Opinion, Analysis, Discussion

Guest Column: Enjoying the freedoms of retirement

February 7, 2016 — 

I’ve been retired a month and thought I’d share some early observations, in the event some of you may be contemplating your own retirement, or perhaps wondering what it’s like to be unemployed.

For starters, I got out of bed at 8 this morning. I’m pretty sure that’s what time I was meant to get out of bed the past 64 years, but couldn’t because I had to be at school or work. God always intended for us to get up when our body felt like getting up, not when some alarm clock told us to.

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Letter: Do not insinuate false ideas

February 5, 2016 — 

On the Opinion Page of the paper Friday, Jan. 29, there was an article about the Malheur refuge takeover.

In it the News-Review stated, “The News-Review wants the facts to become known. More likely they will continue to be clouded by rhetoric that includes a misreading of the U.S. Constituion, the ‘ownership’ of the land and property and the motives of the ‘militias’ members and state, county and federal authorities.”

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Letter: Library user upset with abuse

February 5, 2016 — 

I agree with the article from Mary Corum, “Stop trashing our library.” We have a fine library and an active readers base. Now, we need an active volunteer group who will dedicate their time in keeping the exterior safe and clean.

The abuse received from homeless or jobless youth is taking its toll on an otherwise beautiful building. Entering the library is becoming a challenge as I by-pass an angry looking young adult, step over urine stains or vomit and watch the once healthy plants give up.

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Guest Column: Preventing debilitating diseases among women

February 4, 2016 — 

Just about every minute, a woman dies of heart disease. The majority of these deaths are avoidable. That’s why Social Security encourages you to participate in National Wear Red Day on February 5, which aims to raise awareness about preventing heart disease and stroke among women.

Social Security plays an important role in many women’s lives — nearly 60 percent of people receiving Social Security benefits are women. Social Security provides important financial assistance to women in times of need, including a sudden illness or an injury leading to disability. While many illnesses and injuries are difficult or impossible to prevent, there are steps that women can take to help prevent some health issues, so that they can live longer and healthier lives.

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Letter: Thankful for Whistleblower Protection Law

February 4, 2016 — 

After reading the article, “Dannenhoffer files whistleblower complaint in federal court,” against Architrave/DCIPA, all I could say was, “Finally.”

In 2010, I experienced a similar situation while employed with DCIPA, reporting to Brent Eichmann and Ron Preston.

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Letter: Obama is a hater of Constitution

February 4, 2016 — 

In response to Kathleen Small’s letter to the Editor on Jan. 17, you incriminated yourself when you called yourself a “native, stupid resident of LaLa land” by taking a stand against guns.

Obama’s long standing goal is to eliminate guns in the hands of all law abiding citizens of America. Obama has said this many times over the past seven years.

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Letter: Occupation was wrong-headed

February 4, 2016 — 

Police tactics in occupations have had a long-term learning curve since 1985 and before.

One of the main concerns as expressed particularly by the Northern Paiute Tribe of Indians, was the preservation and protection of their artifacts and antiquities being stored at the Malheur Refuge, 4000 in all.

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Letter: Society to blame for low graduation rate

February 4, 2016 — 

It is no surprise Oregon has abysmally low graduation rates. Education is not valued by many Oregonians. “I don’t need to go to school,” a student told his teacher, “I can just go on welfare like my father and grandfather.” Many students are not motivated to prepare for the workforce because they believe that someone will take care of them whether they work or not. Education is discouraged by easy availability of welfare.

Jobs for teenagers are severely restricted by regulations and impossibly high minimum wages. Children who have never worked unpleasant jobs see no need for education.

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Letter: County fair is dwindling

February 4, 2016 — 

It appears the Douglas County fair has fewer exhibits each year. Why?

Are the commercial booths too expensive for the businesses to take advantage of the publicity they would get?

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Notes From a Local Kitchen: Valentine's Day indulgence

February 2, 2016 — 

I’ve eaten more green smoothies, salads, roasted root vegetables, beans and tofu in the past month than ever before in my life. I enjoy the flavor, nourishment and variety they bring to my table.

My enthusiasm for beets and Brussels sprouts continues to blossom. I’m keen on kale, both green and purple varieties, which I keep on hand washed, stemmed, bagged and ready to be tossed into soups, salads and casseroles.

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Letter: Enough is enough

February 2, 2016 — 

The whole wildlife refuge occupation drama has been blown out ofperspective. Land owners are under attack from big business and dubious relationships between government officials or their children to take away land and land rights for kickbacks.

The occupants of the wildlife refuge could have been starved out. They could all be handed summons for trespassing with daily escalating fines. They could have been given a deadline to leave peacefully and then been told that the roads would be severed to and from the location and that any cost to deal with them would be their responsibility.

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Letter: Stop trashing our library

February 2, 2016 — 

Anyone other than myself fed up with the way the front of our beautiful library is being abused? Low-lives using the bathroom, camping out on the steps and porch, smoking in front of the “No Smoking” signs and eating and dumping trash in front of the “NO Loitering” signs. I shiver when they look me in the eye and dare me to do something about it.

The library workers have tried to chase them away, but they don’t leave. Laws are being broken. Where are our law enforcement officers? Across the street at the bagel shop. Our library should be a show place, but it makes me sad at the conditions one must walk through to get to the beautiful inside.

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Guest Column: Your social security benefit statement

February 1, 2016 — 

It’s that time of year again: time to start preparing to file your taxes. If you receive Social Security benefits, one of the documents you will need when filing your federal income tax return is your Social Security Benefit Statement (Form SSA-1099).

Your Social Security benefits may be taxable. This includes monthly retirement, survivor and disability benefits. About one-third of people receiving Social Security benefits must pay taxes on some of these benefits, depending on the amount of their taxable income.

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Guest Column: Minimum wage proposals don't make cents

February 1, 2016 — 

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Letter: Armed occupation constitutional

February 1, 2016 — 

There were some reasonable points in the guest editorial you printed Friday from the East Oregonian, but I could not believe one sentence from that piece.

“No one should be injured or killed or threatened or jailed because of something they believe.”

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Letter: Feds still overreaching

February 1, 2016 — 

It is not easy being an American. Truly being an American requires more than just going to work, coming home and enjoying the good life. It requires that we look around and see what is going on. When we find something that is wrong, we need to try to correct the problem.

I believe that we as Americans have abdicated a lot of our responsibilities to the government. That shift in power was never intended by the founding fathers. As we let those little things slide by, the Government took over. The result is that the balance of power has tipped the wrong way.

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Letter: Working together to solve homelessness

February 1, 2016 — 

This was truly an unfair question because the best answer is “all of the above.”

If you chose just the city, then only the homeless in that particular city are considered. If only the county, then citizens and nonprofits are left out of the equation. If you chose only citizens, then where will the money come from that cities, counties and nonprofits can garner?

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Extension Spotlight: Weed Day all about control

January 31, 2016 — 

Douglas County Weed Day is an annual educational event that has directly helped over 1,400 people to learn to work safely and effectively to control pests in home gardens, school yards, parks, farms and ranches, forests, and roadway areas since 1999.

Most Weed Day information is focused on methods for controlling weeds; but much of it applies to other pests such as insects, rodents and fungi. This is because ‘pest’ control is best done using a combination of approaches called Integrated Pest Management.

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Stargazer: Watch the skies for a parade of planets

January 31, 2016 — 

Evening Planets

Tonight, look to the southeast, about 9 p.m. PST to spot a bright “star”. That’s Jupiter. Each night this month, Jupiter rises a bit earlier and gets slightly brighter. A nearly full moon will pass below and to the right of Jupiter on Feb. 23. By month’s end, Jupiter will pop over the southeast hills just as the twilight fades.

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As We See It: Here's hoping legislators work for the good of the entire state

January 31, 2016 — 

During the “short” session of the Oregon Legislature, which begins Monday, we’d like to see the House and the Senate, which represent the entire state, in fact, represent the entire state, including and especially, rural Oregon.

Rather than propose a legislative agenda with this writing, we have a few thoughts about how legislation should be enacted.

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Letter: Urges passage of Crater Lake Wilderness plan

January 29, 2016 — 

How important is cold, clean water? The economy of the future is clearly connected to water and what could be more conservative than protecting the source of your water. I fully support passage of the Crater Lake Wilderness additions. Regardless of what you do for a living, cold clean water is vital for your survival.

When the political leaders of Douglas County wake up to the economic importance of tourism, these wilderness areas will be of tremendous value by simply being there. The surrounding national forests will benefit from the genetic material that thrives in Wilderness areas. Our forests are more than a collection of trees. Forests are a complex community of fungus, plants, animal and birds as well as the trees.

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Kudos: Woman thankful for good Samaritans

January 29, 2016 — 

What an incredible community we have moved into — Roseburg.

There are so many good people out there (in spite of what we hear, see and read about) and I must tell you about two of them.

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Letter: Racial profiling is a factor in wildlife refuge protest

January 28, 2016 — 

A lot has been said about the armed group of farmers occupying the wildlife refuge in Burns. Many people are in favor of the armed occupation, and even more are against it. Isn’t it odd, though, that because the perpetrators in this case are white, they are considered good old cowboys?

Had the group been predominantly black or, heaven forbid, of Middle Eastern origin, it would have been labeled far less humorous. They would have been called terrorists. One doesn’t have to look too far back to find plenty of examples for this. What comes to mind is the 1985 standoff with the police of a self-proclaimed black liberation group called MOVE that ended when the police dropped a bomb onto the compound. That’s right, a bomb. This resulted in the deaths of 11 MOVE members, including 5 children, and the destruction of 65 houses. No one from the city government was ever charged criminally. Why am I bringing this up? Because I am, unfortunately, not convinced that an incident like that couldn’t happen again. Just not against white guys armed to their teeth occupying public property.

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Letter: Rest in peace Ron Culbertson

January 28, 2016 — 

The community has lost an honored and beloved citizen recently in the passing of Ron Culbertson. My husband and I mourn for his family and his friends as they must now go on without him in their lives.

We met Ron and his wife Colleen in 1974; not long after we moved to Myrtle Creek. We have been honored and blessed to have been included among his many friends and enjoyed many wonderful times together over more than 40 years.

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Kudos: What an amazing community

January 28, 2016 — 

Back in February of 2015, the board of directors for Chapter 805 of the Vietnam Veterans of America voted to bring a “Fallen Soldier Battle Cross” monument to the new National Cemetery Annex in Roseburg. After some discussion, we agreed on size, content of text and materials for construction. Next, to pay for it.

We decided we would print and sell calendars with a patriotic theme.

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Letter: Reasons to vote for Anthony Griffin

January 27, 2016 — 

I wanted to tell you a bit about my husband, Anthony F. Griffin, who is running for Douglas County Circuit Court Judge. One thing that he prides himself upon above all else is his integrity. The old adage “Integrity means doing the right thing, even if no one is watching” doesn’t go far enough for him. He prefers, “Integrity means doing the right thing, regardless of who is watching.” What you see with Tony is what you get – honest, down-to-earth, compassionate, and concerned with his community. He isn’t going to present himself to the prosecutors one way and the defense attorneys another. He doesn’t sugar coat his personality. When representing his clients, he won’t tell them that they have a fantastic case just to get money in the door; he presents them with a realistic view of their case and what the next steps should be.

My husband also has an unmatched compassion and a drive to do good for the community. Since returning to Roseburg after his “twelve-hear hiatus” serving in the Navy, he has gotten deeply involved in refereeing for wrestling, and this year is the commissioner of the referee’s organization. Wrestling gave him such a strong sense of self-worth and work ethic growing up, and he wants to be a part of that for the next generation.

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Guest Column: Oregon Promise opens doors to college

January 27, 2016 — 

For high school seniors, winter is a busy time. There are applications to collect, forms to fill out and essays to write. Most are connected to post-graduation plans that have been made for work or further education.

Students with plans for the future in place already know what to do, and they’re on it. But what about the kids who are floundering because they’re uncertain what the future holds? Or, worse still, what about those who have given up hope for college or vocational training because they lack funds or guidance or both?

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Letter: Room for improvement at Glendale school

January 27, 2016 — 

No one does everything so well that there isn’t room for improvement.

In my opinion, a school board’s first responsibility should be to provide a safe and orderly atmosphere to promote educating the students who attend their school. The board’s responsibility should also include overseeing policies and actions of the superintendent, willingness to listen to what school staff has to say without there being retribution for what is said, and representing the folks who elected them to the board in a decent, fair, and professional manner.

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Extension Spotlight: Warm dinners for cold winter nights

January 26, 2016 — 

It’s that time of year, the temperatures are dropping, the rains are here and that means comfort foods. Each year when I see the last of leaves on the trees and gray skies, I instantly want a dish that is warm and easy to do and makes my house smell fantastic. For me that’s a hearty bowl of stew, spicy chili with cornbread, or turkey noodle soup. We all have our favorite comfort foods. They invoke a memory of when we were younger, or a time of celebration perhaps. My very first comfort food was my dad’s potato soup. It wasn’t fancy, but it represented what it meant to be home with my family on a cold winter’s night. It was also fun for my sister and me, because on that night, we all ate dinner sitting in our favorite chairs or on the couch. Hot pads in our hands and that wonderful soup was slurped with great satisfaction.

For that reason, I love dishes that simmer a long time or are done in big pots. I have a large red enameled cast iron pot that I do my comfort dishes in. Hubby always comments, “Oh, I see the big red pot. We’re eating good tonight!” Now I’ve taken my dad’s potato soup and spruced it up a bit by adding some spinach and bacon. Let’s face it, bacon makes everything wonderful. I can still hear his voice saying, “Who’s ready for soup?” Even though it tastes a bit different, I am instantly transported home to that young girl sitting on the couch and enjoying the feeling of contentment.

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Extension Spotlight: Game Day Dip

January 26, 2016 — 

Well, Super Bowl 50 is just 12 days away. Whether you’re an armchair quarterback, half-time groupie or commercial junkie like me, lots of great (but not so great for you) foods will be in abundance on Feb. 7.

According to USDA data cited by the Miami Herald, Super Bowl Sunday is the second largest food consumption day of the whole year. Thanksgiving, no surprise, is the first. Exactly how much food will we Super Fans consume on game day? Well, here are the stats on three of the most popular items:

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