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About The independent. (Vernonia, Or.) 1986-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 19, 2009)
The INDEPENDENT, February 19, 2009
Published on the first and third Thursdays of each month by
The Independent, LLC, 725 Bridge St., Vernonia, OR 97064.
Publisher Clark McGaugh, firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor Rebecca McGaugh, email@example.com
Mentor Noni Andersen
Printed on recycled paper with vegetable-based dyes
Imagine…a new Vernonia
On Wednesday, February 11, shortly before leading
the celebration of Oregon’s 150th birthday on February
14, Governor Ted Kulongoski held a press conference
in Portland to announce some of the projects he would
like to see built in Oregon with funds that will be going
to the states in President Obama’s stimulus package.
See related story on page 1.
Of special interest to us here in Vernonia is the Gov-
ernor’s stated desire to use the latest sustainable tech-
niques to rebuild Vernonia schools out of the way of fu-
ture floods. Such techniques might incorporate solar,
energy efficient construction, rainwater storage, the
use of recycled materials and more. Other Vernonia
projects identified by Kulongoski include sustainable
rebuilding methods for flood-damaged houses and en-
vironmentally friendly methods for rebuilding our water
and sewer systems.
Any of these projects could be a source of jobs for
people in this community, which would coincide with
one of President Obama’s goals — to generate jobs by
investing in the country’s infrastructure.
Do the Governor’s statements mean it will happen?
Of course not; 49 other states will also seek funds for
their projects. The Governor took another step in the di-
rection of being at the front of the line for stimulus dol-
lars by forming the Oregon Way Advisory Group. Cre-
ated by Executive Order 09-06, the group will be a new
public-private advisory council that will promote Ore-
gon’s green advantage to maximize potential grants
from the federal economic recovery package, with the
goal of creating jobs immediately and for the long term.
We don’t know how much money will be awarded
here, or when it will arrive, but we are hopeful that Ver-
nonia’s projects will stay in line.
Here at The Independent we believe in use, re-use
and recycle. We’ve been printed on recycled paper
with vegetable-based dyes for years, and always recy-
cle all the newspapers we subscribe to and any other
papers we read. What about you? What are you doing
at your home or business? Tell us about your efforts
and ideas. See Imagine…Green on page 7.
Change is inevitable. The kind of change being envi-
sioned for Vernonia is worth imagining. Let’s all do our
part to make it more than imagination, let’s help make
it reality. Imagine…
Out of My Mind…
by Noni Andersen
Rumors are flying – about the future of Ver-
nonia schools and about the national economic
stimulus bill. Most rumors have a negative slant
because most rumor-mongers take a “sky is
falling” approach, especially when they know
nothing about what is going on and are really not
interested in facts.
Locally, I have heard that the school district is
going to approve a $15 million bond without go-
ing to the voters. This is somewhat interesting
because no one has any idea, at this time, how
much the district may need to raise. Actually, no
one even knows just how much new schools will
cost. Regarding a bond issue, there is a way for
qualified agencies to assume some bonded
debt, but even if the district qualified for such a
funding instrument, no one on the school board
is a devoteé of tar and feathers.
Another school rumor is that Vernonia will
close the high school and send our students to
Scappoose. This rumor is “supported” by the re-
cent announcement that Cascade Locks high
school will close and the kids will be sent to Hood
River. Not mentioned, of course, is that Hood
River and Cascade Locks are in the same school
district, while Vernonia and Scappoose have
separate school districts. But we’re talking about
rumors, so who cares about little details like
needing the approval of voters in both districts in
order to merge them into one district?
Some of the rumors about the national stimu-
lus bill are also wildly funny. I think my favorite
probably is the rumor that claims House Speak-
er Nancy Pelosi insisted that money “to protect
the marsh mouse in her district” had to be includ-
ed in the bill. I hate to throw cold water on the un-
derstandable indignation of those who are still
spreading this rumor, but that’s all it is, a rumor.
Not only did Pelosi not seek funds for this pur-
pose, much less “insist,” but that alleged marsh
mouse doesn’t exist. Disappointing, huh?
Another doozy claims that, buried deep in the
bill, there is a clause that lets the government
monitor everyone’s medical treatment to make
sure doctors are “doing what the federal govern-
ment deems appropriate and cost effective.” In
other words, the government will be able to be-
gin “guiding” doctors’ decisions and will be able
to dissuade costly treatments, say, for older folks
who may not have long to live.
This isn’t true, either, but at least it has an ori-
gin. It appeared in an article written by Betsy Mc-
Caughey, a former New York lieutenant governor
who is on the board of directors of a pharmaceu-
tical company and who has sometimes been a
spokesperson for big pharma. While supposedly
quoting the clause in question, she left out a
word or two, changing the meaning. Her article
was then picked up by the Drudge Report and
Rush Limbaugh, which gave it more exposure
but still doesn’t make it true.
Rumors are sometimes harmful, sometimes
ludicrous and sometimes deliberately mislead-
ing. What they are not is factual. Since nobody
ever admits to starting, or even spreading ru-
mors, perhaps it’s time to start calling them the
Gospel according to St. Anonymous.