From our readers


My name is Tim Hinds and I am asking for your support in the up coming election. I am asking for your write in vote for Position No. 5 on the Independence City Council.

I am presently on the Independence City Council in this position, but did not file by the deadline, so my name will not appear on your ballot. This was a miscommunication on my part.

I have been on the city council since 1998 and have seen a lot of positive changes within the city. There are more great things being accomplished and I would like to see these things completed. The amphitheater in Riverview Park and the Independence Public Library are two projects to be completed.

For those of you that do not know me, I have lived in this community for more than 38 years.

I graduated from Central High School in 1975, after being in this school district since second grade. I then went to Chemeketa Community College and then transferred to Western Oregon University (then Oregon College of Education.)

I became a police officer and have been an officer for 24 years. I am married to Ramona K-Hinds and have two wonderful children, Brittany and Christopher.

I feel that I am a good candidate for the Independence City Council. I have good common sense and will work for all of Independence.

I do not have a personal agenda other than improving the quality of life in our great community. I will continue to strive to make our community a great place to live.

Please trust me with your support by writing in my name, Tim Hinds, for Independence City Council Position No. 5.

Thank you.

Tim Hinds



In the parking lot at Central High School is a car displaying the opposing football team's colors and school name.

It is battered and beaten into a pile of junk. It is a tradition for the school's football players to mangle the car by beating it with bats and rocks as a rally against the opposing team.

This aggressive behavior should be stopped. We are teaching our children to act violently.

Whose idea is it to teach our children that to ritualistically destroy the competition with violent behavior and to act in such an aggressive manner is OK?

Who believes that they are mature enough to leave this behavior on the football field and not carry it over into the classrooms or into society? Who believes this is modeling civilized behavior?

At a time when we the world is in turmoil and being torn apart by escalating violent acts, as parents and community leaders, we can no longer condone this tradition.

Are we not responsible to teach our high school children how to behave in a manner that models peace and concern for our fellow beings? I, for one, believe it is our responsibility.

Where do we draw the line? Why is it OK to beat machinery to a pile of junk. How do we tell our children that the violent acts that take place somewhere in our country, every day, are not stemming from this same aggressive behavior.

Do we want our children wielding baseball bats as a display of their school spirit? I think the district administration needs to review this tradition and discontinue it.

Michelle Bright


Teen parents

Dear Itemizer-Observer,

We want to thank you for showing your support by advertising our car wash article. We would also like to thank every one who got their car washed and made donations to the YMCA Infant/Toddler Center. Thank you.

Polk Teen Parent Program

and YMCA



A community that truly cares about being a part of the community best describes my experience with businesses in the Monmouth-Independence area.

A special thank you to JTE Floor Coverings, Ediger Church Furniture, Town and Country Hardware and Mitch Miller for their generous support to improve Talmadge Middle School.

JTE Floor Coverings donated and Mitch Miller professionally installed the carpet for the choir risers. Ediger Church Furniture beautifully refinished the bench located in the Talmadge Middle School lower building. Town and Country Hardware donated sandpaper to prepare for painting the Central High School reader board poles.

Each donation is gratefully received and appreciated, not only for the actual donation, but also for the support of and involvement in our school community. How very fortunate I feel to live in such a wonderful community.

Kerry Thompson



We are losing our country because Christians refuse to vote.

They do not seem to realize that our ancestors fought long and hard for the rights we now enjoy. Figures show that the total number of Christians far exceeds the total number of liberals.

So if Christians would only vote, conservatism could control the country and truth could prevail.

Too many Christians are sitting back and letting lies told by liberals so unchallenged. Parents are not paying attention to what the NEA-controlled schools are teaching our children.

Praise the Lord for Christians who pray and vote, and for parents who either home-school or send their children to good Christian private schools.

Janet M. Overholser



The Central Youth Sports board members and soccer committee would like to thank the Monmouth-Independence community for supporting the fall 2003 soccer fundraiser.

Children traveled throughout our community selling gourmet cookie dough for weeks this last month. This was a successful fundraiser to an organization that works because the community is so generous.

All proceeds go to continue field upkeep and equipment necessary to support all soccer levels. It will also be used for future development of other playing fields in our community. Central Youth Sports is you.

Priscilla Kennon,

CYS publicist



Recently we were faced with a dilemma at Whitworth Elementary School involving making sure we could have an American flag in our gymnasium.

The regular classroom flags we have throughout the building are on a small round dowel and mounted to the wall at a 45-degree angle.

We tried these several times over the past few years and, unfortunately, the activities that happen in a gym are just not conducive to the flag staying up and the dowel staying unbroken.

We decided that it would be really nice to have a larger flush wall-mounted flag in our gym. However, as I'm sure all of you are aware, our budget is so limited that we couldn't afford to purchase this kind of flag.

Our state representative, Lane Shetterly, came to the rescue when he learned of our problem. Lane arranged to purchase a flag to meet our needs.

On behalf of the students, staff, and parents at Whitworth Elementary School, I would like to express our sincerest thanks and appreciation to Lane for his generous help and support.

Lynn Hurt, principal


Elementary School


The Monmouth General Fund Support Fee, Measure 27-53, which we in Monmouth will vote on next month, has been routinely praised in the pages of this newspaper.

I agree with that praise, but I wish to point out another aspect of this situation that has gone unnoticed.

We live in difficult financial times. Historically, our state has depended on publicly built and funded institutions such as highways, schools and libraries.

Since the passage of Measures 47 and 50, one of the main funding sources for these institutions has stagnated.

In some places, this has led to massive cuts, angry citizens and indifferent officials.

Seeing their job as now impossible, officials make cuts "that hurt" in an effort to change the collective mind of their communities.

Not so in our little college town on 99.

In all of Oregon, I can't think of a better example of government working for and with the people than Monmouth's Measure 27-53.

The city council not only replaced a 25 percent shortfall in the budget, they did it with the help of private citizens and in a manner that is arguably more fair and equitable than traditional tax.

The measure will not enlarge the government and will expire in three years by design. Its purpose is to give the community time to grow, and the city time to examine its services and funding sources and determine if any cuts need to be made in a careful, unhurried manner.

In my humble opinion, this here is what you call "government," as opposed to the pure politics we are subjected to in Salem these days.

Not only do I think we should vote yes for 27-53, I think we should vote yes with pride.

Jeffrey Adams



Like many Oregonians, I have been disappointed with the lack of leadership in our Legislature.

Party politics and oversized egos seem to be more important than making decisions and agreements that benefit citizens. It's now time to do something about it and thankfully we have Vicki Berger to vote for in House District 20.

Vicki has been an active, committed community member. She served on the school board in Salem and she has been active in the YMCA, not just in Salem, but also in the Monmouth-Independence area, working for healthy alternatives for children and families.

As a small business owner, Vicki knows how to make our tax dollars work for us. The Legislature has a lot of work to do in the next session and we need honest, hard working, qualified members like Vicki to represent us.

Though I am a registered Democrat, I am voting for Vicki Berger because she is the most qualified candidate for District 20.

Ernestine Baldwin


School cuts

This school board member urges you to vote for the Jan. 28, 2003 tax measure. And elect legislators in favor of this tax measure.

We have cut your budget to the bone.

More cuts will mean shortening the school year. This cut will negatively affect every child, parent and educator in our district. This cut may negatively affect high school graduation and college admission.

This is not a threat. This is reality.

Five special sessions in Salem didn't correct this budget deficit but you can.

Please don't say you were not told about the consequence of this tax measure.

We meet the first Monday of the month. Come on out.

Michael R. Tebb



Vicki Berger is running for state representative in District 20 which includes Monmouth and Independence. Vicki is a person we can trust to make good, honest decisions based on the merits of the issue.

We desperately need people like her in the Legislature and I would urge everyone to support her and vote for her in the upcoming election.

Vicki has a wide range of experience as a parent, small business owner and as a volunteer for many community activities.

I know her well enough to believe she will be independent in her decisions and will not be beholden to any lobby group. We need her.

Please vote for Vicki Berger.

John Schoon


School cuts

The Dallas School District has always been strongly supported by the community.

We have large numbers of community volunteers in our schools acting as lunch buddies, reading buddies and classroom helpers.

Our parent teacher clubs and booster clubs are well known for their strong support. Our parents support our education goals at home and attend school events and parent teacher conferences in huge numbers.

We are very grateful for all of this.

Now we need to ask more of our community. Our schools have been hit hard this year. We have cut more than $2 million from the operating budget already.

We have taken cuts at every level. The schools have lost staff members, resulting in larger class sizes and much less individualized help for students. We've cut back on activities and athletics.

To make up more deficits, we may have to cut school days. It appears that we will not be able to look to state monies for a return to the funding levels that we have built our programs on.

The Legislature has not yet devised a stable source of funding for our schools. In the meantime, our students are suffering and there appears to be no relief in sight.

One solution is the local option levy.

A yes vote on Nov. 5 would provide support for our schools for four years, enough to restore and maintain teaching and assistant positions, maintain our rural schools, purchase badly needed replacement textbooks and restore athletic and extracurricular programs at DHS and LaCreole.

I hope the Legislature can come up with a solution for our funding problems. In the meantime, I will be voting yes on this levy. I think it is money well spent.

Deborah White


Salvation Army

Christmas is coming!

The Salvation Army needs your help. With all the budget cuts in the area, our funds will go to good use. We need volunteer teams to ring the bells at our kettles in Dallas, Independence and Monmouth.

Please call Weston Gray at 503-623-7784 and offer to help as much time as you can spare.

Additionally, we hope the Angel Trees will be available to help. Please take advantage of these trees to make children happy.

In closing, remember that 90 percent of all funds are collected in Polk County. These funds really make a difference. Give as much as you can and as often as possible. Funds can be sent or delivered to Washington Federal Bank in Dallas or dropped in the kettles. Thank you for making it happen.

May God bless you.

James F. Quigley

Salvation Army


Since this is the time for candidate recommendations, I would like to indicate why I am supporting Darlene Hooley in her re-election bid.

First, I am a veteran and follow veteran's issues closely. Ms. Hooley has faithfully supported efforts to make equitable benefits available for veterans.

She should be commended for trying to care for those who have served.

More importantly, I have become a congressional letter writer and have discovered that Ms. Hooley is the only congressional representative who replies to my letters in such a manner that allows me to believe that she (or one of her staff) has actually read my letter and drafted a thoughtful reply.

That she makes the effort to consistently stay in touch with her constituents would seem to be a critical skill at a time when most of the congressional membership is primarily interested in its own well being at the expense of the people.

Fred Brown



Each election is important.

Kevin Mannix has had in the past a hand in slowing our state's crime rates. Let's elect him governor.

Brian Boquist knows the military. He has a successful international business and does a good job family-wise. Do the USA a favor by electing him to Congress instead of Hooley.

And certainly we need to re-elect Gordon Smith to the U.S. Senate.

Henry B. Coleman



People can make a difference in their community and Patrick Moser is an excellent example of that.

Patrick has lived in the community for the past 11 years, first as a student, now as an employee of Western Oregon University.

He has served the City of Monmouth in various capacities during this time. He has been on the Monmouth City Council for the past year and a half, a volunteer member of the Monmouth Park and Recreation Board and the Monmouth Legacy Forest Committee.

Patrick's belief in community voluntarism and willingness to serve the community are the qualities the city council needs. With his experience, abilities and vision for Monmouth, we need to keep Patrick Moser on City Council.

Beverly Beck



Jack Sloan is my choice for the next mayor of Monmouth. He has been an active participant on the Central School District Budget Committee and presently serves on the Monmouth Historic Building and Sites Commission.

Thanks to Jack's watchdog diligence, Monmouth citizens now have the final vote concerning annexation of new lands into the city boundaries.

Jack has the leadership and courage to continue to maintain Monmouth's wonderful small town quality.

Dennis D. Eberly



I am writing to encourage voters in Polk county to elect candidates who will put aside party politics and solve our state budget crisis. We need to change the direction of this gridlock at the Capitol.

We are fortunate to have some hard working dedicated candidates running.

Lane Shetterly has proven that he has our interest at heart and has worked to protect the K-12 education budget.

Vicki Berger's commitment to education is evidenced by her effort to pass the School Bond Levy for Salem Keizer.

But most importantly, we need to elect a state senator who will bring the parties together to solve this costly impasse. We need Bryan Johnston's experience and skills to get the state turned around.

Lane Shetterly, Vicki Berger and Bryan Johnston need our support to get our state working again. Thank you for voting.

Steve Evans

West Salem

Fire levy

Dallas taxpayers are being asked to support the purchase of a ladder truck, an ambulance and a firefighter support vehicle.

In this request, Chief John Stein and his fire fighters have done a great job getting the biggest bang possible for the taxpayer's buck.

The ladder truck will replace two existing trucks -- a 1978 pumper fire truck and a 1974 ladder fire truck. Because of technical advancements, the new aerial truck will not only do the job of both existing trucks but will have the ability to be more flexible and provide greater safety for our volunteer firefighters.

This truck can reach down slopes to help in rescues as well as reach 85 feet into the air, has a platform load capacity of 1,000 pounds and can pump up to 2000 gallons of water per minute.

The ambulance would replace a 1990 ambulance that has started to lose its reliability. The city now needs three reliable ambulances because the number of calls has nearly doubled -- from 932 in 1990 to 1803 in 2001.

As a result, the ambulance service is experiencing more and more times when two and three ambulances are needed simultaneously. Also, our existing equipment is getting more wear and tear from just being used more often.

The firefighter support vehicle would replace a 1978 ambulance that volunteer firefighters converted when it became too outdated and unreliable to be used as an ambulance.

Although ill-suited for the job, it did provide shelter and general resources for our firefighters during fires and emergency situations.

The proposed support vehicle would be able to provide proper shelter and resources for lengthy emergencies as well as helping the fire department meet work and safety requirements as required by law. This unit can also serve as a mobile command post, which has become an important element in today's complex emergencies.

Total cost would not exceed $850,000. The cost to us as taxpayers would average 12 cents per thousand for the 20-year period. This means the owner of a property with an assessed value of $80,000 would pay an average of $9.60 per year; a $100,000 property would pay $12 per year; and a $120,000 property would pay $14.40 per year.

Our fire department is asking for needed equipment. Very few of us drive 20-year-old vehicles and even fewer would want to depend on vehicles of this age in an emergency. Let's not ask our firefighters to do this.

As a concerned citizen, I urge you to vote "yes" on the public safety equipment purchase bond. It will be money well spent.

Mayor Jim Fairchild


School levy

Please vote "yes" on the Dallas School Board levy. The facts have been presented previously, but to recap:

1. State funding for schools has been drastically reduced due to decreased state revenue collections.

2. The state Legislature has proposed a rescue plan that is doomed to failure.

3. The Dallas School District has already made budget cuts and will need to make more when Oregon's voters defeat the increase in income tax in January.

4. The Dallas School Board Levy is an opportunity to help our schools, our children and ultimately ourselves by providing $500,000 a year in funding for our schools at a cost to most of us of less than $2 a week.

This is a good deal.

Invest in the future of our young people and we all benefit.

Please vote "yes" on the Dallas School Board local option levy.

John Meyer


Falls City

Barbara Maytum was at the council meeting when Sheriff Wolfe said he could work with anyone with a badge.

It's not necessary for them to go to a police academy. Common sense was what is needed.

Now the mayor could have put on the badge or the councilors or anyone of their choice. The mayor could even act as the municipal judge.

Now the Neighborhood Watch members offered to be a voluntary police unit (no pay) until the city could find a way to pay for police. We have a voluntary fire department. Why not police?

The Neighborhood Watch can't do their job when the city does not do theirs.

Oh yes. Neighbors, how do you like to pay for your water two times? We paid our water bill last year. How about you?

Well, the government did not get their $66,000 water payment. We get to pay this year's water plus $33,000 of last year's. We get to do it again next year.

Where was our mayor and councilor when last year's water payment was being misspent?

Margaret M. Martell

Falls City


I urge Monmouth voters to reject Measure 27-56 exempting annexations of less than one acre from voter approval.

This Trojan Horse amendment was proposed by an opponent of the successful 1998 charter amendment requiring a public vote on all land annexed by the city.

If enacted as written, amendment 27-56 appears to leave the entire voter approved annexation portion of the city charter open to legal claims that the charter is arbitrary and favors small landowners.

Amendment 27-56 was placed on the ballot by the city council just days before the deadline and with no recorded debate or public comment.

The merits of this measure aside, this is not the way to conduct the public's business.

This and other recent council actions give rise to the perception that the city council favors the "well connected" while minimizing public participation.

Monmouth citizens must hold the incoming council to a higher level of transparency and demand greater public access to the decision-making process.

Jack Sloan



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