'The road from West Linn to Oregon City is a short one É

'When you arrive, your heart will break.

'A wall of emotions Ñ figuratively and literally Ñ has emerged along a temporary fence put up around the rented home of Ward Weaver É

'The search, which began in January for Ashley (Pond) and March for Miranda (Gaddis), ended just few short yards from their homes in a nearby apartment complex. Many local residents watched this horrendous end to a double nightmare unfold on their TV sets, hoping for the best, but quickly realizing the worst.

'A flower went up on the fence. Then a note. Then a stuffed animal. And a candle. And more and more and more were added until 200 feet of temporary fence had become transformed into a colorful, glowing memorial to two young girls, their families and the communities they lived in.

'And while we share the tears with our kindred spirits in Oregon City, we must remain ever vigilant to try to ensure that this sort of nightmare never happens here.'

Ñ From an editorial published Aug. 29 in the West Linn Tidings

'Residents who are frustrated by school cutbacks can do something about it: They can vote for Measure 19.

'This proposal, which appears on the Sept. 17 mail-in ballot, would prevent $150 million in school-budget reductions statewide Ñ without raising taxes. The measure also has long-term value. It uses Oregon lottery dollars to establish a permanent rainy-day fund for schools.

'If Measure 19 fails, however, a fiscal situation faced by public education due to continued state budget cuts will grow worse for schools. ...

'The funding picture for local schools could hardly be more dismal, or more uncertain. The Legislature will meet again to grapple with another $450 million state budget shortfall. School districts don't expect to come through that session unscathed.

'Measure 19 offers citizens the chance to take some measure of control Ñ without new taxes. From here forward, the state budget solutions become politically difficult and increasingly more expensive for taxpayers.

'Voters should grab onto the one easy answer while they can.'

Ñ From an editorial published Aug. 29 in the Tualatin Times