The Siuslaw news. (Florence, Lane County, Or.) 1960-current, January 03, 2018, WEDNESDAY EDITION, Page 4A, Image 4

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    4 A
❘ JANUARY 3, 2018
Siuslaw News
P.O. Box 10
Florence, OR 97439
Saying goodbye to 2017, a year that
showed why our community is strong
A year ago tomorrow,
Florence, Dunes City and
our neighbors in the Upriver
communities of Mapleton
and beyond began the year
with snow. Eight inches qui-
etly fell overnight, signaling
in a subtle way that 2017 was
going to be anything but
As a community, we shov-
eled snow and checked on
our neighbors. Area churches
opened cold weather shelters
and provided community
suppers to those in need.
A month later, a landslide
just east of Florence trapped
a mother and her infant
daughter in their trailer
before being rescued by local
first responders.
In the weeks and months
ahead, the proverbial snow
continued to fall as our small
community became a micro-
cosm reflecting challenges
unique to our area as well as
those rippling outward from
the county, state and even
national levels.
and the Siuslaw region
strong is the willingness to
have those conversations
and, more importantly, work
toward solutions. That will-
ingness has been the catalyst
for a lot of things we can be
proud of in 2017, from rais-
From the Editor’s Desk
While an impending nurs-
es strike, controversy over
cannabis grows and the ter-
mination of our Port manag-
er were some of the issues
anchored from within our
region, concerns about
DACA, opioids, housing and
homelessness mirrored con-
versations taking place in
communities throughout the
West Coast.
But what makes Florence
ing more than $30,000 for
fifth-grader Malakai Kirk’s
bone marrow transplant, to
helping our local Food Share
through a holiday crisis and
the official designation of
Florence as the nation’s 24th
Coast Guard City.
A look through our annual
Year in Review (in today’s
edition) is testimony to a
year that brought its share of
controversies and accom-
plishments, challenges and
resolutions. It was also a
year that saw a record num-
ber of your letters on this
Opinion page as part of con-
tinuing community conver-
If 2017 showed us any-
thing, it was the ways in
which the fabric of our com-
munity is spun from its
diversity of opinion and per-
spectives — and how sharing
them is the common thread
of our regional tapestry.
Though there is no snow
predicted for tomorrow,
together we will undoubtedly
find a way to make not just
2018 anything but ordinary,
but rather extraordinary.
Write Siuslaw News editor
Ned Hickson at nhickson@the-
siuslaw or P.O. Box
10, Florence, Ore. 97439.
In the article Dave Robinson’s latest
disaster preparedness article, “Listening
to Venezuela” (Dec. 30), the author
failed to correctly address the cause of
the people of Venezuela’s suffering.
Venezuela is indeed having problems
with supplying sufficient food and med-
icine to its people. However, this is not
the result of neglect or malfeasance on
the part of its government.
Last August, President Trump
ordered a blockade against Venezuela.
As a result, financial institutions like
Citibank refused to pass payment on to
suppliers. Shiploads of foods and medi-
cine were held up and not delivered.
Meanwhile, Columbia refused to sell
Venezuela anti-malaria medicine so it
had to buy it from India; the country has
entered into contracts with Mexico and
Panama to supply it with food; and it is
doing all it can to counter the shortages
imposed by the crippling blockade.
—James Sherwood
The generosity of the Florence com-
munity continues to amaze me. The
Salvation Army “Red Kettle” campaign
has been a huge success this year with
over $27,000 donated during the four-
week effort.
Over 110 citizens volunteered to
“Ring the Bell” during the holidays. I’d
like to give a special acknowledgement
to Paul Rumpca, who manned a kettle at
least two hours, every day of the cam-
Wayne Sharpe and George Henry did
an excellent job of “talking up the cam-
paign” on the radio and they actually
rang the bell for over 12 hours.
A special thanks is due to Lisa Hall at
U.S. Bank, who cheerfully “counted the
loot” every day to ensure we had accu-
rate totals.
The managers at all the kettle loca-
tions are to be thanked and their
employees were helpful and courteous
in securing the kettles.
But the “true soldiers” who “manned
the kettles” for over 500 hours were the
caring, generous, loving people of our
wonderful town. Without them coming
forward, we could never have reached
— and exceeded— our goal.
To each and everyone of you, I would
like to publicly express my personal
thank you for your generosity and com-
mitment to making this, our town, the
wonderful place it is.
—Sam Spayd
“Red Kettle” coordinator, 2017
Many of us pay for health insurance
on our own. It is one of the biggest
issues facing young families. My
daughter and her husband, along with
their new baby, live on one full-time
and one part-time salary while paying
$750/month for health insurance with a
$20,000 deductible.
That means they can’t afford to have
special procedures or care because it all
would come out of their own pocket.
I know there are lots of folks who
can’t afford health insurance at all, but
the concept of taxing health insurance is
not smart.
The First Amendment
ongress shall make no law respecting an estab-
lishment of religion or prohibiting the free exer-
cise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of
the press, or the right of the people peaceably to
assemble, and to petition the Government for a
redress of grievances.
USPS# 497-660
Copyright 2017 © Siuslaw News
Published every Wednesday and Saturday at 148 Maple St. in Florence, Lane County, Oregon. A member of the
National Newspaper Association and Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. Periodicals postage paid at
Florence, Ore. Postmaster, send address changes to: Siuslaw News, P.O. Box 10, Florence, OR 97439; phone
541-997-3441; fax 541-997-7979. All press releases may be sent to
Oregon Group Publisher 541-265 8571
Publisher, ext. 318
Editor, ext. 313
Consulting Editor 831-761-7353
Marketing Director, ext. 326
Office Supervisor, ext. 312
Production Supervisor
Press Manager
James Rand
Jenna Bartlett
Ned Hickson
Erik Chalhoub
Susan Gutierrez
Cathy Dietz
Ron Annis
Jeremy Gentry
Wednesday Issue—General news, Monday noon; Budgets, four days prior to publication; Regular classified ads,
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classifiedad,sThursday 1 p.m.; Display ads, Thursday noon; Boxed and display classified ads, Wednesday 5 p.m.
Soundings, Tuesday 5 p.m.
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The Siuslaw News welcomes letters to the editor
as part of a community discussion of issues on the
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❘ 541-902-3520 ❘
There are other ways to pay rather
than putting the burden on local school
insurance plans (Oregon districts will
total $25 million), charge college stu-
dent plans, community colleges, small
businesses and even Medicaid
Few states in the country impose a
tax on premiums, according to the
Kaiser Family Foundation. And most
states that have expanded the popula-
tion eligible for Medicaid, including
California and Washington, have cov-
ered increasing costs with General Fund
This way, everyone pays for
Medicaid, rather than singling out those
who pay for healthcare.
I believe in a healthcare safety net for
the state’s most vulnerable residents.
Oregon is among the fastest growing
states in the U.S. and the economy con-
tinues to generate record revenue. There
are alternate funding proposals to fill
the Medicaid gap.
The question of how to fairly pay for
such an essential program is exactly
what the Oregon legislature and gover-
nor should have figured out — and can
if we send the issue back.
A “No” vote is the only way to hold
the Oregon Legislature and our gover-
nor accountable for their failure to
budget responsibly. Until you start
holding the people you voted for in
Salem accountable, you can expect
more and more taxes.
—Sherry Harvey
Send letters to:
Pres. Donald Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461
TTY/TDD Comments:
Gov. Kate Brown
160 State Capitol
900 Court St.
Salem, Ore. 97301-4047
Governor’s Citizens’ Rep.
Message Line:
U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden
221 Dirksen Senate Office
Washington, DC 20510
U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley
313 Hart Senate Office
Washington, DC 20510
202-224-3753/FAX: 202-
U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio
( 4 th Dist.)
2134 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
State Sen. Arnie Roblan
( Dist. 5 )
900 Court St. NE - S-417
Salem, OR 97301
FAX: 503-986-1080
Email: Sen.ArnieRoblan@
State Rep. Caddy
( Dist. 9 )
900 Court St. NE
Salem, OR 97301
Email: rep.caddymckeown
West Lane County
Jay Bozievich
125 E. Eighth St.
Eugene, OR 97401
FAX: 541-682-4616