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Letters from our readers

Honor Andrew Keller by renaming SRHS stadium

My name is Spc. Jason Dudley. I currently am serving a tour of duty in Honduras with the U.S. Army. I am more than in favor of renaming the stadium after Pfc. Andrew Keller.

Andrew died a very honorable and heroic death, and to not honor him in this way because of a policy that the community you serve is asking to change would be disrespectful and dishonoring his name and the rights that he died defending.

The School Board was elected by the people and is supposed to be supporting the people. So why is it that when the people want a change, the board members who they elected say no? It dishonors Andrew’s sacrifice.

Andrew is a beloved member of the community and was very well respected by his peers — to change the stadium name to honor him would be a public service. I know I speak on behalf of the entire military community when I say that this should be done.

Spc. Jason Dudley

Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras

Keller was a true inspiration to our school

Hello, my name is Samantha Ross. I am a sophomore at Southridge High School, and I attended the Andrew Keller memorial Sept. 21. The whole Southridge student body attended the memorial and gave honor to a fallen soldier, who attended my school, who was a football player and was a Skyhawk.

None of the Southridge student body this year knew Andrew Keller or his family. Our school has a relationship that is based on honor, love and respect.

My father was in the National Guard, and he was deployed off to Iraq in 2003. He was one of the very fortunate soldiers to survive 15 months at war and come home alive in 2004. I have attended many memorials regarding the military, and at Andrew Keller’s memorial, I started to cry. I know what it’s like to have someone go overseas, not knowing if the last time you saw that person would be your last. Not being able to say goodbye is one of the hardest things I had to do in my life when my dad was deployed. I don’t know how I could deal with the loss of my dad, like the Keller family has dealt so well with the loss of their son and fiancé, Andrew.

Southridge High School does not have a name or any symbol to represent our school besides Skyler the Skyhawk.

This is something that will go down in history as Southridge High School: Andrew Keller’s stadium, track, field and stands. He would be a true inspiration to our school to strive to be like Andrew Keller.

Southridge would honor his name to the fullest and respect, cherish and live up to the name of Andrew Keller. Please dedicate our stadium to Andrew Keller. Thank you for your time. I hope to see this name change to honor Andrew Keller.

Samantha Ross

Southridge High School student

Let’s continue Pfc. Andrew Keller’s legacy of service

Andrew always seemed humble despite being one of the more talented athletes in his class at Southridge. I was a year older, but knew him on a casual level.

As an Operation Enduring Freedom veteran and 2007 Southridge graduate, I fully support naming the field after Andrew.

Years from now, when the war is over, a boy in a Southridge Youth Football jersey can look up during a game and see “Andrew Keller Memorial Field” stamped on the press box. “Who was Andrew Keller?” He’ll ask aloud.

I hope I’m there, so that I can say, “Let me tell you his story.”

Dedicating the field will give those he fought and died for, the privilege of knowing him.

Marcus Reaves

Southwest Portland

School district should do the right thing with policy

My name is Tyler Buckles, and I fully support the name change of the Southridge High School football field. Though I never knew Andrew, he is a hero in my eyes and my family’s eyes. The very least his school can do is name the football field after him for his sacrifice for them.

I find it to be a slap in the face to his family and the veteran community that the school district is wanting to say, “Well, it’s policy.” Can they not be changed? What are the reasons why?

It is not like he just passed away in a car crash. He died serving our country, serving Oregon, and most of all serving the people of Beaverton.

I support the push in changing the school district’s policy. I also have over 30,000 veterans from the Facebook community Stolen Valor behind me as well. They are actively writing a story about the school district and about Andrew. This is an opportunity to shine good light on the school district and to do the right thing.

Tyler Buckles

Tigard

Urge school leaders to honor fallen soldier

I urge anyone who lives in the Southridge High School district to politely demand that the school’s field be renamed in honor of fallen soldier Andrew Keller. How we honor our local soldiers who risk their lives, or in Andrew’s case, pay the ultimate sacrifice, should be a true reflection of who we are as a society.

Bill Dant

Gladstone

Gary Coe has my vote for state Senate seat

My husband and I have lived in our Garden Home house for over 10 years. In all that time, we have never had a candidate for political office stop here. That’s why we were pleasantly surprised to have Gary Coe, who’s running for Senate in our area, show up here one afternoon. As a family that depends on the success of a small business — and a large business — for our well-being and with two children in public school, we found Mr. Coe to be quite impressive. He understands how business works — and how government can hurt it — because he’s had decades of successful small business experience right here in Portland. Most importantly to us, Gary told us that adequate funding of schools is his top priority. With our school district — like most — facing large class sizes and general chaos, we need someone in government who wants to really focus on that issue. I am surprised that our current senator has been the chairman of the Education Committee for years and has not been able to prevent the chaos.I pay minimal attention to politics, so this visit was new to me. I enjoyed getting to know Gary Coe and plan to vote for him for senator in November.

Karen Danner

Garden Home

Don’t be misled by casinos name on ballot

As a member of Tualatin’s historic Winona Grange, I am amazed at the blatant use of the grange name for a proposed casino complex in east Multnomah County. The grange has a long tradition of focusing on personal values and sustaining family and natural resources.

Encouraging more casinos across the state is exactly opposite to those principles. Canadian developers grabbed the term “grange” to brand their proposed casino and related “family” entertainment attractions without bothering to check that it’s the registered trademark of a century-old organization across America.

Certainly our local grange will never offer slot machines and blackjack tables to the public, but will continue its long history of offering educational programs and rental space for music, dance, dramatic productions, church programs and good, old fashioned family fun.

For these reasons Ellie and I will be voting “no” on both Measures 82 and 83.

Larry McClure

Tualatin



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