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October 10, 2012     The Sun Paper
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October 10, 2012

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2 The Sun, Wednesday, October 10, 2012 PINION Keep an eye on seniors By Douglas E. Schoen Guest Columnist Both President Obama and Mitt Romney will need to care- fully consider how they approach the issue of Medicare in the coming weeks. To be sure, the political climate has grown increasingly favorable for President Obama and the Democrats in the weeks following the Democratic National Convention. But with the polls nearly certain to tighten in the weeks lead- ing up to election day, it is clear that the senior vote will play a critical if not decisive role in determining the final outcome. Consider the following: in2010, tumout amongAmericans over 65 surged and seniors cast more than one out of five votes. This core constituency voted for Republicans by a 21-point margin. When it comes to Medicare, both sides are struggling to own the debate. But Medicare Part D is a huge positive for candidates willing to embrace it and has been under discussed on the campaign trail up to this point. A new poll sponsored by Medicare Today found that 90 percent of seniors are satisfied with Medicare Part D- up twelve points from 78 percent in 2006• The poll found that beth Democrats and Republicans equally favor the prograrnwith respondents saying they are happy with the value, costs, and convenience provided by their coverage. The poll also found palpable levels of concern about what would happen if Medicare Part D were to be eliminated. 84 percent said that out-of-pocket drug costs would be higher, 61 percent believe they would be unable to fill all of their pre- scriptions, and 53 percent said they would be more likely to cut back or stop taking medicine altogether. This year, three of the top five heavily senior populated states (Florida, Pennsylvania and Iowa) are up for grabs, and neither side can afford to sacrifice the critical voting bloc of Americans over 65---who comprise 13 percent of the population. And the results to a September survey by the Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation "Health Care, Medicare and the Election: A View from Three Swing States--Virginia, Florida, and Ohio" indicate that swing voters are very con- cemed that the fiscal cliffdebate, while unlikely to take center stage until after the election, by all accounts will result in changes to programs that seniors rely upon. • Indeed, clear majorities of voters in Virginia (73 percent), Florida (74 percent), and Ohio (78 percent) indicated that they would like to see policymakers reduce the federal budget deficit without reducing Medicare spending. The Obama campaign has repeatedly defended provisions in the Affordable Care Act that cut Medicare spending by $750 billion as nothing more than closing loopholes and limiting payments to providers. The Romney campaign, while still defending itself against comments that 47 percent of the Ameri- can people are "victims" and rely on government programs (seniors are very much part of this number), havemade a point to label the White House's actions as "raiding" Medicare to pay for Obamacare. Despite being a target for Democrats in the past, taking on the program known as Medicare Part D carries a significant amount of political risk that the Obama campaign cannot af- ford as both sides prepare to make their closing arguments. Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan as his vice presiden- tial ranning mate immediately put Medicare on the front bumer and Democrats on the offensive, especially in Florida with recent gains among seniors. And needless to say, given the concerns that have been raised about the impact the Ryan plan potentially will have, Republicans also need to take particular care not to appear to question an extraordinarily popular program that was, after all, proposed and passed by a Republican President and Re- publican Congress. Letters to The Sun Douglas Schoen is apolitical strategist and author of Hope- lessly Divided: The New Crisis in American Politics and What it Means for 2012 and Beyond, published by Rowman & LittlefieM Publishers. Weekly Poll This Week: Have you benefitted from Obamacare -- the new national health care program? Last Week: Are you better off today than you were four years ago? Online Results: No 61.5%; Yes 30.8%; Unsure 7.7% Vote onfine at, or email us and let The Sun know what you think, Obituaries The Sun °- ---ozrP£ 493-940 Clinton Vinlng EDITOR and PUBLISHER POSTAL NOTICE: Published weekly by The Sun, 136 E. Main Street, Sheridan, OR 97378. Periodicals postage paid at Sheridan, OR 97378. SUBSCRIPTION RATE (one year): $29 in Yamhill/Polk County. $39 out of area. Payment must be received by noon Friday for subscription to start with the following Wednesday's edition. DEADLINES: Letters to the editor, society and church news, press releases, general -- Noon Friday. Legal notices, display -- 5 p.m. Friday. Classified display -- Noon Monday. Classified ads -- 5 p.m. Monday. Phone: (503) 843-2312. Fax: (503) 843- 3830. E-mail: POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Sun, RO. Box 68, Sheridan, OR. 97378. pllSl.ITo I I 00EEDTO f • VOTER ID M , Close call To the Editor: We owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who assisted with the brush fire off Kimberling Mountain Lane in Rose Lodge on Friday, Oct. 5, especially the crew from Fall Creek Logging, Inc. who responded without hesitation to the sight of smoke and were first on scene to fight the blaze, check for occupants and secure our home. We also owe thanks to the Oregon De- partment of Forestry for their rapid mobilization and ability to contain the fire, and to North Lincoln Fire and Rescue for providing support and appara- tus not only at our location but neighboring residences as well. Despite extremely dry con- ditions and a strong east wind, the crews saved our house and limited nearby property dam- age. We are also extremely grate- ful to our son, Lee, for moni- toring the situation and corral- ling three frightened dogs until we returned home• Finally, we'd like to thank the many friends and col- leagues who called to offer in- formation and support. It is comforting beyond words to know that so many care• Dave and Gail Kimberling Otis Elections costly To the Editor: I oppose the City of Sheri- dan Charter Amendment to be voted on. Elections are very costly• The City of Sheridan has four (4) funds: 1. Street Fund, which doesn't have enough revenue to fLx potholes, repair and pave streets in addition to pay for street lights. 2. Water Fund 3. Sewer Fund 4. General Fund, which pays for parks, library, police contracts and a portion of staff salaries and benefits. As far as I know, to increase General Fund revenue, the Council could increase fran- chise fees, which in turn will be billed to utilities customers. The same goes for water and sewer customers. If the vote is to amend the charter, it will be another tax we do not deserve or aeed. I offer two reasons to vote No: 1. The Cost is excessive• 2. The outcome will be very inefficient. Someone once said, "If you want popularity, you elect; if you want efficiency, you ap- point." I, for one, do appreci- ate the many hours the Council volunteers for the city. Again, thanks, and please vote No. Ted R. Aaron Sheridan Wheeler stands on her own To the Editor: As a former Polk County Commissioner, I know good government is the result of wise choices• I am voting for Polk County Commissioner Jennifer Wheeler. She is very experi- enced in county matters having served Polk County citizens for 17 years and as our Commis- sioner since April 2011. Jennifer Wheeler has ex- celled in her responsibility of the proper use of county funds. Her work ethic and integrity are well known. She stands' on her own merits and does not take credit for the accomplishments of others. I encourage all vot- ers in Polk County to vote for Commissioner Jennifer Wheeler. Walter GjersvoM Dallas Repeal Obamacare To the Editor: America should be nervous about Obamacare! It will open the door to socialism, raise taxes and provide inadequate health care. As a result, I think that Obamacare should be re- pealed! First of all, the open door to socialism will put everyone in the same health care category. The man who works hard for his money will get the same treatment as the man who does just about nothing all day. The government will control our every health care need, taking away the freedom that our country has known for hun- dreds of years. Another reason to repeal Obamacare is that health care costs will go up, right along with Our taxes. Fur- thermore, we will have inad- equate health care, resulting from everyone having the same priority. I was in socialistic countries with my family and saw people waiting in ex- tremely long lines, hoping to get a good doctor• They had no choice of their health care pro- vider• On the other hand, the sup- porters of Obamacare believe that it will "reduce overall health care costs by making services available to the 32 million who currently can't get insurance•" They feel that it will be beneficial as insurance companies can't deny cover- age to children with pre-exist- ing problems and '.'parents can put their children up to age 26 on their h. ealth insurance plans. This will bring more profits for health insurance companies, since they will receive more premiums without higher costs for these healthier individu- als." In conclusion, socialism, higher taxes and inadequate health care is what our free country will have to cope with if Obamacare is not repealed! Breeanna M. Sconce Darrington, Wash. How about an apology To the Editor: It's*only bumps in the road says a Sun reporter• We wouldn't want to inconve- nience a building owner the reporter also implies• I won't consider the crossing danger- ous until someone is seriously injured says the mayor• It doesn't appear to be danger- ous to us says the city council about the railroad crossing• We can't says the city man- ager. I think they all owe Hattie Tinney an apology• Maybe they could chip in and pay for the needed repairs to her motorized scooter• Maybe they should drive her around town until the proper repairs are made to the Bridge Street crossing• A repair like ODOT did on 18B going to Willamina would be accept- able. Terry Davis Sheridan Working together or not • • :• • 7;i; To the Editor: My name is Sheri Ruegsegger, and tho late Mike  Propes was my brother. I am writing this letter for myself and Alice Propes, our mother. Dan Clem, one of the candidates for Polk County Commissioner, is using Mike's name in his fly- ers and advertisements insinu- ating that he had Mike's sup- port without permission from the Propes family. This is of- fensive, and we asked that he show respect by discontinuing this practice. We are grateful that Jenni- fer Wheeler has not taken po- litical advantage of a genuine working relationship with Mike, even though he and Jen- nifer actually did work together to "get projects done•" Sheri Ruegsegger Polk County Letters are welcome, but must be signed Yes, we like letters. But they must be signed or they won't be published• Please provide a telephone number -- for verification pur- poses only. The phone number will not be published• All letters are subject to ed- iting. Please limit length to 300 words or less• Deadline is 5 p.m. Friday. Send your letters to P.O. Box 68, Sheridan, OR, 97378. You may also e-mail to: news@sheridansun, com. Candace Marie Diaz April 26, 19899cL 6, 2012 Candaee Marie Diaz, 23, of Sheridan, died Oct. 6 in Sheridan. She was bomApri126, 1989 in Phoenix, Ariz., the daughter of Manuel Lerma Diaz Jr. and Denna Maria Diaz. She was proud of being a good mother to her daughter Jayde Diaz. She loved to sing and dance and was a active and proud member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. Survivors include her daughter, Jayde Diaz; parents, Denna and Manuel Diaz; broth- ers, Manuel Diaz III, Arthur Diaz, Donivan Diaz, Keenan Ulestad and Brendon; sister, Tajia Ulestad; grand parents, Mazie Thompson and Mary and Manuel Diaz. Funeral Service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, at the Confederated Tribes Gym. There will be a potluck fellowship following the services at the Commu- nity Center• Adamson's Sheridan Fu- neral Home Directors. To leave on-line condolences please go to www.AdamsonsSheridan Obituary policy The Sun Will publish free of charge a basic death/funeral no- tice for persons who are (or have been) a resident of the West Valley• The notice will include the name, age, birth date, death date, city of residence, and time, date and location of the funeral ser- vice. A photo may be added for'a $5 fee. The charge for a more detailed obituary is $20 per 10-inch in- crement. A photo may be added for an additional $5. For more information, email us at, or fax The Sun at 503-843-3830•