Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About The independent. (Vernonia, Or.) 1986-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 20, 2003)
The INDEPENDENT, November 20, 2003
Serving the upper Nehalem River valley. Published twice
monthly, on the first and third Thursdays of each month, by
Public Opinion Laboratory Ltd., 725 Bridge Street, Vernonia,
OR 97064, as a free newspaper. Publishers, Dirk & Noni An-
dersen. Editor, Noni Andersen. Phone/Fax: 503-429-9410,
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Display Advertising, Clark Mc-
Gaugh, 503-429-9410, e-mail: email@example.com
Nonvoters make travesty
of democratic elections, II
A letter on the opposite page makes the point that
the 9-1-1 levy failed because some registered voters
didn’t cast a ballot. The writer also recounts some of
the reasons why voters approved the measure that,
basically, counts the non-existent ballots of registered
Obviously, those who didn’t vote are responsible for
failure of the levy, but the reasons given for approving
the double majority system are not valid because there
are effective ways to guard against either sandbagging
agencies or block voters, without penalizing those who
care enough to vote.
A “super majority,” which requires a minimum of 60
percent (or 66 percent) voter approval for fiscal meas-
ures, is not at all unusual. This method provides incen-
tive for both proponents and opponents. Another
method, that isn’t quite as common, is requiring that
elections on money measures be held only at specified
times…general elections or primary elections, as a
The point intended, but obviously not made clear, is
that each vote should count, which can’t happen when
non-voters can invalidate an election.
interests local businesses
It was no surprise that turnout for the recent Town
Hall meeting on economic development was some-
what smaller than the number who turned out to com-
plain about the police department. After all, it is much
easier to complain than it is to deal with something as
amorphous as “economic development.”
Nevertheless 35-40 people spent an evening getting
started on the process — then asked for another meet-
ing to continue working on plans.
Those in attendance included local business people,
council members, and some folks who either want to or
plan to open businesses in Vernonia. Another small,
but very important, segment of the audience was com-
posed of students who are taking an economics class
at Vernonia High School. They may have been bored
stiff, but they were attentive and responded well when
All Opinions on this page are written by the editor.
Opinion: A spoonful of money is no cure
It is no longer possible to be surprised
at the fiscally irresponsible government
in Washington, D.C. After all those years
of loudly decrying the “tax and spend
Democrats,” the Republicans refuse to
No, they don’t want taxes to cover the
costs of government, this group just bor-
rows and spends. Of course, that’s a
great way to pass the debt on to some-
one else and they sure aren’t shy about
saddling future generations with mega-
tons of debt.
Sometimes, though, they do get just a
little bit annoyed when their addiction to
spending money they don’t have is men-
tioned in public. Then they do something
grand…like loudly proclaiming the won-
ders of a Medicare drug benefit that
won’t benefit anybody except pharma-
ceutical and insurance companies.
So what is this wonderful thing con-
gress is doing for our senior citizens?
As of Nov. 19, 2003, the agreement on
a Medicare drug bill would cost an esti-
mated $400 Billion over ten years, ac-
cording to the Center on Budget and
Policy Priorities, and much more in suc-
ceeding decades as drug prices contin-
ue to rise. Because the legislation is not
paid for, it will contribute to our long-term
fiscal problems – and we already have
the largest deficit in our nation’s history.
Do our senior and disabled citizens
need help with drug costs. Yes, and so
do the rest of us.
Nevertheless, this legislation has no
provisions to rein in the escalating cost
of drugs. These legislators don’t want to
use Medicare’s huge purchasing power
to negotiate lower prices, as is done by
the Veterans Administration and Medic-
There is one section called “cost-con-
tainment” that will actually pass on in-
creased costs, not just to seniors, but to
low- and middle-income households.
This is because of a provision that will
increase premiums and payroll taxes
even if Medicare costs increase more
slowly than projected.
Price gouging is okay. Excess profits
are okay. Getting rich off of workers’
stolen pensions is okay.
Our poorest elderly will pay more.
Working people will pay more. We will
be told how wonderful this is. Honest
legislators will be castigated for refusing
to buy this hogwash.
Ah, Republican “cost-containment.”