Letters to the Editor

What plans to alleviate traffic

I live on West Ellendale in Meadow Creek Mobile Park, which is extremely enjoyable to me for a couple of reasons. One is proximity to family, the friendliness of other families here and the lack of noise from too many vehicles.

Across the street, developers have begun their plan to build about 500 homes on that property. At present Ellendale is busy but efficient. In my estimation, 500 homes will result in at least 800 (or more) vehicles simply because some families have at least one car, and most likely two, plus a motor home or other amenities, which will traverse Ellendale eastward. Hence, getting on the street from side roads will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, depending on the time of day.

Also, the intersection of Main Street and Ellendale may very well become much more of a bottleneck than it is now.

My question is: Has anyone at the city, county or state developed a plan to alleviate what will most decidedly become huge traffic jams? To date, I have not read any public information regarding this aspect of the project. Has the state and Polk County made any plans to address the issue, or should we just look forward to a lot of congestion?

Carol Klover


Solution can include guns

I have read the letters from Peter Rouzaud and Fred Brown both of Dallas and I would like to comment. The Oregon Constitution Article 1 Section 27 says “ The people have a right to bear arms for defense of themselves and the state.....”.

Let me make it clear that there is also a duty here as well as a right. A duty to defend. As a gun owner I am angered at the continued assault on my rights, particularly in light of the catastrophic failure of the government at all levels in Florida.

Background checks didn’t work did they? So now you know where I stand on firearms. You have pointed out other areas of concern.

This is my temporary solution: There are 5,201 Controlled Handgun Licenses in Polk County. We have already been preliminarily screened. We could volunteer to monitor doors at the schools while volunteer teachers (many have CHLs already) could be trained to conceal carry in the schools. This would be under the control of the Sheriff and be county wide. If you have a better idea, let’s hear it. Peter, Fred, I’ll buy the coffee.

Gary Weis


‘Bread, butter’ not balanced ‘diet’

Property ownership is Oregon’s bread and butter. Oregon is one of two states in the United States that depends on property vs. income or sales taxes to fund programs.

Odds are that you think this doesn’t apply to you because you don’t own a home, a business or an apartment. Think again.

The business owner can pass property tax increases along in higher prices. (When was the last time the cost of something decreased?)

The apartment owner can pass property tax increases along in higher rents. (When was the last time the cost of rent decreased?)

Whether you own property directly or indirectly, you are affected by increasing property taxes. Measure 5 did not “fix” things. Property taxes continue to rise within the limit each year, and cities, counties and the state have figured out ways around Measure 5: Use charge backs, increase rates and increase fees.

All of the bread and butter eaten up in property taxes and increased rates and fees make for a higher and higher cost of living. We call it “inflation” and that makes it all better, somehow. I wonder if something other than bread and butter can be put on the plate, because this is not a healthy choice for a balanced diet.

Nannette Willis


Camping would be intrusive

Gentle Woods Park is a lovely, serene, natural setting enjoyed by hundreds of people for many occasions and activities throughout the year. People who don’t live near the park may not be aware that hardly a weekend day goes by, May through October, that there isn’t an end-of-school outing, day care group, birthday celebration, wedding, family reunion, class reunion, church service, youth activity, or other type of gathering — sometimes as many as three activities going on in different parts of the park at one time.

Daily, families come to play on the playground, play ball, walk and exercise their dogs, or enjoy a picnic. Groups of mothers come with their children. Many people come to walk and enjoy nature and the wildlife or just to sit quietly in a safe, serene setting. Having a portion of our park “stakes to demarcate designated area” for camping from 3 p.m. to 10 a.m. would certainly be intrusive.

(According to a story in the Feb. 21 Itemizer-Observer), Bicycle Pedestrian Friendly Committee representatives said Main Street Park is used throughout the summer, so camping “didn’t make sense there.”

It seems the same would apply to Gentle Woods Park.

Other concerns are open restrooms after dark and the activities that could occur — those activities which were the very reasons for closing the restrooms after dark. More time for police to “monitor” — as is part of the proposal — activities in the park. We cannot be assured all bikers spending the night are “50-year-old cyclist and wife.” We need to be mindful that large cities — i.e. Salem — are starting to expel people who choose to live outdoors. Where will these people go?

Wording in the proposal, “easy for police to monitor” and “rules to minimize impact on the neighborhood,” suggests expanded use of the park in this way comes with potential unintended issues.

Donna Cable


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