Letter writer sets the record straight
Hallelujah, Gresham Outlook. Finally a reasonable, factual letter ('Oil exports cause higher gas prices,' March 10). Even your editor's note substantiated what it said.
And isn't it nice that the GOP presidential candidates have promised to control these market realities to give us cheap fuel where Obama has not done so.
How can you cut funding for this?
If you have Internet access, go to YouTube and look up Dexter McCarty Jazz Band, Feb. 28, 2012. You will hear a wonderful group of musicians who are still in middle school.
There is no funding for this group in next year's budget. In fact, the director had to scout out a grant in order to finish this year.
We are the grandparents of a musician in this group and really don't understand how this can happen.
We would like to challenge other grandparents, parents, neighbors or acquaintances of people in this group to make a donation so that this fine group can continue next year.
It meets in the morning for an hour, three days a week. And the director is paid as a coach would be paid.
It seems to us that music and the arts are very important in the overall education of students.
Chuck and Gayle Erickson
* Editor's note: Two years ago, jazz band at Dexter McCarty Middle School was eliminated because of budget cuts. Thanks to funding from SUN (Schools Uniting Neighborhoods program) and donations from the generous band community at the school, a limited non-graded version of the program has continued, known as the Dexter McCarty Middle School Jazz Band Club. Without these partners, the school would be unable to provide this limited, but important, opportunity.
Nordbye shows democracy in action
The other night I ended up at a Peter Nordbye for State Representative house party, being thrown by my parents. I wasn't all that excited about going, but I said I would attend, and I did.
What a pleasant surprise. I was impressed by Peter and the whole experience. He didn't seem like a typical politician. He seemed like a talented and passionate person who is running for state representative for all of the right reasons.
Most of his presentation was, in fact, laying out his reasons for running.
Chief among them was his desire to keep big money from running politics. He made the case that by accepting only donations of $50 or less per year from area residents, he can eliminate the influence of big money from his campaign.
If this idea catches on and he can collect enough small donations to win, it could help change the direction of politics for the better.
For most of the time, however, Nordbye was fully engaged with my parents' neighbors, fielding their questions and listening to their concerns.
Their points of view were diverse, so the questions and comments were fresh, lively and relevant.
It felt like real representative democracy, the way in was intended, right there in my parents' living room. What a wonderful and hopeful experience.
Peter was great. I went away feeling I had made a real connection, both to Peter and my community. I felt that my ideas had been listened to and the others in attendance appeared to feel the same.
If Peter continues to connect with the people of this district in this manner and manages to get himself elected without taking any special-interest money, the people of our area will end up with one very effective legislator.
He really deserves our support, and our district deserves a legislator like him.