Letters to the Editor
Family appreciates support for medical costs
Our family would like to say how grateful we are for all the support, donations, prayers and love that have been shown us. The benefit for Shannon (Walsh) Senz was a big success, and we hope those of you who were able to make it also had fun. A kidney donor has been found and we have an estimated surgery date - July 25. Your continued prayers would be appreciated. Thank you!
Ed and Shannon Senz and family
School board not doing its job
It appears Mr. LaJeunesse missed my previous letter, wherein I explained that the Forest Grove public understands cuts are required, and instead is unhappy with where the administration is spending and cutting. The public is unhappy with the school board because it did not critically examine the superintendent's proposed budget. The public's complaints about the superintendent's priorities are numerous, obvious, and oft-spoken in the face of coming cuts: $500,000 on a reading program - only to turn around and close a well-run, high performing school (that costs less to run per year). Cutting all languages except Spanish? No arts? Library aides? No FFA in a farming community? And, of course, the relentless and useless focus on test scores (e.g.: the high school workshops).
The public sees the school board members as not doing their jobs, without minds of their own. The superintendent's job is to manage the district at the direction of the school board. Neither has showed creativity, ingenuity, or administrative skill in the midst of these budget cuts. Meanwhile, the community has shown up in force with excellent ideas, a problem-solving approach and the expectation that the community is in this together. The school board and the superintendent have simply refused to engage or be collaborative in the face of these drastic cuts.
How much is enough money?
I'm having a hard time with the numbers Mr. LaJeunesse stated in his letter when he said recall efforts should be directed at Salem instead of Forest Grove's school board. He said the per-student funding had decreased from $4,750 to $3,800 over the last 10 years. Yet when I look at the district web page, I see the last budget that was just passed, the All Funds budget, is $74,760,232.
Divide that by the 5,800 students enrolled in the Forest Grove District and it comes to $12,890 per student. I understand some of that money is from bonds and has rules and mandates about where it can be spent, but it's all tax money, either local, state or federal. How much is enough money?
I support the recall effort in part because of Gales Creek School being closed but what really got to me was the pay increases to district administrators after the teacher and program cuts had been made.
The school board is in charge of administrators' pay and by rubber-stamping these increases they sent a message to the public that they are out of touch.
The district's lack of communication with the public during the budgeting process, not giving the people working on the budget summit real numbers to work with, kept ideas from being shared that possibly could have been helpful in the decision making.
Don't forget our soldiers
A recent Oregonian headline read 'A good man lost his life.' As nice it was to run such a heartwarming story, I feel as a veteran we are once again treated as forgotten individuals fighting for a country that cares less about us.
Every day men and women are killed fighting for our liberties, yet most receive no recognition! The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan get little mention unless one of the enemy leaders are killed. Then it is front-page headlines, while the everyday killings of our men and women receive maybe an inch or two buried in the paper.
Has this war and the killing of our men and women become so commonplace it lacks any major coverage? Have we become so callous to their deaths the media doesn't feel it deserves coverage?
As a member of VFW, I am appalled the media has taken such a poor position on the killing and wounding of our proud veterans. I know during Memorial Day and Veteran's Day they suck up all the money they can for advertisements and they run up the American flag. The rest of the year our soldiers are forgotten. Shame on you!