City should put cameras at crosswalks to catch lawbreakers

To the editor:

I have been a resident of Sherwood for three years now and I love it here. The people are gracious and friendly. But, as a pedestrian, it has become a hazard to cross Sherwood Boulevard, especially near the middle school.

Even though it is clearly marked, complete with caution lights, cars speed through without regard to pedestrians that have the right-of-way. I can't tell you the number of times drivers have actually yelled to me to 'watch where I'm walking.' Why don't they watch where they're driving?

So, I had a 'what if' moment. What if the city of Sherwood were to place cameras at the crosswalk? No only could the city catch drivers for disobeying laws that protect pedestrians, but they also could catch them for speeding, which is a prevalent. Think of the money that would be raised to help with improvements here in Sherwood.

Just a thought.



The enemy could care less if you believe in peace

To the editor:

In the April Gazette there was an article titled, 'War costs hit home.'

The article spoke of the high cost that both Americans and the Iraqui people have paid with life and treasure. The article's claim was that if President Bush only had done nothing in response to Sept. 11 we the taxpayers would have saved $500 billion, that Washington County alone could have had $700 million to spend as they wish on things such as music and art.

The article talks of the tragic loss of the best this country has to offer. Four thousand of the bravest gave their life so we can live ours. I hold a deep respect for anyone who has the courage and selflessness to serve for our country and I am deeply moved and in awe at how one can give their life to protect mine and your way of life. But we must sadly put the cost and scope of this war in prospective. My father and four of his brothers served in the army and air force in World War II. My mother worked in the factory building war planes during the war. Close to 40 percent of the GNP was spent on that war, today around 1 1/2 to 3 percent of GNP is spent on this war. In one day, more than 40,000 American and British soldiers lost their life in World War II. Close to 3,000 soldiers were killed on one day at Pearl Harbor. In five years 4,000 of our best have been lost. On Sept. 11 close to 3,000 Americans were murdered when working in their offices.

War is a harsh reality that no American wants. We did not choose this war nor do we have the luxury to choose peace. It is naive to believe you can choose or achieve peace by doing nothing. The enemy could care less if you believe in peace.

Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., and many in the Democratic Party believe that peace and economic stability can occur by walking away from this fight. If we do bring the troops home, who by the way believe in the mission, and during a time when over 50 percent of Iraqis believe there is hope in their future due to the surge.

What do you think will happen to the Iraqi people if we abandon them as Sen. Obama wants to do? Hundreds of thousands will be killed. All those people who stood up and voted for freedom will be killed. Is this the way you show your concern? Sen. Obama says he would never have gone to war. At least Sen. Clinton had the courage to be for the war before she was against it. Sadam's two sons would routinely rape and kill women on a monthly basis. Mass graves, estimated to be in the tens of thousands, have been unearthed filled with those who spoke against Sadam. This is the man that Sen. Obama feels should have been left in power.

What would the cost to our economy be if President Bush would have done nothing after Sept. 11? How much will it cost to rebuild the World Trade Center? What was the cost to repair the Pentagon? What if the 'Lets Roll' flight 91crashed into the White House as planned? If we had done nothing how many more attacks would have occurred? Bridges, buildings, malls, airports, nuclear plants, water supplies, food, oil refineries, all targets. The cost in dollars alone would be massive to repair these planned targets. The economy would also suffer a severe blow. The stock market, housing market and employment are based on certainty. If the economy was collapsing due to attacks and all air flight stopped on a yearly basis the government and average American would loose trillions in lost tax revenue and income. Thousands of companies would go out of business. Do you really think you would have $700 million to spend in Washington County on schools and renewable energy? Is wind power going to stop an enemy that is determined to destroy us? Many Democrats seem to deny there is an actual enemy that wants to kill us. Several Muslims were just captured in China planning to murder Olympic athletes and blow people up and Obama's great plan is to talk. Good luck with that.

The truth is since 2001 we have not been attacked under the 'evil' President Bush's watch and that has been amazingly good for freedom and the economy. War is a terrible thing, but America will not be safer or stronger if we do nothing, if we stand for nothing, if we fight for no cause. How many attacks on our homeland will it take for good Democrats to say enough, no more. For me that day was Sept. 11.

Vincent Meichtry


Editor's note: Mr. Meichtry is referring to an editorial in the April issue, which highlighted the extreme economic toll the Iraq War has had and will continue to have on local cities and counties throughout the nation. According to figures from the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, the Iraq War so far has cost each U.S. resident a total of $1,721. Each day, our country is spending $341.4 million on the Iraq War.

As we now know, no weapons of mass destruction were discovered inside Iraq and President Bush admitted during a 2006 interview that there was no connection between Iraq and the Sept. 11 attacks on our country. To read the transcript of this interview, visit

Play was controversial because the language was inappropriate for middle schoolers

To the editor:

I realize that the question of why the Sherwood Middle School play 'Higher Ground' was so controversial has been stalking the Oregonian for a couple weeks now and it's apparently believed that this is a serious question. I'm curious ... how many people who ask the question have ever read the text of the play? In short, the reason it's controversial is that the teacher, whatever her reputed play-writing skills, wrote a play appropriate to the common knowledge level of a high schooler.

I'd be astonished to find many middle school kids - if any exist - who know about Sigmund Freud and understand what a 'Freudian twis' is. And how many middle school students would talk about their subconcious? Denying a proclamation emphatically? And use vocabulary like 'quintessential' and 'degredation?'

Jennie Brown indeed thinks of the children as young adults. She certainly writes dialogue that is wholly inappropriate to the actors' age. So there's one point of controversy - the actors were given lines they wouldn't speak in the equivalent situation in the real world.

But one can almost forgive this flaw. After all, the situation is theorectical, a fantasy, something that isn't purported to have actually happened as depicted. But, unfortunately, the indictment goes on.

I hope I don't need to explain why the comment about herding people into a shower and gassing them was out of line. It's the sort of dramatic and stupid thing a middle school kid might say but not the language any middle school kid would use for the occassion. At least the use of 'Nazi' was authentic - it's the sort of thing someone would indeed toss around wtihout knowing what the word means.

Finally, I fail to see the purpose in tossing out words like 'spic' to make your point about school persecution. The derogatory nickname for a Hispanic person is from the 1960s. I doubt most people have ever heard of it, much less would use it.

So yes, the play is rationally considered to be controversial and it's a credit to (Principal) Pittioni that she put the brakes on it and took a hard look at the writer. The teacher, in her choice of subject matter and presentation, was exceedingly foolish and showed a poor understanding of her audience and her actors. To answer a statement made by a random kid in your article, yes, you can live in America and be expected to be responsible with what you say and write. In the end, the teacher was irresponsible to her students and the people who've been going around enthusiastically boosting this play are irresponsible in general.

Keith Moore


Changes to Old Town streets threatens city's livability

To the editor:

Could someone please explain why Main Street and Third Street are now the principal arterials to get through Old Town?

For those of us that live on these streets, we have noticed that there has been a substantial increase in traffic and noise, affecting our quality of life and even the value of our homes.

It has become unsafe and people drive much too fast. Main and Third streets are so narrow that most places allow for only one-way traffic. It is difficult and dangerous backing out of a garage or driveway.

Before school starts and after school is dismissed, these streets are in total gridlock. Someone from the city needs to come and observe - and for more than one hour on one day. With all three schools, Stella Olsen Park and the Bumble Bee Preschool within such a close proximity, steps should be taken to make this zone safer. Reducing the speed limit in Old Town or installing speed bumps would greatly improve the situation. Action should be taken BEFORE there is an accident or, even worse, a fatality.

We are heartbroken and disappointed that this is what has become of our neighborhood. As longtime residents, we believe that this issue has compromised both livability and pedestrian safety in Old Town.

We ask all of you to take care to drive cautiously through our narrow streets. Ask yourself, how would you like it if we drove that fast down your street?

Cheryl and Michael Versteegh