Letters to the Editor
Senators had no other honorable option
The Jefferson County Republican Party wishes to express our support for the 11 Republican senators who are sacrificing so much to try to protect our right to vote on HB2020.
The Democrats want to ram it through as an emergency measure. (What emergency?) This means that the people won't have any say in whether or not they have to pay 22 cents more per gallon of gas and more for all of our energy costs, such as natural gas, electricity, transportation and, as a result, more for all of the goods and services that we need to sustain us.
Thomas Jefferson said in 1824, in a letter to Henry Lee:
"Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties:
1 - Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes.
2 - Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depositary of the public interests.
In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves."
How prescient he was in describing the liberal ruling class elites of today and those of us who still believe in the voice of the people!
The only recourse for the Republican minority was to not give the Senate a quorum so that this ruinous bill would be passed. These men (and one woman) are comparable to our Founding Fathers who were willing to sacrifice their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor in order to preserve liberty. We salute them and support them and pray that God will bless and protect them!
Jim Rahi, Chairman
Jefferson County Oregon Republican Party
Trap shooters are champions
I am not sure how much our community knows about a group of kids over the past few years who have worked hard to become the 2019 Oregon State High School State Champions in trap shooting?
It started several years ago, when coach Kevin Tollefson stepped up to volunteer his time to put 9-year-old responsible kids on the front line of the trap range and teach them how to properly, and safely, shoot a clay bird that is flying out of a trap house at high speeds.
And with any volunteering, it doesn't just stop with Kevin. His wife, Carol, too has put in an instrumental amount of time organizing and arranging all the busy work behind the trap. This was all through the 4-H program, but as the popularity of the sport evolved, amongst young people, the Oregon State High School Clay Target League was formed in 2016, with Madras joining in 2017.
Since the conception of the OHSCTL, it has grown dramatically. In 2016, there were three high school teams that participated, with 27 student athletes who shot at the state tournament. In 2017, the state competition grew to 14 teams and 149 kids shooting at state. It was this 2017 year where the MHS Trap Team debuted and took the third-place trophy.
In 2018, those numbers grew again to 25 teams and 311 student athletes shooting at the state tournament. And, in 2018, our Madras High School Trap team took second in the state, falling to Hermiston as the state champions.
And that brings us to this year, 2019. Participating at the OHSCTL State Championship here in June were 28 teams with 398 students shooting. Many of these teams were bigger teams, with 30-plus student athletes on a team.
Our MHS Team ... eight student athletes carrying the torch for the White Buffalos into the State Competition. And as a team, they came out on top as the 2019 OHSCTL State Champions, beating out what has become their rival, the Hermiston Bulldogs, who had 38 shooting team members.
When these kids first started shooting competitively at the ripe age of 9 years old, we as parents were excited when they hit one target. Now, thanks to Kevin and his coaching, we have many student athlete shooters that are hitting 25 in a row.
Not only are they performing at such a high level, but they are doing so safely, and respectfully. During this one-day State Championship Tournament shoot, there were 50,000 rounds shot — and not one accident. There were 398 young kids with shot guns — and not one accident. There were 398 kids, and even more parents, and not one argument or "on field brawl." There were 398 kids that were supporting their team, as well as their competitors, cordially and respectfully. Thank you to Kevin, and Carol too, for taking the time to teach these kids the safety and knowledge of trap shooting.
Lastly, I would say this, although our White Buffalo trap team is a "Madras High School" trap team, they are not supported by our high school athletics or our administration when it comes to any type of funding. I would ask those administrators and our school board to look at these kids, their accomplishments, and what they stand for and how they respectfully represent Madras High School, and our community. Show these kids the support they need, just as they show support for other MHS sports, their school, and their community.
Protester offensive, unresponsible
I am writing today to address the protester last week in Madras, in front of City Hall. The protest sign said "F--- the Police." I don't know the personal story of the protester and respect their right to freedom of speech, but would like to suggest impacts they may not have thought through at the time. The person protesting looked like they were old enough to possibly have children.
I saw the protester while driving downtown with my 13-year-old grandchild who has had some issues in the criminal/law arena. He was impressed while I was not. Simply this ... while the protester may have issues with our local law enforcement personnel, it is extremely hard to teach an already delinquent child that:
A) We have many nonprofane words in the English language to describe our feelings and thoughts.
B) While we don't always agree with law enforcement personnel, they are humans trying to do their job and logically for the most part are there to simply enforce the law for us.Please, while exercising your rights in our country, try to remember that it may promote unintended reaction.
It takes a village ...
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