Newspaper Archive of
The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
May 2, 2012     The New Era Paper
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May 2, 2012

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:1 1" ra - May 2, 2012 COMMUNITV PINION Page 5 LETTERS tO Till=. EBITOR Some insurance mandatory now Editor: Your column on the Afford- able Care Act (April 18), which you and many others like to call Obamacare, was interesting in many ways. You correctly point out that the act. from a small business viewpoint, has been pretty well- received. Business people that like to treat their employees well have found it increasingly hard due to the skyrocketing cost of insurance and everything else connected to the medical field. Unless some type of meaning- ful legislation is passed, be it the Affordable Care Act or something else, I shudder to think of what might happen with health care in general in the not4oo-distant fu- ture. The act has many provisions that have been received well by most people, i.e.. the ability to get insurance regardless of pre-existing conditions, the fact that children can stay on longer while they are still in school, the expanded drug coverage that helps people who fall into the "doughnut hole" when ex- pensive drugs cause them to have lots of ore-of-pocket expenses for much of the year. By far. the most controversial part of the act is the mandatory participation, People don't like the idea of being told thai they have to have insurance as they seem to think they can provide for them- selves. Sadly in case after case. that simply is not true. Just because you are young, you are not bulletproof. and we have proof of that day after day in many areas of the country. People without insurance have sit- uations occur-that result in parents and/or family members spending huge sums of their own money to provide for their care. By the way, every six months. 1 send checks in to pay for car in- surance that thankfully, I have not had to use for a lot of years now. Why? Because it's the law that I must have insurance on my vehi- cle. Makes a lot of sense doesn't it? I have to have insurance on my car but not my own body. Over the past several years, by having to provide help for ill and aging parents (one of whom I've lost) I have had to spend lots of time in emergency rooms and urgent care facilities. These places are filled with people who have no insurance and have no regular doc- tor as a result of this. They have no place to go for their care. Many people who are against the health care act support the Or- egon Health Plan or Medicaid be- cause the state is in charge of these programs. We are paying for this by having to pay increased premi- ums and increased costs for drugs. We have mandatory care. Why not, have the mandatory participation in the cost of providing it. The biggest problem I have with your editorial is at the end when you refer to Social Security and Medicare as being government handouts that people have become dependent on. Sorry, but I worked for 43 years contributing to these "handout" programs as well as spending three years in service to my country, and I take exception to someone suggesting that I am on the "dole" simply because I draw Social Security and am eligible for Medicare. You ask that people become "productive. self-assured and re- sponsible citizens." Why not fit into this category the need to help pay for these things th you will someday assuredly need? The Affordable Care Act is certainly not perfect but comparing it to failed programs in communist countries does a great disservice to those of us who are paying the bills. Dave I-Iolley Sweet Home Pool levy reflects tight budgeting Editor: in response to some of Bar- bara Story's questions (April 25) regarding the upcoming levy. there has been a lot of discussion on ways to fund our swimming pool. I am one of several pool supporters and patrons who have been meet- ing for the last couple of years, try- ing to come up with a solution to fund our pool ever since the school board decided it could no longer afford to keep it running. Since the pool is used by, and benefits, the entire community rath- er than just our kids, it makes sense to transfer the financial responsi- bility from the school district to the community. Forming an aquat- ics district would accomplish that, but at this time that would take too much money from other groups in our town. Our committee was left with the decision to ask for a local option levy to tide us over until the economy improves, at which time we can hopefully pursue longer- term funding through an aquatics district. While I was not directly in- volved in coming up with the bud- get. I do know that in asking for this levy and its amount, great care was taken to minimize the financial impact on our community. I don't believe that any more money is be- ing asked for from the voters ,than what is truly needed to fund the pool. Some of the costs include an aquatics director salary, lifeguard pay, general maintenance and utilities. Admissions alone can- not cover all of these costs. We, as a community, need to step up and help support the pool if we want to keep it open. The pool is currently running on "bare bones," with limited hours and no swim lessons offered to dis- trict students. Patrons have paid more in admission fees and mem- bers of the Swim Club have been working hard at fund-raising ef- forts. The money they have earned not only goes to their program, but also toward keeping the pool open this year. We have all been made aware of the many benefits our pool has to this community. It is now our turn to decide if it is important enough to us to pay a little more out of our pockets in order to keep this valuable source of recreation, fitness and life-saving skills. Let's look to the future and think about what we want for our community in the long run. I am encouraged by the changes being made in our shops downtown, and also in the increased interest in fitness by peo- ple living here. Let's take another step towards keeping our town vi- tal, healthy and fit by voting finan- cially to support our pool. Melanie Jones Sweet Home Safety concerns bigger than pool Editor: The debate goes on about the swimming pool when we have big- ger • sues at stake. Our security is at risk due to the steadily declining police force. Just look at the weekly paper to see the increases just in burglary alone! The school district has had to shorten the School week and reduce the number of teachers. Even the library is in need of addi- tional support. If we want our children to grow up in a secure environment with a good education that helps them be- come productive citizens we need to-rethink our priorities. Knowing how to swim is not a requirement for future job placement. I have heard all the arguments for the swim team. the school kids. and the senior citizens. We have used the pool ourselves and know the advantages. While they are all good arguments, we only have so much money to go around. If you look around you will see that the number of tax paying homeowners is constantly decreasing. Increasing the tax burden will not encourage people to come here but will in fact force some to leave. Let's put what money we have into security for the citizens -and ed- ucation for our kids. Put some effort into improwng the appearance of the town and some cost incentives for businesses to come here. That will bring new homeowners to increase our tax revenues. Then we can look at some of these other projects. Just like your personal house- hold budget you need to look at how much you have coming in and what are the priorities. Everyone has their pet projects they would like to see advanced, but what is the prior- ity for the community overall. Don't spend money you don't have and don't go asking it from people who are already struggling with their own finances. Do we want to save the swim- ruing pool and lose the town or save and improve our community and re- visit the swimming issue at a future time? Don Austin Sweet Home Park policies 'troublesome' Editor: During the week of April 16 I witnessed two troublesome events at Cascadia State Park. The first event was talking to the district manager about an Eng- lish walnut tree that had fallen. She was beautiful to look at beneath her branches, which were covered with moss. and a photographer's dream. The area from her trunk to the first set of branches was a perfect setting for a picnic table. The D.M. expressed concern about a possible falling accident. I countered with the idea of a sign reading "Do Not Climb" and per- haps including information regard- ing her age and the important role she played in keeping critters happy with her walnuts, which she was still producing when she fell. Late that day I walked back and took a look at the chainsaw massa- cre that the D.M. had ordered. The second event took place when I witnessed a for-profit log- ging truck loading beautiful Doug- las fir logs to be transported out, never to be seen again. I called the D.M., who said the park manager had no use for these logs. I regret to say my heart was hurting. I would think the fallen trees over the creek and the river would be a huge concern. I would like to see fallen trees used in our park and not hauled away. This property, consisting of 312 acres, was sold by the Geisen- doffersto the state park system in March of 194I for $19,000. It has taken me over three years pleading not to mow the camas field until they grow and bloom. Last year the host mowed the moss. preventing many wildflowers like the tiger lil- ies, among others, from growing. Our park deserves custodial care and not destruction. Wildflower Buttitta Cascadia II Nyara From page 4 No one really knows and we won't know without statistical re- search. On the North Santiam, such a study is being planned. Why the North Santiam? Well. because Minto Dam & Trap won't be in operation for a couple of years. Therefore. the smolts can't be acclimated and re- leased there as usual. Trucking to other sites is now required on the North Santiam. in the short term. so there's an oppor- tunity to try to answer the questions surrounding scatter-planting smolts. Since they have to be tracked and re- leased, funding for a research study and creel census has been secured. Hopefully, resource managers will learn enough to prove or dis- prove some of the concerns that have been driving the management of both the North and South Sanfiam Rivers. Time will tell and it will take more than a year or two. Funding of the study will have to be maintained for the next few years also and dur- ing these times, that could prove to be a challenge. Bill Nyara liyes in Sweet Home and is a retired fish hatchery man- ager and presiden of the Mid-Valley NW Steelheaders. Steve Mamoyac Of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife contributed to this article. I City of Sweet Home II • Craig Martin, City Manager, (541) 367-8969 II - cmartin @ci.sweet-home.or.u$ City Council • Craig Fentiman, Mayor, (541) 367-6826 e-maih cfentiman@ci'sweet'h°me'°r'us I • Jim Go0rley, President Pro Tern, (541) 367-5517 I • Marybeth Angulo, Councilor (541) 367-7798 I • Michael Hall, Councilor, (541) 570-2044 roll I 1 i ! 1 l 1 1 1 l 1 I l l I I i I 1 ' Contact ur Local Government Representatives Don_Schrader@Sweethome.k12.or.bs Federal Government School District No. 55 Board Directors • Sen. Ron Wyden (D) (202) 224-5244 • Jason Redick, Chairman, (541) 40! -8601 • Dale Keene, Vice Chair, (541) 409-1034 • Michael E. Adams, Foster, (541) 367-1003 • Kevin Burger, Cascadia, (541) 367-3773 • Jenny Daniels, Liberty, (541) 367-4080 • Chanz Keeney, Holley, (541) 367-7999 I Mike Reynolds, Sweet Home, (541) 367-5601 •Greg Mahler, Counc Ior, (541) 401-0110 • David VanDerlip, Crawfordsv e, (541) 367-3856 I • Scott McKee Jr., Councilor, (541) 405-6191 • Billie Weber, Member at Large, (541) 367-2487 I • Ron Rodgers, Councilor, (541) 401-2590 Linn County Commissioners I • Roger Nyquist, rnyauist@co.I nn or us I School District No. 55 • John K. Lindsey jlindsey@co.linn.or.us I • Don Schrader, Superintendent, (541) 367-7126 • Will Tucker wtucker@co.linn.or.us mm m m m m -m m m mmm m m m mm m m In m mm m m I m m m m m m m m m m mmm m m m m m m m m m m m m m,m m m m m lmm mm mm mm mm mm m m mm mm in m m imm In mm mm lib mm m m l mm mm lib m m mm m m mm m l ! I I I e-mail: http://wyden.senate.gov/contact/ ' I • Sen'. Jeff Merkley (D) (202) 224-3753 e-mail: http:tlmerkley.senate.gov/contact/coactlcfm - I • Rep. Petei A. DeFazio (D) (800) 944-9603 I e-mail: http://defazio.house.gov/emailme.stttml I State Government I • Sen. Fred Girod (R, Dist. 9) (503) 986-1709 II e-maih sen.fredgirod @ state.or.us • Sen. William Morrisette (D, Dist. 6) I (503) 986-1706 e-maih sen.billmorrisette@state.or.us I • Rap. Sherrie Sprenger (R, Dist. 17) I (503) 986-1417 e-maih rep.sherriesprenger@state or.us • Rap. Phil Barnhart (D,Dist.11) (503) 986-1411 I e-mail: rep.philbarn hart@ state.or.us I