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The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
October 24, 2012     The New Era Paper
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October 24, 2012

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Page 4 :te e ra - October 24, 201 ? COMMUNITY OPINION From Files ,iF Looking back on more than 80 years of coverage in east Linn County... October 25, 1962 Green Peter and Foster re- sivors, now under construction on the Middle Santiam and South Santiam rivers, are planned to in- clude public use facilities. Green Peter is" planned to be available to the public in 1966 and Foster in 1967. An accident in the woods sent logger Lewis Terry to the hospital Monday. He received treatment of inju- ries, including head lacerations and a cut lip. Pacific Power and Light company crews last Sunday com- pleted the task of restoring power to homes which had been Without power since the violent wind storm on Oct. 12. There are still many low-hanging wires and loose or fallen trees to take care of, how- ever. Crews urge residents to be careful around low hanging wires or fallen trees. October 21, 1987 Oct. 1 usually marks the start of the fall backyard burning sea- son, but the unusually dry weather had put burning on hold. There has been less rainfall this year than any year in-the last 40 years. The dry weather has also called a stop to all logging opera- tions in the woods. Some opera- tors have been down for up to four weeks. Willamette Industries will shut down the green end of its Sweet Home plant Oct. 23 to begin the in- stallation of state-of-the-art equip- ment. The remodeling should be done by Jan. 7. Some 36 employ- ees will be out of work until the completion of the remodeling. When the project is complete 15 fewer people will be rehired. The ballot measm:es: Here's what we think Local voters should have re- ceived their ballots for the Nov. 6 election, which were mailed last week. This year's ballot includes nine measures, listed below. We offer a brief description of each measure and our take on the pros and cons. Measure 77 Approval of this measure would, in a nutshell, give the gov- ernor constitutional authority to de- clare a "catastrophic disaster" and the legislature authority to override constitutional spending restrictions after the governor has declared such a natural or human-caused "cata- strophic disaster." It includes pro- visions for the governor to respond immediately to financial needs un- til the legislature can be called into session, if it is not .already. With Oregon's proclivity for LDIT'00.3RIAL natural disasters - and we're still waiting for the "Big One," it makes sense to enable the state to respond quickly when things go bad. The main hindrances to facilitating a rapid response are constitutional. This measure gives the governor and legislature flexibility to be more creative in assigning resources when disaster strikes. There's really no way to say if this will end up costing us more. It could, but the state's response to a serious disaster would come sooner or later- and at least this way it could be sooner. A concern, about this ini- tiative is whether so much power should be concentrated any more than it already is - even temporar- ily. But the fact that it is temporary Thr A locally owned newspaper founded Sept. 27, 1929 Scott and Miriam Swanson, Co-Publishers nn.$weethamenew$.am Office: 1313 MainSt., Sweet Home, Oregon Mailing address: The New Era, Box 39, Sweet Home, OR, 97386 Phone: (541) 367-2135 Fax: (541) 367-2137 WHO WE ARE Scott Swanson, Editor/Co-Publisher scott@sweethomenews.com Sean C. Morgan, Staff Writer sean@sweethomenews.com Miriam Swanson, Advertising Manager, Co-Publisher minam@sweethomenews.com Chdsty Keeney, Classified Ads classifieds@sweethomenews.com Firiel Sevems, Advertising Sales fifiel@sweethomenews.com The New Era (USPS 379-100)is published each Wednesday. Periodical postage paid at the Sweet Home, Ore., 97386 Post Office. Posaster: Please send address changes to The New Era, Box 39, Sweet Home, Oregon 97386 SUBSCRIPTIONS In Linn County: $32 Elsewhere: $40 Snowbird: $38 NEWS QUESTIONS/TIPS Call (541) 367.2135 or e-mail newsweethomenews,com and two branches of government are necessary to make it happen past the initial response should be a deter- rant against excess. Yes. Measure 78 This measure would change wording in the state Constitution for three state government branche s - Legislative, Executive (including Administrative) and Judicial - de- scribing them as "departments." The new language would describe them as "branches," and the two houses of the Legislature as "cham- bers" rather than "branches." it also makes grammatical and spelling changes and references to the Secre- tary of State to more gender-neutral language. Frankly, this seems like ado over nothing, but we've got to keep things orderly and this is the way to do it. And, as the sponsoring legisla- tors point out, it basically aligns Or- egon's wording with the rest of the nation. So maybe we don't want to be that different. Yes. Measure 79 Also known as Initiative 5 or the Oregon Real Estate Transfer Tax Amendment, this would be a new constitutional amendment that would prohibit state or local gov- ernments from imposing real estate transfer taxes, fees or other assess- ments that were not operative on Dec. 31, 2009. This really seems like a non- issue since it basically repeats what is already the law. However, this measure would insert the prohibi- tion into the state constitution. Here's how we read this. If you like the idea of having the option to implement taxes, voting no on this initiative makes it easier to do that. If you believe taxes are a hindrance to business success and growth, in- cluding construction, then this ini- tiative simply puts a thicker layer of protection on keeping real estate transfer taxes off your bill. The fact that numerous chambers of com- merce from all over the state sup- port this tells us that other people think so too. Yes. Measure 80 Cutting through the mumbo- jtunbo (the smokey haze?), the Or- egon Cannabis Tax Act Initiative le- galizes the private manufacture, use and possession of pot and opens the door to hemp cultivation and pro- duction in the state. As far as hemp is concerned, we have no qualms about advocat- ing its cultivation in the state. Exist: ing law banning hemp is foolish and short-sighted. Historically, hemp WRITE A LETTER We encourage readers to express their opinions in letters to the editor on matters of public interest. Letters should be typed and may be submitted by mail, e-mail, fax or in person at The New Era office. E-mailed letters may be sent to news@sweethomenews.com. Please include a telephone number in case we need to contact you. Also, we require that you include your name and city of residence or your letter will not be published. There is no length restriction, but letters may be edited for length and all letters will be edited for libelous content. We discourage letters that attack or complain about private citizens or businesses on a personal level. Also, letters containing comments on topics deemed by the editorial staff to have been exhausted in previous letters wilt be edited accordingly. was a valuable cash crop in the U.S. until the early 20th century, particu- larly as an excellent source of fiber and oil, and was used to make rope and clothing. Regarding legalization of mari- juana, the libertarian side of us says to go hands-off and let people do what they want, as long as they don't adversely affect others. Alcohol's effects are comparable to marijuana and it is legal. Plus, the prohibition of marijuana in our nation is a sham, as anti-drug forces spend billions to combat the problem while people grow their own plants legally under marijuana-for-health laws that are subject to rather flagrant abuse. It's hypocrisy, really. But, on the other hand, this measure does not set limits for pos- session or production and some op- ponents say it sends a relaxed mes- sage about drug use to kids. Plus, it establishes a whole new bureau- cracy and we note that the measure has apparently wholesale opposition from police and district attorneys, even though its advocates claim it would make life easier for law en- forcement officials. If it were simply to legalize a legitimate crop that has gotten a bad name due to its unfortunate family ties with marijuana, we'd be unani- mous in supporting it. As it is, we don't find it very attractive. No. Measure 81 The Oregon Gillnet Fishing Initiative, also known as "Protect Our Salmon Act," would ban Co- lumbia River commercial salmon fishing with gillnets by non-tribal fisherfolk and allow the use of seine nets instead. Essentially, it restricts Ore- gon's non-tribal commercial salmon fishermen to designated off-channel areas in lower Columbia River, but no such restrictions will exist for fishing on the Washington side of See Picks, page 5