Newspaper Archive of
The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
September 19, 2012     The New Era Paper
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September 19, 2012

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2i7 W Co~a S~ Hometown Newspaper of LeRoy and Deb Luttmer Serving the Sweet Home community since 1929 Wednesday, September 19, 2012 Vol. 83, No. 38 75 Cents Photo by Scott Swanson Earl Harcrow, center, shows reporters a copy of a letter from Albany & Eastern Railroad Company that threatens to close driveway crossings to residents' homes bordering the railroad. He is flanked by neighbors Billy Orr, left, and Laura Mithoug, right. Albany & Eastern's charges for crossings prompt protests By Scott Swanson requested information, documentation or financial requirements Of The New Era by September 30th, we will close the crossing." Property owners along the Albany & Eastern Railroad line Mike Martel, a resident on Country Lane, which abuts the between Lebanon and Sweet Home are upset over a letter many highway directly across from Harmony Road, west of Sweet received earlier this month from the company, threatening to Home, was one of eight residents who gathered Wednesday close the crossings from Highway 20 to their homes unless they morning, Sept. 12, at the home of Shirley Trahan, 28637 San- pay fees to use the crossings, tiam Highway, to talk with a Eugene TV crew and a newspaper The letter, from Jared G. Cornell, director of sales and mar- reporter about their concerns. He said he would lead opposition keting for Albany & Eastern, informs owners that they need to to Albany & Eastern's plan. pay $720, which includes an annual "maintenance fee" of $120, "We're just questioning the validity of this," said Martel, to maintain their railroad crossings. Residents say they are also one of 10 property owners on Country Lane, which he said is the required to have $1 million worth of insurance coverage. The letter ends by stating: "If you choose not to provide the See Letter, page 8 Council wants comment on nuisance law By Sean C. Morgan Of The New Era The Sweet Home City Council will accept comments from the public on a pro- posed ordinance that would require vacant buildings to be secured and in good repair. It requires the property owners to repair and fix the buildings at some level, said City Manager Craig Martin. It does not require them to tear down the buildings, although they could choose to do that. The council received a recommendation to pass the ordinance from its Public Safety Committee during its regular meeting on Sept. 11. The city received a petition on May 23 from residents of 12th Avenue and Redwood Street requesting the council consider enact- ing legislation to address unsightly and va- cant structures. "Number one among the list of council responsibilities is to consider and enact ap- See Council, page 7 Missing Corban student found safe A Corban College student, whose dis- appearance for several days prompted an area-wide search, was found safe on Sunday. Luke Atkinson, 21, had last been seen by his roommate at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12, in their room, where he had reportedly been suffering from flu-like symptoms. Luke Atkinson Later that day, he ap- parently cleaned up his dorm room in Sa- lem and left without his phone or any note See Found, page 2 pl chang ire By Scott Swanson the local chapter of the Oregon Of The New Era School Employees Association, read Classified school employees a prepared statement to the board at say the Sweet Home School District its Sept. 10 meeting complaining has reduced their hours to the point about "the systematic destruction of that it prevents them from being able our ability to continue to maintain to get fully paid health insurance health insurance for ourselves and coverage or pay premiums, our families." At issue is a section of the con- Supt. Don Schrader said last tract between the local chapter of the week that, as far as he is aware, the Oregon School Employees Asso- district has lived up to its commit- ciation and the district that dictates ments and no employees have lost eligibility for district-paid insurance any insurance benefits - at least as premiums. The disagreement largely district administrators read the con- centers on interpretation of what that tract. contract means, both sides agree. Velma Canfield, president of See Benefits, page 5 -Photos by Scott Swanson Workers and equipment from Water Contracting of Portland, above, "de- water" Ames Creek Thursday, Sept. 13, in preparation for construction of a fish passage to make it easier for trout and winter steelhead to move into the mouth of the creek from the South Santiam River. Workers in- stalled pipes to carry the creek water around the construction area. At left, flow from the creek slows to a trickle as the pipes used to divert the stream flow, one of which is visible above beneath the worker in white, are installed..The approximately $150,000 project will include a "'natural" laddeF to help fish climb the falls at the mouth of the creek. / .|M! l!!JlJlll. news@sweethomenews.com www.sweethomenews.com