The independent. (Vernonia, Or.) 1986-current, April 21, 2011, Page Page 3, Image 3

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    The INDEPENDENT, April 21, 2011
Where to Find Them
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden
1220 SW 3rd Avenue, Suite 585
Portland OR 97232
Phone: 503-326-7525
223 Dirksen Senate Ofc. Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20510-0001
Phone: 202-224-5244
Website: http://wyden.senate.
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley
One World Trade Center
121 SW Salmon St., Suite 1250
Portland, OR 97204
Phone: 503-326-3386
313 Hart Senate Ofc. Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3753
E-Mail: http://merkley.senate.
WebSite: http://merkley.senate.
U.S. Representative David Wu
(Dem) OR District 1
620 SW Main, Suite 606
Portland, OR 97205
Phone: 503-326-2901
2338 Rayburn House Ofc. Bldg.
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-0855
Senator Betsy Johnson
(Dem) Senate District 16
PO Box R,
Scappoose, OR 97056
Phone: 503-543-4046
900 Court St. NE, S-314
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: 503-986-1716
E-mail: sen.betsyjohnson@
Website: http//www.leg.state.or.
Representative Brad Witt
(Dem) House District. 31
21740 Lindberg Road,
Clatskanie, OR 97016
Phone: 503-728-4664
900 Court St. NE, H-373
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: 503-986-1431
Website: http//www.leg.state.or.
Representative Deborah
(Dem) House District 32
PO Box 926
Cannon Beach, OR 97110
Phone: 503-717-9182
900 Court St. NE, H-375
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: 503-986-1432
E-mail: rep.deborahboone@
Website: http//www.leg.state.or.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
on Private Power
Urges support for
The first truth is that the Sheriff’s tax levy
liberty of a democracy is
not safe if the people tol-
erate the growth of private
power to a point where it
becomes stronger than
their democratic state it-
self. That, in its essence,
is fascism – ownership of
government by an individ-
ual, by a group, or by any
other controlling private
— Franklin D. Roosevelt,
"Recommendations Rela-
tive to the Strengthening
and Enforcement of
Anti-trust Laws"
Page 3
To the Editor:
In December of 2009, your
Board of County Commission-
ers (BOCC) established a 21
member Law Enforcement Ad-
visory Committee to take a hard
look at law enforcement servic-
es in Columbia County. The
charge from the BOCC was
very broad and encouraged the
citizen group to look at all the
options and to come up with
recommendations that would
be considered by the BOCC.
This citizen effort identified and
researched over a dozen op-
tions and came up with two rec-
ommendations that were pre-
sented to the BOCC in April of
2010. Those recommendations
are now the basic elements of
an issue placed on the ballot for
all the citizens of the county to
The results of that work now
are on the ballot as Measure 5-
210, for a decision by the citi-
zens of the county. An affirma-
tive vote will greatly enhance
the safety of citizens within the
county, and provide for the
proper operation of the county
jail. Taken together, the long
term economic viability of the
county will be enhanced. A safe
community with the ability to
lock up criminals is very impor-
tant to proper livability and eco-
nomic development.
Passage of Measure 5-210
will provide a stable funding
source for county law enforce-
ment and ensure to all, that Co-
lumbia County is a safe place
to live and work. I would en-
courage every citizen to vote in
the affirmative to help guaran-
tee stable funding for the Co-
lumbia County Sheriff’s Office.
Help to ensure that the hard
work of 21 local citizens be-
comes reality.
Thank you,
Paul Koch
Policy on Letters
not publish letters with per-
sonal attacks on private citi-
zens. Preference will be giv-
en to brief letters, 300 words
or less.
All letters must be signed
and include a verifiable ad-
dress or phone number.
Salem Scene
By Representative Brad Witt
Oregon District 31
As you can imagine, I get letters on a
daily basis asking me to support legislation
on a number of issues, or conversely, to do
whatever I can to see that some legislation
dies a quiet death. Lately, a lot of letters
are focused on the budget and what peo-
ple think we should cut in order to balance
the state’s books. Nothing is done in a vac-
uum, however, and everything that we do
has a profound consequence for some-
one. This week, I would like to give you just a brief overview of the
budget as proposed by the Co-Chairs of Ways and Means, the
committee charged with devising how the state should spend its
money over the next two years.
First of all, I want to emphasize that these numbers are not cast
in stone, although they are based on the best estimate of antici-
pated revenue as based on the March revenue forecast. Every-
thing will solidify after the May 12th forecast. Right now, the
agreed upon scenario for the 2011-13 General Fund & Lottery
Funds Total Budget is $14.380 billion, which reflects a $310 mil-
lion Ending Balance (reserves).
By far the largest budget is Education, at over 50% of general
fund/lottery revenues, with Human Services, Public Safety and
Other Programs splitting the rest of the pie.
Needless to say, when we think about cutting programs, every-
thing helps, but some things help more than others. For instance,
figuring out a better health care delivery system might save much
more than cutting Oregon Project Independence, the cost-effec-
tive program that keeps seniors in their own homes, instead of
sending them to costly nursing homes.
As the Sub-Committees of Ways and Means continue to work
through remaining budgets, they will be guided by the constant re-
minder that money is scarce but people are important. Slashing
programs without regard to the consequences will only create hav-
oc and cause us to spend more in the long run.
Floor Action…
Last week, I carried HB 3215A on the floor of the House. This
bill prohibits convicted felons from purchasing hunting licenses
and tags in Oregon. Current law prohibits individuals from pos-
sessing firearms if they have been convicted of a felony, or found
guilty of a felony except for insanity. Unfortunately, the very same
felons are today free to purchase gun-based hunting licenses and
tags in Oregon. If these licenses or tags are used, it means that
either the felons are using guns or someone else is using the tags
and licenses, both of which are unlawful. The bill passed 41-15.
The 15 who voted against the bill? I don’t know what they were
Last Thursday, former Rainier Police Chief Ralph Painter was
honored by the Oregon House as my colleague, Rep. Jeff Barker,
and I led the passage of HB 3354, which renames the portion of
US Highway 30 between St. Helens and Rainier as the “Chief
Ralph Painter Memorial Highway”.
As I told my colleagues, “If you were lucky enough to know
Ralph Painter, you know that he was the guy who came to your
house in the middle of the night to help repair your broken water
pipe, or the guy who took your kids on a day-long fishing trip with
his children, whom he dearly loved. We were fortunate to have
Ralph Painter as our Police Chief and I know his family will be very
grateful for this honor. This is a fitting honor that recognizes the in-
credible role Chief Painter played as our chief and as our friend.”
The bill passed unanimously and now moves on to the Senate
where Senator Betsy Johnson, as chief co-sponsor, will carry the
Bills of Interest...
• SB 846 Directs Dept. of Transportation to adopt standards for
bicycle trailers designed for human passengers.
• SB 695 Creates unlawful practice of manufacturing, distribut-
ing, or offering for sale child’s beverage container, container for in-
fant formula or reusable bottle lined with Bisphenol A or replace-
ment material that is carcinogenic or is reproductive toxicant.
• SB 945 Prohibits manufacturers or other specified persons
from knowingly selling brake friction material or motor vehicles or
trailers with brake friction material containing specific amounts of
certain fibers or elements that are hazardous when released into
state waterways.
• SB 538 Requires Dept. of Human Services to adopt rules re-
quiring drug testing of adult applicants for and recipients of public
• HB 2020 Directs state agencies to report to Ways & Means ra-
tio of agency employees to supervisory employees/managerial
positions/ number of manager who do not supervise.
• HB 2229 Establishes Oregon Homeless Veterans Coalition in
Dept. of Veterans Affairs.