Seaside signal. (Seaside, Or.) 1905-current, October 12, 2018, Page 5A, Image 5

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    October 12, 2018 • Seaside Signal • seasidesignal.com • 5A
Jail is a necessity, not a luxury
I
COLIN MURPHEY/THE DAILY ASTORIAN
The visitation room at the Clatsop County Jail.
Please vote ‘yes’
on Measure 4-195
A
s your elected sheriff of Clatsop County, I have always
tried to do what is right for the majority of the people.
This includes everyone, no matter what walk of life they
may come from.
I can tell you all kinds of stories related to having an inad-
equate jail and the lack of accountability. We have more than
1,500 outstanding warrants. I can tell you people are released
on a daily basis who consistently get out just hours or days after
being arrested, then commit additional crimes at every level from
shoplifting to domestic violence to murder.
I can tell you the
vulnerable, mentally
ill and those with drug
GUEST COLUMN
dependencies default
TOM BERGIN
to the jail, where we do
our best to take care of
them — however, again
due to lack of space,
programs or proper treatment, real help is never fulfilled.
I can tell you the current jail was originally built for 29 in-
mates. It was overcrowded the day it opened almost 40 years ago
in 1980.
Every study (four) over the last 20 years has stated we need
a minimum of 140 beds with room for future expansion. We
have that opportunity now with the closing of the Oregon Youth
Authority juvenile prison in Warrenton that was run by the state.
It is in a good location away from neighborhoods and close to the
current sheriff’s office. We would be repurposing an old build-
ing into a modern facility able to meet the needs associated with
keeping our community safe.
This building would not only create accountability for the in-
carcerated, but would also create a safer environment for mentally
ill inmates. Most of them should not be there in the first place,
but we often have many. It would also provide a better working
environment for corrections deputies, mental health workers, drug
and alcohol counselors, lawyers, doctors, nurses and clergy, all of
whom work within the walls helping to create a place of rehabili-
tation and again accountability.
Some people say I want a remodeled jail because of my
support of Measure 105, which would repeal the state sanctuary
law. They say I want to lock up all illegal immigrants. That is the
furthest thing from the truth. It just doesn’t happen like that. There
are still many laws in place to protect everyone, no matter where
they come from or what they believe. I have dedicated my life to
protecting rights and upholding the law. I will continue to do so as
long as I serve as your sheriff.
However, without the accountability of incarceration — cou-
pled with treatment and compassion — we are just spinning our
wheels and not helping anyone to become productive, sober or
mentally balanced to integrate back into society.
Think what you may about me, but know I have spent 33
years serving this community and doing my best to maintain
the integrity of the law. Clatsop County is in dire need of a jail
facility that will work with our criminal justice partners such as
the courts, mental health and the previously mentioned numerous
other entities.
Clatsop County is a beautiful place to live and a beautiful
place to visit. If you truly want our community to be a safer place
through accountability and compassion, please vote “yes” on
Measure 4-195 to fix our current situation.
n many ways jails are orphans. Most of its “users,” or those
directly affected by them, are confined to the victims of
more serious crime, the officers who arrest those accused,
and the people accused of crimes.
On the November ballot coming soon to your mailbox is
Clatsop County Measure 4-195, which would authorize bonds
to remodel the mothballed Oregon Youth Authority detention
facility in Warrenton into a much-needed county jail.
The cost to families with a house assessed at roughly
$200,000 would be about $43 a year, a fraction of what is
being asked for
by local school
districts and other
GUEST COLUMN
local districts.
JOSHUA
MARQUIS
The difference, of
course, who does a
jail actually serve?
As your elected
district attorney for the last quarter century, I can say without
hesitation, a jail is there to protect you, your family and your
neighbors. Oregon has one of the lower incarceration rates in
the nation and criminals need to really outdo themselves to
actually get locked up. Even in more serious felony crimes,
only 30 percent of convicted felons go to prison. That means
70 percent of convicted felons stay in the community, may
do some local jail time and hopefully learn stealing, selling
drugs, or driving under the influence are not good ways to
live.
But even if you or your family don’t “use” the jail, it is as
necessary to a safe and livable community as a hospital. You
probably don’t want to go there, either, but you sure want it
there if needed.
Some might say that as a career prosecutor, of course I
advocate for a jail. However this winter, after 40 years in law
enforcement, 38 years as a lawyer, and 25 years as your DA,
I will become a private citizen, who hopefully has no more
personal need for the jail as most of you.
There are many reasons this bond needs to pass. This is the
third try in 15 years. It is a likely one-time use of an existing
state facility that might otherwise cost taxpayers twice as
much. But most importantly it is because for the entire justice
system to work, from police to probation, prosecutors to
judges, drug treatment to restraining orders, there has to be an
empty jail bed available if a judge determines it is appropriate.
Most people arrested, even for their third drunk driving
offense, do not await trial in jail. At a cap of 60, the jail is one-
third its needed capacity and dangerous felons are released
every week. A few years ago one of those men murdered two
young women just a few weeks later in Portland. That should
never happen.
Some people have claimed that the sheriff’s political views
should be punished by rejecting a desperately needed public
building. That is spiteful and short-sighted. If I had a dollar for
every time a crime victim or family member tearfully asked
me why the abuser of someone’s spouse or child was walking
free, I’d be a rich man. Immigration cases have not been held
in the county jail for at least a decade. It’s far too full of people
charged with violent felonies who are citizens.
There are a limited number of times the county is willing
to go to the voters for a need like this, which many think will
never impact them. Women will be abused if their abusers are
not held in jail, children will be beaten or worse. This is not a
scare tactic. This is actual experience, in this county.
Measure 4-195 is a modest proposal, using the Oregon
Youth Authority facility the state abandoned. I doubt it will be
usable in the same way in four to five years.
Many people claim the jail does not affect them because
1) their family or friends aren’t locked up, 2) they haven’t
been the victim of a serious crime, or 3) if we don’t build a
jail crime will magically decrease. That’s called “magical
thinking” for a reason.
Do not be misled by emotion or a lack of empathy for the
victims of crime, who tend to be women, children, and the
poor, far more than people like me.
Please join me in voting “yes” on Measure 4-195.
Joshua Marquis is Clatsop County’s district attorney.
Seaside Public Library is a hot spot to be
L
ately I’ve realized folks don’t
know everything the Seaside
Public Library offers and because
we keep adding things, sometimes we
forget to toot our own horn. Did you
know that the Seaside Public Library
offers way more than books? Here is
a refresher course on just how many
cool and awesome things we offer at
the Seaside Public Library. We offer all
these things to out of town folks for the
price of a library card. For folks in the
city limits of Seaside, your card is free,
we just need to see proof of who you are
and where you live.
First of all, we have a few books.
OK, make that a lot of books. In fact, we
have thousands of books. Plus, if you
don’t like the books we have, we can
get you just about any other book you
are looking for with a few exceptions,
just give us a few weeks’ time to find it
and get it to you. We request and borrow
books from other libraries in Oregon
and across the United States. In fact, one
time we even got a book from Langley,
Virginia, from the Central Intelligence
Agency library. Yes, they loan out books
too. I don’t remember what the title was
but likely it was something about spying
or going undercover. We also have sev-
eral thousand music CDs and over 5,000
DVDs and Blu-ray disks.
We also offer magazines and news-
papers. We have about forty different
magazines we subscribe to and you can
check out the back issues. The latest
BETWEEN
THE COVERS
ESTHER MOBERG
issue is for in the library only. We also
have audiobooks on CD which are great
for listening to on long road trips in your
car. We also have something called Play-
aways which are an entire book in one
little box that you can attach headphones
to. These are great if you want to take an
audiobook on a walk or to your job. The
box is small enough to carry easily in a
pocket.
If you are looking to do a little
research on the Seaside area, a great way
to start is the back issues of the Seaside
Signal newspaper. We have the entire
newspaper on microfilm going back to
the early 1900s and staff are happy to
help show you how to use the digital mi-
crofilm reader. You can print out pages
as you go along.
The library also has an energy meter
called a Kill A Watt. If you plug this into
outlets around your house and follow the
instructions, you can find out just how
much energy you are using and maybe
even find out some ways to reduce your
electricity costs.
Something new that we offer at the
library is Wi-Fi hot spots. This is a small
box you can take home for a week and it
will give you free Internet access for up
to 10 devices! We offer this service so
more people have access to the Internet.
We have a lot of demand for this hot
spot so unfortunately, at least for now,
a week at a time is all you can check it
out for before getting back in the line of
people waiting to use it again. We have
two of these devices. They work in the
car or in your home.
We love when folks bike to the
library and we offer free bike locks for
use while in the library. Just let us hold
your ID for you and you can use a bike
lock to chain up your bike to our bike
rack while you are in the library!
While you are in the library, feel free
to use our wireless or Wi-Fi internet
connection. In today’s digital age,
people walk in carrying a smart phone,
tablet, and a laptop and they can connect
them all to our Wi-Fi. Just ask for the
password at the library’s front desk.
For those a little less connected, we
also offer public computers. We allow
ninety minutes per day for adults to surf
the Internet, look for a job, check your
email, we have the Microsoft office suite
on all 14 of the computers in the adult
computer lab.
This is just a small sampling of what
the library offers. We also offer over 250
programs each year for kids, teens, and
adults. Our monthly calendar always
has listed what is available at the library
and the full calendar can be found in the
library or the latest events can be found
at www.seasidelibrary.org.
LETTERS
Letters from Page 4A
workout rooms and found
them small but adequate. The
middle school just next door to
the SEPRD property will soon
be vacated. The fate of that
property is now an unknown.
This should be a consideration
when planning this project.
I feel that it is premature
to request $20 for this project.
Remember that a larger facili-
ty will cost considerably more
for operations. Improvements
have recently been made so
let’s get some use out of those
first! Now is not the time to
ask the taxpayers to pay for
this project. Taxes are already
too high. Please vote no.
Diane Wells
Seaside
A response to
mean-spirited letter
In response to the letter
written by Jane Gable and
printed in The Daily Astorian
on Oct. 4:
It is easy to determine this
writer refers to Kerry Smith,
who is the only one, with an
opponent, running for re-elec-
tion to the Gearhart City Coun-
cil. In response to these false
accusations:
Neither Kerry or I would
ever condone the stealing of
signs or the stealing of any-
thing. We are saddened this
has happened.
I can assure you Kerry
is not desperate. He left for
Africa before his opponent’s
signs were placed. He has no
idea what these signs look like.
He carried with him 50 new
T-shirts and school supplies
for orphaned children with
AIDS.
Kerry and I are fortunate
to have many friends. We are
proud of the company we keep.
They come from all walks of
life and cultures. They include
doctors, carpenters, plumbers,
professors, librarians, land-
scapers, waitresses, yoga in-
structors, and more. Things we
have in common are our open
minds, care for others, and
working to make the world a
better place.
Kerry has taken the job of
Gearhart City Councilor se-
riously, spending a great deal
of time studying Gearhart’s
Comprehensive Plan and ordi-
nances. He prepares for meet-
ings, reading the minutes dili-
gently. If he has questions he
seeks answers from higher au-
thorities in specialized fields.
In 2016 he cancelled a trip to
visit our daughter in England,
to attend a special meeting.
Kerry is a dedicated city coun-
cilor who studies facts before
jumping to conclusions. Far
from desperate, Kerry Smith
is an individual who is intelli-
gent, honest, and committed to
Gearhart.
Susan Edy
Gearhart
Candidate seeks
positive campaign
Though I am continents
away, I have heard about my
opponent’s signs disappearing. I
would like to urge anyone who
is involved in this activity to stop
immediately and return the signs.
This behavior is illegal. It gives
our town a bad name, helping no
one.
Thank you to those who are
supporting my campaign in a
positive way. Everyone can ex-
press their opinions by writing
letters to the editor of The Daily
Astorian or Signal. In hindsight,
I would also like to thank Al
Carder, my former opponent,
who conducted himself with
respect and dignity throughout
the entire 2014 campaign. Ulti-
mately, it is you the people of
Gearhart, who will make your
choice through the voting pro-
cess. I urge you to vote on or
before Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Gearhart is a special town
made up of kind, highly intel-
ligent people, who may or may
not have a college degree. The
majority respect one anoth-
er, look out for one another,
and live together in harmony,
though they may have different
beliefs. These people are not
about telling others how things
should be. Gearhart folks like
the way things are and that is
why they live here. That is why
I live here. Please help protect
what we have.
Kerry Smith
Gearhart
Candidate asks
your vote
Reflecting on the interview
between Kerry Smith and my-
self there are many practical
differences which I believe
Gearhart needs to know. The
following are a few of those
differences:
• Smith on at least two oc-
casions has stated Gearhart
needs to be dragged into the
21st century;
• Smith advocates for the
city annexing new lands for
high-density affordable apart-
ments; and
• Smith’s response to the
lack of budgeting regarding
many of the livability goals of
the city’s comprehensive plan
was: “The city is short on rev-
enues.”
As to Gearhart being
dragged into the 21st centu-
ry — I believe this is Smith’s
code for more growth. His-
torically Gearhart has always
managed to determine its own
cultural values. Taxpayers do
not require an interpreter to
shape their life styles or val-
ues. The continual reliance
on the comprehensive plan is
probably driven by some form
of revenue sharing but this also
leads to increasing encroach-
ment by county and state gov-
ernment into Gearhart affairs.
Smith took an additional
step by advocating for annex-
ation to accommodate afford-
able high density apartments
in north Gearhart. I understand
how critical affordable hous-
ing is to our small businesses,
our tourism, and our aging
population. However, Smith
neglected to address the oper-
ative word of affordability. He
neglected to acknowledge the
stress and costs such growth
would place on all support
services and natural resourc-
es. The issue of affordability
doesn’t need to be placed on
the Gearhart taxpayer. This is
a regional issue and should be
left to the county and state to
formulate and fund — Gear-
hart can determine its appro-
priate role, if any, after fund-
ing sources are resolved.
This upcoming vote is
about enhancing the condition
of all Gearhart residents. Its a
vote for historical and cultural
values. Its a vote to protect and
improve our habitat and our
livability but most important-
ly its a vote to keep Gearhart
just the way it is. Gearhart’s
uniqueness, as in the past, is
now caught between the ex-
treme pressures of commer-
cialization and high density
urbanization. Smith’s lack of
solutions will do nothing to
diminish this dilemma. How-
ever, if you believe as I do,
Gearhart deserves to enhance
its beauty; to hold on to its
uniqueness and to protect our
oasis by the sea, then I ask for
your vote.
Jack Zimmerman
Gearhart
Vote for Kerry
Smith
It is an honor for us to come
out in full-throated support of
Kerry Smith for re-election to
the Gearhart City Council, Po-
sition 1. And here is why:
Over these past four years,
Kerry has given thoughtful
consideration and deliberation
to the pressing issues our city
has faced. In fact, existential is-
sues that rocked the very foun-
dation of keeping Gearhart as it
was intended to be at its 1918
incorporation … a primarily
residential community. In this
regard, he was a huge part of
creating the short-term rental
regulations, helping to carry
Gearhart’s primarily residential
community legacy forward.
He worked tirelessly to re-
solve the dune vegetation issue
that so weighed the city down
in the last few years.
Kerry believes in compro-
mise and listening to the voices
of his constituents.
He has an impressive voting
record and a record of working
well with the council.
Having lived in Gearhart
for over 33 years, Kerry has a
thorough understanding of our
comprehensive plan. He realiz-
es just what that means to the
integrity and livability of Gear-
hart. He lives by this plan and
by the city ordinances.
He believes in transparency
and making sure his constituents
are well-informed on all issues at
hand, including the budget.
He is not afraid to stand his
ground in support of the comp
plan and the best interests of
Gearhart.
Please join us in re-electing
Kerry Smith.
Jeanne and Wilson Mark
Gearhart