The following letters were published in the Feb. 28 edition of The Sandy Post:
Create some positive 'gangs'
Does the Oregon Trail School District really think that a new dress code will solve a 'gang' problem? If only it were so easy. It is human to belong to a certain 'gang.' We have the following gangs in high school: cheerleaders, football players, basketball players, soccer players, water polo players, smart kids, band kids, Christian youth group kids, etc. etc. etc.
A 'gang' is a place or a group of people that generally has a focus on making individuals feel good about themselves. I am by no means endorsing criminal gang activity. What I am trying to convey is that we need to create new, positive 'gangs' in the school and community.
If the district is sincere about curbing negative gang behavior, the following should be applied for a good start:
1) Rescind the district's policy of charging each student $200 to join a sport. 2) Start having after-school activity buses so students can get home when doing extracurricular activities after school. 3) No travel or competition fees for band, choir or drama. 4) No fees to join clubs. 5) Keep the Olin Bignall pool under district control with open hours and water polo/swim programs for all ages.
We know what the district will say: 'We do not have the money.'
It is time our politicians started getting the proper funding and our citizens vote accordingly. Let us start by charging a fee when a construction permit is pulled on every new home, development and apartment in the district. These fees could go to the new construction of schools, maintenance of facilities, aquatic programs at the pool and towards a no-fee system for after school activities with transportation.
Every high school student should have open access to any club or sport in which they'd like to participate, regardless of their parents' incomes. Let's shift our focus to what is really important by creating new, positive 'gangs' where kids feel welcome with a sense of belonging. We ask too much of our teachers as it is; they should not be the dress police. This dress code idea is like putting a bandage on a hemorrhaging wound. It will not do anything and just add one more task to teachers' difficult jobs.
MARGEAUX AND MARGARET BERROTH
Don't mess with Measure 37
At one time, we, the people of Oregon enacted a small-scale partial fix to our land laws by a 60 percent majority, largely inspired by visionaries like Oregonians in Action. That fix? Measure 37.
That measure is both a condemnation of and a challenge to the in-power 'planners' of Oregon. As always, those in power resent any challenge.
Now, Gov. Kulongoski wants to put Measure 37 on hold. I urge people to join me in saying, 'No way, Ted!'
It may be true that county planning departments need more time to deal with claims. I have found Clackamas County planning staff to be courteous and competent. If they do, indeed, need more time to make decisions on all the rush of claims that came in at the last moment, then by all means extend that time. We can and must be patient with the workload. But do not put this on hold.
I fear that this is nothing but a stall to gut this measure; if it is put on hold or suspended, it will be kept there until most of us who were old enough to own land before 1973 have become too old to do anything with our land.
We Oregonians cannot accept any interference by our governor. This was decided by the people; let it stand.
Interesting that in supporting the latest Sandy annexation measure, Jan Barkley characterizes Kathleen Walker, who raises several thoughtful objections to the measure, as spearheading an 'elitist' campaign.
Are those of us who share Walker's concerns - namely the proliferation of ugly clusters of high-density housing - also 'elitists?'
Barkley's resorting to this type of condescending language will not, I hope, be lost on Sandy voters.
A message to voters
I would like to encourage Sandy residents to vote no on Measure 3-258 to annex 22.79 acres into the city. The voters' pamphlet indicates the developer could build a maximum of 163 houses in the Sandy Bluff area. The developer behind this annexation already got approval in January for its proposal to build the maximum of another 185 houses on very small lots in Sandy Bluff. This developer has appealed the city's actions to reinstate a minimum lot size in Sandy to give us a diverse stock of housing in Sandy rather than the nearly uniform small lots we have gotten in the past five years. These legal appeals to the state cost us city taxpayers and take away funds from other services.
The developer implies that annexation and further development is necessary to build a connector road from the Sandy Bluff subdivision to Kelso Road. All would agree that this connector road is necessary, but the developer is already required to build the Kelso Road connector as well as Bell Street in order to build the already-approved 185 houses. Annexation and construction of another 163 houses will just add to existing traffic problems - not decrease them.
Once a parcel of land is annexed into the city, state law says the city cannot legally deny development due to school crowding. Our schools, especially the high school, are bursting at the doors and must accommodate the already-approved 185 houses with children. Voting no on annexation Measure 3-258 to build 163 more houses, with more school children, is the only way to control the school crowding problems we already have.
Please take the time to send your ballot in or drop it at the city library ballot box. Please vote no on annexation Measure 3-258.
Vote 'yes' on annexation
To cast an educated vote on the Kampa Lane annexation (Measure 3-258), here are some things Sandy residents should know:
Annexation of Kampa Lane will partially pay for an extension of Jewelberry Avenue to Kelso Road. This, along with construction of Bell Street, will divert 308 auto trips daily from Green Mountain Street and reduce Bluff Road trips north of Green Mountain by 500 trips daily. This accomplishes a two-year transportation goal of the Sandy City Council.
The Kampa Lane annexation is part of the Sandy Bluff neighborhood. Under way since 1998, it's being developed in several phases by people who live locally (the City Council approved phases four, five and six last week).
With the Kampa Lane annexation, Sandy Bluff eventually will have approximately 492 homes on 96 acres, 5.1 homes per acre (low by today's standards). The 20.79-acre Kampa Lane annexation property will be about 20 percent open space and around 130 homes of the total.
Sandy Bluff developers dedicated 4.84 acres and contributed $100,000 plus engineering fees and 30 large trees for Sandy Bluff Park (which they also built in cooperation with the city). They donated 3.62 contiguous acres containing a lake, and the entire stream corridor will probably contribute an additional 2.27 acres of wetlands for the park.
Density for all phases has been determined through zoning developed in 1998 by the Sandy planning department and Sandy City Council and is typical of the metropolitan area's newer neighborhoods. New home lots have shrunk over the last 10 to 15 years, driven by state-mandated urban growth boundary requirements and skyrocketing land prices.
A yes vote on the Kampa Lane annexation also will increase the city's tax base.
Member, Kampa Lane LLC