LETTERS 8.4.04

Comments from our readers


When establishing a saint, it is better to wait until the candidate is safely dead and unable to create contrary evidence.

M. Shumway



Farmworker Housing Development Corporation and CASA of Oregon hosted a public meeting to discuss plans for a farmworker housing development on Gun Club Road.

Their presentation was clear, professional and informative. Some members of the community expressed concern over the plans.

The prevalent arguments were in regard to the density and placement of housing and the contribution of FHDC to the tax base of Independence.

It is important to remember that the structural plans for this development are in preliminary stages. Open, respectful communication between community members and FHDC is important to address relevant concerns so that the plans presented for approval by the city correlate with the needs and desires of both parties.

The goal is to provide safe, healthy and affordable housing for farmworkers within the scope of zoning regulations. Placement and design, I feel, accomplish this goal without compromising the integrity or identity of the surrounding neighborhood.

In regard to the tax issue, nonprofit organizations and community development corporations are subject to different regulations than homeowners and landlords.

True, Creekside and others may pay more in taxes than FHDC for their property. However, I would urge community members to keep in mind a bigger picture.

Polk County is a heavily agricultural area, and as such, our economy is enhanced by its presence. A farmworker family earns roughly 30 percent of the gross median income for Polk County.

By providing affordable housing for these families within close proximity to shopping and businesses, we are enhancing their purchasing power and aiding business within the community.

We are also allowing marginalized members of our community the opportunity to live in a safe, affordable and healthy environment. They contribute enormously to our community and way of life. Let's contribute to theirs.

Sarah Johnson



I don't like to single people out and speak ill of them without first having taken my complaint or issue to them directly.

However, I am very angry about the letter to the Editor, written by Mary Collins of Independence in the July 21st issue of the I-O.

In her letter she stated that instead of taking the time to cover or remove graffiti from where she lived in California, most people chose to ignore it.

I must ask, did you take the time to cover or remove the graffiti? Have you taken the time to do that here in Independence? Have you spoken with the city council, Mayor McArdle or the Independence Police Department about your concerns?

After my research today, I learned that you haven't bothered to speak positively and constructively with any of the aforementioned agencies about your concerns.

Bad mouthing our fine mayor, and without saying anything about city council or our police department, you have implied that they too have done nothing and don't care.

You couldn't be more wrong.

I volunteer with the Independence Police Department to help reduce youth violence, youth crime and gang related activities. Private members of our community have donated money and time to these efforts as well.

The mayor and city council have addressed these issues also.

I am so angry that you imply the city and our people have done nothing and do not care. I made some calls, and you appear to have done nothing but write a letter.

Do you want to stand up and shout "not in my town?" Then do it.

Bring the issue up to the city council. Think of strategy, develop solutions, be positive and constructive, take action. Don't sit back and complain that someone else isn't solving your problems for you.

Dori Showell



While I commend the Itemizer-Observer for covering the public meeting July 13 regarding the several new planned subdivisions in Dallas.

I thought the reporter left out some of the important issues that were brought up. The concerns can be summed up: Is Dallas' infrastructure keeping up with the growth?

Specifically, the subdivision planned north of Ellendale, and the one west of River Drive will add 200 or more new homes to that part of Dallas.

Traffic on Ellendale will definitely increase. At least three people voiced a concern about the increased traffic. The intersection at Ellendale and Levens Street at Lyle School is already a bottleneck during the combined morning commuter and school traffic.

Ellendale is the only way in and out of the part of Dallas north of Rickreall Creek and west of Levens Street; there are no alternate routes.

Another concern was the growth of population and the lack of growth in school capacity. As far as I know, there are no plans to build new classrooms to teach the growing population of school kids.

Previous articles in the Itemizer-Observer stated that Dallas will actually lose 12 teachers next year. We're increasing the population, but decreasing the number of teachers.

To me, that sounds like more kids per classroom, with the inevitable decline in quality of education.

To keep the quality of life Dallas takes pride in, the infrastructure (school capacity, the parks, and the public library as well as streets, water and sewer systems) will have to keep up with the population growth.

Barbara Ellis-Sugai



I have news for all the Kerry supporters that think the invasion of Iraq is and was a mistake.

Kerry is on record as agreeing with President Bush to invade Iraq (though he let the troops down by voting not to fund it).

In addition, Kerry is on record as saying that President Bush has not committed enough troop strength and that he endorses expanding the U.S. presence there.

Surprise, surprise.

Dennis Carmody


Martial arts

To inform you -- I was picked again as one of the top world champions in the United States.

The Martial Arts Tournaments were held in Las Vegas, June 25 to 27. It was the World Championships. We had 2,000 people there from many different countries.

I entered seven events and was placed in the top four in each event for adult females.

I received:

♦ First Place in Point Sparring;

♦ First Place in Tae Kwan Do (Taekwondo) Forms;

♦ Second Place in Musical Forms;

♦ Third place in Weapons Forms;

♦ Third Place in Open Forms;

♦ Third Place in Traditional Forms; and

♦ Fourth Place in Tae Kwan Do (Taekwondo) Sparring, which is completely different than point sparring.

Each event had seven to 12 females. The top four are recognized as World Champions of the United States.

I am the only person living in Polk County who is a three-time State Champion, four-time National Champion and now, six-time World Champion.

I competed as a black-belt. It was the first time in World Championships as a black-belt. I went against high-belt professional martial artists.

I am the top martial artist in Polk County.

Carmen Mcclintock


(EDITOR'S NOTE: This letter is being reprinted from last week because of errors.)


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