Letters to the editor from our readers
School newspapers in jeopardy without funding
Thank you for shining a spotlight on local high school newspapers. It is insightful for the Valley Times to understand that encouraging this skill set in students is the only way to insure a future for print media. In a world of increasing sound bites and 140 character tweets, it is inspiring to learn that young teens are taking an interest in the English language and investigative journalism. Working against the prevalent thinking that teens are interested only in social media, these students are learning the art of communication with fair and balanced reporting even on difficult or unpopular subjects. This is how future journalists are made.
This article highlighted the work of the students but omitted a sad reality of high school newspapers: With cuts in school funding, these papers' budgets have been reduced or eliminated. The anticipated line item funding for the Beaverton High School Hummer for 2012-13 is $0. Given the recent worsening Beaverton School District budget news, this is unlikely to change. It is impossible to send a paper to print without financial backing.
We have a generation of students willing and excited about taking on the real world task of bringing a newspaper from concept to print. Unfortunately, this experience will be denied to them unless funding is found. If the future of print journalism is important to you or if participation in this type of high school activity influenced you, donations can be made to your local high school paper: BHS Hummer. Beaverton High School, Attn: Andrew Evans (adviser), 13000 S.W. Second St., Beaverton 97005.
Parent of BHS Hummer staff member
School Board should save sports from budget cuts
Students involved in school sports do better in school. One of the greatest predictors of later success in college, careers and life in general is participation in a high school sport. Over 400 students in the Beaverton School District will lose their opportunity to participate in their sport if water polo, golf and JV2 sports are cut.
It will cost $145,000 to fund these sports - 0.39 percent of the $37 million shortfall or 0.05 percent of the general fund budget of $302,580,062. The fee to participate in sports is $225. A total of 407 students (the number who were in these sports last year) pay $91,575 to play their sport. This amount will be lost to our sports funding if polo, golf and JV2 sports are cut. A total of $91,575 in fees leaves only $53,425 to fund these sports.
Golf and polo may become clubs, but the cost will tentatively increase to $675 a student. Many students will not be able to afford this. JV2 players are out of luck unless they make the junior varsity or varsity teams or find a no-cut sport (like water polo) to play.
It seems to me that finding the funding for these sports ($145,000 or $53,425, depending on how you look at it), is worth it. The tremendous gains students develop for a comparatively small investment is a win-win for all of us. I strongly urge our School Board to look for a way to make this happen.
Driving less is the answer to lower gas prices
My friend was recently in Kentucky. He bought gas at Kroger gas station for $2.98 a gallon. We have heard all the rhetoric about gas refineries on the West Coast being shut down, causing a low supply of fuel to the West Coast states. This is pure hog wash. This is plain and simple price gouging through and through. And really there is only one answer. We have to drive less and remind the big oil companies that they need us, and not the other way around.
Instead of five trips to the store, make one a week, ride your bike when you can, take public transportation, and we need to change our entitlement mind set regarding driving. Hit the freeway someday during rush hour and see how many folks are driving alone either to or from work. This thought process needs to change as well. Your car is not your kingdom - it is a mode to get from point A to point B. Car pooling is a necessity in this day and age. And really the idea that a car is some sort of status symbol, that thought process has been drilled into our heads by the auto manufacturers for years. Your car does not make you a better or wealthier person really.
The politicians will not save the day on gas and oil prices. We have to change our bad habits plain and simple. The sooner the better.