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Letters to the editor for the Nov. 21 issue

Thankful for the community

On Friday, Nov. 14, my son and his friend were walking home from school when they were struck by a vehicle. Our family would like to say thank you to our community, because everybody worked together. Thank God both boys are alive.

This was very scary for those involved and those who witnessed the accident. The Scappoose fire department’s paramedics, the Scappoose police, and even an off-duty Columbia County deputy sheriff was there. The deputy assisted at the scene while his family patiently waited in the car. My son remembers his kindness. Also, the Scappoose Middle School principal was wanting to go to the hospital with the boys, but there were not enough seats. It is nice to know that my son’s school staff really goes the extra mile for our children.

So, thank you to Columbia County and the people who make it a safe and wonderful place to live. Although there could never be enough money to pay for those kinds deeds — and those boys’ lives are priceless — we hope you will accept our appreciation as payment and know that what you do on a daily basis to help others means so much more than words.

Please remember to hug your child every day and be thankful.

Angela Newman and family


Jail plan is failing

According to our news media, in early October, Clatsop County Interagency Narcotics Taskforce, with help from the Clatskanie Police Department, led an investigation into a suspected methamphetamine and heroin dealer. Authorities believed he was selling large amounts of both drugs in Westport and Clatskanie.

Near the end of October, the suspected dealer was arrested in Columbia County for possession and delivery of a controlled substance for both methamphetamine and heroin, felon in possession of a firearm, frequenting a place where controlled substances are used and an outstanding warrant, according to the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office. Three others were also arrested, including another felon.

Detectives seized more than $5,600 in cash, two rifles, a pistol, a revolver, large amounts of marijuana, 2.5 ounces of heroin, 9.5 ounces of methamphetamine, scales, packaging material and other related items, Clatsop County Sheriff Tom Bergin reported.

After all the time and effort put in, these suspected criminals were each given a get out of jail free card?

Oh, I forgot, they didn’t even go to jail. Are you kidding me?

Columbia County Sheriff Jeff Dickerson’s explanation is unacceptable. If he wanted them in jail, they’d be sitting there right now. He’d figure out a way to make it happen.

I don’t understand what is going on here, but perhaps someone needs to take the time to look into Columbia County law enforcement.

Nancy Reed


Conflicted morals?

On page A3 of the Nov. 14 issue of the Spotlight, I was flabbergasted to see that our precious Columbia County Commissioner Henry Heimuller is suddenly so benevolent to allow us to have more access to information on him and what he’s doing. So much for the idea that ours is a government “of the people, by the people and for the people.” Thank you so much commissar. I wonder if you would have still won the election had all your books been open sooner?

Right below this article glorifying Heimuller for his newfound transparency is the second half of the story about the Port of St. Helens’ intention to bring something right down the middle of our cities out here in Columbia County. They won’t say what it is; they’re just denying it’s coal or methanol. At least it’s not right now. So what are they going to do here?

Isn’t it ironic that one story promises openness and access, while the other misleads and conceals? Perhaps our beloved Heimuller can find out what’s going on with the port? He seems to have such a good relationship with them. And now that he’s going to be more transparent, he should anxiously want to tell us all about the plans the port has.

Right, Henry?

Greg Chapman


A thought about politics

Politics: Unless it is truly modified by morality, with a clear recognition of a Creator to whom mankind is responsible, politics not only will not save us, politics cannot save us from our self-destruction.

Capt. Dean Nichols


Renters’ rights re-do

I am really concerned: why does it take a landlord 31 days to repay the renter’s deposit? It should be repaid the day of the walk-through.

I believe that all deposits should be out into an interest account and the renter should get interest paid on their deposits. In my opinion, landlords are screwing the renters on the deposits.

Now, I understand that now it is mandatory that renters have to have renter insurance. Then we wonder why people have a hard time paying their rent. Are the landlords getting a kickback from the insurance companies? Are the landlords going to make it mandatory from the renter to pay for their toilet paper?

Renters, wake up. Do you know how or if your landlord or property manager is protecting your personal information? I strongly believe that background checks need to be done on landlords. I also believe that it should be illegal for any landlord to collect any money for background on any application fee. Identity theft is on the rise. Are landlords really protecting your personal information? A red flag should come up when a landlord does not agree for the renter to do a background check on them.

This really concerns me.

Ken Samson


McConnell betrayed conservatives

An old folk song asks, “When will we ever learn?” So it is that before the jubilation of liberty-loving “conservatives” has hardly had a chance to die down from the recent Republican election gains we have in-your-face betrayal.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is the likely new Senate leader and he has wasted no time showing what sort of direction we can expect Republicans to take us. On Nov. 18, he led the vote to kill legislation intended to protect citizens from the unconstitutional spying program that has been going on since President George W. Bush abused his power to set up secret courts which would authorize unprecedented surveillance of all Americans.

This seems to be a pattern. Constitution-minded, liberty-loving Americans are voting into power a party that advertises one thing and very reliably does another. I, for one, am no longer fooled and refuse to buy into the Republican rationale for international empire building, catering to corporate interests and the so-called patriotism of giving up my freedoms.

So, when will we ever learn?

Bob Ekstrom