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About The independent. (Vernonia, Or.) 1986-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 18, 2010)
The INDEPENDENT, November 18, 2010
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
Thinking thankful thoughts
It’s that time again. Thanksgiving is next week and our
thoughts turn to those things for which we are thankful.
We are thankful that Vernonia will have a new city coun-
cil come January and that there was such a good turnout of
candidates and of voters.
We are thankful Banks will have the same council that
has been serving them well for the past few years.
Kim Oblack-Morrison has a reason to be thankful after her
car left the highway and went down an embankment. Three
West Oregon Electric Cooperative (WOEC) employees
found her, got help, kept her car from falling further, and kept
her calm (and in her car) until help arrived. See picture of
those three ‘helpers’ on page 1 and see the full story on
page 15 in the Power of the People column. This is just the
latest in a long list of stories in our community of people
helping and watching out for others.
Speaking of WOEC, we are thankful the first winter
weather power outage lasted only a few hours early Tues-
day morning. The outage was caused by a tree down on
Bonneville lines, not our local lines. WOEC was able to
switch to the Chapman line and get it back up pretty quick.
We are always thankful for the number of, and kindness
of, volunteers. We won’t try to list them because the names
would fill up this entire volume of The Independent. Without
volunteers in our community, so many things wouldn’t get
done or done as well. There are many volunteers on com-
mittees, commissions, councils and community organiza-
tions; it is truly amazing. There are many more volunteers
none of us ever hear about, out there doing the little things
that make us all thankful – like taking food to a family in
times of trouble, or checking on an elderly neighbor, or the
gentlemen who cleared the piles of leaves off the Rock
Creek Bridge last week.
We are thankful for the new donations made, this week,
to the Vernonia new schools project; the Oregon Communi-
ty Foundation grant of $50,000 and the Ford Family Foun-
dation challenge grant of $1 million. It will be a wonderful
day for the Vernonia community on December 2 when the
official groundbreaking takes place. That’s a big step to-
wards making the new schools a reality.
We are thankful Benjamin Franklin, one of this country’s
founding fathers, did not get his wish to have the turkey be
the national bird. In 1784, after the Eagle had been chosen,
he wrote to his daughter, “For my own part I wish the Eagle
had not been chosen the representative of our country…the
Turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird, and
withal a true original native of America.”
And, we are thankful for all of the volunteers, contributors,
advertisers, readers and everyone else who makes this pa-
Have a happy Thanksgiving.
Out of My Mind…
by Noni Andersen
Thanksgiving won’t be
here for another week, but
big retailers haven’t wait-
ed until the Friday after
Thanksgiving to start
pushing “All the JOY
Made Easy”, “Set the Per-
fect Table,” “Prices Never
Lower,” etc. This exces-
sive commercialism of
Christmas has always an-
noyed me, but this year I’m not going to object.
In fact, I’m joining in the push for early shopping
— with a difference.
How about buying American-made goods? If
you plan to buy gifts or other items for Christmas,
it would make sense to start supporting our own
economy by buying American-made goods. Yes,
it used to be hard to do, but no longer, at least for
those who know how to place an order on the In-
The web site www.madeinusaforever.com has a
remarkably comprehensive list of merchandise
that is made in America. It includes toys and
games, sports equipment, outdoor, sportsmen
and hunting equipment, clothing for everyone in
the family including Big and Tall, furniture, tools
and automotive equipment, art supplies, office
supplies, rugs, skin and hair care items, linens,
home items, lawn and garden care, pet supplies,
books and cards, health related items, luggage,
gift cards, and flags and patriotic items. Imagine,
an American flag that is made in America!
As of 2008, 65% of the goods we buy from
China used to be made in America. From 2000
through 2008, 43,000 American factories and
three million jobs were “offshored”, taken to an-
other country. So, how about buying American?
If you are among those who would rather elim-
inate using “Christmas” and “commercial” in the
same sentence, there are many ways to empha-
size the spiritual value of generosity and good
will. While there are national and international
charitable organizations such as the Red Cross,
Salvation Army, there are also many organiza-
tions in the local area that would greatly appreci-
ate donations of any size.
Our attention is drawn regularly and appropri-
ately to food banks in Vernonia and Banks, but
there are other important organizations. All of the
following provide invaluable services, and use
donations to help local citizens:
• Mist-Birkenfeld Helping Circle does whatev-
er is needed;
• fire districts, and their volunteer firefighters
and volunteer emergency medical technicians;
• public libraries provide much more than new
books…preschool, after school and summer pro-
grams for youth; movies, computers, special pre-
• senior centers work hard to keep our older
citizens active and involved;
• the WOEC fund to help keep the heat and
lights on for folks hurt by this recession.
A charitable donation made in a loved one’s
name is in keeping with the spirit of Christmas…
and provides another reason for Thanksgiving.