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Letters to the editor

Neils never operated ‘homeless shelter’

This is Martha Neils. Let me make one thing clear; I did not have, nor have I ever had, a “homeless shelter.” I have taken in folks into my home. I also have an attached (legal) studio apartment. They fed themselves and were independent, working at their jobs and/or looking for work.

A guy wanted to pitch a tent in my yard, and we let him stay in the shed to get out of the rain. Then we brought him inside our home. I let people stay in their RV’s (one or two at a time) on my driveway. One of them was a working traveler from out of state and carpooled with my husband to work. There was no garbage or junk piled up anywhere. They were all quiet, working people. People live and have lived in much worse conditions all over the world, including many homeless people here in the U.S.

The children of Israel in the Bible lived in tents and traveled around for 40 years. Why is it evil to help others? What a selfish society we have! Not once did the police have to come over here because of any violence, noise, parties, etc., of any kind. Only neighbors called the cops on us because they didn’t like “homeless” people living here. I never allowed any alcohol, tobacco, drugs, etc., and I made all of them help out with the utility bill if they could. We had Bible studies in our home.

One day, a cop showed up and saw us reading the Bible together. There were about five of us total. She said something like, “Wow, there’s a lot of people here!”

Good has become evil and evil has become good.

Martha Neils

Forest Grove

Starr should distance himself from lie in poll question

National politics have become a revolting spectacle in the last few years, with civility, common courtesy and even truth being replaced by the vilification and demonizing of political opponents. And dirty campaign tricks are becoming more common.

One of these tricks is the “push-poll.” An outfit calling itself “The Nelson Survey,” based in Salem, has been phoning people in this area, claiming to be a simple poll tabulating Oregon voters’ preferences in the upcoming elections for governor — John Kitzhaber (D) or Dennis Richardson (R) — and for state Senator — Chuck Riley (D) or Bruce Starr (R).

If the respondent says he or she intends to vote for the Democratic candidates, Kitzhaber and Riley, the “surveyor” then asks smoothly: “Would you vote for Bruce Starr if you knew that Chuck Riley helped sex abusers get early release from prison?”

This “survey” question is intended, and guaranteed, to frighten or infuriate anyone who reads or listens to the news.

It is also a complete lie.

I myself attended the trial on which this fantastic claim is based, and the person who was wrongfully imprisoned was, after appeal, found innocent, the conviction reversed and the charges dismissed. Riley had remained in contact with several church groups and the ACLU investigating the case, knowing that an innocent constituent had been railroaded for a “crime” he did not commit, and for that public concern, Riley is now being slandered by this bogus “survey.”

In fact, the “Nelson Survey” is simply a classic “push-poll,” a dirty political gimmick to slander the candidate of the opposing party, but in such a way as to remain “deniable” by their own candidate.

I know it is customary for candidates to piously deny any responsibility for dirty tricks by their political proxies, but if Mr. Starr truly wished to prove that he did not approve of this slanderous, fake “survey,” he should make a public apology for this poisonous lie told on his behalf, disassociate himself completely from this “Nelson Survey” and run an ethical, above-board campaign based upon his own legislative record.

Walt Wentz

Forest Grove

Heroes may be gone, but they are not forgotten

Thank you ever so much for Ken and Kris Bilderback’s Memorial Day article (“Stories of veterans past haunt Memorial Day present,” News-Times, May 21 issue)!

Wayne Hutchens was my great-uncle. His death on July 8, 1943, was slightly more than one year before my birth, but he was well remembered in the community thereafter.

While his remains were never found, he is memorialized with a stone near where his mother and father, Ella and Orval Hutchens, were buried in the Union Point Cemetery in Banks. Also, I learned several years ago while surfing findagrave.com on the Internet that he also has a memorial stone in the North Africa American Cemetery in Tunis, Tunisia.

Thus, like so many others who served in World War II, he may be gone, but he is not forgotten.

Bob Browning

Umatilla

‘Facts’ on guns are often complete falsehoods

The last issue of this newspaper contained both an opinion (“Are we getting used to gun violence?,” News-Times, June 18 issue) and a citizen’s view on the subject of gun ownership. Both contained claims and “facts” picked up from older media sources that have since been Pinocchio-awarded for being complete falsehoods.

For instance, the claim that 80 percent of Oregonians, including many gun owners, support background checks on all gun sales — a complete fabrication that is easily verified, yet the media left it unchallenged. Or another: The U.S. firearm homicide rate is 20 times higher than the combined rates of 22 countries that are our peers in wealth and population. Twenty-two countries that are our peers in wealth and population? They don’t exist, clearly.

So if the gun control advocates really want to make a difference, quit lying, quit fabricating “facts” out of thin air. Quit the BS and tell the truth for a change. The rate of violence is down 49 percent in America in the last eight years. That is reality and verifiable. Do the same.

Roy Browning

West Linn



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