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Letters to the editor

Hard to empathize with editor on EV?charger issue

To the editor:

I like the idea of electrically charged vehicles; however, when shopping for this vehicle type one should have the means to charge the vehicle at their residence, and at their own expense. Last time I checked, electricity is still being powered by our environment.

I tried to empathize with the Woodburn Independent editor’s article in the May 7, 2014 edition (page 6A, “Why isn’t City Council electrified by EV chargers?”). Golly Gee, wish we all had electric cars that would come with free electricity. Having an electric car has helped her “see how the other half lives”? REALLY? What was your form of transportation prior to your electric car? Electric cars are relatively new on the market, so half the lives in our community do not own an electric car.

Maybe along with this new invention of electric cars, and charging stations there should be an electric charge meter. You know, like parking meters. Those that have electric cars can insert a debit/credit card and charge it. The upside to this is one can still shop the local stores and restaurants while they are being electrically charged!

Candy Hagenauer

Woodburn

Did anyone at City Hall read the contract?

To the editor:

One is constantly reminded to make sure you read and understand the contract “before” you sign it. The city of Woodburn just does everything backward; they sign the contract and then, months later, read it. I read part of the agreement between ODOT and the city of Woodburn and it is very clear and to the point.

(City Obligations # 13 page 9) “City shall maintain the electric infrastructure and vehicle chargers for the electric vehicle charging stations in the park-and-ride lot for the Transit Facility, as shown by the sketch map, attached hereto and marked as ‘Exhibit E,’ and by this reference made a part hereof. City shall maintain and pay the power costs for the Transit Facility, including the park-and-ride lot lighting and electric vehicles charging

stations. City shall have the power company send bills directly to city.”

(State Obligations # 9 page 13) “State shall, as part of the Project, install electric power infrastructure to enable the City to install Electrical Vehicle (EV) charging stations in the park-and-ride lot of the Transit Facility identified as ‘Exhibit E.’”

Exhibit E has identified one Level 3 quick charge and four Level l charging stations and for future growth eight Level 2 charging stations. For whatever reason, the city wants folks to believe that only two charging stations are being installed.

(City councilor) Mr. (James) Cox has implied that the city would be subsidizing power cost for folks using the charging stations. That would lead one to believe that the charging stations would be provided free of cost to electric vehicle owners. It gets more confusing, the city wants AeroVironment to pay for the power cost and then pay back to the city 5 percent of the gross revenue. Sounds good on paper but in order to generate revenue, then one has to have either a product or service that the public would pay for.

If the charging stations are “free” then how does AeroVironment generate revenue? The city needs to provide more accurate information to the public. As an example, most folks believe that Woodburn is committed to paying $5.5 million for the 1-5 interchange but the number is really $8 million.

In my opinion (based on the high numbers of blunders by the city) I really believe the city has on staff that famous law firm of “DoWe, CheatUm, and How.”

Terry Will

Woodburn

Buy poppies to support veterans

To the editor:

This year’s calendar shows Memorial Day on May 26, earlier than last year’s! But Vie Anderson, poppy chairman for Aurora Unit #110, American Legion Auxiliary, has already consulted with Chris, manager at Woodburn’s Bi-Mart, and Director of Store Operations Rob Clark who’ve reserved a spot for her committee near the door during the week of May 19-24.

The employee-owned store has always maintained community service, and that is why you eager Bi-Mart shoppers will see Anderson and her poppy committee distributing red, paper flowers in memory of America’s fighting veterans. As many times as we Auxiliary members and the Legionnaires tell the story, it’s always new to the young who missed that chapter of history.

In the last century, during World War I, shipping those bodies of the dead war heroes back home wasn’t always timely, and many were buried in Flanders Fields. They gave their blood then for our freedom, and in those fields there grew red ornamental poppies, attesting to their patriotism. At the end of the war, the Legionnaires and their Auxiliary members vowed to keep alive the memory of that “war to end all wars.”

You’ve heard that story — but you may not recall the one about Flanders Fields when each year, reminders are fashioned by still-hospitalized/recuperating veterans in White City, Ore., and at other VA hospitals throughout the country — the red, paper poppies.

Have you heard how many veterans are still not being served adequately since returning home or to hospitals? Dropping some coins into the receptacle and picking up those red, paper poppies to wear on your lapel is one small way you can still say, “Thanks for your service and keeping me free!”

Woodburn’s Post #46 Legionnaires hold an annual service at Belle Passi Cemetery each Memorial Day. There’s where you’ll see more red paper poppies being distributed by Anderson and her Aurora Unit #110 committee. At the close of the service, Aurora Post #110 Legionnaires Jim Fisher and son Seth Fisher will join the Woodburn Honor Guard in a final salute and tribute.

Mary Lou Burke

Public Relations Chair, Aurora Unit #110, American Legion Auxiliary

Teachers make the difference, not the building

To the editor:

When we make a large purchase we usually follow some guidelines: Be cautious, consider all options, use common sense — and trust our gut.

But we don’t always do what we should — buying expensive cars based on looks or buying clothes based on trends.

We can sometimes dig our way out of financial struggles on our own. But when entrusted with others’ money we usually are more cautious — and rightfully so.

When our school district took grant money a few years ago to divide our high school, it was easy to justify what positive things might come from it. Now hindsight is clear. At the time, there were a few voices warning of future costs. There were also cheaper proven methods offered to decrease dropout rates. But as grant money often does, it proved to be too enticing.

I classify myself as someone very concerned with education. Sadly, I am also one who is not engaged enough. I do try and raise money for our schools’ events as often as I can.

However, I am not seeing positive trends in how schools approach funding. I believe the increasing emphasis on grant money leads to a focus on hiring people solely to write grants, steering us away from what matters most in education: “What is being taught!”

What happened to the days when an educator spent their career in one community? Of course we can’t pay good teachers more when we are top-heavy and we don’t have money set aside for deferred maintenance because we spent it on other things.

When I find myself in a budget crisis the first thing I do is look at the budget and see where I went wrong. As painful as it is, I admit what I did and change the budget to keep the ship from sinking. Sure, there are many ways to look at a budget, but there are only two important categories: income and expense.

We need to be careful “creating” fixed expenses. Otherwise, when crisis comes we’ll feel our hands tied and we have to look to others to solve our problems.

Let’s make the tough decisions for the sake of our kids! Let’s focus on what makes the difference and do what it takes to get it and keep it: good teachers! I will always praise the teachers and coaches that I had growing up, not how fancy my school looked.

Tim Doman

Woodburn

Why vote yes when parents don’t vote at all?

To the editor:

As a 20-year retired resident of this fine city, I struggled with filling out my ballot and finally voted “no” on the school bond. I did so because I realized that the very parents for whom this measure was developed to help and assist with their children’s education don’t vote!

I live on a fixed income as I’m sure a lot of others here do too. I always vote! I support children and schools on my limited income but if the parents of these students cannot take the time to support their own children, then who am I fooling?

I’ve never been blessed with any children of my own but I love them anyway. I express myself and my concerns for them as if they were all mine. If I as a childless adult can find the time to help them, then what are their parents waiting for?

Lastly, in the end, as I read the results and poll numbers it breaks my heart knowing they didn’t make the time to vote or help their own child.

Arnold Ponce

Woodburn

District grown by 2,000 since last bond passage

To the editor:

Vote today for the Woodburn School District bond! It’s been 20 years since the last successful bond measure. In that time the district has grown by 2,000 students. The district has done everything within its power and budget to keep up with its population growth and upkeep on its aging facilities, but now it is time for the community to step up. It’s time again to support the school district...to support our kids...to support our community! You can nitpick the details, but the need is undeniable. Vote “YES” for the Woodburn School District bond.

Walt Blomberg

Woodburn

High school senior supports bond

To the editor:

I have been part of the Woodburn School District since day one in kindergarten, and I urge voters to vote “YES” on Woodburn School District Measure 24-358 because I believe making schools safer, adding classrooms and upgrading older equipment is essential to the district Woodburn has become.

An issue growing in today’s society is safety in schools. After the horrendous shooting in Newtown, Conn., districts around the country are trying to make safety a priority. Woodburn is trying to improve school safety by adding keyless entry lock systems and enabling school offices to lock down a school with the push of a button, essential in case of an emergency.

Throughout my years as a student in the district, overcrowding has become a significant issue in our schools. The bond proposed would add several classroom spaces in all schools, additional parking and a gym at Nellie Muir Elementary, a necessity of the school. The cafeteria space is shared with the gym at Nellie Muir and it has become a challenge to fit so many students in one reduced space when the population of students grows significantly every year, but space does not. This is just one example of overcrowding in the district.

Another important piece of the measure is monies for repairs and maintenance of district facilities. A lot of the schools have old windows, boilers, heating and air conditioning units that need to be replaced due to old age. Additionally, some schools have lead paint, a health concern that must be addressed with the funds the bond would provide.

My education in the district has made me a better person and a proven leader. I firmly believe our teachers and administrators are the best anyone could ask for. We must look at what the future holds for them and our students. I have two younger brothers in the district and I want them to receive the best education possible like I did. One of the ways they can get a great education like I did is to have smaller classes and a good learning environment.

The proposed bond benefits the students of Woodburn by promoting safety, adding more classroom space and bringing schools up to date for a better education. Our educators strive to make learning easy and care about our students. I therefore urge the voters of Woodburn to vote “YES” on Measure 24-358 for Woodburn School District 103.

Isai Garcia

Woodburn

Put your money where your pride is

To the editor:

In a little hospital in downtown Woodburn many years ago, Dr. Smith relieved my poor mother of a bit of a burden… me. Because of that monumental event, Woodburn became my hometown. I am the third generation of my family to live and own a business in Woodburn.

I have lived, worked and owned business in other towns up and down the Willamette Valley, but Becky and I have made the choice to continue to make Woodburn our hometown. Woodburn has never been the stylish place to live (something I never really understood) in spite of our rich history and culture. We also have many amenities. Such as the ever-growing and expanding company stores, a major upgrade to the I-5 interchange, OGA Golf Course, new and modern housing additions, the Silverton Health building, a new Starbucks and a great school system. These are just a few things we who live here can take pride in.

When you look up pride in the dictionary you find words like “self respect, self worth, a sense of one’s own dignity.” If you look up proud you can find, “having a proper pride in oneself.”

But there is more to pride. With pride comes responsibility. Pride must be nurtured for it to continue to grow. It must be shared and it must be taught. If not, it will wither over time.

Pride can symbolize strength and unity and the self worth. It can be a tool that casts away differences in favor of unity. And unity can achieve more than any individual can on their own.

The Woodburn School District is asking for our support to build badly needed new facilities. We can all find a reason to vote against the bond but we also know we need these facilities. This is a chance to display our unity and show our pride, to teach our children what self worth and responsibility are about. It’s time to take our schools, our town and our young people to the next level. A level that we will be proud of! It’s time to put our money where our pride is, to display our strength and unity and to accept the responsibility of pride. Vote for the school bond and be Woodburn Proud!

Charlie Piper

Woodburn

Gilliam’s decisions not guided by conservative values

To the editor:

To err is human, but it is by no mistake or miscommunication that David Darnell’s opponent, Vic Gilliam, voted to give licenses to illegals (twice!) — even being the chief sponsor of one bill that went against the clear will of the people.

It is by no mistake or miscommunication that the opponent tried to remove Oregon’s founding, and religious, history from our nation’s capital, nor is it by mistake or miscommunication that he voted to implement Cover Oregon (three times), that ended up flushing $300 million of YOUR money down the toilet.

Are you ready for a representative who is guided by conservative values, the Oregon and U.S. constitutions, not special interest? If you are, vote for David Darnell, representative for House District 18.

Karen Darnell

Hubbard

Passing levy will help board meet demands

To the editor:

As lifelong community members of the North Marion School District with two children in North Marion High, we respectfully ask you to join us in supporting the four-year levy currently on this May’s ballot.

We are regulars at the school board meetings and we see first-hand the topics and issues that our district is facing, with dwindling resources. The board works diligently to meet the ever changing/growing demands put upon them by all of us, the community and government. They do a great job, but much more can be done with these temporary funds — especially with the extra $300,000 in “free” money from the state!

We all benefit from the availability of good educational opportunities in our community, whether we have children in school or not. Good schools attract quality people to our community and make it easier to maintain the value of our property.

Giving our kids the best educational resources within a safe and desirable place to learn will help them reach their maximum potential and excel with confidence. Please join us in voting “yes”! Thank you for your support!

Adrian and Mariella Kauffman

Aurora

Vote yes to take care of firefighters

To the editor:

I urge you to support our volunteer firefighters with a yes vote on the Aurora Fire District measure 24-367.

Our volunteers donate hundreds of hours each year training and responding on fire and medical emergencies in our community. A yes vote on 24-367 will allow us to update facilities and replace aging apparatus so these dedicated individuals are well equipped and trained to safely respond to your emergencies. These men and women take time away from their families and friends to protect you. Please vote yes on 24-367 to protect them.

Rod Yoder

Aurora

Fire bond supports growing community

To the editor:

I am writing this letter to show support of the Aurora Fire District Bond Measure 24-367. I have been a volunteer firefighter with the Aurora Fire District for the past five years.

Our community is growing and the fire district has to grow with it. I see the need for the community to have a faster response in case an emergency arises. With a centrally located station, the response time can be improved in most cases.

Our fire apparatus is old and breaking down often. I would hate for us to go in route to an emergency and have the equipment fail. The need for reliable equipment is crucial when the time arises.

The Donald and Aurora stations are due for seismic upgrades and this bond 24-367 will allow for these changes to be made. These stations are not going to be closed.

This bond is for our community to grow. It is for our kids’ future as volunteers within our community.

Lt. Chuck Cox, Aurora RFPD

Donald

Jensen has ‘strong work ethics and family values’

To the editor:

I trust and support Barbara Jensen to represent HD 25. I’ve known her over 40 years; she lived in Keizer most of her life and remains active in the community. She supports pro-life, gun rights and traditional marriage but is an active listener who would represent HD 25 citizens.

I had several opportunities to work with Barbara professionally. I found her to be organized, collaborative, selfless, direct, sincere and accessible. She consistently demonstrates strong work ethics and family values. Barbara is a stickler for process and accountability, receiving national recognition for programs that exceeded expectations. With her 35 year of IT management experience and diligence to process, I believe, tax-funded debacles like Cover Oregon can be avoided. She worked tirelessly promoting Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive legislation honoring the legacy of World War II men and women.

Imagine, Monica Wehby in the Senate and Barbara Jensen in Oregon’s Capitol! The possibility of that dynamic representation was the tipping point for this four-decade Democrat switch party affiliation. I trust few and endorse fewer. My candidate is Barbara Jensen.

Terry Nicholson

Keizer

Jensen offers energy, integrity and can-do attitude

To the editor:

Rarely is one privileged to publicly endorse a candidate for office, who stands out as a fine example of public stewardship. That person is Barbara Jensen, who is running for the office of state representative in District 25.

I have known Barbara professionally, and personally, for over 25 years. In the workplace, Barbara’s work involved oversight of highly complex systems. She was always diligent and resourceful, while modeling a strong work ethic. She has a wealth of knowledge on many issues. She has taken that knowledge and skillfully applied it in many different scenarios. She rose to the highest levels of management where she routinely brought people together to solve problems.

Having worked in the Legislature, I know a state representative must be versed on many issues to be effective. I trust that Barbara will meet the challenges of the office with energy, integrity and a can-do attitude. She has a sense of humor, she is gregarious and, above all, she is kind. If elected, her constituents will be impressed with her commitment to the office and, in turn, they will be extremely well-served.

Sandra C. Herring

Salem

Bill Post’s passion needed in HD25

To the editor:

I am writing this letter in support of Bill Post for House District 25.

I first became acquainted with Bill about nine years ago when our sons played baseball in the same league — he and I were both coached in the league. In the time I was around Bill, I never heard him speak negatively or harshly to any of his players.

I know that Bill is passionate about many things, including his love for the L.A. Dodgers and the Ducks, the U.S. Constitution and the Second Amendment, the life of unborn children and the need for smaller government.

One of Bill's strongest qualities is that you know where he stands on issues — so many politicians today are not willing to take a stand and defend their position. I appreciate that Bill has made his positions known and he’ll stand by those positions!

When you vote over the next days or weeks, please support Bill Post for HD25.

Robert Martin

Keizer



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