Letters to the Editor: Feb. 6
To protect the land, first we must be able to afford it
Urban environmentalists exerted their power over helpless rural communities resulting in significantly reduced timber harvests the end of the last century. For generations, timber jobs were a way of life, a family tradition.
Now that we have transitioned to other industries, environmentalists continue to prevent us from working.
You will never hear of those who believe in furthering a negative environmentalist agenda. We all care about preserving the environment and believe in rational environmental policies. In order to protect the land we live on, we must be able to afford to live on that land.
The economic future of rural Oregon depends on projects like the Port Westward Project at the Port of St Helens to create sustainable, living-wage jobs that empower us to provide for our families and our communities.
Global Partners purchase of troubled plant good news
The Global Partners offer to buy Cascade Kellys Port Westward operation is good news. The Cascade Grain facility was never viable even when it was funded by massive taxpayer subsidies and by government coercion to purchase the product. Moreover, ethanol, a carbon-based fuel, is an environmental disaster which uses massive amounts of water, land, fertilizers and fossil fuels to replace oil. In fact, the plant produced no mentionable amount of product even before its 2009 bankruptcy. From the beginning to end, this effort to subsidize renewable energy was a mistake.
The supply of oil and gas in North America has gone up dramatically and the price of oil and gas within the United States is lower than the world price and so it is in the interest of North America to export some of that fuel.
It is in the interests of Columbia County to have the jobs at the facility and to have the additional jobs which should be created by the existence of the facility and the availability of relatively inexpensive product.
We have some experience in monitoring such operations. Columbia County has long profited from the Mist gas fields and associated operations. In its decades of operation, Mist has never had an environmental problem; it has contributed to the state and county coffers by paying royalties on the gas and taxes on income; and its employees have been valued and productive citizens in this county.
The Global buy-out of Westward should be a win win for all of us.
First we must cherish life
A little history for the current debate on the control of weapons concerning the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: assault type weapons possibly are not the cause. It is, as everyone knows, the lack of responsibility and conscience of the operator.
In 1914 a British Army Sgt. Snoxall set a record (which still stands to this day) with a single bolt action Lee-Enfield (303 round). He made 38 hits on a 12-inch target at 300 yards in 1 minute. That particular rifle of the day did have a 10-round magazine.
I, like a lot of people of my age and background, have been around weapons my whole life. Like my father, uncles and many members of my family, I have owned and cared for personal weapons of various types and I and a vast genealogical line of family members have also been trained by the best instructors that the armed services of United States of America could provide.
We have been trained in weaponry to defend this nation against its enemies in areas that include the autumn leaves in New England, green valleys of the Shenandoah, fields in France, ancient monuments of Italy and the islands and jungles of the Pacific.
Now, with the passage of time, I have a small collection of weapons. Some have taken human life (a German weapon acquired somewhere between North Africa and Trieste, Yugoslavia) and others that have taken cattle, horses, deer, elk and other various animals for food, protection or to relieve suffering. From this love and lore of weapons, also the teachings of respect and responsibility were embraced; not only for the care, maintenance and skill with a weapon, but also for the respect and responsibility of the living.
There maybe some legislative changes to the control of weapons, but truly the changes need to be more about the teachings of the cherishment and the love of life.
David E. Teuscher
Coal exports are
Coal exports that are proposed in our communities are not just about jobs or the economy, its really about the people who live there. The reality is that our rural areas are struggling. Green jobs are great, and they are neccesary as they promote the cleaner future, but we need reliable jobs now. County budgets such as Columbia County, have huge budget gaps because the loss of federal timber payments that have ended. Schools and public buildings in these areas are falling apart. We need real sources of revenue to ensure the future of these communities. We cant wait for the green economy to arrive, because by then it will be too late. Tax revenue from proposals like the Port Westward Project can save the counties.
Business Manager, Roofers Union Local 49, Portland
My legislative agenda
Here is my current agenda. Please submit its bills or give me your seat.
1) 10-10 Sunset Law end 10 percent of the government at every level each year automatically so it must be voted on to re-fund for another 10 years so that the entire government gets examined every 10 years. Failure to do this is consistent with a reason America split from England being taxed for things current voters had not voted on.
2) End landlord slavery Repeal ORS 91.255, which gives special rights to municipal utilities.
3) Reduce innocents in prison Require District Attorneys to instruct juries that they, as the ultimate deciders in a trial, can vote to remove various administrative rules quashing evidence and even throw out the DA and judge if necessary to get true justice. This could reduce the 25 percent of future innocents railroaded into prison. See www.freetom.info for more facts.
4) Make poor people invent. If all poor people invent, our standard of living would rapidly increase and welfare would be less needed except for the completely disabled and, there would be more available for them instead of less than needed. Rich inventors may not want government money but poor people who would get it anyway may as well be required to invent as much as the employment office requires looking for jobs.
5) Remove property taxes from individuals making minimum wage or less could cause poor people to work toward home ownership.
6) Create judicial protection require the Bar to disbar judges for the same reasons they would disbar DAs and other lawyers. Currently there is no way a citizen can complain about the behavior of a judge unless the judge is provably intoxicated the Oregon Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability only investigates Judges disabled by intoxicants.
7) Establish scholarship fund for all high school students who demonstrate knowledge of the Bible sufficient to recite a Gospel and write at our Founders level equal to the writing level in the Oregon Constitution, Section 1. It may be called the future legislator scholarship.
8) Require an ethics investigation for legislators who fail to read all of their constituent contacts or failing to act on a high percentage of them, without stepping down from office.
9) End one party rule of both House and Senate. Require co-chairs so one party cant freeze out the opposition. Or completely end party affiliations on election for Legislature as for judges.
10) Legislators for a day in cases where elected legislators dont want to sponsor a constituents bills for political reasons, create a day where each active constituent can come in and submit his or her own bills thus eliminating the political repercussions for the legislator. This could be limited to one bill per topic to reduce a flood of similar bills.
Kirk W. Fraser
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