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PTO urges no more school closures

We want you to be aware that the North Clackamas School District has once again suggested closing an elementary school to balance the budget. The school they have suggested this time is Concord Elementary in the Rex Putnam feeder district.

We feel ALL of our neighbors should be outraged by this! Not just the Concord families but all of the families and neighbors in the ENTIRE district. You see, unless you are in the Concord community, you may not know that this closure could change things for EVERYBODY! If Concord (or another school) closes, even the students from the schools that stay open could very likely be moved to a different elementary school when they change the boundaries. It is NOT just the Concord students who could be forced to move to another school.

Also, according to their population projections, if they do close a Rex Putnam feeder school now, there is a strong potential that we will either need to build another school in five to eight years (possibly sooner) or they would then again be forced to change the boundaries which...and this is the kicker...could possibly change the FEEDER boundaries for next year.

That’s right, Rex Putnam students could be forced to go to Milwaukie High or Clackamas High students to Rex Putnam or any combination. ALL because we shut down a school in an area that would then have no room for growth and ALL because the district has not found more creative ways to save and generate funds.

And that is just one example of how their data is confusing and sometimes just downright inaccurate. Recently a parent found a nearly $2 million error in their projected maintenance costs. The extra line item for kitchen upgrades of $350,000 for Concord and eight other elementary schools in the district were not correct and were deleted. How many other errors have they made?

We urge YOU ALL to contact the North Clackamas School Board members to let them know your ideas of how to balance the budget WITHOUT closing a school. Many of our community members have come up with very creative ideas of how to do this and make our school system better!

We still have time to share our ideas! They are scheduled to vote Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Sabin-Schellenberg Center. Thank you!

Concord Elementary PTO

Let’s attract families

Sure, there are a lot for people unhappy about Concord Elementary School closing.

I grew up in this area and married a girl who had attended Concord. We actually lived only a few blocks apart, but our grade-school district at the time was separated by McLoughlin Boulevard.

But for reasons too long to list, Concord is the most logical school to close and may not be the last. Its commercial value makes it more viable too.

However, the North Clackamas School District isn’t necessarily the problem. What I’ve learned over the years is the only constant is change. Add in the fact that few people around here look at the big picture or study this community’s rich history.

When I moved back to this area 10 years ago, I was surprised that nothing has been done to make this area of Clackamas County more attractive to young couple to raise their families. There are virtually no parks or attractions to make our community more livable either. Apparently most county leaders neither understand nor care about the needs of this area.

They’ve created a high-density environment without any compensative amenities. In short, there’s no vision or viable leadership. As long as residents are willing, my beloved community will continue to be nothing more than endless used-car lots and drug houses. Not a place to raise or educate growing families.

G.F. “Gary” Blair

Oak Grove

Holding politicians accountable isn’t racist

I recalled the billboard on I-205 northbound after reading last week’s “Rampant Racism” letter by D. Kent Lloyd. The message on the sign was intended to hold President Obama, along with U.S. Sen. Merkely and Rep. Schrader accountable for the flawed Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Given the state of the economy in early 2010, passage of the massive program was poorly timed, and promises that it would stimulate the economy were empty rhetoric. I encourage everyone who looked at the sign to consider Mr. Lloyd’s claim that it was a racist attack on the president because he is “black.”

Stereotyping those who question politicians wasting millions of taxpayer dollars is a worn out response. Playing the “race card” every time someone challenges the president is a simplistic way of avoiding a deeper dialogue. The politicians pictured on the sign are now distancing themselves from responsibility for the fiasco. Maybe they should have read the convoluted 23,000-page bill before jumping on the bandwagon and approving it.

How many have lost their healthcare coverage because the new law forced insurance companies to cancel millions of existing plans?

It’s unfortunate that so many believed creating a massive federal bureaucracy would generate the efficiencies Obama promised. How many times must society be reminded that good intentions or promises by politicians are often recipes for failure?

Regardless of one’s political party, the citizens need to realize we’ve been deceived once again, and this time it isn’t George Bush’s fault.

Les Poole

Gladstone



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