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The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
March 28, 2012     The New Era Paper
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March 28, 2012

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Page 4 :1, ,, r,, - March 28, 2012 COMMUNITY OPINI, 3N From Our v-00a Files Looking back on more than 80 years of coverage in east Linn County... March 29, 1962 Searchers have yet to find any trace of Keith White, local pilot, or his plane, which disappeared on March 17 on a flight from Red- mond to Sweet Home. The plane is believed to have gone down in the Black Butte area. Following an air search, ground search parties hunted in the Black Butte area and later at Tombstone Prairie but found no trace of White or the plane. Three lives have been lost due to automobile accidents already this year in 1962, the most recent occurring Monday night, six miles east of Lebanon. SH justified in billing Lebanon for cops To some, it might appear mean- spirited for the City of Sweet Home to bill our neighbor, Lebanon, $60,000 for the training costs Sweet Home paid for two officers who took better-paying jobs in Lebanon. It's not. It's a legitimate move by a beleaguered police department that has more than its share of finan- cial hurdles to overcome. It's also the fight thing to do for Sweet Home taxpayers. As we reported last week, Leb- anon has been billed for $60,522.84. That includes $46,132.33 in training costs for Officer Chad Christenson and $14,390.51 for Taylor Jackson. Both, along with Officer Justin Mc- Cubbins, joined Lebanon's police force in January. A state law, passed in 2009, al- lows for this. Specifically, the law allows the city to recoup 100 percent of the costs of training an officer whose training ended within the last 12 months before his or her depar- ture, 66 percent for an officer whose r__.DITORIAL training ended between 12 and 24 months prior to departure, and 33 percent for officers whose training ended between 24 and 36 months before leaving. As city officials pointed out in our story, the bill doesn't cover the extra time the city has paid veteran officers to accompany the rookies following their graduation from the Police Academy and other associ-, ated expenses. Police Chief Bob Burford estimated that the true cost of replacing those three officers will be $150,000. In sorting through the ethics of this situation, it's helpful to remem- ber that Sweet Home's police already are at a significant disadvantage to Lebanon thanks to property tax com- pression that is an unintended result of Measure 47/50, which left Linn County Sheriff's Office and Sweet Home police dependent on serial levies for their annual funding. Last fall the city found out that its police budget would be $283,000 short, thanks to declines in property values and resulting tax compres= sion. It is no secret that Sweet Home police officers are underpaid, but the department can't afford to pay more in this economic climate. To lose an- other $150,000 worth of investment in our police officers to Lebanon, which can afford to pay more, partly because it wasn't caught in the com- pression trap, is an added blow to Sweet Home. Lebanon city officials have raised questions about the bill and Sweet Home's interpretation of the law. Frankly, their objections ring a bit hollow. Not only is their city booming economically, with the recent arrival of the giant Lowe's distribution plant and a brand new medical school, an expanded Wilco farm and garden store and numerous other businesses, but one of Sweet Home's only non- government local employers has just moved to Lebanon. Lebanon may be having budget problems too, but these pale com- pared to Sweet Home's. Everybody's hurting now, and it is actually a compliment to Sweet Home that Lebanon is eager to hire its officers. But at the same time, the city cannot continue to take fi- nancial body blows without serious economic fallout and that's why the provisions of this law are right and Sweet Home is justified, and should be commended, in doing what it needs to do. LETTERS TO TIlE EDITOR April 1, 1987 The Sweet Home Chess Team defeated Shorewood of Seattle 4-1 Saturday at the University of Port- land to capture the 1987 Northwest Interstate Championship title. The team will be traveling to Pulaski, Va., April 24-26 for the national high school champion- ships. Funeral service for Sweet Home's senior city councilman, Robert Haubaugh, will be held to- day (Wednesday) at 11 a..m. The former mayor and eight- year City Council veteran had bat- tled cancer for more than a.year. Twenty-seven-year-old Ken Seiber never felt more "Welcome to the Sweet Home Bowling Cen- ter" as he did Monday night. Carrying a 173 Civic League bowling average, Seiber rolled a perfect 300 game, the third in 20 years at the alley, according to owner Ken Bate. 00'rm 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 Eral Box 39, Sweet Home, OR, 97386 Phone:.(541)367-2135 Fax: (541) 367-2137 WHO WE ARE Scott Swanson, EditodCo-Publisher scott@sweethomenews.com Sean C. Morgan, Staff Writer sean@sweethomenews.com Miriam Swanson, Advertising Manager, Co-Publisher midam@sweethomenews.com Christy Keeney, Classified Ads classifieds@sweethomenews.com Firiel Severns, Advertising Sales firiel@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 Get football facts correct Editor: I would lik.e to clarify the cor- rect source of funding for the High School football team's trip to Spo- kane, Wash. But tmlike some who feel the need to start a public argu- ment in a newspaper with false facts, I would like to point out that after reading a comment I took it upon myself to seek out this information from someone that is involved in the situation. This athletic and learning op- portunity for the kids on the team is funded by donations and fundraisers the football team has taken part in. The approval from the school board was for taking them out of state, NOT for the funds. I would also like to add the pride and ownership these kids have taken in actually doing things for these funds themselves, such as oil changes, a softball tour- nament, mowing lawns and cutting up firewood. I think this is a great way to teach youth to take it upon them- selves to work for something they want- something that I feel has been tossed aside by some. This camp they will attend is also not required. There will be no funds asked for from the school district. Also, in doing my research, I found that the price per kid to at- tend this camp is very comparable to those in the valley. Not only will it help them athletically but being out of their normal environment teaches them character, etc. Hopefully, these things taught to them will help keep them busy dur- ing their four-day school week and out of trouble. Just because it is hard times for everyone does not mean that children need to lack the oppor- tunities to keep them proactive and learning how to become respectful, successful adults. Katie Kittson Sweet Home WRITE ALETTER 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 will 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.