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Letters to the editor for Dec. 14

New path is great for neighborhood

A resounding thank you to the city of Gresham for the new paved path along Southeast First Street between Kane Road and Fred Meyer.

This is one of the more heavily used pedestrian routes in the city and now users no longer need to deal with loose gravel and mud to walk the only direct route to shopping for a large segment of the Powell Valley Neighborhood. The new path will likely attract many more walkers who can forgo their car for a short trip to the store.

Jef Kaiser

Gresham

Community stepped up for soldiers

There is a Santa Claus (several, in fact) and they live in East County!

Troutdale Mayor Jim Kight wrote a letter to the Editor (in the Nov. 16, edition of The Outlook) and caused an avalanche of gifts to come pouring in to the Depot Museum in Troutdale, destined for troops in Afghanistan.

There were donations of homemade stockings, hats, gloves, hand warmers, beef jerky and literally everything from soup to nuts!

A special thanks to Mayor Kight, Joan Anderson at Cherry Park Plaza in Troutdale, Jenny and the Cub Scouts of Pack 717, Cindy Johnson of Damascus, Tyler Kaney and family (also Pack 717), Barbara Swanson and Jan Tutt of Gresham, SmartWear Imprints of Gresham, Stan and Mae Huston and the many others who donated and didn't leave a name. The soldiers in Charlie Company, CO 3BSTB, 25th Infantry, FOB Fenty in Afghanistan will have a much nicer Christmas because of YOU.

There was more than 200 pounds of items shipped.

Terry Huston

Gresham

Where do school funds go?

Sean Mulvihill of Gresham brings up an interesting observation in a recent letter to The Outlook ('Help Wanted: Apply Within, The Outlook on Wednesday, Dec. 7) wherein Mulvihill writes 'The proven model for successful education is funding the system. Go anywhere in the world and measure in any increments, and you'll see the connection between funding education and achieving success.

'The can-do model is for voters to increase funding in education. We can do that, but we continue to choose not to.'

Few people would argue that education of our youth is not important. What is important is, are we getting the bang for our buck? We see no tangible results? Class sizes increasing, teachers dipping into their savings to provide classroom materials. Unacceptable.

With bond measures, my priorities are: hiring the best teachers available and pay them a decent wage; give teachers the tools for the classroom; give students the tools to excel; make certain our school buildings are up to standards and safe; and providing the best atmosphere for learning.

So, what is the problem? We continue to vote for more money, and we seem to be going backward in educational achievement. We need to take a close look at where our tax dollars are going. How much for the classroom, how much to administration. Teachers need the resources to succeed. We need to support our teachers. They should not be babysitters. Since we pay the bill for education, we have a right to expect and demand excellence. Just dumping more money into a sinkhole we can no longer fill needs to be re-examined. In conclusion, I recently read a quote from Leslie O'Dell, Principal of Portland's Jason Lee School. O'Dell rightly states, 'nobody goes into education, in my opinion, for any reason except that they want to be great teachers.' To that I say, amen, and they need our support and encouragement.

Louis H. Bowerman

Portland