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Letters to the Editor March 21

Testing company, state should settle dispute

On March 9 (see story on Page 7A of the Wednesday, March 14, issue of The Outlook), the computerized version of the state test was terminated by Vantage Learning, the company that created it. This was only part of a dispute with the Oregon Department of Education, which has caused the state to return to the old paper-and-pencil tests.

Many Oregon schools, including Corbett, were in the middle of testing when this announcement was made. Those who had already spent hours on the test must start the test entirely over. Not only does this use up more school time, but it is also not a good experience for students, who are the most affected by the decision.

The Department of Education claims that once Vantage was notified that it was not going to be hired to provide next year's tests, they immediately claimed that the department owed them 4.7 million dollars. Vantage, meanwhile, says that the department has simply refused to pay what they owe their company.

The Department of Education and Vantage Learning should work out a solution to their differences that does not involve schools and students being forced to begin the state tests again.

Daniel Handy

Student

Corbett Middle School

Corbett

Communities need to work on keeping beauty

I have a real pet peeve. How can the community not get together to beautify our towns? It is sad; as I am a resident of Fairview. I have seen so much graffiti in my town and nothing gets done. Also, there seems to be a big jump in our town; from once was upper class to dumpy - really quick. I can imagine other small towns in our area can relate.

Let's get our towns back together. We can't let others overrule our towns. Together, we can make a difference. I really would like to see Wood Village and Fairview get together and clean up the towns. I want to see it safer and more cleaner. We need more neighborhood watches in our area.

TERESA HERNANDEZ

Fairview

President can't write spending bill

Allow me to respond to Mike Mattingly's most recent fact distortions (letters in the March 14 issue of The Outlook). I hark back to his original letter of March 3 and quote directly: 'The Bush administration has cut funding for the Center for Traumatic Brain Injury in HALF … '

My eighth-grade civics class holds me in good stead - it is Constitutionally impossible for the president to write a spending bill. That's the exclusive purview of Congress. The current chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee is Robert Byrd, a Democrat.

Jenny Manley, a spokesperson for the committee, is quoted by USA Today as stating vis-a-vis the legislation Mattingly refers to thusly: 'Honestly, they would have loved to have funded it, but there were just so many priorities. They didn't have the flexibility in such a tight fiscal year.'

Also, it bears noting that the Pentagon made the original request for $7 million for the center, not the $14 million that the center's co-founder George Zitney would prefer.

If Democrats care ever so much more than eeeevil 'Neocons,' why haven't they re-written whatever legislation is currently in the works?

Why haven't they insisted on doubling the Pentagon's original request? I agree (gasp!) with Mr. Mattingly that our vets deserve better.

But I do wish he'd get his facts straight and rein in his irrational hatred of the Bush administration.

And note well, Mattingly, Bush's predecessor is mentioned NOWHERE in this letter.

JANE PLUEMKE

Eagle Creek