Letters to the editor
Savas talked internet plan 'to death'
High-speed internet has become an essential part of our lives. It supports remote working, learning and connection to our family and friends. The pandemic only accelerated this change, and it is clear there is no going back.
Unfortunately, thanks to Commissioner Paul Savas, Clackamas County missed a critical opportunity to extend broadband to rural residents prior to the pandemic.
When I served with him on the commission in 2018, we explored a plan to expand publicly owned broadband for rural residents based on the proven model used around Sandy. It would use fiber already installed around the county to bring affordable, accessible high-speed internet to many areas where no service was available. It was a good idea and would have made a big difference during the pandemic.
But instead, Paul Savas talked it to death, raising endless questions until the plan was shelved. What a missed opportunity.
That is why I am enthusiastically supporting Libra Forde in this election. Forde will not be content with inaction, and I trust her to push forward to equitable access to high-speed internet and other services to benefit our residents. I hope you will do the same.
Hey ladies, want to play tackle football?
Do the women in your community know that they can compete in adult women's tackle football?
Do they know that they could compete for a true national championship? Play a championship or All-American game at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio?
Do they know they could be selected to Team United or Team USA and compete internationally? Women athletes from Salem/Keizer and surrounding areas can join the Salem-based Capital Pioneers. The Capital Pioneers compete in the largest women's tackle football league in the country.
The Capital Pioneers is managed by the Salem Women's Football Association, a nonprofit working to empower women through the sports of football. The SWFA is run by players.
Those adult women athletes interested in joining the Pioneers for the 2023 season can go to www.capitalpioneersfootball.com
More information about the SWFA can be found at www.salemwomensfootball.org
Uncomfortable parallels are being drawn
I appreciated Steve Law's "The KKK in Oregon: Same wine, different bottle," published in early September. It's a quality essay, beautifully written, and clearly well-researched.
Along with the parallels drawn between certain movements which have recently gained momentum in the United States, and where this country was 70-100 years ago, it also reminded me of unfortunate parallels between our country, and other parts of the world.
Where would a leader of a nation be respected, even after failing to condemn the actions of white supremacist groups, or the invasion and vandalism of one of the most significant buildings which all citizens own, in an effort to thwart a 234-year old Democracy?
Does lack of sportsmanship only happen in Brazil, where the president, Jair Bolsonaro, has long indicated that if he loses October's election, it would be a consequence of problems with vote counting machines, ballot boxes, or stolen votes?
Is it only in Brazil that if the majority of the population actually favors the other candidate, and not the incumbent, the election is deemed fraudulent, along with a threat of violence?
Where can a government control women's bodies? Only Iran, where brave women recently started a revolt because their theocratic government dictates how they dress and behave?
Since 1976, morality police have enforced laws decreeing that all women in Iran dress in a specific manner, and cover their heads with a hijab, at risk of beating, torture, or death. Those in power control the bodies of women who aren't.
Might there be another place in the world, with morality police leaders wearing black robes, or governing some states, making sure women don't make decisions for themselves? Will women, not just in Iran, rise up and revolt, or will the rising take place at the (legitimate) ballot box?
Canby dog park worth sharing your thoughts on
The front page article in the September 14 edition of the Herald-Pioneer, regarding a million dollar dog park caught my attention. A workshop was held to gather the views of residents.
At the workshop we learned the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board was not asked by the City Council for their opinion. At a December 2021 City Council meeting, city staff was directed to draft a plan for a dog park at this location only. Councilor Traci Hensley told us she was opposed to this particular plan and opposed it at last December's meeting. A map presented at the workshop reveals that the majority of the land is outside of the city. It is located in Clackamas County but owned by the city.
Barry Johnson, Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee Chair mentioned that when the Advisory Committee discussed this issue they were in favor of a dog park. They felt the city should be looking at a number of possible locations and analyze what the costs would be at each location. Then the most economically feasible location should be chosen. They voted 7 to 1 against just this location.
Reviewing minutes of the December 1, 2021 meeting, shows that Sarah Spoon made a motion to direct city staff to pursue a dog park, at this location only. Her motion was seconded by Greg Parker and a vote was taken. David Bajorin and Christopher Bangs joined Spoon and Parker in approving the motion. Traci Hensley and Shawn Varwig opposed the motion.
I encourage you to contact our city councilors and mayor to let them know your thoughts.
The contact information is available at https://www.canbyoregon.gov/citycouncil/page/meet-your-mayor-city-council
Dog park plan needs to be rethought
Canby City Council members want to build a dog park. This is good. Four of the council members want to spend $900,000 to build it. This is bad.
There are three areas identified as possible sites. The most expensive is on Territorial Road. The other two are much less expensive. Four council members are set on the Territorial site which would cost $770,000 with no amenities, up to $900,000 with amenities such as restrooms, parking, etc.
I don't understand why Councilors Sarah Spoon, Greg Parker, Chris Bangs, and Art Marine are determined to spend over half a million to a million dollars of taxpayers' money on the most expensive site.
Canby's Planning Commissioner, Chris Calkins, says there will always be 20 angry people in opposition to anything, even though over 330 people have signed a petition against building on the most expensive site.
They are in favor of a dog park, just not with a price tag of $770,000-$900,000. He says we're sitting on millions of dollars and we should spend it, even though he admits the city built a "$241,000 skate park that isn't used, and a $425,000 splash pad that is kind of lame and in a terrible spot." It sounds to me he is interested in spending money and less interested in spending it wisely.
Councilor Greg Parker says the youth are underserved by our city, yet he is wanting to spend over half million dollars on dogs.
The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board is opposed to the Territorial site.
Maybe Councilors Spoon, Parker, Bangs and Marine can pay for the park. We taxpayers can use the $900,000 more wisely.
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