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Letters to the editor for the Oct. 3 issue


Rail and river are key for county jobs

I am one of the 70 percent that travels out of the county every day for work. Local family-wage jobs are scarce in our county. I spend an hour in the morning commuting to work and an hour each night coming home. I do this so I can support my family, but this comes with the human cost; I lose over 40 hours a month in time I could be spending with my family or helping my community. And the monetary expense of paying for that travel results in dollars I cannot spend in the community.

If the price for a local family-wage job is having to wait five minutes once in a while for a train, that certainly is a no-brainer for me, as a trade off would save me huge hours in travel time and dollars spent. I know we all like to live here, but for our community to thrive, we need the local jobs and the taxes paid by the local industry to support our community. And, let’s face the facts, for industry to want to move here, it’s going to have to be because of the rail or the river, because our communities in Columbia County are on a highway to nowhere and 35 miles off the I-5 corridor is a big expense for a company trying to ship their product to market.

Derek Reinholdt

St. Helens

Not an environmentalist, but has some questions

I’m not an environmentalist, per se, but I do believe we are to be good stewards of our land. I wonder about the weed control chemicals that are sprayed along our roads, especially along our waterways. I wonder about the Round-up resistant genetically modified foods, their impact on our bodies, the bees that pollinate our food and the sustainability of organic farms.

I wonder about the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, that goes on in our country. If I understand this practice correctly, chemicals are sprayed deep into the earth to extract oil from around rock, oil that acts as a lubricant for shifting rock. This practice is both a ground water and earthquake concern, and is banned in other countries, but it is allowed here.

Where is the environmentalists’ outrage on these things that we are able to control?

Yet, the environmentalists’ America is leading the fight against global warming, handing out monies to other countries — money that we don’t really have to give.

To think we humans are able to mightily impact weather seems arrogant to me, given the scientific history of the earth, i.e. ice ages and the great flood that covered our earth. I wonder, what is all this really about?

Nancy Reed

Scappoose

Watch out for PACs

I ran for Port of St. Helens commissioner about a year and a half ago, unsuccessfully, as you might recall. However, it looked like I was going to win until the voters received expensive mailers supporting my opponent just before the election. These mailers came from a Political Action Committee, or PAC. This PAC was illegal because it had not filed with the state and there was no way for the voters to know who paid for the mailers. The mailers were sent to voters just before the election and I lost the election by a few hundred votes.

After the election, the PAC was fined by the state of Oregon for not registering itself. As it turned out, the PAC was funded by outside interests that do not live or work in Columbia County, including a large foreign-based multinational corporation. I urge you to look at any mailers you receive this voting season to see who is paying the bill. If the mailer is not paid for by the candidate’s campaign fund, you should be suspicious, as it may be funded by outside interests that don’t care about the people of Columbia County.

Any candidate supported by outside interests is probably representing outside interests, not the interests of the people and businesses of Columbia County. Let’s keep local elections in Columbia County.

Michael Clarke

Scappoose

Don’t miss this opportunity

We have an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, maybe several lifetimes, as owners of a billion-dollar manufacturing plant that will require no rail and will manufacture methanol, also called wood alcohol, are looking at building their plant in our county.

The tax revenue on a billion-dollar plant would instantly reduce the burden on residents. Contrary to Tammy Maygra’s statement in the Spotlight, no one builds a billion-dollar plant and mans it with unskilled and cheap labor. The ethanol plant next door has United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 manning their operation; they would have to pay similar wages to get skilled workers. We need industry to fill the need for jobs and tax revenue, as we are slowly and surely becoming a welfare county.

It has been 16 years since you’ve heard from me in the paper. I believe the county commissioners job to be very important to the success of our county. The creation of jobs, safety, livability and the utilization and management of our natural resources are an integral part of our community. Honesty and integrity are vital.

In the voters’ pamphlet, Columbia County commissioner candidate Wayne Mayo made statements that are misleading in an attempt to gather votes. He states he authored and was the chief petitioner for the four PUD takeovers. There were actually 12 people, and Wayne was one of three petitioners for Columbia City only.

As a former county commissioner, I had to swear that the information I provided to the voters’ pamphlet was true and accurate. People use this to make their voting decisions.

Joel Yarbor

Deer Island

Mayo has our best interests at heart

I have known Wayne Mayo for the past 30 years. I sincerely believe Wayne is the candidate that possesses the qualifications and leadership ability to oversee the operations and growth of Columbia County. He is very concerned with improving this county as the great place it is.

I have always admired Wayne’s business sense. He has the ability to manage his own business, be involved in the community, and all the while still raise a large family. Wayne is a person who will politely listen and give careful thought to your concerns and ideas.

Many of us agree with Wayne that we must find out where the millions spent in pursuit of the Millard Road hospital actually went.

Considering the feasibility of increasing the depletion fee is something that is long overdue. To some extent, the resources belong to all citizens. Depletion means once this resource is gone, it’s gone.

We need the kind of leadership Wayne will bring to our county. He honestly has our best interests at heart.

Paul Thayer

St. Helens

Neighborly endorsement

I have been a neighbor of Cathleen Callahan for many years. In fact, we both looked at the same two available homes in the neighborhood. We chose ours first, then, a little later, she bought the other one. We have helped each other out over the years and she has always been generous with helping to fund projects that affect our adjoining properties. I’m so amazed at her energy.

We have a shared driveway, so when she is on her way in or out, we sometimes stop to chat. She is always on her way to one of many volunteer functions she participates in some evenings and many weekends, or on her way to her law office in town to start her day with an early meeting with new clients. I know in my heart that if I ever need legal advice I can trust Cathleen to listen to all sides of the issue, both mine and any other party or parties involved, use all the resources available to her, and after careful consideration of all information available, make a fair and equitable decision that is in the best interest of all parties involved.

After knowing her character, and her work ethic, I know that she is ready to take her place on the bench as circuit judge. She is exactly the kind of person we can all trust to be a fair advocate for the people and the law.

She has my vote. She should have yours too.

Alan Boge

Rainier

Regarding Mayo’s voter pamphlet misstatement

I got to speak to Wayne Mayo last week. He was most apologetic and said that he is trying hard to make things right.

I believe him.

Wayne has called the Secretary of State’s office in Salem and is asking them to please delete the inaccurate statement involving him being the principal petitioner for the Columbia River PUD election. The pamphlet is already in print, however, and it is probably too late to do anything). Mayo also wrote to ORESTAR regarding bad wording and incorrect statements in the voters pamphlet.

I was the principal petitioner for St. Helens. I was responsible for all of our media contacts and advertising. The papers and KOHI were most helpful to us. Mike Sheehan helped us with the correct wording for our ballot title.

Wayne was the principal petitioner for Columbia City. Lori Piercy was for Rainier. I am not sure who it was for Scappoose. The Columbia County Elections Office has all of the correct information.

Lori Piercy did approach our political action committee, or PAC, and asked if we would support Rainier to transfer to the Clatskanie PUD. We were unanimous in our support for her to do so. No one negotiated. We were all in agreement.

It was 15 years ago and it is not unusual for our memories to play tricks on us. Wayne did go to all the Oregon Public Utility Commission meetings that they held here in the county, and he did testify when Enron tried to sue the Columbia River PUD, claiming it to be an improper election.

It was a group effort and we all worked hard to make this transition to cheap public power possible.

Bill Eagle

St. Helens

[Editor’s note: Please see A14 and B7 about Columbia County Board of Commissioner candidate Wayne Mayo’s statement submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office for inclusion in the Nov. 4 election voters pamphlet.]

Martwick responds to critics

Response to Fred Creps (see Letters, “Suspicious about Martwick’s sign story,” Sept. 19):

When a person is separated from their property, they have a right to act, within the law to reclaim it. Mr. Creps’ letter does not hold together logically, and suggests that is OK for someone to remove another person’s signs — it is not OK.

If a member of this community took these signs, for political reasons, or to build birdhouses, it is still wrong to take what is not yours. They should be returned to the rightful owner. All of these signs were in legal locations and were not “left up” after the election. This is merely an effort to confuse the issue, instead of doing what is right in this instance.

My offer stands. If anyone knows what happened to my campaign signs, please respond. We are a nation of laws, where everyone should act with care concerning each other’s property and rights to speech.

Response to Toni Swain (see Letters, “Concerns about Martwick,” Sept. 26):

I will not comment on the specifics of Ms. Swaim’s case; however, I considered the evidence that was presented and followed the law. I stand by my decision. On July 22, I received notice that Ms. Swain filed a complaint. I responded. On Aug. 15, the complaint was dismissed.

Columbia Circuit Judge Jean Martwick

Scappoose

Upping the ante on Martwick’s sign reward

The letter to the editor from Fred Creps castigating Columbia Circuit Judge Jean Martwick is interesting for the concepts within it, which I find to be as follows:

1. If you are a public servant and are paid for it, you should not be allowed to post a reward for theft.

2. The writer does not want to waste time or money prosecuting someone who is clearly in violation of the law, or in other words, there are no holds barred in election theft of signs, and trespass to take them.

3. The rights of the public to have freedom of speech putting up signs on private property in favor of a candidate should be ignored and trampled upon in this society.

A day or two after the election, signs for the candidate were stolen without our permission from our property on Highway 30. These were stolen from our property before they had to be removed, if they had to be removed at all. This amounts to a trespass against us.

If anyone has information leading to the prosecution of the ones who took signs from our property on or about May 21 to 25, 2014, we will pay a reward of $1,000.

I have a question for Mr. Fred Creps. Was his lawyer in 2004 or 2005 the judge’s opponent? The answer is at the Columbia County Courthouse. Just look up his name and you can see who his lawyer was.

Agnes Marie Peterson

St. Helens

Heimuller is for the good of the county

Henry Heimuller has my vote for Columbia County commissioner, and I hope he has yours. I have known Henry for over 15 years and I see how well he works with others as he goes about making Columbia County a better place for all.

Henry is great at building relationships, and that serves us well when it’s time to tackle tough issues. Whether he agrees with you or not, he’ll treat you with respect and listen to what you have to say.

Henry is also focused on bringing jobs home. He’s working with local agencies and business leaders to showcase Columbia County as a great place for new business opportunities, both large and small. These efforts should add good-paying jobs and also increase the tax base for our county, which will help fund county services.

I know many people are concerned about the trains. Henry was recently appointed to the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Rail Hazardous Materials Advisory Committee. I know he will work hard to ensure our rail lines are safe.

I want a county commissioner who treats everyone with respect and puts the good of the county before his own agenda. With so many challenges facing our county today, we need a proven and respected leader who can build consensus and work well with others. I have no doubt Henry is the right man for the job.

Libby Calnon

St. Helens

Mayo’s goals are not the county’s

I am sure that I will not vote for Wayne Mayo for a position on the Columbia County Board of Commissioners. I recall that in a previous race Mr. Mayo indicated that he had the goal of being elected as a member of Congress and he had to begin somewhere. How can he focus on Columbia County if he already has his sights set on Washington, D.C.?

Patrick Birkle

St. Helens

Supporting Martwick

I want to write in support of Columbia Circuit Judge Jean Martwick. I am a teacher at St. Helens High School and last spring in class we were doing series of mock trials in my street law class. During the process of teaching mock trial, I was introduced to Judge Martwick.

Judge Martwick visited my classroom on several occasions and presided over the trials that we had in class. She was extremely helpful in presiding over our class courtroom and spent time afterwards talking with kids and answering questions. In the process of all of this, I found Judge Martwick to be a very personable, professional, honest and hardworking person who believes in doing what is right and will give of herself to help others.

I am very hopeful that the community will support her and elect her to the position that Gov. John Kitzhaber appointed her to.

Please help me in supporting Judge Jean Martwick.

Keith Meeuwsen

Scappoose

Mr. Mayo, are you talking about a depletion tax?

For several months I have read Wayne Mayo’s letters with interest, especially his letters on a “gravel depletion fee.”

Mr. Mayo first stated that his proposal was based on Alaska's oil depletion fee. The problem is that Alaska doesn’t have an oil depletion fee. Alaska has a state property tax on oil and gas production facilities and pipelines, and a special state corporate income tax on oil producers. The state also collects royalties on oil and gas extracted from state lands.

Since I could find no reference to a “depletion fee,” could it be that Mr. Mayo has confused the common terms of oil/mineral depletion allowance or oil/mineral deduction with “depletion fee?” But a depletion allowance is a deduction a corporation or individual can claim on their tax form to compensate for the loss of their property value as oil/minerals are depleted. Instead of paying, they are reducing their tax burden.

When a fee is paid to a government entity for something produced, for wages received, something purchased, etc. it is called a tax. When a person running for a political office calls an obvious tax a “depletion fee,” I have to take note.

Is this person so against taxes that he has to call his proposed tax a fee? Is this person so ignorant that he doesn’t know the difference between a depletion allowance and a tax? Does this person believe the voting public can have the wool pulled over their eyes?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I do know that we are in need of truthfulness in any discussions on how to increase Columbia County revenues.

Garrett Lines

St. Helens

Callahan has earned my vote

I have volunteered with Cathleen Callahan and the local Special Olympics for two years, and have found her to be fiercely dedicated, not only to the organization, but to the athletes as well, including my son Evan.

She has earned the trust of the athletes, their families and the caretakers. Cathleen values the right of every person to develop and succeed in life, no matter the challenges. And there are challenges. Cathleen coaches the athletes who need one-to-one assistance, and who are often unpredictable.

Like all of us, she has been yelled at, hit, spit on, slapped — and loved unconditionally. Cathleen’s temperament and ability to connect with everyone is exactly what we need on the bench. Her willingness to step up and assist the city of Clatskanie when their city prosecutor abruptly resigned — while continuing her volunteer work, her law practice, and running for circuit court judge — should give you an idea of her organizational skills and work ethic.

Having compassion means that fairness follows. You need to have compassion and understanding to identify with all parties and ensure a fair outcome. Cathleen is fair, but she is also tough. She knows the law and will enforce it. The community trusts Cathleen, and she is fair to everyone, regardless of their status.

She is ready for this position, and she has my vote.

Cathleen Callahan deserves your vote too.

Rhonda Kirtland

St. Helens

By comparison, I will vote for Martwick

Having served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for several years, I have interacted with both candidates for judge.

Here is my comparison of information each candidate provided in response to a questionairre from the Oregon State Bar.

Martwick lived her entire life in Oregon. Callahan is from Las Vegas.

Martwick graduated law school in 1995. Callahan graduated law school in 1990.

Martwick began her legal career in 1996. Callahan worked in accounting/front desk at a hotel for 10 years after getting her law degree.

Martwick passed the bar exam in 1996, one year after completing law school. Callahan passed the bar exam in 2000, 10 years after completing her law degree.

Martwick’s community activities are “active”: teaching about mental illness, teen court judge, mock trial competitions, library coordinating committee, and she serves on boards as well. Callahan’s community activities are “passive”: pro-bono for several nonprofits, advisory committee member, and board memberships.

Martwick is a certified mediator. Callahan has no experience in mediation.

Martwick described former Columbia County Circuit Judge Donald Kalberer as the legal figure she admires, and aspires to be like. Callahan described Amanda Berry, a kidnapping victim.

Martwick states, in five years, she has tried to conclusion 11 cases as sole counsel, and over 100 as co-counsel. Callahan states she has tried to conclusion at least three per year, but doesn’t state sole or co-counsel, as the question asked.

Martwick’s “other information” concerned the lengthy investigation and interview process involving two other candidates (Callahan was one) for the judgeship Martwick now holds. Many judges in other counties, as well as prominent legal experts, selected Martwick for the appointment by Gov. John Kitzhaber to the position of circuit court judge in Columbia County. Callahan’s response to “other information” is that she makes enough money to provide a living for herself and one employee.

Additional answers to their questions can be found on the Oregon State Bar Judicial Voters Guide pamphlet.

Being active in the community, I have seen Martwick working at many community events, the fair, Scappoose days, and up to her knees in mud at the Easter egg hunt. I have seen her represent dozens of folks as a court-appointed attorney. Martwick gave her full attention to each client, as well as was always on time and at every meeting for her clients in and outside of court. I have only seen Callahan waving from a car covered with her campaign posters.

My biggest question would be, why was there a 10-year gap between Callahan graduating law school and passing the bar exam?

Yvonne Pea

Warren

[Editor’s note: The pamphlet and questionnaire responses for each candidate, which were provided prior to a March deadline, can be found online at osbar.org/judicial/jvg14nov.html. Callahan and Martwick are running for position 1 in the 19th District for Columbia County Circuit Court. According to the OSB, it does not edit or verify information provided by candidates.]

Supportive of Heimuller

I have known Henry Heimuller since his daughter, Mikela, was a student in my first-grade class. She is now 19.

Right away he was an involved, concerned parent who came to have lunch with her several times a week. Not only was he interested in his daughter’s education but also other students’ education, as well as volunteering at the schools and on field trips.

A very personable guy, that was the beginning of a cherished friendship our family has had with the Heimuller family to this day. We have found Henry to be honest, trustworthy, reliable and very helpful. As a former paramedic, at any sign of an accident or problem, Henry is right there assisting or directing others to help. I have witnessed his offering of assistance on numerous occasions. To almost any question, Henry has a thoughtful, ready reply.

Being a pillar of the community, Henry is, indeed, involved. He is an active member of many civic clubs and is a board member of many local organizations. Henry does not sit around. He knows people, likes people and is always willing to lend a hand.

I could go on and on telling about the many ways Henry has helped our county, but “actions speak louder than words.” He lives by the motto “the more the merrier!” and is inclusive of everyone.

As he has for the last almost four years, I believe Henry will continue to be a very fine Columbia County Commissioner.

Vote for Henry.

Patty Cvetich Rismoen

St. Helens

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