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The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
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April 11, 2012     The New Era Paper
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April 11, 2012
 

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Page 4 11 ,, ra - April 11,2012 m - COMMUNITV OPINION From Our Files Looking back on more than 80 years of coverage in east Linn County... April 12, 1962 Two foresters of the Cascadia ranger district have been promoted and transferred to other districts, according to David Gibney, forest supervisor. Robert L. Sipe has been as- signed to the Soleduck Ranger District of the Olympic National Forest at Forks, Wash. Sipe will be accompanied to his new post by his wife and 2-year-old daughter. Robert C. Lehman is being transferred to the Baker Ranger District of the Mt. Baker National Forest in Concrete, Wash. He will be accompanied by his wife and two children. Rusty Nails, a professional clown, has accepted an invitation to lead the junior parade which will kick off the Sportsman's Holi- day celebration. Rusty appears on KATU-TV every week day. He will be here for the parade then remain in Sweet Home till about 7 p.m. April 15, 1987 Sweet Home's junior high Sci- ence Olympics team from the Tal- ented and Gifted Class won second place in the state competition last Saturday at Wilson High School in Portland. John Wittwer and Trent Hutchins received first place for aerodynamics of paper airplanes. Sweet Home's fourth- through sixth-grade students will receive an extensive look at the world of wood and lumber products in a program by Oregon Women for Timber, Barringer and Associates, Willamette industries and Forest Service. They will receive a tour at the old Tomco office where displays and educational presentations on management, research, supply, production, and environmental is- sues have been set up. When things go bad, it may be time for a gut check When the TV trucks roll into town, I wince. Almost invariably they're re- sponding to bad news. A bomb threat. A devastating fire. A protest of some kind: A teacher who's ac- cused of misbehavior. Sweet Home has had too many TV trucks lately and it's getting embarrassing. When the reason they're show= ing up is to proclaim to the world that our high school athletic direc- tor, a popular figure and coach; has been arrested and accused of sexual misconduct with a student, it's even more disturbing. We get a sick feeling in the pit of our stom- achs. We start asking questions that can't easily be answered. Before we plunge any deeper into this, it's important to remem- ber what this newspaper has printed on nearly every Public Safety Log page we've published over the last Notes From The Newsroom I Swanson Publisher five years: that just because people are arrested (or cited) doesn't mean they're guilty. We won't know the outcome of the case involv- ing Kostanty Knurowski until it is resolved before a judge. But we all certainly understand that even an arrest is still a blot on Sweet Home's reputation. Here at the newspaper we have a pretty good sense of the 00qrm 00Era 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.com 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 Sevems, Advertising Sales firiel@sweethomenews:com The New Era (USPS 379-100)is published each Wednesday. Periedical 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 current of life in our community and we've seen the flow of life get a little rougher over the last couple of years. Certainly, the numbers bear that up. Suicides. Crime. Multiple domestic squabbles that police respond to nearly every day. And now, two teachers arrested in just over six months, both accused of improper sexual behavior with stude:nts. XdCe live in tough times. Too many local residents are unem- ployed, which may be contribut- ing to all that domestic strife. Our public institutions - schools and the city in particular - are dealing with serious financial shortfalls. We were talking the other day, here in the newsroom, about how fights seem to be on the in- crease recently at the high school and ow that didn't happen much wherwe had a student resource of- ricer, whose position was shelved in a ludget cut. Wonder if there's a comection? During my time in Sweet Hom, I've seen a lot of good things happen in local public schools, where many dedicated staff members put themselves on the line every day to try to help local youngsters learn to be bet- ter people. Frankly, I think Sweet Home's schools have many posi- tives, especially when I hear about what's going on elsewhere. Of course the TV trucks don't show up to report that. As all of us who have experi- enced the educational process can attest, the schooling process can be rough. And in a school, where there are many personalities and many dynamics in what often al- ready a painful process - educat- ing people who sometimes don't want to change L you're not going to find perfection in any school. But I've also lived long enough, and been in the news busi- ness long enough, to know that in- stitutions and communities some- times need some self-correction. Things get out of whack, people get sloppy, things go bad. The fact that two teachers have been arrested in the last year on sexual misconduct charges is disturbing and we need to ask our- selves if our community needs a wake-up call. There are a number of cur- rent or retired teachers in my own family and I was a college profes- sor for nine years, so I know first- hand that teaching isn't just a job. There's significant responsibility that comes with being a teacher, especially in a small community like Sweet Home, more so than many other fields of employment. A common saying among journalists is that doing this busi- ness the right way isn't just a job, it's a calling. The same is true of teaching. Or being a police officer. WRITE A LETTER We encourage readers to express their opinions in letters to the editor on matters of public interest. Lettersshould 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. Or a paramedic or firefighter. Or a doctor or nurse. Or a minister or counselor. The nature of these oc- cupations requires more than going through the motions and collecting a check, which might be enough to be successful in some jobs: Claarac- ter is crucial in these fields. They require commitment to service, to principles and ethics that may not be clearly spelled Out in the job de- scription. For teachers, serving young- sters is necessarily more than just shoving knowledge into kids' brains. Intentionally or not, teach- ers also model life skills, particu- larly for kids who may not be get- ting much modeling at home. That's why it's such a shock and a scandal when a teacher is accused of failing to model even basic upright behavior. We live in a world in which we're encouraged to seek what we want, what's good for us. For many of us, it's all about me. And sometimes, what's good for me isn't what's good for everybody else or what is right. When 1 was a youngster, I memorized a Bible verse in Sunday School that has come back to haunt me on occasion (like when I stole cookies or lit those matches on the sly in the bathroom) - because it's often very uncomfortably true: "Be sure your sin will find you out." (Numbers 32:23). What I'm saying isn't an at- tempt to point the finger at any one. I think we need to point the finger at ourselves and ask our- selves where we're at. I think this is a good time for all of us to take stock, to consider what's been happening in our com- munity. How are we, each of us, behaving? Am I acting on prin- ciple? If the answers aren't coming easily, I'd suggest starting with some humble, honest self-analysis and, if necessary, some prayer and repentance.