Letters to the editor
Donations sought for Scappoose Easter egg hunt
The Scappoose Kiwanis Club will once again be sponsoring the annual Scappoose Easter Egg hunt, scheduled for Saturday, April 15, at 10 a.m. at Grant Watts Elementary School playground. We are hoping that you will be able to support this event by making a donation.
Last year we hid over 5,000 plastic eggs with candy and toys, for children ages 0-12 years of age. Each year this event continues to grow in popularity and in 2016 we had an excellent turnout, providing a fun and safe event for the local children.
Please send monetary donations to the Scappoose Kiwanis Club at P.O. Box 482, Scappoose, OR 97056. Please indicate that your donation is for the "2017 Easter Egg Hunt."
Donations of supplies such as candy, toys, Easter baskets, coupons for food/products, or other Easter-related supplies are welcomed and appreciated. Donations may be dropped off at Otto Petersen Elementary School in care of Karen Stoel, fourth-grade teacher.
`It would be appreciated if donations are received by Monday, April 10.
We would like to thank you for your support of this community event. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like additional information and/or if I can be of assistance in this matter.
Scappoose Kiwanis Club
Have we lost the value of citizenship?
While in Powell's Books a few years back I came upon a book titled, "Just How Stupid Are We? — Facing the truth about the American voter," authored by Rick Shenkman. The book includes five characteristics of stupidity in chapter two.
"There are five characteristics of stupidity. First is sheer ignorance: ignorance of critical facts about important events in the news, and ignorance of how our government functions and who's in charge. Second is negligence: the disinclination to seek reliable sources of information about important news events. Third is wooden-headedness defined as: the inclination to believe what we want to believe, regardless of the facts. Fourth is shortsightedness: the support of public policies that are mutually exclusive, or contrary to the country's long-term interests. Fifth is bone-headedness: the susceptibility to meaningless phrases, stereotypes, irrational biases, and simplistic diagnoses and solutions that play on our hopes and fears."
While teaching avionics in the military in the mid-1970s I developed a screening test for new recruits to check their capabilities, considering the program required them to have a high school diploma and one year of algebra. How was their ability to listen and comprehend spoken English, read and
comprehend written English, perform simple math, and solve basic algebraic problems?
On average 25 percent of my students were illiterate in these areas and, when asked, the most common answer was that they were given passing grades to maintain their eligibility to play sports. Over the past three election cycles while reading editorials and letters to the editor, I now question just how knowledgeable voters are in our country. Democrats have embraced far-left progressive liberal socialism since 2008 and Republicans have embraced right-thinking conservatism since 2010, and are now leaning even further right toward populism. Just where does the Constitution of the United States enter the equation?
The Constitution was written by our Founding Fathers in simple English because the average education of the populace was at an eighth-grade level. Our Founding Fathers also voiced concern in their personal notes that educated politicians such as doctors and lawyers would lead to the creation of a hierarchy class, and that the country would no longer be a government of the people, by the people and for the people. This is why I support the repeal of the 17th Amendment of the Constitution, and forever ban the professional political class that permeates inside the beltway of Washington, D.C., and even into our state and local governments.
Being a registered non-affiliated voter, I think communities in our country should provide routine non-partisan public classes in Constitution law, public administration and communication — written and oral — to ensure our population can perform their duty as citizens without the partisan name-calling and hatred.
We are a nation of laws, yet there are so many that average Americans do not even know which ones they are breaking, i.e. traffic, business, criminal, immigration, constitutional — get the picture?
What is more important, watching sports and checking Facebook or being citizens?
Looking for a natural gas bargain
Wholesale natural gas prices dropped from 3.30 to 2.85 dollars per million BTU last month, the largest single drop since January 2015, even as we experienced lingering snow.
One reason — natural gas is being captured as a byproduct of ever more efficient oil fracking and creating an oversupply. Keep in mind even a 3 percent oversupply begins to back up storage capacity as weeks turn into months.
The long-term effect on residential users should be another reduction in rates, as happened in 2015 when the rates were lowered by 11 percent.
While electric rates in Columbia County remain among the lowest in the nation, natural gas will become a bargain as well.