Letters to the editor for Nov. 19


Gresham High production worthy of praise

As a member of the community, I wish to express my appreciation for the excellent work of our Gresham High School students, teachers, staff, parents and community helpers for their marvelous presentation of 'The Sound of Music.' It was greatly enjoyed. The vocalists were superb. The sets were nicely designed and the setting of mountains was beautiful. The flow of the production showed cooperation on everyone's part.

We are proud of you young people. Thank you for an enjoyable evening.

Harriet Anderson


War costs far exceed simple budgeting

(In response to Sharon Nesbit's column 'How much does war really cost?' in the Saturday, Nov. 12, issue of The Outlook).

Yes, and also the same kinds of costs for millions of the Iraqis and Afghans.

Also the psychological emotional difficulties of the several percent of our own population experiencing indirectly the casualties of war, surely these to eventually total trillions more just for Iraq War among Americans. And just try to count the costs of the crazy psychological (deniability) struggles many of us engage in, trying to explain away and/or justify how our inattention and negligence brought these tragedies about. So evident for Vietnam; now starting to come to bear for Iraq. Afghanistan is another complex and costly matter mounded on top of the rest.

How do we account for all these, let alone hold accountable all of us, not just our leaders, who are responsible for these costs? But don't you dare raise my taxes!

Dick McQueen

Brightwood and Gresham

Local initiative petition cannot change state law

I read with interest that Ask Damascus has qualified another initiative for the Damascus ballot requiring the city to obtain voter approval of submissions to Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD)/Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC). I strongly believe in the Oregon initiative process, but why waste the city's (our) money putting something to a vote that has no effect?

The earlier initiative was to invalidate the city's required comprehensive plan submittal to DLCD. However DLCD/LCDC have 'acknowledged' that plan, noting the 'goals' not yet in compliance and providing a strict timetable for completion of tasks, so currently it is the plan per state law.

The latest initiative is to prevent the city from submitting the required remaining tasks without voter approval. So let's assume for the moment the voters don't approve. That would mean the city would be violating law - I wasn't aware the local initiative process could be used to negate laws outside of the jurisdiction - if it can be then why don't we pass one that says we don't have to pay taxes?

If the city chooses not to comply with the compliance schedule as provided by LCDC they then can finish and impose the plan on the city.

Seems to me that it would be a lot more productive to be part of the process, complete the required compliance tasks, make the submittal and receive final 'acknowledgement.' Then we could finally move forward instead of being stuck in this expensive, inefficient waiting status. Of significant note is a comprehensive plan can always be changed as we move forward.

John Hartsock


Walmart will help neighborhood

The empty QFC grocery store is an eyesore. A new Walmart is just the thing that is needed. A new Walmart will bring jobs and a tax-paying business to where it is needed now. The local grocery store has had a monopoly for long enough, and it (admitted) it is using the isolated location and demographics to keep its prices higher.

Retired fixed-income folks and low-income households need some relief. Walmart will provide the help we need in these times in this local neighborhood. Walmart will provide some needed competition for the local shoppers who cannot run all over the place (high gas prices, etc.) to find low affordable goods.

Gary H. Beckham


Gorge act was attack on personal rights

I came to Oregon in 2003 as a gung-ho, bleeding heart, tree-hugging liberal. I have become disillusioned, broken-hearted, disgusted and embarrassed that liberals - progressive people that I thought cared so much more than anyone else about people - could promote, enforce (coerce and pay off corrupt Republican politicians) to implement a piece of illegal, unconstitutional legislation (the Gorge Act) that has hurt and destroyed fellow Americans' lives and livelihoods.

Shame on Nancy Russell. Shame on Friends of the Gorge. Shame on Ronald Reagan. Fly your flags upside down on this Thursday, Nov. 17. The gorge act should be overturned and rewritten to include the most important treasure in the gorge: people.

Angelo Simione


State leaders need to change approach to jobs

On Wednesday, Nov. 16, I attended the Government Affairs Council (GAC) forum in Gresham. Michael Jordan, State of Oregon COO was the guest speaker. Mr. Jordan discussed the state's 10-year plan and its attempt to eliminate duplication of efforts within state departments and other efforts to save tax dollars. In summary, all what he said was very good and if it could be pulled off, lots of tax dollars could be saved. A good thing!

During the Q and A, I asked what the state was going to do to promote 'jobs' in Oregon. His response was that the state was not responsible for the 'global economy.' Taken aback, I followed up with additional questions and cited several other states that have managed to use their resources to create a healthy environment. One of the states I mentioned was Nebraska, where the unemployment rate is reported to be less than 1 percent. Jordan's response was that maybe I should move to Nebraska. Another comment to Jordan was that without jobs and a tax base, all the savings would be for naught.

All of this was captured by Metro East, who videotapes all GAC forums.

The point of this is not to question our leaders, but to sing their praises and to buy into whatever they say.

Jackie Bennett