Opinion, Analysis, Discussion

Publisher's Notebook: Given the chance, don't shoot — run!

April 17, 2015 — 

In the middle of all this Oregon gun talk I ran across a slick and glossy handout that read: “What happens when … you are forced to SHOOT?”

On the flip side of that handout it indicated there was going to be a Lethal Force Conference at the Douglas County Fairgrounds and that the speakers would include a judge, the district attorney, the sheriff and a couple of lawyers.

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Letter: Time to step up with strong leadership for America

April 17, 2015 — 

Stand against liberal agenda

The Republican party has progressively left the traditional conservative values and rather than being the opposition party, fighting for conservative principles, it has chosen the path of moderation. Staying on this path has been the reason for Republican defeat in the past two major elections.

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Letter: Roseburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center director must get involved

April 17, 2015 — 

More active role needed

I very much agree with an April 2 letter writer that the Roseburg VA hospital is sliding back into the “same old groove” as before, where veterans don’t receive the quality of care that they deserve and should have.

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Editorial: Everything has a cost, including the dump

April 16, 2015 — 

The Douglas County Commissioners made a bold and necessary decision Wednesday to start a process that will lead to fees being charged at the currently “free” county dump. The decision will ultimately treat county residents and garbage haulers fairly while protecting county government.

Following nearly two hours of “trash talk” in a public hearing, the three elected commissioners unanimously approved an ordinance that didn’t immediately set those fees but gave the commissioners new authority to do so and to launch an examination of how those fees will be structured.

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Editorial: We must decrease the number of auto fatalities

April 16, 2015 — 

One downside to being newspaper journalists is that we have to report on murders, suicides, drug overdoses, rapes, assaults and other kinds of tragedies and behaviors that do not show humans in a positive light.

Although it’s true that readers often devour these stories — “if it bleeds, it leads” is a journalistic maxim — we can become dispirited when reporting on traffic deaths, since the people who die in car crashes are most likely not guilty of anything.

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Letter: Concerned citizens are needed

April 16, 2015 — 

Curtail the corruption

I am an 88-year-old World War II Army vet who has lived (with my wife) as proud Oregonians since 1990.

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Letter: Recognize Obama for what he's done

April 16, 2015 — 

Veteran stands up for Obama

A recent letter criticizing President Obama for caring more about immigration laws than our veterans was way off the mark. As a Vietnam combat veteran, I’ve closely watched our president’s handling of veteran affairs since President Richard Nixon was in office and not one president since has done more for veterans than President Obama. Since signing into law two tax credits that encourage businesses to hire veterans, to increasing the VA budget and expanding the hiring of mental health providers to treat our wounded veterans. He implemented and improved the post 9/11 GI Bill that became the most comprehensive educational benefit for veterans since World War 2. Working with the VA, he wants to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015.

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Letter: What was gained by Douglas County health study?

April 15, 2015 — 

Study raises more questions

Did I understand your reporting correctly? A publicly-elected official unilaterally hired his previous campaign manager and personal friend to the tune of $15,000 in taxpayer money for two months of work culminating in 11 pages of text without any recommendations made to correct the problem for which the study was initiated?

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Letter: Gun law won't stop criminals

April 15, 2015 — 

Don’t infringe on Constitution

Do you really think registration for gun sales between family members and close friends is going to solve murders?

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Letter: Those who make trash should support Dougas County landfill

April 15, 2015 — 

The dump: it’s a simple concept

The dump is a necessity. We all make trash, therefore, we all must pay for it (as we currently do).

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Guest Column: Childhood stress linked to adult health costs

April 14, 2015 — 

In this time of fiscal scarcity, Washington State has projected savings of $55.9 million each biennium though integration of ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) initiatives and research.

Those are savings Oregon may want to take note of. Washington State has witnessed a decrease in youth alcohol and drug use, high school dropout rate, children in out-of-home placement due to abuse or neglect, teen suicide attempts, teen pregnancy, teen violent crime, and domestic violence.

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Letter: Douglas County leadership volunteers earn praise

April 14, 2015 — 

Volunteers are appreciated

To spread the word about an event I’m organizing, I’ve been traveling all over Douglas County. I’ve been to chamber meetings in Canyonville, Winston and Myrtle Creek, Economic Development meetings, a Roseburg Downtown Association meeting, high school classrooms, staff meetings and assemblies. I was able to talk on-air with Donna Spicer at KPIC and was invited to talk with Kyle Bailey at KQEN.

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Letter: Kelsey Wood runs for Roseburg Urban Sanitary Authority Board of Directors

April 13, 2015 — 

Vote for Wood for RUSA Board

What a pleasant surprise to see that Kelsey Wood is running for a position on the Board of Directors for the Roseburg Urban Sanitary Authority.

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Letter: Workplace equality symbolized by April 14 Equal Pay Day

April 11, 2015 — 

Women’s pay trails behind

Equal Pay Day is the symbolic day when women’s full-time earnings catch up to men’s full-time earnings for the previous year. This year, Equal Pay Day will be April 14.

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Publisher's Notebook: Gun sellers are not the problem

April 10, 2015 — 

Those who support a bill that would require paperwork, cost and time for one Oregon resident to sell a gun to another Oregon resident (not their relative) argue that it would help keep guns out of the hands of crazy people and criminals.

Under that heavily funded proposal — titled Senate Bill 941 — a private person wanting to sell his gun to another private person would need to go to a gun dealer and request a background check on the buyer. In some cases the actual firearm would need to be routed through that dealer.

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Letter: Call to separate school funding from Oregon timber market

April 9, 2015 — 

Supporting House Bill 3474

Oregon’s legislature is currently discussing a bill that would impact the Elliott State Forest. The Elliott has come a long way to get where we are today. Representative Tobias Read’s House Bill 3474 is a no-nonsense plan that will begin the long overdue process of separating school funds from logging, and it stands to benefit us all. The bill will help solve the problems of unloggable trust lands, funding K-12 education and the conservation of old-growth habitat and endangered species.

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Taking responsibility for our health

April 9, 2015 — 

We’re 32nd among Oregon counties, two rungs lower than we were last year.

That’s where Douglas County ranks on this year’s County Health Rankings from the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Letter: Roseburg renter impressed by property management company

April 9, 2015 — 

Prompt repairs appreciated

We recently rented a home from Century 21, The Neil Co., a local property management company. We are the first renters since they began managing the property.

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Editorial: Teachers, students embrace technology

April 8, 2015 — 

About a month ago, reporter Kate Stringer knew she was onto something. Since she covers the education beat, she frequents classrooms regularly, and she noticed that students learn differently today than they did only a decade earlier.

Yes, students still use pencils and paper to do their homework, and they still carry their books in backpacks. Throughout Douglas County, however, teachers are incorporating technology into their lessons, so Stringer proposed a series of articles that would describe how technology has improved the learning processes for students and how teachers and school districts can keep up with the ever-changing technology.

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Guest Column: Douglas County Historical Society needs volunteers

April 7, 2015 — 

On the corner of southeast Douglas Avenue and Pine Street is a historical home known as the Floed-Lane House. It was named this because J. Creed Floed bought the home before the Abraham Brothers finished building it, sometime around 1876. It became the family home for J. Creed Floed and his wife, Emily Lane-Floed. She was the daughter of General Joseph Lane.

Joseph Lane was Oregon’s first territorial governor, a Mexican-American War veteran and hero. He was at that time also a former state legislature member from Indiana and the one of the first two men to be Oregon State’s Senator.

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Letter: Winston man stands against city on water line issue

April 7, 2015 — 

Broken water line unresolved

The Winston-Dillard Water District broke my water line in December and billed me almost $900 for lost water from the line they broke. They threatened to shut my water off if I didn’t pay the bill in full.

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Letter: Let Congress concentrate on working for legal citizens

April 7, 2015 — 

Unionizing immigrants?

Do you know that the U.S. has signed agreements with Mexico, Ecuador and The Philippines to establish outreach programs to teach immigrants their rights to engage in labor organizing in the U.S.? The agreements do not distinguish between those who entered legally or illegally. They are part of a broader effort by the National Labor Relations Board to get immigrants involved in union activism. This is just what we need, more unions and more illegal immigrants unionizing. How long is our so-called elected Congress going to stand by and watch our country being destroyed?

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Letter: Giving Douglas County Assessor Hartman's progress report

April 7, 2015 — 

Assessing the new Assessor

Roger Hartman’s 30-day progress report as Douglas County Assessor is a passing grade with flying colors. He had the public access computers back for use on his first day in office. He immediately hired highly qualified motivated individuals with an abundance of experience. He opened up the office and absolutely turned the attitude in the assessor’s office around 180 degrees.

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Guest Column: Minimize aerial spray to diminish spray drift

April 6, 2015 — 

Logging is a vital part of our economy, history and culture. My house in the woods is 90 percent lumber (both milled and homegrown).

I have close friends who work in the woods and in lumber mills. I’m in favor of sustainable logging in our federal forests. How about a harvest program using existing roads that would generate income for Douglas County, send logs to our local mills and create much-needed fuel breaks and access for our fire-fighting efforts?

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Shining light into the darkness

April 5, 2015 — 

I’m a HUGE fan of sunshine.

Especially when it applies to how our taxes are spent. I’m one of those guys who believes the public’s business should be done in public, and if public servants don’t like it they should go into private business.

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April 3, 2015 — 

Gun laws won’t stop criminals

The presence of guns and violence has been researched in many ways. However, the bill by Senator Prozanski follows a popular pattern of legislation found to be of no value.

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Letter: Where's the accountability at VA Roseburg Healthcare System?

April 2, 2015 — 

Vet isn’t seeing improvement

I am a veteran and use the VA Roseburg Healthcare System. Until recently, I was a staunch supporter of the VA and I was encouraged to see a new VA secretary and Roseburg VHS appointed. However, I have to say that I am disappointed in both of them.

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Guest Column: Ask your legislators: educate or incarcerate?

April 2, 2015 — 

Although spring is coming and flowers are blooming throughout Douglas County, there is no thawing of the deep-freeze in school funding from the Legislature. Schools need more than political lip service to provide a good education for our children. They require stable and sufficient funding, both of which are in short supply. Change won’t happen without your help.

The Oregon Legislature is poised to pass a two-year school budget that, while representing an increase over the previous year, will require cuts to schools throughout Douglas County.

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Transparency necessary to earn trust

April 2, 2015 — 

For the new Board of Douglas County Commissioners to move forward on the many challenging issues facing us, it must first deal with the past. A past largely not of its own making. But one that is very much part of the present.

Commissioner Tim Freeman’s effort to find a solution to the county Public Health Department illustrates the challenges ahead, whether on this issue, the 2015-2016 budget, the local economy and job creation, public safety, parks, the dump, what have you.

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Letter: Know the source of hormone replacement therapies

April 1, 2015 — 

Premarin: how is it produced?

You should know how and where it comes from. It is manufactured by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and it’s made from horse urine! You can check my facts by getting on your computer and typing in, “How Premarin is made” or “horse urine farms.” Plenty of sites will confirm the horrific procedures that horses are suffering.

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