YOUR SIDE: The Readers Take Over

A public thank you to Salem police and fire departments

To the editor:

I wanted to take the time to say thank you to our police and fire departments.

I have lived in Salem most of my life and worked in private EMS in this area for 26 years. I have worked beside and along with our police and fire departments throughout that time. I believe that today our departments are the best they have ever been. Not that our departments were bad in the past, I just feel that they are constantly improving, and that today we have the finest departments around.

I will say that our current police chief and his staff have greatly improved the safety of our city by reducing drugs and gang activity. The fight on drugs is huge and every city is plagued by the opioid epidemic, but as I look at our streets and the activity that was there a few years ago, it is still much better today than it was. If you haven’t noticed the increase in police presence in Salem, then you’re simply not paying attention.

I remember when there were not enough officers in this city to serve and protect. Today you don’t have to drive around to long before you pass a police car patrolling the city. Another improvement in the safety of our city. Most people do not realize the hours of training and practice a firefighter spends in a year. A lot of which is done off duty. These hours are critical to be sure the level service and safety are at the best possible. These departments have always been by our sides as EMS providers. Willing to help on the scene of a medical or any other EMS call. They have always made sure as EMS providers we were safe on the scene, and jumped in when the situation required. To that I say thank you to all present and past Salem City police and fire personnel that have been there for me and my staff over the years.

This letter is long overdue. So again I say thank you thank you to all past and present Salem police and fire personnel. I am asking every resident of the city of Salem, when you see one of our police and fire personnel in the community to say thank you for serving. Most have no idea what life is like on their side of the street. We all need to be more thankful for those who serve around us in our local community each and every day.




Trump is reducing, not protecting national monuments

To the editor:

President Trump’s defense for reducing the sizes of Bears Ear and Grand Staircase-Escalante Monuments is disingenuous for two major reasons.

First, Trump is co-opting the language of those who want to preserve these lands by framing the issue in terms of a “public interest.” He claims to be reducing the size of the monuments because he wants to give the public access and control over those lands. As protected lands, the public already has access to them. But allowing private industries to come in to extract the land, these companies will acquire leases and permits, effectively shutting the public out from accessing and controlling them.

Second, Trump is invoking Native People’s rights as a consideration for reducing the sizes of the monuments. It’s clear that Trump has no interest in protecting Native People’s rights. This was clear when Trump approved the Dakota Access Pipeline, despite overwhelmingly Native-led protest against its construction. Second, Native People want these lands protected, because they realize the danger in opening them up to private extraction companies. Again, they will lose access to these lands once private industries close them to the public. They (and all persons) will also lose these lands as they are destroyed by extraction processes. This danger has, in fact, led many Native tribes to sue the Trump administration in its pursuit to reduce the size of these monuments.

So, if Trump really cared about ensuring public access and giving Native Peoples a voice, as he would protect these moments, not reduce them.