Letters to the Editor for April 26
Look at alternatives to pornography biz
We notice that pornography establishments such as Mr. Peeps in Aloha continue to exist. The picketers seem to have ceased their activity. However, this does not reflect the fact that the majority of people would like to see such establishments stop. There are many who believe such establishments weaken the family structure, are unhealthy, increase violent behavior, crime, and certainly degrade women. Here are some suggestions:
n Although Oregon is not big on copying California, we could take a lesson from San Jose, Calif. That city recently passed an ordinance that established some new zoning restrictions, which increase the required distance between such places and schools and residences.
n Knowing that owners of pornography establishments need to make a living, we suggest they add some non-pornographic merchandise to see what sells. Then, they could gradually phase out the pornographic items.
n There may be some people who, as individuals, or with others could form a corporation to buy out such places. They, in turn, could turn the pornography establishments into any kind of business or organization they wish that would be more healthy and wholesome. Suggestions may include a community theater, restaurant, recreational establishment, church, furniture store - establishments that would better meet the needs of the community.
What a rewarding enterprise that would be.
LESLIE AND LOUISE FOWLER
State must provide $6.3 billion for K-12
Over the past five years Oregon has lost $1.2 billion of investment in K-12 education. This loss of investment has caused class size to increase across Oregon.
In the suburbs of Beaverton, my daughter has 26 kids to one teacher in her kindergarten classroom at Cooper Mountain Elementary School. In the rural community of Willamina, the situation is worse with some K-5 classes having 33 kids to one teacher. Volumes of research in K-5 education show kids perform better and learn more when class size does not exceed 20 kids to one teacher. Reinvesting in our schools with a $6.3 billion budget will begin to address the class-size issues in our schools.
The loss of investment in our schools has also caused Oregon to fall behind other states in early education. If Oregon sets its K-12 budget at $6.3 billion, it will allow schools to start investing in programs like full-day kindergarten. Nationally, 60 percent of children attend full-day kindergarten. Research shows that children who receive full-day kindergarten are better prepared intellectually and socially as they enter elementary school.
We also know it is cheaper to teach younger kids good reading skills early in kindergarten rather than repairing their reading skills in later grade levels. The future starts in kindergarten, and for Oregon to compete, we need to increase investment in early education.
We need to ensure our Legislature provides K-12 funding in the budget for 2008 through 2009 at $6.3 billion.
Please get athletes' information right
Regarding the Beaverton Valley Times' April 5 article, 'Ready to turn up the heat again,' please make sure you check facts. Emma Kitchen of Westview girls tennis has been seeded No. 1 in singles for the first matches of the season and has, in fact, been playing the No. 1 seeds of rival teams.
Second, she was not, in fact, a 'first-round loser' in the Metro tournament last year.
It is frustrating, hurtful and discouraging for athletes to read false information about themselves, especially when it casts their abilities in a less-than-deserving light.
Everyone has worked hard to improve and arrive where they are now. No individual should have their accomplishments diminished in any way.
DELEN MARCELIA KITCHEN
Smith not as open-minded as portrayed
In her profile on blogs and at the recent candidates' fair, Sarah Smith portrays herself not 'to force any particular agenda.' But her actions are contrary and inconsistent with that statement.
In two specific instances she has offered 'alternative suggestions' (her term).
One was objecting to a student project from the Arts and Communication Magnet Academy, which honors and celebrates differences and diversity in the families of kids in the Beaverton School District. The project, 'In Our Family,' an educational project now being displayed throughout the district is receiving Smith's suggestion to censor because she objects to the 'make-up' of some of our communities' families.
Secondly, she also objects to Superintendent Colonna's belief that all students be given the same opportunity to access the district's many options programs. This is part of a small minority of the community that believes the options programs should only be accessible by the elite.
This doesn't sound like an open-minded individual who has no 'particular agenda.'
In the school board Position 4 race, Denise von Nagy is a vote for keeping the public schools public and continuing the path of success that the Beaverton School District is on.
Vote for von Nagy for school board
Please vote for Denise von Nagy to replace Ann Jacks on the Beaverton School Board.
For years, Denise has been an active volunteer in the Beaverton School District. Most recently, as a volunteer, she staffed and managed the phone bank during the school bond election. Because of her efforts, scores of volunteers made thousands of calls and the district passed the school bonds. She has repeatedly proven her dedication to strong schools for Beaverton.
Denise is a hard worker, a good listener, and has a strong, analytical mind. She will carefully weigh options and argue for decisions that benefit students at reasonable expense. If Beaverton schools are to continue being among the best in the area, we need an energetic, intelligent, articulate person representing the Aloha area on the school board. Denise von Nagy is that person.