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October 17, 2012     The New Era Paper
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October 17, 2012

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l/e - October 17, 2012 YOuR COMMUNITV Page 15 From page 5 up for employees. "When you sign up, you don't need to sign up with all the bells and whistles," Sprenger said. Rather than looking so much at the funding, she is more concerned with the cost drivers. At home, people figure out how much money they have and what they can afford with it, Sprenger said. When they can't af- ford something, they cut it Off. That's not the way people in government look at it. State Budget and Economy On the revenue side, an improving econ- omy could help. "Let's create more taxpayers and not more taxes, from the taxpayers we have," Sprenger said. "We need more people work- ing." The problem is global and national, she said, but it's an Oregon problem too. She talked to the vice president of an area company that employs 250, Sprenger said. "He said, 'Oregon is not Very friendly to business. We're trying to stay here but you make harder.'" She said that there are two reasons: Tax- es and regulation. Every single requirement that some- one brings up in the legislature comes With a comment that "this is just" 1 percent or $12.50, for example. She stood up and told the legislature those "justs" are adding up, she said. In context of the clich6 about Wall Street and Main Street, she is convinced that the legis- lature has lost sight of what Main Street is. She named off small businesses on the Main Streets of towns throughout her district. "When we're passing regulations and making things harder, it's adding up to these folks," Sprenger said. "I truly believe it's state regulations making it so difficult for businesses." She plans to continue fighting against regulations, she sa!d, although she admits to voting for one regulation, requiring schools to have a defibrillator. She has not voted yes on a' single tax in- crease, she said. One of the things she worked on last session was drawing water from the Colum- bia River at peak flows to help agricultural businesses that need access to the water. Bet- ter production improves the vibrancy of the economy across the state. Cougars Sprenger already has her cougar bill ready to go for the next session. Last session she had 15 House Democrats supporting it. Only a single Republican opposed it. It died in the Senate. It was a pilot project with a sunset that would have allowed certain counties to choose to allow the hunting of cougars with dogs, she said. Counties that don't want to, would not have to participate. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife would permit the hunters based on its cougar management plan, Sprenger said. It wouldn't change target numbers or quotas. It's already happening, Sprenger said. The state is already paying $100,000 per year to pay trappers to hunt cougars with dogs. "We need to get off our high horses about hunting with hounds," she said. "We're a grant and then squeezing people, "I don't doing it." like that.'~ Railroad Issues If it's granted with no provisions cov- Sprenger said she is looking into the rail- ering the fees, it's something the legislature road access issue along Highway 20. Albany might have to look at next time, she said. and Eastern Railroad has billed residents "The piece that relates to me is the Connect $720 to keep their access open to Highway Oregon money." 20 across the rail, which is under an improve- Sen. Fred Girod may have a bill, she ment project fight now. said, but "good neighbor relations will solve The rail line is using a lottery-funded all of this." Connect Oregon grant from the Oregon De- Personal partment of Transportation. Sprenger is a former deputy sheriff. She "I don't know what a legislator's role is is married to Kyle. They have one son, Aus- yet," Sprenger said, but if the line is using tin, 15. From page 5 retirement benefits, but the state is still out of synch, Girod said. This year, the PERS rate in- creased by 9 percent, the equivalent of 11 lay- offs in Lebanon School District. It's tough to fix it, Girod said. The courts have ruled against reducing benefits that were promised to retirees. Among possible partial solutions 'is re- moving the guarantee of an 8-percent return for retirees after their retirement to age 85, re- ducing it to between 4 and 6 percent. There are other small things the legislature can do to ad- dress the problem. To make sweeping changes, someone would need to take it to court, but that's un- likely with the current establishment, he said. Economy "We're a natural resource base," Girod said. "If we managed our natural resources properly, we could be one of the richest econo- mies. We just do everything we can to misman- age our resources." That has resulted, since the early 1990s, in a reduction 50,000 jobs directly. With a multi- plier, that's 150,000 jobs, and three-quarters of Oregon's plants have shut down. Even with new sectors opening up, "you look at the numbers, and we haven't come permit and maintenance fees: Some residents close to coming back." are refusing to pay, and the railroad has threat- Last session, Girod passed a bill urging ened to close their crossings. the federal government to give back O&C Girod plans to introduce a bill that would lands or at least approve the Walden-DeFazio take away the railroad's right to close cross- compromise that would open a lot of land to ings if a sheriff deems it unsafe. Railroads are timber harvest, Girod said. The opposition to federally protected, and he is not sure what the that bill was entirely from Portland. Eugene legalities are, he said. legislators supported it because Lane County "I think what the railroad is doing is just is stmggling, flat-out wrong," he said. He will continue to pursue solutions like Water and Agriculture this to get the economy going again, he said. Girod has been active with fishing is- Cougars sues, and he was among those who asked the Girod is still interested in dealing with governors of Oregon and Washington to stop cougars, which are appearing Closer and closer gill netting in the main stems. The issue is on to human habitation and attacking livestock, the' ballot as Measure 81. That should increase Rep. Sherrie Sprenger got a bill through returning fish numbers and potentially reclas- the House last session, which died in the Sen- sify them from threatened "and endangered. ate, to allow dogs in hunting cougars in prob- With those designations, river flows are more lem areas, Girod said. Linn County would have highly scrutinized, and increasing their num- been the place the law would have worked. He bers should help reduce the impact of regula- will help her try to get it passed again, tions set to protect threatened and endangered They also are looking at the possibility of species. putting the question on the ballot to overturn Agriculture is a backbone to the Oregon the 1994 measure that banned hunting cougars economy too, he said. "We need to get gov- and bears with dogs. ernment off their backs and let them do what Railroad Issues they've been doing for centuries." Girod also is planning to do something to Administrative rules get in their way, and address Albany and Eastern Railroad's charg- Oregon needs an administrative rule curtail- ing residents for their crossings,ment law, Girod said. It's one of the few states The railroad is charging neighbors $720 in with no oversight over administrative rules. From page 7 to do that doesn't require college, Lovelace said. "I think colleges are marketing them- selves as the end-all, and I'm not sure it's entirely correct." Tradesmen are critical to economic growth, he said, and it is important to offer them opportunities and the education and training they need. Just as important is putting more empha- sis on kindergarten through fourth grade, he said. The more he learns about how children learn, he believes they need the basic math 10 to 15 years, wolves may be a tremendous and reading skills by the end of that period to problem. be successful at higher levels of education. "It's not that I'm against cougars, but "It's one of our biggest failings right there's a place for them," Lovelace said. now," Lovelace said. "Those students who "There are really good ways to manage them don't do well enough will never catch up to if it's allowed to happen." the rest of their classmates. "We've failed Personal them." Lovelace is married to Vicki. They Cougars have a daughter and son in their 30s and On cougars, Lovelace said that if a two grandchildren. Lovelace has farmed for =ougar will take on a dog, it will take on a most of his life and worked as general man- :hild. ager of a large ranch east of Lakeview in the "We need to do something," he said.1980s. ~We need to be hunting with dogs." He has owned a Couple of manufactur- The state also needs to do something ing companies, including one that made lift ,ith bears and coyotes, he said. In another trucks. R pair-wear and tear vith a For Jack Smalley, dairy farming is his Learn more at a sminar passion and his bread and butter. He Thursday, Oct. 18, 5:301 7 p.m. couldn't let bad hips get in the way. Corvallis: Good Sam - HFStarker Boom After Jack had his worst hip replaced at Samaritan, the Wednesday, Oct. 24, 5:3 to 7:30 p.m. results were so good, he had his second hip replaced too. Albany: Samaritan Alban,/General Hospital Years later, Jack says, "1 am good to go and back to - Reimer Room (in hospita parking lot) normal. Why go through the pain when it can be fixed?" Pre-registration requirel: Call (541) 768-4752 or visi samhealth.org/ortho Don't let bad joints keep you from being active. Attend a free joint replacement seminar for knees and hips. Samaritan Health Services