Communication important in UGB issue

To the editor:

In regards to the opinion of Carla Mikkelson on the UGB and the city’s refusal to come to the table for discussions (published in the July 23 edition of the Woodburn Independent, Page 4A): I hope what I’m hearing is a shot across the bow informing the local citizenry that there is another viable approach to the problem where clear thinking is needed and encouraged.

When any city becomes complacent and refuses to debate and discuss topics of community importance we cannot move and the stalemate remains.

Kicking the can down the road only ensures that we continue rowing with one oar.

Arnold Ponce


School board must explain need for bond

To the editor:

Woodburn taxpayers should read Tyler Francke’s informative piece in the July 23 edition of the Independent (“District to try bond again in May”). A recall of the school board must be considered.

It is an honorable perspective and primary function of the board to want the best schools a community can afford. It is an equally necessary function of the board to be responsible to the taxpayers who will pay for that perspective.

The current school board is pushing so hard to advocate for the district’s $65 million bonding request that they will maneuver for a vote date with fewer voters participating. They have no problem with giving the district a $65 million “cookie jar.”

We see no challenging of the district’s spending requests. We see a mathematical and political summation that $65 million is necessary and conveniently corresponds to the same amount as the bond now expiring. Our homeowner’s associations have a good model of providing a vision of what they want to do, details of proposed spending and we can see the value. The school board has shown taxpayers scant responsibility or accountability but only platitudes of generalities with devious activities to pass the bond issue.

These are reasons enough for the school board to be recalled. The $65 million may be reasonable and appropriate, but the board must give us the information that demonstrates they are doing their duty that we have entrusted to them, and not send the message that they are just district shills.

Paul Koepping


Drive-by shootings have impacted families

To the editor:

April 29, 2014: A drive-by on the 800 block of Blaine Street in Woodburn was a wake-up call for me. Those of you reading this will understand why at the end of this letter.

I will start off by letting you know I’m related to the Arroyo boys who are being held at the Marion County jail.

My experience with the first drive-by was not something I’m used to. We were having a little get-together, catching up on old childhood memories, sitting on the back of my brother’s truck, talking and laughing, having a good time.

I leave to give a friend a ride, telling everyone I’ll be right back. It’s been about five minutes, and I receive a phone call telling me my grandma’s house had been shot at. I was like, “No, no, no, that can’t be true. I was just there.” I starting getting a weird feeling I could not describe. I starting crying and worrying about my brother and cousins: “God, please let them be OK.” As I’m speeding back to grandma’s, my mind was out of control. As I turned down Blaine Street, the road was blocked off and flashing lights lit up the whole street. Cop cars were parked every which way. I park my car in middle of road and run down the street to where I see my brother and cousins. I’m crying and yelling, asking them if they’re OK and where is grandma. My brother said, “Yes, sis, we’re OK, and grandma is on her way to the hospital.”

I left, running back to my car and sped away to get my mom. When I arrive at mom’s house, I’m still crying and hysterical. I bang on the door, waking up my little brothers and sisters, yelling, “Mom, there was a drive-by at grandma’s house, and Baba was there and grandma is on her way to the hospital.”

To our community, I speak out with an open heart not to take sides or blame anyone.

Josie Arroyo


Contract Publishing

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