer are misdemeanor charges and therefore were made at the discretion of the district attorney only. Grand jury involvement is relegated to felony charges.)


To the Editor,

“Cruel and inhumane administration of justice.” “A travesty in the application of our legal system.”

These were just two of the comments I heard last week about the district attorney filing misdemeanor charges against Dr. Beamer. I heard similar phrases when the Rajneesh were trying to use our courts to intimidate us.

But with an error in judgment which he readily admitted, and for which he lost his job and endured the trauma of facing the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners, and was exonerated.

This is the man who, for more than 40 years, treated our ailments, set our broken bones, delivered our children and still made time to volunteer for countless projects to benefit the community that is his home.

Plus, he was never afraid to speak up against a wrong or in favor of a right.

During the Rajneesh era, he was one of the first outside the community of Antelope to recognize that there was a problem and that it was much bigger than “Antelope’s problem.” While many elected officials around the state, as well as much of the working press, openly or tactfully supported the Rajneesh, Dr. Beamer wrote letters, attended hearings and strongly voiced his opinion against them, as is his nature.

Then when the Attorney General’s Office discovered that these “peace-loving people” had more automatic weapons on the ranch then all the police forces in Oregon combined, and some of the leaders were convicted of fraud, arson and attempted murder, Dr. Beamer went back to serving the community in so many other ways.

During Dr. Beamer’s tenure, how many hospital administrators have come and gone? How many district attorneys? What were their contributions outside their normal working hours? Like the post Civil War carpetbaggers, they don’t put down roots much deeper than cheat grass alongside the country road and soon move on, while the Bud Beamers are here to stay and to serve us all.

When we are ill, we describe the symptoms to our doctor and he then diagnoses and treats the actual ailment. In Dr. Beamer’s case, the symptom was that he took (and returned) the ketamine. The actual ailment was that he felt strongly enough about the pending takeover of our local hospital by St. Charles that he spoke in opposition. Given the treatment he has received from the carpetbagger element in this community, his vocal opposition seems almost prophetic.

Jon Bowerman


Not right

To the Editor,

I have been a member of this community since 1952. Though retired from farming, I still spend a considerable amount of time in Madras.

In all those years, I have never felt the need to express my opinion on matters of the community through the newspaper. That changed when I read the article about the charges filed against Bud Beamer by the district attorney.

It is difficult to express the feelings I had as I read. It was a mixture of anger, sadness, and embarrassment. I felt anger towards a judicial system that even contemplates the course of action presented by the DA filing. I do not see what the objective was, or is, but justice and fair play are not words I would associate with the action taken. I am sure there are others asking a similar question.

I felt sadness for Dr. Beamer and his family. A misguided act of kindness for an animal has cost him dearly already.

Dr. Beamer, however, does not need me or any one else to expound on what he has done for, or meant to, this community. As with others here, his lifelong body of work stands by itself.

Lastly, I felt a personal embarrassment, an embarrassment for Madras, and an embarrassment for the county as a whole that entities paid and trusted to look after the well-being of the community would contemplate the course of action taken.

Brian Stevenson

Anchorage, Alaska


To the Editor,

Do you remember when insurance companies could not advertise through the media that you might merit retribution if you were injured in an accident, and so the agents became ambulance chasers? They dashed to the scene and gathered statistics.

Do you remember when log trucks were not allowed on Oregon highways after dusk?

Do you remember when pharmacies, hoping to enhance their sales, could not use an actors statement regarding any malady? Only a person ill with the precise physical problem could be quoted?

Do you remember hearing the word recycle when you were a child? No? But unknowingly I did recycle. When I was at grandpa’s and went down the wooden boardwalk the outhouse and there used the Sears Roebuck catalog!

Do you remember when your mother told you to be quiet and what happended to you if you disobeyed? A good whack on the rear!

Do you remember when you didn’t like a certain vegetable on your plate, and so you didn’t eat it? Results, no dessert!

Do you remember when there were guests at the table and you were told to eat, don’t talk? Do you remeber you sat quietly at the table, and were required to ask, “May I be excused please?” before you could leave?

Do you remember all of these things? Then you are as old as this old lady who is happy to have a treasure-trove of such remembrances.

Donna Quick-Polka


Take note

To the Editor,

Every parent in the 509-J school district should request that their child’s school directory information not be released to the public.

It is insanity in this day and age to release private information, such as name, birthdate and birthplace, for instance, with ID theft so prevalent.

I wonder how many children from our school district already have credit cards, crime and debt not their own on their Social Security numbers and credit profiles?

Shannon Winegar


Thanks, GOP

To the Editor,

The Jefferson County American Legion Post 125 wishes to thank the Republican Party for its generous contribution. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Executive Council

Post 125

Contract Publishing

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