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Opinion / Commentary & Editorials

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Payoff for coronavirus edicts might be just getting kids back into school

There’s been a lot of controversy over Oregon’s response to the coronavirus pandemic – the forced closures of businesses, the fines for businesses who violate the governor’s dictates during the six months we’ve lived under this state of...

 

National Newspaper Week to highlight vital roles press plays

By Randy Evans Guest Commentary Each year, one week is set aside to salute newspapers for the important role they have played in our nation, a role that goes back to the beginning of these United States. This year, however, waiting until Oct. 4-10 an... Full story

 

Land use policy key to public safety

Guest Commentary Sweet Home was very, very fortunate last week. Last Tuesday, we watched helplessly as Detroit, Lyons, Gates and Mill City in the North Santiam Canyon were either destroyed or severely damaged by wildfires. Meanwhile, another fire... Full story

 

History review: Things not much different for GOP, even with Trumps

By Rich Lowry Donald Trump took over the Republican Party, but it’s still discernibly the Republican Party. The Republican National Convention was obviously very Trumpy. At least one member of the family had a slot every night, and it featured...

 

Belated chamber awards event was fun one

If you haven’t watched the Sweet Home Chamber of Commerce awards presentation, we’ll just say it might be a lot more entertaining than simply reading our story about the event, which starts on page 1. That’s because the program was a well-put-t...

 

Time for more local control in battling COVID?

We’ve been living with the coronavirus pandemic for about five months now in east Linn County and it’s been an experience. Particularly in our schools. Educators have been jerked this way and that by constantly changing directives from Salem as t...

 

Protests can pose difficult challenges

Protests are a challenge for journalists in a number of ways. They can be a cauldron that mixes fervor – often angry fervor, concern – often deep concern – about one or more issues, along with...

 

Nuns' Supreme Court victory for freedom of religion a qualified one

By John A. Sparks The 181-year-old religious order, the Little Sisters of the Poor – unlikely litigants before the high court – finally got a victory. For over six years this charitable order has had to defend itself against the federal...

 
 By Scott Swanson    Opinion    July 8, 2020

Thinking about freedom, when it's not there

Been thinking at all about freedom lately? If so, you’re not alone. I’ve had more conversations about liberty in the last three months than I think I’ve had in 50-plus years. I also have to confess that I spent a lot more time this past Fourth...

 

If Thomas Jefferson falls, so will we all

By Rich Lowry They’re coming for Thomas Jefferson. Protestors in Portland, Ore. used axes and ropes to topple a statue of President Thomas Jefferson. The New York City Council is agitating to remove a statue of the author of the Declaration of...

 

A 'contemptible betrayal of the public trust'

By Rich Lowry Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot had big news last week – the city is opening up its iconic Lakefront Trail after months of being closed off as part of a COVID-19 lockdown. That Lightfoot kept the trail closed even after Chicago had...

 

Science shows all are people of color

Editor: As long as we insist on dividing humans into arbitrary races we will have racism. If someone would suggest to group all black dogs into one race and all brown and white ones into another one, we would just laugh. But we do just that with peop... Full story

 

Supreme Court becomes super-legislature in recent cases

By John A. Sparks The Supreme Court has just rendered historic decisions in three cases concerning Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Justice...

 

Slashing police in wake of violence wrong

We are, of course, thankful that the foolishness – and worse – emanating across the nation in the wake of the tragic and deplorable death of George Floyd has, thankfully, not been duplicated in Linn County. Demonstrations held in Lebanon during...

 
 By Scott Swanson    Opinion    June 10, 2020

Tumultuous times breed confusing emotions

These are certainly tumultuous times. June’s been a wild month, so far; certainly not what many of us expected as we cruised merrily into a new year back in January. Our staff can recall a lot of people (around us, anyway) anticipating “a good...

 

Science can provide answers, not decisions

By Rich Lowry If you thought the coronavirus presented difficult policy questions, don’t worry – we have science. California Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted the other day: “The West Coast is – and will continue to be –guided by SCIENCE.” Joe...

 
 By Sean C. Morgan    Opinion    May 27, 2020

Goodbye to newspaper, but not to SH

This is my last week at The New Era. To the day, it’s been 24.5 years since I started working for Debbie Paul and Alex Paul, who loves to tell people about seeing me getting out of my car for an interview. He leaned over and told Debbie, “I hope...

 
 By Skyler Bascom    Opinion    May 20, 2020

3 positives from COVID-19 shutdown

As you may have noticed in my last column, I can be a bit of a pessimist.  If I had a choice, my profile in this newspaper wouldn’t have a picture of me, but rather a cartoon drawing of Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh or just a picture of the cloud fr...

 

Levy reduction would be timely, if not overdue

A proposal by city staff to decrease the Police Department levy by 30 cents per $1,000 of property value is something we should all appreciate. For one thing, that proposal will allow the City Council a chance to keep an implicit promise from city of...

 

Time to ready for critical vote

Amid all the angst over COVID-19, attention may be a bit distracted from another very important event that is closing in fast upon us, one of the few that hasn’t been cancelled: Oregon’s primary election. Ballots are being mailed as we speak....

 

Staying home truly does save lives

By Adam Brady, MD and Robert Turngren, MD Thank you for staying home to save lives. The good news is, it’s working. From mid-March to mid-April, Oregon’s aggressive physical distancing and stay-at-home measures have prevented an estimated 18,000...

 

COVID-19 impacts on your newspaper

The other day I responded to a report of a fire, the results of which you can see on page 10-11. It wasn’t routine, and I’m not talking about the explosions that kept me and most of the onlookers well away from the roaring flames. What was...

 
 By Skyler Bascom    Opinion    April 8, 2020

Coronavirus' toll may go beyond the physical

I work bi-vocationally as a pastor and as an educator. Before the COVID-19 mandates to “shelter in place,” I used to tell people that I had one foot in the church and one foot in the school. Now it is more accurate to say that I have one virtual...

 
 By Scott Swanson    Opinion    April 1, 2020

This anniversary will be one to remember

Fifteen years ago, on what we later realized was April Fools Day of 2005, my wife Miriam and I walked into the office we now occupy as publishers of your newspaper. Hard to believe, how fast that time has gone by. Our daughters, who were all in...

 

Thank you to our doctors

Editor: Since 1933, March 30 has been celebrated as Doctors Day – a time to say a special thank you to physicians everywhere for the vital role they play in fostering health and healing.  The commemoration was established on the first anniversary...

 

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