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The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
May 9, 2012     The New Era Paper
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May 9, 2012

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I  'ra - May 9, 2012 COMMUNITV OPINION/NEws Page 5 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Theater needs to restore its rules Editor: In 2003 1 had my first oppor- tunity to see a movie at the Rio in Sweet Home. I found it intriguing that there was a list posted naming people who were not allowed in the theater, primarily because of their behavior. That list disappeared at some point. My husband and I typically go to the Rio on Sunday nights as our date night. I honestly can't recall any time that we've not enjoyed the movie and the popcorn. Unfortunately, we decided to try the movie on Saturday night this weekend. The theater was almost at capacity due to, the type of film being shown. Families felt comfortable bringing their children and, for the most part, there were no issues with the children who had parents with them. It seems, however, that the Rio has become a dumping ground for parents who don't know what else to do with their pre-teenage children who have no rrianners and care not at all about other people who are trying to watch the movie. There were several young people in the rows in front of us that we asked several times to be quiet so we could hear the movie. They continued to talk, switch seats with" each other, and run back and forth to the lobby. We also ob- served several young people across the theater engaging in the same behavior. We were not the only adults who were trying to get these young people to quiet down so we could all watch the movie. We prefer the Rio for movies because we are on a limited in- come and appreciate the value for our money and also the wonderful popcorn that is sold. However, if we can't actually watch the movie because of disrespectful young people, we're not getting any value at all. Cheri Pickett Sweet Home Well worth the investment Editor: I am writing to ask Sweet Home citizens to join me as I cast my vote in support of our swim- ming pool! I have enjoyed living and working in this community for 15 years. And through those years, I have seen that our pool is a positive place for kids and adults. The return on this investment will be immeasurable. Here's hop- ing to see the headline reads: Pool Levy Passes! Ann Knight Sweet Home Ex-PAC member: Pool a good deal Editor: I am in full support of keeping our community pool open for use by all our citizens. Eleven years ago I was a mem- ber of the political action com- mittee that worked on the school bond measure which included two options for the pool. One would have built a new facility. The other, which the voters chose, addressed the deferred maintenance issues of the current facility. At that time, one task I had was to collect information about other similar public pool facili- ties around the state. The results of my research showed that Sweet Home's annual operating costs were low in comparison. The proposed levy to raise about $90,000 is even less than the $150,000 that operating the pool cost in 2001. Some of that differ- ence will be made up for by in- creased user fees, but not all of it can be. The pool servesso many in our community. The child just learn- ing to swim, competitive athletes, pregnant mothers, people recover- ing from injury or surgery, those with joint issues that can no longer walk for exercise ... I've been all of those. I bet you know someone that has too. The pool makes a dif- ference. It builds our community, it helps keep our kids safe, and it fosters health and wellness for all ages. Please cast your vote in this election and when you do, please vote yes on Local Option Tax 22- 111. Donna Short Sweet Home Pool is big plus for the disabled Editor: I am writing to encourage Sweet Home taxpayers to please consider voting to keep the swim- ming pool open. We have been residents in Sweet Home for six years. One of the things we considered important as we looked around this wonder- ful town is what did it have in the way of resources for our son Josh, who is multi-handicapped. As I' entered the pool lobby to get a brochure, I was met by a group of handicapped individuals who were just arriving to swim! This, among many things, con- vinced me that Sweet Home was the community I wanted to live in. I believe that swimming is a won- derful, safe, healthy activity that the children and families of Sweet Home benefit from. Josh, who is now 28, has been receiving swim therapy at the pool for at least five years. He has se- vere contractures in his knees and the time in the pool is the only time he can actually stand up and stretch. Because of this therapy, he continues to be able to help as- sist witli standing transfers into his wheelchair. We were disappointed this last year when his sessions came to an end due to lack of fund- ing to keep the pool open. I encourage you to vote to keep swimming a benefit for our son, Josh, and great choice for the families and children of Sweet Home. Marsha Van Amburgh Sweet Home Let's not taste drowning reality Editor" Drowning is the second lead- ing cause of child death in the U.S.A. Let's not let one of our chil- dren experience it. Vote yes before May 15 and keep our pool open. Doug Peargin Sweet Home Catholic Ryan not living his faith Editor: After Catholic bishops de- nounced his budget as immoral, Rep. Paul Ryan has been mak- ing the talk show rounds claiming that his plan actually reflects the Church's teachings. But the Jesu- Choir competes at state Sweet Home's Symphonic Choir competes Friday, May 4, at the state 4A championships. Sweet Home, one of 11 schools participating in the competition, did not place in the top five, after finishing second last year. Its exact finish order was not announced. La Grande was judged the winner, followed by Klamath Union. its at Georgetown have called the congressman out, saying his plan reflects the values of "Ayn Rand, rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ." Rep. Ryan says the GOP's proposals to cut programs for the needy while sparing the Defense Department and not raising taxes on the wealthy are in line with the social justice teaching of his own Catholic Church. The principle of subsidiarity is what they're talking about. "The principle of subsidiar- ity protects people from abuses by higher-level social authority and calls on these same authorities to help individuals and intermediate groups to fulfill their duties," says the Vatican's Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. In other words, the family, individual, community will do the best it can to take care of itself but also that the state and federal governments should provide help (subsidium) to cover things they cannot. Ryan's plan, according to the church, "leaves people to fend for themselves, the weak falling prey to the powerful." Ryan's plan fails to meet the basic "moral criteria" of Catholic teaching. Diane Daiute Sweet Home II Editorial From page 4 Regardless of whether a filling sta- tion is built, the city can engage in a publicity campaign to urge resi- dents to turn in unauthorized users of the system. Other arguments for the water system, such as selling water to RV users, really is something the city could do now. It already has a pro- cess in place to provide bulk water through hydrants. The city can sell the water through existing hydrants and make money if the service ac- tually is a viable money maker. Only one of the reasons can- not be provided easily now. The water filling station could provide 24/7 service, but we don't really need service 24 hours a day. We cannot buy fuel in this community 24/7. We have one business open all night, Circle K. That's it. We get by with it just fine. If there were a market for fuel, one would be open. The city needs to respond to need, not just ideas. Overall, we take our hats off to the city for its ongoing wise man- agement of city funds. Its forward- thinking policies are wise, and we think these two changes in expen- ditures are solidly in keeping with the excellent management of 99.3 percent of the budget. II Schools From page 1 ing programs compared to a quar- ter-weight for students in poverty. Schools with more English-learn- ing students receive more funding per student than those with a larger amount of students in poverty. "Perhaps it is a coincident, but Tigard-Tualitin gave staff mem- bers raises and insurance contri- bution increases for the 2011-12 school year, while Coos Bay was featured on NBC Nightly News for its budget reductions," Strong said. Tigard-Tualitin has 12 percent of its students listed as English lan- guage learners with 6 percent listed in poverty. Coos Bay has 2 percent in English language learn- ing, while 23 percent of its students are in poverty. He asked that the legislature also modify the "small high school correction," which gives a wealthy district like Riverdale, located in the Portland area, $8,018 per stu- dent in 2012-13, while some Ore- gon districts with free and reduced lunch eligibility rates exceeding 60 percent and homeless rates exceed- ing 10 percent receive $1,000 less per student. Fourth, he asked for a modi- fication to the "remote elementary school correction," which provides a financial incentive for districts to make decisions that do not best uti- lize tax dollars. Under this correc- tion, districts may co.ntinue operat- ing a school that is more than eight miles from the next closest school while closing another that actually costs less to operate. Under this correction, Scapigoose School Dis- trict, with 16.6 students per square mile, is scheduled to receive an extra $291,000 in 2012-13, while Sweet Home, with 2.1 students per square mile, will not receive any additional funds. Fifth, he asked that the state al- low districts to pay charter schools based on charter school data rather than districtwide data. The State School Fund formu- la uses teacher experience and free and reduced lunch rates to calcu- late the funding rate. Counting all schools in Sweet Home, the district has an average experience of 11.9 years, while the SweetHome Char- ter School has an average experi- ence of 3.8 years, which reduces the overall average experience. The next lowest school is the Ju- nior High, with an average experi- ence of 8.1 years. With no free and reduced lunch students, the Charter School reduces Sweet Home's districtwide figure to 61.8 percent. The highest is 83.8 percent at Foster, and the lowest is Holley at 57.9 percent. Sweet Home loses some $68,600 in the formula, Strong said, because it is required to pay the Charter School as if its teach- ers had 11.9 years of experience instead of 3.8 years. The free and reduced lunch eligibility rates im- pact overall funding. Sixth, Strong asked that prop- erty tax exemptions be made more difficult. Some districts grant develop- ers permission for property tax exemptions because their districts will not be harmed directly, Strong said. Reductions in property taxes are offset by the State School Fund. Hillsboro recently granted an ex- emption to build a low-income housing complex, and the district would collect $78,000 less in prop- erty taxes as a result. The State School Fund would make up the difference, meaning the state has $78,000 less to distribute to school districts throughout the state: Sprenger said Strong's con- cerns have merit. She related a story she heard about Riverdale High School. An administrator there encountered an upset, student. When he asked what 11 See School, page 7