Newspaper Archive of
The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
February 29, 2012     The New Era Paper
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February 29, 2012

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Page 4 h  ra - February 29, 2012 -- COMMUNITV OPINION. -- "rr How From Our Files Looking back on more than 80 years of coverage in east Linn County... March 1 1962 Clyde Robertson of Sweet Home was injured in the Quartz- ville area on Tuesday in a logging accident. He was struck by a log, and pinned against a rock bluff for near- ly 30 minutes before his fellow log- gers could saw the log in two and free him. He suffered a compound fracture of the lower right leg. A fire started at the Herman Roberts home on Pleasant Val- ley on Monday during an attempt to thaw out his pipes. The blaze caused $650.00 in damage. March 4, 1987 Coach Steve Fletcher's Sweet Home High School Chess Team won the state chess tournament at Rex Putnam High School in Port- land. The top 16 teams in the state competed. The top three teams in Oregon (Sweet Home, Wilson High School of Portland, and Beaverton) will compete against the top three Washington teams for the North- west Championship title. Sweet Home is the defending Northwest champions. EMT-Fireman Dan McCub- bins was named Thursday night as Sweet Home's Fireman of the year at the annual awards banquet spon- sored by the city. He as awarded by his cowork- ers, the 60-member S.H. Volunteer Fire Department. McCubbins stated that he'was completely surprised by the award and noted that he felt extremely honored to be selected. LETTERS TO TIlE 00ITOR Credit deserved - not ridicule Editor: I am writing to thank the School Board for their dedication. ha[d work, and willingness to make tough decisions. Regardless of what side of the fence one might find themselves on with the recent four- day school week vote. the members of the school board deserve a hearty "thank you" for being willing to take part and vote on a difficult topic that had repercussions no matter which way you look at it. They do not deserve the ridicule they are receiving in the public or in recent letters to the editor as was the case Feb. 22. 2012. Now I will openly state I am not aware of all the details surround- ing this particular issue but I am confident 1 probably have as much knowledge about it as Ms. Baldinger and Mr. O'Malley do. I have no idea at this time if the decision made will turn out to be the correct one or not (as only time will tell) but as I un- derstand it. the vote for the four-day school week was the lesser of many evils. In other words, there was no "'good" decision to be made, other than for the board to simply make a decision. I believe they did their job of researching the matter care- fully and voted accordingly: and that speaks volumes about the members of the board! Being a member of a multi- person board requires individuals to seek out and receive information about a particular issue and make decisions that are ultimately in the best interest of the organization of which they belong. Although it is nice if decisions can be unanimous. it is unrealistic to think they always will be. When they are not. it does not mean there was "total disregard" for a particular side as Ms. Balding- er would suggest, nor is it a "slap in the face to our community" as Mr. O'Malley wrote. Casting shame on particular board members who did not vote a specific way is actually more dis- A locally owned newspaper founded Sept. 27. 1929 Scott and Miriam Swanson Co-Publishers www.sweethomenews.com Office: 1313 MainSt., Sweet Home, Oregon Mailing address: The New Era, Box 39, Sweet Home, OR 97386 Phone: (541) 367-2135 Fax: (541) 367-2137 WHO WE ARE Scott Swanson. Editor/Co-Publisher scott@sweethomenews.corn Sean C. Morgan, Staff Writer sean@sweethomenews.com Miriam Swanson, Advertising Manager, Co-Publisher miriam@sweethomenews.com Christy Keeney, Classified Ads classifieds@sweethomenews.com Firiel Severns, Advertising Sales finel@sweethomenews.com The New Era (USPS 379-100)is published each Wednesday. Periodical postage paid at the Sweet Home. Ore.. 97386 Post Office. Postmaster: Please send address changes to The New Era. Box 39. Sweet Home. Oregon 97386 SUBSCRIPTIONS In Linn County: $32 Elsewhere: $40 Snowbird: $38 NEWS QUESTIONS/TIPS Call (541) 367-2135 or e-mail news@sweethomenews.com ,t graceful and should not be an ac- ceptable practice by community members. At least most of the board members took their role seriously enough to be there. In fact. M. Ad- ams found a way to participate in the meeting and vote remotely while on deployment to Afghanistan. From my perspective, the only unfortunate and unprofessional action that took place at the meeting was when Mr. Keeney chose to forgo his duties as a board member and leave in a huff for not getting his way. It is quite unnerving to have a public official portray childish behavior in a public setting. I am a strong believer that you are either part of the problem or part of the solution. It is much easier to stand on the sidelines and make com- ments than it is to take the heat and make decisions. We need to be care- ful judging the results of decision makers until we have had to make the decisions ourselves. As such. perhaps I will see Ms. Baldinger's and Mr. O'Malley's names on the next ballot for school board? Michael J. Adams (Not the board member) Sweet Home Board made wrong choice Editor: I am enraged by the decision made by the Sweet Home School Board to adopt a four-day school week. I completely understand the budget crises going on in school districts across Oregon: however. I don't feel that Sweet Home made the right choice for our community by voting for a four-day school week. I am a special education assis- tant for the Greater Albany Public School District and have been em- ployed by them since 1999. I've had numerous people ask me throughout the years why I don't work in the community in which I live. I always told them I Would be taking a sub- "stantial pay cut (about $5 an hour} to work in Sweet Home and now. with this decision. I feel truly fortunate to have a job in Albany. Albany schools looked into the idea of a four-day school week last spring and decided against it because of the adverse effects it would place on too many people in the commu- nity. The truth is it wasn't going to be saving that much more money to justify negatively affecting a big percentage of staff members, com- munity members and parents. I'm curious if the citizens of Sweet Home realize the direct im- pact the four-day school week is go- ing to have on classified employees (assistants. custodians, bus drivers. office and kitchen staff, etc.) who are an integral part of the schools and already make the least amount of money. I'm not sure who thought it would be a novel idea to cut the wages of the staff members who are already underpaid for their service. It isn't a fair or ethical decision! 1 have the utmost respect for teach- ers and administrators, being an edu- cator myself, but use some common sense and make cuts equal, from the superintendent all the way down the chain of command. I believe there was an "'agenda" from the beginning and. no matter what the community thought or how they responded, the votes were still going to be stacked in favor of the four-day school week. I realize there is no easy answer. but rest assured - the answer isn't to make our classified employees take the fall for the economic mess in education that's taking place! Then comes the burden this de- cision is going to put on the parents of Sweet Home. Our son attends Little Promises after school and will continue to go there next year. including all day on Fridays. I've heard the Boys and Girls Club will be offering a competitive rate for Fridays next year. but what I haven't heard is are they going to be able to accommodate the influx of students and provide proper care and supervi- sion to them all? I am also deeply concerned about the junior high and high school suc- cumbing to boredom, therefore lead- ing to increased loitering, mischief and poor decision making due to a lack of stability and structure that children so desperately need. There is literally nothing for the youth of Sweet Home to productively do to pass tlalir time wisely every Friday. There will also be a financial aspect placed on families who are already struggling to make ends meet and now have to worry about what to do with their children on Fridays. The majority of people to whom i have spoken feel the same as 1 do. The four-day school week is a ter- rible solution to the education bud= get problems in Sweet Home. I have a feeling that it's going to be very evident next year that more time and consideration should've been placed on a decision that is going to af- fect the entire community of Sweet Home. Shame on everyone who voted yes to an option that will forever change Sweet Home, and not for the better! Teresa Wilson Sweet Home See Letters, page 5 WRITE A LETTER We encourage readers to express their opinions in letters to the editor on matters of public interest. Letters should be typed and may be submitted by mail, e-mail, fax or in person at The New Era office. E-mailed letters may be sent to news@sweethomenews.com. Please include a telephone number in case we need to contact you. Also, we require that you include your name and city of residence or your letter will not be published. There is no length restriction, but letters may be edited for length and all letters wilt be edited for libelous content. We discourage letters that attack or complain about private citizens or businesses on a personal level. Also, letters containing comments on topics deemed by the editorial staff to have been exhausted in previous letters will be edited accordingly.