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The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
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April 25, 2012     The New Era Paper
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April 25, 2012
 

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le Te ra - April 25, 2012 VOUR COIMUNITV / OPINION Page 5 Incumbent commissioner faces P( sirion 3 challenger Tucker says he&apos;s experienced, gets things done By Sean C. Morgan Of The New Era Commissioner Will Tucker says he brings experienced, proven leadership to Linn County. Tucker faces Chris Ruck in the Repub- lican primary for county commissioner Posi- tion  in the May 15 election. The winner will run unopposed in the general election in November. Local ballots will be mailed beginning on April 27. "I'm a consistent, mature voice that has worked diligently to strengthen these communities and grow jobs," Tucker said. "It's a proven record - not just I hope to do things." The commissioners will decide the fate of some 380 acres of industrial land in Sweet Home. The county foreclosed on the former Willamette Industries mill property owned by Western States Land Reliance Trust for nonpayment of property taxes at the end of 2010. The property had been slated for com- mercial and residential developments. "That 380 acres out there is a beautiful piece with its industrial connections," Tucker said. It's got power, a rail connection and in- frastructure. The county is in a due- diligence process with the property, but anything that happens on the property should benefit the residents of Sweet Home and Linn County. The county is addressing the environ- mental issues on the property with the previ- ous landowner, Weyerhaeuser, and the state, Tucker said. Attorneys are still exchanging letters with Weyerhaeuser. Knife River, which previously owned the northern part of the property along the South Santiam River when it was Morse Bros., is working with the county prepar- ing that section for possible use as a quarry again, Tucker said. It also may provide pub- lic access to the river. He looks at the land and thinks it would be great to have a boat ramp there, he said. He thinks it would provide a great fishing spot. The county has no plans to hold onto the See Tucker, page 8 Ruck says she's a problem-solver, with fresh eyes By Sean C. Morgan Of TI New Era Chris Ruck says she knows how to find creative solutions to problems, and she brings a set of fresh eyes, allowing her to look at things from a different perspective. Ruck faces incumbent Will Tucker in the Republican primary for commissioner position three in the May 15 election. The winner will run unopposed in the general election in November. Local ballots will be mailed beginning April 27. Ruck was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. She moved to the United States with her family in 1963, and she is now a citizen - by choice. Ruck was a lab technician in the 1980s in research and development, she said. After college, she worked for companies that manufactured implantable medical devices, like artificial veins and arteries, often working as an engineer without a de- gree. She has worked at numerous plants, including France and Denmark, auditing processes at manufacturing plants. She moved to Lebanon in 1993, and her husband, Bob, relocated his tool and die business there, and her most recent job . has been to provide him with computer support. She got involved in civics, serving on numerous committees in Lebanon. She and her husband are both pilots. Her husband has retired, and she is semi-retired, so she has time to pursue an officel She could have run for House Dis- trict 11, but that is primarily Lane County. She didn't feel she could best represent that district, so Linn County Commissioner was the best choice for her. Her goal is to "get in and find those efficiencies we need to make the budget," Ruck said. If 5- to 10- percent reductions are something the county must deal with every year, she has the skill set to look and find solutions. She also would look to the employ- ees, she said. "A lot of times, the best ideas come from the employees. You just have to ask the right questions." See Ruck, page 8 LETTERS TO Ttl[ [i)ITOR Pool levy raises many question Editor: I want to know why we taxpay- ing citizens of this community are being put into an either/or position on the upcoming pool tax levy. Who doesn't want a commu- nity pool? But at what cost? I have seen no itemized budge t whatsoever. When and where was the pub- lic hearing to discuss and itemized pool budget and the public discus- sions of other options or ways to lower costs to ease the property tax burden, yet have a pool? Should the levy pass, what happens after the two years are up? Please assure me this is not the open door to forever more. Does it really cost almost a quarter of a million dollars to oper- ate a pool for two years? What if we could have a com- munity pool for only 10 cents-per- thousand property tax? Seeing an itemized budget would be nice. In my opinion, tax-paying citi- zens deserve to be informed on just where and how their tax dollars are being spent, before voting yea or nay. Barbara Story Sweet Home Pool's benefits extend beyond SH Editor: I am asking all the voters in Sweet Home area to vote to keep the pool open. I live in Lebanon and cannot vote, so please remember me and many others who benefit greatly from the Sweet Home Pool. Although I cannot vote, I sup- port the pool in every way I can. For the past .three years, two of my children have swum on the high school swim team, for the past seven years I have been an as- sistant swim coach for the Sweet Home Swim Club, and my old- est son has served as an assistant coach for the past three years. He has also been an assistant coach for the high school swim team for the past two years. For the past seven years, all four of my children have swam for the Swim Club, and three of my children are swim instructors and lifeguards at the pool. It doesn't stop there. I am a caregiver for a 28-year- old with very severe cerebral pal- sy, who has the mind of a l-year- old. The only time he can walk is when he is in the pool. Already his swim times have been taken away because of budget and program cuts. I also am a caregiver for an 8-year-old boy with Asperger's syndrome. He lives in Lebanon but because of the high-quality swim lesson program in Sweet Home, he has taken swim lessons there. In the summer of 2010 this little boy came close to a drowning ac- cident while out boating with his grandpa. He had leaned over on the edge of the dock before the boating trip had even begun, and fell into the water. This little boy remained calm, crossed his arms in front of his chest, rolled over onto his back and floated there un- til help could get to him. Where did he learn this life- saving skill? None other place than the Sweet Home Pool. Even if only one life is saved it is worth keeping the pool open. Please vote yes for the sake of those that can't vote but are im- pacted by your vote. Renee Gunselman Lebanon WEEDS, GRASS, BLACKBERRIES AND MORE MUST BE TRIMMED: Grass and weeds cannot be over 10 inches high Blackberry vines cannot cross the property lines Plants cannot block sidewalks or vision from a road Property owners and renters will be sent a courtesy notice to trim overgrown vegeta- tion. If vegetation is not trimmed, the City may have the property mowed or cut as needed without further notice. The City will bill the owner/renter for the work. i  }i ':: .... : '; :: ': '<;;';: " :" :< :I .... ,  .: / :, :' :  .,..i  "'te,.l,..,,r.: #7. On novelty store: Cool it, folks Editor: I can't believe how riled up people are getting about this store opening up ("Sex toys won't work on Main," April 18). Has anyone looked around after nightfall in Sweet Home? The tweekers come out like cockroaches. I feel this little store is well presented and if one takes the time to actually go in and take a look they will see beautiful art work on the walls and, yes, pipes that also are a work of art. The owners are awesome people and well man- nered. People need to pull their heads out of the sand and quit talking crap and go in and check it out. You might bepleasantly surprised at what a little gem LNM's is. And as for the pipes and bongs, come on, it is not illegal or mor- ally wrong. If you want to outlaw pipes, you would have to outlaw fruit, cans, rolling papers because, believe me, you can smoke out of just about anything (take it from an old-time hippie). These are people who just want to support themselves and stay off welfare, so kick back and take a chill pill. J. Martinez Lebanon Bob Hartsock Bob Hartsock, 70, vol- unteers with Sweet Home Emergency Ministries Manna program. He is a layspeaker at Sweet Home United Methodist Church. Prior to retiring and mov- here, he was involved in more than a dozen nonprofit organizations in sports and education. He volunteers "to give back," he said. "Many peopl e helped me in my younger years. I am a peo- ple person." He enjoys gardening and reading. Hartsock is married to Frann Luther. They have /seven children. Hartsock has lived in Sweet Home for nine years and enjoys Sweet Home's friendly people and volunteerism.