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Letters to the Editor

A generous donation

To the Editor:

A big thank you goes out to Todd and Tammy Auerbach of Sherwood. They are local Sherwood business owners that generously donated tons of new glass merchandise to numerous local charities to use for fundraising. They donated merchandise to my son's annual fundraiser so that we can raise more money for our teaching staff.

Thank you to a great business and a great couple for helping out many organizations with no strings attached.

Leslie McCabe

Arts awareness

To the Editor:

The City of Sherwood has taken the rug out from under the Arts Commission by taking away the building they were trying to make into a performing arts venue -- the Old Sherwood School in what we hope will still be Old Town Sherwood, if they don't bulldoze it down. We tried to get McMenamin's in on this but they are over-extended, two years out. We cannot depend on them alone to save every old building in the metro area, just as our Historical Society cannot save all the buildings in town. We need to act and act fast or one of the most significantly beautiful buildings will go! Please help us save the Old School House from being torn down just so someone can build another townhouse ghetto!!

June Reynolds

To the Editor:

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! This March Gazette focused on the struggle to bring Sherwood an appreciation of the cultural arts. It has been a struggle indeed. There have been promises, changeable by elections and administrations with different interests. Robyn Folsum soldiers on ... fortunately for many of us not as eloquent, but no less interested.

I don't know that the old school building on Third Street is the correct venue or location for Sherwood's performing arts center (PAC). It may be, it may not be. However, when I see what Tigard and Tualatin have succeeded in doing with the PAC's at each high school campus, I wonder why such planning and execution is not possible in Sherwood. I for one was very disappointed when a decision was made to drop a PAC from the last school bond measure. The partnership between the city and school district seems to blossom when it comes to sports-related infrastructure, yet disappears when it comes to the cultural arts. The commentaries by Robyn Folsom, the editor, and SOME city council members surely can bring this lack of partnership to a head...in a positive manner. There seem to be opportunities at this time to make that partnership happen, and to begin a focused plan to bring Sherwood the missing Performing Arts/Cultural/Meeting/Economic engine Center that it desires. I think we can do it. Please don't let it drop.

Dave Beach

To the Editor:

The hearts, patience and passion of teachers are tempered by time and the knowledge that, often, what we sow in a community, for good or for egocentric purposes, will not bear fruit until we are no longer around.

Be that as it may, I believe in our children and echo the dry rational that was presented in the Sherwood Gazette under the calm title "City is big enough for sports and arts."

It so happens that, aside from being a middle school teacher I am also a life-long soccer player and coach. I distinctly remember both the blessings of being able to access classical music and to play soccer to my heart's delight was available to me as a child, and to my children when I raised them in Alaska.

There's an incredible amount of authentic brain-based research that supports the notion that children who are exposed to any form of art will perform better in all sorts of academic disciplines. There is also some very interesting research that shows adult human beings who regularly expose themselves and their families to authentic art tend to be less aggressive and more tolerant of differences in people.

Now that the civic leaders of Sherwood have satiated the community with a luxury palette of diverse and attractive sports opportunities, I truly think our community needs to bite the bullet and build a vital and common-sense cultural arts facility. We all remember what a delight it was to visit with one another inside the Robin Hood Theater for old movies, concerts, poetry performances, local theater, concerts and other "artsy" offerings. It worked! Some of us remember when the city would deck over the street in front of the theater with a tent that had room for all of us to socialize over good wine from the Willamette Valley. Now that our streets are ready for crowds to mill around the center of Sherwood, with the new library, interesting shops and culinary delights, let's be both PRACTICAL AND AUTHENTIC.

We have a window of opportunity, and one that could easily be frittered away if our community allows some forces on the city council to be too darn stuck in asphalt and sewer connects for the hungry developer lobbyists.

Originally, the community was kind of lured into accepting giving the council a blank development check for the Urban Renewal District with the center assertion that a vital down-town needed a cultural driver; we allowed ourselves to become side-tracked by the "need" for roads, sewers and new city offices with a library attached.

Downtown Sherwood is rapidly losing the availability to place a cultural center; the old Robin Hood lot might not accommodate the parking needs unless some of the space across the railroad was converted to an income-producing city parking garage. However, if the Old School House was taken down, that corner area, with some adjustments, might suffice for a Cultural Arts Center, and there are available school parking spaces across the road.

So, how do we go about getting this kicked off? We need passionate people with vision and practical can-do talent. We need to fund a small design committee similar to the way our library was designed. We need to, first of all, quit looking at all the challenges as a limited pie. Sherwood is, for good or bad, going to have a population of about 30,000 people in the next 10 years; let's get talking about the economic and cultural impact of people developing habits that regularly take them to downtown Sherwood.

Oh, and when you are asked about the capital funding for this, just tell council members that the Urban Renewal District has the funds, and has the authority to raise funds to match private funds. Both Republicans and Democrats ought to be able to make a cultural center operate in the black after an initial seeding period. Perhaps a roof-top restaurant for wine lovers and star-gazers on the top of the cultural center?

In an afternoon in Sherwood's future take your camping chairs to the fields and watch our kids play soccer or football. In the evening, take the family to a play or a concert at Sherwood's Cultural Art's Center and make reservations at a downtown restaurant.

Can you visualize "Old Sherwood" with a vital economic center made possible by your support for both good streets and dynamite cultural offerings?

Kurt Kristensen - M. Ed.