Newspaper Archive of
The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
November 21, 2012     The New Era Paper
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November 21, 2012

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IF ,-, /r- - November 21, 2012 Page 3 LMANAC HE ILLUSTRATEI) BIBLE .LSAIff STOVES im. Tem )eratures Forecast 541-928-4986 Serving Oreo, WOOd, Gas, Since 1984  Pellet Stoves Sales & Service Sweeps Installations Inspections Almanac sponsored by Albany Stoves Inc. High Low Precip Nov. 13 50 45 .45 Nov. 14 53 42 .10 Nov. 15 56 33 .00 Nov. 16 56 35 .00 Nov. 17 58 49 .12 Nov. 18 52 45 .65 Nov. 19 58 56 .20 Lake Levels Precipitation to date: 48.86 Nov. 23, 2011:42.81 Mostly rain and showers. Highs around 50. Lows around 40. Weather information courtesy of the U.S. Corps of Engineers. Call 367-5132 for updated stream flow information. Foster Reservoir: 613.85 Green Peter Res.: 947.83 And when you offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving ', : to the Lord, offer it of your own free will. LEVFITCUS 22:29 VOUR COMMUNITV Bus drivers: shorthanded, but it's not first time ed to staffing or the four-day week. "It's only arriving late because of transportation issues where par- ents want their kids on different buses because of conflicts," Trans- portation supervisor Dave Goetz said. "We're still getting the job done," said driver Trinity Yoder. "We're still covered." "They truly are short on driv- ers," Canfield said. Two have quit for other jobs, one for lower pay but more hours. As a result, the transportation department's dispatcher has driven a route, and the mechanic has driv- en an out-of-town trip, said driver Brenda Tunnell. Drivers couldn't get off from their regular routes, and all the substitutes were driving. "They have had to do that be- fore," said Goetz, who assumed leadership of the Transportation Department earlier this year. "It's not uncommon, although it's not a daily thing for them to pick things up. How often (this situation oc- curs), I don't know. I can't answer it." Drivers make between $8,000 and $25,000 annually, according to estimates by several drivers. "There's single people trying to do it on their own," Yoder said. The move to the four-day week cost some drivers 20 percent of their hours, Canfield said, and the classi- fied union has had no cost-of-living adjustments or step increases in the past couple of years. "The only hours they've lost are the hours on Friday," Goetz said. Nothing has been added Mon day through Thursday. "I'm doing everything I can to try to offer them work to deal with that. There have been hours cut, there's no question; and that would hurt anybody with that much time cut. By Sean C. Morgan Of The New Era School District 55 bus drivers say that the cut in hours and pay from the four-day week has left them shorthanded this school year. In response to a comment at the regular School Board meeting held on Nov. 5, drivers said they wanted to assure residents of the district that the buses are not overloaded and they are getting the job done. Velma Canfield, president of the classified employees union, said in remarks to board members that the buses were overloaded and one bus was continually arriving late. To clarify, she said, the buses are not overloaded, although the drivers may be overloaded. There are sometimes not enough to handle every trip, she said. The late bus refers to a spe- cial needs bus that is on a different schedule from normal and not relat- "I think the district is trying to find creative ways to get classified people more hours, but we are run- ning into roadblocks." Because of the issues going on right now, he said, he probably shouldn't talk about it. "It's a problem, and the dis- trict recognizes that," Goetz said. "I know there was communication early on (about trying) to get staff development for the classified. We continue to try to find ways to get some classified hours back." Yoder said the drivers are dealing with the struggles and ob- stacles. "We are pulling together as a team." Canfield, who is a special edu- cation assistant at Foster, said the drivers are the first and last school employees children see each day. "We do it for the kids," she said. "We don't do it for the money." The drivers are trained Profes- sionals, she said. They don't break the rules of the road, and they drive safely every day. "They're doing it for the kids, and they want their kids to be safe," Canfield said. The drivers are short two po- sitions, said Dispatcher Cheryl Hicks. Those are being filled from the sub list, which will fall to two subs, down from a normal roster of eight. It's going to take time to train the new drivers and new subs once they're signed up, probably three to four weeks for the new drivers, she said. In addition to driving, the mechanic has had to fill in as an aid on routes. Goetz is trying to do what he can, said Tunnell. He is trying to make it a posi- tive atmosphere, Hicks said. "He wants us to talk to him and let him know what we think." Goetz said he has made some recommendations in the transpor- tation department to save money. Among them, the district had been sending a bus to pick up a student or two. Now is sending a Suburban. , ,y Movember i / / The South Santiam Sweet Potato Queens show their solidarity for the "Movember" movement, in which men grow mustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of prostate and other male cancers. Founded in Australia, the event is celebrated in countries around the worm - including here. The Queens reported that they "did their best. The Queens love hangin' out with the GUYS" they saM. 10# $4.99 25# $10.99 50# $19.99 State Farm TM Happy Thanksgiving from Beth, Amy, Tina, Edna and Jaxon 727 Long Street I 541-367-4353 i