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October 16, 1991     The Sun Paper
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October 16, 1991
 

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2 The Sun, Wednesday, October IIIIIIIIIIII 1.C) PI 2q O N Property tax bills reflect Measure 5 Homespun Humor Auction is no place to scratch an i When you get your property tax bill in the mail you might wonder what happened to all those savings promised by Measure 5's promoters. The average homeowner in Sheridan will save about $64 on their property tax bill next year ,while their neighbor in Willamina will pay $24 more in taxes. (See Page 1 story for details.) Without Measure 5, though, it's fair to say that your property tax bill might be even higher since government costs are increasing--often at a rate faster than inflation. Measure 5, at least, has put a ceiling on tax rates. The measure, however, failed to consider the increase in assessed value for property. While tax rates may be reduced or held in check there's nothing to limit how much your property may be worth to a county assessor. If your valuation jumps 20 percent--as it did in Dundee this past year--your overall tax bill is probably going up. If all this is confusing, you're right. One thing we can be certain about, however, is that govern- mental agencies will get the money they say they need based on the budgets they adopt. That's why it's so important that citizens attend budget hearings to make sure their tax dollars are being spent wisely.----G.R. Students at SHS enjoy pep rallies By Amy Overholser Correspondent, The Sun A new school year is just begin- ning and the students at Sheridan High School are heading into it like troopers. The first month has been full of excitement with new faces, classes, halls, classrooms (the new portable classrooms), and, of course, new freshmen. They'veall begun to fall into the daily routine of adjusting their lives from "summer modes" to "school modes." One thing that has really seemed to help are the pep rallies. Usually held on Friday afternoons of home football games, they bring all the students together to compete as classes. The three that we've had so far, the latest being Friday, have been spent with class relays and rally squad performances. Another item that has helped a great deal with school spirit is the "student cheering section." Author- ized by the faculty, it gives students a place on the sidelines to root for their team. The Sheridan High School Band is another one of the school's cheer- ing sections. The band members have worked hard to play tunes that will keep the students excited to cheer the team on. Finally, the one things on evexy student's mind---Homecoming. Coming up fast, the classes are working hard to make it the best ever. Each class has selected a theme to dress-up and decorate their hall. They used last weekend to decorate the halls and plan strate- gies for the competitions this week. Oxbow Ridge Fire is worth recalling By James E. Brown State Forester This month marks the 25th anni- versary of the Oxbow Ridge Fire, one of the most devastating forest fires to ever strike Oregon's timber- lands. It is a significant benchmark in Oregon's forest history not only because of the size of the fire and the tremendous scale of the suppres- sion effort, but because of the intensive salvage and recovery effort. Today, a healthy, productive forest replaces the snags and ash left behind by the Oxbow Ridge Fire. Most of the trees are now 50 feet in height. Fish and wildlife habitat has been reestablished, and eroded areas have been stabilized. It is a forest reclaimed. This is also the one-year anniver- sary of another significant forest fire, the Awbrey Hall Fire. This fire burned nearly 3,500 areas of pine forest, and destroyed 22 homes west of Bend--Ahe most homes lost to a wildfire in Oregon in 54 years. It underscored the need for Oregoni- ans living in rural areas to be aware of wildfire and its disastrous poten- tial. Today, there are nearly 187,000 Oregon homes sited in areas where destructive wildfire is likely to strike. Despite efforts to inform the II public of this, few recognize the threat. People can make a difference in reducing losses from wildfire. The Department of Forestry, city and rural fire departments, and other forest management agencies offer guidance for making a home in the forest fire resistant. Guidance for siting a home in the forest is also available from the department, as well as from city and county plan- ning departments. Fire prevention is still the best tool for suppressing forest fires. This summer has yielded another important benchmark: Senate Bill 1125, which makes significant changes to the Oregon Forest Prac- tices Act. The bill, passed by the 1991 Oregon Legislature and signed into law by Governor Barbara Roberts, limits the size of clearcuts, increases reforestation requirements, improves protection for waters of the state and much more. The passage of Senate Bill 1125 will have significant effect on forest resource management for years to come. In the months ahead person- nel from the department's forest practices section will be planning how to implement the bill's direc- tives, and I am confident the Oregon Department of Forestry will suc- cessfully meet this challenge. SUN George Robertson EDITOR and PUBLISHER POSTAL NOTICE: Published weekly by The Sun, 249 S. Bridge Street, Sheridan, OR 97378. Second c/ass postage paid at Sheridan, OR 97378. SUBSCRIPTION RATES (one year): Sheridan, Willamina and Grand Ronde postal addresses, $19.00; all other U.S. postal addresses, $26.00. DEADLINES: Noon Fdday- Letter to Editor, Society and Church, press releases, general. 5 p.m. Friday - Legal Notices, Display. Noon Monday - Classified Ads, Classified Display. Phone number (503) 843-2312. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Sun, P.O. Box 68, Sheridan, OR 97378. II II I I II I I By Linda Fink As I sat in the Tillamook auction last week, I started thinking about all the people in this country who work in offices during the day and have never been to a livestock auction. I almost got weepy, think- ing about those poor folks. Auction yards are like clubs, only you don't need a membership card and you don't need to know anyone else. All you need to do is bid once and you're in. Sale barns are the friendliest places on earth. If you are one of those unfortun- ate people who have never experi- enced a livestock auction, I urge you to take a day off work and go. You won't regret it, unless you get so caught up in the spirit of the thing that you come home with a litter of orphaned pigs, all needing to be fed with an eyedropper every two hours all night long. For safety's sake, learn a few basics about bidding before you go, especially if you live in an apart- ment house and don't want to get stuck with a 1,200 pound cow. First of all, never scratch your head. If you do the next thing you'll hear is "SOLD! $550. To the lady with a dazed look on her face in the third row." Auctioneers assume any move- ment is a bid. They especially like to sell things to people who wave at friends across the stands. Sit on your hands. If you do bid, don't start the bidding. Auctioneers usually start twice as high as any sane person would pay for that particular animal. Wait for an auction regular to open the bidding. When you're ready to jump in, get the auctioneer's atten- tion any way you can. It won't take much. From then on, he'll look back at you every time someone raises your bid. If you want to keep going nod your head yes. If you don't, shake it back and forth no. The regulars have less obvious bidding methods. Some lift a finger. Some just look up. Some, I suspect, wiggle their ears. Why they don't want anyone to know they're bid- ding I'm not sure, but there seems to be competition between the regulars to see who can be the most subtle. And be careful that you're bid- ding forty dollars for one lamb, not forty dollars for each of the twenty lambs in the ring. I have been known to go home with an entire truckload of weaner pigs when I only wanted one, just because I didn't understand the ground rules. Sometimes the auctioneer sells by the animal and sometimes by the lot; sometimes by the head and sometimes by the pound. If you buy 300 pound feeder steers for 65, chances are that's 65 cents a pound not 65 dollars a head. And that's a big difference. Obviously, the safest thing for an observer to do is refrain from bid- ding. But that's not nearly so much fun. It would be like going to a bingo game and never buying a card. At an auction, your "card" is free. If you're not the last one to bid, you pay nothing. Some people go just to help lift the price. They make a game of getting out before the bidding stops. Sometimes they lose. The next week they bring back whatever they bought and run it through again. This is fine if you live on a farm, but not so fine if you don't. Most town neighbors would frown on finding a half dozen homed steers plowing through the white picket fence between your yard and theirs. If you want to bid but not buy, you can always strike up a conversation with whomever is sitting next to you, find out what they're looking for, and then give them advice about which animals to bid on. I SUPPOSE THE RECE$,/I/ HURT YOU, "TOO . ,,, I COULDN'I" . LE,M'E -F'OIOV. / Endangered Species Act locks up 8 million acres By Jim Sellers People who know me best say I am an environmentalist. That is probably why I believe people in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have good intentions. Why I am proud that Oregon ranked No. 1 in the recent "Green Index" of the states. And why I am a member of The Nature Conservancy. But I have to tell you: I just don't get it. I just don't get a proposal to set aside 8.2 million acres of the world's most productive forestlands for the northern spotted owl. That's bigger than all of south- western Oregon---Jackson, Jose- phine, Coos, Curry and Douglas counties. I just don't get an idea that will leave even more Americans unable to pursue the dream of affordable home ownership. I just don't get decisions that will hurt the very people who can least afford higher home prices, spendier rents and less---or no---income. I just don't get it when a govern- ment agency ignores the misery of towns like Oakridge, where one doctor has left, the dentist has cut back to three days a week, the restaurants close early, the stores are laying people off, and city hall says joblessness exceeds 20 percent. Whatever happened to, "I'm from the Government, and I'm here to help you"? Please don't misunderstand. The forestry industry believes the T, ish and Wildlife Service took a step in the right direction in exempting private lands from the critical- habitat designation. That removed 3 million acres from the proposed Iockup of the world's most environmentally sound building material. But we still don't get it. We don't get it when decisions that we thought would be made on science are based instead on arbi- trary property lines. We don't get it that 8.2 million acres are to be set aside when, in Oregon and Washington, more than 4.7 million acres of old-growth forest are already preserved forever. And those 4.7 million old-growth acres don't include other lands in protected wildernesses, national parks and scenic areas where the trees are protected old-growth for- ests in the making. We don't get it because every new survey for owls seems to come up with bigger numbers. In fact, The Oregonian in March 1973 quoted an Oregon State Univ- ersity graduate student who had located 59 pairs of owls, then con- sidered a new record for Oregon. Today, we're at 3 thousand pairs. And counting. We don't get it because America adopted the Endangered Species Act knowing we had to have a healthy economy to pay for it. Everyone knows that when the economy goes in the tank, when people have less money to spend, folks who cared about the environ- ment start scrambling instead just to feed, clothe and shelter their fami- lies. We continue to believe thlst the northern spotted owl can, and should, be protected. Please, never question that. But all of us, and especially we who t:laim to be environmentalists, must express our alarm over unnec- essary megameasums that threaten to put the Endangered Species Act in grear jeopardy than the owl ever was. Jim Sellers is public affairs director for the Oregon Forest Industries Council, a division of Associated Oregon Industries. This release is based on testimony deliv- ered at a U.S. Fish and WiMlOre Service hearing in Medford CYCLE OREGON BENEFITS DE'rAILED I wouM like to set the record straight concerning a letter in The Sun Oct. 2. It stated that Cycle Oregon is now historymwell we feel that our work will continue until April of 1992. It has been a very rewarding experience for Willamina, Sheridan and Grand Roude. I have talked with many people, workers and business people and have had nothing but praise. West Valley Citizens for Tunber recognized an opportunity to host a very large group of people which would give us a chance to earn revenue and at the same time allow us a chance to contact a very large group of people who may have some misconceptions about the timber and lumber industry. Well, it did that for us. It was especially rewarding to see such a large group attend the Willamina Lumber mill tours; nearly 400 made this tour after a day of cycling for 100 miles. This is a tribute to a group that has energy to do that after a very hard day. The tour started with a shuttle ride to the mill with experienced "Ooh, bid on the white she cute?" Buyers are accustomed Someone is always tlying their money--the guys the ring most of all. "Say, nice one." Never mind that he's (has diarrhea) and is too stand, which means he'll soon as you get him a nice one. Years ago I frequented yards like some markets. Many a time I at Woodburn and sold Lebanon six months many feed bills why I gave up on auctions 1 I did not smell that aroma or hear the lively eer's song or participat good-natured tion goers. dairies is buying them from an But if the four heifers last week do okay, I'll be more. Auctions get in Like malaria. Only more Linda Fink lives in and has written a book Goat Lane. HIGHWAY WASTES The Legislature added more per gallon highway improvement, the money is being ling. That one mile way east of the Wallace unneeded as that improved road with 8 shoulders. The new road being lanes bottlenecks into tic Wallace Bridge. I call boy engineering. amount of heavy job, it appears that that mately a $3 million job. a lousy million or two Public has to pick up tl The seven mile Fort Hill Junction and Coast Range (known "Suicide Lane") has and re-surveyed dozens improvement, but done. I live on a blind hill, o0 road with 3 ft. shoulders j to 10 fL ditch. In the past seven been three fatal landed in my front yard. It is this road that priority over the im wonder who is for the transportation Valley Junction looks ter area. The proposed with Hebo Road has for two years until EPA mind whether to send tl dirt to Arlington or to out This theory bogus as the man at the Valley Junction has spring water piped there is not ground This EPA is just as big the spotted owl. foresters giving them how the forest is trees logged. touch such a large group West Valley Citizens felt if we were going group, we would do that would munity as well as the try and that we did ing the spotted owl or gered logger in front of This tour surely brought to the state $1.5 million and received a very large We realize that to the occasion, but fight for an have never fought at is far from over. chance for a balance. the help from the local to make this happen. Again, I would like committee chairman, Valley Citizens for munity and business the support they gave West Valley