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The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
October 24, 2012     The New Era Paper
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October 24, 2012

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I  ra - October 24, 2012 COMMUNITV OPINION Page 5 SHHS to enforce dress code Lr_.TTr_.RS TO T.E LDITOR By Keith Winslow Our leadership class and our Making A Change (MAC) student group have attended trainings and are leading the way in an effort to make positive changes in our high school. The two student groups, along with staff members, are working together to create a strong school environment where students, staff, parents, and community feel wel- comed and valued. One of the areas in which stu- dents and staff are paying more at- tention is with the dress code. Our high school has always had an ap- propriate school-age dress code but it becomes increasingly more diffi- cult to enforce as fashion changes. Many of the fashion changes mean more skin exposure. Shorter shorts, low-cut tops, tops on girls and pants On boys that allow under- garments to show are all examples of current fashion for adolescents. Shirts that advertise inappropriate language or behavior are also avail- able. All of these examples are sub- stantial distractions to learning. We hear quite often that these kinds of clothes are the only choic- es that high school students have to buy in the stores. When I shop and talk with parents, I see and hear that there are plenty of other choices for appropriate dress that are still fash- ionable for high school age. We are asking our students to come to school dressed in a man- ner that is not a distraction and that does not draw added attention. I want to share with parents and community that our staff does un- derstand current fashion trends for our students and they also clearly understand the constant battles ado- lescents go through to fit in. I think all of us can remember that time in our lives. It doesn't make sense, how- ever, to have a dress code if we are not willing to enforce it. I am ask- ing parents to be aware of how their student is dressed before they leave for school. Short shorts, exposed cleavage and undergarments are not appropriate for school. We will be enforcing our dress code here at the high school. Our expectation is that all students come to school dressed appropriately. We want to limit added distractions and provide each student the very best opportunity to learn and succeed. We want students' focus to be on learning. If your student is not dressed appropriately, please ask them to change into something more appropriate for school. There are always going to be times when we miss something. Our intent is to be fair and consistent with the dress code. Our sludents and staff want to continue making positive change so they can enjoy their high school experience to the fullest. We are asking for parent help in this matter. Keith Winslow is principal of Sweet Home High School. Council observer offers ballot picks Editor: With the elections fast ap- proaching I wanted to offer mty thanks to all those who chose to run for the Sweet Home City Councn and to share my thoughts on my choices and why I believe  they would serve the city and its citizens well. Marybeth Angulo has shown in her two years on the council that she isn't afraid to get involved in a tough issue, study the issues and then stand her ground - even if it's a minority position on the council. Jim Gourley has served on the council for a number of years and has been diligent in his ap- proach to problems. Normally, it's my belief that a turnover on the council every few years is a good thing, but I somehow feel that this is Jim's swan song and if he thinks he wants one more term, I would support that. Ron Rodgers is a very thought- ful councilor who normally does not offer an opinion until he has an- alyzed it very well. I actually think that ron would be a good mayoral candidate but the one problem I have with Ron is that his job some- times causes him to miss quite a few meetings. I think he needs to make a concerted effort to be there more but other than that Ron is a very effective councilor. Dave Trask would be a new- comer to the council. He has served the city well for many years as a volunteer firefighter and has served on the Budget Committee on two different occasions. Dave's crit- ics would say that his head-on ap- proach to problem saolving and his sometimes brash manner would be a downside to consider, but I can guarantee you that he will not be a rubber stamp for anyone. It is my belief that the indivdi- uals listed above would serve the citizens of Sweet Home well. My comments are based on observa- tions during council meetings and actual working with each of them on different committees during the past several years. In any event, please remember to vote and my thanks again to all who chose to run. Dave Holley Sweet Home Thanks for help with cancer walk Editor: "The fourth annual "Sweet Home Walk for the Cause," held Saturday, Oct. 13, was a great suc- cess. Thanks to the sponsors and the hard work of many in the com- munity, $2,700 was forwarded to Soroptimist International of Alba- ny, for women in Linn County in need of mammograms and breast cancer assistance. Thank you to The Point Res- taurant and Lounge for gift cards; Safeway and Sweet Home Thrift- way for the refreshments for the walkers; space for "donation/ coffee cozie jars" at Curves for Women, Chic Drink, Erin Ward, Periwinkle Provisions, Steelhead Strength and Fitness, Sunshine Espresso, The Point Restaurant and Lounge; Smart Style Salon and Tell and Sell for the ads. Most of all, thank you to all for saying yes with a smile on your faces when asked for your help. A special thanks goes to: CMA for serving coffee; Leba- non Prayer Warriors, who col- lected donations for the walk; Sportman's Holiday Court and the Sweet Home Kiwanis, who helped at the event; The Investments for the national anthem; Young Ma- rines for the presentation of the colors; Pastor Bryan Hayes of the Harvest Christian Center for the invocation; guest speakers Bill and Cathi Alden; and Chief Rob- ert Burford, who acted as Master of Ceremonies. A huge thank you also goes to those who came out on a "rainy looking" Saturday morning to walk with families and friends and who donated so the fight to beat this disease can continue. Wendy Younger, Chair Sweet Home Satellite Walk for the Cause Committee / Picks From page 4 the Columbia. Backed by our own state Sen. Fred Girod and others, the measure is billed as an attempt to protect wild salmon which, they say, is on the brink of extinction. Opponents argue that since it would only apply to Oregon waters, it would put Oregon fishermen out of business and allow Washington fishermen to continue business as usual. Also, since the initiative went on the ballot, Gov. Kitzhaber an- nounced a proposal to limit gillnets to only off-channel areas. His plan was to be considered by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission. This measure is well-inten- tioned, since none of us want to see the salmon over-fished. But it's un- fair. Why penalize Oregon fisher- men while Washington boats net the hapless fish that don't know the dif- ference between state lines? Why should Oregon restaurants and their customers have trouble getiing fish that folks across the river don't? If Washington were to impose a similar ban, it might be worth talking about. Otherwise, it's just another quirky, meddling, overreaching Or- egon law - like our second-highest- in-the-nation minimum wage, our ban on self-serve gas stations, our prohibition on hunting cougars with dogs, etc. Although we are for preserva- tion of salmon through, intelligent, workable means, we don't think this is the way to do it. No. Measure 82 Though backers of this and Measure 83 have announced earlier this month that they were suspend- ing their campaign, their measures are still on the ballot, so voters will need to make the call on them. Measure 82, the Oregon Pri- vately-Owned Casinos Amendment, would constitutionally provide for establishment of privately,owned casinos, with 25 percent of month- ly gross revenue going to the State Lottery for such purposes as job growth, educational achievement, vibrant local communities, protect- ing and improving natural environ- ment, and supporting all federally recognized Indian tribes in Oregon. It also would prohibit operation of a privately owned casino within 60-mile radius of existing tribal ca- sino operating on reservation land. If the privately-owned casino is to be located within an incorporated city, city voters must also approve the casino location. Supporters ar- gue that such a casino would pro- vide thousands of permanent jobs and money to the state. Opponents question the need for third-party competition and ar- gue that such privately owned casi- nos would reduce benefits the tribes get from theirs. This isn't the first time we've voted on an initiative that would al- low expansion of gambling. We did so two years ago. Does Oregon need more gam- bling? Yes, we hear the arguments that a tax-paying casino would pro- vide more money for schools, cops, etc. Yes, such a facility would pro- vide paying jobs. But it would also provide one more excuse for people to blow money they can't afford to lose. Gambling has a big foothold in Oregon that isn't going away. It's also, according to multiple studies, a bigger, more frequent problem for poorer people - especially young adults, although poor people tend to play the lottery, while casinos draw more middle- and upper-class visi- tors. We don't need more casinos. We already have fiscally regressive effects on the poorest segments of society, we have addiction (despite those inane Oregon Lottery com- mercials reminding us to be careful not to spend too much)and eventu- ally, we'll have the increased crime rates that studies show inevitably happen in areas where gambling businesses are permitted. Yeah, gambling may be fun but we have enough already. No. Measure 83 The Oregon Multnomah Coun- ty Casino Initiative would basically be the "legs" of Measure 82, on the passage of which this initiative depends. It would, specifically, au- thorize a renewable 15-year lease permitting the owner of the former Multnomah Kennel Club in Mult- nomah County to operate gaming devices, table games, keno, other games of chance at that site. Among its provisions, the casi- no would be required to pay 25 per- cent of adjusted gross revenues into a Job Growth, Education and Com- munities Fund (separate from the general fund), and 80% in the State Lottery Fund. Moneys in the Job Growth fund are apportioned to the incorporated cities adjoining casino, Indian tribes, law enforcement, and gambling treatment services. Is there an echo here? No. Measure 84 The Oregon Estate Tax Phase- Out Initiative incrementally phases out estate tax and some capital gains taxes. Currently, state law imposes a one-time tax on the estate of person dying on/after Jan. l, 2006, if the es- tate's gross value, as determined by federal law as of Dec. 31, 2000, is at least $1 million. Current state law taxes incoine- producing property sales, regard- less of the parties' relationship. This measure would cut the tax by 25 percent each year until 2016, when it would be completely gone. It would also phase out capital gains taxes on property transfers between certain family members and those triggered by death. The measure does allow the state to cooperate with other states and federal government in admin- istering those entities' estate/inheri- tance taxes; permits fees or/probate and other transactions that may oc- cur following a person's death. Families possessing a tree farm or some other evidence of entrepre-. neurial hard work and planning that has reached $1 million in assessed value may know what happens when the first generation dies. Everybody else pays and sometimes they have to pay so much they can't afford to keep family property. This has happened in the Sweet Home area and across the state and it's wrong. Opponents argue that it will only benefit the richest 2 percent of estates in the state, since family farms worth under $7.5 million get an exemption under current law. Also, the estate tax repeal alone would reduce state tax revenues by an estimated $17 million in fiscal 2013-14, $43 million the year af- ter that, $72 million in fiscal year 2015-16 and $120 million each year thereafter. We say "So what?" The Death Tax, as it's known, discourages entrepreneurial effort, enterprise that is exactly what our state needs. Yes. Measure 85 Also called the Oregon Corpo- rate Tax "Kicker" Funds for Educa- tion Initiative, this measure would simply remove the kicker that cur- rently is rebated to corporations under the state's "kicker" law and redirect the funds to schools. Before each biennium, the governor is required to prepare an estimate of revenues expected to be received by the General Fund for the next biennium. The General Fund is the primary funding source for schools, prisons, social services and other state-funded programs/ services. When that revenue exceeds es- timated collections by 2 percent or more, current law requires an auto- matic "kicker" refund of corporate income and excise tax revenue. This measure allocates the corporate income and excise tax "kicker" re- fund. to the General Fund to provide additional funding for K through 12 public education. This measure does not change the constitutional personal income tax "kicker" provision that requires a refund to individual taxpayers when personal income tax revenue exceeds estimated revenue by two percent or more. This measure has a lot of prob- lems, chief among them the fact that it freezes the legislature's ability, which it doesn't use often enough anyway, to stash "kicker" money away for rainy day needs. Despite the chorus of approval from teachers and their unions, we think the "kicker" is better returned to businesses - even large, out-of- state companies that only operate in Oregon. Jobs for parents are a lot better for students in the long run than a few more dollars for school bureau- crats to spend, when we look at the big picture. No.