Student 'Jazz Nite' hits the right note
We would like to thank all who made the first Dallas Community Jazz Nite a great success. It was a wonderful evening of music, socializing, delicious desserts and dancing.
First, thanks goes to Directors Mike Hettwer and Jacqueline Lusk and the music students for all their hard work preparing the fabulous music.
Also, thanks to the students who designed the decorations that transformed the cafeteria into a jazz club and helped with set up, serving and take down.
The night wouldn't have happened without the parents who planned, promoted and worked so hard on the night of the event.
Finally, thank you Safeway for the generous donation of food. It was an evening to remember and benefited a great cause, the Dallas bands program.
Thanks, again. See you next year.
Elaine Ferguson and Adele Schepige
Vote 'yes' to save Polk County 4-H
I am a 16-year-old junior at Santiam Christian High School. I have been in 4-H for eight years, and it has been one of the major influences that has shaped my life and my personality.
I have done many things in 4-H, including showing my dairy cows and chickens at the Polk County Fair.
Measure 27-100 must be passed in this current election to provide a tax base for the Extension Service. If not passed, Polk 4-H will cease to exist.
Please pass Measure 27-100 and save the most effective youth organization in our county.
Appreciative of good Samaritan
I want to thank the kind person who found and turned in my lost ring at Safeway on April 20. When I realized my ring was gone, my heart was broken.
Years ago on Mother's Day, my five children gave me the ring which holds each of their birthstones. It has been very precious to me and the thought of losing it made me very sad. I prayed and my prayer was answered. Brixius Jewelers is re-sizing my ring for me.
I am so appreciative of the helpful and honest people in Dallas.
Morrison teachers deserving of praise
On behalf of the support staff and students here at Morrison Campus, I'd like give a shout out to the outstanding teachers who work so hard to make our program the success that it is.
To say that they are a special group would be an understatement, as this doesn't begin to touch the extraordinary care and commitment that Bill Fischer, Lindsy Perry and Judy Stuck put into each and every student.
They come to work each day ready to not only teach, but inspire each student with a vision for future success through personal mentoring and accountability. I know of no other program like this, and I can't imagine this type of success if not for these devoted teachers.
Thank you Bill, Lindsy and Judy for all that you do, from the bottom of our hearts. You've changed many lives and make our community a better place.
Loss of trust over Dallas street fee
The Dallas street maintenance fee is controversial. There is a timing issue given the bad economy.
Another issue is one of trust. Since the Dallas City Council passed the fee even after public outcry, many residents no longer trust City Council members to make decisions that are for their benefit. It is hard to trust elected officials who do not listen to the voters and ignore the will of the electorate.
Not only should there be a "no" vote, but also a look at whether to replace the City Council.
Many helped event be truly magical
On April 24, The Majestic was host to a dance entitled "A Fairytale Ending" for the students of the Developmental Learning Center from Dallas and Central high schools.
I want to thank every person and business that made this inaugural dance such an amazing event. There are a few special people and groups I would like to mention.
To the administrations at Central and Dallas high schools, thank you for allowing this event to take place. To Shana Lavier, her tenacity never wavered as she organized an event never seen before in this area and she was (and is) truly inspirational.
To the peer tutors who spent the night ensuring that these kids had a great time dancing, singing, taking pictures and never taking "no" for an answer. To the chaperons who swelled with pride overseeing these kids at their very first dance (and yes, chaperons, you looked great, too).
To all who gave of their time to make each child feel beautiful or handsome, a warm thank you. To see the girls all dressed up with their hair and makeup handled professionally made them glow with confidence.
I want everyone to know what caring people we have in our community that created such a special night for our special kids. A heartfelt thank you to all.
Shetterlys made kids' trip possible
I would like to thank Lane and Francine Shetterly for generously funding both ticket and transportation costs for a recent Dallas High School field trip to Willamette University to hear the Oregon Symphony.
The Shetterlys care about kids being exposed to quality music. On Tuesday night, April 27, a busload of choir and band students were privileged to hear the pure and exquisite tones of violinist Midori as she masterfully performed the Sibelius Violin Concerto in D minor, and the thundering sounds of the powerful Symphony No. 5 in E minor by the great Tchaikovsky.
Our young people need the gift of inspiration, and those lucky students got it that night thanks to the Shetterlys.
Dallas High School Choirs
Park disc course is shame on city
Recently at church, it was suggested that I visit Dallas City Park, where the Camas are in full bloom.
The Camas plant is a flowering perennial that has played a major role in the history of the Pacific Northwest. The blooms are a beautiful, deep blue-violet and are among the first to bloom in spring.
It is indeed true that the Camas meadow at Dallas City Park is blooming -- but sadly, not in its full majesty.
The city of Dallas has seen fit to construct a disc golf course within the park boundaries, and tragically with one basket placed almost dead center in the formerly magnificent meadow. Seeing the incredible damage being inflicted is heartbreaking and almost beyond comprehension. How could anyone associated with a city government be so blatantly inconsiderate and shortsighted as to place a sports facility within such a place?
This degree of myopic incompetence has no place in the management of a city park, long renowned for its beauty. I cannot fault those who use the course in pursuing their sport, as they are merely using the facility provided by the city.
Throwing a disc is, at best, an inexact science, with the disc being subject to the vagaries of wind, weather and flora. Naturally, an errant disc has to be retrieved, even if it means tramping where no one has tramped before.
New trails through the Camas meadow are continually being broken. Existing trails are constantly being widened further and further to avoid wet, marshy areas or other obstacles.
I invite and even encourage everyone who ever visits Dallas City Park to do so now while the Camas are in bloom, for at the current rate of destruction, there may very well be no Camas meadow to see in years to come.
Kudos for groups' work on Earth Day
I would like to acknowledge four local groups who contributed time and materials to celebrate Earth Day in Dallas City Parks.
First, the Webelos of Scout Pack 24. These boys planted 25 ash trees donated by Polk Soil and Water Conservation District along the west perimeter of Kingsborough Park.
Second, a group of employees and their children from Polk County Child Welfare Office. Six red leaf maples were planted on the Allgood side of Dallas City Park.
Third, students from Dallas High School volunteered to remove debris and obstructions from the drainage ditch along the west perimeter of Kingsborough Park.
Fourth, the youth from Faith Evangelical Free Church, who annually put together a service project that includes the Dallas City Park. This year, they also attached the drainage ditch at Kingsborough Park. The debris removal will improve flow in the ditch, minimizing overflow into the park during the wet season.
These projects will help in the city's efforts to maintain our "Tree City, USA" status, as well as benefit the environment. A big thank you to all involved. Your work is greatly appreciated.
Dallas Park Supervisor
City needs to live within its means
The Dallas street maintenance fee simply shifts an obligation out of the general fund to an added charge to the water and sewer bill.
Many may question whether this now makes that money in the general fund available for city employee raises?
Adding new fees and taxes is not the solution. The city of Dallas needs to live within its means and cut expenses rather than imposing more fees and taxes.
Dodge didn't look out for local people
The scope of Polk County politics has been revealed. Foreign companies have more clout in Polk County than farmers and water districts.
Last week, Polk County Commissioner incumbent/candidate Ron Dodge voted to replace 204 acres of prime agricultural land with an aggregate pit. Obviously, it doesn't matter to Dodge that the adopted county comprehensive plan requires him to preserve and protect prime agricultural land.
Who benefits? An internationally controlled building materials corporation. Who loses? Neighboring farmers and the Rickreall water system.
What other interests is candidate Dodge willing to promote in his bid for a sixth term in office?
Region needs local Extension Service
"Helping People Help Themselves" has been the goal of the Polk Extension programs.
From field research/demonstration, educational programs, 4-H and other youth programs to setting up community organizations and family/home improvements, Extension has played a lead role.
District dollars are for office space, support staff, materials and other needs to implement local programs. This support leverages Oregon State University resources to provide information sources, volunteer training, and onsite help.
Programs will be directed by local input addressing needs within the county. The district budget will be determined annually through the required public process.
Vote "yes" for Measure 27-100.
No vote for Dodge for commissioner
I recently received my May 18, 2010, Oregon Primary Election Voters' Pamphlet in the mail. In it, I noted Ron Dodge, Democrat, running for County Commissioner, Position 3.
As I read his submitted campaign statement, I noticed: "Ron's nearly 20-year record speaks for itself. A few accomplishments." One of those accomplishments was: "Helped organize a temporary shelter program for homeless sex offenders."
Does that mean he helped bring sex offenders into our neighborhoods?
Well, his statement speaks volumes to me ... no vote for Ron Dodge.
New outdoor store will be an asset
I would like to say a great big thank you to American Outdoors for hosting such a wonderful grand opening on May 1. The staff were all very friendly and helpful and they really took the time to offer a fun event for our community.
Samples of marionberry pie, Dutch oven cooked ginger apple cake and fresh pulled pork straight off the grill were just a few of the delicious treats they offered. The chain saw carving demo and target shooting were also very entertaining.
I'm looking forward to having such a nice sports store right here in Dallas. Thanks again.
MINET simply not a good investment
MINET was conceived as a stand-alone utility. We were told that other than start up, no taxpayer funds were to be used in this operation. When this was first discussed, Internet service was dial up and TV was cable. Wireless telephones were not popular, yet.
While MINET was gearing up and slowly beginning to provide services, large national companies were moving ahead. Cell phones, satellite TV, satellite Internet providers and online phone services became available.
CNNMoney.com just reported that one in eight homes will drop cable TV in 2010. Telephone landlines are shrinking at an average of 10 percent a year as users switch to wireless. Satellite TV has continued to grow.
MINET is not a good long-term investment for anyone. We in Monmouth and Independence have ended up as stockholders, so to speak, in MINET. It is our tax dollars that are operating this business. It has never shown that it can operate on its own.
I, as an unwilling stockholder without a seat at the table, would propose that now is the time to take a good hard look at this situation. MINET, as a "corporation," has few hard assets. The company has a network of quality fiber optic communication lines and a large customer base in our two towns. Those two items are bankable assets and now is the time to sell them and get out of this money pit we are in. Century Tel is in the process of merging with Qwest. Pursue a similar option.
A bond issue of the size necessary to continue the money-losing operation for another 10 years or so will not pass. The time for MINET is past. Let's see how much we can salvage and get out of this operation as clean as we can.
Supporters made Spring Ball special
We, the students and staff of the Dallas High School Developmental Learning Center (DLC), would like to thank the following sponsors for making our first Special Education Spring Ball a huge success. We could not have done it without the generosity from our community.
* The Brees family donated a beautiful venue at The Majestic. They donated table linens and decorations and created a beautiful setting for the dance.
* Studio Works Photography of Corvallis brought in a beautiful Fairytale Ending backdrop and not only donated their time, but also gave each student a free photo to remember their special night.
* Mr. Formal in Salem donated two tuxedo rentals.
* Washington Federal Savings of Dallas collected numerous donations for our students.
* Garten Services of Dallas donated $100 to help pay for favor bags for the students at the dance.
* Dallas High School's Associated Student Body made a $100 cash donation for food and decorations.
* Claim Jumpers of Tualatin donated a chocolate motherload cake.
* Dallas City Cleaners dry cleaned formal dresses for our young ladies.
To everyone else at Dallas School District and the community, thank you for donating your time, clothing, food, flowers and more to make this event a success. It became a night to remember for all of us.