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The Spotlight publishes letters about our Scappoose School District coverage, wildfire prevention and more.

Former Scappoose school board member decries lazy reporting

The Spotlight should issue a retraction for their article on July 30 for their erroneous statement about Tim Brooks and myself.

Read our story on new members of the Scappoose school board, initially published online July 19, 2021.

The reporter, who never attends school board meetings, accused Brooks and I of "occasionally battling with school staff." That is an absolute false statement. What is true is the principal of Otto Petersen Elementary School filed a complaint against me and made gross defamatory and malicious accusations. That was a personal attack, not a battle. A similar situation had happened earlier with regards to Tim Brooks. My interactions with the assailant and every other staff member were always respectful and gracious.

What is also true is that Mr. Brooks and I were not afraid to speak up about policies or issues before the Board. That was our job. The reporter apparently thinks these are schisms if one has a different viewpoint than the state or the majority.

Tim and I did not believe it was appropriate for kindergartners to be instructed on sexual matters or suicide, or that young children, many of whom still believe in Santa Claus, should be taught about sexual orientation and gender confusion, all without the consent of the parents. Adding parental permission to these agenda items, so parents could decide, was voted down by the majority.

Among other things, Brooks and I also adamantly opposed removing public comments from board meetings and allowing the superintendent to screen all board members' emails.

One of the most egregious issues we opposed was a divisive resolution accusing Scappoose and Warren schools, without evidence, of being systemically racist. Which of course is the foundation for Critical Race Theory in our schools.

The Spotlight as the paper of record for the Scappoose School District should dedicate the time of attending or listening to the audio recordings so you could accurately report on the issues before the School Board. Finally, you should have reported how a majority of Board members covered up complaints against themselves from January to April about their inappropriate actions as Board members. Yet those same Members manufactured a complaint process to exploit personal smears on the character others.

Accurate and responsible reporting is something you owe your readers if you want to continue selling papers and have any credibility.

Lisa Maloney, Scappoose

[Ed.: The Spotlight stands behind its coverage.]

Reader responds to Columbia River PUD column

I heartily agree that homeowners bear responsibility to decrease their homes' risk from wildfires. Especially those in the suburban and rural/forest boundary.

Read the column by Michael J. Sykes on wildfire protection, published online July 26, 2021.

Such houses tend to have large yards, so I disagree with the recommendation to keep your lawn well-watered.

Water is too precious to waste on maintaining a large lawn. It would be better to allow it to go summer dormant dormant and mow it short. That will minimize fuel and save water for use for drought-resistant and fire-retardant perimeter plants.

David A. Middle, St. Helens

Ensure voters have a say on new voting laws

The Oregon State Legislature recently passed another election reform law (House Bill 2681) that says they never have to clean up the Oregon voter lists, followed by a second bill that allows county officials to receive ballots up to seven days after an election with no postmark needed.

These bills have become law effective Sept. 24. The only recourse is to force the measures to be put to a vote at the next election.

This is not a Republican issue, it is an Oregon issue. There are already hundreds of thousands more names on the Oregon voter list than are eligible voters in the state. Oregon voters can go to cleanvoterrolls.com to print, sign and mail in the #302 petition to put HB 2681 to a vote of the people. There are two more petitions being created for the second bill on the seven-day window, as well as the gun legislation that was passed.

If you are interested, check out the video on fixoregonvoting.com for more information.

Please help put a spotlight on this issue. We need 75,000 signatures by Sept. 15 to get the new bills put to a vote by the people of the State of Oregon. Thank you!

Lori Neal, Tigard

Congress needs to pass voter protections now

Democracy is on a deadline.

We're on the eve of census-driven redistricting, which is expected to mean another Congressional seat for Oregon. The Senate recess begins in two weeks, and they have not yet passed the For the People Act that would protect the country from gerrymandering. We have congressional elections next year, and amazingly, voter protections cannot be put in place if we do not pass For the People now.

We are at a pivotal moment. Democracy lost is not easily regained. We need to save the vote for our children by calling our senators and telling them that recess can wait and to pass For the People now.

Do you remember the hours-long voting lines in Georgia last year when people risked their lives during a pandemic to vote? Now you can be arrested for handing them water and the pandemic continues. We can be better than this in America.

Democracy is on a deadline. Veterans have died to preserve democracy for us. We need S.1, the For the People Act, and you don't get what you don't fight for. Please call our senators.

Elizabeth Luthy, Portland


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