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#### Writer’s math doesn’t add up

I have a comment and a question concerning Nancy Golden’s article (Spokesman, Nov. 13) on a “new vision” for our schools.

Nancy mentions her concern over the state’s graduation rate of 65.8 percent and its vision of putting an unprecedented number of students on track for degrees and a promising future. So far so good, but she then cites the state’s goal of a 40-40-20. That is 40 percent receive a two-year degree or certificate, 40 percent receive a bachelor’s degree and 20 percent graduate high school and are career ready.

Let me see if I remember my math. Percentage is based on 100. If 40 of 100 students get a bachelor’s degree, 40 get a two-year certificate and 20 just graduate from high school - it does add up to 100. However, if only 20 percent of students graduate high school there’s 80 percent that didn’t. So, how do these 80 percent get to go on to high education; assuming of course that students must graduate from high school before entering any such school? I guess Nancy could suppose that those other 80 students can enter college just by passing the entrance exams. If that’s the case, the state could save a lot of money on high schools just by allowing the graduation rate to drop from 65 percent to 20 percent and still make their goal. Such a deal!

Ed Westwood

Wilsonville

#### Things to observe during holiday visit with loved ones

The holiday season is a special time of year. Families get together to create happy memories. Frequently, these hopes are disappointed and concerns are raised when families experience noticeable changes in their family members.

Especially challenging for the aging family member. Statistically it has been shown that the recognition of mild impairment by the family is often overlooked or disregarded for up to five years. For that purpose we have noted a few guidelines that might be helpful for all family members.

Memory lapses — forgetting important names or events —loss of ability to follow and track in conversations. Repeating things said without remembering that the question or story has already been asked or told.

Spouses “covering for each other” — one spouse compensating for the diminished capacity of the other — finishing sentences, answering questions asked of the other.

Medications not being taken correctly and on time. The importance of taking medications as prescribed cannot be emphasized enough; 68 percent of hospital admissions for the elderly are the result of medication mismanagement.

Withdrawing from social interaction, in particular large family gatherings as these are felt to be overwhelming or overstimulating for the senior with some dementia.

If you observe such changes in elder relatives during your holiday family functions and are concerned for the well-being of your parents or senior loved ones do not discount these changes or wait until your relatives come to serious harm. We find that too often others don’t wish to interfere or raise concerns. It is a kindness to be involved.

It is our hope that these tips might be useful for you in the support and care of your loved one.

NW Senior Resources Inc.

Lake Oswego

#### VFW 6057 spaghetti dinner a delicious success

The Canby-Aurora VFW 6057 Post/Auxiliary wishes to thank the Wilsonville Spokesman for all the announcements of our very successful spaghetti dinner Nov. 23.

“Thankful for our veterans” and honoring the Korean War Veterans on the 60th anniversary of the signing of the cease fire agreement were our themes for the dinner.

Old friends and new came from the Canby area and everyone had great fun winning raffle and door prizes, singing “Happy Birthday” to the September, October and November celebrants and eating cake during the evening.

Our veterans were honored and remembered as they all stood up to be recognized according to their branch of service and everyone was reminded by these veterans that freedom is not free and it is they that should be thanked for our freedoms we have today.

For these blessings, we wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving!

John Lance

Commander

Lisa White

Auxiliary president

Canby-Aurora VFW 6057 Post/Auxiliary

#### Winter pet safety

The Oregon Humane Society offers these tips to keep pets safe and healthy during cold weather:

• Bring pets indoors when temperatures reach 30 degrees with or without wind chill.
• Wipe your pet’s paws clean after walks — chemicals used to melt ice and snow on sidewalks can irritate pets’ paws and can be dangerous if ingested.
• Indoor pets get less exercise in the cold months, so feed them less.
• An outdoor dog needs a dry, elevated shelter with clean, dry bedding and a flap over the opening to keep drafts out.
• Consider adding a dog door to the garage, and then place a soft cushion in the warmest corner of the garage for your dog.
• Make sure drinking water is not frozen. Check bowls periodically throughout the day. Even in cold weather, pets need water.
• Use plastic food and water bowls rather than metal; when the temperature is low, your pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to metal.
• Give outdoor pets more food. Outdoor pets need calories to produce body heat.
• Make sure a cat hasn’t crawled under your car seeking warmth near the engine. Slap the car hood before starting the engine to startle any animal sleeping there.
• After a walk, check your pet’s paws for bleeding or cuts from snow or encrusted ice.
• Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the pet to freeze to death.
• For more tips for “winterizing” your pet, visit oregonhumane.org/pet_training/winterizing.asp.

David Lytle

Public affairs manager

Oregon Humane Society

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