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Valley Times Letters to the Editor for Oct. 12
Hogue can improve 'options' even more
I was surprised to see a letter to the editor in the Sept. 21 Oregonian titled 'rife with cronyism' written by Mark Gross. Mr. Gross must find cronyism synonymous with dedication and success. He attacks Janet Hogue in her new position as coordinator of the Beaverton School District Options Programs. Something tells me he has no history in the Beaverton School District and does not know Janet Hogue.
Janet Hogue was an award-winning science teacher at Sunset High School from 1979 to 1986 before stepping aside to raise her two daughters. While raising her daughters, she completed a master's in science teaching degree in biology and has continued taking ongoing coursework to keep her teaching certificate current.
In addition, she was elected to local school committees at Bethany Elementary School, Meadow Park Middle School and Westview High School. After the passage of Measure 5, Janet chaired and co-chaired numerous bond campaigns with Citizens for School Support and was one of the founders of the legislative lobbying group Citizens for Beaverton Schools.
Most recently, Janet served as director of the Beaverton Education Foundation from 1999 to 2006. During her seven years as executive director, she worked with the foundation board to create a new grant program that supports summer and after-school programs and grew the annual value of grants awarded from $30,000 in 1999 to $250,000 in 2006, awarding over $1million to support programs around the district.
She is a tremendous choice by this superintendent to lead our options programs. She is someone who has taught in the secondary classroom, is a current certified teacher, has a plethora of history, knowledge and background of the school district and tremendous administrative and communication skills.
I believe Janet will take our options programs - programs that provide opportunities to meet the needs of even more students - to new heights, just as she did the Beaverton Education Foundation.
In this case, 'cronyism' simply means knowledge, history and dedication to the kids in the Beaverton school district.
Vote 'yes' for Beaverton schools
Beaverton School District enrollment continues to increase with many schools over or near enrollment capacities. In the last five years Beaverton enrollment increased by 3,000 students and that pace is expected to continue. This means we need to build new schools and facilities to keep class sizes lower and children attending schools closer to home.
The Beaverton School District is seeking voter approval for the $195 million Capital Bond Measure 34-139 to build new schools and to expand and renovate existing facilities. In addition, the district will seek to acquire land for a future high school and to protect the community's investment by maintaining current facilities.
The estimated cost increase to the average sized homeowner would be approximately $128 per year, which is less than $11 per month.
Our children deserve a quality education and attending a classroom with a reasonable number of students. This bond will help keep pace with our growth and maintain the Beaverton School District as a place to receive an outstanding education.
Please vote 'yes' for Measure 34-139.
Mayor of Beaverton
Harrington best choice for Metro
Kathryn Harrington is the best choice for the District 4 Metro Council seat in Washington County.
Metro has significant influence over the quality of life in our local communities. As an area resident, Kathryn has worked on community issues, digging into issues of public involvement, land use and transportation from a citizen perspective. Kathryn will be a voice of the citizens at Metro.
Metro also has significant influence over regional land use decisions and transportation issues that will impact our local communities. Kathryn's extensive business background has provided her with the skills needed to bring together the divergent interests on these critical issues. Kathryn will be an effective advocate for Washington County at Metro.
Kathryn's experience with local issues and her expertise in business leadership make her the candidate I trust to take responsible stands for our community. We need Kathryn Harrington as our District 4 Metro councilor.
Quality of schools is top priority
There is nothing more important to the future of our community than the quality of our local public schools. But schools can only do their job if the children inside them have room to learn.
As we look around us, we continue to see significant growth throughout our wonderful and vibrant community. This rapid growth has a huge impact on our local schools.
Did you know that 19 out of our 31 elementary schools in Beaverton have enrollment near or over 100 percent? Or that four out of the five comprehensive high schools (Sunset, Westview, Beaverton, Southridge and Aloha) are operating at over 105 percent capacity?
Our children need room to learn. Please vote 'yes' on the upcoming capital bond measure.
Cooper Mountain School LSC and site council
Crowded Beaverton schools need relief
The Beaverton School District proposes another tax increase - about $128 per year for the average homeowner.
Good citizens already move to Vancouver to avoid high Oregon taxes. Yet, the tax money would be spent only on land, new buildings, plumbing repairs, earthquake safety, etc. - not salaries and benefits.
We already pay high property and income taxes. Now we get to choose 'yes' or 'no' on a new bond tax.
In the next four years, about 4,000 more students are expected to enroll in Beaverton schools. About one million souls will relocate to the Portland area in less than a generation. With clogged highways, how will our economy prosper?
Investment in physical facilities for education, combined with educated Internet workers (who work at home), will help and would be a wise investment in our economy and in our quality of life.
Put differently, land will never be cheaper. Adding 100 new classrooms and two new schools, and repairing what we currently operate is wise. And it will help alleviate the current situation of operating at maximum physical capacity at the majority of our schools.
If you are a child, 'maximum physical capacity' means you spend every day learning in a crowded room, eating lunch at a crowded table and playing in a crowded gym.
Here is why our area is becoming more populated: since 1960, the earth's population has doubled. Beaverton can't hide - we must carve out physical space for youth development: imagination and play, learning to get along with others and book learning.
So whether they have no children, or young or grown children, voters should consider voting 'yes' on Nov. 7.
DAVID S. ERLANDSON
Please vote 'no' on Measure 26-80
Vote 'no' on Ballot Measure 26-80, Metro's $230 million waste of your taxes to buy our farmland.
There are some points you should know about Metro's green space land grab:
n The areas targeted for natural area acquisition include hundreds of acres of prime farmland outside of urban growth boundaries. Why should public tax dollars be spent to purchase rural farmland?
n Many of the areas targeted for acquisition are significantly outside Metro's boundary. Should taxpayers pay for acquisition of farmland west of Banks and south of Forest Grove?
n The ballot measure cannot provide funds for annual maintenance of the properties acquired. Did you know that Metro spends approximately $1.2 million annually to maintain the acreage purchased from the 1995 ballot measure? These maintenance monies come from Metro's excise taxes, out of your wallet.
n When farmland is acquired by Metro, it is typically removed from property tax rolls. Your taxes may increase to compensate for this lost revenue or county services may be reduced.
n Metro pays 'high appraised value' when it acquires farmland. Farmers wanting to expand their operations have difficulty competing with the high prices Metro offers.
n Farmers and neighbors of targeted areas outside of Metro's boundary aren't eligible to vote on this measure even though it affects them. Is it fair for Metro to impact the farmers and homeowners outside of Metro's jurisdiction?
Let Metro know that its ballot measure is a waste of our taxes by voting 'no' on measure 26-80. Land zoned for exclusive farm use should not be part of Metro's parks acquisition. Help us protect the agriculture industry of Washington County by keeping farmland in the hands of farmers, not the government. This money is needed for your children's education, fire and police protection, and maintaining our rural roads and highways.
Harrington will be effective at Metro
Kathryn Harrington is the person we need as Washington County's representative for the Dist. 4 Metro Council seat.
I have known Kathryn since she became vice-chair of Citizen Participation Organization 7, helping residents organize recommendations for the North Bethany community planning effort. Kathryn was also appointed to represent Washington County citizens on a Metro transportation committee.
As a former Intel employee, I can say that Kathryn's career at Intel demonstrates her leadership ability - she got hard jobs done on time and within budget. Kathryn has the skills to be an effective Metro councilor.
Kathryn Harrington as our Metro councilor will make sure Metro serves as a partner with Washington County, our local cities, and agencies to manage our future growth. Kathryn is the person to make this happen and help keep Washington County as a place where we want to live and work.
Bicyclist manual clears up road rules
This letter is a response to Judy Patterson's letter to the editor in the Oct. 5 Valley Times titled 'Bike riders need to know the rules of road.'
I heartily agree with the thought that both motor vehicle drivers and bicyclists need to know and follow the rules of the road. I have witnessed improper behavior by both.
After reading the inaccurate examples and debatable conclusions presented in Patterson's letter, it is my opinion that many could benefit from more knowledge on this topic.
The Oregon Bicyclist Manual, 2006, is an excellent, easy-to-read manual on this topic. It is available in both English and Spanish at the following Web link: http://oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEPED/Publications.shtml under 'Publications.'
Protect quality of Beaverton education
This November voters have a chance to protect the quality of education of Beaverton school children.
While Beaverton has great schools, they are suffering from overcrowding. In the past five years the Beaverton School District enrollment has increased by over 3,000 students. Overcrowding like this takes a toll on children's ability to learn, with larger class sizes and less individual attention for students.
If Capitol Bond Measure 34-139 is approved, it would create over 100 new classrooms throughout the district and add two new elementary schools, giving children the space they need to learn and grow. The bond would also be used to make critical repairs to older schools, making them safer and better for kids.
Please join me in supporting this important investment in our schools.
Group to give clout to vulnerable road-users
As someone who commutes via bicycle year-round, I read with interest Hal Ballard's Soapbox piece in the Oct. 5 Valley Times.
While there are many reasons to be concerned about what is being done, or should be considered to prevent further tragedies on our roadways, the discussion should encompass law-abiding road users of all types.
It is not only bicyclists who are at the mercy of bad or inattentive motorists. Anyone who walks, runs, or rides a motorcycle (as do I) on public streets is also at a decided disadvantage when tangling with a car, bus, or truck.
Mr. Ballard's call for increased penalties in cases where the victim is seriously injured or killed reflects a growing sentiment born from the frustrating knowledge that the punishment meted seldom is in line with the offense. For Hal and his like-minded citizens, hope is at hand, and a national organization may have the clout to force some results. I am referring to the American Motorcyclist Association's 'Justice for All' campaign.
Under the auspices of a 260,000 member-strong organization, the AMA is using its government relations branch to push for legislation in each of the 50 states that will place an emphasis on the rights of all vulnerable road-users. Hoping to put an end to inadequate sentencing for drivers who injure or kill others on the road, their lobbyists are meeting with government officials who can make a difference.
In a time when the standards for drivers have fallen to an historical low, and traffic law enforcement all too often consists only of photo radar, it's time to make your voices known. I urge everyone to log on to the AMA Web site (www.amadirectlink.com) to join the fight. We all have a stake in this matter, and it is our responsibility to take part in a sensible solution.