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About The Siuslaw news. (Florence, Lane County, Or.) 1960-current | View Entire Issue (July 11, 2015)
❘ JULY 11, 2015
RYAN CRONK , EDITOR
❘ 541-902-3520 ❘
P.O. Box 10
Florence, OR 97439
VIEW FROM UPRIVER
W ESLEY V OTH
For the Siuslaw News
t was a quiet Fourth of July in Mapleton,
my hometown now for 12 years. This is
the longest I have ever lived anywhere,
in a house I love, on land I love, on a river I
love, with the one I love. The story that
underlies all others here at the moment in
these river-centered communities is low
water and no rain. We wonder how long
water sources will last, and what we will do
if there’s major fire.
Warmer average temperatures have seen
most garden crops and fruit trees ahead of
schedule. Pollinators are focused on the few
things still blooming — blackberries have
few to no remaining blossoms, knotweed is
starting to bloom what seems like months
before schedule. In my yard I have again left
it largely un-mowed so that there is some-
thing flowering, even if it is dandelions, but-
tercups and clover.
Other unusual sights to me: a fawn that by
EDITOR @ THESIUSLAWNEWS . COM
the end of June had already lost its
spots and looked adult-like in color-
ing; robins whose second set of
nestlings have fledged; corn way
ahead of the “knee-high by the Fourth
of July” schedule, having tasseled
already. We have already taken the
netting off our blueberries, having har-
vested more than we can use and leaving the
rest to the birds, who are appreciative.
Among native berries in our yard, red elder-
berry that had full and beautiful clusters a
week ago has been completely stripped,
mostly by cedar wax-wings.
I love stories, listening to them and telling
them. And although I recently had thought I
was about done writing this column, it is sto-
ries and having the opportunity to discuss
local and not so local events with others that
has convinced me to keep at it.
While delivering mail I like to listen to
audio books, and one recently had me laugh-
ing so hard, I had to keep turning it off so I
could focus on driving. The book was “The
Dog Says How,” read by its humorist author
Kevin Kling. (I just returned this to the
Mapleton Branch Library.) To me, good sto-
ries are about many things at once, and help
us understand and/or cope with life. Kevin’s
left arm is congenitally dysfunctional, and a
motorcycle accident has paralyzed his right
arm, so the fact that he can find funny at all
is a testament to pluck.
My favorite story from this book is the
ninth, called “Daddyland,” and on the first of
the three disks. Daddyland is the farm and
region where his father grew up, and is to
Kevin as first-generation-off-the-farm as
magical a place as Disneyland is for others.
The story is only a few minutes long, but
covers more expansive topics than I can even
Even though it was my father’s plan that I
also be that first off the farm — he worked so
hard to make that happen because he himself
hated farm life so thoroughly — I have clung
to aspects and have never given them up.
Whereas he considered it liberating to be able
to buy food and wood, I have always pre-
ferred to grow or procure my own.
The best work is that which literally feeds
me and my family. And so, most of the chick-
en I’ve eaten in my life I’ve killed myself.
Same with most of the fish, the game; much
of the fruit I’ve grown or at least picked.
Being more self-sufficient while at the same
time more connected to neighbors.
Kevin Kling concludes his story with the
list of things he’s retained because of his con-
nection with Daddyland. Since I still live
there, it will take a bit longer to make my
MOMENTS IN TIME
The History Channel
• On July 16, 1863, the draft riots enter their
fourth day in New York City in response to the
Enrollment Act, which allowed wealthier citi-
zens to pay $300 to avoid military duty. More
than 1,000 people died in the violence, which
was only contained by the arrival of Union
troops from the battlefield at Gettysburg.
• On July 19, 1879, Doc Holliday kills a
man for shooting up his saloon. Despite his rep-
utation as a deadly gunslinger, Doc Holliday
engaged in just eight shootouts and killed only
two men. The second was at the O.K. Corral in
• On July 17, 1944, an ammunition ship
explodes while being loaded in Port Chicago,
California, killing 332 people. Poor procedures
and lack of training led to the disaster. The
blasts were felt as far away as Nevada.
• On July 15, 1971, President Richard Nixon
stuns the nation by announcing that he will visit
communist China. Since the Communists came
to power in China in 1949, Nixon had been one
of its most vociferous critics.
• On July 13, 1985, in London, Prince
Charles and Princess Diana officially open Live
Aid, a worldwide rock concert to raise money
for the relief of famine-stricken Africans. The
16-hour concert was globally linked by satellite
to more than a billion viewers in 110 countries.
• On July 14, 1995, the MP3 file compres-
sion format is born, allowing music files small
enough to be stored in bulk.
• On July 18, 1999, New York Yankee David
Cone pitches the 16th perfect game in major-
league history with a no-hit, no-walk victory
over the Montreal Expos. Cone needed only 88
pitches, 68 of them strikes, to set down 27
Expos in a row.
(c) 2015 King Features Synd., Inc.
Act lives on
In King v. Burwell, the
Supreme Court rejected an inter-
pretation of the Affordable Care
Act that would have denied its
premium subsidies to the millions
of individuals who did not buy
health insurance on exchanges
“established by the State.” At
issue was the affect of these four
words on the Act’s intended
Looking to the Act’s overall
purpose, structure and context,
the Court recognized that in pro-
viding a federal backup to state-
established exchanges, Congress
intended to ensure that citizens of
states unable or unwilling to con-
struct exchange mechanisms
would have the benefits of the
Act. (As it happened, some 7 mil-
lion people in 34 states.)
Congress restricted subsidies to
exchanges established by the
states to encourage states to cre-
ate their own exchanges.
Although the words “established
by the state” are clear when read
in a vacuum, Chief Justice
Roberts, writing for the majority,
noted that limiting subsidies to
state-established exchanges could
well push the individual insur-
ance market of a state with a fed-
erally established exchange into a
death spiral thereby undermining
the ACA and risking its collapse.
The rejected interpretation was
based on what at most is a draft-
ing error hidden in a subsection
of the Act’s 2,000 pages; an over-
sight discovered by opponents
long after ACA’s enactment. In
ruling against the opponents,
Chief Justice Roberts observed,
“In this instance, the context and
structure of the Act compel us to
depart from what would other-
wise be the most natural reading
of the pertinent statutory phrase.”
He concluded, “A fair reading
of legislation demands a fair
understanding of the legislative
Simply stated, the sum and
substance of the Supreme Court’s
decision is that “Congress passed
the Affordable Care Act to
improve health insurance mar-
kets, not to destroy them.”
In legal-interpretation jargon,
purposivism prevailed over textu-
alism. In plain speak, the spirit of
the law prevailed over its letter.
In determining that, the appar-
ent clarity of those four words
notwithstanding, the law makes
subsidies available on all
exchanges, state and federal, the
Supreme Court applied standard
interpretive methods. Looking to
context and structure is not the
charged by Justice Antonin
Scalia’s dissenting opinion.
Rather, the Court’s majority was,
in the words of the same Justice
Scalia in an earlier case, honoring
“the fundamental canon of statu-
tory construction that the words
of a statute must be read in their
context and with a view to their
place in the overall statutory
The litigious shuck and jive
that was at the core of King v.
Burwell failed because, in pro-
viding subsidies in all exchanges,
a majority of the Court applied
judicial common sense rather
than methodical literalism to the
task of legislative interpretation.
As a result, ACA lives on. But,
Obamacare remains controversial
as opponents remain convinced
that (despite all evidence to the
contrary) it is an alien approach
that will undermine, if not
destroy, the American economy
and healthcare availability.
Congress may attempt to repeal
parts of the law using “reconcili-
ation,” the procedure for chang-
ing a law to reduce spending.
Obamacare is certain to be an
issue in the 2016 elections and a
Republican Congress with a
Republican Presidency may well
undo the law.
But today, the 7 million who
stood to lose their subsidies came
out on top, thanks to the majority
of justices who stood above poli-
tics by interpreting ACA, not as
“Obamacare” but as Congress
wrote the Affordable Care Act in
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Pres. Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
TTY/TDD Comments: 202-456-6213
Gov. Kate Brown
160 State Capitol
900 Court St.
Salem, OR 97301-4047
Governor’s Citizens’ Rep.
Message Line 503-378-4582
U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden
221 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley
313 Hart Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
State Rep. Caddy McKeown
900 Court St. NE
Salem, OR 97301
U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (4th Dist.)
2134 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
State Sen. Arnie Roblan (Dist. 5)
900 Court St. NE - S-417
Salem, OR 97301
West Lane County Commissioner
125 E. Eighth St.
Eugene, OR 97401