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Letters to the Editor

From experience, Dickerson is the best choice

A little over a year ago, I retired from the Sheriff’s Office after 22 years of service. I have worked with five different sheriffs over that period of time, including Sheriff Jeff Dickerson.

Sheriff Dickerson is one of the best sheriffs I have ever worked for. His passion for empowering staff to solve problems and his genuine compassion

for the individual helped transform the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office into a dynamic team.

I have seen firsthand Sheriff Dickerson’s leadership skills and devotion to duty, and I can assure you that he is the best candidate for the job.

I urge you to re-elect Jeff Dickerson as our sheriff.

Jim Carpenter, Scappoose

Unanimous family support for Baldwin

We are writing to express our support for Marty Baldwin as our next city councilman. In full disclosure, we are his family. Kristen is Marty’s daughter, Ben his son-in-law, and Molly and Jack his grandchildren.

Our belief in Marty as city councilman goes beyond family ties. We believe Marty is the man to make sound and responsible decisions for our community. He is a common-sense type of guy who knows what he knows, works to understand what he doesn’t and keeps communication open, honest and inclusive as dynamics shift. He is an active listener, taking into account all of the information available before recommending a course of action.

He will bring these skills to City Council and will work for full disclosure and community advocacy in council decision-making.

Marty is honest and keeps his word. There has never been a time in our lives when he has not said what he meant, did what he said he would do and give 100 percent in the process.

Marty’s career with law enforcement and later as a CEO for the Boy Scouts of America required regular relocation for professional promotion. Having moved to Scappoose at one opportunity, he and Katie knew they had found more than another house, they had found home. Having lived and traveled up and down the West Coast, they knew Scappoose was special, so much so they made it their home through one last career location and into retirement.

To Marty, Scappoose means family, community, positive growth and a high quality of life. There is no better representative than Marty Baldwin for those of you who, like us, also believe Scappoose is all of these things

Ben, Kristen, Molly (age 8), and Jack (age 4) Hagen, Scappoose

Baldwin has experience, ‘open-door’ policy

We are writing this letter in support of Marty Baldwin for Scappoose City Council. Marty has lived in our neighborhood for almost a decade. During this time, we have found him to be a man of action, not just words.

He has volunteered in our community in numerous ways, from the Columbia County Rotary Club, budget committees for Scappoose and Port of St. Helens and the Amani Center for Child Abuse Assessment.

Marty has valuable business experience and has prior background and knowledge to build and balance large budgets. He will utilize his negotiation skills gained from law enforcement to bridge opposing views and help to bring common goals to our community.

He is capable of making the right decisions based on careful analysis of the facts and input from our citizens.

He does not have his own private agenda, but will make his decisions without personal bias for the welfare of the citizens of Scappoose.

Marty has an open-door policy and will always welcome input from members of our community.

A vote for Marty will help support the livability of Scappoose, which includes the safety and welfare of our children, our neighborhoods and infrastructure of our city.

He has common sense, is a fiscal conservative and supports sensible growth for Scappoose.

We hope you will join us in voting for Marty Baldwin for Scappoose City Council.

Geoff and Tammy Lukinbeal, Scappoose

Support Baldwin for City Council

Join me in voting Marty Baldwin for Scappoose City Council. I’ve known Marty and his family for many years. He’s community-focused, energetic, business-minded and involved with the great goal of making a positive difference in Scappoose.

Marty brings us great business experience and years of community-focused service on budget committees. His platform is anchored with respect for the citizens of Scappoose and his willingness to listen and serve. Marty will lead with integrity and put citizens values first, including balancing the budget. He understands the numbers and people’s needs.

Sarah Havlik, Scappose

Baldwin is active and engaged

I am writing this letter in support of Marty Baldwin for City Council.

I had the pleasure of meeting Marty and his wife back in March 2008. At the time Marty was traveling for work and living part-time in Reno, Nev., and part-time in Scappoose. Every encounter with Marty has been great, and when Marty retired from the Boy Scouts of America he became an advocate for the Amani Center for Columbia County.

Marty approached me to support the center at the annual fundraiser; his presentation was very professional and passionate and, because of that, I decided the Amani Center was a nonprofit agency I would always support.

Marty and his family are very active in our community and they truly want what is best for our citizens. Marty and I have had some great conversations about issues and I like the way he looks at all sides before making a decision.

His history in law enforcement, budgeting for the Boy Scouts of America and his community involvement make him a great candidate for City Council, and I wholeheartedly support Marty Baldwin for City Council.

Kendall R. Liday DDS, Scappoose

We like Baldwin’s enthusiasm and experience

Marty Baldwin is an excellent choice for Scappoose City Council. His service to families, youth and community is hard to match.

Marty was a commended law enforcement officer and a trained hostage negotiator. After retiring from law enforcement, Marty had a long career with the Boy Scouts of America and served as a state CEO of this organization.

He has worked with all kinds of business leaders, community leaders and volunteers and knows how to balance a large budget.

In his retirement, Marty has served as the development director for the Amani Center, our local child abuse assessment organization. Marty has also served on the city of Scappoose and Port of St. Helens budget committees and is an active member of our local Rotary.

He is very aware of local issues and will ask the necessary questions. He wants to encourage responsible growth in our business community while preserving our livability. He is a man of his word and has boundless energy and enthusiasm for the things he values, like the community of Scappoose.

Marty is the kind of leader that will build connections and create solutions. A vote for Marty is a vote for Scappoose.

Karen and Will Kessi, Scappoose

Vote for Fuller for sheriff

Four years ago, I wrote a letter to the editor to every newspaper in Columbia County in support of Jeff Dickerson in his quest for the office of Sheriff of Columbia County.

I moved on to greener pastures from the Sheriff’s Office before Jeff took office and took a lot of heat from my former co-workers on both sides of the fence at the Sheriff’s Office, but still maintained connections with many of them.

Since that time I’ve sat on the sidelines as Jeff and some of his most ardent supporters throw rocks at others from their own glass houses. I’ve also seen how he seems to have squandered much of the goodwill he had coming into office.

And yet I have not felt the need to write another letter regarding the sheriff’s race, until an experience I had recently.

Retired Sheriff’s Deputy Dave Fuller, who I worked with for almost 10 years, had placed a campaign sign in my yard. Then I saw Sheriff Dickerson canvassing my neighborhood. We briefly exchanged pleasantries followed by Jeff saying, “I see how you’re voting. Figures.”

Sadly that is symptomatic of why I will be voting for Dave this time around.

We don’t need a sheriff who is perfect, but one who builds bridges instead of tearing them down and other people in the process; a sheriff committed to working with other law enforcement agency administrators in the county as equals, not with the condescending attitude the “the chiefs work for me,” which I’ve personally heard Jeff express.

What we do need is a sheriff who is committed to working with others; the police chiefs in this county, the courts, other elected officials and, most of all, the public.

I’m not perfect. I know Dave is not perfect either. But anyone who tells you (or has his surrogates tell you) he is without fault is probably not giving you the whole story.

Please join me in voting for Dave Fuller as our next sheriff. Please help to restore the sense of humility and teamwork the office of the sheriff for Columbia County needs and the people of this county deserve.

Pat Dean, Scappoose

Hospital critic says no to Maygra

I want to comment on Tammy Maygra’s letter in the Sept. 19 issue of the Spotlight.

In her comments she was very critical of the city of St. Helens, county commissioners and the previous hospital board for conspiring behind closed doors and backroom dealings and defrauding the taxpayers on the hospital district land.

I’m wondering if this was true or just her imagination.

If she knew the time, place and subject I would be reporting to the Oregon Attorney General if I was her.

Second, a comment was made that she and the rest of the board are trying to finalize a sale with the commissioners of the hospital property and that the issue would end if the commissioners just gave in and let them sell the property. The thing she didn’t say is that she has the property tied up in court.

Also, Mrs. Maygra is still proclaiming that she is chairperson of the health district. That has yet to be proven in court and you would think she would know better.

There are two things I would like to see you voters of the Columbia Health District do: First, call the election clerk at 503-397-7214 and she’ll tell you the district has been dissolved. Second, on your computer look up Oregon Revised Statutes 198.925-198.955 and you will see for yourself where the land goes.

I would also like to comment on the critical statements that Maygra made about corporations such as Portland General Electric. PGE is one of the top 10 highest property tax payers in Columbia County. They kept the schools and livelihood going in Rainier. Also, I would add that these corporations have been a benefit to the Maygras when her husband worked as business agent for the iron workers. And she continues the propaganda that she got rid of the 38-cent tax by initiative. That is totally false. I think she “speaks with forked tongue.” I do hope after all this you voters will do your homework on all the people you vote for and not just take someone’s word for it. As for me, I’ll be voting for Earl Fisher and Tony Hyde. I ask myself if the county would be worse off? They may not be perfect, but who is, in my opinion.

Thelma Bonar, Author of Measure 5-209, Warren

Coal’s health risks investigated

Columbia County ports are being considered for exporting Wyoming coal. This has opened a lively debate about the dangers of coal in our community.

Environmentally sensitive advocates tell us permitting coal to use our ports, even if barged in, will cause respiratory problems and health lawsuits will ensue. Having not heard of a single lawsuit related to health and shipping coal on the Washington side up to Centralia, I did some checking.

The National Council on Compensation Insurance set the rate on on-load/offloading coal at $4.98/ $100 of payroll, 40 percent of the $11.93/$100 paid by grain, gravel and wheat handlers.

These rates are followed by 48 states, including Oregon. Perhaps we should consider outlawing grain, gravel and wheat since they’re considered more dangerous to health by those who truly know.

If Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore continue with current Australian and Chinese suppliers, the Pacific Ocean air- and watersheds will grow increasingly polluted with dangerous trace minerals. Wyoming’s Powder River coal has far lower amounts of sulfur, arsenic and mercury.

At one point recently the Wall Street Journal reported that China was bringing a new coal electric plant on line every week.

Wayne Mayo, Scappoose, Candidate for Columbia County commissioner

All I’m saying is, give Romney a chance

Oregon leans toward Obama in recent polls.

As Clint Eastwood said at the Republican National Convention: Time for a change.

Why would anyone think that four more years of “this” would be good for Oregon, or the country?

Romney has outlined what he would like to get done — in a bipartisan way. What a novel idea. Perhaps it’s time to seriously get serious and give him a chance.

Tom Klingbeil, Warren

Let’s keep community’s innocence and charm

When my husband and I were in the process of moving to St. Helens 17 years ago, we were charmed one day by a couple of children we met here. It was summer, and we had stopped to let our dogs drink out of McCormick Creek. Two children walked up to us and asked if we wanted to see their crawdads, which they had caught in the creek and were keeping in a plastic bucket. Their parents were nowhere in sight, and we remarked afterward on how nice it was to find a community where children felt comfortable approaching strangers in the park to show off their found (or captured) treasures.

I believe our city still has much of that innocence and charm, and that part of this character is due to an effective police presence in our midst.

Please join me in supporting the levy to raise funds for operation of the St. Helens Police, so they can retain and obtain the personnel and equipment they need to help us maintain the great quality of life we sometimes take for granted. Our ballots are due on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Jenefer Grant, St. Helens [Editor’s note: Jenefer Grant is a Columbia County Circuit Court judge.]

Re-Elect Sheriff Dickerson

I have been a volunteer reserve deputy sheriff now for over a year. Since the beginning of my position as a reserve deputy, I have been able to work with Sheriff Jeff Dickerson on a regular basis. He’s a hardworking, transparent leader who puts a tremendous amount of effort into making the Sheriff’s Office the best it can be for our community. I see the sheriff in his office within the typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, but we also get emails from him at all hours of the night — he is always working. It’s not uncommon to see him working at the office on the weekends, too. Sheriff Dickerson has done a lot of great work for this community through his position as sheriff, and I have no doubt he will continue to run the Sheriff’s Office with the best interest of the community in mind. The Sheriff’s Office is a professional law enforcement agency we as Sheriff’s Office personnel have a lot of pride to work for. I wholeheartedly believe the reason for this is mostly due to Sheriff Dickerson.

Employees and volunteers both respect Dickerson and like working for him with his strong mission and direction of quality work, and following up on every call. He’s also fair and expects his staff be professional and accountable.

My observations of Sheriff Dickerson are purely professional; I didn’t know him before I was a reserve deputy, and I’m not friends with him now.

To lose Sheriff Dickerson as our sheriff would be a great loss to Columbia County.

Please vote to re-elect Sheriff Dickerson.

Tyler Miller, Scappoose

Debate disappointment

I, for one, am quite let down over the quality of these presidential debates. Today’s national challenges require a lot more from these men than they have given us so far.

I am less interested in who came across as the most macho or who had the quickest rejoinder put-down than I am in whether either one of them might be able to lead this country during a time of major changes. I wanted to hear how they would manage the inevitable withdrawal of troops from far flung unaffordable commitments around the world. I had hoped that they would level with the American people on the federal government’s inability to honor financial promises without both spending cuts and tax increases. Neither major party candidate indicated that they saw the need to change the direction of existing trade policies that have effectively sent our financial wealth and our people’s jobs to China with of course a good deal of profit going to certain international corporations, corporations that incidentally contribute handsomely to congressional campaigns.

Maybe neither Mr. Romney nor Mr. Obama are up to the job of what Americans need in a president today. Not much of a choice at the top of the ballot, if you ask me.

Bob Ekstrom, Scappoose

Maygra’s lawsuits costing us

How much could Tammy Maygra cost our county as a county commissioner? She is currently suing Robert Keyser for $23,000 over a political sign dispute and suing the Columbia Health District of which she is a trustee, and is suing Columbia County commissioners and nine other individuals in Federal Court for $9.5 million.

Who will she sue when she disagrees with a county, state or federal agency or individual?

We are all paying for her legal attacks against Columbia County and our commissioners; we cannot afford to elect her.

Cecelia Nunn Haack, Scappoose

Witt doesn’t represent me

Brad Witt, our elected representative for District 31, is endorsed by Capital NARAL, a pro-choice PAC and Basic Rights Oregon, a gay rights PAC; some representation. Not mine!

The next generation is going to have enough problems without paying for all the debt that is being acquired now without worrying if they can be allowed to be mothers and fathers legitimately.

What next? I am 80-plus years old and I suppose I am eventually going to be in the way using my Social Security benefits, so I will have to be euthanized for the monies to be wasted on so-called politically correct waste. Remember that Social Security at one time was in a trust fund only to be used by those who paid into it.

Wake up, people. Especially parents.

We as citizens better wake up and pay attention to who and what we are voting for, or we are going to lose this country as we know it. God has been very patient, but eventually he is going to judge the United States and it ain’t going to be pretty. But make sure you vote.

I suggest we as a nation humble ourselves and confess our sins, both individually and nationally, and seek forgiveness that will glorify God and bless our nation as a whole. We need to be revived; do I dare say a “revival”?

Blessed be the nation whose God is the Lord. Psalms 33:12

Ron Ross, Deer Island

Spurred by coal train ‘hogwash’

After reading the “Guest Opinion” by Brian Rosenthal, I had to write and say that his is the biggest bunch of hogwash that I have ever seen in a newspaper. Since when was a good paying union job something to be ashamed of?

Brian also says that families will leave if coal trains start coming through St. Helens.

Really?

Name just one person who will, when these trains run, sell his or her home and move!

Chad Clayburg, St. Helens

No need to change out Gedlich

Donna Gedlich for Scappoose City Council. An easy name to remember. One who is sincere in seeing that Scappoose citizens get the best living conditions possible by her elected response ability as a City Council member. She is experienced in all aspects of local government. The question is, why change? Re-elect Donna Gedlich on Nov. 6.

Frank and Mae Weber, Scappoose

Gedlich a hometown fighter

She has worked for the City of Scappoose as city recorder for many years before becoming a member of the city council.

She takes her responsibilities to heart.

She has worked many long hours and days to become the Scappoose City Council member with the abilities and ambitions to serve our town for another term.

Bud Evans, Scappoose

Support for Hayden

I am writing to express strong support for Barbara Hayden in her running for a position for Scappoose City Council. She devotes a great deal of time and effort to fulfilling her duties and obligations of the many organizations she is involved with.

Barbara is self-motivated, she is hard working, and she is always willing to volunteer her time. Please add your vote for Barbara who promises great support in economic growth and development with sound vision for future needs in our beautiful city of Scappoose.

Mary Jo Mazzella, Scappoose Public Library Board member, Scappoose Historical Society Board member

Incumbent commissioners are trusted, proven

It has recently been suggested Columbia County needs a change of county commissioners because the incumbents have failed to bring new jobs to Columbia County and have given away millions of taxpayer dollars. I would suggest this is not the case.

We have the best team of county commissioners this county has had in many years, and to replace them with individuals who have never been known as trusted team players would be a great mistake.

I would like to use the following as just one example of the commissioners working effectively as a team for our county.

The reference made to the SIP (Strategic Investment Program) agreement the commissioners signed, along with all the taxing districts in the Port Westward Urban Renewal District, would in fact give Portland General Electric a tax break if a new generating plant is built at Port Westward. The SIP agreement allows PGE to be more competitive in the regionwide bidding to build such a plant. The plant would add over $300 million dollars to our county valuation.

The SIP agreement would provide immediate tax payments to all the affected taxing districts which presently would have to wait over 20 years for the urban renewal district to be paid off before they could begin collecting needed tax revenue. It means the fire district, the library district, diking district and other tax-strapped public entities will get the money they need to operate now instead of having to wait 20 years.

This was agreed to in an open public process, in an open public meeting.

It is an example of committed and knowledgeable commissioners working with local districts and business leaders to add employment opportunities (long-term jobs as well as construction jobs) and adding greater valuation to our tax roles that helps us all.

Without commissioners who community and business leaders have trust in, Columbia County will not attract new businesses and the jobs associated with those businesses.

Without commissioners who are well informed and understand the workings of public bodies and private business, opportunities for the county to move forward will not happen.

We need to re-elect Earl Fisher and Tony Hyde as our Columbia County commissioners.

Don Kielblock, Warren

The ‘Real Grange’ speaks up

For more than 100 years, the Real Grange has been a part of communities throughout Oregon and other states across the U.S. A few months ago, proponents of a casino and entertainment center in Wood Village adopted the name “The Grange” for their development project tied to Ballot Measure 82 and 83. PDX Entertainment is a local Lake Oswego group and is backed by a Toronto-based private equity firm called the Clairvest Group Inc.

This group has raised millions of dollars to advertise its casino. The trend is that big spenders win the elections, so we, The Real Grange, are very concerned.

This group has infringed on the trademark name of the National Grange. An agreement was made between the National Grange and PDX Entertainment to drop and/or change the name, “The Grange,” after the November election.

Warren Grange of Columbia County wants our local friends and neighbors to know that we are the “Real Grange” of the community and we are not affiliated with the casino. We support projects in our community, 4-H clubs, Rodeo Court, Fairgrounds, Word 4 Thirds at Warren Grade School, Mega Egg Hunt, St. Helens Senior Center, Meals on Wheels, Columbia County Chamber, Community Scholarship Foundation, Foster Kids, CASA, Special Olympics, Community Meals and the local Food Bank.

Warren Grange Members of Columbia County

Barnes can do a better job

I have talked many times with Lew Barnes and have found him to be very personable, open and knowledgeable for the job of state representative in Oregon’s District 31, for which he is running.

Lew Barnes is a Marine and worked as a salaried leader in several companies until he started his own company in 1988.

I like his sharp intellect, and idea’s that our district needs today that contrasts the current incumbent that always votes for new spending, voting for over $2 billion in new spending the last two years without considering the heavy costs. We have a crisis on spending without anything worthwhile to show for it.

Vote for new responsible governing, and elect Lew Barnes, State Rep. for Oregon District 31!

Terry Salo, Clatskanie

Incumbents are false

I watched all three presidential debates and it was kind of like watching baseball. Romney hit three home runs and Obama struck out.

I have listened to both of them give speeches and thanks to the Internet you can get copies of them. I think that Obama is so arrogant, that he believes what he is saying and never really held a real job in his life. At least Romney has worked in the private sector and held positions that required leadership.

Romney would not have been my first choice, but I believe that he loves the USA, would be a better leader and would not cut back door deals with countries like Obama would do, like Russia, when he was caught on an open mic saying that after he was re-elected he would be more flexible to make deals with Russia, as far as I am concerned he is a traitor to the USA. So I vote for Romney. Oh, and I vote for Dave Fuller too. At least he is honest.

Michael P. George, Clatskanie

Barnes, not Witt

Here’s why:

1. What’s the first vote taken at the next legislative session? Chair leadership. Brad Witt votes Democrat, Lew Barnes, Republican.

Democrat leadership has resulted in Oregon’s over-spending; over-taxing; over-regulation; over-expensive energy alternatives; and over-control of our lives.

Top-down control is killing businesses and economic success in Oregon and our nation. Lew Barnes believes in limited, efficient, Constitutional government.

2. Democrat leadership worships at the feet of government unions, such as the Oregon Education Association who dominates Democrats and who contributes exclusively to them. That alone is reason to vote for Lew Barnes or any Conservative.

But here’s the bonus: Lew Barnes is an accomplished private-sector employer. We desperately need private-sector influence in Salem, and we haven’t gotten that with Mr. Witt, who is at best a political insider who secures crumbs of goodies because he sits at the table of a Democrat majority. That’s a false reason to vote for anyone.

Barnes brings common sense and truly fresh ideas to a Salem that has been controlled by old Democrats for decades. We don’t need old-school politicians and never did. Time for change is long-overdue for this District 31 race. Lew Barnes will be our voice for fiscal and economic sanity in government.

Art Hyland, Astoria

Come to SHEDCO town hall

SHEDCO, (St Helens Economic Development Corporation), is holding its annual town hall meeting at the St. Helens Best Western, 585 South Columbia River Highway, on Oct. 30, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Everyone in the community is invited to come and enjoy some refreshments and participate in our program.

We will be reviewing the goals that we had identified last year, our accomplishments of the last 12 months, and work to identify the goals and priorities for the coming 12 months.

We invite you to join us as we sort through the many needs of our community and work to identify new goals and projects that will help improve our city. If you are interested in joining SHEDCO or would just like to volunteer on our projects, this is a great opportunity to get a firsthand look at what we do and how. Please join us Tuesday night and be sure to bring your opinions.

Joe Burks, St. Helens

I know Lew Barnes, and he’s great

I have known Lew Barnes for decades. He is one of the finest men I know — a man of wisdom, compassion and integrity. He will bring good judgment, real world experience and balance to the Oregon Legislature.

He has been a Marine in Vietnam, an employee of both large and small manufacturing companies in Oregon and now he is the founder and operator of a metal manufacturing business in Hillsboro.

No matter how busy Lew is, he is always there to help people in the veterans’ community. Four days before my husband passed away, Lew came to our home and helped me hang our American flag high on our porch. That flag represents Lew’s ideals, and his life’s commitment to America. He will bring those ideals and that commitment to Salem when he is elected as Oregon state representative in House District 31.

Semper Fi is a code Lew Barnes lives by.

Paula Ummell, Beaverton