Letters to the editor

Siletz support appreciated

I would like to thank the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund for supporting my daughter’s 2017/2018 softball season with the Oregon Titans. Along with my daughter, we had two other players from the Monmouth/Independence area. With their generous gift, the team was able to purchase equipment and uniforms for the season. The girls looked sharp in their uniforms and had a great season. Thank you again.

Ryan McCormick


Editorial campaign ‘criminal conspiracy’

The Itemizer’s decision to gang up on the President of the United States along with over 100 newspapers smacks of criminal conspiracy gangsterism in violation of RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) statues. This constant drumbeat is hurting the nation. Studies have shown that over 90 percent of the coverage of our President is negative. This lack of balance results in little information given on the many accomplishments of President Trump. This includes the jobs boom and the fact that Black unemployment is 5.9 percent, the lowest rate on record, and Latino unemployment is 4.5 percent also the lowest on record.

Contrast this to the Obama administration which had become a criminal enterprise riddled with FBI, IRS and DOJ employees engaged in high crimes and misdemeanors. The media has written off the 63 million Americans who voted for the President since these Americans disagree with the media’s elite politics. Few show any remorse over how the relentlessly hostile coverage of President Trump is damaging the nation and changing journalism for the worse.

The media’s one-sided assault on our President along with the large number of Americans who voted for him has in some sense made them an “enemy of the people” — but it’s their own doing.

George Irving


Photos need names

Although I moved to Salem from Dallas over four years ago, I kept up my subscription to the I-O because I always liked the neighborly, home-town feel of the coverage. So I was really unhappy with many of the County Fair photos in the Aug. 15 issue. It was disappointing to see so many young men and women (and the not-so-young) in photos without the photographer asking for their names. I know how much of a letdown that is for all the people who went un-named. Getting one’s name and photo in the newspaper is always a thrill for our young people, friends and neighbors. I hope to see a return photos with identities included.

Jan Seely


Public safety fee needed

The Dallas Police and Fire Departments are proposing a service fee to fund two additional police officers and two additional firefighter/paramedics. I believe this fee is necessary and vital to the safety of Dallas’ citizens.

Having worked for the Dallas Police Department for many years, I can attest that for almost a decade the officers have been stretched beyond their limits. Today, DPD is expected to protect Dallas with the same amount of officers as 20 years ago, when Dallas was thousands of citizens smaller. Our fire department is still primarily volunteer.

However, Dallas has become a bedroom community with most residents working in Salem. During the day, there aren’t enough volunteers to respond to an emergency. These expectations do not keep Dallas safe. If this service fee is not enacted, police, fire, and medical services will be unable to keep up with our growing population.

There have been comments suggesting additional property taxes or that Dallas should get a marijuana dispensary for their taxes instead of the service fee. The truth is, a small percentage of your property taxes fund the police and fire departments. Only 21 percent of your total property tax goes to the city for all city services. The other 79 percent goes to fund the schools and ESD. For marijuana sales, only 17 percent of the taxes collected go to the entire state’s emergency services. By the time that 17 percent is divided among all of Oregon’s first responders, Dallas gets very little money. This funding is not adequate to provide the proper number of officers or firefighters for a city our size.

I fully support this service fee. This fee will allow our emergency needs to be met and will ensure our safety in Dallas. Both these departments need to grow to support our growing town.

Sally L. Davies


Do not hold the pool ransom

At Monday’s Dallas City Council discussion on an emergency services fee, Council President Garus dramatically announced that, after meeting with Polk County Republicans, his preference, now, is to have a vote on continued funding for the Dallas Aquatics Center.

Mr. Garus says his conservative friends complain that a “fee” is really a “tax.”

Really? Who cares?!

Wasn’t it Republicans that thought Measures 5 and 50 were a great idea? Because of those ill-conceived pieces of legislation, a fee is a creative way, and one of few avenues now available, for an Oregon community to pay for expenses like the four proposed police and fire positions. Garus also says his friends insist on a vote on the fee issue. Guess what? Dallas citizens can initiate the referendum process and vote on ANY legislation passed by the council. Mr. Garus has said that reduced response times for police, fire and EMS is not even noticed by users. Waiting longer for a police officer, a medic, or a fire truck is no big deal — unless it’s you that is waiting. You need quality CPR within six minutes of a cardiac arrest. A fire doubles in size every 30 to 60 seconds. How far away is a cover unit for an officer? As far as the Aquatics Center, the people have spoken in support of this facility time and time again over the last 18 years. The city has worked hard to make it more efficient and require less General Fund money. The Dallas 2030 Vision states: “We balance our community’s growth and development, offering larger city amenities in a small-town setting. We provide programs and activities for people of all ages.” The Dallas Aquatics Center is a gem in our community. Shame on you for holding it for ransom.

Joe Koubek


Free press critical to society I am writing to thank the I-O for joining with the hundreds of other local newspapers in printing the Aug. 15 editorial expressing the critical importance of a free press. Having been a reader for many years, I was not surprised to see the I-O leadership bravely reminding us that the press is a powerful lubricant necessary to the discourse which holds community and society together. No surprise either that our founding fathers, while disagreeing mightily in many areas, were wisely unanimous in insisting that the Constitution must be abundantly clear on this matter.

Russ Gurley


Drop fiction of neutrality

In your Aug. 15 editorial you asked for my help, which I am happy to provide. However, first an evaluation of the cause of the problem is in order. The press reminds me of a man who we all have seen regularly stumbling out of the bar with a different woman and then cries foul when someone dares to say he is no gentleman.

The press at the beginning of our Republic had no pretense of neutrality.

At some point the fiction started that the press were simply the reporters to our citizens. For a while we believed this but on the day that our trusted Walter Cronkite clearly threw his weight behind the Vietnam anti-war movement we started to see that reporters had their own inescapable bias. Some reporters saw this as their license to shape public opinion others were simply blinded (as most humans are) by their own point of view. This point of view manifests itself in several ways. One, is the stories that are selected to print (Trumps scandals vs Clinton scandals). Secondly, the verbiage that is used is telling. For example, is the thrower of a bomb a terrorist or a freedom fighter? Is the person at the border an immigrant or illegal alien? We have long seen your bias and are not moved to defend you. Even if we dislike your accuser.

I promised you help so here it is. Admit that we are all biased, drop the fiction of neutrality and clearly declare your position. We will read your articles with that in mind and come to our own conclusions. And one other request, please don’t let the New York Times write your editorials, I could subscribe to the Times if I wanted and I don’t. I like my local paper.

Paul Telfer


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