Dear Citizens of Dallas:
The second semester Leadership Class has gotten off to a wonderful start.
We dove headfirst, without having experience into planning the Valentine's Activity Night. We pulled it off and the results were terrific.
We have started our standing committee work. There are 10 committees, ranging from sports recognition to service projects.
Our softball committee is getting ready for the season and has already started the recognition process; as have the basketball, track and baseball committees.
The birthday committee is recognizing February and March birthdays.
Our GPA committee is honoring our 4.0 students. Our honor badge committee is making posters with honor badge names on them.
The service project committee is painting the boys' bathroom and planning to spruce-up LaCreole outdoors.
Our staff appreciation committee has thrown a lunch for our administration and is is planning to recognize the staff with a raffle for students' favorite teachers.
We, the public relations committee, are communicating with you, the public.
We have elected our student council members from within the leadership class. Derek Burbank is our president; Willow Dickerson, vice president; Hanna Wheeler, secretary and Dustin Lytle, treasurer.
The student council will help make decisions about our student budgets.
For the next 12 weeks, we plan on having a blast, all while bettering our school and community.
Thank you ever so much.
Does it bother anyone else besides me that one of the first things people see when they enter our town is the ugly, ramshackle, broken-down, eyesore building on East Ellendale across from the Polk Veterinary Clinic?
Shouldn't we be more proud of the appearance of our town?
What is the procedure for getting something such as this old gray dilapidated metal monster torn down?
I have long appreciated Oregon legislators' reasonable and progressive approach to legislation.
Senators Alan Bates and Charlie Ringo are addressing malpractice reform, rather than following the lead of the president and far too many legislators in this country who have either bought the myth that tort reform will result in lower medical malpractice insurance premiums or who are pursuing tort reform in the interest of supporting another agenda.
A prescreening panel, which malpractice claims must pass before they go to trial, should work as long as doctors on the panel don't have the deciding voice.
That would be the equivalent of putting a fox in charge of the hen house.
Doctors are notorious for hiding behind their white wall of silence in the interest of protecting those members of their profession who should be shown the door.
If there are frivolous lawsuits that judges allow to go to court, a responsible panel would be serving the state well by weeding them out.
Any reasonable person would agree that medical malpractice premiums are far too high, but anyone who researches the subject would know that placing caps on medical malpractice jury awards seldom, if ever, lowers those premiums.
Only when a law is passed, as was the case in California, that curbs the excesses of insurance companies will premiums become reasonable.
Kudos to Bates and Ringo and other legislators who appreciate the wisdom of compromise.
This is a long deserved "thank you" letter to someone whose name I don't know.
This amazing woman worked in your local ESD office in or around 1984.
I was a young, soon-to-be single mother of two at the time, embarking on a life of public assistance and the unknown.
I went to the office to take my GED test so that I could get a "better" job.
The woman who facilitated my test made a somewhat offhanded remark that changed my life. She said, "With scores like these, you should be in college."
I was stunned. No one had ever told me I was smart enough or good enough.
It took a long time to get here -- almost 20 years -- and a few wrong turns. But on May 4 I'll be graduating with honors and a B.A. in psychology.
I work in administration for our local mental health program and have purchased my own home with two acres last year.
My son served his country in Iraq, and my daughter plans to attend medical school next year.
To that lady: I don't know who you are, but I have thought of you many times over the years. I have shared my story in articles I have written and public speeches I've made.
Thank you for your encouraging words. They were instrumental in changing my life.
I would like to honor you by sending an invitation to my graduation.
If you think you may be this woman, please get in touch with me; my address is below.
I also want to say hello to a few others who have influenced my life, my very dear friends Mary Anne Lammerson and Clara and Mone Nimo, Miriam and Neil Haugen. And, I think often of my dear friend Margie Wildt who I know looks over all those she loves from her father's house.
I love and miss the Polk County area, and think of you all very often.
If your reading this, say something positive to someone. You could change their life and the lives that follow for the better.
Love and best wishes all my good friends in Polk County.
P.0. Box 1816
Homer, Alaska 99603
Concerning your article "Offender housing pondered," I
am simply dumbfounded with Mr. Fisher's proposal on what he considers a solution to bring sex offenders back into our neighborhoods.
As a 19-year police veteran, I have to completely agree with Detective Manning's opinion. This would be a complete conflict of interest. Not only would the district attorney be fraternizing with convicted criminals, but those criminals have friends too, who typically are criminals as well (birds of a feather).
Not only that, Mr. Fisher is talking about taking on "roommates" who have committed crimes against people far worse than just stealing their property or using drugs. I am in favor of helping people out who are down on their luck, but this is a very bizarre idea coming from the man who was elected to keep criminals out of our neighborhoods.
After working with the Polk County District Attorney's office under Mr. Fisher's watch, my opinion is that many solid cases are dropped on a regular basis anyway. I think this shows his lack of commitment and dedication to his position as our district attorney and to the citizen's of Polk County.
There's no 'divide'
I wonder what sort of analysis Rep. Brian Boquist is using when he talks about the urban/rural divide as part of the school finance issue facing our legislature. (Itemizer Observer, April 6).
He is quoted as saying the wealthier school districts aren't as crushed by funding cuts, and thus, won't vote for changes.
Has he overlooked the fact that these are the districts that voted to increase taxes in the metro area to support schools?
As Senator Gary George stated in the same article, "If we want to fix it (the Oregon education system), we're going to have to pony up the taxes."
People in the metro area did just that, unlike voters in Boquist's home district, Dallas.
I voted for the last supplemental Dallas levy and for the statewide tax increase for schools.
Now's the time
Driving into the service station and paying for a tankful of gas will take the smile off your face.
Informed people are saying we will run out of oil, so the price will go even higher.
With the United States leading the way and China and India following, we are using more oil than ever.
Two percent of Americans can afford $3-a-gallon gas, but it creates a hardship for 98 percent of us.
However, the wind still blows, the sun shines, and bio-diesel shows promise as an alternative fuel.
Lord knows we need the jobs, less pollution, clean water and air. We need to improve our environment, not just for ourselves, but for the health of the whole world.
The third world (countries) can make it's own energy if we supply the technology and the leadership. Our young, especially, are waiting for that challenge.
A strategic proposal called the New Apollo Initiative suggests 30 billion dollars per year for alternative energy.
That is a drop in the bucket compared to the billions being spent in Iraq for our grab for their oil.
America can promote an alternative energy program instead of a bloody, ill-advised war. All the world would cheer.