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OP-ED: Save Medicare and Social Security

Posted by on Oct 15, 2018 in Tillamook County Pioneer | Comments Off on OP-ED: Save Medicare and Social Security

www.tillamookcountypioneer.net

By John Rogan, Tillamook
In the past one of the constant themes of the Republican Party was that Democrats were burdening our children with an enormous national debt. The refrain went something like ‘what we spend on ourselves today they will have to pay for tomorrow’. However now that they are in power they are expanding the national debt at an alarming rate. One factor driving this increase is the tax cut that basically benefited the very rich. As Trump boasted to his billionaire backers at Mar-a-Lago, “I have just made you very rich.”

Republicans seem to realize that expanding the national debt cannot continue at the current rate, and their answer to this situation is becoming clear – slash Medicare and Social Security. The Republican strategy is to label Medicare and Social Security as ‘undeserved entitlements’, ignoring the fact the we have paid for them during our entire working lives. Clearly the ones who are going to end up paying for the tax cuts to the super rich are you and I.
The Republicans are in a bind of their own making. They have positioned themselves as the party of ‘fiscal responsibility’ and yet they have now taken the national debt to new heights. On the other hand they cannot afford to ignore the demands of their billionaire backers which include the enactment of even more tax cuts. The only remaining option for them is to take away the earned benefits of the middle and working classes.
It is clear that in 2019 Republicans, if they are still in power, will make major changes and cuts to Medicare and Social Security and at the same time enact yet another tax break for the super rich. If you value Medicare and Social Security use your vote to save these programs.


Source: Tillamook County Pioneer

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Hunt for mushrooms and other treasures this fall with the Explore Nature Series

Posted by on Oct 15, 2018 in Tillamook County Pioneer | Comments Off on Hunt for mushrooms and other treasures this fall with the Explore Nature Series

www.tillamookcountypioneer.net

Fall has set on the Tillamook Coast, and while the days may have gotten shorter, the fun is only just beginning. This autumn, join the Explore Nature Series in some of their most popular and unique events all year long.
“We truly love this time of year – there is so much going on between hikes, paddles and guided tours, you can find something to do nearly every week that will take your appreciation for the Tillamook Coast to a whole new level,” said Chrissy Smith with the Friends of Netarts Bay.

Wild Mushroom Walk at Alder Creek Farm
Coming up on Oct. 22 is the Wild Mushroom Walk with the Lower Nehalem Community Trust. Ida Gianopulos will be leading this guided mushroom walk through the Sitka Wetlands rain or shine, focusing on the ecology of fungi and how they shape the forest around them.
“My goal is to help people appreciate fungai for the role they play in the forest, and not just in the kitchen,” she said. “I think people spend a lot of time learning to forage, without realizing how these mushrooms impact their environment.”
Participants will learn basic mushroom identification and how to use a guidebook during this ecology-focused walk through a wetland preserved by the Lower Nehalem Community Trust.
Ida earned her B.S. in Ecology at Humboldt State University, and became involved with land conservation while working as the stewardship assistant for the Lower Nehalem Community Trust. One of Ida’s greatest passions is mycology, and she is an enthusiastic teacher of the wonders of the fungal kingdom.
Registration for these events is required at explorenaturetillamookcoast.com. Both are free and are part of the Explore Nature series of hikes, walks, paddles and outdoor adventures.

Explore Nature Series events are hosted by a consortium of volunteer community and non-profit organizations, and are meaningful nature-based experiences highlight the unique beauty of Tillamook County and the work being done to preserve and conserve the area’s natural resources and natural resource-based economy. They are partially funded through the Economic Development Council of Tillamook County, Visit Tillamook Coast and the Travel Oregon Forever Fund. Learn more at www.explorenaturetillamookcoast.com.

SIDEBAR
More upcoming Explore Nature Events:
Oct. 20 – Hike Bay Ocean Spit. 1 – 4 p.m.
Oct. 31 – Plant Native Seeds. 10 – 3 p.m.
Nov. 3 – Marvelous Mushroom Adventure. 9 – 12 p.m.
Nov. 17 – Salmon Watch Science Hike. 10 – 12 p.m.


Source: Tillamook County Pioneer

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QUESTIONS FOR THE CANDIDATES: State Representative House District 10

Posted by on Oct 15, 2018 in Tillamook County Pioneer | Comments Off on QUESTIONS FOR THE CANDIDATES: State Representative House District 10

The Tillamook County Pioneer sent five questions to Tillamook County candidates for State Representative for House District 10 (south Tillamook County); House District 32 (Central/north Tillamook County); Tillamook County Board of Commissioners; and Tillamook PUD Board Candidates.
Over the next week, we will publish the candidates’ answers, beginning with candidates for state representative. It is our belief that voters need as much information about the candidates as possible, and many can’t make it to public forums and events, and the ads, social media, postcards, brochures do not always give an accurate view.
It is our intention to provide the opportunity for voters to compare the candidates on a level playing field. PLEASE VOTE! Register online by Oct. 16th. If you aren’t registered to vote – it’s easy! You can register online at https://sos.oregon.gov/voting/Pages/registration.aspx?lang=en until October 16th. Register now!! And VOTE!


MEET THE CANDIDATES: State Representative House District #10
Thomas Donohue

1. Why do you want this position, and why are you the best person for it?
I moved to Tillamook County in 1980 from the Salem area. During the last 38 years, I’ve seen this area go from a natural resources middle income economy to a tourist based economy where the average household income is only around $35,000 a year. Meanwhile, the Portland / Willamette Valley household incomes are considerably higher; around $51,000 to $55,000. Oh, by the way, the country’s average income is $61,000.
Because approximately 19 of 30 Oregon Senate seats are located in the Portland / Willamette Valley area, their interests consistently get more consideration from Salem, where the coast & eastern Oregon’s interests fail to gain traction. Considering the Democratic dominance in Salem, the only way to change that dichotomy is for Conservatives to win control of the House or Senate.
I am a fiscal Conservative. I’m not an economic expert but I can analyze Oregon’s basic financial problems and offer practical solutions. Those solutions basically are to reduce the size of Oregon’s government, reduce the business regulation burden and reduce taxes to stimulate our economy, just like President Trump did in mid to late 2017.
Our State is approximately $35.7 Billion dollars in debt. That’s about $8,600 owed by each of Oregon’s 4.1 million citizens. $25 Billion dollars of that debt is the unfunded liability of our Public Employee Retirement System (PERS). Note: The actuarial liability of PERS is approximately $90 Billion dollars.
Oregon’s current revenues are about $40.4 Billion dollars but we’re still currently spending about $51 Billion dollars each year! In a year from now, our debt will be approximately $45 Billion dollars which is over 100% of what our incoming revenues are. In other words, we are spending 25% a year over our income. This is not sustainable! We WILL go bankrupt if we don’t STOP SPENDING RIGHT NOW!!!
Raising new taxes like an environmental Cap & Trade tax, creating new “individual sales taxes” for computers, groceries or cell phones, rescinding the “Kicker” for individuals or removing the limits on property taxes by deleting “Measure 5”, are NOT answers to this “Credit Card Binge” the Legislature is on. Just considering Cap & Trade, transportation costs for commodities to the coast will increase the costs for EVERYTHING. This will hammer our coastal economy!
We need to eliminate or condense state agencies, have public employees pay the 6% the state is currently paying toward their pensions and pare back the amount of state employees.
Don’t get me wrong, almost all of our public employees are dedicated hard working people but we can’t sustain the status quo.
We can make it easier on our employees by gradually increasing their contributions to their pensions over a 3 year period (2% a year), but this has to be done. They already are paying 6% toward their medical insurance due to lawmaking in previous legislative sessions. It’s time for them to pay toward their own pensions. All new hires should be offered a 401k plan just like the rest of America.
Many of our state agencies and school districts have a massive middle management problem with 3 or 4 layers of vertical middle management. Normal medium or large businesses only have one layer. Each manager usually have 3-10 administrative assistants or coordinators. This practice bloats the bureaucracy immensely and hampers communication within the organization. This organizational bloat can be changed by the Governor’s executive decisions but even if a Conservative administration is elected, it could revert back without a legislative solution written to eliminate partisan influence in the future.
We will go broke if we don’t start trimming our state government, and I mean RIGHT NOW!!!
2. What will you do to make a difference for Tillamook County?
I will be an advocate for fiscal reality, I will defend our individual Constitutional rights; especially the 2nd Amendment, create legislation to eliminate or condense state agencies and legislation to upgrade our coastal infrastructure utilizing Lottery bonds (not increase taxes).
3. What are your main/top priorities?
My top priority is to fix PERS and to legislate ways to pare back state government.
4. Provide a SWOT analysis of Tillamook County – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
Tillamook’s strengths are easy to describe; our plentiful natural resources and its citizens. Unfortunately, our access to those natural resources and how they are managed, are problems that the federal and state governments have created.
One of our weaknesses and biggest threat is the need for better preparedness for a natural disaster. Educating our local citizens and visitors on how to react when danger happens as well as stock-piling emergency rations and equipment away from the danger zones is imperative. Those things need funding from state sources and active local participation.
Other weaknesses are the coast’s meager infrastructures, where help from the state is desperately needed. Local bond measures to add police or fire personnel, upgrading roads, water, sewer, power and communications are a major burden to small communities where average incomes are well below the national average and everything is so darn expensive. State help is possible with financing from Lottery bonds. We just need a stronger advocate in Salem.
Major opportunities exist for our smaller coastal businesses where they can hire and pay better wages to their employees if they aren’t strangled with local and state regulations and there is access to multi-family housing (apartments) for those who work and support those businesses. Our state land use policies severely hamper our access to new housing possibilities. Those policies need to factor rural needs not just liberal urban thinking. This takes strong local representation in the Salem capitol.
5. Please describe your vision for Tillamook County.
We need stronger advocates in Salem and Washington DC. We need access to our resources, stronger more practical education for our children and decent health care for all. If we can find those political advocates, Tillamook County will move forward through the 21st century with a stronger economy backed up with our amazing natural coastal beauty. Our ocean, intertidal areas, rivers, dunes and magnificent rain forests are an inspiration and a marvel for ourselves and visitors from all over the planet. We will protect these things and live in harmony with them in this beautiful county with the freedom we’ve inherited from God and the greatest country on Earth, the United States of America.


Source: Tillamook County Pioneer

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QUESTIONS FOR THE CANDIDATES: State Representative House District 10

Posted by on Oct 14, 2018 in Tillamook County Pioneer | Comments Off on QUESTIONS FOR THE CANDIDATES: State Representative House District 10

www.tillamookcountypioneer.net

The Tillamook County Pioneer sent five questions to Tillamook County candidates for State Representative for House District 10 (south Tillamook County); House District 32 (Central/north Tillamook County); Tillamook County Board of Commissioners; and Tillamook PUD Board Candidates.
Over the next week, we will publish the candidates’ answers, beginning with candidates for state representative. It is our belief that voters need as much information about the candidates as possible, and many can’t make it to public forums and events, and the ads, social media, postcards, brochures do not always give an accurate view.
It is our intention to provide the opportunity for voters to compare the candidates on a level playing field.
PLEASE VOTE! Register online by Oct. 16th
If you aren’t registered to vote – it’s easy! You can register online at https://sos.oregon.gov/voting/Pages/registration.aspx?lang=en until October 16th. Register now!! And VOTE!

Now, Let’s Meet the Candidates – beginning in with House District 10, south Tillamook County:

David Gomberg: House District 10

1.Why do you want this position, and why are you the best person for it?

The 10th House District is large and diverse, stretching from Netarts and Oceanside to Yachats and inland to Sheridan. Since first elected, I have committed the time necessary each week and actually each day, to visit our communities, events, schools and organizations. I’ve made the effort to show up. I’ve made a point to listen and understand. And I’ve worked very hard to be effective.
While there can never be complete agreement on every issue, I believe my vision and my votes best reflect the interests and concerns of the Central Coast.

2. What will you do to make a difference for Tillamook County?

I think I have made a difference for Tillamook County.

While most state representatives represent just part of a larger city, I represent dozens of smaller towns and communities. And each have unique needs. My greatest challenge as one legislator is to bring state resources and policy to those needs.

Neskowin needs a second access road; Pacific City needed sand control; Cape Kiwanda needed park safety support; our wetlands need tidegate support; the Dory fleet needed regulatory relief; the shellfish industry needed attention to ocean acidification; the PC Airport needs to stay in state ownership. The list goes on-and-on. I’ve provided leadership on all of these projects.

My work in Salem has funded a dedicated Small Business Development office in Tillamook and doubled funding for veteran programs. I’ve taken a hard stand against offshore oil drilling. I’ve voted for improvements to local transportation needs from potholes and bike lanes to highways and bridge repairs. I’ve worked to support our schools and our seniors.

Garnering support for smaller and rural communities is not easy. But I believe I have delivered for Tillamook and the Central Coast.

3. What are your main/top priorities?

Schools, seniors, the environment, housing, health care, clean water, and more and better jobs.

4. Provide a SWOT analysis of Tillamook County – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats

Strengths: The magnificent coastline, our natural environment, and our rich agricultural heritage provide a foundation for all things Tillamook. But our greatest strength is our people. They work hard, they believe in family and in community, and they make Tillamook the special place it is.

Among those people are many active retirees who bring a lifetime of experience and have the time to contribute to local government, our schools, charities, events, the arts, and generally making communities more vibrant, interesting, and successful.

Weaknesses: Too many people who want to work in Tillamook County cannot find a place to live in Tillamook County. An unacceptable number of our children are listed as homeless because they do not have a long-term and safe place to sleep each night. And far too many come to school each day hungry.

Our infrastructure is aging. That includes roads and bridges, sewer and water systems, tide gates, and public buildings. And we need new infrastructure like broadband.

We need more living-wage jobs. The average minimum-wage earner here is a 29-year-old single parent. Ten years after entering the workforce, they still receive the minimum, in part because there are too few opportunities to move up through the economy. As a result, many talented young people move away looking for career opportunities. We need to develop those opportunities here at home!

Opportunities: Oregonians are entrepreneurs. NIKE started with a waffle iron; INTEL began in a garage; Leatherman began on a weekend workbench. And the next great Oregon success story is out there in our coastal hills if we provide the support and tools needed for them to succeed.

People want to live and work on our coastline and pristine hills. New technology will allow them to do so and the entire economy will benefit.

Our travel industry is just beginning to thrive. We have demonstrated here how traditional farming enterprises and tourism programs can work hand-in-hand. The Creamery now gets more visitors than the Space Needle! I supported the transient room tax and it is now generating revenue (from people who don’t live here) to manage and focus tourism programs and also help pay for police, fire, and other public services.

Threats: One day the ground under our feet will start shaking and life as we know it will change. We need to prepare. We need to put tools and practices in place now that will enhance our ability to withstand, sustain, and recover.

I also worry about increasing divisiveness, incivility, and extremes in our national politics that filter down to local communities. Regardless of party, religion, race, sexual orientation, income, or the nation our ancestors came from, I believe we are all Oregonians. I believe we can respect each other – even when we disagree. We can all help each other productively. And we can work together to create a better, brighter future for our kids and grandkids.

5. Please describe your vision for Tillamook County.

Quite simply, that Tillamook County be a remarkable place to live, work, raise a family, and retire.


Source: Tillamook County Pioneer

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OP/ED: Register to vote by Oct. 16 because ‘If you don’t vote, you can’t complain’

Posted by on Oct 14, 2018 in Tillamook County Pioneer | Comments Off on OP/ED: Register to vote by Oct. 16 because ‘If you don’t vote, you can’t complain’

Tillamook County Democrats Candidate Forum


By Brian Halvorsen, Independent/Progressive candidate State Representative District 32
After telling my boss that I needed time off to campaign, he told me something that stuck with me, “I used to not vote. But then I learned: if you don’t vote, you can’t complain”.
While I had heard that phrase before, it never stuck in my head like it did when he said it. Maybe it’s because I’m a candidate now and have a different perspective, but it really is true that if you abstain from our political process you’re limited on the impact you can have. So what is the point of identifying flaws if you’re not going to do something to change it?

I agree with some of the points that people make when they tell me they’re not voting. I’ve had people tell me they don’t think there are candidates that represent their views. But that’s not a reason to not vote, it’s a reason to run for office and represent those views you feel are being left out.
People who don’t plan to vote have also told me they’d like to see a “none of the above” option on the ballot. I completely agree and in Nevada they actually have that choice. We should try to include more voices into our political process, and that includes those who don’t have a preferred candidate on the ballot.
But while we can make improvements on how we vote in the future, we have an election rapidly approaching and I encourage everyone to stay informed and vote. The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday, October 16.
If you aren’t sure about your voter registration status, you can check it on the Oregon Secretary of State website: https://sos.oregon.gov/voting/pages/myvote.aspx
Oregon ballots will be mailed out between October 17 and October 22. As always, postmarks don’t count in Oregon elections so if you mail in your ballot too late it might not count. The state currently doesn’t have a date for the last day ballots can be mailed in, but this article will be update when that is posted.
The best way to ensure your vote gets to the county clerk in time to be counted is putting it in a designated ballot drop-site. Drop-sites will be open until 8 p.m. on election day, which is Tuesday, November 6. For official ballot drop-sites in your area: https://sos.oregon.gov/voting/pages/drop-box-locator.aspx
Whoever or whatever you vote for please exercise your democratic right!


Source: Tillamook County Pioneer

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Letter to Editor: NCRD Levy necessary for daily operations

Posted by on Oct 14, 2018 in Tillamook County Pioneer | Comments Off on Letter to Editor: NCRD Levy necessary for daily operations

www.tillamookcountypioneer.net

To the Public that resides in North Tillamook County,

I have been an advocate of the North County Recreation District (NCRD)
since its inception in 1996, immediately recognizing its benefit to all ages of our community. There is opportunity to participate in programs at all levels of physical strength and flexibility. The Fitness Center is open long hours week-days, 4 hours each week-end day, with opportunities for exercising alone or in a class structure. The pool has lap-swimming, water-walking, Friday night open swim, a plethora of classes, and the oldest operating school swim program (88 years) in the western United States. No child has drowned since the inception of school swim. Surrounded by water in this land of ocean, rivers and creeks, we want to keep that going! The Kids Center provides programs for children, including after-school care each school day. There are many recreational opportunities for us senior citizens, including yoga on land and in the water. We boast a comfortable 192-seat Performing Art Center, with excellent lighting and sound systems.

The 5-year-levy provided 33% of daily operations. It is the same tax
rate (40 cents/$1000) since it was passed 10 years ago.

THE LEVY IS NEEDED TO CONTINUE DAILY OPERATIONS OF NCRD.

As you see the triangular yellow pennants in vehicles and highways signs along our streets and roads, “NCRD checkmark YES” in North Tillamook County, join us in voting YES for NCRD.

Lucy Brook
Nehalem resident, 46 years


Source: Tillamook County Pioneer

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