Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Plight Of A Farmer

Rich people don’t usually write me letters, so you can imagine my surprise when I received a letter from Carol Leuthold yesterday. It was from a mass mailing that must have included my name and address. She wrote that she wants me to join her in voting NO on a tax increase of the rich in Oregon (yeah...right). Though I can’t get back to her today, being Sunday and all, I’ll respond to her tomorrow. What follows is our exchange of letters...
Carol Marie Leuthold
Leuthold Dairy Farm

November 16, 2009

David Thomas McDonald
2225 N Emerson St
Portland, OR 97217-3810

Dear David,

Five generations of our family have worked at our Tillamook dairy. It's our life and our business. Milk prices are plunging and it's harder than ever to keep our business afloat. We're worried that the new, permanent tax increases legislators passed in June will hurt our farm and the families it supports. Please join me in voting NO on Measures 66 and 67, which permanently raise business and personal income taxes in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression.

Economists estimate these tax increases will cost 70,000 Oregonians their jobs. With entire families out of work, we can't afford taxes that will cost more jobs. I can't vote to send more pink slips to Oregonians.

Legislators say their plan only taxes the rich. They're wrong. We'll all end up paying more for groceries, gas, and other services, and that will impact all Oregonians, especially the poor. Facing higher taxes, small businesses like ours would be forced to lay off workers, reduce wages and benefits, or close their doors.

Worse yet, the higher taxes would be retroactive to January 1, 2009. No money to cover this increase has been withheld from Oregonians' paychecks in all of 2009. Retroactive tax bills will hurt businesses, too.

Despite the bleak economy, Measure 67 would tax businesses up to $100,000 a year, even if they didn't make a profit. This tax increase will make Oregon's corporate minimum (the tax on the sales of businesses that don't make profits) 20 times higher than New York - the nation's highest. The personal income tax increase also adds to business taxes - 66% of Oregonians who will be impacted by the Measure 66 tax increase are small business owners that report their business income on their personal tax returns.

State government has not tightened its belt like the rest of us. We should not send more money to Salem until the state can get its spending under control. It bothers me that the $733 million in new taxes will help fund the $258 million budgeted for state employee salary increases. Instead of pinching pennies like the rest of us, legislators increased overall state spending by $4.7 billion - 9% higher than the previous budget, and raised taxes and fees by almost $2 billion.

Public employee unions say the sky will fall if the new taxes do not pass. I'm here to tell you that the sky is already falling on Oregon small businesses like mine. Even President Obama said in an NBC interview this August, "The last thing we want to do is raise taxes during the middle of a recession."

Help me send legislators a message that voters already have rejected job-killing income tax increases twice before. No means no! Please vote NO on Measures 66 and 67.


Carol Marie Leuthold
Leuthold Dairy Farm - Tillamook

I worked with Oregonians Against Job-Killing Taxes to share my thoughts with you in this letter.
November 28, 2009

Carol Marie Leuthold
2425 McCormick Loop Road
Tillamook, OR 97141

Dear Carol,

I just received your letter asking me to vote NO on Measures 66 and 67. The letter was dated 11/16/09, but it came in yesterday’s mail. This means you must have mailed it sometime after November 24th. This is very interesting to me, as on the 24th an article regarding the “myth” of job loss in our state if these Measures pass was printed in, which you certainly should have read. If you didn’t read this article, I suggest that you do so now.

Your own website leads me to believe that you are in fact a well healed Oregonian who has concerns other than saving jobs. Concerns regarding how you might spend all the money you make. From your website...

“It’s been said that Tillamook is the Switzerland of the United States. Nestled at the feet of the Coast Range and known for its delicious dairy products, the comparison doesn’t make for much of a mental stretch.

If there’s one woman, however, who’s qualified to weigh in on similarities between the two locales, it’s Carol Marie Leuthold.

In addition to being a Tillamook County Creamery Association member farmer, as well as Tillamook County Farm Bureau President, Leuthold and her husband, Dan, have a serious case of the travel bug.

The couple has roamed around the world, including stops in Brazil, Italy, Germany and Alaska. They touch down in Switzerland, Dan’s familial homeland, every four years or so. This past year, the couple rendezvoused there after taking the first separate vacations in their 45-year marriage.

Dan went on safari in South Africa while Carol Marie flew to the South of France and Italy to take cooking classes.”

You should know that we common folks have concerns other than fattening your purse. Concerns such as education for our children, healthcare and housing for our elderly and disabled, and police protection for all Oregonians.

Perhaps you’d be better served by writing a letter to Santa Clause, asking him to keep you rich for another year, and let those of us who actually care about our neighbors move our state forward. May you get exactly what you deserve this Christmas.


David McDonald
DAWG (Disability Activists Work Group) Oregon

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Oh Man...

Can you blame people for not trusting a broken system? I know this guy is innocent until proven guilty, but there's already a rumor flying that he admitted to abusing these kids. And the big question is WHY CAN'T STATE AGENCIES INTERFACE WITH EACH OTHER?? One agency denies his application because of obvious concerns, while another approves him. What the hell is THAT about?

Springfield foster parent charged with sex abuse
By Kimberly A.C. Wilson, The Oregonian
November 17, 2009, 7:48PM

Lane County Sheriff's Office

Joshua Thomas FriarA 26-year-old Springfield man is in jail, accused of abusing young boys, including foster children under his care.

Police expect that other victims may come forward now that Joshua Thomas Friar is in custody. Until recently, he was a direct-care service provider at a Lane County treatment facility for severely abused and traumatized children, and a volunteer Big Brother.

Held in jail in lieu of nearly $2 million bail, Friar is charged with four counts of second-degree sodomy and one count each of using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct and witness tampering.

Arrested Saturday, he resigned, while in jail, from a job he held for three years at Jasper Mountain, 10 miles east of Springfield.

Oregon State Police detectives began their investigation Nov. 10 after one of Friar's former foster children reportedly told an Oregon Department of Human Services caseworker that he was sexually abused while in Friar's care.

Officers served a search warrant and seized evidence at two Springfield residences where Friar lived during the past three years. Caseworkers removed three youths, 7 to 16 years old, who were living with Friar. However, there is no evidence that they were victims of the charged crimes, according to Lt. Gregg Hastings, an OSP spokesman.

Police hope former foster children who lived with Friar at 636 S. 41st Place or 1883 17th St. in Springfield will come forward.

"Our hope is that with the release of the addresses, foster children who have stayed with Mr. Friar in the past at those locations will contact OSP," Hastings said.

Police believe that Friar identified vulnerable juvenile males at Jasper Mountain, then later requested they be placed in his home as foster children. Two have come forward so far, Hastings said, and investigators believe more young boys may have been victimized.

Friar, who previously volunteered with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, applied in October 2008 to become a foster parent through Jasper Mountain. The center sometimes places young residents in the care of employees trained to foster, supervise and treat emotionally disturbed children, said Dave Ziegler, the center's executive director.

But the application was denied.

"He came to us and said, 'I would like to become a foster parent for Jasper Mountain,'" Zeigler said. "We gave him a trial with one child, and it did not go as we would want it to."

The reservations were not about concerns for the safety of children in Friar's care, Ziegler said.

"There was zero indication of any concern in the area of safety. There were issues with teaching, his choices, his maturity, his impulsivity."

At some point after his application was declined, Friar applied to be a foster parent through DHS. That application was approved.

Officials with DHS would not answer questions about when Friar was certified as a foster parent, what kind of background screening was conducted or how many children the state placed in his home.

"Because of the ongoing police investigation, I am not able to provide additional information," agency spokesman Gene Evans said Tuesday evening.

Anyone with information to help in the investigation is asked to call OSP's Northern Command Center dispatch at 800-452-7888.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Let's Hear It For The Southern Poverty Law Center!!

November 5, 2009

Dear Friend,

Twenty years ago today, we dedicated the Civil Rights Memorial — the nation's first memorial to the martyrs of the civil rights movement - just a block from where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ignited the Montgomery bus boycott.

I hope you will take a moment to remember those who died in the battle for equality and to reflect on how far we've come as a nation and how much more we need to do.

In the two decades since the SPLC built the Memorial, it has become more than a tribute to the martyrs of the movement. It has become a tool for education, an instrument of justice, and a solemn reminder that the march for racial and social justice continues throughout the world.

Because of the Memorial, tens of thousands of schoolchildren have learned about the struggle for human rights — lessons of courage, commitment and sacrifice. The Memorial also sparked new interest in unsolved crimes of the era, and family members of slain heroes have seen their loved ones' killers brought to justice.

On the Memorial's timeline, where the names of the 40 martyrs are inscribed on a circular granite table, designer Maya Lin left a blank space between the first and last entries — signifying that the march for justice began well before the events listed there and it continues today.

Supporters of the Southern Poverty Law Center made the Memorial, and everything else we've accomplished in the past 20 years, possible. I want to thank you for your personal dedication to justice and tolerance. Together we'll work toward the day that — as Dr. King quoted — "justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream."

Morris Dees