Featured Stories

Letters to the editor for July 24

Lions Club helps students with eyesight

To the editor: The fundamental skills needed by all students at all levels should include the ability to see clearly. Not all families can financially afford detailed eye exams; therefore, many sight problems go undetected. This fact has not been overlooked by the Woodburn School District.

Recently, the Woodburn Lions Club was asked to organize and arrange giving sight exams to all students in the elementary and middle schools. The Woodburn Lions Club members and students from Wellness, Business and Sports School were able to screen more than 900 students in a six-day period.

This would not have been possible without the 12 high school volunteers who not only performed screenings, but acted as translators when necessary. It would also not have been so successful without the cooperation of school staff and administrators or the willingness of teachers to allow their classroom schedules to be interrupted during a busy school day.

Prior to this year, the Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation had performed approximately 25,000 screenings a year in Oregon schools. This year, with the use of new technology, they have done almost 50,000 screenings. The screenings not only test for farsightedness, acuity, stereo and depth perception, but they identify other related problems as well.

Younger students, especially, may lose or break their glasses and often can’t afford to replace them. The Lions Club can help by giving financial assistance to replace broken lenses and frames or further eye exams.

Older students often go without wearing their glasses because they are afraid of being harassed by others or they are simply self-conscious. The vision screening results will be passed on to adults who are encouraged to help the student understand that not wearing their glasses may affect their current and future school work as well as grades.

Lee Howe

Woodburn

Does Pix really need a fix?

To the editor:

After reading last week’s article regarding concerns about the potential hazards at the former PIX Theater (“City wants fix for Pix,” July 17, 2013 edition), I wondered if it was as bad as it was made out to be. After delivering my mail at the post office last week, I parked in front of the old theater and walked around the facility and found no broken windows at all, but one very small pane missing from the second floor and various alley graffiti. The cinder-block structure appears very solid from the outside.

About the mold issue, who knows what the inside really looks like, especially after the exaggerations regarding the outside, but then again, whose business is that, beings it’s sealed up.

I’m sure there are ample homes with crawl spaces, basements and out buildings in this city with bugs, rodents and mold, as well as vacant or abandoned homes with obvious violations and health hazards, like a couple of them on Brown Street. Does the city think this is an HOA or a designated historical district with special governing rules? Doesn’t the owner of that building pay property taxes? If the city owned this property, would they dump your tax dollars into it and then maintain it with more tax dollars for decades while it stayed abandoned?

And then as I drove back home, going down Front Street to Parr Road, I was immediately struck by the lack of city maintenance on most of the newer street developments with their nifty roadside flower beds that are now filled with weeds, some of which are nearly 5 feet tall. It seems like the citizens would have been better served if these had been paved over.

What about those huge tansy ragwort plants in the beds on the east end of Parr Road? Couldn’t those pose a tragic incident to some wandering cow or horse about town?

John Catterson

Woodburn

Is Fiesta’s anniversary no. 50 or no. 4?

To the editor:

No doubt that the new Fiesta Mexicana has united many businesses, community people and political interests in Woodburn. The City of Unity is starting to show different ways of uniting. This relationship began in 2010. The sponsor of the Fiesta for more than 40 years, Woodburn Club Latino Americano, became history and journalistically, people in the news should review some facts.

Thanks to a good Samaritan who saw migrants from Tejas come to Marion County to help with agriculture. Russell Baglien approached some merchants from the chamber of commerce to create an activity in downtown Woodburn to celebrate the harvest and thank the migrant families for their hard work. Not everyone was thrilled or approved of the idea, he said, however, Mr. Baglien’s persistence prevailed and the fact that he could relate to the experience as he remembered his own journey to the Beaver State and particularly Woodburn, was helpful in his quest. It took a person from out of town to recognize the importance of rewarding and acknowledging hard work.

On the eve of the Fiesta in 2013 it’s important to remember the first phase of the Fiesta Mexicana, as the anniversaries have become a bit of a mystery. Is this year’s Fiesta number 50 or number 4? Historical documents show that the first phase of the Fiesta would last from 1966-2009 (40-plus years) under the Woodburn Club Latino Americano leadership. Sadly, the majority of the leadership has joined the inevitable “eternal journey.” The members and many volunteers of the club had devotion like no other. Everyone volunteered, some gave up their vacations and spent their own money, and many families would work tirelessly day and night to offer three days of family fun, entertainment and a time to mingle. The club had a policy of “no one got paid,” a contrast to the recent promotion of the Fiesta. Self-sufficiency was the hallmark of the early pioneers of Fiesta.

Sadly, even good things come to an end. Those who will read the accounts in the newspapers, oral/video and photo historical clips will decide for themselves the meaning of 2013 and the claim of Fiesta “50.”

A collage of photos, copies of agendas, minutes and other information to celebrate and acknowledge the first 45 years of Fiesta and an evolving community can help set the records straight and will be displayed at www.texmexorusa.org. This is a gift to the general community from the Saldaña-Salinas families. You the reader will decide the merit and importance of this article.

Miguel Salinas

West Linn