Thursday, April 17, 2014

Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868

8/14 Letters to the Editor

*America's war on drugs a failure*Backbone missing in foreign policy*Smoking in parks not so benign*4-H thankful for community support*Fancey an asset to City of Monmouth*Off-duty EMT was caring, thoughtful

August 13, 2013

Fancey an asset to

city of Monmouth

The city of Monmouth has a public servant who wears many hats. Officially, Mark Fancey is director of community development, but he is actually a lot more.

While many of the services Fancey provides our community are part of his job description, many more are not. Fancey is the type of person who sees a job that needs to be done and he does it. Not only does he "step up" for our community, he does a lot of work on his own time, after hours from his city job.

Fancey actually books the bands that many of us enjoy at Music in the Park each Wednesday evening.

Sometimes you can catch Fancey in one of our city parks watering the trees so they continue to look beautiful in the summer heat. I've actually seen him beautifying street medians planting foliage. I've witnessed his tree trimming expertise to make certain banners for sponsors of the Music in the Park series could be properly displayed.

Next year, Madrona Park will see many upgrades due to a grant request to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission written by Fancey.

So, the next time you see Fancey around town, or you see him dancing to the music in the park, thank him. During this past year, you probably have enjoyed the fruits of his labor more than you know.

Mark Fancey recently told a crowd at Western Oregon University that he loves living in a small town. We love having him here. He helps make Monmouth a wonderful place in which to live.

Lee Schlenker


America's war on

drugs a failure

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum wants to double agency funding for the investigation of drug trafficking. I say no.

If the AG wants to bust the cartels -- as she should -- then do it with the money she wastes on busting people for simple possession or use.

First, the legislature should get its collective head out and make the professional dealing of drugs a very, very serious crime with some serious prison time -- sentences for cartel members should be meted in decades, not years. Then it should decriminalize, not legalize, drug possession and use and let all those people in jail for this non-crime out. For a fraction of the money we are wasting on drug wars and incarceration we could set up a quality treatment program so that those who want to quit could be helped.

The drug war is a failure. America has spent $1.5 trillion on President Nixon's "War on Drugs." Annual spending has gone from about $200 million in 1970 to $208 billion now. The addiction rate for all Americans is now almost exactly the same as it was in 1970, 1.2 percent.

But the above will not happen because the drug-war military complex will not let it happen. We will continue to buy sexy black DEA helicopters, armored cars, automatic weapons and more from military suppliers. Why? Because the suppliers have far more lobbyists and sway with our sellout legislature than we the voters will ever have.

U.S. Health & Human Services surveys show for every $1 spent on prevention and treatment the community gains $18 in reduced drug addiction costs. One would have to be pretty woodenheaded to not see the gain in that approach.

Well, meet most of the American public and our government.

Fred Brown


Smoking in parks

not so benign

A recent letter decried the smoking ban in Dallas' City parks. "Smoke goes straight up, it bothers no one." OK, but what about the cigarette butt that is not disposed of properly? It goes down. And, if conditions are right (or is it wrong?), the butt may cause a fire. At latest count, parks employees have been called upon to extinguish fires in the trails at Delbert Hunter Arboretum on seven separate occasions. So far the only damage has been an unsightly mess, which arboretum volunteers have been able to clean up. Sooner or later though, we may not be so lucky.

If each smoker would take responsibility for extinguishing his/her cigarette and putting it in one of the many waste receptacles which are available in our parks, perhaps, then, a "No Smoking" rule might not seem necessary.

Paul Mannen

Delbert Hunter Arboretum Board member


Backbone missing

in foreign policy

Muslim mafia attacked our embassy in Benghazi and our government rationalized their activities as retribution for someone in this country that made a short film that disrespected one of their religious leaders. Now, "we have credible evidence that this same group intends to attack Americans" somewhere. So, we tell our foreign ambassadors to run away and close 22 embassies located in a variety of foreign countries.

Just what kind of foreign policy statement in this? The United States of America is afraid of the Muslim mafia? This group of masked armed vandals captured Catholic priests and beheaded them in a public spectacle as retribution for alleged criticism and our leaders did not even issue a condemnation statement. Individuals who travel into foreign countries are being warned to not identify themselves as Americans, and to keep a low profile so as to not encourage retaliation against themselves.

Apparently, our government leaders do not comprehend that an organized group has publicly declared war against the United States of America. They are doing nothing to protect our citizens from admission of this inability, and it is shameful.

Richard C. Evans


4-H thankful for

community support

Now that the 2013 Polk County Fair is over, we would like to take the time to thank the community for your tremendous support for 4-H.

Thanks to the parents and leaders for helping young people gain new knowledge, skills and reach their project goals.

We greatly appreciate our many donors. It helps us to honor our outstanding award winners ranging from fair premium money to college scholarships. It's so exciting to watch the smiles and elation as kids earn their first ribbon or win a trophy.

The Polk County Livestock Association is tremendously helpful as the sponsor of our Market Auction program and many of our fair awards. Their organization and management makes it possible for youth to recoup much of the cost of raising market animals. The auction wouldn't be successful without the many auction buyers. The profit from these animals will be used to pay feed bills, purchase school clothes, supplies and college tuition and going right back into the local economy.

Thanks to the fair board and management for the terrific job organizing the details. The superintendents do a tremendous job organizing the barns, classes and judging. It takes hundreds of hours of preparation to carry out the fair.

Our new program year begins October 1st. 4-H is open to all youths grades K to 12. We hope you and your family will join us in this grand adventure we call 4-H.

It truly takes a village and Polk County 4-H is thankful to be part of your village. You contribute greatly to the many exciting, positive experiences and precious memories for our 4-Hers. Thanks for your part in helping to shape the leaders of tomorrow.

Suzi Busler, Judi Peters, Pam Scharf


Off-duty EMT was

caring, thoughtful

I would like to thank the off-duty EMT who came to my grandson's aid on Sunday, Aug. 5 at the Dallas park when he crashed on his bicycle and was injured. It is caring, thoughtful people like him that makes this such a nice town to live in. He stayed with my grandson until a family member arrived to get him and checked him out for injuries. He ended up with a broken arm and a large abrasion on his side but is otherwise okay. I am sure you know who you are, so thank you again for coming to his aid.

Sherry McAtee