The Blue Mountain eagle. (John Day, Or.) 1972-current, October 17, 2018, Page A7, Image 7

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    Election 2018
Blue Mountain Eagle
Two competitive
races on ballot
in Long Creek
By Richard Hanners
community together.
Hunt said he believes
that being involved now to
keep the nation and Long
Creek strong is the right
thing to do. He’s proud of
his community and wants
Long Creek to be a good
place to live.
Blue Mountain Eagle
Lou Sprinstead
Long Creek will see two
competitive races for four-
year terms on the city coun-
cil. Incumbent Don Porter
is running unopposed for
another two-year term as
There are three candi-
dates for position No. 3:
Leslie Barnett, Alvin Hunt
and Lou Sprinstead. Two
candidates are running for
position No. 4: Dan Morrow
and Denise Porter.
Sprinstead moved to
Long Creek from Oregon
City, where
he was born
and raised,
years ago.
He’s a vet-
eran and re-
tired from
the telephone
tions business after 35 years.
This would be his first
elected position if he wins.
Springstead said he attends
Long Creek council meet-
ings in the winter and helps
out in community activities
when he can.
Sprinstead said he has no
particular issues in mind but
wants to make a difference
by serving as a council-
or. He wants to bring plain
common sense to city gov-
ernance. His campaign strat-
egy is simple — he says ev-
eryone in town knows him.
Leslie Barnett
Leslie Barnett moved to
Long Creek about 15 years
ago. She, her
husband and
her daugh-
ter own and
operate the
Long Creek
Lodge. Bar-
nett retired
from the tele-
tions industry after 30 years.
Northern Grant County
is uniquely beautiful with
wonderful natural resourc-
es, Barnett said. The state
is growing, and in years to
come, people from the big-
ger cities will be looking
more and more for the op-
portunity to live in a rural
place, she said. The Long
Creek area has a lot of po-
tential with some creative
thinking, she said.
As a councilor, Barnett
said, she would work with
other councilors and the
mayor as a team to solve
local issues. She said she
wants to offer a fresh per-
spective, keeping in mind
her conservative constitu-
tional values and her con-
cern for a healthy, safe and
welcoming community.
Alvin Hunt
Hunt, the incumbent,
has served three terms on
the council.
A Vietnam
War veteran,
Hunt raised
his family in
Long Creek
and said he
stay in the
Hunt worked at Blue
Mountain Forest Products
for 26 years as a millwright
and as a mill supervisor for
the last 12 years. He also
worked on a ranch in the
Long Creek area.
As a councilor, Hunt
said he oversaw the transfer
station and worked to keep
Long Creek utility rates af-
fordable. He also supports
the annual EMS apprecia-
tion dinner, which he said
is a great event to bring the
Denise Porter
Porter has been elected
twice and served two terms
in the Long
Creek City
Council. She
moved to the
city about 27
years ago af-
ter getting a
degree in ed-
ucation with
a specialty
in reading from Western
Oregon State College. She’s
been teaching kindergar-
ten through third grade and
preschool and advising high
school leadership at Long
Creek School since she
moved to the community.
Porter has been a nation-
ally certified firefighter in-
structor since 2008 and is the
training officer for the Long
Creek Fire Department. She
has co-chaired the commit-
tee that organizes the annual
EMS appreciation dinner for
five years.
Porter said she loves be-
ing involved with, working
for and serving her commu-
nity. She works to keep util-
ity costs low and has been
involved in the restructuring
of the 911 dispatch service
in Grant County.
Among the special im-
provements Porter has
worked on is an ongoing ef-
fort to slow down traffic as it
passes through Long Creek.
A new crosswalk has been
installed across Highway
395 and flashing warning
lights are coming, she said.
Dan Morrow
Morrow did not respond
to a request by the Eagle for
an interview or photo.
Walden, McLeod-Skinner
take on the issues
By Phil Wright
EO Media Group
Two incumbents
and three
challengers vie
for positions
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Republican Greg Walden
seeks an 11th term as the U.S.
representative for Oregon’s
2nd Congressional District.
But he said this election is dif-
He is feeling heat from
some constituents. He has
paid for billboards. And Dem-
ocrat challenger Jamie Mc-
Leod-Skinner said she has
now raised more than $1 mil-
lion. Still no threat to the $3.2
million in Walden’s account,
but a good showing for a Dem-
ocrat in this district.
A look around Pendle-
ton shows plenty of Mc-
Leod-Skinner yard signs and
none for Walden. Still, his visit
Friday to town drew all of four
protesters outside the Umatilla
County Courthouse, Pendle-
ton, while about a dozen lo-
cal public and health officials
crowded into a conference
room to meet with the man.
Walden and McLeod-Skin-
ner this week talked about key
issues in the race.
How they see
the district
“We’ve got systems that
are broken,” McLeod-Skinner
said, with 50 percent of district
residents at or near the poverty
She took that figure from
the United Way’s “ALICE Re-
port” for “Asset Limited, In-
come Constrained, Employed,”
which qualifies the threshold
as the average income a house-
hold needs to afford basic ne-
cessities (housing, child care,
food and the like). The ALICE
Threshold includes pover-
ty-level households.
U.S. Census data shows
13.8 percent of the district’s
population had income below
the poverty line, while the
median household income
and the mean
Wa l d e n
said he does
not see 50
percent pov-
erty in the
district, but
pockets lack economic recov-
ery and growth while others
are booming.
Walden said rural broad-
band is essential to the dis-
trict’s prosperity. T-Mobile has
an “aggressive plan” to build
the next generation of wireless
Eastern Oregon, he said, and
other companies are likely to
follow. Walden said public
safety, education, health care
and business all will benefit.
“This is really important to
make sure we’re not left be-
hind,” he said.
McLeod-Skinner, too, said
growth hinges on broadband.
She also touched on the need
for a compact between states so
Oregon could take more water
from the Columbia River for
growth. And she said the Port
of Morrow could be just the
place for a regional recycling
Retaliatory tariffs on Amer-
ican agricultural exports are
jeopardizing communities, Mc-
Leod-Skinner said, and the $4.7
billion bailout to make up for
losses is not the answer.
“Farmers don’t want to bor-
row money from China,” she
said, “they want to sell wheat
to China.”
Walden agreed, but he said
the wheat farmers he talked to
are going to take the “Trump
bump” at 14 cents per bushel,
and the tariffs
are endurable
for now. He
contended the
tion’s use of
tariffs is result-
Rep. Greg ing in better
deals with Can-
ada and Mexi-
co, with China as the big goal.
According to the Pew Re-
search Center, the U.S. tariffs
in 2016 across all products was
1.6 percent. Mexico’s was 4.4
percent and China’s was 3.5
Health care
McLeod-Skinner advocated
for doctors, nurses and other
professionals and tradespeo-
ple to serve in rural Oregon in
exchange for the cost of their
“When I think about health
care, I think about big picture
ideas,” she said.
That includes the consoli-
dation of services and industry,
she said, so patients could ob-
tain health insurance through
the government or a public-pri-
vate partnership. And she wants
to allow for the negotiation
with pharmaceutical compa-
nies to keep drug prices down.
Walden rolled through East-
ern Oregon on Friday to talk
about his bill that helps local
communities fight the opioid
“This will save lives,” he
And he defended his vote to
end the Affordable Care Act.
“Nobody gets kicked off as
long as you’re on Medicaid,”
he said.
to the people
McLeod-Skinner, her sup-
porters and Walden critics
have hammered the conser-
vative politician for his lack
of public town halls this elec-
tion. McLeod-Skinner said
that’s part of the job.
“No. 1 — show up,” she
Walden contended he has
no problem with that and has
had multiple meetings on his
seven trips this year to Uma-
tilla County alone.
“I’m talking to people all
over the district,” he said.
But he does have a prob-
lem when people berate and
even threaten his staff, he said,
that’s become a regular occur-
rence at his office in Bend. He
said there’s is more to the job
than holding town halls, and
in the past 12 months he han-
dled 129,500 correspondenc-
es through a variety of means.
“So I’m deeply engaged in
all of this,” Walden asserted.
Nov. 6,
election night
McLeod-Skinner said if
she wins, she is heading to
Burns on Nov. 7 to attend a
public meeting. She said she
is committed to maintaining
connections with the people
of the district.
Walden said he remains
dedicated to working for the
district and the often quiet
work of passing bipartisan
legislation. He said 92 percent
of his 129 bills have had the
support of 10 or more Demo-
crats. The bill to fight opioid
addiction passed with a wide
bipartisan margin.
Political forecasting web-
sites show the House is like-
ly to flip from Republican
control to Democrat, but
Oregon’s 2nd Congressional
District remains a Republi-
can lock.
estimates McLeod-Skinner
taking almost 35 percent of
the vote and Walden winning
with about 61 percent.
That would be a drop of
about 11 points for Walden
since the 2016 election.
Hicks among six candidates for Prairie City Council
By Richard Hanners
Blue Mountain Eagle
Editor’s note: Last week’s
article mentioned five candi-
dates, but Eddy Hicks was not
included. Please accept our
apology. Hicks’ information
is included with the online
version of the article that con-
tains all six candidates.
Prairie City has a compet-
itive race for the city council
this year, with six candidates
vying for three seats with
four-year terms.
Incumbent Les Church
and challengers Chantal Des-
Jardin, Eddy Hicks, Chase
McClung, Scott Officer and
Tisha Packard are running for
the three positions.
for 15 years,
including six
years as cap-
tain, he said.
Hicks was
elected pres-
ident of the
FFA chapter
at Prairie City
High School,
where he participated in par-
liamentary policy debate and
learned how to run meetings.
After graduating, he
worked on Forest Service ri-
parian fencing projects, fol-
lowed by three years at the
Malheur Lumber Co. mill and
then a season for a ranch near
Kimberly. In October 2014,
he bought a logging truck and
started contracting with Iron
Triangle. He said he’s on his
third truck now.
Hicks said he’s long want-
ed to serve on the city coun-
cil. He sees a need for young-
er councilors that recognize
the needs of children like his
own, and he wants to make
a difference in town. When
people come up to him and
ask for something, he wants
to do what he can to make it
happen, Hicks said.
The biggest issue facing
Prairie City is addressing wa-
ter shortages that have ham-
pered the city for as long as he
can remember, Hicks said. He
also recalled attending a coun-
cil meeting where plans for an
Iron Triangle chipping plant
were discussed. Hicks said
he was disappointed when
people with “environmental”
views expressed concerns
over logging trucks coming
into town and possible noise
from the chipping equipment.
Hicks said he wants to see
positive change in the com-
munity. People have been
divided for so long, which
is almost always going to
happen, but the city needs to
take pieces from each side
and put them together to
make something that works,
he said.
Eddy Hicks
Eddy Hicks grew up in
Prairie City. His father, Dean
Hicks, was a volunteer fire-
fighter for 27 years and served
as fire chief. This meant Eddy
could enroll as a junior fire-
fighter as young as 12, he told
the Eagle. He’s been a volun-
teer firefighter in Prairie City
Oregon Farm Bureau Federation
Oregonians for Food & Shelter
Oregon Gun Owners
Oregon Chiefs of Police Association
Sheriffs of Oregon
Oregon Cattleman’s Association
Oregon Nurseries’ Association
Association of Oregon Home Builders
National Federation of Small Business
Oregon Right to Life
Oregon Dairy Farmers Association
w w w. l y n n f i n d l e y.c o m
Paid for by Lynn Findley for State Representative, Bob Kemble Treasurer