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

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    4 A
❘
WEDNESDAY EDITION
❘ JANUARY 3, 2018
Siuslaw News
NED HICKSON , EDITOR
Opinion
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
ordinary.
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
N ED H ICKSON
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-
sations.
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 news.com 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
Florence
C OMMUNITY RESPONSE ,
CARING IS AMAZING
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-
paign.
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
S AY ‘N O ’ TO NO MORE TAXES
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.
NHICKSON @ THESIUSLAWNEWS . COM
The First Amendment
C
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
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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 PressReleases@TheSiuslawNews.com.
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Ned Hickson
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Soundings, Tuesday 5 p.m.
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L ETTERS
TO THE
P OLICY
E DITOR
The Siuslaw News welcomes letters to the editor
as part of a community discussion of issues on the
local, state and national level.
Emailed letters are preferred. Handwritten or
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of any letter is not guaranteed and depends on
space available and the volume of letters received.
Libelous, argumentative and anonymous letters
or poetry, or letters from outside our readership
area will only be published at the discretion of the
editor.
P OLITICAL /E LECTION L ETTERS :
Election-related letters must address pertinent or
timely issues of interest to our readers at-large.
Letters must 1) Not be a part of letter-writing
campaigns on behalf of (or by) candidates; 2)
Ensure any information about a candidate is accu-
rate, fair and not from second-hand knowledge or
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candidates based on personal experience and per-
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Candidates themselves may not use the letters to
the editor column to outline their views and plat-
forms or to ask for votes; this constitutes paid polit-
ical advertising.
As with all letters and advertising content, the
newspaper, at the sole discretion of the publisher,
general manager and editor, reserves the right to
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ria.
LETTERS
R EAL CAUSE FOR
V ENEZUELA ’ S SUFFERING
❘ 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
providers.
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
dollars.
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
Florence
See
LETTERS 5A
Send letters to:
nhickson@thesiuslawnews.com
WHERE TO WRITE
Pres. Donald Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461
TTY/TDD Comments:
202-456-6213
www.whitehouse.gov
Gov. Kate Brown
160 State Capitol
900 Court St.
Salem, Ore. 97301-4047
Governor’s Citizens’ Rep.
Message Line:
503-378-4582
www.oregon.gov/gov
U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden
221 Dirksen Senate Office
Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
202-224-5244
541-431-0229
www.wyden.senate.gov
U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley
313 Hart Senate Office
Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
202-224-3753/FAX: 202-
228-3997
541-465-6750
www.merkley.senate.gov
U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio
( 4 th Dist.)
2134 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
202-225-6416
541-269-2609
541-465-6732
www.defazio.house.gov
State Sen. Arnie Roblan
( Dist. 5 )
900 Court St. NE - S-417
Salem, OR 97301
503-986-1705
FAX: 503-986-1080
Email: Sen.ArnieRoblan@
state.or.us
State Rep. Caddy
McKeown
( Dist. 9 )
900 Court St. NE
Salem, OR 97301
503-986-1409
Email: rep.caddymckeown
@state.or.us
West Lane County
Commissioner
Jay Bozievich
125 E. Eighth St.
Eugene, OR 97401
541-682-4203
FAX: 541-682-4616
Email:
Jay.Bozievich@
co.lane.or.us