Letters to the editor

Two churches share ‘Grace’ There are many fine churches in the city of Dallas. Most offer special programs during the year. There are two churches that have nearly the same name. Grace Baptist Church and Grace Community Church. Both are located on the same street some distance apart. It appears that when one offers a special event to the community that some folks who want to participate wind up at the other “Grace” church disappointed they were at the wrong place. It will help, when looking at the Itemizer-Observer ads, to note the church’s full name and address.

Stann Lyman


State of emergency for homeless

Over the past decade homelessness has become a systemic challenge facing thousands of Oregonians. We are making progress here in Polk County, but our ability to meet this challenge locally is constrained by financial realities.

Our communities are doing all we can with available resources. Yet despite significant increases in statewide funding, sufficient resources for the forecasted need remains largely beyond our grasp.

Homelessness is an obstacle to transition: access to safe, secure, and sustainable housing is a critical component for anyone seeking to overcome addiction, past criminal behaviors, and for all who want to re-enter our workforce.

It is time to recognize homelessness for what is: a clear, present danger to Our Oregon, warranting a declaration of emergency and all such a declaration involves.

Through an emergency declaration, the Governor could transform the conversation; she could implement a statewide strategy yielding both greater flexibility for local programming as well as enhanced state support.

A declaration could include a partial mobilization of the Oregon National Guard: accomplished with minimal impact upon the men and women who serve — volunteers could be dispatched in teams throughout the state — constructing multiple-use structures that could be used for emergency response/recovery after the homelessness emergency is over.

A well-managed partial mobilization could serve as ornament and instrument: a call to arms emphasizing our commitment to increasing temporary housing capacity in the near-term, even as we erect structures at strategic locations for future disaster preparedness use.

It could inspire new community partnerships throughout the state.

Imagine our troops investing skills learned for war, here, in strengthening the peace.

Oregonians are at our best when we work in common cause. A state emergency declaration would generate renewed focus upon a challenge we all have a duty to combat. We must act — now.

Rep. Paul Evans


Lion King top notch

I attended the Central High School’s production of the Lion King. What a magnificent production.

The costumes and makeup were first class. The sound system was such that the audience could hear every spoken word by members of the cast.

The enthusiasm shown by the cast members was contagious. The music was excellent.

This production shows what great things are available in the areas of drama and music in the Central School District.

What a great way to involve lots of kids in a worthwhile endeavor.

My hat is off to all those who worked so hard to make this possible. The Lion King will long be remembered in our community.

Jerry Shinkle


Textbook case of paranoia

I lay awake nights thinking that the authorities will some day be coming for any guns my fellow solid citizens and I might own. If the government places reasonable limits on the purchase of guns as, for example, many of the survivors of the Florida massacre want to do with assault rifles — limiting their purchase to people over the age of 21, who have had a background check run on them that’s “gasp, the beginning of the end.”

Apparently, that’s because any limitations on gun purchase and ownership is “slippery slope” stuff — once it gets started, the government will ultimately end up taking away all guns from all citizens.

Oh boy, if that isn’t textbook paranoia, I don’t know what is. Next thing you know, the government won’t let me buy or own that nuclear warhead I’ve had my eye on, supposedly available soon at local weaponry depots nationwide. Those who voted “nay” on House Bill 4145 should take a good look in the mirror the next time some nut job commits a murder that might have been prevented.

They are accessories to those crimes, and frankly, aren’t using their god-given gray matter. They shouldn’t hold public office, and we should vote them out. Better yet, don’t vote them in to begin with.

Thomas Augustyn


Jaffer’s history makes good vote

I am happy to be able to vote for Danny Jaffer again in this primary election for Oregon House District 23. I have known Danny and his family for many years, and have been impressed by his quick grasp of issues and has direct approach to dealing with them. As a longtime rural resident of Polk County, he knows what we are up against, and will represent all of us well in the legislature. His military background has helped make him a problem solver who will help craft legislation to help all Oregonians. Join me in voting for Danny.

Dale Derouin


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