Keizertimes. (Salem, Or.) 1979-current, April 28, 2017, Page PAGE A4, Image 4

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Eclipse can be good for Keizer
There has been news from across
Oregon about how communities are
preparing for this summer’s total so-
lar eclipse on Aug. 21.
Reports have included news
about hotels cancelling reservations
(some made years ago) and re-
booking rooms at many times
their current rates. A thousand
extra camping spaces are be-
ing made available after every
site in the eclipse’s path be-
tween the Oregon coast and
the Snake River had been
reserved months in advance.
There is a gigantic festival
slated for Madras—Oregon Solarfest,
just a few miles from another festi-
All around Keizer communities
and organizations have been plan-
ning and seen their hotels and camp-
grounds get completely booked.
Those who planned ahead were
able to secure a spot at the coast, in
the mountains, on a lake or a river.
Eclipse-viewing fans who did not
plan ahead will be able to experience
the solar event here in Keizer.
A handful of volunteers and
civic leaders are working feverishly
to prepare Keizer for the expected
onslaught of visitors who can’t fi nd
space anywhere else along the eclipse
We don’t mind if Keizer is not the
fi rst choice for visitors from outside
the area, but as the
choices become lim-
ited Keizer can take
full advantage of the
More than 150
RV and tent camping
sites will be prepared
for the event. The
city, the Keizer Parks
Foundation and KRA—which op-
erates the Keizer Rotary Amphithe-
atre—are planning events and con-
certs for visitors to enjoy.
Keizer’s business community—
especially those that sell food and
daily needs items—should also be
planning on how they will attract
a captive audience. Organizers of
Keizer’s solar eclipse event will
bring them here, it’s up to the rest
of us to turn it into a positive for
our bottom lines.
Rep. Post
language, using one’s
offi ce to make mon-
ey, has resulted in ever
more disquiet among
the American citizen-
ry quite like that re-
ported to have been the
prevailing French senti-
ments before they took action.
Unfortunate for most Ameri-
cans, any criticism of 45 is greeted
by his typical reply: “I’m president
and you’re not.”
Gene H. McIntyre
To the Editor:
I highly recommend
that if Mr. McCall or any-
one in this district has concerns re-
garding Representative Post, there
are plenty of ways to reach out
to him (his phone and email are
printed in this paper once a month)
and address whatever questions
they may have directly with him. I
fi rmly believe, however, that most
voters in HD 25 would echo the
sentiment that Rep. Post is doing a
fi ne job and encourage him to keep
up the fi ght for small government
in a Capitol where the prevailing
philosophy seems to be ‘the bigger
the better.’
David Cheney
Costs for our
traveling president
To the Editor:
No one alive today can verify or
deny that French King Louis XVI’s
wife, Marie Antoinette, said “Let
them eat cake.” This alleged com-
ment of hers was inspired by the
belief that she and her royal family
cared not at all what happened to
starving Parisians.
In the U.S. these days, we know
for a fact that millions among us
do not have enough to eat and are
without safe shelter. The problem
is further compounded and dis-
tress-causing by the huge number
of American children going hungry
and homeless.
Meanwhile, our “royal” fam-
ily lives as though they care not at
all what happens to American
adults and children who fi nd life to
be a daily challenge by the absence
of food and housing.
Apparently paying little heed
to these needs, President Trump and
family travel at taxpayer expense to
his Florida golf club, Mar-a-Lago,
almost every weekend at taxpayer
expense, closing in on his fi rst 100
days at a whopping cost of $50 mil-
This information about the way
Trump, in what’s viewed as busi-
ness-as-usual-form, is conducting
his presidency, including alleged
violations of the U,S. Constitution’s
Emoluments Clause or, in layman
Harder for school
board position
To the Editor:
I have known Dr. Kathleen
Harder and her family for many
years. She’s down-to-earth, easy to
talk to, and genuinely concerned
with those around her. Her com-
passion is matched only by her will-
ingness to work hard. That makes
her a great doctor, and it will also
make her a very effective member
of the Salem-Keizer School Board.
Kathleen is a dedicated mom
who, alongside her husband Rob,
has raised a bright and talented
young man who graduated from
the Salem-Keizer public school
system and is headed off to college.
She is passionate about our pub-
lic school system. I know she will
work hard to ensure our students,
teachers, and administrators have
everything they need to be success-
I’m proud to endorse Kathleen,
and I join more than 50 other en-
dorsements, including the Salem-
Keizer Education Association,
Stand for Children, and many oth-
ers throughout our community.
Please join me in voting for Dr.
Kathleen Harder for Salem-Keizer
School Board.
Randall Sutton
Share your
Email a guest opinion
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to the editor (300 words)
by noon Tuesday.
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Wheatland Publishing Corp. • 142 Chemawa Road N. • Keizer, Oregon 97303
phone: 503.390.1051 • web: • email:
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Keizer, OR 97303
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Salem, Oregon
Lori Beyeler
Can our political bubbles be popped?
In the category of argument by
irresistible anecdote, David Wasser-
man of The Cook Political Report tells
of meeting with a group
of young Democrats in
wealthy, suburban northern
Virginia. In the course of
his presentation, he made
reference to “Cracker Bar-
rel voters”—those in coun-
ties with Cracker Barrel
restaurants (Donald Trump
won about 75 percent of such coun-
ties). “Excuse me,” interrupted one
of the young liberals. “Do you mean
Crate and Barrel?”
This is an extreme form of a cultur-
al bubble—a life arranged by fate and
choice so that other ways of life are
unimaginable. Technology makes such
isolation easier, through fl ows of infor-
mation we shape and algorithms that
shape news to us. It is possible to con-
sume news and entertainment in such
a way that our backgrounds and biases
are never challenged. And a variety of
media outlets, particularly cable news
channels and internet sites, seek profi t
in the incitement of bias rather than
through the provision of information.
Assuming that a democracy benefi ts
from commonly recognized facts and
mutual sympathy among citizens, how
are these bubbles popped?
Even the way this question is posed
contains a bias of sorts. Most Ameri-
cans do not live in ideological bubbles,
because they take little interest in poli-
tics at all. According to polling by the
Pew Research Center, only about 13
percent of Americans say they talk
about politics daily, making me and
most people reading this column a
minority smaller (much smaller) than
gun owners. Americans at the ends
of the political spectrum on left and
right —about 20 percent total—are
more engaged politically than those in
the center, at least when it
comes to making donations
and determining the out-
come of primaries.
The dedicated 10th on
both sides have a vastly
infl u-
ence on the public affairs
of a great nation. And here
is where media bubbles matter most.
Pew found that Fox News dominates
on the right —cited by 47 percent of
conservatives as their main source of
information. (Many must feel adrift as
the Fox model buckles.) Liberals con-
sume more diverse news sources, but
are more likely to de-friend someone
on social media for political reasons.
The reputation of all news media
sources has taken a beating. Every time
that two or more journalists are gath-
ered, they should recall: In 1997, 53
percent of Americans expressed trust
in the media. Now it is 32 percent,
and down to 14 percent among Re-
publicans. Conservatives tend to view
all non-conservative sources as sus-
pect, putting The Washington Post and
the Huffi ngton Post, for example, in the
same category of untrustworthiness
(by any serious standard an absurdity).
At the seedy crossroads of politi-
cal polarization and declining trust
in media is where fake news loiters.
Without a belief in professional, vet-
ted, reliable sources of truth, truth may
be determined by loyalty to an ideo-
logical team. In a 2006 survey, a ma-
jority of Democrats agreed that it was
likely or somewhat likely that George
W. Bush was complicit in the 9/11
attacks. A 2015 poll found that 43
percent of Republicans believed that
Barack Obama was a Muslim. One
gets the impression, in both cases, that
partisans would have agreed with any
polling description perceived as nega-
tive—that Bush was a closet thespian
or Obama a notorious masticator. Call
it the “any stick” epistemology.
It was Donald Trump who saw
the golden potential in this trend, not
just presenting a vision, but creating a
world in which Trump is always the
answer, the highest and best. But the
inhabitants of Crate and Barrel Amer-
ica can be just as isolated in their sym-
What is the answer? It is obviously
complicated to rebuild ties of institu-
tional trust and individual empathy.
But one response must be: a journal-
ism of rebuilt standing. A journalism
that enforces the highest standards of
accuracy and professional conduct. A
journalism that refuses the tempta-
tion to join the ideological battle as a
combatant. A journalism that describes
worlds that are not our own, and in-
vites us to enter them. Without this,
there is no common basis of fact to
inform public decisions, and no invita-
tion to empathy.
This cause is not hopeless because
the power of words to shape the hu-
man spirit is undeniable. These can be
words that belittle, diminish and de-
ceive. Or they can ring down the ages
about human dignity. They can also
allow us, for a moment, to enter the
experiences of others and widen, just a
bit, the aperture of our understanding.
On the success of this calling much
else depends.
(Washington Post Writers Group)
Moving bills is a lesson in politics
During one of my committee
This has been a crazy week here in
the Oregon legislature. Two thousand- meetings on the deadline day, the
seven hundred eighty four bills have committee hearing was interrupted
been introduced so far this session, multiple times. The door would crack
and April 18 was one of the biggest open and a hand would poke through,
deadlines. To remain viable, all bills beckoning to the chair/vice chair.
(besides those in the Rules and Ways They would stop the committee, go
out into the hall and meet
and Means committees) had
with the staff of the ma-
to have a work session and be
jority party caucus. They
moved out to the House (or
would then come back
Senate) Floor.
in and either kill the bill
Most of my bills didn’t
or work it, depending on
make it out of committee and
how they were instructed.
are thus “dead.” I do have a
This is only my third ses-
few still kicking in Ways and
sion so I don’t have a lot to
Means, which I am excited
compare to, but I’ve asked
about. House Bill 2570 and
some of the senior mem-
House Bill 2961 are both
bills to try and help solve the from the bers and they’ve never seen
housing affordability crisis we
capitol anything quite like this.
This is the kind of thing
are in.
that the average voter has
This month I’ve had sev-
no idea actually happens.
eral groups of constituents
come and meet with me. From busi- Instead of the 11 people on that com-
ness leaders to citizens to St. Paul
school kids, no matter who, I love in-
troducing people to their Capitol. One
of the questions that these visitors of-
ten as is “How does a bill die?” So let
me explain:
As mentioned above, to survive
this last deadline, the bill had to be
“worked” or moved out of the com-
mittee to the chamber fl oor for a vote.
The person who appears to make that
decision is the committee chairperson.
They are the ones who schedule the
bills in the committees. Sometimes
though, the chair of a committee will
refuse to work a bill that the leadership
wants to move—so that chair might be
removed from the committee for the
day, or removed from the chairman-
ship altogether. That is a big threat that
can be used against the chair. If they
like the position more than they care
about the policy that is passed, that can
be a real threat.
mittee discussing the issue, listening to
testimony and coming to a decision, a
few people in a back room make the
decision and run the proceedings.
I don’t want to sound like I am
blaming a particular party here—ei-
ther party is capable of bending the
rules and hijacking the true delibera-
tive process we were sent to the capi-
tol to conduct. In the Oregon House,
60 representatives are each elected by
about the same number of Orego-
nians. Should one of those represen-
tatives squelch the voice of the other
59? This is why elections are so im-
portant—again, not to elect a specifi c
party, but to elect people who have
solid principles and are committed
to letting every voice be heard in the
democratic process.
( Bill Post represents House Dis-
trict 25. He can be reached at 503-
986-1425 or via email at rep.bill-