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About East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current | View Entire Issue (April 6, 2017)
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Founded October 16, 1875
KATHRYN B. BROWN
Opinion Page Editor
Regional Advertising Director
Business Office Manager
Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood
A recent journey to visit a
residences that you couldn’t pay
newly born niece in the Midwest
people to live in are now selling
illuminated the ongoing
for millions. And the poor
Portlandization of American
black families who called the
neighborhood home for decades
I traveled to Cincinnati,
are being forced farther from
Ohio, where the downtown
town, where public resources are
residential district is in the
harder to access.
midst of monumental upheaval
There are some benefits to
and gentrification. Called
in Portland’s image.
Over-the-Rhine, it is the largest
historic district of its kind, built
is important to stop the ugly
when Cincinnati was a thriving
sprawl of resource-intensive,
metropolis and Western boomtown that
farm-gobbling suburbia. And Portland
attracted mostly German immigrants.
has led the way in what young people
want in an urban environment — green
The neighborhood is a classic
expression of American expansion in the spaces, bike lanes, walkable streets,
public transportation, local food and
19th century, bold and wealthy, mixing
drink and arts. If that’s what the market
classic architectural styles with the raw
is asking for, cities should look to meet
materials of a new world. Walking it,
you can sense how builders and residents that demand. Cincinnati is.
Yet that template can be bland and
were trying to balance their desire to use
shallow, too, little different from the line
European and colonial culture to “tame
of chain restaurants at every highway
the West,” while trying at the same time
exit or tract homes built on hundreds of
to show those stuffed shirts back East a
cul-de-sacs. As dirty, gritty, real places
new way of doing things.
But hard times came to American
are replaced by Portlandia-chic — both
innercities. First the automobile, which
in Portland and elsewhere — something
made “walking distance” a remnant of
is irretrievably lost.
the past. Then postwar prosperity and
Meanwhile, rural identity remains
more new technologies, which fueled
unblemished. It stands out everywhere in
expansion and growth and globalization. America, refreshingly free from the fads
To capture the movement, America
and pressures facing urban centers.
homogenized with national brands, chain
From Cincinnati we drove east, up
restaurants and stores, and cookie-cutter
the Ohio River Valley, into the coal
homes in cookie-cutter suburbs.
country and factory towns of Kentucky
Cities suffered. Over-the-Rhine
fell into disrepair. Those who had the
We drove past the hamlet of Augusta,
resources to leave did, and it became
Kentucky, where Union soldiers crossed
one of the nation’s poorest and most
the river and fought house-to-house
dangerous neighborhoods — the site of
during the Civil War. We bought locally
race riots in 2001.
made ginger ale at a gas station. We
Things have changed again, however, window-shopped downtown stores that
and America’s innercities are in
were selling T-shirts emblazoned with
resurgence. Downtown living has been
“COAL” in big gray letters. We saw an
revolutionized, due in no small part
Amish horse and buggy waiting for cars
to the Portlandization of America. For
to pass on a state highway.
good or ill, the quirks of the Rose City
Nationwide, rural America is much
are being exported to cities across the
poorer than its urban counterparts. And
the economic, population and cultural
Cincinnati is one. It purchased
gulf is only getting wider. But rural
streetcars from the city of Portland,
America remains real and true and
and its downtown parks and markets
historic — built of itself and for itself.
now include the “Portland loo” — a
As cities change, and globalization
public toilet developed in Portland.
and Portlandization have their effects,
Over-the-Rhine — just a decade ago
the elusive country drive is a reminder
filled with drugs and violence — is now
that America’s most unique and
home to donut shops, brunch restaurants, interesting places are far from city
breweries and trinket stores, the
aesthetics of each are remarkably similar
Tim Trainor is opinion page editor of
The historic but dilapidated
the East Oregonian.
Unsigned editorials are the opinion of the East Oregonian editorial board of publisher
Kathryn Brown, managing editor Daniel Wattenburger, and opinion page editor Tim Trainor.
Other columns, letters and cartoons on this page express the opinions of the authors and not
necessarily that of the East Oregonian.
Schiff mum on what
he saw at White House
dam Schiff, ranking Democrat
to know about these documents is not
on the House Intelligence
classified, and it’s a couple of things.
Committee, has been sharply
First, the deputy assistant to the White
critical of the panel’s Republican
House informed me when I went to
chairman, Devin Nunes, for visiting
see them that these are exactly the
the White House to view classified
same materials that were shown to the
documents that Nunes says show the
Obama administration intercepted the
“Now, this is a very interesting
communications of Donald Trump
point. How does the White House
associates before the president took
know that these are the same materials
office in January.
that were shown to the chairman, if the
Among other things, Schiff
White House wasn’t aware what the
slammed Nunes for viewing the
chairman was being shown?
documents by himself and not sharing them
“And the second point was also made
with Democrats on the committee. So last
to me. And this is — I think was also
week, White House counsel Don McGahn
underscored by Sean Spicer — and that is,
invited Schiff to come see the documents for
it was told to me by the deputy assistant that
himself. Schiff did so on Friday.
these materials were produced in the ordinary
Now, both the Republican chairman and
course of business.
the Democratic ranking member on the Intel
“Well, the question for the White House
Committee have seen the documents. And
and for Mr. Spicer is the ordinary course
now, the public has a chance to hear another
of whose business? Because, if these were
assessment to balance Nunes’ claim that he
produced either for or by the White House,
saw “dozens” of intelligence reports involving then why all of the subterfuge? There’s
the incidental collection of Trumpworld
nothing ordinary about the process that was
figures in Obama administration intercepts,
used here at all.”
with the names of some of them “unmasked,”
All the talk about intercepts, Schiff said,
and that none of it had to do with Russia.
was just an attempt by Trump and Republicans
In other words, Nunes suggested the
to distract from questions about Trump and
Obama administration misused its wiretapping Russia.
powers to gather information on the Trump
By that time, anyone interested in the
substance of the issue — Do the documents
So with Schiff’s visit to the White House,
show that Obama administration officials
a chance for balance. But after viewing the
picked up Trumpworld figures in electronic
documents, Schiff has gone nearly completely intercepts and then identified them by name?
silent about what he saw. He has kept up
— was entirely frustrated. Schiff appeared
his criticism of how Nunes came to view
determined to say nothing about substance.
the material, but on what’s actually in the
“I guess the question that Nunes is asking
documents, Schiff has said virtually nothing.
or suggesting that we should be asking in
On Friday, immediately after viewing
the media,” Tapper said to Schiff, “(is) who
the documents, Schiff released a statement
unmasked these Trump advisers, and is it
in which he declined to say anything about
possible that any of this unmasking was
substance and repeated earlier criticisms of
being done for political reasons, instead of for
Republicans’ handling of the matter.
“While I cannot discuss the content of
“Well, first of all, I can’t talk about, as I
the documents,” Schiff said, “if the White
mentioned, the contents of any documents,”
House had any concern over these materials,
Schiff said. “So at this point, I can’t say
they should have been shared with the full
whether anything was masked or unmasked
committee in the first place.”
Schiff made no public comments on
Schiff then pivoted again to criticize
Saturday, and then on Sunday morning
appeared on CNN, where Jake Tapper asked
Monday morning, Bloomberg’s Eli Lake
Schiff if, having seen the documents, “can you reported that former Obama national security
understand why Chairman Nunes might have
adviser Susan Rice “requested the identities
some issues with the surveillance that was
of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports
on dozens of occasions that connect to the
“I can’t go into the contents of the
Donald Trump transition and campaign,
documents, Jake,” Schiff said, before a quick
according to U.S. officials familiar with the
pivot to Nunes’ methods. “I can say I don’t
matter.” If that is accurate, it seems unlikely
agree with the chairman’s characterization,
that the “most important” thing about the
which is exactly why it’s so important you
documents is how they were handled.
don’t share documents with just one person or
After seeing the documents with his own
even two people. They need to be shared with
eyes, Schiff had a chance to shed some light
both full committees.”
on what has become a key question in the
Continuing, Schiff said “the most important Trump-Russia matter. He didn’t take it.
thing” about the documents is not what is in
them but how they were handled:
Byron York is chief political correspondent
“But the most important thing people need
for The Washington Examiner.
Rep. Greg Walden
Before the whole Republican
health care plan crashed and burned,
I had attended a town hall meeting
in Weston with Rep. Greg Walden.
Rep. Walden came across
pretty smooth, like a thoughtful
congressman who really cared
about the folks he represented. He
talked about the exciting health care
plan he had helped formulate (he
claimed). It was much better than
Obamacare, you would have more
insurance options, great coverage,
lower premiums and tax credits that
would really help offset the costs.
It would have many of the same
benefits that Obamacare had. Plus it
would save the government billions
of dollars. Someone asked what
health plan he had. He said he was
stuck with Obamacare and it cost
him $800 plus dollars a month and
had a high deductible.
In the ensuing days I did some
fact checking, plus his health care
bill played out over the next few
weeks. He does have an Obamacare
plan but he has many options. The
option he alluded to cost $800 but
he pays only $200 and taxpayers
pay the rest. He also gets lots of
perks with it, like free visits to any
veterans’ hospital and many doctor
offices in Washington, D.C. Plus he
qualifies for the plan even after he
retires (which may be sooner then he
He also never mentioned that
the government would not save
anything on his plan because
billions and billions of dollars
would go to the very wealthy in
windfall tax saving. When his plan
was picked apart by many health
organizations and fellow house
representatives and senators, it
proved to be a total sham that would
have kept seniors, lower income and
rural folks from being able to afford
any plan. There was no allowance
for inflation, and no guarantee
insurance companies would even be
available in rural areas.
Rep. Walden still supported the
bill. After it failed to get the House
votes it needed to pass, the bill was
reworked and compromised in
many ways that made it even worse
and unaffordable for seniors and
lower income folks. Rep. Walden
still supported it.
You have to wonder who Mr.
Walden answers to. It sure as heck
isn’t the senior citizens and rural
folks that make up his constituents.
Is he so engrossed in wanting
to be someone in the House of
Representatives that he forgot why
he is there? If you attend any of his
town hall meetings, do some fact
checking. He has been in politics
long enough to be able to make
things sound better than they may be.
Investing in education
pays off down the road
Private investment follows
public investment. This is true with
infrastructure. This is true with
The Erie Canal opened the
early American frontier. The
Transcontinental Railroad unified
the nation. The Interstate Highway
system gave access to markets.
Rural electrification brought
light and energy to a world that
labored in darkness. Irrigation
systems increased food production.
facilitated the flow of information.
Educational facilities open the
frontier of the mind of a child.
Schools are where the sharing of
ideas brings people together and
provides access to concepts that
were previously unknown. School
teachers bring light and energy
to the ignorant and benighted.
Classroom instruction increases the
productive capacity of individuals
who can choose to become part of a
well informed workforce.
Prosperity is directly connected
to an informed populace.
I’m voting for the Hermiston
School Bond because there is
no better public investment than
schools, no greater return on
investment than learning, and
no better way to insure private
investment than through a well-
Kim B. Puzey
a better fire station
I’m proud of a lot of things
in Pendleton. I’m proud of our
schools, our college, our hospital,
our city hall/library building, our
downtown, our police and last but
not least our firefighters.
Having been a part of this
community for my entire adult life,
I have watched our citizens evaluate
and approve bond levies for
services we value. Maybe we didn’t
use each of the services, but we
approved them for the betterment of
It is time to acknowledge that
we need a new fire station, better
training capabilities and newer and
better equipment for these men and
women who are our protectors in
so many ways. In addition, a new
facility will be more efficient and
provide cost savings to operate.
Frankly, God forbid, when your
smoke detector goes off at 2 a.m., or
your grandchild has a bad accident in
the back yard, “Who ya gonna call?”
I’m going to call 911. Actually I’ve
done it before. What a blessing it is
to have someone dedicated to rush
to our crisis and take over. If this
hasn’t happened to you, count your
blessings. But you can rest assured
they are only a phone call away.
We truly need new facilities
and equipment. Bond rates are at
a historic low. Now is the time.
Please join me in voting yes for this
valuable service we need.