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June 23, 2013
Salem News

Council member says thanks

To the editor:

I want to express, my thanks to the residents attending my meeting, on Saturday, June 15. Although it was a beautiful morning to stay home and mow the lawn, they were there. Several residents called and told me, due to various reasons, they could not attend. However, 13 people were present to share concerns and listen to my views regarding the 2nd Ward and the city of Salem. Thirteen warm bodies are more then attend a normal meeting of Salem City Council.

Many questions were previously asked at my two meetings in 2012 and the one earlier this year. I informed them, I believe the overall appearance of "their" ward, was looking better then it did two years ago. It all comes down to showing pride by maintaining their property and getting active in making Salem a better place to live.

Everyone in attendance, had an opportunity to speak and participate. I wanted to know what they wanted to see happen in their neighborhood. I suggested, if you have a complaint about a resident on your street, contact me. If I can't handle the problem, then I'll refer it to the proper department, at Salem City Hall.

They were glad to hear, more money was spent in the 2nd Ward for street maintenance last year then in the rest of the city.

Several of those present were concerned about noise problems. Especially loud music coming from nearby homes and bellowing from car radios driving down their street. The "cranking" up of motorcycles both on the pavement and at stop signs was considered as entirely unnecessary.

Parking of cars in front yards, on sidewalks and on the grass in the city right of way is being done not only in the 2nd Ward but other areas of the city. Continuous dog barking was a problem in a couple neighborhoods and I know how they feel. Trash piles, at the rear of same properties was a concern that they could be a fire hazard or a potential health problem.

There are laws are on the "books" regarding most of the above. However, many of those come down to having an officer present at time of the infraction. The dog barking is considered as noise. I suggested for the person to continue calling the police and it could eventually be handled by the dog being kept in the house or being removed from the property.

The outside appearance of some rundown homes is a concern of anyone having one next door or down the street. Many are lacking in simple maintenance of a coat of paint and/or minor repairs. The city housing inspectors normally inspect only rental homes or units. Their objective is the health and welfare of the renters not how the dwelling affects neighborhood property values. The city can't tell a property owner he has to paint his house. He can be told to cut his grass.

The "scrap yard" on West Pershing Street was brought up but didn't go far. No one wants it in their neighborhood. One person wanted to know (after the meeting) how it managed to open in the first place. My answer was I can't get a straight answer from city hall. All I know is the city doesn't want to file an injunction to close it down. They can't operate and comply to city ordinances at the same time.

Nearly everyone agreed that a citywide trash pickup is needed.

I noted several other 2nd Ward concerns. However, if I continue, no one will finish reading this letter.

I will do what I can to address concerns of residents in the 2nd Ward.

Holding ward meetings are not required but I enjoy the personal contact and input from those I represent.

Clyde Brown,

2nd Ward Councilman,



Suggestions for extra money

To the editor:

I am writing in regard to where some of this extra money the town has could be used.

We need the two leaf vacuums fixed or replaced, to help the citizens of this town in the fall cleanups.

I feel so bad for the elderly in this town, watching 70-80-year- old citizens bending over bagging leaves.

Some of my neighbors on my street completely stopped raking leaves years ago - thanks to your new system. I for one do not look forward to fall anymore. Yes, it is easier on this town, time-wise, paying employees and less work throwing bags in a truck. But what about the rest of us taxpayers bending and tying bags for hours?

It used to take me an hour a day about two separate days to tarp my leaves to the curb. Now it takes me two and a half hours per day and a bottle of Aleve to bag up 30-plus leaf bags for pick up.

We have two new town trucks , and possibly a new bucket truck to help the town employees. What about making it easier in the fall on the citizens of this town? Buy or fix the leaf vacuums.

I phoned and left a message for the service director before this month's meeting regarding this issue.

I never received a call back. It is too bad we elect some people to help the citizens in town and I bring up an idea that could help and do not get a response. Why?

Raking and tarping them to the curb is what we all should be doing. Other smaller towns around us still can afford to use leaf vacuums. Why is it our city cannot?




Different folks, different spins

To the editor:

Snowden has not only exposed the out of control federal government (again), and proven "conspiracy theorists" right (again), but when coupled with Bradley Manning, it's exposed the broken two party system for the hypocritical, partisan, ancient, stagnant system it is ... again.

Both sides are quick to tell you that these are completely different things.

The right has spent years on damage control over what Bradley Manning gave to Wikileaks. They spent a decade defending things Bush did, and so they didn't have to retract all of that and for fear of losing credibility, they painted Manning as a traitor and assured you that he put lives at risk by exposing things that people overseas already knew we were doing.

He killed their narrative that they hate us because we're free. A big hit to the military industrial complex which was directing the ship for quite awhile. Liberals championed Manning as a hero, because they're "compassionate" and all about civil liberties. They were disgusted with some of the things that were exposed about their new Vietnam, the war in Iraq. All those atrocities reflected directly on the leadership of the Commander in Chief. He should be held responsible, so they said.

Fast forward, now to Snowden. Liberals are skeptical of him, as are some conservatives. However, liberals are quick to detach this from Obama. Saying that it came from the Patriot Act, a bill they clearly don't know much about and conveniently forget that Obama reauthorized in 2011. The right wants to assure you that Obama doesn't care about your civil liberties, especially your privacy. Both sides arguing the opposite of what they argued in the past simply because of the political affiliation of the president.

The right is also quick to remind you that Manning somehow put lives at risk by exposing classified information about how we operate (Bush didn't put lives at risk when he dropped tens of thousands of kids in the sand though), but Snowden somehow didn't by exposing how we handle security. The left said Manning didn't put lives at risk because he exposed things that had already happened, but Snowden has because he's exposing ways for terrorists to circumvent our security.

Enough already. The entire thing comes from people not being able to admit that their political ideology has been wrong for years and see the fault in the nonsense they've been brainwashed to believe. Watching any news station about Snowden will show you a clear example, it's all about spin. How it can fit with one narrative, one agenda. They're both whistleblowers, they've both exposed things to the American people that we have a right to know about. The way the government has reacted in both cases should open everyone's eyes up. They want to hide things from you. You think they're worried about some Muslim in the desert with a smart phone? Ever seen a map of internet connectivity in the world?

Most of the "terrorists" don't have a damn clue what these people have exposed. It's you they want to hide it from. Don't forget who the government works for, don't forget what the Constitution says and especially do not compromise on any of it from some nonsense partisan reason, such as supporting someone simply because you voted for them.

All the problems we have or ever will have are directly attributable to us allowing our public servants to get away with it. It's time they take some responsibility and accountability, it's also time we do the same.

God bless Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden. Real American heroes.





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