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Letters to the editor

Is lawn issue overreach?

To the editor:

What is the definition of overreach by government? Does Woodburn have a problem with “underreach” by government as well? In my opinion, the city of Woodburn is doing everything possible to avoid solving the lawn parking problem and that is an underreach problem.

Some folks believe that it is not legal to park on a lawn with grass but, if you put a load of gravel on your lawn then you have the right to park on the gravel. Make sense? Not really.

Grandfather rights, moving, construction, medical problems have also been mentioned as a reason for allowing lawn parking. No one mentioned parking in the public right of way and that is not allowed but you see it all the time.

Grandfather rights are really a non-issue because it will be very hard to find a residential property today that has not been sold and resold since the parking regulations have been put into place. Moving, construction problems – people have always dealt with those issues because they are temporary and of short duration. Oregon does a good job in providing necessary exemptions for folks with a disability. A doctor provides the certification and Oregon issues the necessary permits.

I don’t believe there is a problem with lawn parking in Tukwila, Henry’s Farm, Hermanson or Smith additions. Perhaps the city should identify the problem area with lawn parking before making any changes to the current rules and regulations. As to being a watchdog for lawn parking, well, that is what we have code enforcement for.

Waiting 18 to 24 months before implementing a new ordinance (if approved) is just another way of ignoring the lawn parking problem. The time for action is now, not two years down the road. I have been told that Woodburn is trying to have people voluntarily obey the rules on parking. That approach is not working and maybe we should put in a new policy, such as “park the auto legally or receive a ticket and tow charge.” Keep in mind that people obey the rules if they have to pay a fine for violating the rules.

The question is, are the taxpayers of Woodburn ready to make those tough decisions needed to keep Woodburn a livable city now and for the future? Downtown development will not happen if lawn parking, disabled autos, garbage and other items are not taken care of.

Terry Will

Woodburn

Article advocates spending tax payer money

To the editor:

In the July 9 Woodburn Independent, Mr. Chuck Ransom wrote an article requesting voter approval of a bond measure for the Woodburn School District. The article raised a number of troubling and interesting questions.

Will the bond measure, after buying new school buildings and catching up on maintenance and upgrades to the existing school facilities that have been put off for about 20 years, be enough to buy enough gadgets to materially improve student safety?

Is student safety a real problem or just another highly emotional loaded smokescreen to be used by the supporters of the proposed bond measure to prevent critics from publicly revealing the waste, mismanagement, incompetence and political favoritism in how the school board permits the money raised by the bond measure be spent?

If student safety was the real concern of the article, why doesn’t the article advocate programs that are combat tested and proven successful?

Instead, the article advocates spending taxpayer money on high priced, high profit-margin gadgets that are, at best, marginally effective in student safety. The article advocates further restricting public access to the school than is now the rule.

The Israeli government has trained and armed the Israeli teachers. Their teachers are now able to successfully defend their classrooms using effective firearms.

The Israeli government has placed an adequate number of competent, effective, willing and trained armed adults around Israeli school buildings doing various needed jobs. They also can stop assaults on the schools.

The Israelis now identify, intercept and legally deal with the Palestine suicide bombers and shooters before they can do their dastardly deed.

It would not take a lot of money or effort to do these same programs locally. These programs, if done correctly and fully by the schools, police, courts and hospitals, would stand constitutional muster and end the antics of bullies, criminals and fruit cakes while improving student education. At the same time it will respect all citizens’ constitutional rights and rights enumerated in the first 10 amendments.

Lenthal Kaup

Gervais

Bond delayed to increase community involvement

To the editor:

We are deeply grateful for the support the Woodburn Independent has shown our public schools, particularly in the last bond election. Considering how close it came to passing, we understand why your editorial board would want us to put the school bond back on the ballot as soon as possible. However, a letter in your paper last week (“School board must explain need for bond”) effectively shows why delaying it until May 2015 was the right decision.

All voters have the opportunity to support our schools when we are on the ballot through Oregon’s vote by mail system. The only difference in which election we chose has to do with time, not turnout. The Woodburn School Board is taking time to listen to the community and determine if changes need to be made to the bond package. We want to hold another round of public meetings and respond to questions people might have, such as the letter writer in last week’s paper.

Any election loss merits a process of reflection, outreach and feedback from the community about what we can do better. We invite people to share their thoughts and concerns in one-to-one meetings with school board members, during our workshops or regular board meetings. Please contact the school district at 503-981-9555 to reach us, or to learn the next meeting date, time and location.

We will pass a bond to maintain, renovate and make needed safety improvements to our schools. Safe, well-maintained schools are important to student achievement and essential to the quality of life we want for Woodburn.

David Vancil

Woodburn School Board Chair



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