If your water source were threatened, what would you do?
This is the question all users of Rickreall Water Association are faced with.
A gravel company who would like to transform farmland in Polk County into an ugly pit of noise and machinery, is threatening our water source.
This pit threatens to contaminate our "sole" source of water. This is the water we drink. This is our sole source of water to run our homes, schools and businesses in Polk County.
If your only water source was threatened, I bet you'd want to do something about. Well, I do and that is why I'm writing this letter to tell as many people as I can.
We have to protect our water source.
Every single Rickreall Water Association user is affected and so is the value of their property.
Hundreds of homes and families without water is not a pleasant thought. Schools without a water source affects a child's education. A business without a water source affect our livelihoods.
This issue is coming up before the Polk County commissioners very soon. This is the time to tell your commissioners they must act responsibly to held us protect our sole source of water. Do not wait another day.
Write to your Polk County commissioners now and show your support to protect our water by attending the next commissioners' meeting.
All the hustle and bustle of the holidays has settled and now it is time to start on our checklists for the New Year.
High atop my list is to start on the thank you list for the Community Holiday Program for the Dallas, Falls City, Perrydale and Rickreall areas.
This year the program experienced growth on many levels, the first being an increase in the number of community partners around the table during the planning process.
A program of this size does not happen without several people giving time to the process. I would like to especially recognize Art Fox, Whitworth Elementary School; Lee English, Oakdale Elementary School; Debbie Evans, Lyle Elementary School; Dan Dugan Perrydale School; Nancy Crass, Family Resource Network; Cindy Ross and Katherine Wenos, Dallas Resource Center.
Also around this table were several groups that helped to get this program off the ground, Sue Fobert and the Leadership Group from Dallas High School; members from SALT (Senior and Law enforcement Together); and Don Radke, Faith Free.
Without this core group, this program would not have come together for our local community.
The second area that the program grew was in the number of "Trees of Giving" at local businesses in the Dallas area. This year through the support of local businesses, the number of sites more than doubled.
I would like to thank WalMart, Abby's Pizza, Safeway, Rite Aid, Focal Point, Curves, Shear Perfections, Valley Community Hospital, Dallas IGA, McMullin Chevrolet, Fosters Antique Store, Heaven Sent, Guy's Hardware, Four Seasons Styling Salon, Alize Gallery, Bank of America, West Coast Bank, DJ's Body Shop and The Dollar Tree for their tremendous support of this program.
Being a tree site takes extra work from everyone at your business, thank you for your gift to the community.
The third expansion this year was in the number of families who were adopted by local businesses, organizations, churches and individual families.
This year the number of families that were adopted tripled from last year.
There was an amazing trend this year for many to adopt families in lieu of gift exchanges among coworkers. Many members of our faith community through the Dallas Ministerial Association helped with the food needs of our families.
Through a wonderful partnership with the Christmas Cheer program, all other families that applied for assistance received a food basket delivered on Christmas Eve to their home.
Thanks to each of you for taking heart and giving of your time and energy to support our families in need.
I would like to express our gratitude to the Oregon National Guard for donating the space and utilities of the Dallas Armory for the clothing and toy giveaway.
During the giveaway there were so many volunteers who came to help. I would like to thank several groups who came down to give their time including: youth from the Perrydale FFA, youth group from Falls City High School, youth from Morrison School, youth group from Faith Evangelical Free, Dallas Service Integration Team members, Falls City Service Integration Team members, Perrydale Service Integration Team members and Polk County Leadership Council members.
I would also like to recognize three wonderful volunteers who gave an enormous amount of time to this program. Thank you Pete Detrant for your assistance with making the tags for the giving trees, hanging the tags on the trees, and collecting the tags from the trees. Also a huge thanks goes to Lynn and Mary Anglin for the collection of the clothing and gifts from all of the tree sites for the duration of the project's massive task.
The program received several donations from community member and organizations. Thanks to Figaro's, Ugo's, Abby's, Peppercorns, and Domino's for their generous food donations for the volunteers at the Dallas Armory.
Additionally, I would like to express gratitude to the Salvation Army for their generous donation.
This year, more than ever, our community suffered several financial setbacks.
The Community Holiday Program served more families than in years past and was only able to do so through great partnerships in our community.
Thanks to all of you who helped to make this program a huge success.
Polk County Service Integration
The gratitude of the Salvation Army is extended to the people of the Dallas community for your support of the Christmas Kettle campaign last December. Total contributions into the kettles slightly exceeded the total given in December 2000.
Twenty organizations provided teams of volunteers to ring the bell at the kettles on 27 days. Money contributed there will be used in the coming months to assist many individuals and families in the Dallas are with their medical, energy, transportation and utility needs.
Again, thank you.
Police Chief James Harper, chairman
Dallas Service Unit Committee
I would like to than Napa Auto Parts for going above and beyond this call of customer service.
On Dec. 18, 2001, I found myself and a Dallas High School student, Laura Fisher, stranded on Interstate 5.
We were headed to the girls' basketball game in Tualatin. We were an exit away when I lost all power in my vehicle. Luckily, I coasted far enough to get over onto the side of the Interstate 5.
We called my husband on the cell phone and he called Napa. Napa was just closing at the time, and luckily, they answered the phone. Cory Behling offered to wait for my husband to get there to purchase the alternator that we needed.
Thank you very much Cory for staying open. The customer service you decide to give us that night was a wonderful gift. Laura and I were very grateful just knowing that help was on its way.
Thank you Laura, for keeping me calm. It might be a night we talk about for years.
We were also very grateful that we had extra blankets and coats in the car. We were freezing.
A big thank you to my husband who was able to put the alternator in while we were being shaken by those big semis going by.
We never made it to the game. We were stranded some three hours, but Laura and I had a great bonding conversation. As we drove back into Dallas that night, we were so grateful to be back home, safe and sound.
"Thanks" again to Napa for providing such wonderful customer service.
In his letter to the editor on Jan. 16, Paul Tanksley takes me to task for filing for election to a fourth term in the Oregon House of Representatives.
Mr. Tanksley is welcome to whatever opinion he wants as far as my decision is concerned, but he needs to get his facts straight.
He says I am running again to protect my state retirement and salary. The truth is, I am not a participant in the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) or any other public retirement plan for that matter.
While I am eligible to participate in PERS as a legislator, I opted out of the plan when I was first elected. As it happens, I actually agree with Mr. Tanksley that legislators who have the power to control the PERS system should not also be beneficiaries of it.
As for my salary and benefits, my legislative paycheck on Jan. 1, 2002 amounted to $1,731.35, after taxes (yes, legislators too) for the month of January.
This amount includes my regular monthly salary of $1,321, plus a taxable expense allowance of $550. I also get dental and medical insurance. And, in the interest of full disclosure, when the legislature is in session, I get an additional $85 per session day.
This hardly amounts to working for free, but it falls pretty far short of what it takes to support a family of four, even with a working spouse, which is why I spend my evenings and weekends at my law office, doing my other job.
The perks and benefits are not what induce me to serve in the Oregon Legislature. If anything, the most difficult hurdle to get over in making my decision to run again was the financial and personal cost of legislative service to my family and myself.
I am not asking for anyone's sympathy. I have made my decision with my eyes wide open. But, Mr. Tanksley is wrong to suggest that some rich retirement and salary are the draw for me.
I consider the challenge and the satisfaction of public service ample reward, in and of themselves. They more than offset the many personal sacrifices that legislative service calls for.
State representative, District 23
I think we all owe V. Fredrichs of Independence a big thanks for saving our children from the evils of Harry Potter.
Why in the world would they bother to read a 309-page book when they can just open the local paper and be thoroughly exposed to Satanism?
Her Jan. 16 letter to the editor includes extremely graphic details of torture that merely serve to sensationalize the violence she purports too oppose.
I, for one, am far more willing to let my readers risk a magical schoolboy that a right-wing Christian intent on full disclosure.
I have noticed the "Neighborhood Watch" signs in Falls City.
But not being a resident there, I had a different take on what they meant.
I figured the neighborhood watch was a resident's responsibility to be the first to holler "The Cops Are Coming!"
I am in total agreement with Nikki McBeth of Falls City (in her letter to the editor on Jan. 16. I also feel Neighborhood Watch is out of control -- not only in Falls City, but also in Independence.
One of the local Neighborhood Watch group members was caught by one of my neighbors while he peered into her young daughter's bedroom window at night. His excuse -- just following the dog he was walking!
Another group member walked into one of my rental houses, while the teenage children were home alone, with the excuse she needed to use the phone because of a dog running loose in the street. She carries a cell phone while on her "patrol." The children saw no dog.
This same individual use to drive up and down the alleys behind people's houses because "she felt she needed to know what was going on in everybody else's yard."
What's going on? These types of actions can very easily get a person shot in the times we currently live in.
I have in the past complained to the police about these incidents. Their reply, "Well, maybe they are a little overzealous" and maybe I should think about joining the Neighborhood Watch, "They need more members."
I have too many other constructive things to do to occupy my time than to spy on my neighbors under the guise of "watching out" for them.
Thank God the one member moved to the other side of town. Now she's someone else's problem!
Name a tradition
I was shocked and dismayed to read of a proposed name change to Central School District.
Central has a proud tradition of academic and
athletic excellence, and its name should not be changed capriciously.
The statement that we have outlived the name is absurd. We still serve the two communities of Monmouth and Independence, and the carefully chosen name reflects that unity.
As significant as the historical value is the undue expense to change the name.
Given the current economic climate, this proposed name change would be a frivolous expenditure.
I remain at a loss to establish the need or desire to alter this district's nomenclature. Thanks to Nancy Greer for her time and effort in creating a petition, but it should be unnecessary.
Changing the "Central School District" name is a fine idea in these fiscal times. I think this would be very good as long as the right name is chosen -- maybe, like one of the following:
1. The W.P.P.S.S. School District
2. The ENRON School District
3. The Porkbarrelers School District
I believe that one of those would best show the fiscal savvy of the district board of directors to the world.
No hand outs
An equal playing field for any and all business to rent, lease or buy any available space -- to compete in the open market, right?
Naturally, the health food store of Monmouth has, I believe, finally gotten the message out as to its growing accommodations of both health and regular grocery.
All this awareness in less than a year because he stood up to the naivete of his fellow community members.
Rick's Place has, I believe, after six years established a solid place and space in the Monmouth community.
He to has had to speak up regarding the community's naivete that he offers much more than coffee.
Do it Best (Monmouth Hardware) has also faced the same situation. They carry so much more than the perceived notions of so many.
And the list goes on.
All of us are more than willing to order product if we do not have it, prepare it just the way you want it. So now it's your turn to acquire the multitude of offerings.
Not one of the businesses in this community has ever asked for money from the community to fill voids.
If we are forced to close, so be it. Business is business.
My point is, when I read the front-page headline of Jan. 9 that said "Bakery Needs More Dough" or it will be forced to close" -- Sorry, no hand outs.
I, of all people, do not want to see another business closed. Yet on the same or equal playing field, that's the real way to conduct business.
With the aftereffects of the Sept. 11 destruction, we are faced with another war that we must win at all costs.
Winning the war on terrorism will be a hollow victory if we can't put our unemployed people back to work with wages and benefits that will support American families.
Today, the type of industry of business capable of giving thousands and thousands of people long-term employment are few.
These are the people that have the purchasing power which provides the stimulus to the American economy to create additional jobs.
We have lost a large portion and continue daily to lose more of our industrial jobs in this country.
We are losing or "giving away" daily our American jobs to foreign markets.
The so-called high-tech industry was to provide our jobs of the future all across this country, but I can show you closed plants and businesses across this nation costing untold thousands of jobs.
These will never come back as long as big business can reap tremendous profits by having workers in foreign countries build the products for a fraction of the wages and with "no" benefits. This has to be stopped.
These jobs must be brought back to America to provide a living wage and a stable future for American families.
Since I lost my job of 38 years in the timber industry two years ago, I have been involved in various programs trying to help workers in the Northwest who have lost their jobs find new work or help them find training for a new career.
I have seen the heartbreak of families whose only source of income has been cut off and they wind up in the unemployment lines.
In some families, both the husband and wife have lost their jobs.
In the past, it wasn't long before a decent job could be found and the family could be back on their feet, looking toward a comfortable future.
Not today. And, without change, not in the future.
Oregon's unemployment rate is 7.5 percent. These are the people who are drawing weekly benefit checks.
Once your weekly benefit runs out, you are "not" counted. Where do these families go? I can guarantee they don't disappear.
They're here and hurting. They have no steady income. They lose family health insurance. They drain savings they accumulated when they were working, and lastly, the moneys set aside for their retirement.
Some find only part-time jobs to put food on the table. Some are forced into early retirement, never to be wage earners again. The number of families with no job and who have exhausted unemployment benefits, is very, very high, but is not counted.
Families are destroyed. Pride and dignity are lost and some will never function again. All this is happening now and will continue until we can get our American workers back to work at a livable family wage.
As I stated, we are fighting two wars and "we have to win them both."
Bill J. Kluting
for Displaced Workers
I resent President Bush's efforts to tell the American people that Sept. 11 was the cause of the recession. There have been two, three, or more new jobs to replace every lost job.
There have been hundreds of thousands created for security. Many more thousands are needed to produce military hardware.
Unfortunately, I am afraid Bush has pulled the wool over many eyes. He wants to try the trickle-down theory with tax breaks.
The only way to create jobs is for people to have buying power.
People making more than $50,000 or $60,000 dollars a year are already able to buy almost everything that will help the economy.
How will big tax breaks help?
I can't imagine anyone building more factories when they are operating at 50 to 75 percent of capacity. When Reagan tried this, they took their money to other countries and built factories to take our jobs. We are slow learners, aren't we?
Is Bush trying to "outdo" Reagan in building a giant national debt?