Thank you fire department; 11 States should not dictate election; I can and will; Drowing out death with dignity; Kent uniquely qualified; Everyone that votes — Letters to the Editor, May 15, 2019

We want to thank our awesome fire department and all of the many dedicated and well-trained firefighters

Thank you to our fire department

We live on Collard Lake Way, the little street on which there was a catastrophic late-night home fire on May 9. We want to thank our awesome fire department and all of the many dedicated and well-trained firefighters who arrived quickly and had the blaze under control in record time. 

These men and women worked the perimeter of the blaze to put out the trees that were catching on fire ever-closer to a neighbor’s home, and then in every other direction to keep the fire contained. 

At least one of them stayed the night to keep dousing the several spots where flames came up out of the smoldering ruins of the house. 

We saw the scene the next morning and there were still small flames coming from the top of the remaining structure, plus more in the middle of the fallen portion. 

Siuslaw Valley Fire & Rescue was still there and continued working it.

Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to those who suffered loss in this event.

— Camille and Skip Thomsen


‘I can. And I will’

“November 11, 1956. In 6 days, I’d be five and a half. 11:00. Exactly 38 years previously, the Guns of August fell silent. It was a little uncomfortable standing in silence among the battle scarred one-legged-armed-eyed who’d come to honor their comrades. Korea. WWII. The Great War.

“November 11, 1964. My Dad and I were building a rock wall at our new home. 11:00. He said we had to stop for two minutes. Tears ran down his cheeks. It was about then I realized I owe a debt I can never repay.”

— Anonymous

 About 1-in-10 adult Americans is a veteran. In our fair town, the ratio is likely closer to 1-in-5.

Decades ago, Al Stapleton started driving veterans to Portland in his own vehicle, wearing out several along the way. Today, there are two vans taking veterans to Portland, Roseburg or Eugene five days a week.

Most drivers are themselves veterans. Some drive four or five times a month. Some drive twice a week. Most are in their eighth decade, some their ninth.

Make no mistake; it’s a grind.

If there were 20 drivers rather than eight or nine — appreciative souls that would drive once a month — the load would lighten immensely.

So as we approach Memorial Day, pause for moment and consider if you “owe a debt you can never repay.”

If there is, call local coordinator Jim Swant at 541-968-9512 and say “I can. And I will.”

If you can’t, clip and post on every bulletin board in town.

—Ian Eales


 11 states should never dictate national election

In response to Win Jolley’s response to Keith Kraft’s letter in the May 8 edition of the Siuslaw News, when Mr. Jolley asks if Mr. Kraft wrote his piece in jest because the popular vote includes “everyone” who votes (whereas the Electoral College leaves the nation’s next president up to just 11 states), he certainly was not writing in jest. 

Mr. Jolley did point out, correctly, that 11 of the most populated states could dictate the winner to the rest of the country — and that is not what our forefathers, whom correctly saw this very thing possibly happening, wanted to prevent from happening.

Thank God for the wisdom of the framers.

Mr. Jolley neglected to mention, however, that the most heavily populated states with the most popular votes are Democraticaly controlled, which would thereby eliminate the votes of Independents, Republicans and other groups presenting presidential candidates.   

No state like California, with its 39,000,000 population, should ever be able to dictate to our state of some 3,000,000-plus.

—Tony Cavarno


 Drowning out Death With Dignity

With the record amount of suicides making the news lately it makes me wonder how many people would have taken advantage of Medical Aid in dying if it were available to them. That would mean no violent or failed attempts at suicide in a lot of cases, and a lot less grief for the families involved.

As someone that deals with quite a few people that are ready for Medical Aid in Dying and families of suicide victims that could no longer handle their suffering, I have seen the trauma it causes — and it usually doesn’t end.

Nobody wants to live while suffering or with dementia.

There were a couple bills in front of our legislature that would expand Oregon’s end-of-life choices to be much more compassionate and include more people. But compared to the religious opposition and national groups like Right to Life, we do not have the money to publicize these bills. Meanwhile, they send out massive emails and telephone campaigns opposing our bills in Oregon.

At the hearings for these bills I am usually the only one testifying in favor of them and also the only disabled person testifying for bills that affect the disabled. The Oregon seniors and disabled are being neglected at these legislative hearings and therefore our voices are not heard.

—Bruce Yelle


Kent uniquely qualified

Services provided by Educational Service Districts are particularly vital to more rural areas. As the demand for various services such as speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy (among others) fluctuates each year, smaller school districts rely on the county ESD to provide services as needed without having to hire individual providers that may not be needed on a steady or long term basis. 

Nora Kent is uniquely qualified to serve on the Lane ESD Board because of her life-long commitment to serving the community as an educator for early childhood/early intervention programs, homeschoolers, ESL, teen parents, adjudicated youth and Family Literacy. 

As a previous employee of an ESD in eastern Oregon who has been following Kent’s community involvement and selfless dedication, I wholeheartedly endorse her for this position based on her experience, expertise, innovative spirit, and desire to help others.

No other candidate can match what she has to offer our county.

—Tina H. Haydel M.A.-SLP (retired)


 ‘Everyone that votes’ is a troubling thought

Let me assure Mr. Jolley that my comments about the Constitution and the 12th Amendment were not rendered in “jest.”

I am a Constitutional Conservative (Neither Republican nor Democrat) and it is my belief that the U.S. Constitution does not require “correction” by any political party or sect of the day.

Sixty-six years ago, on my 20th birthday, I joined the U.S. Marine Corps. During induction, I raised my right hand and vowed “I  do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.” That pledge does not have an expiration date.

Those 11 states you refer to come up a little short of a trip to the White House, i.e., 267 Electoral  College votes. (Virginia Has 13, not 12).  If those 12 states, which constitute 54.2 percent of our population, can garner 270 Electoral votes, then God bless them for following the 12th Amendment.

I believe the last time those 12 states were won by one candidate was 1936, when Alf Landon won only Maine and Vermont.

Your comment that the popular vote includes “everyone that votes” is rather troubling since it undoubtedly includes some of the 12 million illegal aliens residing in the United States.

—Keith Kraft



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