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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 in recent years, you probably found a web presence that h...


Let Northside have caretaker, RV

On the face of it, the City Council’s decision on Dec. 12 to let stand the eviction of the caretaker at Northside Park, which we reported on page 1 of last week’s issue, sounds solid. City Manager Ray Towry and council members justify their...


Message of Christmas should be one of peace and hope

So, here are my New Year’s resolu... Wait, that’s next week. It’s been that kind of a year. My mom used to tell me (when I was actually young) that time speeds up as you get older. Well, this year has definitely flown by. Seems like we were...


Revelations, resignations pose hard questions

By now anyone who’s coherent enough to watch the TV screen is aware that a sea change is happening in public life with regard to the relations between men – particularly those in power – and women in the workplace. Like almost everything that...


Heads-up leadership at county seat is appreciated

It was good to hear from County Commission Chair Roger Nyquist last week as he outlined his vision of where Linn County stands in a variety of fields (see page 5). Nyquist, who spent most of his 40 minutes at the dais basically winging it, with...


Gleaners' dumping problems a dirty business

As we launch into the holiday season, it was a little distressing and, well, dumpish (yes, it’s a word) to read the report in last week’s edition about Sweet Home Gleaners’ problems with trash left at their second hand store at 3031 Main St....


Come to think of it, there's plenty of room for thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving. This has been a crazy year, with wars and rumors of wars, natural disasters of historic proportions, human frailty in the headlines, and lots more to preoccupy us with uncomfortable thoughts. Many of us have experienced personal...


Editorial: State leaders need to take PERS fixes seriously

PERS is a curse, in many ways, for us Oregonians. Yes, that’s a sweeping statement, but it’s generally true for all of us, even those who directly benefit from the state’s public pension plan. Any citizen who’s been paying attention knows tha... Full story


Editorial: These Huskies are worth watching – for anyone

As a journalist, I’ve covered sports since I was a college student, which is a lot more years than I care to count right now. Of course, I’ve done a lot of other things in journalism as well, so I haven’t been consistently in the press box. I m...


Letter: Plants’ placement creates hazards

Editor: There ought to be a law against obstructing driver visibility along roads. And one against cities, counties, states from planting invasive, non-native species. I, ironically, was almost killed by a logging truck on the corner of Evergreen... Full story


Letter: Apologies to young for adult decisions

Editor: With deep regret I submit this apology to the youngsters of Sweet Home, present and future. In the haste to prove ourselves as worthy adults we have condemned you to unnecessary anguish in your coming years. In the name of “progress” and... Full story


Notes from the Newsroom: Hawaii offers lessons in relaxed common sense

When we think of Hawaii, for most of us what comes to mind are sandy beaches, surfboards, luaus, flowers, pineapple, coconuts, etc. Forests may not immediately come to mind. Recently, my wife and I spent a week in the Garden State with some friends....


Letter: Protest is wrong during anthem

Editor: I would like to discuss the issue currently happening that began with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling on the football field during the national anthem to protest that police – assumedly, white police –...


Letter: ‘Long, dark cloud’ over Sweet Home

Editor: I listened carefully to the gentleman who presented his proposed plan for opening a new store in Sweet Home to the Planning Commission (“Pot shop gets approval from planners,” Sept. 27) – two of whom were absent, leaving four... Full story


Editorial: Best antidote to ignorance is good journalism

The power of the press rests in the ability of journalists to hold government accountable, to mobilize public opinion on matters that are important to individuals, communities or the nation, and to provide necessary information of value. Notice in... Full story


Editorial: Library provides quiet center of learning in world of information overload

Sweet Home’s library celebrated its 75th anniversary last week, which makes it one of the oldest institutions in our community. Other than a few churches and the city itself, there’s not a lot here dating back that far. Which should tell us... Full story


Letter: New gun law has many weaknesses

Editor: Oregon Senate Bill 719 calls for the forced confiscation of property – guns – by the police with no due process, no accusation or conviction of a crime. The law, signed by the governor on Aug. 16, allows a court to prohibit a...


Letter: Protesters don’t know history

Editor: I've watched television news clips of easterners tearing down statues and flags reminiscent of the Civil War between the North and the South of our United States. My thoughts about this are that once again, the protesters are hysterical and...


Editorial: Benefactors have helped SH more than we know

A couple of weeks ago was a big moment for all of us. As many of our local residents headed into local forests to harvest timber, comb the woods for game with bows in hand or sight in their rifles and... Full story


Letters to the editor August 29, 2017

Abortion could be big tourism boost Editor: So now our Oregon legislators and governor, after years of debate, have discovered a new way to increase tourism in our great state. And they didn’t bother to ask what we, the people of Oregon, thought ab...


Guest Commentary: Federal land grab results are inefficiency – and worse

The solar eclipse has come and gone but look skyward again. Why is the sky so dark? Why are the heavens filled with smoke and haze? Why is air quality so poor? Why has it been so bad for the last month? We’ve all seen pictures from China, where...


Editorial: Oregon plants a flag – creating more divisiveness

Last week Gov. Kate Brown signed a landmark bill to provide free abortions for all in Oregon, by requiring insurance companies to cover the procedures and billing it to taxpayers. The law was approved by what essentially was a party-line vote... Full story


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