The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

Opinion / Commentary & Editorials

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 By Scott Swanson    Opinion    June 20, 2018 

Recycling right may involve learning curve

I clearly remember the first time I visited a landfill. I don’t remember why, exactly, but I recall driving up a winding dirt road into the hills of Central California, where I lived at the time, and seeing … a giant flock of seagulls descending...

 

Court's opinion in Colorado cake case leaves room for more questions

By Dr. John Sparks At the U.S. Supreme Court on June 4, Justice Anthony Kennedy delivered a long-awaited opinion concerning Jack Phillips, the Christian baker who owns Masterpiece Cakeshop located in Lakewood, Colorado, west of Denver. Kennedy and th...

 
 By Scott Swanson    Opinion    June 13, 2018

Alum's advice right on the money for Class of '18

It’s been a bit of a tradition for us to offer up some advice to our graduating classes on this page each year, but for a number of reasons that I won’t go into here, we didn’t this year. As it turned out, that was a genius move because it...

 
 By Sean C Morgan    Opinion    June 6, 2018

Alert system must provide citizens reliability, clarity

Like probably just about everyone in Sweet Home who had a cellphone on Tuesday, May 29, I was flummoxed when I heard that screeching noise coming off my from the device. And, like probably just about everybody else, I was poised, ready to … wait,...

 

Steps to provide for homeless timely, necessary

We see them nearly every day, though sometimes they aren’t very obvious – our local homeless population. Some stand out, walking the streets, panhandling, hanging out at favorite spots around town. Others are a lot less noticeable, or way under...

 

Capitol Christmas Tree is big opportunity – to get involved

This Capitol Christmas Tree deal is big. That became obvious early on to everyone, who tended to be mostly public officials, who showed up in January for the announcement that the Sweet Home Ranger District is privileged to provide the 75-foot...

 
 By Sean C. Morgan    Opinion    May 23, 2018

Council agrees to explore alternatives to water billing formula

Editor’s note: In last week’s (May 16, 2018) edition of The New Era, a story about city water rates incorrectly reported that the City Council reached a consensus on new water rates. The story should have reported that the City Council reached a...

 
 By Scott Swanson    Opinion    May 9, 2018

Owners' greed dooming many newspapers

Recently, I visited a community I once lived and worked in. My job there was with a local newspaper that had been owned by a particular local family for decades. We were were located in what’s known as the Five Cities, a cluster of five or six...

 

Measure 98 funds driving new, expanded programs at SHHS

By Tom Yahraes Measure 98—Tackling CTE and Forestry, College Readiness, and Dropout Prevention High School Success is the title of the Measure 98 ballot initiative approved by the Oregon voters in 2016. This initiative now provides direct funding...

 

Housing law could benefit needy in Sweet Home

Housing is increasingly expensive in east Linn County, and the reason is short supply. We detailed some of the specifics in a report in our April 25 issue, but anyone who has acquaintances who are renters seeking to move out or up can attest to the...

 

Mona Waibel was faithful supporter, chronicler of her town

Always positive. That’s what I remember most about Mona Waibel, who passed away last week after several years of decline. Mona was one of a kind. She was energetic – a real go-getter whose range of activities was dizzying. She was opinionated...

 

Governor's call for special session raises variety of questions

As of the writing of this article, Governor Brown has indicated she is going to sign Senate Bill 1528, which will disconnect certain portions of the Oregon tax code from the federal tax code. In her press release announcing her intent, she also said...

 

Chamber banquet reflects positive changes all around

Until they called my name, I was really enjoying this year’s Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet. It was a full house, with a program that, though extensive, kept moving and stayed interesting. The crowd was enthusiastic. The applause at the end...

 
 By Scott Swanson    Opinion    April 4, 2018

Thirteen years bring many changes in news business

Amid the Easter holiday events and April Fools Day jokes last Sunday, another small milestone slipped by. I actually barely realized it, because I was busy visiting relatives I hadn’t seen for quite a while and was preoccupied with catching up. But...

 

This spring brings opportunities to participate

Things are happening in Sweet Home. We’ve got a vastly rejuvenated Chamber of Commerce planning an awards ceremony featuring a local homegrown country star, Trevor Tagle, on April 7. We’ve got new city government leaders who are gaining...

 

Total support for columnist's stance

Editor: Thank you to Jeff Hutchins for his column concerning gun control and issues. We support your feelings and your comments completely. Bob and Betty Weidner Sweet Home...

 

Post-tragedy gun arguments smack of ignorance, fallacies

By Jeff Hutchins Following the latest school shooting, in Florida, and the mass shooting in Las Vegas, a lot of false information – and in some cases, flat-out lies, have been disseminated, especially through the mass media. Few things infuriate...

 

Short session produces solid accomplishments

Some pleasant surprises have emerged from this year’s “Short Session” in the Oregon Legislature. First, our legislators finished early. Wow. We complain about Salem’s penchant for overreaches, particularly about government overreaches and a...

 

Another tragedy tells us hard things about ourselves

The recent horrific shooting spree at a Florida high school impacts all of us because we know it could have been members of our community hovering outside the perimeter of yellow tape, wondering if our kids were OK and grieving over those who were...

 

Soaring firefighting costs limit funds for other needs

By Tracy Beck Both nationally and locally, the 2017 wildfire season was unpre-cedented in terms of dollars spent, acres burned, and the duration of the wildfire season. We will continue to feel the impacts from these fires, including impacts to...

 

Dennis Richardson shows what can be accomplished in Salem

We often criticize public officials, particularly at the state and federal levels, whose focus appears to be more on establishing their legacy as social and environmental engineers rather than, say, our state’s and nation’s problems of massive...

 

We've been handed a card; can we play it?

The announcement last week that our national forest will produce the nation’s Capitol Christmas Tree (along with 70 others that will be distributed throughout the capital) might first seem like simply a bunch of fun hoopla. But it’s also an...

 

Upgraded defenses, backing off on provocations can avoid a needless war in North Korea

“To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.” —Sun Tzu The recent bogus Hawaiian nuclear alert puts the smoldering crisis with North Korea in perspective. Although most experts believe it will be a year before North Korea’s...

 

Just because everybody does it doesn't make it right

Suppose someone parked in front of your house and walked away into the night, leaving their vehicle there – for perpetuity. One day you get a call from your neighbor: "You know, you have a car sitting in front of your house and it's covered with...

 

The New Era starts 2018 with a new face – on the web

Happy New Year! 2018 is starting out with a better face for The New Era. Finally – and I’ll explain that in a moment – we have a new website. If you’ve visited us at sweethomenews.com in recent years, you probably found a web presence that h...

 

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