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Scappoose officers overreacted; not liking St. Helens pot farm; a better educational model; and an offer of clarity from Global Partners LP

FILE PHOTO - Scappoose officers overreacted; not liking St. Helens pot farm; a better educational model; and an offer of clarity from Global Partners LP Scappoose officers' overreaction results in unfortunate incident

On the early morning of Sunday, June 25, while operating an event for amateur radio on the private property of a local resident, and with the resident's permission, myself and my partner were approached by two law enforcement officers. We were quite visible to the public as we had been on site approximately 18 hours of a 24-hour event.

Ichabod's reader board had lettering indicating "Ham Radio Field Day" on it. On our 10-foot-by-20-foot popup tent we had a banner with our ham radio club's name on it. We had tables with radio equipment on them and a bright light hanging from the popup tent.

The officers had received a complaint and approached us asking for ID. I declined to offer my ID, at which time we were detained and handcuffed as criminals.

I have not broken any laws in this city in the 26 years I have lived here and, if the officers had done further checking, would have clearly seen that there was a misunderstanding between the person who called in the complaint and our presence there.

Yet little restraint came from the officers who apparently believed we were a threat to flee and handcuffed us, nevertheless.

My refusal to offer ID was, I believe, the reason for the extreme measures taken by police, but our presence and the obvious nature of our event should have negated the over-reaction by Scappoose police, and a little further investigation would have easily cleared up the misunderstanding regarding the complaint.

We were without doubt injured in body, mind and spirit to be treated as criminals when the exact opposite is the case. As amateur radio operators, we work to provide emergency communication for all public agencies, and we volunteer countless hours in preparation.

Law enforcement officers make judgement decisions every day when interacting with the public, and that same wise judgement on their part would have avoided this unfortunate incident.

I am a 66-year-old retired truck mechanic, and a 26-year citizen of Scappoose. I've been married 39 years and am a father of three.

Bill Okrasinski

Scappoose

Disappointed with pot farm decision

I wish to publicly express my deep disappointment in St. Helens City Council's recent decision to lease city-owned property for the growth of marijuana. We can do better than this.

Rosalie Sumison

St. Helens

It's time to rethink public schooling

"I never let my schooling interfere with my education." — Mark Twain

Last week Shannon Lal, a junior at Scappoose High School, expressed concern about the condition of public education in the United States (see "Considering resources, the U.S. should rank higher in education," June 23, A4).

I am concerned as well, having members of my own family either retired or still active in public education. But any solutions I would propose would take far longer than would be appropriate for this venue.

Nevertheless, I would like to offer two suggestions. First, throwing more money at public education will not solve its problems. This is because the problems are deeply structural. Not many people know that our public education system is modeled from the education system from the Germany of Otto von Bismarck. Imports from totalitarian regimes are never appropriate models for a free people.

Secondly, continuing to do what has always been done and expecting a different result is a form of madness. It is now time for parents and educators to begin their own education all over again and not go about blindly and meekly submitting their children to public schooling without knowing what they are doing.

In this regard, let me suggest the works of John Taylor Gatto, the New York State public school teacher of the year. His seminal work, "The Underground History of American Education," should be required reading at our universities.

Roy A. Fuller

Scappoose

Open letter from Global Partners Global Partners LP prides itself in transparency and being a good neighbor in the communities that we work and live. Over the past few months there has been a rise in misinformation related to our terminal operations at Port Westward. As such, we would like to clear things up.

Prior to purchasing the terminal in 2013, the previous owner transported crude oil through the facility. Global suspended crude oil deliveries in November 2015 and began shipping ethanol in the summer of 2016. In 2014, having operated the facility for a year, Global identified a variety of infrastructure improvements needed to optimize operational flexibility and modernize the facility. We prepared and presented this plan to numerous state and federal agencies, along with the Port of St Helens. The public commented on the plan at meetings hosted by both Oregon DEQ and the Port. Since then we have followed through with the plan by obtaining appropriate permits and completing over $20 million in improvements. The permits granted allow Global to handle a maximum of 1.8 billion gallons of crude oil and/or ethanol per year.

At full operation, this would equate to a maximum of approximately 55 trains per month. However, the Port of St. Helens has limited train traffic to 24 trains per month until significant improvements are made to the Portland & Western Railroad rail system. Once improvements are made, the Port may authorize Global to move to a maximum of 38 trains per month.

Any allegation that Global has the ability or right to transport more than 38 trains per month is simply false and misleading. Current plans do not change those caps.

We invite you to visit our website at www.globalclatskanie.com to get the most up-to-date information. Dylan Remley

Vice president

Terminal operations Global Partners LP

Contract Publishing

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