McArthur was a great supporter

Monmouth and Independence recently lost a truly great community supporter, an erudite author, a dedicated historian, and a good friend, Scott McArthur.

He was a long-time resident of Monmouth, retiring after many years of practice as an attorney from his office on Atwater Street. His legal acumen as a lawyer made McArthur a formidable opponent in the court room.

One of the many treasures Scott gifted our community was the establishment of the Monmouth-Independence Community Foundation. Scott had started the Education Charitable Trust scholarship program in 1995. Then in May of 2000, along with Don Duncan and James Epple, he created the Monmouth Independence Community Foundation. Originally there was only enough money for one or two small scholarships. But from those humble beginnings, Scott and his compatriots established an organization that now manages over $2M in investments through collaboration with many community partners. The Community Foundation has also awarded tens of thousands of dollars in local grants through its school-based programs and scholarships. Scott’s vision and leadership of the Community Foundation is one of his greatest and most meaningful legacies.

Scott was a traveler. He enjoyed visiting county fairs around the country and sampling a variety of cuisines. Cruising was also a favorite.

An early grounding in journalism helped him become a fine author, and Scott wrote several excellent books to tell the history and stories of his hometown and county. He was a regular guest speaker at the Polk County Museum, and a regular contributor to the Itemizer Observer, sharing his charming tales of “the old days”.

Scott was a member of the Masonic Lodge in Independence and held the group in high regard. For a long time, Scott oversaw post-meeting refreshments. His menu was always unique, and he served his lodge brothers everything from alligator stew to rocky mountain oysters.

Scott was also involved in the Masons’ long-standing scholarship program and in their ardent support of reading activities in several area schools.

Scott McArthur’s loss will be felt long and hard. We who knew him will always be proud of our friendship with him and will feel compassion for those who were not lucky enough to have interacted with Scott.

Vernon Wells


Masks are essential in schools

I am very glad that school districts will require masks to help keep both students and staff safer.

In the article about the Central School District Board Meeting on Aug. 10, I was encouraged by the Superintendent’s information and explanations. I was confused by the comments of board members who said there wasn’t information or data to support a mask mandate, even after the explanation.

The numbers (data) are clear: there are rising rates of infection in Oregon and in Polk County, vaccinations do help shield people from COVID-19 as seen by the number of unvaccinated people in the hospitals vs. vaccinated people, masks have been shown to help slow and prevent the passing of the virus to others when in close proximity.

The argument that mandating masks takes away freedom forgets that this virus is passed through respiration and that we all share the same air, especially in a closed space. Your choice affects everyone around you, not just you.

The mask mandate is not about your personal rights, but about public health. It is not a political choice. It is a public health imperative. Kids are back in school, which many wanted, now let’s do our best to keep the kids and the staff healthy.

Becky Jay


City needs more foresight

I agree with last week’s letter from Charlotte.

The city and Dallas City Council seem to tell us anything to get their building fees and permits.

They try to tell us there is no water problem after people start writing letters about moratorium with building to get fees and permit money for the city’s pocket.

Wait a short time and they will try to push a bond through for a water treatment plant. When it doesn’t pass, the city will just add a fee on our water bill, just like they did for our police and fire.

F. True


Board should make its own decision

Regarding your story “CSD school board frustrated by mask mandate gag order,” I see two main problems.

First, Jennifer Kubista is giving legal advice. If she has any credentials as a lawyer I am not aware of them. It is both inappropriate and dangerous for the superintendent to tell the school board what to do. The school board should be telling the superintendent what to do.

Second, the school board is accepting her legal advice as being fact. We need each individual school board member to grow a backbone and think independently. Anyone who feels unable to carry out their duties as a school board member should resign.

Tim Gratsinger


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