East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, May 06, 2017, WEEKEND EDITION, Page Page 4A, Image 4

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    Page 4A
East Oregonian
Saturday, May 6, 2017
Founded October 16, 1875
Managing Editor
Opinion Page Editor
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‘Imminent risk’ bill
puts family in control,
but not without flaws
The state Senate bill that allows
extreme risk and it would allow to
removing guns from people deemed the court system to remove property
from someone who may never have
threatening to themselves or others
been convicted or accused of a
certainly has good intentions,
but brings with it some very
When an order is issued, the bill
real problems legislators should
requires the person to be entered
If passed by the House and signed into the state Law Enforcement
by the governor, the
Data System and
bill would allow a
the National Crime
family member or
Information Center,
If a person
law enforcement
whether or not
refuses to
officer to petition
they have done
the court for an
surrender their anything
“extreme risk
The order would
protection order”
last 12 months,
prohibiting a person
regardless of the
what then?
from possessing
circumstances, and
guns and other
the person can only
deadly weapons. If the court finds
request one hearing to terminate
the person presents risk of suicide or the order during that 12-month
injury to another person in the near
future, the person would have 24
The bill would also mandate a
hours to surrender their guns.
confrontation that could set off the
very thing it is trying to prevent. If
On its face, the bill seems as if
a person refuses to surrender their
it would benefit public safety and
weapons, what then?
health. And the aim of preventing
And at its worst, the bill may
people who truly are threats
prevent people from seeking help
to themselves or others from
for fear of repercussion through a
possessing the means to carry out
court order removing their property.
those imminent threats is noble.
People may feel less inclined to
It also puts the onus where we
believe it belongs — on those closest speak to others about their problems
to the subject. The bill stipulates that when they are most in need of
the family member must be in the
Suicide remains a taboo subject,
person’s immediate household to
loaded heavy with unnecessary
request the order.
shame. At its core is mental illness,
After every suicide and public
but access to firearms can escalate
shooting, the first question we
the threat quickly.
wrestle with is who could have
We only suggest the Legislature
stepped in to prevent the violent
tread lightly when writing rules that
act. This bill would empower those
so aggressively affront the Second
who see a problem to seek a better
Amendment, and don’t consider the
matter solved if this bill becomes
Unfortunately, the bill is pretty
unclear on what constitutes an
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.
Complaints in senior care
The Oregonian, April 26
ew choices can be as wrenching
as shopping for a care facility
for an aging parent. The homes
are expensive — but, if resources are
available, who balks when it’s a mom
or a dad with increasing needs? Worse,
the emotional challenge of the elder in
moving to an institutional setting can be
exhausting, even traumatic. What families
typically count on throughout, however, is
that the facility being considered reliably
delivers the kind of care and attention that
makes life worth living: safe, prompt,
courteous, complete and at times fun.
That’s why it’s sickening to read that
Sue Crawford’s 93-year-old mother,
Marian Ewins, was twice found by
Crawford to be sitting in her own feces
while a resident at a memory care facility
in Tigard and in need of hospitalization.
Or that a caregiver at a McMinnville
assisted living and retirement center beat
a resident’s head against the bathroom
wall. Or that a resident of a Eugene elder
care facility apparently had a stroke yet
waited for more than four hours before
an ambulance was called.
None of the above events is disputed.
Each was verified upon investigation.
Yet none was reported publicly on a
state-managed website designed to help
Oregonians search for care facilities or
monitor any from among the state’s more
than 600 facilities in which loved ones
rise every day for a life worth living.
In an extensive report published
last week, more than 60 percent of
substantiated complaints against care
centers in Oregon since 2005 — nearly
8,000 of them — go unseen and unknown
to Oregonians searching the Oregon
Department of Human Services website.
This is a cruel failure, perhaps cruelest
for its irony: The website was launched
in 2008 in an effort to make transparent
the complaint histories and performance
record of elder care facilities. It followed
a drive by Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley as a
member of the Oregon House of Repre-
sentatives to publish such records online.
Ashley Carson Cottingham, since
2015 the director of the state’s Aging
and People with Disabilities program,
said of the website: “It’s a mess.” That’s
true. The gaps in information owe to
decisions made early on about certain
classes of information to be withheld
from the website, and also to mistakes
in the way state workers classified
But elder abuse, whether from mixed
up medications or neglect or outright
physical violence, is equal opportunity
when it comes to the historical record.
The unpublished records of substantiated
complaints, now available at Oregon-
Live, should be promptly posted where
they always belonged: on the state’s
website. And a good first step, until all
records are available and current, would
be to immediately post an explicit notice
on the website saying the information
provided by the website is incomplete.
In response to the work of the
Oregonian/OregonLive reporters, state
officials say the website will be replaced
and fulfill the mission of making
complete information readily available
to Oregonians. Good. But that could take
years owing to competing, expensive
software projects within the agency.
Few priorities rise as this one does.
Certainly there are corollary issues
suggested by the reporters’ findings,
among them staffing and management
practices within care facilities that leave
such dark trails of abuse.
But for now the records, like an old
person’s life even in twilight, need fresh
light. They should be made public by the
state, with retooled practices to ensure
they are current and useful to families
trying to make what are often once-in-a-
lifetime decisions.
Trump’s American history
worse than elementary student
Good grief! Where did Donald Trump go
to high school?
He has his Jacksons mixed up. The one
who fought in the Civil War was Confederate
Major General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall”
Jackson who, on August 28, 1862,
encountered and attacked elements of the
Union army, holding off several assaults until
reinforcements arrived, then made a crushing
Confederate flank attack at the First Battle of
Bull Run, sending the Federals into retreat. He
died in 1863 in the Battle at Chancellorsville.
The Andrew Jackson Trump refers to is
“Old Hickory,” a frontiersman who became
the seventh president and believed that a
“man of intelligence” needed no special
training or experience to fill a government
Donald Trump appears to have about the
same political view as Old Hickory, based
on his arousal of emotion in common people
rather than on principles. Recall the spoils
system and Trump’s White House personnel;
or, his slogan “ Make America Great Again,”
compared to Jackson’s “Our Union, it must be
If Andrew Jackson is one of Trump’s
heroes, you might want to take a look at Bill
O’Reilly’s “The Patriots” written by David
Fisher. Jackson was among people who loaned
money to Aaron Burr who went West, after
killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel in 1804,
with plans to create his own independent
nation. Burr was vice president under
President Thomas Jefferson’s administration.
It is doubtful Jackson, when he became
president, knew of Burr’s plans.
Wasn’t it Andrew Jackson who sent
the Five Civilized Tribes on The Trail of
Tears? And, as for Frederick Douglass,
Trump may have him confused with Colson
Whitehead, author of the best selling novel
“The Underground Railroad.” Do you think
maybe he will get around to rescinding
Harriet Tubman as the replacement of Andrew
Jackson on the United States $20 bill? Don’t
tell him.
I have John William Ward’s biography
of Andrew Jackson. Shall I send it to 1600
Pennyslvania Avenue? Or, recommend Burke
Davis’s “They Called Him Stonewall?” Both
are sympathetic biographies.
Dorys Grover
Support Crary in ousting
Rep. Greg Walden in 2018
We would like to thank Jim Crary,
Democratic candidate for Oregon’s 2nd
Congressional District, for taking the time
to speak on May Day at BMCC with a
large, engaged group of citizens. Jim lives in
Ashland and is challenging the incumbent
Greg Walden in 2018 for the privilege of
representing this vast, diverse district that
encompasses roughly two-thirds of the state.
Greg Walden purports to represent
the people who live in the 2nd District.
However, a look at who funds his re-election
campaigns, available from OpenSecrets.org,
tells a different story. Walden’s largest donors
are PACs — Political Action Committees
organized around special interests. He receives
approximately $2 million, primarily from
communication and electronics, the health
industry, finance, insurance and real estate,
agribusiness and oil, gas and electric utility
PACs. Only $27,000 comes from labor. This
speaks volumes about who he is representing.
However, more troubling than who pays
Walden to work for them is from where that
vast sum originates. There are five major
metro areas where this money is generated.
The largest area is the Washington, D.C. area
“swamp.” He also receives money from the
Portland area, Medford-Ashland, Eugene-
Springfield and San Jose, Calif. Only one of
these is inside the district he is supposed to
represent, and only one-fourth of the funds
generated for his campaign derives from his
district. Again, who is he representing?
Walden’s recent sponsorship of the
ill-conceived TrumpCare bill to expel 24
million people from their health care access
demonstrates how he honors those who
put him into office. One third of the people
Walden is charged with representing would
be affected by this draconian measure.
Nevertheless, since Walden is raking it in
with the insurance and health industries, he
does not lose any sleep over the well being
of his constituents, apparently believing that
such a well-financed war chest and past name
recognition will continue to buy him plenty
of indiscriminate votes. And in the past this
has worked for him. Well, no longer. We, the
people of Oregon’s 2nd District, demand and
deserve far better.
Jim Crary, a retired attorney, will not take
PAC money. Crary will depend on individual
contributions. We urge everyone in the district
to take a hard look at the policies of these
two men then decide who is best suited to
represent them in Congress, the one who
works for corporations or the one who works
for people.
Dale and Judy Wendt
Investing in emergency
services will save lives
We have invested in our schools, outdoor
swim pool, parks, city hall, and our hospital.
I urge you to invest in our fire department.
When you have a medical emergency, fire, or
have an accident, they will be the first person
who responds. It is time we invest in our local
fire department.
It is a no-brainer for me. After taking a tour
of the current facilities, it became quite clear
this needs to pass. Please if you have decided
to vote no, do your homework so that you
have all the facts. Take a tour of the current
fire station on Court.
Times have changed as so has medical
technology. We need up-to-date equipment so
that you can survive when you or your loved
one have a stroke, heart attack, car wreck,
house fire, etc.
When you have a house fire or are pulled
from a car wreck, they need to have the best
equipment available to free you and save your
The fire station needs a place to train its
firefighters and volunteers.
Is your life worth the extra 14 cents per
thousand on your home or rental? (One fancy
coffee or latte a week.) Mine is and so are
my loved ones. I want them to have the best
possible chance to survive if they ever have
to have a ride in an ambulance. I want our
local firefighters to have the best possible
equipment we can give them to do their job.
Join me in supporting the new fire station
and equipment. Your life is worth it to me.
Deanne Sams
Station has been too old for
too long, voters should replace
I am writing this letter in support of the fire
department bond measure.
I worked at Pendleton Fire Department
from 1964 to 1987. The station was five years
old in 1964. They were just finishing the drill
tower, which was built in the rear parking lot
to save money but left no room for training
That building was built with no room
for growth and yet with the addition of the
ambulance service within five years the need
for storage, parking, living, office and training
space tripled. I hope we don’t make the same
mistake with the new facility, and you won’t if
you vote “yes” on the May bond measure. The
new building should last at least 100 years and
Back in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s we had a
lot more volunteers. We had 21 at the airport
and 20 to 25 downtown. Nowadays no one
wants to volunteer. One way is to use students
from Blue Mountain Community College and
the department is doing that. Those students
studying for fire, police and medical degrees
need to have field experience. The department,
as the chief has emphasized, needs living
quarters for men and women overnight so they
can respond with emergency vehicles.
I would like to see my friends vote yes for
the May bond issue. If it is turned down it will
cost the city a lot more in the long run.
I am 85 years old and would like to see the
new fire station built before I go into eternity!
Kenneth M. Garret, captain (retired)
The East Oregonian welcomes original letters of 400 words or less on public issues
and public policies for publication in the newspaper and on our website. The newspaper
reserves the right to withhold letters that address concerns about individual services and
products or letters that infringe on the rights of private citizens. Submitted letters must
be signed by the author and include the city of residence and a daytime phone number.
The phone number will not be published. Unsigned letters will not be published. Send
letters to managing editor Daniel Wattenburger, 211 S.E. Byers Ave. Pendleton, OR 97801
or email editor@eastoregonian.com.