10/22 Letters to the Editor

*Felton would be independent DA*Rec center would cost much to join*Writer thankful for local farm stand*Homuth brings needed change*Current leaders transform city*Felton best fits role of Polk DA*Firs

Felton would be

independent DA

I worked at the district attorney's office for 14 years and am now retired. I am concerned that in the current race for the office there is an undue influence of the "good old boy" system.

The district attorney position is nonpartisan for a reason. We should be electing someone who is independent, not under the control of any other segment or branch of county government -- and certainly not serving anyone else's agenda.

Aaron Felton is the candidate who is completely independent, nonpartisan, and has experience as a prosecutor. He is not beholden to political interests.

Please vote for him.

--Ida Dezotell


* * *

Rec center would

cost much to join

You are going to have to pay an annual fee to use the proposed M-I recreation center. This fee will probably be around $1,000 each year for a family of four.

Promoters are not telling you this, but they point to the Sherwood YMCA as a model. That YMCA charges $875 to $1,035 each year for a family of four to use the pool, gym and weight room.

Vote "no" on Measures 27-95 and 27-96 that form and create a bond of $7.25 million.

--Thomas Baker


* * *

Writer thankful for

local farm stand

I'm writing this letter from my family, and several others, to thank Jim Gardner and his family for the produce they have had at their food stand on Fir Villa Road throughout the summer. It's been great.

I just want you and your family to know you will be missed when the season is over, and we will be waiting patiently for next season.

Again, thank you. We do appreciate the great convenience of your stand. The tomatoes were absolutely wonderful ... love them.

--Sheri Dornhecker


* * *

Homuth would bring

change to commission

State, city and county governments will soon have to adapt to new realities mandated by the federal government, and adjust their ways of thinking and acting.

Commissioners seeking re-election on what they've done for five terms may not be the best choice to handle change. In Polk County, we have the opportunity to elect a new leader for these times.

Don Homuth is running for county commissioner as a true nonpartisan. He has the experience and the training to do the job, and to approach it with a new set of eyes.

This is what Polk County needs to manage the changes ahead.

--Bob Edgar


* * *

Current leaders

transform city

Over the last decade, Independence has undergone a revolutionary transformation. Our town has become a destination, thanks to the amphitheater, downtown restaurants and the movie theater.

Independence looks vibrant with freshly paved roads, new drainage systems and parks. We are a town revitalized.

Whose leadership is responsible? John McArdle, Jerry Hoffman, Nancy Lodge and Jim Kirkendall.

These community leaders have forged a new path for Independence that has led us into a flourishing new era. They have the energy and vision to keep the momentum going in the years ahead, which is why they will always have my vote.

--John Bruning


* * *

Felton best fits

role of Polk DA

As a mother raising a young child in Polk County, I want our next district attorney to be someone who can do the job of keeping our community safe from his first day in office.

Only Aaron Felton fits this description.

I am also a lawyer. I have known Aaron professionally for years. He is familiar with all the functions of the district attorney's office, including those which focus on children.

It is rare that we have the opportunity to elect an official as well-qualified as Felton is for this job. Please join me in voting for him.

--Elizabeth A. Earls

West Salem

* * *

First Student comes

through for kids

Dallas School District employees and community members would once again like to thank First Student for donating the bus and their driver, Linda, so we (the Dallas Dynamos) could participate in the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure on Sept. 21 in Portland. Their generosity was truly appreciated.

--Janice Graves


* * *

Thompson will

listen to others

Jim Thompson listens. Many office holders don't.

Witness the recent taxpayer bailout of Wall Street millionaires. This raid on the Treasury was overwhelmingly opposed by most Americans, including economists. However, Congress, including Sens. Obama and McCain, voted for it.

We need people in office who listen to their constituents and advice of experts and vote accordingly. Jim Thompson is that kind of person.

As an economist I am deeply concerned. We need someone in the Oregon Legislature who can deal with economic questions responsibly and intelligently. Jim Thompson fits the bill.

Please vote for Jim Thompson for the Oregon Legislature.

--Ron Finster


* * *

Brown committed

to serve district

Jason Brown is committed to the community.

As newcomers to Polk County several years ago, my husband and I were made to feel welcome by Jason and his wife, Lisanne.

We admire Jason's honesty, intelligence and integrity. He is a hard worker committed to the community, and will bring this commitment to his future role as state representative.

Jason's campaign is supported mainly by individuals like you and me. He can truly represent our community because he does not accept money from out-of-state lobbyists and corporations like his opponent does.

Please join me in voting for Jason Brown for House District 23.

--Harriet Feder


* * *

Offshore drilling

needed by America

Before Congress left for the year, they accomplished one thing that went underreported: eliminated the ban on offshore drilling for oil and gas.

After months of political back-and-forth on this issue, it's amazing that the issue was resolved with a relative whimper.

Now, it'll be up to the new Congress and new Administration to figure out how to structure the new exploration. One thing is for certain: new exploration is needed.

I don't think we'll ever see any drilling off of the Oregon Coast because reserves of oil and gas aren't large here and there is inadequate infrastructure to produce and distribute fuel. But that doesn't mean that other parts of the country should be off-limits.

Now, if Congress will just stop insisting on loading up U.S. energy companies with more taxes, I think we can finally start providing for our own energy security.

We spend hundreds of billions each year importing oil from countries that hate the United States, thereby funding their foreign policy opposition. With more domestic energy, and a tax structure conducive to expanding exploration and production, we can finally reverse this self-destructive policy.

--Amy Langdon


* * *

Neighbors have

valid concerns

I am writing in response to the two letters (Oct. 15 Itemizer-Observer) about the group home for the mentally ill being built in Dallas.

I live in the neighborhood where this home is being built. We were told nothing about the group home prior to it being built and have not even had many of our specific questions asked answered.

This is not about not wanting a group home for the mentally ill that are disabled, it's not about a group home for the elderly, it's about a group home being built for those with mental illnesses that, for one reason or another, were locked up in a mental hospital and are now being put back into our neighborhood as a way for them to fit back into society.

We were told the residents had never been adjudicated of a crime. We don't know if these residents have committed a crime, had the potential to commit a crime, or had done something wrong that put them into a state mental hospital and, for whatever reason, were not able to live in society on their own.

We aren't being told specifics. We are supposed to feel safe in our neighborhood knowing this? This group home is not like the many the two letter writers are referring to. Ask any law enforcement officer about these specific homes -- they do not belong in a family oriented neighborhood where there are families with children everywhere.

Those of us that have children that live here would not be doing our job as parents if we didn't do everything we could to keep our children safe and to have them feel safe in their own home. The next one could go in next door to you.

Please do not judge us until you know all the facts.

--Marty Kessinger


* * *

Butterfield will

defend Constitution

Stan Butterfield is a man of integrity who loves the Constitution of the United States more than anyone I know.

In his 20 years of criminal justice, he has upheld the Constitution and has shown his dedication to protecting our rights and keeping our community safe.

His ability to lead and communicate lends to a successful team effort of all involved. He wants to keep us safe and will defend our safety as district attorney.

He is a man who loves this nation and the citizens of our county. We will be fortunate to have Stan Butterfield as our district attorney.

--Rebecca Johnson


* * *

Reality must set in

for bond supporters

Maybe those who are promoting the Dallas School District construction bond are in denial of the cost factors.

This denial that many citizens simply cannot afford the huge tax increase that passage would inflict is mean-spirited and arrogant at best. There are other viable alternatives.

The request for approval of a dramatic tax increase to fund new school construction is simply not appropriate at this time and is just another great example of borrow and spend beyond our means.

Let's help those who are promoting the school bond separate fantasy from reality.

Vote "no" on the school bond.

--Dennis Bucklin


* * *

Felton committed

to making us safe

Aaron Felton is an experienced prosecutor. He is active in our community. He demonstrates exemplary leadership skills and served as president of our homeowners' association. Under his leadership, the association made major changes in management, resulting in annual financial savings.

Aaron's background includes working with juvenile offenders, their parents, and child welfare authorities. As a retired high school educator, I appreciate Aaron's commitment to helping young offenders turn their lives around.

Aaron is committed to making Polk County a safer place to live. Please join me in voting for Aaron Felton for Polk County District Attorney.

--Cliff Girod

West Salem

* * *

Felton will keep

DA's office working

According to Polk County court records in 2007, the Polk County District Attorney's office convicted 92 percent of its cases.

Included in the non-convictions were cases where the victim or arresting officer asked the district attorney not to pursue the case.

This statistic alone makes it evident that the current office is doing a great job of convicting the guilty.

That is why it angers me to learn that Stan Butterfield would fire the current employees in the district attorney's office if he were elected.

Keep our district attorney's office exemplary by voting for Aaron Felton, the experienced candidate.

--Blake Allen


* * *

Independence has

strong city leaders

I lived in Independence the first 18 of my 50 years. My parents have lived in the same house more than 53 years.

For me, Independence has always had a negative reputation in the eyes of Polk County. So, I was delighted to overhear some Dallas residents commenting on the impressive changes it has made. They specifically mentioned John McArdle, the amphitheater and movie theater.

I believe the mayor and present city council are responsible for this new image. I encourage all Independence residents to keep this positive, and enviable, direction going by re-electing all of them to office.

--Jill (Pfaff) Peters


* * *

Experience makes

Felton the choice

Aaron Felton has 14 years as a practicing attorney, including five years as deputy district attorney in Polk County. His opponent is a defense attorney in Dallas since 2004.

In the Oct. 8 Itemizer-Observer, Felton's opponent argues "he has nearly the experience in criminal law as a trial attorney as Mr. Felton has as an assistant district attorney."

Is his experience in criminal law the same as being an assistant district attorney?

When looking at new cars, if one is advertised as "nearly" as good as a Honda, isn't the ad saying the Honda is better?

Felton has the experience to lead now.

--Pete Christensen


* * *

Farb would make

good councilor

Norm Farb is not a politician. He is a good man with common sense, and he is running for Independence City Council.

Norm Farb asks questions, researches, and checks things out. He is a logical problem solver and an educated man, but knows hard physical work and gets his hands dirty if the job requires it.

Norm Farb has more energy than most people. He approaches tasks with dedication and commitment and is personable and approachable. He will listen to people.

Please vote for Norm Farb for city council. He would be such an asset to Independence city government.

--Carolyn Baker


* * *

Felton's experience

an assist for DA job

When I need professional help, I go to the person with the expertise to do the job well. In the case of selecting our next district attorney, that person is Aaron Felton.

Felton is the only candidate with experience in prosecution, both in and out of the Polk County District Attorney's office. He also has many more years of experience as a courtroom lawyer. In my book, this is very important.

In addition to his experience, Felton embodies values of importance to me. He is intelligent, credible, energetic, has integrity, and is free from the influence of "insider politics."

--Christine Sproul

West Salem

* * *

Location is wrong

for group home

In regard to those who "shame" the people opposed to the group home.

This is not a home for the mentally challenged. It is a home for serious mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia. This is not a lock-down facility; they are free to come and go.

Yes, most studies show they aren't any more dangerous than anyone else if properly medicated. However, the same studies show that mental illness with substance abuse greatly increases the violence, up to five times greater, according to one study. Oregon's 2006 state mental illness survey shows about half of the patients also have substance abuse problems. So, put two and two together.

For those naive enough to think patients won't be in a home if they are dangerous, think again. Oregon places mentally ill people who have been convicted of serious crimes, such as rape and murder, in similar type homes. That is why the Oregon State Sheriffs' Association and the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police have tried to get the state to change this policy.

Parking is another issue. This home has a two-car garage and a two-car driveway with the possibility of 10 cars being there, with limited street parking on a dead-end street.

Having my child harmed by someone would be unbearable, but nearly as bad would be if a mentally ill family member harmed someone else's child.

So, no, I would not want my family member in a home like this. If they are so ill they can't live at home, I would want them in a facility where they couldn't hurt themselves or anyone else.

There are significant problems with this site. All we are asking for is an appropriate location.

The next time you want to judge someone, educate yourself on the issue first.

--John Robinson


* * *

School overcrowding

must be addressed

At my daughter's school, overcrowding and building issues are abundant.

In K-2 grades, children that need extra academic support work with teachers and assistants in the hallways. Fourth- and fifth-graders sit in another hallway trying to read and work in small groups.

Daily, you see small bodies and not-so-small bodies crammed elbow to elbow at tables eating lunch in the school cafeteria.

Due to an outdated heating system, many children sit in cold classrooms or uncomfortably warm ones. Teaching and learning in Dallas schools happens in less than optimal environments.

For these reasons, and many more, I support Dallas schools and children.

--Michele Fast


* * *

Time for a change

in Independence

On Nov. 4, I will be voting to put some new faces onto our Independence City Council.

In recent years, "the will of the people" has been replaced by "the will of the city staff."

While the current council has done its best to develop and aid business, the rest of the community has been neglected -- and in some cases, ignored.

The new faces, Keith Moes, Ron Cooper, Norm Farb, and Mancil Russell, believe that the government begins with the taxpayer, not developers and grant agencies. They believe in openness at city hall for all levels of our community.

--Andrea Melendy


* * *

Republicans should

vote Democratic

The best thing Republicans can do for the GOP this year is to vote Democrat. Sound strange? Think about it.

Many Republicans have acknowledged that this Administration has allowed the neo-con fringe of their party to lead our country into an unwise war. It resulted in thousands of deaths, burdened us with huge debts, loss of world respect, and now an economic crisis.

Voting GOP would be to reward these destructive actions. It will take a huge Democrat landslide for moderate Republicans to reclaim their party.

To maintain a competitive two-party system, it is in your best interest to vote Democrat.

--Dick May


* * *

Butterfield has

leadership skills

Vote Stan Butterfield for Polk County District Attorney.

Stan's experience in executive level positions with the federal prisons and his legislative background give him needed leadership skills.

His opponent thinks that working in the district attorney's office should enable you to run it. Working on the farm doesn't qualify you to run one.

Stan's leadership comes from years of dedicated hard work. We need a well-honed leader to take us forward during these challenging times. This is a critical position that has had leadership issues for too long.

Join me in ensuring the district attorney's office has the right manager.

--Stan McKinley


* * *

Home not a good

fit in neighborhood

Regarding the opinions of people about the "mentally challenged home" in Dallas ... I feel some readers do not have all the facts and I live a few houses away.

The home being placed in our neighborhood is for the mentally ill, who require 24-hour care, not challenged people who need an extra hand. They have been released from the state mental hospital as a sort of social experiment integrating patients back into society.

Don't be fooled. These are adults that have criminal records.

The state psychiatric review board decides these patients are ready for more limited supervision than the State Hospital. As unbelievable as it seems, the only criteria for this group home to be built is the new home is on a level lot, and close to stores and the mental health office. Since the house is being built on a dead-end street, the patients must walk through several neighborhoods to get to any of these services. The patients will be walking and bicycling by Lyle Elementary daily to receive their treatments.

In our subdivision, we have numerous children with mothers alone as they raise their kids. Our concerns stem from other families who live around this type of group home, right here in Dallas. The issues they experience on a daily basis are screaming from the home, patients yelling at neighbors walking, and men peeping at women through fences while they are gardening. The mentally ill are more protected than our children, behind HIPPA's curtain.

I am sad we have to protect our elderly and children from the house down the road. If you have doubts, have a Salem Police Officer give you a tour of the wonderful group homes on Center Street, which they are called to often. You would be appalled at the conditions and behaviors.

--Tricia VanMeter


* * *

Third parties given

info on your kids

How many readers received letters "To the Parents of" followed by your child's name from Citizens for Dallas Schools urging them to vote for the Dallas school bond levy?

A serious question arises from release of your child's name and address to a third-party organization without parental consent.

Without parents knowing the membership of that organization, someone has given private information about you and your child to a third party without your consent.

You should ask why someone would put your child at risk by releasing this private information. Is this group's effort to pass the bond measure more important than protecting you and your child's privacy?

The names and addresses of children in the Dallas School District should never be allowed to be released to third parties or political organizations without the written consent of parents.

--Stephen F. Mannenbach


CHS improvements

are solely needed

I would like to encourage all voters in the Central School District to vote "yes" on Ballot Measure 27-90.

It is time for the additions and renovations proposed for Central High School.

My son is a sophomore at CHS and I have spent considerable time there. We absolutely need the proposed improvements to help insure a quality education for our children.

This bond would maintain the current rate of taxes. Please do not confuse our bond with that of the Dallas schools.

As my neighbor suggested, we should do this for our kids.

--Dean M. Braa


* * *

Brown would be

true representative

As a longtime resident of Dallas, I don't think the voice of Dallas citizens have been heard in the Oregon Legislature since Lane Shetterly represented us.

That's why I'm voting for Jason Brown to represent us in this election.

Jason is in touch with the concerns of local people, but also with the larger issues facing this state and country. He takes the time to listen to people and to research issues before making decisions.

He's the kind of person we need to be heard in Salem.

Please join me in supporting Jason Brown for Oregon House District 23.

--Lois Derouin


* * *

Passage of bond

would aid economy

Now is the time. Vote "yes" on the Dallas school bond levy to bolster our local economy.

Studies have shown that five percent of a bond measure is spent six times over in the local community. This bond will funnel at least $4 million back into Dallas.

Construction bids are lower now than in decades. Dollars we save can complete additional projects, lower tax rates, or both. We can get the best bang for our tax bucks right now.

The bonds do not have to be sold at a specific time. Trust the school board and oversight committee to sell them responsibly.

--Phil Green


* * *

Support measure

for fire protection

Dallas has been fortunate to have volunteers fighting fires and saving lives for more than 125 years.

Today, 70 dedicated men and women save the community millions of dollars each year. Volunteers handle hundreds of emergency calls.

The department needs to make renovations and repairs to the current fire station and training facility, and replace a 30-year-old fire engine and two ambulances that each has more than 150,000 miles.

The bond measure will allow us to provide these dedicated volunteers with the tools they need to help us. I ask you to vote "yes" and support Dallas Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

--Eriks J. Gabliks


* * *

Rec center makes

long-term sense

In response to the guest opinions last week, I want to voice my support for the Monmouth-Independence recreation facility.

Does the economy have you worried? Do you really think that our economic situation will never get better? Think long term.

This is an opportunity to make a major change in our community for the good. I ask that you vote "yes" for the Monmouth-Independence recreation facility.

--Tim Barry


* * *

Brown will work

hard for all of us

I support Jason Brown as state representative because he is an independent leader who supports small business and maintains that the entrepreneur is the bedrock of our prosperity.

Jason will work for vocational training to provide small businesses with skilled and qualified workers. This makes a lot of sense.

After meeting with Jason and working with him as a support volunteer, I have come to know him as a collaborator, passionate in promoting the health and welfare of our economy in practical terms, and a genuinely compassionate person.

Please join me in voting for Jason Brown.

--Rebecca M. De Lore


* * *

Time to invest

in schools, kids

I've spent the better part of four decades involved in local governments in Polk County. Providing services for current residents while planning for growth is a tough balancing act, and the economy just never seems good enough.

The Dallas School District has done their homework in planning for the future of our community. It's time for a new high school in Dallas.

This investment in facilities -- and our kids -- is necessary and will still leave our total property tax rates lower than Monmouth, Independence or Salem.

That's conservative enough for me. Join me in voting "yes" on Measure 27-91.

--C. Ralph Blanchard


* * *

Brown, Felton

deserve your vote

There are two candidates running for office that are worthy of your vote.

One is for the Oregon House, Jason Brown. He is honest beyond the call, which is refreshing. His ideas are progressive, positive, and intelligent, with the future in mind.

The other candidate who I think should get serious consideration is Aaron Felton, running for district attorney. He is young, yet has the experience of being a prosecutor for many years.

He is an ideal candidate. He has compassion and vitality for the job with plenty of motivation, which this job needs.

Use your head, and vote for both.

--Morty Feder


* * *

Cooper will make

good council rep

Ron Cooper is running for Independence City Council Position No. 3.

I have known Ron for 16 years. He is a great parent, husband, community member, and a good human-being. I believe he will do an excellent job representing all the people of Independence.

Ron is a hard worker who believes that government begins from the grass-roots citizen, not from the top down. He believes strongly that the city council needs to listen to all of its citizens. He also believes in neighbors knowing each other and helping each other.

Please vote for Ron Cooper in this coming election.

--Donna Schuyler


* * *

Butterfield will

work aggressively

As a retired law enforcement officer, I am concerned about the prosecution of the criminal element in our county.

I would urge you to vote for Stan Butterfield, who has vowed to aggressively prosecute those who commit crimes in Polk County.

Stan is a man of high integrity and commitment. He will work for the benefit of the people of Polk County.

I encourage you to vote on Nov. 4, and especially to vote for Stan Butterfield for district attorney.

--Clayton Coreson


* * *

Postcard distorts

M-I rec bond truth

Did you get a yellow postcard opposing the Monmouth-Independence Recreation District? Do you know who sent it? Why is the author anonymous? What do they have to hide?

Are they hiding the truth by claiming high user fees? For the truth, go to mirecreation.net.

The projected family rate is only $67 per month, or only $4 higher than at Monmouth Fitness Club.

And the recreation facility will contain an aquatic center, gymnasium and more.

Don't be fooled. Join me in voting "yes" on Measures 27-95 and 27-96.

--Kyla Evenson



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