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Letters to the editor published May 20, 2016

Community generosity makes Buddy Poppy fundraiser work

Memorial Day is the 30th of May, and is observed on the last Monday of the month, a three-day holiday.

The annual Buddy Poppy fundraiser for the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Scappoose will be this coming weekend, May 20 and 21, Friday and Saturday.

Many of our local businesses have generously allowed the VFW to utilize their locations again, and there will be a new location this year.  

Along with Fred Meyer, Grocery Outlet and Ace Hardware, Ichabod’s and the Post Office, the new Bi-Mart management has welcomed the VFW with space in the front entrance. The VFW is very grateful for the support from all these facilities as it allows the VFW to participate in this important fundraising event.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars is a nonprofit organization, and all the funds donated for the gift of a simple poppy remain here locally, supporting our veterans and their families in times of need. Without the generosity of not only the retail outlets granting space, and the unselfish and humanitarian donations the citizens of our community give to the VFW, many needs would go unaided.  

Tom Ford


VFW Post 4362


A legacy of Buddy Poppies

The official memorial flower of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post and Auxiliary is the Buddy Poppy. They have been distributing our veteran-made Poppies since 1921 and, no matter what the cost, the memorial poppy is never sold, but given in exchange for a contribution. Contributions collected are used for veterans and their families. By wearing a poppy, America says, “We remember” to all veterans.

It is a small way that each of us can show respect to our veterans who have given so much. Look for the Poppy Day volunteers at different businesses in St. Helens, May 20 and 21.

Wear a poppy and honor the American ideals of freedom, justice and equality. It is a small way to show your respect for all veterans. Think of all the freedoms we enjoy and take for granted that the veterans have fought for us to have.

One hundred percent of all money received is given for helping a veteran.

Post 1140 and Auxiliary of St. Helens have given money to help the new Fisher House in Vancouver, Wash. It had its grand opening in March of this this year. Fisher House is a place for a family member to stay while their veteran is at the Veteran’s Hospital.

The veterans at the hospital are from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California and Colorado.

We have bought birthday gifts for the veterans at the hospital.

We make afghans and neck pillows, and buy things they need.

We have bought yarn and stuffing for the pillows.

We have helped a veteran widow who lost her husband.

We helped pay for a ramp that a veteran needed.

We bought Christmas gifts for the veterans in the local nursing home and assisted living homes. We have taken clothes to veterans at the White City hospital.

We gave to the bunker on South 13th Street that helps veterans.

We gave a scholarship to a student who wrote his “Vision for America” Voice of Democracy essay.

We appreciate each and every contribution.

Sherry Belden

VFW Post 1440 Auxiliary

St. Helens

Appreciating the value in nature

In the heart of St. Helens on Highway 30 there is a grove of beautiful ancient oak trees. I have watched this area change from a mobile home park where the trees were left standing, to a parcel of land for sale, sold — sale failed — and, now, ready to be sold to the highest bidder early in June.

I have walked through this grove of trees and been enchanted by their health and beauty. I have hoped that at some point the city or county would see this small grove as important to the community and worth buying and saving as a public resource. I fantasized that the owners would work out some plan with the city or county to preserve these monster trees that hold in their branches the life of our planet.

Now my silent prayer is that whoever buys this land recognizes the value of these incredible oaks and does not decimate them in favor of asphalt and housing.As we should all know by now, forests, plants and trees are the hope of our planet for survival. Certainly, we know that time in nature such as this grove of great giant oaks is good for the heart and soul and health of all beings.

So this letter is my not so silent prayer that these old giants can continue to grace the heart of St. Helens.

Mary Duvall


Time to shake up the system

The English House of Commons-Lords  is outstanding theater. When in session, they’re all in the room, engaged. They offer traditional sounds and groans. It’s hard to take your eyes away. But England is small and easy to get home for the lawmakers.   

The American model of senators and congressmen debating issues on the floor has long been abused and dysfunctional. Often times, they give a speech to an empty room just for the voters. This makes a mockery of the process. If other senators aren’t listening, why should I?

I suspect I’m not alone in this sentiment.

Remember, most of early America was on the East Coast and they didn’t have the Internet.  

Additionally, representatives hear daily from special interests who in turn give donations for their re-election. This model is corrosive to true representative government.

What if our senators and congressmen worked daily in their home state where we could actually visit with them? With “Go To Meeting” and other similar technology products out there, why wouldn’t this work? This, as opposed to needing to live in the Washington Beltway, recently named the most expensive real estate in the nation? 

It would reduce the need for the senators and congressmen to constantly fund raise.

Rather then going from one door to the next, defense contractors, special interests, news outlets, and think-tanks would have to work much harder.

We “people,” the voters, would stand a much better chance of actually knowing our representative. 

Keep some tradition — say, they fly to Washington for the State of the Union Address, maybe one other regal event, plus emergencies.  

The French courtier system that American governance has disintegrated into needs to be shook up and upgraded. Just like laws, walls and roads.

Wayne Mayo


The lesser evil

Republican Donald Trump won’t reveal his income tax returns and Democrat Hillary Clinton lied about her emails.

At this point, does it really matter which dishonest front runner gains the Oval Office?

How about this scenario — the skirmish overseas escalates and we’re forced to run President Barack Obama through for a third term. Although that may sound unattractive, it most certainly is the lesser of the other two evils. Just try and imagine Hillary or Donald at the helm when Russia or China decides to get cranky. Hillary could tell’em a lie or Donald would refuse to negotiate, ‘cuz he said so!

Sounds like kids on a playground, doesn’t it? Except World War III ain’t no playground and these kids are dangerous.

Jim Harris


Thank you, Scappoose community

On behalf of the Scappoose Fire District, I want to thank our residents for supporting our five-year levy that takes effect July 2017.

We will continue to be fiscally responsible and be able to concentrate on providing our community with the emergency services they have relied on. Our community has told us many times that they want Scappoose Fire to provide fire protection and the ambulance service.

The community trusts us to be there for them when they call us.

We are committed to continuing to provide excellent service to the community.

Thank you again for your support.

Mike Greisen

Fire Chief

Scappoose Fire District