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About Cottage Grove sentinel. (Cottage Grove, Or.) 1909-current | View Entire Issue (March 1, 2017)
COTTAGE GROVE SENTINEL MARCH 1, 2017 11A
Rallies, demonstrators fl ood Lane Community College
When Congressman Peter De-
Fazio asked those in the audience
who had never been to a political
event to stand, the bleachers of
Lane Community College shook with the movement of the
crowd getting to its feet.
For the second weekend in a row, the gymnasium of the
college was at capacity with residents coming out to hear a
government representatives speak on issues, both national
and local. The town halls are part of a wider effort across the
county with dozens of state representatives returning to their
districts to take questions from constituents in similar events.
On Saturday, Feb. 25, DeFazio joined Senator Jeff Merkley
for a day that quickly centered around health care.
A separate rally in defense of the Affordable Care Act was
scheduled for noon but well before 12 p.m., DeFazio took
several questions concerning coming changes to health care
at the federal level and the subsequent effect on Oregon.
The issue has sparked a national debate after President
Donald Trump campaigned on the promise to repeal the law,
also known as Obamacare. Congressional republicans had
echoed the sentiment throughout former President Obama's
last term in offi ce but plans to repeal and replace the law have
yet to be disclosed.
"They're saying quietly, don't do this," DeFazio said of his
republican colleagues in the House in regards to their desire
to overturn the law.
On Feb. 23, former speaker of the house, John Boehner fur-
thered the conversation over ACA when he said a replacement
of the law was "not going to happen." Instead, he said the law
would be "fi xed."
Current estimates show 23 million Americans losing their
health care if the Affordable Care Act were repealed.
During a 90-minute question and answer, DeFazio fi elded
several questions on the state of health care in Oregon and the
state's budgetary shortfall's effects on the issue. A member of
the crowd, and stage four cancer patient, informed DeFazio
By Caitlyn May
that his treatments cost $24,000 per month and without them,
he would die.
DeFazio sympathized but said residents should look for-
ward to the 2018 elections and taking back the house.
Currently, republicans control both the U.S. House of Rep-
resentatives and the U.S. Senate, meaning they have a ma-
jority in both houses and, if members vote along party lines,
democrat-supported bills would be defeated while republi-
can-supported legislation moves forward.
While health care questions loomed large, the fi rst question
DeFazio received echoed the majority of questions Senator
Floyd Prozanski fi elded the weekend prior. "How do we get
rid of Donald Trump?"
DeFazio admitted that the current make up of Congress did
not allow for democrats to win many votes but urged residents
to continue speaking out. "We have to keep the pressure on
them and coming out and doing what you're doing today," he
In speaking on the national discourse, DeFazio told the
crowd there was work to be done at home. "My district was
the most narrowly divided district in the country," he said of
the 2016 election, citing the close vote count between Presi-
dent Trump and democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Other questions included worry over the environment with
audience members citing the appointment and confi rmation of
Scott Pruitt to head the EPA.
"They've already changed laws with regards to water," De-
Fazio said, noting that Pruitt had spent his prior career suing
the EPA over environmental rules.
DeFazio also addressed the issue of the electoral college
and whether or not it should be abolished.
"If they do the popular vote, candidates would have to visit
everywhere, not single out a few states," he said.
Tensions over the electoral college rose after the 2016 elec-
tion results showed Clinton winning the popular vote by an
estimated three million votes but losing the election. The loss
mirrored the court-fought battle between former president
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South Lane County Fire & Rescue:
Creswell Fire Station Advisory Committee.
South Lane County Fire & Rescue services a 132 square mile area for
Fire/Rescue/EMS services based on voter approved taxing rates, levies,
and bonds equaling $1.80/$1000, beginning with fi scal year 2016-2017.
Th e current voter approved permanent and levied rate is $1.50/$1000 of assessed
property value, including a house and fi ve acres within the District’s boundaries.
Th e District further provides advanced life support ambulance service to an area
totaling 850 square miles. Th e area outside the District’s 132 square mile area does
not provide tax revenue.Th e District operates from four fi re stations and staff s the
Cottage Grove and Creswell stations 24/7, with a combination of career/resident
and community volunteer personnel. Th e Saginaw station is staff ed 24/7 with off
duty residents and the Camas Swale station with community volunteers.
Th e District is managed by the Fire Chief who reports directly to the fi ve
member Board of Directors. All other District personnel report to
the Fire Chief utilizing a chain of command.
Th e district is seeking individuals who have the desire to contribute to ongoing
eff orts aimed at enhancing and improving fi re and EMS services in the
South Lane County community by serving as an advisory committee member for
replacing the District’s Creswell fi re station. Interested applicants must be at least
18 years of age, be an elector, or a property owner within the district. While any
person meeting the requirements may submit a letter of interest to the Board of
Directors, preference for appointment to the advisory committee may be given to
those within the Creswell area.
Interested persons should submit a letter of interest to the
SLCFR Board of Directors by close of business
Th ursday March 9, 2017.
Letters of interest may be hand delivered, mailed, or faxed to:
South Lane County Fire & Rescue
Attn: Advisory Committee
233 E. Harrison Ave, Cottage Grove, OR 97424
Offi ce: 541-942-4493
Deadline for submitting a letter of interest is Th ursday March 9, 2017 by 5PM
George Bush and Al Gore after Gore won the popular vote but
lost the election. Currently, each state is given a number of
electoral college votes based on its population. The number is
identical to the number of senators and representatives a state
has in Congress. To win the presidency, a candidate must earn
270 of the 538 electoral college votes.
"I am in favor of abolishing the electoral college," DeFazio
"I met a woman earlier today, who came up to me, in tears.
People are worried, DeFazio said of the current political de-
The apparent worry spilled over to a budget hearing held by
the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, aimed at taking sug-
gestions and hearing concerns over Oregon's nearly $2 billion
budgetary defi cit. The most recent predictions have estimated
that Oregon will bring in $200 million more than was expect-
ed which will cut the $1.8 billion shortfall to $1.6.
Lawmakers are currently working to create a budget that,
currently, would see cuts to higher education, K-12 education,
health care, transportation and other services.
The shortfall comes as previous funds granted to the state
for health care costs have run their course and costs for the
Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) skyrocket. Cur-
rent estimates show PERS costs continuing to climb through
2017 with the latest data predicting public employers being
mandated to come up with an additional $930 million per bud-
get cycle by 2021.
Saturday's budget hearing, like the one held in Salem, saw
a packed house with residents turning out to speak on the pro-
posed cuts and how a decrease in services would effect them
personally. Stories ranged from student loan debt to fears over
transportation cuts and larger class sizes.
The last of seven scheduled budget hearings will take place
on Friday, March 3 in Tillamook. Previous meetings were held
in Eugene, Salem, Ashland, Portland, Hermiston and Madras.