Letters published Oct. 18, 2019
Gas tax is a good deal
Perhaps it's a consequence of living in a great community, we feel it is a privilege to help support improvements to the infrastructure in Scappoose we all can enjoy. Hence, it is without hesitation that we will be voting yes for Measure 5-275, the 3-cent-per-gallon tax dedicated for improvements to our streets, sidewalks and traffic safety.
The bonus is that folks stopping for fuel in our marvelous community will be contributing to our streets and sidewalks. You probably cannot get a better bargain than that!
Scappoose sidewalks, streets need our help
We've all heard it said that the best tax is one that someone else pays. Well Measure 5-275, the proposed city of Scappoose 3-cents-per-gallon fuel tax, comes close. The measure only applies to fuel merchants inside the city and it ends after 10 years. The estimated $300,000 generated annually would be used to provide much-needed repairs to our sidewalks, streets and infrastructure. Most of this income will be paid by people who are non-residents and just passing through.
We live in a community of good people, good schools, a city government that cares and, in general, we are blessed with a great quality of life. Unfortunately, there's a glaring exception: Many of our sidewalks and streets are unsafe because they are in bad repair or nonexistent. When children and other pedestrians must step off to the side of the road when a car passes because there are no sidewalks, it's time to do something.
Measure 5-275 gives Scappoose residents the opportunity to fix this problem in the most painless way possible. If this measure does not pass, most of these improvements are unlikely to be done in the foreseeable future.
Thanks for voting yes on Measure 5-275.
Thanks for the gunfight, Mr. Brumbles
As a responsible rural gun owner and victim of multiple gun crimes, I do not think Chris Brumbles was directly involved in the St. Helens gunfight last week, when many bullets were fired in the city, but we all see that Brumbles craves attention and uses the dog whistle "Guns will save America! Be fearful of laws!" to get it.
The result is his strong, indirect relationship to many crimes.
During the recent crime, bullets did not hit their targets but were sprayed in an area with many people in danger. By chance, the initiator was killed near where Mr. Brumbles used to live in Deer Island. Traffic was diverted most of the day, causing about 3,000 driver/vehicle hours of delay and hassle— at $20/hour, there was a community cost of at least $60,000. Many law enforcement and legal hours will be expended; I estimate that cost at greater than $100,000 of our tax dollars. Add other costs, and our community was put at deadly risk at an expense of at least $250,000.
There have been about eight gun attacks in just St. Helens in the last year, more incidents of illegal gun usages, and still more in the rest of the county.
Mr. Brumbles, you hate a lot of things and deal in self-interest rather than high principle. The gun romancers are not the victims— the dead people are. Incessant deceptive rants like yours will cause extensive gun restrictions. What you use is a mashup of a very few facts mixed with TV and social media BS, and outright lies.
That is how propaganda works, and you use the methods of Karl Marx, Vladamir Lenin, Joseph Goebbels, and Julius Caesar, while claiming to hate them. Fear and hatred, then bread and circus. Especially circus. These are not the methods of the founders of America. It is not useful to the nation to claim that ending unfettered gun romance is the primary hazard we face when there are true threats.
You don't care about your community, nation or planet—- what are you going to do, sir? Shoot the climate? Blow up population increases, food and water shortages? Will an AR15 prevent death from ebola, tuberculosis, measles, etc.?
There are 400 million guns in the U.S., at a cost of at least $200 billion. That is enough money to do great good in America. Instead, it does us harm. The Afghan war has killed less than half of the people killed in the U.S. by gun murders; there are more than 11,000 U.S. gun murders every year, versus 4,500 deaths in Afghanistan.
Follow the money, gifts, favors and back-pats. Brumbles used to make a living doing drywall, an honest profession; now he does propaganda and hides his sources of income. The local papers alone have given him more than 1,000 column-inches of free political advertising.
Several years ago, I asked in print as a victim, if Brumbles would assist in the identification, arrest, prosecution and punishment of gun criminals. He did not respond, so I ask it again. I also hope that he will clean up his act and work on things that really do threaten our society — resource destruction, man-caused climate change, overpopulation and the violence industry that profits from harm to the people and society.
This gun owner is not your enemy, Chris — I ask you to be an honest and genuinely useful citizen.
Educate yourself about public transportation
I have noticed that some people seem to think that unless our CC Rider transportation system can survive on fares, then it should not be allowed to exist.
It is evident that the writers do not realize that there are no public transportation systems in the United states that exist on fares alone. In fact, there are no public transportation systems in all of North America, South America, Europe or Africa that exist on fares alone. All of these systems require additional money to exist.
How is this so?
Public transportation is part of a community's infrastructure. Most governments realize that for every dollar spent on public transportation, an additional $4 is generated in economic returns, according to statistics compiled by the American Public Transportation Association.
We cannot survive on private automobiles alone. If we want our community to thrive, if we want local jobs, if we want to enhance the lives of our local people, we need to support our CC Rider public transportation system.
Please vote yes on Measure 5-277.
St. Helens' Halloween bucks are fleeting
It was a wonderful sight to behold this past Saturday in downtown St. Helens — thousands of visitors here to celebrate Halloween. It reminded me of the days when St. Helens actually had a life.
I would expect the merchants will do very well during this celebration.
I also expect the expenses for the city will be high — tourist tax money notwithstanding.
Unfortunately, it is short lived and there continues to be many downsides.
The parking is intolerable. The beautiful view of the three-way confluence of the Columbia River, Lewis River and the Multnomah Channel is surrounded by metal fencing, scattered sand and gravel, plastic tents, weeds and dying trees.
The money being made during Halloweentown will not be sufficient to be used to develop this magnificent piece of land for which the citizens paid $3 million. It will not be sufficient to rectify the carcinogenic pond connected with this piece of land. It will not be sufficient to be used to clean up the water and land which have been poisoned by years of industrial neglect.
And it will not be sufficient to be used to replace the hugely oversized water treatment plant with which St. Helens was left when Boise Inc. moved out and stuck the city with an "as is" clause in the sales contract. No — that is being paid for by the citizens via their water bills.
So, why then is the total focus on Halloweentown?
Other than "secret and illegal" meetings in Portland, I cannot see any of these real problems being addressed by St. Helens administration.
And I doubt they will be. Unless, of course, the voters get together at the voting booth and replace all but one of the people now serving in elected positions for the vity of St. Helens. Clean the slate.
Frankly, this 80-year-old woman is tired of the petty but very damaging actions of the St. Helens administration. I don't know that I want to continue pointing out their obvious failings.
This is not a promise, however, because over the years I have had one heck of a lot of fun.
Response to Preheim: kettle, meet pot
I am happy to live in a country where both the citizens and the government are expected to follow the law. I wouldn't want to live under a dictatorial regime or under a single-party system where the "party" does whatever it wants.
I'm also glad that the citizens have some recourse when it appears that the government or the politicians, that are supposed to be overseeing the government, aren't following the law.
I find it disingenuous that Mr. Brady Preheim is complaining (see Letters, Oct. 11) that the city of St. Helens was sued for not following the law, or that city staff and the City Council were turned into the state ethics commission for not following the law (see "St. Helens City Council, mayor, focus of state ethics probe," Oct. 11).
I'm sure lots of folks wondered why city staff scheduled, and the mayor, who oversees administration, allowed for a closed executive session to be held in Portland. It is clear from the ethics commission's preliminary report and its decision to open an investigation, that the ethics commission felt that the complaint had merit.
Mr. Preheim is well versed in "whistleblowing." He should be thrilled that folks are following his lead by either suing organizations or turning in politicians.
Didn't he turn in Port of Columbia County Commissioner Paulette Lichatowich to the ethics commission just last year (see Spotlight, June 15, 2018)? Didn't he sue the local Democratic Central Committee (see Spotlight April 21, 2017)? Of all things, didn't Mr. Preheim even sue the Chamber of Commerce over the use of the chamber's own meeting room (see Spotlight Feb. 16, 2011)?
It seems to be Mr. Preheim's practice to use all the tools available to citizens to take others to task, regardless of the value of those complaints or the time and cost to others or the taxpayers.
"Is for the pot to call the kettle black." — William Penn, 1682
Let it go, part deux
I am not a fan of pot, alcohol or opioids. I also know that just about anything can be deadly if you take too much of it, including water — it is called hyperhydration. So is the solution to ban water because a few people abuse it? There are lots of business that are legal I don't like — like surface mining. If I have a choice, I would rather be next to a pot farm then a surface mine.
On January 16, 1919, the U.S. passed the 18th Amendment and banned all alcohol sales in the United Stated. How did that work out? It just created organized crime. In New York City alone, it was estimated by 1925 there were almost 100,000 illegal speakeasy clubs. On Dec. 5, 1933, ratification of the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th amendment. Did we not learn from this? Prohibiting an activity does not stop it, it just creates a crime syndicate — like the drug cartels we have today.
Oregonians passed medical marijuana in 1996 and recreational marijuana Measure 91 in 2014 by 56%. So, despite Al Petersen's plea to the St. Helens City Council and despite his letters in the papers, the people have spoken and have chosen to make pot legal.
There was an option to have a vote and "prohibited the establishment of Licensed Recreational Marijuana producers, processors, wholesalers, and/or retailers." Ninety-five cities and counties in Oregon did just that. Scappoose tried this and it failed. St. Helens voted to tax the sale of pot. If your city did not put the sale of pot up to a vote, your city is then specifically prohibited from blocking its sale. So even if all five city councilors wanted to block the sale of pot in St. Helens, they cannot legally prevent it.
Mr. Petersen also calls out Mayor Rick Scholl and Councilman Keith Locke as the cause of the pot scourge. As a person who ran against Mr. Scholl and who was soundly defeated by him in the election, I would expect a more sophisticated view of how cities run. The mayor or one councilperson does not control the city; it takes a vote of five people.
Perhaps you think this attack helps your political future?
The number one cause of death in the U.S. is heart
disease, with obesity a lead-
ing factor. I know, maybe
we should outlaw sugary drinks!
We all know how that conversation turned out in St. Helens.
Despite whistleblowers, the bold plow forward
Curious that Brady Preheim chose to contrast the newest in the never-ending attacks on outsider/reformer President Donald Trump by the Washington, D.C., career political class, (referred to by the mainstream media as a "whistleblower"), with a local event planner and her whistleblower nemesis.
Because if, as Preheim contends, St. Helens event planner Tina Curry plows forward through the undeserved accusations and attacks of her critic to do her job securing financial success and acclaim for the city of St. Helens; that is precisely what Trump has done for the United States. Regardless of the powerful corruption and systemic treachery of the Washington, D.C., swamp, disrupter/outsider Trump plows forward, continuing to negotiate America-first trade deals and garnering renewed respect for America and acknowledgement of our supremacy worldwide.
Preheim then lists his concerns with county use of other tourism dollars. Which brings to mind Joe Turner's advice (see Letters, Oct. 4) to vote no on Measure 5-277 in the Nov. 5 special election. As he noted, this proposed transit district provides a back door to his, (and all or our), bank accounts. Mr. Turner not only identifies the problem but offers the solution. Logic and self-preservation from increased taxation above and beyond the $2.6 billion sales tax, (which they refuse to call a sales tax), imposed on Oregonians this past legislative session by Gov. Kate Brown and her majority Democrat-controlled Legislature argue for Mr. Turner's position.
Oh, and back to that phone call "whistleblower": Since when is a whistleblower or an inquisition — er, "investigation" — needed into a phone conversation transcript that has been released by the president, to the world, for all to read? Just Google it and read it for yourself. California Congressman Adam Schiff is betting that you won't.
Columbia County GOP
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