Indy Station should   be sold for scrap   The unfinished and ugly skeleton of a building called Independence Station should be sold for salvage (“Shattered Dreams,” March 19 Itemizer-Observer).   Return the lot to dirt and plant flowers and green grass, and add a bench or two and name it “Dream Park.”   It would make for a nice addition for downtown activities or just to sit a while and daydream.   Ramona Russell   Independence   Taxes from Wallace   Bridge would help   The sheriff’s cutbacks are a grim reality for rural Oregon. However, they do not have to be if we promote local businesses that are compatible with our cherished rural environment.   The reduction in patrols are a major concern to me and my neighbors, who are wondering what we are going to do when an emergency arises.   Sheriff Wolfe’s financial challenges and cutbacks do not have to be inevitable. Wallace Bridge would have been — and still could be — one of Polk County’s largest taxpayers, a significant direct and indirect employer in Polk County, and a major revenue generator. One of Wallace Bridge’s greatest contributions to the local economy is the 100,000 unique tourists expected annually.   When a government agency and our state’s most powerful politicians do not step up to make a meaningful difference for the local economy, funding for community services will be impacted. ECONorthwest of Eugene estimates that the Wallace Bridge project would bring in an estimated $2.3 million in tax revenue and $6.04 million in indirect tax revenue. Establishment of a hotel tax, paid for by tourists, would generate an additional $5.3 million in revenue per year.   We have to stand up and let the politicians and federal agencies know that we care about our rural community economically and environmentally. We are tired of promises that are not kept. Write your local, state and federal politicians and tell them we need action, not just words.   Fight for the sheriff, essential county services, Wallace Bridge, the environment and jobs for our local area.   JW Millegan   Wallace Bridge   Equestrian Venue and Resort   Sheridan   Thompson’s record    speaks for itself   Our Founding Fathers and Mothers determined that we should be a nation of laws. The Republican Party has always been the party of law and order.   Mike Nearman, by opposing the Polk County Public Safety Measure, chose the liberal mantra of favoring criminals and ignoring victims, homeowners and businesses.   By contrast, State Rep. Jim Thompson has supported his constituents, Polk County communities and businesses. His honesty, integrity and work ethic are unquestionable.   Jim Thompson's record says it all. He works tirelessly to eliminate government waste, save taxpayers money and promote business opportunities and growth. Please vote for Jim Thompson.   Gene Henshaw   Dallas   There’s more to the   EPA pollution stats   In the April 2 Itemizer-Observer, a writer points out the pollution levels for Marquis Corp. and Elkay Wood Products (“Independence firms among top polluters,”?Letters to the Editor).   I followed the link given in the letter to the EPA reports. I was curious as his numbers were out of context and I could not judge if they were good or bad. I do realize that any chemicals put into the air is not good, but I expect some emissions as the price for industry.   Regardless, the EPA also publishes a RESI score (Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators) useful for human health risk screening. In looking at these for both industries, Marquis is doing much better than the industry median, but Elkay is not.   In 2010 (the most recent RESI score), Elkay’s RESI was nearly triple the industry median, but in looking at the detailed information about them, their Xylene emissions halved between 2010 and 2012. However, while improving they still appear to be above the median for similar industries.   It would be interesting to have a more detailed report on our industrial neighbors.   David Ullman   Independence   Get screened for   colorectal cancer   When you turn 50 these days, two things generally happen: you’re invited to join the AARP and your doctor tells you it’s time to be screened for colorectal cancer.    The bad news is that colorectal cancer is the second most deadly cancer killer. The good news is colorectal cancer is the most preventable form of cancer, since screening lets your doctor find and remove polyps before they turn cancerous, or to catch them in an early stage when the disease is most treatable.    I was surprised to learn that many insurance plans cover 100 percent of the cost of screening with no co-pays or deductibles. Even without insurance, there are low cost, reliable options.   And while most people know that a colonoscopy is a common screening procedure for colorectal cancer, there are actually three tests proven to save lives, including an at-home test. Oregonians should ask their doctor which procedure is right for them.   I’m glad I listened to my doctor and got screened. The prep wasn’t fun, but not as bad as I was expecting. My surgeon found and removed a polyp that could have become cancerous if it had gone undetected.   I don’t need to be screened for another five years; if no polyps had been found, it would have been 10 years. In the meantime, I volunteered to share my story with people I know, since most people say they made the decision to be screened because someone they know encouraged them.    So that’s what I’m doing. I hope every Oregonian over 50 will contact their doctor to find out what screening procedure is right for them. The life you save might be your own.   Ken Braun   Dallas   Good Samaritan's   deed appreciated   On March 31, I lost my wedding ring apparently in the Winco parking lot. When I went back and checked the area where I parked and did not see it I was going to leave. My wife said I should go in and check to see if someone turned it in, and of course I was thinking that there's no way someone did that. But I went in to please my wife, I was shocked when I ask one of the clerks and she said someone did. I don't know who it was but I wanted to send out a big thank you for showing great character and hope for this community. Again my wife and I thank you very much.   Mike Wright   Independence   Fraternity's effort   was nice gesture   Many thanks to the three young men from Kappa Sigma fraternity at WOU -- Donovan, Omar and Alex -- who worked very hard in our backyard on Sunday morning. This past weekend was the Kappa Sigma Day of Service, and they chose to help with yard work and other tasks for seniors in our area. Fueled by oatmeal cookies and iced lemon water, they cleared away weeds from four garden beds, and did a great job with that and the compost area. It was fun to hear their laughter and happy conversation, and we appreciated it so much. With young men like Donovan, Omar and Alex in our community, it is a better place indeed. I have a lot of hope for our future generations, who take the time and energy to do good things for others.   Patty Taylor Dutcher   Monmouth   Jaffer committed   to serving county   Join me in casting a vote to elect Danny Jaffer as Polk County Commissioner.   As a life-long resident of Polk County, Danny knows the area and what it needs. Few can equal his community involvement. He volunteers extensively with many local organizations. As a veteran, Danny made important decisions and is clearly a gifted leader.   here are so many reasons to vote for him, but perhaps the best one is this: Danny is committed to serving the citizens of Polk County and has the resources and team building skills necessary to do so. Danny Jaffer is the best choice.    Molly Mayhead   Monmouth   Thompson best   choice for House   Over the past several years, I have watched Jim Thompson stand up and protect children in the courts and in the foster care programs. He has made sure that these vulnerable children are represented by advocates in the courts and the foster care program is biased towards the children it represents.   Jim has served on legislative panels improving the CASA programs to represent children in court procedures and has made sure the foster care system promotes the child’s well-being over everything else.   Help me keep Jim Thompson in the legislature to make sure venerable children are well represented and protected.   Cheryl Williams   Dallas   


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