Does it? Does government have enough money and resources to do what it needs to do? That question is the fundamental issue behind each new tax levy and each new ballot measure where government asks the citizens for more money.
First it is important to think about need verses want. What is it we citizens need government to do, as opposed to, what do some want government to do? Much too much of what Federal, State and Local government does is not for the real needs of its citizens, but rather for the wants of special interests. These special interests have cleverly disguised their interest as a public concern and then tricked tax payers into funding their venture. Did we need to rebuild Henley elementary or KU? No, the buildings were just fine. They are old, but they certainly functioned. No one was dying in them. No one was getting sick, and no one injured. But the real-estate/construction/public-union/government sector drool over such public building projects because they funnel money from your pocket to theirs at inflated, government mandated, wages. Is it nicer to drive by a new school building rather than an old one. Sure. But does it educate our children any better? No. And there is a prime example between need and want. The real need is to educate our children. The want is to do it in the best and most expensive buildings in the county. Do children win? No. Do the special interests win? Yes. And special interests win all while fooling the public that we now have “better schools”.
Second, why should government continue to get more and more of our tax dollars? When your income increases, did you know that the amount of money you send to government also increases? So when wages in Klamath County go up, government already gets more money — at the same rate of the citizenry it serves. Likewise, when income goes down, money to the government decreases accordingly. Why then when incomes decrease should government continue spending at the same levels or higher? Why should government be given more money when the rest of us are doing with less?
What if one day $10,000,000.00 fell from the sky and appeared on Main Street between the Court House and Government Building? Immediately the police are called in, surrounding the large bundle of cash,... waiting for the County Commissioners and City Council to decide how best to utilize this gift from heaven for the local community.
One choice would be to allocate the money to City and County Government. Some of the money could go towards budget-starved agencies to help with any revenue shortfalls. Some of the money could be used for economic development (promoting tourism, attracting businesses to move to the area) and community efforts such as better parks, better streets, a few more police officers and emergency personnel. Also the money could be used to solarize certain government buildings, helping our city and county move towards a sustainable green zone.
The other choice would be to divide the money up among the citizens of Klamath County and let them determine how best it should be used.
Which way is best? Which way would help us grow our local economic pie? Which way would be better for economic growth and stability of our community? Which way will deliver money in the most efficient manner to the goods and services that the citizens of Klamath County value most?
This past Sunday, front and center, was a puff-piece for “Yes! on 18-104” — the current Fire District 1 bond measure. If you read the piece you would be left with any wonder that a sane person would be opposed to this wonderful spend of tax payer dollars or that there was anyone opposed to the bond measure.
This is the socialist-left at full-speed. There is not a recent tax measure that these editors have opposed or have given fair and balanced coverage. The editors at the Herald and News are pro-tax-and-spend socialists and use the paper’s power and influence to effect the thinking of people in the Basin — and it has been working for quite some time now.
Isn’t it wonderful? This brand new, shiny fire station! Wow, who ever lives near this beauty must be proud and feel safe. Matter of fact it is the one of the newest stations in Fire District 1.
Wait, what’s that? No one works here? You mean there are not any firefighters at this station? What?!? No one has ever worked from this station? What’s going on?!?
Yesterday Senator Whitsett ended the discussion in Salem as to whether he would run for a fourth term or not. Until yesterday’s announcement, Whitsett was the only Republican State Senator not to declare his intentions on seeking office again. Here is his press release:
For Immediate Release
Thursday, October 08, 2015
Salem, OR—Sen. Doug Whitsett (R-Klamath Falls) filed for re-election to the Oregon Senate on Wednesday, Oct. 7.
Have you experienced this? You read an article in the Herald and News that bothers you so much that you sit down and write a response — a letter to the editor or an online post — and nothing happens. It is as if your response was not worthy to be printed.
Well that happened to me, and I was quite infuriated (I am using the polite word for my feelings). So rather than taking it lying down, I decided to stand up and publish everything here. If this has ever happened to you or you feel the same way, then please help me by spreading the word to others in your social circles. The Herald and News will continue their arrogance and only print one-point-of-view as long as they can get away with it.
What made me post a response?
The other day I read this article about the KBRA by Dennis Linthicum in the online version of the paper. Linthicum’s article was in the “Opinion” section. I then saw that this article about Dennis Lynch (associate regional director of the U.S. Geological Survey), was posted twice in the “Agriculture” and “Enviornment” sections. It was an article reporting on Dennis Lynch’s seminar at Crater Lake and referenced several quotes by Mr. Lynch.
Much has been written about the mass killing in Roseburg last week. A great piece on the topic was penned by Dennis Linthicum at the Dirt Road Economist. Dennis does an excellent job describing exactly where we ought to place the blame for such a horrific event. Be sure to take a few moments to read it.
I’d like to take a different tact and have us see if the socialist’s view of gun-control is the answer to these kinds of tragedies. If you would, close your eyes and imagine a place where there are no guns. A place where there are no knives or weapons of any kind. In this place all suspicious activity is monitored and scrutinized by the authorities to ensure everyone’s safety. To enter this “paradise” it requires walking through metal detectors, showing photo ID and surrendering any weapon of any kind.
Sounds beautiful right? Sounds just like what President Obama is promoting. That is until you realize I am describing our maximum security prison, the Oregon State Penitentiary, located in Salem, Oregon. This all male facility does not allow weapons of any kind. If you are caught with one the punishment is severe. It is one of the most gun-free zones in Oregon and yet one of the most dangerous places to live. Now, was this the safe place you imagined as I was describing this prison in the paragraph above? What you were imaging does not exist in the real world, now or ever. It is an illusion, a dream — a violence-free society because there are no guns.
Farmer Tom Mallams responded to the charges of being above the law and flaunting water regulations with an article published in the Herald and News. What often becomes a casualty in an emotional, unfolding story are the facts. In this case the timeline is important to understand what happened and when. We have constructed the following timeline from Mallams account and the Herald and News reports.
|June 16||Klamath Project made a call on its water right|
|July 3||OWRD issued shut-off notices to junior water users, which included Mallams|
|July 21||OWRD issued a second shut-off notice|
|July 30||OWRD issued a third shut-off notice|
|Aug 7||OWRD issued a violation notice against Mallams|
|Aug 25||Mallams ceased his water usage|
|Aug 28||OWRD issued a second violation notice to Mallams|
Now at sometime (we do not know exactly when yet) Tom Mallams asked for a judicial review of his water rights. This judicial review temporarily suspended all notices made by OWRD until Mallams case can be adjudicated. Tom Mallams admits he misunderstood the administrative rule, that the OWRD rule goes into effect when issued, not received. Mallams also has said he would pay any fines if found guilty of violating the rules.
Since Tom Mallams did not receive a notice until, most likely after, he filed for judicial review, it is easy to understand why he continued to use water until late August — he thought while his case was being reviewed, any power behind the OWRD notices were suspended. The question arises is whether it reasonable to believe that Mallams knew his water rights had been terminated before he asked for a judicial review. That is a difficult point to argue one way or the other because it requires getting inside the head of Mallams. Nevertheless, there is a much larger issue at work here, and that is of Administrative Rule.
Here we are. We have finally arrived. Nirvana for the left — Pot (er... marijuana) is now legal in Oregon. Well that is not entirely true. There are some strict guidelines around the production, distribution and use of marijuana. However, if you ask the average person on the street they will tell you “Pot is legal”. However if you asked them a different question, they may give you blank stare, or fumble a bit and then say “sure, why not,... it doesn’t hurt anyone”. What is that question?
Is Legalized Pot Good for Oregon?
You see, making something legal doesn’t change whether it is a good thing or a bad thing. We should make laws based on promoting good things and laws against bad things. But if something was bad before, and then it becomes legal, that thing does not become good. Instead, all that has happened is a bad thing has become legal.
I’m sure some are rolling their eyes now thinking I’m a moralist and I shouldn’t judge the behaviors of others. Well if you think that way, then you should stop judging me and my opinions because they differ from yours. Or you should not get upset when someone hits your car or steals items from your home because, by your own thinking, you shouldn’t judge others. But back to the question at hand, is legalized marijuana is good for Oregon and Oregonians.
For those asleep during the summer, it is time to wake up and take notice that another business is closing its doors in Klamath Falls. If JELD-WEN officially moving its headquarters to Charlotte, NC for a more business friendly environment wasn’t enough, now Haggen is closing its two stores in town. What? Haggen, when did they come to Klamath Falls?
Earlier this year Safeway and Albertsons merged into one company. The merger was approved by the FTC only if they would sell off 146 of their combined stores. Haggen won that bid to purchase those stores and went from an 18 chain grocery store to 164 overnight. Talk about a growth spurt. In Klamath Falls both Safeway locations were converted into Haggen stores. However, within months of Haggen’s acquisition, Haggen was losing money — and a lot of it. Haggen needed to borrow $25 million to weather their cash flow problems, which increased their total debt to $270 million. Did Haggen bite off more than it could chew?
What Went Wrong
After Haggen took control of their new stores, Haggen immediately incurred losses in several of those stores. Local customers either did not know the brand Haggen or thought it was too pricey compared to the previous occupant. There was an error assuming business would continue as usual. Clearly this was not the case everywhere. An outside consulting firm was brought in to do some analysis. They found stores fell into two groups: core and non-core. Core stores were profitable. Non-core stores were losing money. The non-core store loses occurred because of either a lack of traffic (revenue) or they were too costly to support. Some non-core stores were also in remote locations where Haggen did not have efficient distribution. The Klamath Falls stores most likely fell into both categories and easily made it to the Haggen chopping block.