Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



County commissioners race inspires letters; passing of two longtime Jefferson County residents noted; Cascade East Transit appreciated

Ashwell, Henderson had great impact

As a longtime former Jefferson County resident, I was saddened to read of the passing of Mel Ashwill and Don Henderson in the Pioneer. Their volunteerism and contributions to the geology and history of Jefferson County are recognized and appreciated by many.

Jefferson County is fortunate to have ongoing reminders of our past through the Madras Pioneer articles and interviews, the Jefferson County Historical Society's work and publication of The Agate, and The Deschutes Land Trust preservation efforts.

Stan Pine


Businessman backs Fording

As a small business owner in Jefferson County for the past 17 years, I wanted to express to my fellow Jefferson County citizens my appreciation for and complete support of County Commissioner Wayne Fording.

Some 12 years ago, I met Wayne as he first ran for a position on the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners. I asked Wayne what he could do for the Crooked River Ranch community. His response was simple, he would represent our community with the same enthusiasm as any other community in the county. He would be a phone call away should questions or concerns arise, and though his home and business are in Madras, would visit our community regularly to get to know our citizens and address any of our concerns. Over these 12 years, that promise has been kept.

Over the years, I have talked occasionally with Wayne, as well as the other board members, most recently Mae Huston and Kelly Simmelink. Through my numerous years in corporate management, and the last 17 years running a small business in our great county, I find this current group of hard-working, civic-minded Board of Commissioners the best group that any county could be blessed with.

I'm sure Wayne's opponent is hard working and has the greatest intentions for our county. However, I do not believe with our current struggles with COVID-19, resulting in business losses and certainly negatively affecting our county government, this would be a good time to replace the experience and conservative leadership Commissioner Wayne Fording provides.

I ask all my fellow citizens to join me in the full support of Wayne and please cast your vote to retain the experience and solid leadership Wayne Fording provides to our county.

Randy Knight

Big Dog Saloon, Inc.

Crooked River Ranch

Cascade East Transit appreciated

We are so fortunate in Madras to have free transportation given to us by Cascade East Transit. They pick us up from our home or any other destination to take us wherever we want within Madras. Rides are also available to Redmond and Bend.

Drivers sanitize seating after each ride. It's mandatory to wear a mask and social distance.

Cascade Transit staff efficiently handles reservations, and drivers are friendly and very caring, as well as being proficient drivers.

Thank you, Cascade East Transit, for giving us excellent transportation.

Glennis Fellas

Glenda Jones


Schmith has made a great impact on us

I am voting Kim Schmith for Jefferson County Commissioner. Our family first had contact with Kim and her husband Steve Evers when they became Big Sister and Big Brother to our oldest son six years ago. Kim and Steve became an important part of our sons' life, and then our oldest daughter's life and now also our youngest daughter's life. I know I can call on Kim if I need support. She has shown incredible dedication to our family over the years.

When Kim found out I worked with MountainStar Relief Nursery, she asked me questions about the services we provide the community and all the families we support. Next thing I knew, she had arranged for her church to help us gather school supplies, became a donor, and volunteered in many ways for the families we serve.

I want this from our leaders. I want leaders like Kim who are dedicated to the families in our community. I want leaders like Kim who donate their time to making life better for every one of us and who get things done. I am now a member of Kiwanis after seeing the dedication Kim has in Kiwanis with the Madras High School students in Key Club and because Kiwanis does Operation Rudolph. I donated a couple of afternoons to this project, which Kim is lead on, and was so impressed with how she organized everything, kept everyone volunteering busy and happy in their volunteering. With her dedication, Operation Rudolph prepares gift boxes for over 300 families a year. I want a leader who shows this dedication for her county.

Kim Schmith is the person I trust to be our county commissioner. I know she will serve with integrity, and I know she will work hard for the people in our communities. Join me in voting Kim Schmith for Jefferson County Commissioner.

Amethyst Hernandez


Local farmer: Climate change or biggest issue

I've farmed in Central Oregon for over 30 years. I believe that climate change is the

biggest challenge that we, and the whole world, face. It is here and now. We need to take the necessary actions to address the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change. It is complicated somewhat in how all the carbon emissions and industrial pollutants affect weather patterns and temperature changes. I am not a scientist, but, I believe them more every day.

Yeah, it kinda snuck up on us. Have you pulled up behind an older log truck at a stop light? The light turns green and the trucks exhaust bellows out a big batch of black smoke and it wafts away upwardly losing itself in the air. Yeah, that is how climate change gets started. You see it and you can't see it. It has been going on since the industrial revolution. It will take a long, long time to get a handle on it. With a lot of determination and Yankee perseverence, we will triumph again. A full court press will come fortho. Our ozones are getting stuffed up with it and are giving our climate irregularities more heft and unpredictability.

All the fires on the west coast have been unlike anything I have ever witnessed. With the horrendous fires that California has had in the last two or three years, we should not have been too surprised that it came to our region. All the little towns that were burned off the map. It's heartbreaking. I believe it is climate change. Can anyone disprove it? No!

The last two years had brought us smaller snowpacks in the Cascades, which gave us less water for irrigation and more land to lay fallow. Less snowpack also meant dryer forests and coupled some hot winds, we came up with an explosive set of circumstances that triggered the conflagrations. The fires were off to the races, with a lot of gagging smoke. However, we are getting close to our elections, and they can make a difference. In the state senate, an impass developed over a climate change bill - HB2020. The minority GOP would not deal or negotiate. The democrat majority plan would raise some taxes on fuel gradually over a few years. It was structured to tax the metropolitan areas first and then delay the rural taxation for the rural areas and to mitigate the plan. Guess what? The 12 Republicans walked out killing the bill depriving its passage because of a lack of quorum. Democracy failed! Rough-shod!

Lynn Findley was one of them. We can, we must do better. I would like to endorse Carina Miller. She would be a free enterprize Democrat. She has a lot of expertise in tribal, local, and state affairs legislation. She has a good education which will serve us well. Her temperment and intellect will enable her to mesh with members of both parties with different philosophies and viewpoint,s and make winners on both sides. I sense a unique type of tradecraft from Carina which will be invaluable in negotiating with politicians of each party. Egos must be malleable and compromise is essential to make progress. Any more walkouts will hinder progress. Let's elevate democracy to which we all aspire and elect Carina Miller to the senate.

Jim Gilbertson


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