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The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
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December 31, 2008     The New Era Paper
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December 31, 2008
 

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1t 1e ra - December 31, 2008 COMMUNITV OPINION Page ,5 m Notes From page 4 Home Economic Revitalization Effort (SHARE), which is an (increasingly) organized effort to take the steps necessary to correct the problems the revitalization experts cited. As with all grass-roots efforts, SHARE has required time and patience to get rolling. There have been some bumps, but we're moving forward after the formation of committees of volunteers to coordinate the revitalization process and outline goals, plan and market events that will help the downtown, oversee the financing and bookkeeping, and plan how some of the revitalization is going to happen. If you've been paying attention, you'll know that the Sweet Home Economic Development Group (SHEDG), of which SHARE is now an arm. has purchased land next door to the Chamber of Commerce office to create a downtown "hub" building that is expected to provide space for chamber and SHEDG/ Oregon Jamboree offices, as well as other services and businesses. and allow facilities for pull-through parking for RV's during the summer, which will help efforts to make ourselves more friendly to tourists. This spring the chamber and SHARE are collaborating ifi a free seminar for the local business community in which business development experts will offer suggestions on how to improve services (and incomes). SHARE and SHEDG have decided to hire a full-time specialist to coordinate the volunteers and goals of revitalizing downtown. That person is expected to be in place by June and will provide the expertise (and focus) necessary to help Sweet Home really turn things around. A feasibility study is in the works to determine whether t is possible or desirable to create an urban renewal district to spur economic development in Sweet Home. If it is. the next goal would be to create a more formal, specific urban renewal plan this year. This isn't just tall. Things are happening. Money is being spent (or will be) to make some of these things happen. The story is in the numbers. You can help make this turnaround happen. If you don't enjoy vacant, "blighted" storefronts, you can help Sweet Home's economic district follow the lead of other unhealthy towns such as Estacada. Joseph, Sisters or Silverton that have taken-similar action to turn things around. If you're interested in a hands- on role. you can get involved in one of the SHARE committees. Right now. the biggest need is in planning. Sweet Home needs people who like to come up with ideas, who like to do research, who want to see change. But if you're not ready to jump in as a SHARE volunteer, you can still help. Visit the new stores and restaurants. Check them out. Eat there. See what they're offering. Encourage them. It takes guts to start a business. These people have taken risks because they think they have something to offer that you might like. Go in and find out. Shopping locally may not be something that some of our residents are used to doing, but remember, if you spend your money in Sweet Home. it stays here. If you spend it somewhere else, we'll never see it again. -So try it. Help turn things around. By the way. check out the lights on Weddle Bridge, in Sankey Park. which are shining thanks largely to the efforts of a SHARE volunteer. See page 12 for more details. LETTERS TO TrlE EDITOR Bail-outs raise questions Editor: All during the election the Democrats complained about President Bush's trickle-down policy. They also complained about giving big business tax breaks. Then why in the world did they vote with President Bush to bail out the banks, real estate and the auto industry? They have always touted trickle- up economics so why didn't they just go to the people on welfare and unemployment and ask them to hire those that were laid off due to the lack of trickle down jobs from the above mentioned? Maybe once President-elect Obama is in office he and the Democrats can give all of us a quarter million dollars so we can buy new cars. new homes, put some in savings and still have some left to invest in the stock market. It would have been lot cheaper and more productive than all the money that has been and will be wasted by these bail-outs and it would be nice for all of us to finally realize what it means to be middle class. Jeani West, Sweet Home Write a le00er! and cry of residence or your letter will not be published There is no length, tion, but Ietters may be edited for length and all letters will be editedfor libelous content. We discourage letters that atck or complain about pri citizens or businesses on a personal level. so, letters edited accordingly. Obama demonstrates acumen in national-security selections By Rich Lowry Change has rarely looked so much like continuity. Barack Obama's leftward po- sitioning and achingly idealistic rhetoric in the Democratic prima- ties harkened back to George Mc- Govern or Robert Kennedy. His personnel choices during the tran- sition instead recall Michael Duka- kis, the Massachusetts technocrat who notoriously ran on compe- tence. Obama is too savvy a marketer to have tried to make a campaign slogan out of practicality. But who would have guessed that when he lit up the crowd back in 2007 at Io- wa's Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner with his signature speech denounc- ing the ways of Washington and Democrats who accommodated Bush foreign policy, he harbored a secret desire to draw on experi- enced Republicans to manage his national-security policy? Obama has selected a former Marine commandant close to John McCain. Gen. Jim Jones. as his national-security aclviser; asked President George W. Bush's de- fense secretary, Bob Gates, to stay on: and selected Hillary Clinton. a relative centrist who denounced Obama's naivete in the primaries. as secretary of state. It's as moderate as any Demo- crat's national-security picks could possibly get. Just when it seemed that the hawkish Scoop Jackson wing of the Democratic Party was dead forever, a jerry-built version of it is making a comeback via the impending administration of a man championed by anti-war zealots. Yes, God does havea sense of hu- mor. The success of the surge in Iraq made Obama's pragmatic turn easier. Perhaps never has someone owed so much to a policy he op- posed so vehemently. First, the success of the surge diminished the Iraq War as an issue in the general election. Second. it makes it pos- sible to contemplate a responsible drawdown in Iraq. A kind of continuity is also possible for Obama because the caricature of Bush foreign policy as dangerously radical never accu- rately reflected reality. Bush wants U.S. troops to "re- turn on success" in Iraq -- so does Obama. Bush supports a buildup in Afghanistan so does Obama. Bush wants a larger military so does Obama. Bush has launched raids against al-Qaida into the tribal areas of Pakistan -- Obama wants to do the same. Bush wants to close Guantanamo Bay, but has been be- deviled by the difficult choices in- herent in its shuttering Obama will be, too. Bush has put out diplomatic feelers to Iran, while warning of the unacceptability of its nuclear program - Obama has done the same, although with more of an ac- cent on diplomacy. Perhaps Obama is simply bow- ing to the exigencies of American foreign policy, defined by a few in- eluctable realities: We are the sole superpower in a dangerous world. full of enemies that only we have the military resources to defeat and of rival powers with interests di- vergent from ours. The great theorist of realism Hans Morgenthau warned against the illusion that "the final curtain would fall and the game of power politics would never be played." At times during the past two years. Obama seemed to believe in the curtain fall. His new national-security team holds out hope that he never did. or "doesn't anymore. This is change you can respect. Rich Lowry is editor of the Nation- al Review. mDm m m m m n n m m m n m m mm m m mm m m mmm m mm mm m mm_m m m m mmm m mmm m m m m m m m m n m m m m m n m m m mmm m cmartin @ci.sweet-home.or.us Diane Gerson, Member at Large, 367-2979 e-mail: http://wyden.senate.gov/contac m Jim Goudey, President Pro Tern, 367-5517