Featured Stories

Letters to the editor

Field lights, the old school and Newberg bypass

Turn off the lights at the football field

Many nights as I walk or drive past Tigard High School, I see the lights on at the main football field. But many of these nights no one is there. There is no school event, team playing or any sort of organized activity on the field.

These powerful lights light the sky and the surrounding area to some extent and presumably use a substantial amount of energy.

I find myself asking the following questions and maybe you have as well. Why are these lights on? Why have them on all night? They aren't on during the day when I am there because they aren't needed, so why are they on all night when no one needs them then?

In my opinion, this is a gluttonous waste of energy and money, impacting the environment and also a waste of money for those whose pocket the money to pay for this comes out of, whether it be taxpayers' dollars or not. These lights should be shut off at night when no event is happening.

Sure, there might be minor conflicts when they are supposed to be on and they're not, or not having someone there with access to turn them off when it's time or when an activity is done. But I believe that the minor inconveniences are overshadowed by the environmental and financial positives.

So, unless there is some underlying dire need for these lights to be on, they should be off when not in use.

KYLE JOHNSON

Tigard

Possibilities for old schoolhouse endless

Tualatin has a unique opportunity to provide for future community needs and save a piece of its history - the 1939 brick school and adjacent units on 12 acres of land, right near the center of town.

The school district needs money for future schools and wants to sell the property. But as its population grows the city will need more space for facilities, and land will only become harder to find and prohibitively more expensive.

Let the city and the school district work together for the common good. The possibilities are endless and exciting.

Imagine:

n Community-use basketball court, soccer field, ball diamonds.

n A community theater - like the Lake Oswego Performing Arts Center, which was once a school.

n Classrooms for adult education, county extension classes, GED classes.

n Rentable spaces - classrooms for children's ballet, aerobic classes, yoga, and the gym for folk dance and square dance groups.

* An after-school program, with supervised activities for kids of working parents.

* A farmers' market - environmental concerns are prompting a demand for locally grown produce.

* A jogging path around the periphery.

* Safe cycling paths radiating out to residential clusters.

* And most of all, a large community gathering space - the Town Center.

* It could even revive family-fun events like the annual Firemen's Ball.

From the beginning, Tualatin has been led by strong-minded men and women who shaped their vision of the future of their little town, which today is a vibrant city with good schools, award-winning parks and a beautiful lake at its core. It is a growing city of young families and lots of children. This school building and site can provide needed facilities for generations to come - if we save it.

KAREN NYGAARD

Long Beach, Calif.

(Co-founder of the Tualatin Historical Society)

Newberg bypass should interest us

The toll road dispute in the Newberg-Dundee area should be of interest to Tigard residents. The concept of tolling is not basically evil. The Barlow Trail of the mid-1800s, and later the interstate bridge, provided benefits.

Some complain the Newberg toll road operation would be owned by an Australian firm (Macquarie). In the early days of this nation, foreign investments brought us canals and railroads that enhanced the economy.

The main problem with the Newberg toll road project is the incredible cost compared to the other option of the scenic byway which does not involve tolls. The cost disparity is approximately six to one ($900 million to $150 million). Furthermore, the toll is to be collected on the new road and the existing route through Newberg and Dundee.

So, Tigard residents, when visiting the Grande Ronde casino, be sure to set aside enough money to pay the toll so that you can return to your home in Tigard - even if you take the existing old road through Dundee and Newberg.

ARTHUR D. CRINO

Tigard