Thursday, May 30, 2013

i no longer recognize the town

Imagine this scenario.... You live in a small suburb outside of a fairly large city. Your small town, although 15 years ago was a very small rural community, has now grown in to an upscale bedroom community with a good reputation. And let's say that in your town, a private developer planned to put in an athletic stadium. Now, there are already other sports fields and venues in the town, but the addition of a new and even bigger one will not be a bad thing. Everyone, for the most part, agrees that the development and construction of the stadium is a good thing.

In this stadium, the question has come up as to what sort of material the playing field will be made of.... artificial turf or natural grass? No matter which option is chosen, the size, appearance and function of the planned stadium will not change. Due to contract negotiations and confidentiality, the decision of whether the turf will be artificial or natural must be kept secret until the final contracts are signed. There is much buzz about town about which option it will be. There are public notices posted and an, as required by law, at least one public meeting held to discuss the two options. Of the town of roughly 18,000 people, only about 25 of its citizens show up to the public meeting on the stadium. But the rumors and guesses continue.

Now, other towns have also had stadiums built and the option of artificial or natural turf was a hotly debated issue with the natural turf being the "preferred" option. The artificial turf proponents are a rather quiet bunch, not prone to protesting or public complaining, but rather just quietly cast their votes either, (literally) on their voter's ballot, or (figuratively) with their wallet. But the natural turf proponents are a noisy bunch, prone to picketing, sign-making, letter-writing and just all around complaining. They are good at linking to "facts" about the dangers of artificial turf and "evidence" of how artificial turf has destroyed other towns on social medial sites and blogs.

During the planning of the stadium and the hush-hush contract negotiations, the natural turf proponents have been, for the most part, silent. They did not appear, in any organized way, at any of the public meetings regarding the stadium. No letters were written to the editor of the local paper. No testimony was given at City Council meetings or any other public meetings that involved the impending stadium development.

But then the day comes that the contracts are finally signed and it is publicly announced that the new stadium's playing field will be artificial turf. All Hell breaks loose. The anti-artificial turf folks scream and yell and whine and complain that no-way-no-how-not-in-their-town will they have a stadium with artificial turf. They act as if the world is ending and the town will turn in to a ghetto within weeks of the stadium opening. They call for meetings. They write letters to the Editor. They pack the next City Council meeting and loudly voice their displeasure over the final choice. Members of them name-call and threaten the long-term resident on who's family land the stadium is to be built. This same resident is also an elected member of the City Council but he abstained from any votes regarding his property. But still they call for his ousting.

All of this happening AFTER the final contracts were signed. Now don't all of them appear to be petulant children who didn't get their way?

Change some aspects of the above fictional story to the real planned development in Sherwood, Oregon on some of the Langer Family land on which it was recently announced that the anchor store would be a Super Wal-Mart.

In the early 1990's I was living in Keizer, married to my first husband and dreaming about moving to Sherwood. Flash forward to the start of the 2000's and I was married to my second husband and moving in to our newly-built home in Sherwood. We lived in Sherwood for five years after which we moved to Newberg. So Sherwood is no longer my home community but I still do a lot of shopping, dining, visiting clients and attending church there. I also belong to one of the service organizations in town and I still have many friends in Sherwood.

When we lived in Sherwood, it was a rapidly growing bedroom community with a lot of church-going folk who voted, for the most part, conservative. In the early 2000's you could buy/build a very nice house for around $250K and, before the housing crash in 2006, that same house would sell, almost overnight, for around $400K. The streets are clean, the schools are well supported and the parks are green.

Sherwood is still a very nice little town but I felt it had really started to change over the past few years and this recent brouhaha over Wal-Mart coming to town proves it. In the Sherwood I used to know, the citizens would not stay quiet over a rumored change to the city they did not agree with. They would work to try to change the issue before final contracts were signed and it was too late. But in the Sherwood we have today, citizens are instead acting like selfish toddlers who did not get the right flavor of candy that they preferred. Really, it's embarrassing.

Recent press over the issue:
Wal-Mart coming to Sherwood as anchor for town center near downtown
Sherwood residents opposed to Wal-Mart fear collapse of small-town environment
Council gets earful from group opposed to Walmart


It has been known around town for several years now that the next big piece of Langer Family land would be developed and it would be a large retail complex with one large anchor store. So the rumors have flown around town as to who the anchor would be. Fred Meyer? Winco? Cabelas's (this rumor recently put to rest when the coming-soon Tualatin location was confirmed) Or, heaven-forbid, WAL-MART? I supposed Lowe's was probably on the rumor list as well. Sherwood already has Safeway, Albertson's, Home Depot, Target, Regal Cinemas, and a newly opened Kohl's (in the old GI Joe's building). So, whatever the rumored anchor store was, it was already going to have stiff competition in town and would be a redundancy.

Personally, I was rooting for either a Wal-Mart or Winco as both are union-free unlike Fred Meyer.

But now people are screaming that Wal-Mart is going to destroy Sherwood and they are claiming that property values will drop the day it opens. Small, local businesses will suffer with a large competitor to whom they cannot compete on price. But how would any of that be different with a Fred Meyer vs a Wal-Mart? And no one screamed when Target came to town a few years ago.  A large national chain was going in to that spot no matter what. 

And to make matters worse, one of the more junior City Council members is working to pass an ordinance in Sherwood that would require paid sick time for "employers of a certain size." Thus making Sherwood less friendly to business. And many of the citizens are in agreement with her! What happened to the Sherwood I used to know?

And yes, I love the mom-and-pop independent businesses that are the life blood of Sherwood and towns like it. When I find a good one, I am loyal to a fault. It is the people and small businesses that define a community, not the large corporations that choose to put a location there. But national chains bring with them more choice for the consumer and make the mom-and-pops work harder at keeping customer loyalty through a unique product selection and outstanding customer service.

I used to frequent one of Sherwood's independent, locally-owned businesses regularly. But then one day, I heard the business owner spewing some very anti-capitalist socialist dogma and complaining loudly that the City should not have "allowed" a national-chain competitor to open a store within Sherwood. Say what??? Then, to top it off, the very same business owner flat out like to me about something. So now, I shop at the now-open national-chain competitor where I am greeted with a smile, have never been lied to that I'm aware of, and have not heard one peep of socialist rhetoric from any of the staff members.

So I shake my head in confusion at the people who are protesting Wal-Mart and promising to stop them from opening in Sherwood. I have to ask them... where were you when it was a rumor? Did you attend any of the public meetings about it? Why do you complain now, once the ink is dry on the final contracts?

The Tri-Met folks are probably watching all of this with glee and knowing that very soon they are surely to get the money to build one of their inefficient light-rail lines out to Sherwood because it's become obvious that there are many in the City who are ready to jump on the Agenda 21 train as it rolls in to town.

~kate

Saturday, November 03, 2012

conservatism is calling

This is the BEST political video I've seen yet this election.  The numbers do not lie and yes, it really is as simple as less government, more liberty.  And yes, it really is all about the economy, stupid!



~kate

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

we've heard it all before...

Same promises as 2008. If he didn't succeed the past four years, why would you think he would succeed the next four years?
  
 ~ kate

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

e coli is not my friend

It's been a long while since I've posted anything.  First, Tax Season hit and then I got sick.  Really, really sick.

On May 14th I woke up with a high fever and a lot of pain in my lower left abdomen and back.  I got progressively worse throughout the day so around 2pm my husband took me to the ER.  By 8pm I was admitted and I was there for 6 days.

I had a massive infection in my kidneys that was caused by a very drug-resistant form of e coli.

I was released from the hospital on May 20th but was released on oxygen during activity.  What this meant is that any time I was doing anything except sitting on the couch or lying in bed I had to wear oxygen.  Our insurance company delivered all the oxygen equipment to our house including a concentrator, back-up tank and 5 small tanks to take on trips outside of the house.  I had developed fluid on my lungs from the infection and all the fluids they gave me in the hospital hence why I had to have the oxygen.

Thankfully, within about 5 days at home I no longer needed the oxygen.  Whew!

A few days after coming home I started running fevers and developed pain on the right side.  More tests were done by my doctor's office and they found the e coli bug had jumped over to my other kidney and I was still infected with it.

But luckily I did not need to go back in to the hospital as an inpatient.  Instead, we rushed over to the Short Stay unit at the hospital where they inserted a PICC line in to my arm.  I then returned to the hospital every twelve hours for 7 days for an infusion of antibiotic in to my veins.

The antibiotic killed what little appetite I had thus further decreasing my energy levels so it was a very rough week.

Flash forward 2.5 weeks and I now have the PICC line out of my arm and my appetite and energy levels are much improved.  But the pain on the right side has remained and in the past few days has gotten significantly worse.  But the fevers are still gone.

I am on painkillers for the pain and had a CT scan today that will hopefully shed some light on what is causing the pain.  I see my doctor tomorrow afternoon and I look forward to him having some answers for me.

During all of this I have had to discontinue the Humira that keeps my Crohn's Disease under control and I cannot start it again until we are absolutely sure the infection is gone.  So I do feel my CD starting to act up but so far it's been relatively minor.

The outflow of love and support my husband and myself received was humbling.  You really do find out who your true friends are when things like this happen.  Our pastor was extremely caring and supportive and even visited me in the hospital to show his concern and to pray with us.

So many people have sent their love and prayers I've lost count.  I received flowers, plants and even cards in the mail.  And one of my favorite clients even sent one of those edible arrangements to my hospital room.  And he's in New York!

But through this all I have discovered that family I thought I have I do not have.  Despite our connection on facebook and the many many updates about my condition that were posted by both my husband and myself to my facebook page, I have heard absolutely NOTHING from two of my cousins.  This hurts me beyond words.  The half a minute it would have taken them to post a few words of support on my wall would have meant the world to me.  It's ironic too as one of those cousins has expressed to me in the past how she thinks the generations ahead of us did such a crappy job of staying in touch with each other and she hoped we could set a better example.

I don't mean for this to sound like I am ungrateful to the people who did show their love.  I am unbelievably grateful but I am still really, really hurt but the complete disregard people who are supposed to be family to me have shown.  I hope that by expressing my feelings here I can let it all go and move on.

I still have a lot of healing to do and some uncertainty as we face what is causing the pain I am experiencing.  There is a high probability that surgery is in my near future.

~kate

Thursday, February 02, 2012

California Dreamin'

Reposted from an email I received....


California's Not Dreamin': 
This Is the Nightmare of an Obama Second Term
By Roger Hedgecock

I live in California . If you were wondering what living in Obama's second term would be like, wonder no longer. We in California are living there now.

California is a one-party state dominated by a virulent Democratic Left enabled by a complicit media where every agency of local, county, and state government is run by and for the public employee unions. The unemployment rate is 12%.

California has more folks on food stamps than any other state, has added so many benefits and higher rates to Medicaid that we call it "Medi-Cal." Our K-12 schools have more administrators than teachers, and smaller classes but lower test scores and higher dropout rates with twice the per-student budget of 15 years ago. Good job, Brownie.

This week, the once-and-current Gov. Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown had to confess that the "balanced" state budget adopted five months ago was billions in the red because actual tax revenues were billions lower than the airy-fairy revenue estimates on which the balance was predicated.

After trimming legislators' perks and reducing the number of cell phones provided to state civil servants, the governor intoned that drastic budget reductions had already hollowed out state programs for the needy, law enforcement and our schoolchildren. California government needed more money.

Echoing the Occupy movement, the governor proclaimed the rich must pay their fair share. Fair share? The top 1% of California income earners currently pays 50% of the state's income tax.

California has seven income tax brackets. The top income tax rate is 9.3%, which is slapped on the greedy rich earning at least $47,056 a year. Income of more than $1 million pays the "millionaires' and billionaires'" surcharge tax rate of 10.3%. 

Brown's proposal would add 2% for income over $250,000. A million-dollar income would then be taxed at 12.3%. And that's just for the state.

Brown also proposed a one-half-cent sales tax increase, which would bring sales taxes (which vary by county) to 7.75% to 10%. Both tax increases would be on the ballot in 2012.

The sales tax increase proposal immediately brought howls of protest from the Left (of Brown!). Charlie Eaton, a sociology grad student at UC Berkeley and leader of the UC Student-Workers Union, said, "We've paid enough. It's time for millionaires to pay."

At least five other ballot measures to raise taxes are circulating for signatures to get on the 2012 ballot in California . The governor's proposals are the most conservative.

The Obama way doesn't end with taxes.

The governor and the state legislature continue to applaud the efforts of the California High-Speed Rail Authority to build a train connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco . Even though the budget is three times the voter-approved amount, and the first segment will only connect two small towns in the agricultural Central Valley . But hey, if we build it, they will ride.

And we don't want to turn down the Obama bullet-train bucks Florida and other states rejected because the operating costs would bankrupt them. Can't happen here—we're already insolvent.

If we get into real trouble with the train, we'll just bring in the Chinese. It worked with the Bay Bridge reconstruction. After the 1989 earthquake, the bridge connecting Oakland and San Francisco was rebuilt with steel made in China . Workers from China too. Paid for with money borrowed from China . Makes perfect sense.

In California , we hate the evil, greedy rich (except the rich in Hollywood and in sports, and in drug dealing). But we love people who have broken into California to eat the bounty created by the productive rich.

Illegals get benefits from various generous welfare programs, free medical care, free schools for their kids, including meals, and of course, instate tuition rates and scholarships too. Governor Perry , California has a heart. Nothing's too good for our guests.

To erase even a hint of criticism of illegal immigration, the California Legislature is considering a unilateral state amnesty.  Democrat State Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes has proposed an initiative that would bar deportation of illegals from California .

Interesting dilemma for Obama there. If immigration is exclusively a federal matter, and Obama has sued four states for trying to enforce federal immigration laws he won't enforce, what will the President do to a California law that exempts California from federal immigration law?

California is also near fulfilling the environmentalist dream of deindustrialization.

After driving out the old industrial base (auto and airplane assembly, for example), air and water regulators and tax policies are now driving out the high-tech, biotech and even internet-based companies that were supposed to be California's future.

The California cap-and-trade tax on business in the name of reducing CO2 makes our state the leader in wacky environmentalism and guarantees a further job exodus from the state.

Even green energy companies can't do business in California . Solyndra went under, taking its taxpayer loan guarantee with it.

No job is too small to escape the regulators. The state has even banned weekend amateur gold miners from the historic gold mining streams in the Sierra Nevada Mountains .

In fact, more and more of California 's public land is off-limits to recreation by the people who paid for that land. Unless you're illegal. Then you can clear the land, set up marijuana plantations at will, bring in fertilizers that legal farmers can no longer use, exploit illegal farm workers who live in hovels with no running water or sanitation, and protect your investment with armed illegals carrying guns no California citizen is allowed to own.

The rest of us only found out about these plantations when the workers' open campfire started one of those devastating fires that have killed hundreds of people and burned out thousands of homes in California over the last decade.

It was said after California 's Proposition 13 in 1978 cut property tax rates and was copied in other states, that whatever happened in California would soon happen in your state.

You'd better hope that's wrong.

Roger Hedgecock

BAM!!  Liberals and unions are DESTROYING our country and we aren't going to take it any more.  We will not sit down.  We will not shut up.

~kate

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I want to live among the cowboys

As many of your know, the hubby and I are very seriously considering a move to a different state. Due to ObamaCare, the hubby's job is now in very serious trouble at the company he's currently with (get ready for YOUR healthcare to get hiked in price and take a steep nosedive in quality). We also both feel that most of our family on both sides could really care less whether we are here or not. (Note, I said "most of our family," not "all.") For the most part, we are much closer to our friends than to family. And we have both lived in this state (Oregon) for all of our lives (well, hubby moved here when he was a very young child.)

Also, with sites like Facebook, it is very easy to stay in touch with people no matter where they live. Due to her Facebook and blog activity, I know more about the day-to-day life of a friend of mine in France than I do about family who live mere miles away. And the people we want to see, will come and visit us. And we can come back and visit.

So we are looking for the opportunity to start fresh somewhere new to go together "for the adventure." I am feeling led by God strongly to get out of this state. We don't know where or when yet, but it's becoming more and more a *when* we move and not an *if* we move.

So, where? We have been researching states and hubby has been watching the job opportunities. Several possibilities where there are job opportunities have been scratched from the list due to the cost of housing there. But there are still some very interesting ones out there and the search continues. Luckily, right now we don't have a definite deadline so we have the luxury of taking our time in our search and saving our money and the hubby still has his job here.

Until a few years ago, I have always wanted to move to either Central or Eastern Oregon. I LOVE the high desert climate. Every time we've taken a trip over to Central Oregon, as soon as we drop down off the pass into Sisters, my whole body just feels "at home." And I continue to feel that way until we leave. My dad says it's the same for him.

But, let's face it. Central and Eastern Oregon are still OREGON. And Oregon is being destroyed by the Liberals in Portland. The path the state is on fiscally, like much of the nation, is simply unsustainable. The numbers do NOT add up, no matter how they move them around. Without serious cuts to entitlements, extreme audits (and follow up enforcements) of the welfare programs, cutting off aid to illegal immigrants and, probably, most importantly, getting RID of public employee unions, the state cannot be saved.

Oregon used to be a great state to live in. Not any more.

But if ever the day comes that Central and Eastern Oregon (or even just Eastern Oregon) succeeds from Oregon to form a new state, we are there! Count us in as founding citizens.

But, back to where to move to. Currently we are looking at NE Washington/NW Idaho (with a preference to live in Idaho), Southern Idaho, North Dakota, Alaska (although Juneau has been ruled out), Montana, Wyoming (no jobs at all there for hubby right now), Utah, and Indiana.

But with so many choices, what I am looking for in a state really comes down to a few things. I want four seasons (not Summer and Rain nor HOT all the time) and I want to live in a small town (not sure what "small" means to me yet as my business does require a good internet connection) where the people love God, their Country and their neighbors. I want to live in a COMMUNITY, not just a town.

I'm able to put it into a clear, concise definition: I want to live among the cowboys.

Now, when I told the hubby this, he immediately said to me, "no, you can't have a cowboy."

Sigh... I don't WANT a cowboy (I'm happily married, thank you very much.). I want to live where the cowboys live.

Why?

Because cowboys....

  • Love God
  • Love their Country
  • Love their family
  • Love their neighbors
  • Believe in property rights
  • Believe in gun rights
  • Know how to provide for themselves and their community
  • Respect the environment (I've NEVER seen a cowboy litter but I sure have seen a lot of urban-dwelling, liberal-voting slackers litter. In fact, we pick up litter out of our front yard every week that is dropped by high school students as they walk to and from the school we live nearby. My Dad would have KILLED me if he had ever caught me littering. My Dad. Who hunts and votes conservative.)
  • Vote conservative


Sounds good to me!

~kate

Saturday, September 10, 2011