Letters to the editor
Help kids, who cant vote
To the editor:
First, Mr. Ponce (See page 7 of May 14 for letter to the editor, Why vote yes when parents dont vote at all?) I am sorry you were unable to have children of your own. Second, I agree with you as a parent and resident that parents (provided they are able to) should vote.
However, I am even sorrier that you decided to vote no on the school bond. It is disheartening because if you really care for these children as your own you might have decided to not be as their parents, essentially voting no by absenteeism. If we care for these children, then we care for their education. Therefore we should provide them a location where they have adequate space, materials to fulfill their basic needs so that they can learn to their highest potential. If it is an issue of voting, we should have the space to teach these students the importance of voting and the necessity in acting upon it in the future. Furthermore, the simple fact that the community voted on a bill that would build them better schools is evidence that voting (at a local level) can have immediate effects that improve the lives of many.
In addition, I am curious why you would choose to punish the children for the actions of their parents. This is an injustice imposed upon the children by the issues adults have among themselves. This is an action thats unfair to those who dont have the power to make the change themselves.
Finally, as the old saying goes It takes a village to raise a child.
Bond is not hollow
To the editor:
Regarding the letter from Juan Hernandez (Letters to the editor, Bond is hollow and just a Band-Aid, May 7 edition, Page 7A): A lot of people do not know all the facts about how beneficial the passing of the school bond is. The bond to me is not hollow and it seems to be a great temporary solution to the problem.
Most of us have cars, homes and children who require time and money. Same for the schools.
There will never be a permanent solution to the increased need for expansion or for the need of repairs at the schools. Just like your car needs maintenance every so often, so do schools. Just like your children once needed clothing, food or any other necessities, so do the schools. You dont attempt to buy them clothing once and never again plan to buy them another pair of jeans. And just like your own home needs a new roof or needs any other updates, so do schools. You dont plan to fix your air conditioner one summer and never fix it again or go for 20 years without doing maintenance on it, correct?
There might never be a permanent solution but when we have a chance to upgrade our schools so that we can make them better, then we should do so.
You mentioned something about a long-term solution and this is it. After 20 years its time we do repairs on these schools. You make it sound like you just want a permanent solution and there will never be one because at some point things need repaired.
I also wanted to inform you of how a lot of parents are doing whatever is possible to spread the word of why the bond is important. I would love for you to come to a Woodburn school and volunteer with others involved in school issues and you will be surprised to see all the hard work and effort a lot of us volunteers do. Go into the schools and collect flyers regarding information about the bond and what the money will be used for. The modulars, by the way, will be replace by buildings at several schools. There is so much to say about the bond, so I would love to give you an open invitation to come out with us and you will see what parents are doing to get the bond passed.
Is council really interested in living wage jobs?
To the editor:
The Woodburn Independent front page item, High court denies citys petition, (May 14 edition) I read with interest.
The article said that City Council President Pete McCallum was disappointed by the high courts ruling and we have already lost millions of dollars in investment opportunities and too many living-wage jobs to count.
What does Pete call living wage jobs? I can recall when six city employees wages were cut from $10,795.20 to $17,347.20 per year. Before the employees pay was reduced, the jobs were living wage. Pete McCallum and the entire City Council supported these reductions in pay and also the loss of some of their pension. Maybe the living wage is for other employers and not for the Woodburn city employees.
Anyone running for election who supported the huge wage reductions for these hard working city employees should let the voting public know if its OK to ask other employers to pay a living wage while the Woodburn City Council agrees with these huge cuts for our employees. Maybe City Hall will contract out more jobs and the company that gets the bid will be paying minimum wage to its employees.
Remember, if the six union members did not take the cuts, their jobs would have been contracted out and the City Council agreed with these huge wage cuts. So Pete, remember what you and the City Council did to these six employees and their families.
Gary D. Will
Rerouting traffic discourages tourism
To the editor:
Do we really care about the economy and jobs!? Well then, what in the world are we doing!?
I recently spoke with someone at the beautiful tulip farms just outside Woodburn. I asked how business was this year. They said that the State or Oregon contacted them and told them they had to change their advertised route map because of traffic issues. Really!? Is this the same state of Oregon that tells Woodburn Premium Outlets that they need more parking!?
How about we pull our heads out and do something that makes sense? Do we really care about the economy, jobs, tourism? We have the second largest tourist attraction in the state of Oregon in Woodburn and what do we do? We tell them they need more parking to alleviate the traffic issues on I-5. What about, instead of usurping your power and trying to place an economic burden on someone that is a producer, do something in your power to help the situation? There are overpasses north and south of Woodburn. Is there anyone with a thread of common sense that cannot see the positive economic impact of having two other exit options? Or does spending 30 years and millions to make a decision about Woodburns current exit and then finally coming up with a partial clover leaf make more sense?
And then lets also tell one of our most beautiful attractions in Oregon that they need to tell their customers to take some other exit and confusing route. Yes, lets do the opposite of what makes sense and then in 20 years we can complain again and spend millions more on some haphazard solution.
I am sick of bureaucrats being in charge of our economy. To our local leaders and state reps: Please be the voice you say you are. Please rescue us and our economy by getting out of the way. Please remove the restrictions that hold us back. We know how to produce so please let us do it.
In return, you will get revenue needed to fund schools, military, prisons, etc. And by what we produce you can keep your job. Otherwise, please step down and let someone else do your job.
Little League organizers grateful for donation
To the editor:
On behalf of Mount Angel Little League, we would like to thank Mount Angel Oktoberfest for its generous donation! Its recent donation means the organization understands just how important Little League is to our community.
The donation will not only help to maintain the fields and purchase new equipment, but also help children and their families who could not, otherwise, afford to participate.
We have many great volunteers that have contributed their time and efforts immensely to ensure our children, families and visitors have a great experience at our fields. This donation will go a long way in continuing these efforts.
Again, thanks, Oktoberfest, for your generosity!
Retired educator ponders US education problems
To the editor:
As someone with a masters degree in education, 15 years experience as a junior high school teacher, 10 years as a substitute teacher and eight years as a volunteer teachers aide, I am concerned about articles in newspapers telling about the poor showing of our high school students, primarily math and science. They are near the bottom in rankings of the students in the industrialized nations of the world. What is done differently in our schools?
I have noticed a wide range of ability and desire to learn in the students. In classes of more than 20 students the teacher has to make a decision: Does he or she concentrate on high ability students or does the teacher devote most of their time to the low ability students, trying to motivate them to learn something?
In math especially, every few years a new program for teaching is introduced. I recall the term new math and teaching set theory. Who comes up with these methods? I have heard some of these programs severely criticized by teachers.
Do we need to group our students into classes by ability? Im convinced this is true. These classes would need to be smaller with specially trained teachers. As a volunteer, I am often assigned to work at a table with math students whom I would classify as slow learners. Often some of them do not listen to my explanations of a problem or concept. At times when I am speaking directly to an individual, that person is endeavoring to carry on a conversation with other students.
How much do parents play in how well a student does in school? I read articles on Asian students doing well because their parents drill into them the need for and value of a good education. Are too many of our students at home alone after school with no adult supervision? Parents get home relatively late because of work. Under these conditions students are baby-sitting younger siblings or are prone to play computer games or watch television rather than do homework.
Is it possible that many teachers are not properly trained or have not absorbed the knowledge needed to be effective? Are most college students with higher IQs or the ability to learn readily electing to study for vocations in higher paying jobs? That could mean students with lower ability go into education with less stressful courses.
Help alleviate feral cat problem
To the editor:
As a local 501(c)3 nonprofit who traps, spays, neuters and relocates hundreds of feral cats throughout Multnomah, Clackamas and Marion counties each year, we are in constant need of barn homes, stables, wineries any type of outdoor structure that can house a cat or cats.
The cat or cats come to you already altered, vaccinated and treated for fleas and parasites. There is no adoption fee for a barn home cat; however, the barn owner must promise to provide food and water for the cat(s) from that point forward.
Cats are great for rodent control in your outdoor structures not to mention the fact you are significantly improving their quality of life.
Thank you and please be responsible spay and neuter.