Sunday, April 20, 2014
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
March 19, 2013
City levy needs two
measures, not one
The city of Independence will be bundling two very different measures into one bond measure in May. Asking taxpayers to assume an additional debt while refinancing debt? Not right.
All levels of government are seeking new taxes, fees, levies and services (it's still a tax). Taxpayers and renters don't have the luxury of asking someone else to rescue them from escalating taxes and fees levied on us.
The bond measure should have been:
* Should the city refinance existing debt?
* Should the city create a new general bond measure creating a new tax?
Please, two separate measures on the ballot.
Better driver skills
would help safety
In response to the recent article regarding adding further safety improvements to the intersection of Clow Corner and Riddle Road ("Precarious crossing," Feb. 20 Itemizer-Observer), I'm not sure what this will accomplish.
As a driver who has traveled through this intersection thousands of times in more than 14 years, I have rarely seen a driver nearly cause an accident simply because they failed to stop at the stop sign.
What I have seen, and nearly been the victim of several times, is out and out bad judgment -- drivers turn in front of or pull out in front of other cars traveling at high rates of speed when they clearly did not have adequate space or timing to do so.
How will flashing lights or other such equipment fix that problem? Why spend more money on equipment, when the real problem seems to be with judgment? Wouldn't it be more effective to focus our resources on improving the skill level of drivers?
It seems that would help fix problems at intersections across the state, not just at one.
Board must rethink
HHES closure plan
We have sent our children to Henry Hill Elementary School in Independence for the past six years, and have grown to love it and the community around it.
We came to appreciate that this school is a critical support for the families there. The staff have formed vital links to the families, and together they have created an important safe base for community outreach and support.
The families of the Henry Hill community found out about the possible closure of their school a few weeks ago. There was only one public event held at Henry Hill where the superintendent, along with two of the six board members, explained what was happening. This event was delivered in such a way as to make the people in the school feel that the only good way to close the budget gap was to close their school, pitting our school against every other stakeholder.
Many of those in attendance were confused because of language barriers as the translation into Spanish was difficult to understand.
We asked the board several times to engage with the community in a meaningful way but were rebuffed at every turn. With little time to respond, we canvassed the neighborhood and gathered hundreds of signatures. Most people were dismayed and shocked, and thought it would be a very destructive move for the community.
We quickly managed to organize a march of more than 200 people to interrupt the school board meeting where they were deciding our fate, and presented them with a proposal to engage with the Henry Hill community. They refused, and in our presence they voted to close the school.
Closing this school is devastating for this community. We feel heartbroken and betrayed. Regardless of the board's intentions, this process and decision was shameful and should be reversed.
of naming honor
I was glad to see that the Dallas High School gym will be named after Gordon Kunke ("Dallas HS gym will be named for Kunke," March 13 Itemizer-Observer).
As a young kid I watched him coach and as a high school student I was impressed by how he dealt with students.
He made a great impression on me when I was co-editor of the school newspaper because when he disagreed about how we reported something he came down and told us why he thought we were wrong but never ordered us to print something different when other school's editors were just ordered to do what they were told.
He was a role model I tried to copy when I became an adult.
New police station
a wise investment
I support the Monmouth Police Station bond measure.
Great things are happening in Monmouth these days. Development of a new police station to replace a cramped and inadequate facility is another step forward for the community.
For $2.51 a month, we can make a valuable and affordable investment in a new police station that will serve Monmouth for at least the next 25 years.
Years ago voters made the same wise investment by approving bonds to construct the library. Let's make the same type of wise choice now. Join me in voting "yes" on the police station bond measure.
Indy bond will save
needed city services
Independence is the envy of other small towns.
Our investments have us poised to take full advantage as the economy improves. But the economy hurt us like many other cities and we could lose our momentum.
While other government entities talk about cutting while actually just slowing the rate of growth in spending, Independence has actually reduced its budget and, if the bond fails, will have to reduce it much more.
For the price of a latte a month, I choose to continue police, library, public works, pool, and much more. Vote "yes" on the Independence city bond this May.
for grant award
On behalf of James2 Community Kitchen, I would like to thank the Dallas Community Foundation for its generous grant of $2,800.
This will go toward the purchase of a commercial range that will give us enough heat to prepare food more efficiently and keep it at a safe serving temperature.
An organization such as the Dallas Community Foundation that gives assistance to such a wide variety of groups in the community makes a significant contribution to the well being of our community, and it is an honor to be a recipient of one of their grants.
Karen Hays, chairwoman
James2 Community Kitchen
station bad choice
At a time when the economy in Polk County is depressed and probably every tax-paying business in Monmouth is struggling, do we need a $4 million police station?
Education is underfunded and has been overbuilt. Programs are being cut. Physical health, mental health, recreation are examples of programs that are underfunded. Obesity is at an all-time high. Drug and alcohol abuse is present in all aspects of our lives. These are programs that we need to support.
Let's get back to basics, not more buildings but programs that will help improve our lives and the livability of life in Monmouth.
This 'everyday hero'
won't be forgotten
In a day when so few heroes exist, I feel honored to have met a real life hero.
Who is he, you ask? Some brave fireman or cop, perhaps a teacher or coach? No. His name is John Strader and he works for Pacific Power.
On Sunday, as my three girls and I stood watching our pet cat named Christmas (a stray we rescued at Christmas) cling to a power line 30 feet above, John was the man who got him down.
Perhaps you think "hero" is too strong a word, but I beg to differ. By definition, a hero is someone we admire for courage or noble character. After meeting John, I can tell you he is both. Not only was it courageous of him to climb up and get Christmas down, but his character was as noble as a knight.
When he arrived, he didn't complain about having to rescue a cat. He didn't tell me I was wasting his time, or that this wasn't part of his job. No, he courteously smiled and told me he would help. Minutes later, Christmas was down, and I was shaking John's hand and telling him that to three sweet girls he was now a hero.
He laughed it off, of course, saying it was no big deal, and drove away. But to my family, John will always be a hero. Not because he donned his work belt and climbed a telephone pole. No, to us he is a hero because he displayed a trait rarely seen today: selflessness. In his busy day he gave of his time to help a family in need.
I also want to thank our neighbors who played a vital role in rescuing Christmas. May there be more selfless heroes like John Strader and our neighbors.