Thankful for volunteers

I want to thank Larry Peeler for organizing the litter patrol group today (Wednesday, March 17) along the roads at Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge.

In addition to Larry Peeler, I would like to thank the following people who helped clean up part of the refuge: Brandon Wagner and Jim and Marilyn Affolter. The volunteers are bird watchers bird photographers.

Three miles of the roads were cleaned, as well as the turnout at Smithfield and Livermore. Six garbage bags full were hauled away.

There will be another event in the near future for those wishing to join in. If interested in helping, check out the Friends of Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page.

Jim Leonard

Salem

Leaders’ views don’t represent reader

(Polk County Sheriff Mark) Garton and (Polk County Commissioner Mike) Ainsworth’s unhinged and disingenuous response to the prospect of minor gun and police reforms prove that it is past time for Polk County to be split in two.

West Salem, Independence, Monmouth, and the riverside country in between belong in a different county — ideally one named after something local, like Luckiamute or Willamette, not a genocidal, slave-owning ex-President whose name has also been attached about a dozen other countries across the United States.

I appreciate that many Dallas and rural Polk county residents dream of remaining a little slice of the old Confederacy transplanted to Cascadia indefinitely. But I — and I suspect the majority of people across the county — are tired of watching what could be a wonderful place sink ever deeper into the mire of fear-based grievance politics.

We want a better future with honest politicians committed to equality and prosperity, not wasting everyone’s time with whining about having to follow rules that aim to make everyone safer. I have no idea what the process is for establishing a new county, but it’s well past time.

Andrew Tanner

Independence

Schrader’s record good for Oregon

In response to Lincoln County Democratic Party Chairman Michael Gaskill’s comments about Kurt Schrader:

If you weigh the amount of good Kurt Schrader has done for Oregon, how can you take one word and condemn his whole career?

Does being a Democrat mean you can never make any comment unless it is approved by the Democratic Party?

Schrader has done more to try and get our two parties to work together than any other politician we currently have in Oregon. Isn’t that the cliche all politicians currently use, “Let’s work together?”

Perhaps the Democratic Party should stop looking for puppets and start looking for integrity!

We were born in Oregon, in Lincoln County, and Mr. Gaskill has labeled us as a “shameful history of white supremacy.” Not in the Oregon we were raised in!

Mr. Gaskill should perhaps get a broader view of the world and look up Kurt Schrader’s political record before he criticises and honest man.

Delight and George Hamar

Independence

Letters Policy

Letters to the editor are limited to 300 words. Longer letters will be edited. Election-related letters of all types are limited to 100 words. Writers are limited to one election-related letter per election season. Election letters from writers outside of Polk County are not accepted. Each writer is restricted to one letter per 30-day period. Letters that are libelous, obscene or in bad taste will not be printed. Attacks by name on businesses or individuals will not be printed. Letters to the editor that are obvious promotions for a business, products or services will not be printed. Itemizer-Observer does not guarantee the accuracy of facts presented by letter writers; dissenters are welcome to respond. Letter writers who disagree with other published letter writers should maintain a civil discourse and address the subject, not the author. Letters that quote facts or use quotes from third-party sources must include the original source in the letter. These original sources might not be printed, so might not count against the overall word count (100 for election related letters, 300 for other letters), but will be required so the news room may double check claims made in letters. Letters, like all editorial material submitted to the newspaper, are edited for length, grammar and content. Letters must include the author’s name, address and telephone number. This includes letters submitted via the I-O’s website. Names and cities of residence are published; street addresses and telephone numbers are used for verification purposes only. Letters must be submitted from individuals, not organizations, and must be original submissions to the I-O, not copies of letters sent to other media. Letters of thanks to businesses, individuals and organizations are limited to 10 names. The deadline for letters to the editor is 10 a.m. Monday. Letters submitted may not be retractable after this deadline. — Reach us at: Mail: Editor, Polk County Itemizer-Observer, P.O. Box 108, Dallas, OR 97338. Fax: 503-623-2395. Email: ionews@polkio.com. Office: 147 SE Court St., Dallas.

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