The following letters appeared in the April 23 edition of The Sandy Post:

Ride-along was eye-opening

More than a month ago there was an article in the Sandy Post that asked for volunteers to ride with officers of the Sandy Police Department. I do not live within the city limits but on the outskirts of Sandy, but I still had a desire to see for myself what the Sandy police did on a daily basis, since I shop and support this community that is the Gateway to Mount Hood.

I met up with Officer Manny Herrera at the Sandy police station that is next door to the library. The first thing I experienced was a tour of the police station. I was surprised to learn that the dispatcher of this station was located in Oregon City and that all arrests by the Sandy Police Department were transported to Oregon City.

I am sure many citizens like myself picture the Sandy police just giving out speeding tickets and nothing else. But that was far from the truth.

According to Officer Manny, giving out tickets is only about 15 percent of their job. During that nighttime four-hour period riding in Manny's patrol car, we ran the gamut from checking out drivers driving without headlights, to an outstanding warrant suspect hiding from police, to a neighbor complaining about their driveway being blocked, all the way to a lady taking her own life and leaving a 5-month-old baby.

That suicide was very hard on me to see a life being taken by a 30-year-old lady. A chaplain came out to the house to comfort both the husband and family.

I want to thank both Officers Herrera and KT Taylor for being out there on the night shift to protect and serve our community and the surrounding area. Without them and thousands of other men and women in the police force, we could not sleep well at night.

I strongly urge others to sign up for this volunteer program and see what goes on behind the scenes at the Sandy Police Department.



What's that about?

I was driving up to Mount Hood last weekend and noticed a huge number of trees, including old-growth trees, cut down in anticipation of widening the freeway. There are literally miles of trees seemingly cut down overnight.

I hadn't seen anything written about this. Did anyone else notice?



Editor's note: The cut trees are part of the Oregon Department of Transportation's Wildwood to Wemme road widening/safety project, which we've written about from time to time. Keep reading to hear more information as it develops.

Responses and questions

First I would like to thank Sandy Officer Jason Coates for his quick action on the missing wallet of my mother. Thank you!

Next, my thanks to Hollis MacLean-Wenzel for her near admittance that I was right in saying that Joe's Donuts is one of Sandy's most well-known attractions. Thank you!

Third, what has happened to the City Council answering my questions about the water supply for Sandy?

With all the new houses being built in Sandy, that shortens the life of the current water supply. And that is a problem that needs to be addressed.

Maybe what the city needs to do is have a citizens' committee look into the best course of action to take and report back to the council and public.



'Moral bankruptcy' will close clinic

Your April 9 article 'County to close Sandy Health Clinic' really struck home with me, largely because it roughly coincided with Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

In one of his memorable speeches, King stated - and I am paraphrasing - that any society that places militarism above the social needs of its people is a society that is morally bankrupt. The connection in all of this is not difficult to apprehend.

Because of the billions of dollars that are going every week into a lost occupation in Iraq, the federal treasury has commensurately less funds to devote to health care. This deficiency is passed down to the state, county and city levels, resulting in things like closed health clinics.

This is especially unfortunate for the hundreds of local residents who solely depend on this clinic for basic health maintenance services.

It is imperative that we demand more from our next administration and Congress as well as the president. People deserve better.



Smith's feeling the heat

Interesting that in a recent Sandy Post op-ed piece, Sen. Gordon Smith portrays himself as the champion of his constituents' pocketbooks as a result of his 'role' in the income stimulus program.

Perhaps the senator is feeling the heat being applied in his re-election race by Steve Novick and Jeff Merkley. Where has Smith been on the issues of the Patriot Act, tax cuts for the super rich or the abridgment of our Constitution?

I look at a candidate's actions more than his self-serving posturing, and for me, Steve Novick is my hands-down choice for Oregon's next U.S. senator.



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