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Let's say adios to Bienvenidos Court

At the March 10 Woodburn City Council meeting, the idea to name a new street was presented.

The street leads to the new transit center, which will be named the Woodburn Memorial Transit Center, and feature a permanent memorial to the fallen officers of the December 2008 West Coast Bank bombing in Woodburn.

Wouldn’t it make sense to select a name for the short road leading to the transit center that also honors our fallen heroes?

However, the proposed name is Bienvenidos Court. It was brought forward by Councilor Teresa Alonso Leon, who rightly pointed out that there are no Latino street names in this city.

Yes, this is a rare opportunity to name a street, and yes, there is an unfortunate shortage of acknowledgement of our large Hispanic population. Like Alonso, we would like to see streets named to honor our Hispanic community. Wouldn’t it be fitting to name a street after Cipriano Ferrel, who did a lot for the Latino community in Woodburn as an early leader of PCUN (Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United) and FHDC (Farmworker Housing Development Corporation)? That’s what the city has done in the past, honoring leaders who have contributed to our community. We hope the city will consider street names that honor our Hispanic heritage whenever possible.

But we think it is more fitting to name this street after Woodburn Police Capt. Tom Tennant, who gave his life in the line of duty. Tennant was a visible volunteer and dedicated police officer whose ultimate sacrifice helped inspire the Woodburn Proud movement. It would be a fitting tribute for our fallen hero.

The city administrator said last week that the city would share possible names with the public through its weekly email newsletter, before the council votes next week. But the email offered only one option — Bienvenidos Court — and suggested the name had already been selected.

It’s not a done deal until council passes a resolution Monday. So if you want to be heard in this decision, show up to the 7 p.m. meeting to ensure the street name makes Woodburn proud.




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