8/4 Letters to the Editor

*School music is a worthy investment*Team's coaches made season fun*Help available for area homeowners*Mansell has skills needed to be judge*Our basic rights are in the ditch*Pick Campbell for Polk ci

School music is a

worthy investment

Imagine $9.46. What can you get for $9.46 these days? A chicken dinner? Some clothing on sale? A few groceries? Is it anything that lasts?

If the citizens of the Dallas School District banded together to donate less than $10 each, they could save the elementary school music program, a program that touches every child in our community.

The benefits of music are well-known. Some even theorize that we each have a "music intelligence" in addition to math, language, visual-perceptual, social, etc.

A quality elementary education must include music and we can still provide this for our children for a mere 26 cents per week. Citizens Supporting Dallas Schools is fundraising for this vital program. See us at the Thursday Polk County Bounty Market. Thanks for everyone's help.

Elaine Ferguson


Team's coaches

made season fun

We would like to thank the Dallas High School Division 2 baseball coaches, Ryan and Dick Fobert. These gentlemen gave not only their time, but they also gave their hearts to our boys.

Their knowledge and encouragement was given to the boys at every game and every practice. Our boys always had smiles on their faces and had fun the entire season. They finished first in league, with an overall record of 21-3.

It wasn't just the men of the Fobert family who made the summer season one the boys won't soon forget. Sherri Fobert played a major role, tracking the pitch count, providing ice to the sore arms, making cookies and brownies every game, which the boys loved, as well as the parents. She always had a smile on her face and a positive thing to say about our boys.

On behalf of the parents of the Dallas D2 team, thank you for such a great season.

Melissa Dankenbring


Mansell has skills

needed to be judge

Polk County's Honorable Judge Luukinen has announced his retirement. Instead of looking to fill his shoes, fill new shoes.

Melanie Mansell has the skill, character and drive for the highest standards of integrity in both her professional and personal life.

She is an attorney serving Marion and Polk counties for 20 years, and is currently a Deputy District Attorney in Polk County. Her skills have developed from multiple experiences of prosecution, criminal defense, civil litigation, arbitration, mediation, administration hearings and appellate court.

Experience and education has prepared Melanie Mansell to be what Polk County needs for Circuit Court Judge.

Christine Olson


Help available for

area homeowners

As Polk County's state-designated, non-profit Regional Housing Center, we here at Polk Community Development Corporation (Polk CDC) would like to thank you for the recent article on the foreclosure crisis and its effects on Polk County ("Foreclosed," Page 1A, July 21 Itemizer-Observer).

We want Polk County residents to know that there is help available for families facing delinquency and foreclosure.

As a state housing center, it is our mission to be a "one-stop shop" for housing information in Polk County by providing classes, counseling and referrals. We are more than willing to talk to homeowners facing foreclosure or delinquency in order to assess their situation and help them find the proper resources.

For in-depth foreclosure counseling, two of the best resources in the area are the Yamhill County Affordable Housing Corporation (YCAHC) of McMinnville, our partners in the Polk-Yamhill Regional Housing Center, and the Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO) of Salem. Both of these organizations offer free foreclosure prevention counseling to Polk County residents.

Whether or not you decide to keep your home, these counselors can help you work with your loan servicer to find your best available options. Unlike the many for-profit "foreclosure help" services which have sprung up during this recession, YCAHC and NEDCO are reputable organizations. Like Polk CDC, they are not-for-profit corporations with a long history of helping Oregonians with credit and homebuyer counseling.

For more information on foreclosure or on reputable non-profit and government organizations dedicated to helping homeowners, contact Polk CDC at 503-831-3173 or e-mail us at cdavila@polkcdc.org.

Rita Grady

Executive Director, Polk CDC


Our basic rights

are in the ditch

The author of the letter ("Americans are far too complacent," July 28 Itemizer-Observer) is correct in his lament regarding America's founding documents. These basic contracts between government and the people should be held as sacred and be taught to our children at all levels.

There are many rights prescribed in these documents. For example, "Article the sixth ... The right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures." This means that our library records, phone calls and e-mails should be free of interception by the government unless a court has issued a warrant. Global analysis of everyone's communication in the hope of chancing across a bad guy is an affront.

Article the seventh states that "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment of indictment of a grand jury." Hence, persons may not be held in secret prisons overseas outside the jurisdiction of our courts unless that court has approved the detention.

Article the eighth indicates that, "... the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury." That means we should not be dumping alleged terrorists into prisons for an indeterminate period in Cuba, without a hearing to determine if that person is guilty of something.

Last week's writer indicated that we have a right and duty to change a government that no longer meets our standards. Well, we have already done that by removing the Republicans from power. After eight years of treating the Constitution and Bill of Rights as so much toilet tissue, even the disinterested American public had enough.

The Republicans drove America into the ditch. Now they want the keys back so they can do it again. Now, we will really find out whether Americans are paying attention or not.

Fred Brown


Pick Campbell for

Polk circuit court

Now that Judge Luukinen has retired, Polk County voters have a chance to elect a new general of leadership at the courthouse. Monte Campbell is the clear choice this November.

He has more experience as a practicing trial courtroom lawyer than any other candidate. His background as a farmer, construction worker and firefighter gives him a unique perspective and will help him be a wonderful judge.

Monte's commitment to our community is demonstrated by the countless hours of volunteer help he gives to the Rotary and our youth.

Join me in voting Monte Campbell for Polk County Circuit Court Judge.

Chris L. Lillegard


It's elementary:

Ban plastic bags

I am writing regarding your editorial against the banning of plastic bags, which you failed to remind us require oil in their manufacture ("Less regulation is what we need," July 28 Itemizer-Observer).

You agree they are not environmentally friendly; they don't break down, they end up in rivers and the ocean, birds and fish eat them and die -- but what the heck, we need to draw a line and get that nasty government off our backs. They shouldn't be constantly telling us what to do and what not to do. You even agree that we need laws to protect us from doing dumb things.

Laws and regulations do change behavior, as witness the Civil Rights Legislation, Clean Water and Clean Air acts, and others. Our highways became cleaner and some folks made a little money picking up bottles and cans when the deposit law passed.

We humans sometimes need to be hit over the head with the equivalent of a two-by-four (regulation) to make us cognizant of the impacts of our behavior on the environment and other beings, both sentient and insentient.

What if grocery stores stopped providing any bags -- don't you think we could find a way to get our food from the store to our table? Certainly most folks can afford to buy cloth bags, which are hopefully made in the USA. Wonder where those ubiquitous cloth bags offered by most stores are made?

Since education alone doesn't seem to change behaviors fast enough, I see no problem with a regulation banning plastic and paper bags. Make cloth bags mandatory. Then we can get on to the more important things like ending wars and other stuff.

Jean Astrinsky


Music program

appreciates help

Members of the Dallas Education Fund committee are appreciative of the many "pirates" who dropped by the Little Red Schoolhouse on Main Street during Summerfest and made donations we've earmarked to save the music program in our schools.

If you bought a pie, joined our many eScrip members or dropped a hefty bill in the "Calling All Grad" box, every part matters and we are humbled by the support.

As was predicted by the professors (Bell curve), the 80s Era won the "contest." Would those possibly be all the parents of children we're currently serving?

With this note of gratitude, it is also important to note that any project worth doing well has a dedicated leader organizing the troops. In our case, LuAnn Meyer is receiving our huge vote of thanks for a tremendous job well done. This lady is amazing.

Thank you Dallas and beyond, and please continue to support the needs of our children's complete education.

Judy Luther


Inconsiderate ruin

parade for some

Occasionally there are letters in the newspaper thanking people for their kindness and/or generosity.

Fortunately, there are many kind, helpful people.

Unfortunately, there are some who are not. And most of them were at the Summerfest Parade in Dallas on Saturday, July 31.

I took my friend, who is 92 years old and has difficulty walking, to the parade. We went early and parked at the Arctic Circle parking lot. I put the chairs on the bridge sidewalk so we didn't have far to walk. An elderly couple were beside us, the lady was in a wheelchair -- and there were other elderly people as well.

All was well -- everyone was either sitting or standing on the sidewalk -- until the parade started. Then people, kids especially, with big plastic bags for candy and other items all ran out and stood in the street. They were soon joined by others until there were so many people in the street that those of us still on the sidewalk could see practically nothing.

We stuck it out for about an hour, but eventually my friend and I and the other elderly people picked up our chairs and left.

I ant to "thank" all of these people for their inconsiderate treatment of others. It's sad that parents and grandparents are putting more emphasis on free candy and coupons than showing respect for the elderly and the handicapped.

I hope they all had a good time -- we didn't. And we won't even bother to go anymore -- it isn't worth it.

Betty Bobkiewicz



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