I would like to know who is responsible for the decision to bring Portland’s mentally challenged and drug addicts to our lovely community? Why are we allowing Portland to just dump their problems on us? The County Commissioners, the Mayor and the rest of the tentacles of our local government cannot take care of our own people that are mentally unstable and drug-addicted, yet feel free to allow more to come here. They are building housing for them, our jails are filling with them, and a special clinic is being built just for them that our citizens will not have access to.

All this seems like just another thing that our local and county government has failed us in. Our elderly and our homeless veterans are underserved in the community. WHY do we put them dead last in the equation? Why do we not have the funds to keep the meals at the Senior Center going or to have funds to help our elderly and disabled on low income to pay their energy bills so they don’t have to choose between buying medicine or food to sustain them and paying their energy bill? Most of these were once the hard-working people who helped build St Helens. Even the current situation places them on a waiting list with able-bodied people who sometimes know how to skirt the system. Why not implement a winterization program to help them reduce their energy bills such as Portland had done in the past? There are grants out there to get this done including the materials.

Our homeless veterans are being told there is no housing for them and they must wait. How long must they wait, now that you are building homes for Portland’s people? Since the homeless veterans will not get access to the nice housing you are building for Portland’s people that are being bused to our community, I feel their wait for housing will be very lengthy, if at all. These are people who went and did a job a few of us would do if we were asked, yet still, they stand in line for resources that they have earned in my opinion. What did the Portland people being bused here do to deserve special treatment? Nothing. It seems to be all about the Benjamin.

St. Helens has its own beauty and the people are its strongest asset. There is a lot of talent here to make it an even better community. Politicians who want to make it like Portland, clearly do not have Columbia County’s best interest in mind, only their pockets in my opinion.. We need to stop the back door deals that are destroying our County and demand an honest accounting of where our tax dollars are spent. I tend to believe that its citizens should have more say in what to keep and what to cut when it comes to budgeting programs.

 We need to support things that are vital to our community like our EMS. Our EMS is stretched to its limit and we have no emergency care facility to speak of here. To dump more problems on our EMS will only make things worse for our community. Longer response times, more stress to our EMS personnel, more crime, and of course, stressing our resources even thinner. Our EMS is very good at what they do with what they have, and yet getting support from the tentacles of government is lame at best. Our EMS put their lives on the line each day and should be protected with better equipment to keep them doing what they do. Why must they come with their hat in hand to our city and county government and hear they don’t have the funds? Give them what they need to do their job. After all, what good is anything for the community if the citizen’s safety is at risk?

Simply announcing a hearing when the majority of the people may not be able to attend and shoving projects like the Portland issue through is simply nothing more than a threat to our community and its citizens. Our citizens should have had a say in the Portland issue with a ballot, yet it was simply a back door deal. I wonder just who thought that would be a good thing for our community? Were they getting funds on the side from agreeing to the project? One has to wonder. I believe that the citizens deserve much more than the current tentacles of government are willing to give them and simply accepting what all the tentacles of our local and county government will only make it worse. I sincerely hope that people will actually take note of what is going on in our community and vote those fat cats responsible for our community decline out of office come election day.


Lorene Nowling

Deer Island


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(1) comment


Fat cats: you mean like politicians accepting dark money 3rd party donations then denying all knowledge of it?

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