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Letters to the Editor for March 29

End of shaken baby story saddens reader

Indeed, bless this little girl's heart ('Man gets five years for shaking infant' on Page 4A of the March 22 edition of The Outlook), and we can only pray that she does not suffer any long-term effects from this incident.

I hope you will also take the time to pray for this young father (Brandon DiNucci), who at 20 years old is too young to raise a kid, but will spend the next five years of his life maturing quite nicely I'm sure while in prison rehabilitation with his new roommates. I wonder what type of father he will be then?

This whole story turns my stomach. I realize that people need to be held accountable for the things that they do … but then what? This boy comes from a very well respected, good, strong family where something like this should never have happened. I don't understand what went wrong, but shouldn't we as a society be somewhat concerned with these things if we are to prevent this from happening to another child?

We can just keep putting people in prison, but without taking that next step … (all the needed steps such as understanding why, Counseling, prevention and follow up assistance) who we sent to prison as a safety net and penalty … comes out of prison even worse. My heart undeniably cries out for this child, this entire family, but somehow this story's ending doesn't make me feel good - like justice was served. It just makes me feel utterly sad.

Carole DeCourcey

Troutdale

Why no school zone along Division Street?

The picture of the students crossing Northeast Division Street in the article 'Risky Crossings?' on March 22 brought to mind: Why is Northeast Division Street bordering Gresham High School between North Main Avenue and Northeast Kelly Avenue NOT a school zone? Every morning, lunch time and afternoon there are many students crossing Division to/from North Main, Northeast Roberts, Northeast Hood and Northeast Kelly avenues.

There is also a lot of vehicle traffic by staff, students and parents, using the school parking lot along Division. Just because there is a median down Division and a 'safety' crosswalk doesn't make crossing Division any safer. The school and crossing hazard was there long before the median was installed. The median also poses a possible threat for eastbound traffic on Division to attempt a U-turn at Hood or Kelly to get to the school parking lot. Division is a two-lane street in both directions, which could cause the vision of a driver to be blocked from seeing a person attempting to cross the street by a vehicle in the next lane.

Since North Main between Division and Burnside is a school zone, wouldn't it make sense that Division should also be designated a school zone? I do not know which jurisdiction (school district, city, county or state) has the authority to designate a school zone along Division, but in the interest of safety it should be done.

Dave Dunford

Gresham

Annexation plan needed more publicity

As a resident of the Sweetbriar neighborhood, I was disappointed again by Troutdale City Council's indifference to its constituents, the facts and future quality of our community.

A problem that the reporter didn't mention in (the 'Despite concerns, annexation approved' in the March 26 issue of The Outlook) is that these decisions are made quietly with virtually no resident notification. Three years ago, a group of residents notified their neighbors of a similar annexation scenario and 50 residents packed inside City Council chambers to express their concerns. Residents are angry about these decisions, but have essentially no voice.

Sandy Glantz was not the only opposed resident, but a representative of hundreds who share her concerns but were not informed of a decision that could impact the safety and quality of their neighborhood.

Caryn Snyder

Troutdale

Cities should think of overcrowded schools

Residents of the Reynolds School District need to be prepared for the population growth in our school district. The Reynolds School Board scheduled various meetings throughout the school district regarding the overcrowding and the building and maintenance that will need to occur to facilitate the number of students expected to move into our area in the next decade. Reynolds currently has an overcrowded high school and all grade and middle schools are at capacity. There are various ideas being considered, including the building of a second comprehensive high school. Any building and remodeling will require a bond to be passed in the November 2008 election.

I read about the building and the annexation of properties in our East County area and wonder if the various city councils in the Reynolds School District are aware that there is no more room in our schools and, if they are aware, what steps are they taking at the city level to help ensure adequate school facilities for our children.

The recent annexation by Troutdale of land at the corner of Troutdale Road and Southeast Cochrane Road near the Sweetbriar development for a proposed housing project makes me question whether the Troutdale City Council takes our crowded schools into consideration when approving these developments.

I find it interesting that the new developments on the east side of Troutdale Road and Southeast Cochrane Road (Riverbend East and West) were not eagerly received by either Reynolds or Barlow school districts. Barlow ended up receiving this development into their school district, including the tax dollars. Which school district will claim this new development? I would suggest our city councils take an active interest in their crowded school districts before annexing more land for development.

Shaunna Stanfill

Troutdale

Guest column was appreciated by reader

I just wanted to express my appreciation for The Outlook publishing the guest column by Ed Smith. As another 'old white guy,' I also applaud Sen. Barack Obama's bringing this issue front and center.

I also like your policy of publishing lengthy letters to the editor.

In your editorial section, I also wholeheartedly agree with your call for 'open' primaries, although I am unclear where Mr. Frohnmayer fits in the primary process for Sen. Gordon Smith's seat. In fact, I had to re-register from NA to Democrat to be able to vote in the primary. Also, the mischief being caused by Republicans re-registering as Democrats to 'mess with' the primary in Pennsylvania is disgusting.

I regularly purchase your newspaper either at Starbucks Wood Village or at the Troutdale General Store.

Paul Wilcox

Troutdale