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District is up to its same old tricks

Letters to the Editor, March 19

To the Editor:

I read with great interest your story concerning Coach Duhrkoop at Milwaukie High School. I don't know all the particulars of this story, but it sounds like the superintendent is up to his old tricks.

In 2001, Ron Naso and then Milwaukie High Principal, Kelly Hood, attempted to discredit another outstanding Milwaukie High teacher. Jeff Gilbert was arguably one of the best history teachers the school had ever seen. He used unconventional teaching methods to bring history to life. While known as a tough grader and expecting the best from his students, the students loved him and voted him 'Teacher of the Year' on multiple occasions. He worked tirelessly on the much acclaimed 'Living History Day' and could be counted on to volunteer for anything that would benefit students. Mr. Gilbert's undoing, however, was the fact that he wasn't a 'yes man,' and that was something the administration could not accept. This seemed strange, at a time when students are starting to spread their wings, that their mentors would have their wings clipped.

Hood and Naso attempted to discredit Mr. Gilbert by putting him under some type of phony supervision in an attempt to prove that he was an unfit teacher. This ploy might have worked, hadn't it been for the students and parents who came to Gilbert's defense. They packed the house at school board meetings, picketed, hand billed and kept pressure up until the administration had to back off.

I applaud the students, parents and teachers at Milwaukie High for coming to the defense of Mr. Duhrkoop. Be advised however, that this is not the first attack by this administration on a good teacher and as long as big egos run NCSD, it probably won't be the last.

I challenge the students at Milwaukie, Putnam and Clackamas High Schools, as well as all parents in the NCSD to keep a wary eye on districts' administration and be ready to protest again in defense of your great teachers.

Leonard Surface

Oregon City

Light rail must be stopped

To the Editor:

The Milwaukie/Portland light rail project must be stopped! The people of Milwaukie voted it down twice because WE DON'T WANT IT! If anyone in power questions that, put it on the ballot. It is a waste of public money, time and effort of biblical proportions.

Being a man of 6-foot-4-inches and having ridden the bus from Milwaukie to downtown Portland and back for several years, I know what it's like. It has always been comfortable, quick enough and violence free. There is little wrong with using buses for public transport between Milwaukie and Portland.

Here is what would really help North Clackamas' and S.E. Portland's transportation needs now and for future growth: The busiest two-lane bridge in the State or Oregon, the Sellwood Bridge, needs to be upgraded to four lanes of traffic. Tacoma Street needs to be widened to four lanes of traffic and a center turn lane all the way to McLoughlin Boulevard. If the main thoroughfares are built to handle the traffic load, people stay on them and traffic won't spill into the Sellwood neighborhood. Sellwood business, on the other hand, will blossom due to better access.

But whatever happens, we must stop the Milwaukie/Portland light rail pork barrel, monument building boondoggle and save Milwaukie.

Joe Kelly

Milwaukie

Lewis and Clark Mount Hood Wilderness Act Held up at Gun-Point

By now if you haven and #146;t heard the name Tom Coburn and wondered where on the map Oklahoma is, than either you have been on a long vacation or you haven't been reading newspapers. Tom Coburn is a Senator from Oklahoma and here is what he has to say about the Lewis and Clark Mount Hood Wilderness Act: 'We can't do it. We don't have the money. I don't want to trade. I want to fix what's wrong with our country in terms of the fiscal problems we have. and #148; This sounds good; however the 59-year-old junior Republican Senator isn't trying to save the United State from bankruptcy, he is capitalizing on an election year.

One has to look no further than his sponsorship of a controversial amendment to a large Natural Resource Authorization Act, repealing the ban on loaded firearms in National Parks that has been in effect for more than 100 years. His active and vocal support of the war in Iraq, which costs $700 million per day to fight, must come from some other budget and not the Federal Government for his remarks to be taken seriously.

So, what's all the fuss about one gray-haired wannabe in the U.S. Senate? It's the bulge in his pocket that has everyone fuming, including Senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith, both sponsors of the Lewis and Clark Mount Hood Wilderness Act. No, it's not a loaded gun in his pocket; it's his fistful of holds that he has placed on consensus legislation that is normally shuffled across the Senate floor. At last count there were more than 100 bills in his pocket.

Included in this wad of paper are two important Oregon bills; one that will significantly expand the wilderness area around Mt. Hood and another that promises big economic returns for Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. The latter bill, referred to as the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail Act, will create a new unit of the National Park Service that will cross parts of the four Pacific Northwest states interpreting the amazing story of the largest floods ever recorded on Earth. This is exactly the kind of tourism product that the emerging brand of geo-tourism is looking for; it integrates environmental science with recreation and conservation and comes with a large wow factor.

This brings me to my final point and it may not be comfortable for those of you that value citizen involvement. Tom Coburn has taken an important Senate procedural rule, the ability for any Senator to put a hold on legislative action, and twisted it into a tool to promote his own activist agenda.

Call Sentor Coburn's office in Washington, D.C. at 202-224-5754 and see how long you can vent to an Oklahoma Senator until the 18-year-old on the other end of the line says, 'Thank you very much for your call...' click. I lasted about 45 seconds.

Mark Buser

President and Founder of the Lower Columbia Floods Chapter of the Ice Age Floods Institute