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Hells Canyon Journal
Halfway, Oregon
January 16, 2013     Hells Canyon Journal
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January 16, 2013

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Page 4 Hells Canyon Journal January 16, 2013 fLetters Another Kind of One- eercenter To the Editor: OK, in the interest of full disclosure, I admit I'm a one- percenter. But not in the re- cently popular, rolling-in- money sense. My one- percenter club consists of people who, in spite of all the scientific evidence that we're headed off the proverbial sur- rival cliff, still think that humans will pull it together in time to preserve our spe- cies. The flip side of my one- percenter conviction is that there's a ninety nine percent chance we're dangerously close to the tipping point. Our atmosphere has been "the dumping place for too many tons of greenhouse gases to continue to sustain life as we know it. Life on this planet, espedially human life, could very well be toast. Call me optimistic or fool- ish, unrealistic or addled, I still have an unshakeable hope that we humans have it in us to understand the dan- gers inherent in continuing our environment-destroying ways. Once that picture is clear, we will then have the determination, ingenuity, re- sources and motivation to re- verse course. And to accom- plish that reversal in time to avoid most of the dire conse- quences of destroying our at. mosphere. As one of my favorite uncles used to say: "That's a tall or. der!" He'S right, of course, par. ticularly in regard to our present planet-wide situation We're still waging innumer, able wars. We continue tc pump greenhouse gases int our atmosphere, mostly from our refusal to stop burning fossil fuels. We haven't un. dertaken any serious, long, term programs designed to shift to alternative, sustain. able sources of energy. Our supposed leaders, the ones who are supposed to repre- sent us, to lead the way to a more secure and peaceful ft, ture, are too busy playing "King of the Mountain" tc address the most important issue humankind has ever faced. Maybe it's time for them to lead, follow or get the hell out of the way! Even though the reasons why our future looks so bleak could go on interminably, I'm still optimistic. Here are some of the reasons for my opti. raisin: Our evolutionary his- tory: Throughout the cons of human existence on this planet, we humans have con, tinted to evolve, each succes- sive generation adding to the cumulative pool of knowledge, Oregon Elected Officials State Representative Cliff Bentz (R) District 60 900 Court Street NE Suite H-475, Salem, Oregon 97301 Phone: 503-986-1460 Fax: 503-986-1589 District Office: P.O. Box 1027, Ontario, Oregon 97914 Phone: 54!-889-8866. Website: http :// E-mail: State Senator Ted Ferrioli (R) District 28 900 Court Street NE Suite S-323, Salem, Oregon 97301 Phone: (503) 986-1950 Fax: (503) 986-1058 District Office: 111 Skyline Drive, John Day, Oregon 97845 Phone: 541-490-6528 Website: E-mail: sen'tedferrili@state'r'us U.S. Representative Greg Walden (R) District 2 2182 Rayburn House Office Bldg., Washington D.C. 20515 Phone: 202-225-6730 Fax: 202-225-5774 Website: District Office: 1211 Washington Ave., La Grande, Oregon 97850 Phone: 541-624-2400 Fax: 541-624-2402 U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D) "223 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg. Washington, D.C. 20510-3703 Phone: 202-224-5244 Fax: 202-228-2717 Website: District Office: Sac Annex Bldg., 151 Fir Street, Suite 201, La Grande, Oregon 97850 Phone: 541-962-7691 Fax: 541-963-0885 U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D) B40-B Dirksen Senate Office Bldg., Washington D.C., 20510 Phone: 202-224-3753 Fax: 202-228-3997 Website: District Office: 310 SE Second St., Suite 105, Pendleton, Oregon 97801 Phone: 541-278-1129 Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber 900 Court St. NE, Suite 254, Salem, Oregon 97301- 4047 Phone: (503) 378-3111 Fax: (503) 378-8970 Secretary of State Kate Brown 136 State Capitol, Salem, Oregon 97310-0722 Phone: 503-986-1500 Fax: 503-986-1616 General E-mail: State Treasurer Ted Wheeler 159 State Capitol, 900 Court St. NE, Salem, Oregon 97301 Phone: 503-378-4329 Fax: 503-373-7051 General E-mail: Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum 1162 Court St. NE Salem, Oregon 97301-4096 Phone: 503-378-4400; TTY." 503-378-5938 Fax: 503-378-4017 Labor and Industries Commissioner Brad Avakian 800 NE Oregon St., Suite 1045, Portland, Oregon 97232 Phone: 971-673-0761; Oregon Relay System TTY." 711 Fax: (971) 673-0762 General E-mail: During session, the following numbers are available to reach legislators or for legislative information: Salem: 503-986-1187, Outside Salem: 1-800-332-2313 Hells Canyon Journal 145 North Main St. P.O. Box 646 Halfway, OR 97834 Phone: 541-742-7900 Fax: 541-742-7933 email: Editor and Publisher - Steve Backstrom Staff: Julie Bishop, Linda Collier, Cindy Thayer, Anna Richardson, Hayley Sanders Correspondents: Linda Bergeron, John Garrigus, Sherrie Kvarnme, Deb Lowe and Sybyl Smith Hells Canyon Journal (USPS 002-953) is published weekly by Hells Canyon Publishing, Inc. 145 North Main Street Halfway, Oregon. Annual subscriptions are $30.00 (Baker County) or $40.00 (other areas). Periodicals postage paid at Halfway, Oregon. Postmaster: Send address changes to Hells Canyon Journal, PO Box 646 Halfway, OR 97834-0646. Member of the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association ingenuity and expertise of prior generations. I'm a de- scendant of great-great grandparents who came to Baker County in 1863 and whose primary means of sup- port was the lumber they pro- duced in their water-powered mill. Due to the prevailing attitude toward natural re- sources in those times, they probably saw the forests as an inexhaustible resource. Based on nearly 150 years of experience since then, and the more efficient methods of log- ging that have come with those years, we now know that their logging perspective, though acceptable at the time, was unsustainable. As a result, our expectation of forest pro- duction has had to be scaled back to more realistic, sus- tainable levels. Our practical history: Whenever we've been faced with threats to our culture, our society, the continued ex- istence of our country, or threats to our individual and group health, we've rallied together to confront whatever threats we've faced. One ex- ample: the mobilization of the people of the U.S. during our involvement in World War II, which required individual and group sacrifices never before encountered by the citi- zens of our country; Our recent history: As the reality o four environmen- tal destruction has gradually trickled into the collective con- sciousness, more and more individuals and groups have risen to the challenge. These folks have realized the impor- tance of educating others about the potential conse- quences of our laissez faire attitudes toward environmen- tal protection. The environ- mental problems we'll face if we hold to our old attitudes and practices are enormous. But in spite of the enormity of those problems, the efforts to educate continue, backed by a strong conviction that they will bring about sufficient awareness to enable us to avoid the survival cliff. As a former science teacher, I have complete confidence in the evidence supporting the climate change warnings be- ing issued. I also realize that I have an undeniable respon- sibility as a member of the human race to act, to do what- ever I can do to help alleviate the effects of climate change. I've had an active role in cre- ating those problems, there- fore I have an equal obliga- tion to do whatever I can to help mitigate them. Fortunately, I don't have to fight the battle alone. Thanks to many courageous people who have come before me, there are many groups already acting to educate the public about the dangers of climate change. I've already tried acting individually as well as acting as a member of a group. That experience taught me that adding my efforts to those of a group is more effective than acting alone...and it's much more enjoyable. Through the last 40 years of my environmental activ- ism, I've also learned the truth of the oft-quoted phrase: THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY. It's easy to become disappointed, even discour- aged, when looking at the problems from a planet-wide perspective. But if the planet- wide threats are broken down to bite-sized ones, ones that we can confront on a smaller scale, in the company of other committed and like-minded folks, the task becomes more manageable. Whether we de- cide to channel our efforts through an organization like Hells Canyon Preservation Council, as I have, or through the support of Oregon Wild, League of Conservation Vot- ers or any of the other envi- ronmentally-concerned orga- nizations out there, the ira- portant decision is to get in- volved, now. We owe our best efforts to those who will in- herit this earth from us. Mike Higgins Halfway, Oregon Dean Smelcer Services for Dean R. Smelcer, 74, of Emmett, who died on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 in Emmett, Idaho, will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, January 17 at the Potter Funeral Chapel in Emmett. Burial will follow at the Emmett Cemetery. Dean was born on March 6, 1938 to Lawrence and Dor- othy Smelcer at Halfway, Oregon. He attended Pine Valley schools and graduated from high school in 1956. Dean worked on the Brownlee Dam project before moving to Boise, Idaho, where he at- tended Link School of Busi- ness. He also took additional accounting classes from Boise Junior College. On March 12, 1961, he married Margaret Burt. They were happily married for 52 years. From that union three children were born: two sons, Brad (Kim) and Brian (Mel- issa), and a daughter, Shari OBITUAR Y DEAN SMELCER (Bob) Hartwig. In 1969, he and his business partner, Alex Gordon, purchased the OK Tire dealership, which started his career in the tire and automotive business. He owned and operated Dean's Tire Service in Emmett, Parma, and Boise for over 40 years. In 1990, he worked with Quality Design and put together a computer program for all of his stores. They later marketed his program as "Tire Master" and sold it all over the U.S. and neighbor- ing countries. Dean was an avid elk hunter and loved to travel with friends all over the globe. He loved his elk hunting trips to. Oregon and hunting in Idaho with his brother-in- law, Don. Dean is survived by his wife, Margaret; his brother, Ben of Atlanta, Georgia; a sister, Pam (Terry) Ander- son of Pendleton, Oregon; and his three children. He was extremely proud of his six grandchildren, Trevor (Joni), Meghan (Ken) Jensen, Jen- nifer, Dallas, Lenore and Lila Hartwig, and his great- granddaughter, Maddison. Memorials in memory of Dean may be made to your favorite charity or to St. Mary's Episcopal Church Memorial Fund for Scholarships to Para- disc Point for youth in the Emmett community. Kitzhaber Delivers State of the State to Joint Session of Oregon Legislature Kicking off the start of Oregon's 77th Legislative Assembly Monday morning, Governor Kitzhaber deliv- ered a State of the State ad- dress that praised lawmak- ers for their commitment to serve the state while chal- lenging them to continue working together on diffi- cult issues facing Orego- nians. "It will take all of us work- ing together to reinvest in education, create jobs, and position Oregon to be more competitive in the global Guest Opinion economy of the 21st century," Governor Kitzhaber said. "Everyone in the state de- serves their shot at that vi- sion of Oregon we all share: a state with a commitment to equity and opportunity, with secure jobs with upward in- come mobility, and with safe, secure communities where people have a sense of com- mon purpose and commit- ment to one another." Governor Kitzhaber deliv- ered his address in the Or- egon House of Representa- tives in font of representa- tives, senators, current and former statewide elected of- ficials, representatives from federally recognized Native American nations, and jus- tices from the Oregon Su- preme Court, Oregon Court of Appeals and Oregon Tax Court. The Oregon Legislature will begin its regular session on February 4, 2013. For the full text of Gover- nor Kitzhaber's remarks: see media_room/Pages/speeches/ StateoftheState2013.aspx. Adjusting Pentagon Spending Priorities Will Strengthen U.S. National Security by John Adams Brigadier General, Retired At year's end, everyone's eyes were on what is now known as the "fiscal cliff." At the eleventh hour, Congress came to a deal on taxes and unemployment, effectively holding off automatic budget cuts util this March. Now we will likely see a show- down on government spend- ing. With revenue largely off the table for future negotiat- ing, we need to resolve our budget woes by putting the brakes on runaway govern- ment spending in a balanced, strategic way. Given that the Pentagon budget makes up more than half of all discre- tionary spending, smart sav- ings there should be a key part of the solution to the current budget battle. Rather than thinking in- crementally, policymakers should rise to the challenge of adjusting our national se- curity strategy by crafting a budget deal that funds pro- grams based on their real contribution to our security. The Pentagon budget has grown exponentially over the past decade with relatively little scrutiny while political battles have primarily fo- cused on revenue and domes- tic spending. This does a dis- service to both our economic and security needs. Despite the winding down of two wars, the Pentagon still has the highest budget in real dollars since World War II. It's time to reexam- ine Pentagon spending with an eye towards our long-term strategic goals instead of al- lowing unnecessary or stra- tegically marginal programs to continue to coast on their own momentum. For example, we are cur- rently slated to spend $640 billion over the next decade on a nuclear arsenal far larger than we need and more relevant to the Cold War than the threats we face today. The bloated nuclear budget includes a $6 billion factory to produce new plu- tonium cores for nuclear bombs and a $10 billion life extension program for the nuclear weapons deployed in Europe. Eliminating un- necessary nuclear programs will save billions of dollars that can then be invested in more effective defense pro- grams. Billions more will be spent on tanks the Army doesn't want and maintaining large numbers of troops in Europe to prevent an invasion from the now defunct Soviet Union. A growing number of policymakers agree that it's time for us to reshape the Pentagon budget to address our 21st century needs. Many fiscal conservatives Branch Library Hours Halfway - 541-742-5279 Wednesday: 2:00-5:00 p.m. Thursday: 4:00-7:00 p.m. Friday: 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Saturday: 9:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. Richland - 541-893-6088 Monday: 1:00-5:00 p.m. Tuesday: 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Friday: 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Saturday: 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Web site: J Your favorite SWEET PORK menu items are back for a limited time .|1| Don't miss 3our chance to -!_ savor our sweet, tender, I juicypulled pork in a I Burrito, Enchilada, I ___ _ . or Chimichanga-- I 915 campbell [ Baker CaW Grab one NOWI elected in 2010 and re-elected this year agree that the "sa- cred cow" of Pentagon spend- ing should be part of our bud- get solution. And late into the fiscal cliff debate, Secre- tary of Defense Leon Panetta pleaded with Congress to cut expenditures that "needlessly divert $74 billion over the next decade into programs, equipment and activities we don't want or need." Reshaping Pentagon spending to bring our na- tional security strategy in line with 21st century needs will make us stronger in the long run. Frankly, we bog the mill- tary down when we let waste-i ful spending go unchecked ag we are largely doing, once again. There are those that claim Pentagon spending should be immune to fiscal discipline, I but this fails to consider the full picture of our nationall security. America's ability to compete in a global economy is our greatest asset. This requires that we equally in- vest in job creation and edu- o . cation as well as the tradi- tional elements of defense. A strong economy benefits our troops as well. We can best support our service per- sonnel serving throughout the world by investing in 21st century capabilities, not Cold-War relics. The budget showdown should be the push that we need for both parties to work to develop a more effective national security strategy today. There is a growing consen- sus for adjusting our spend- ing priorities to address 21st century challenges and the Pentagon budget should re- main on the table in the year ahead. Our national security tomorrow depends on policymakers making smart and strategic bdget deci: sions sooner rather thar later. John Adams is a retired Brigadier General with more than thirty years of service and a member of the Consen- sus for American Security, an advisory group to the non- partisan American Security Project.