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Letters to the Editor for April 3

School should change policy on guide dogs

Thank you for the article about Chad Crosby and his dog Gerard ('Guide dogs in training told to sit this one out,' The Times, Feb. 21).

My daughter is a student in Mr. Crosby's class, and I fully support his request to allow Gerard to be present with him. I have watched Chad teach students over the year, and I've seen him working with this amazing pup, too. I have no concerns at all about his ability to teach students while giving Gerard the exposure he needs to be a guide dog.

Who knows, Gerard could end up serving a student one day if the school would use some creativity and intellect in making such decisions. What a great opportunity to teach the student body about commitment, compassion and service.

We, too, were disappointed last year to learn that Twality had no flexibility in allowing a foreign exchange student from France to attend the last day of school with our daughter. She joined us the year before as a sixth-grader at Fowler Middle School and it was a great experience for her, my daughter and the students who got a chance to meet her and talk with her. When we posed the request to Twality, the response was, 'We do not allow guests at Twality, and the policy has always served us well.'

It showed us that the administration preferred a static environment and one where thinking and contemplating a new and exciting opportunity is too much work. It was an awkward position for us, as the other middle school in the same district embraced our visiting student only the year before.

I hope that people will read the article you wrote and show their support for the guide dog program and specifically for Chad Crosby's commitment to it. I am disappointed to see that my school district and the administration doesn't recognize this unique opportunity for a teacher to inspire his students to do something that might change the life of another person.

SUSIE COFFMAN

Tigard

Water district needs better fiscal ovesight

The Tigard Water District has called a special meeting for 7 p.m. on Monday, April 7, in the Tigard Water District Building Auditorium, 8777 S.W. Burnham St. The stated purpose is to appoint a new member to the budget committee.

This current board took over last July and has carried on a running battle with the city of Tigard Water Board ever since. The point of contention is the action taken by the old board members who approved a change allowing a majority vote to change andor make policy. Previously it had required a unanimous vote. The only thing I know of that requires a unanimous vote is the death penalty. The Constitution can be changed by less than a unanimous vote. I don't see anything wrong with the majority requirement.

This special meeting will not address any of that - it is only to get a budget committee together. Here is why I think you should be interested.

The board gets roughly $19,000 in revenues from water sold in the unincorporated areas, plus interest income. Non-discretionary expenses (insurance, dues, meeting expenses, etc.) were roughly $3,500 and discretionary expenses (attorneys, consultants and meetingstaff expenses) were about $1,500. The annual cost of running the board was a little under $5,000.

After the new board was elected, the discretionary expenses rose from $1,500 to $16,573 due to meetingstaff expense rising from roughly $1,000 to $14,573. I attended a couple of meetings and it is my opinion that Charlie Radley's argumentative and cantankerous performance dragged meetings on for hours. Previous meetings rarely took more than 30 minutes. Staff time costs money.

The current budget appropriates $62,768 for material and services expenses. That is more than three times the expected revenue for the year.

The old board accumulated a few dollars every year, bringing money in the bank to around $105,000. This new board is on track to bankruptcy next year, and the only thing they've done is squabble with Tigard, producing no benefits to the people they are supposed to represent.

We need a budget committee to enforce some fiscal discipline, as the current board members obviously have none. It's your money - take some control of how it is spent.

ISADOR MORGAVI

Bull Mountain

Schools appreciate Safeway contributions

Representatives from Nancy Ryles Elementary School and Westgate Christian School honored Safeway recently for a combined total of almost $5,000 in donations the schools received in 2007 by presenting Murrayhill Assistant Store Manager Amber Krantz with certificates of appreciation and a thank-you poster to be displayed in the store.

The parents and teachers at each school feel it is important to recognize the positive impact the contributions have had on the schools and on the community. The funds raised through the eScrip program at Safeway help fund programs and events that directly benefit the students.

We appreciate Safeway and their ongoing commitment to education and our local schools.

Several public and private schools in the Beaverton/Tigard area are enrolled and participate in the eScrip program. It is a great way for the community to help each school earn much needed money to help fund programs that may otherwise have little fund-raising support.

For a complete list of schools you can support through this free program, visit www.escrip.com.

WENDI EILAND

eScrip chair, Nancy Ryles Community Organization

Beaverton

Telecoms accountable for illegal wiretaps

It is clearly wrong for any United States citizen to turn away from the issue of retroactive immunity for the telecommunication companies that have chosen in the past (or are doing so in the present) to capitulate to the Bush administration's illegal requests for information from phone and e-mail records and active wiretaps without a warrant.

To that end we must demand that Congress and the Senate defend our right to privacy, which also protects them from politically motivated spying through the use of warrantless wiretapping. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) is sufficient and allows adequate means for federal government agencies to legally protect us against possible acts of terrorism.

As a people, we must stand up and demand proper oversight from our representatives in government. Both the U.S. House and Senate should say no to immunity from punishment for those companies' illegal actions. The telecoms that have participated in the illegal wiretapping need to be held responsible for their actions - they have broken the law and should not be let off the hook now.

K. SHAWN EDGAR

Hillsboro

Voting on basis of gender is wrong

So, during her lifetime, Margaret Parypa wants to see a woman become president ('Hillary may be last chance for awhile,' The Times, March 27), and for that reason she's a Hillary supporter. I can't think of a worse reason to vote for a president. Voting for a candidate just because of his or her gender or race is a gross misuse of our voting freedoms in this country.

Ms. Parypa likes Hillary's compassion. Somehow I have missed that side of Hillary, and as for her expertise in health care, that doesn't fly either. Her health care plan (when Bill was president) went absolutely nowhere.

Hillary's experience, which she likes to talk about, amounts to her being the first lady when Bill was governor and first lady when Bill was president. I don't think that qualifies as 'experience' for governing this nation. On top of that, she makes up stories. I'm sure we won't find her on the TV show, 'Moment of Truth.'

A good presidential candidate will stand strong against our enemies, have good foreign policy credentials, understand that government is 'by the people,' nominate judges who will abide by the Constitution, work to keep our economy strong and will exemplify good character. That's just mentioning a few qualifications.

'Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust must be men of unexceptionable characters.' - Samuel Adams, patriot, politician and signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Ms. Parypa talks about wealthy people laughing and big boys spewing hatred, and Christian radio spending millions duping people to vote, none of which makes any sense. But then voting for someone because of his or her gender doesn't make sense either.

BEVERLY ANN SHARPF

Tigard

Vote for candidates for the right reasons

I don't usually send letters to the editor, even though I have been tempted many times. I feel like I just had to respond after reading last week's 'Hillary may be the last chance for a while' (The Times, March 27). Perhaps we could title my letter 'Maybe we'll finally be rid of the Clintons after this.'

It's easy to tell where Ms. Parypa is coming from. She wants us to vote for Hillary simply because she's a woman.

After slamming the 'big boys in Arkansas' and 'right-wing Christian radio' as the reason for Hillary's problems, she finally gets to one sentence in her lengthy letter about Hillary's 'expertise' in health care, education and women's and children's law. Hillary has brought her 'negative image' problems upon herself (with help from her spouse) - although it takes someone that's willing to look past her gender to see that.

Her attempts at health-care reform were poorly thought out, and the American public realized that. She has never shown that she has any original ideas about reforming education. Hillary is reaping what she has sown.

The only sentence that I agree with is the one suggesting Obama needs more experience. Let's vote for candidates for the right reasons - their ability to do the job, their character and their real-life experience (outside the taxpayer dole).

RUPPERT REINSTADLER

Tigard