Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.

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Readers criticize Tigard's plans for a new City Hall and suggest ways of reaching out to people.

City Hall can't be trusted with a new City Hall

Tigard wants to build themselves a new City Hall. They claim the existing City Hall complex, just built in the '80s, has been so poorly maintained that they want a new four-story edifice. Ridiculous!

If true, such a claim once again shows that Tigard does a bad job with taxpayer assets. Similar to their 10-year neglect of the police department, this maintenance issue proves they don't take care of the basics.

Tigard just raised a whole slew of fees and surcharges by three times the inflation rate. Now, to pay for their new palace, they want to dedicate revenue streams, such as the lucrative photo ticket operation, to the boondoggle. That money should be used to enhance the lives of the citizens, not Tigard management.

Their proposed funding mechanisms are designed to appear benign, but there is a huge cost to taxpayers that can't be hidden. Nothing is free.

Of course, they should reject the wasteful spending on the new hall. Some bureaucrats wouldn't get a corner office with a view. But, such a proper decision would send the message that the phrase "public service" does not mean "self-aggrandizement."

Paul Hoffman, Tigard

We are all related in some way

We live in a society that seems to be more and more divided. How can we come together and support each other? We are each part of the human race. We share blood types that do not reflect skin color.

I think that when we realize that we are all cousins, that we may be more civil with each other. Although, we know that cousins can disagree, and can sometimes fight against each other. But we are still cousins, with a common ancestor. We are one big family of cousins.

I have discovered two free family history websites from which I have discovered cousins, lots of cousins. I have found that Barack Obama and I are 10th cousins, with a common ancestor. My wife, Peggy, and I are also 10th cousins. I have been surprised to discover many other family cousin connections; even with individuals living in Sherwood.

These two websites are RelativeFinder.org and FamilySearch.org. I encourage you to use those two family-history-related websites to discover to whom you are related. All it takes is for you to enter your family and ancestors into your personal account site in FamilySearch.org, and then use RelativeFinder.org to find famous, and infamous, people to whom you are related. Try it. It will help you understand more about your family, and your cousins.

Society depends on families. Author Bruce Feiler wrote an important article "The Stories That Bind Us" in the March 17, 2013, New York Times. Because of challenges in his own family, he was interested in what holds a family together. What ingredients make some families effective, resilient, happy?

Refer to Bruce Feiler's March 17, 2013, story in The New York Times.

He discovered that people who know a lot about their families tend to do better when they face challenges. Investigators have found that the more children knew about their family history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem, and the more successfully they believed their families functioned. When faced with a challenge, happy families just add a new chapter to their life story that shows them overcoming that hardship.

Quoting Mr. Feiler, "The bottom line: if you want a happier family, create, refine and retell the story of your family's positive moments and your ability to bounce back from the difficult ones."

One way for our schools to teach unity, caring and love, is to utilize these, and similar, resources. Helping students and individuals find their cousins, and learn more about their family, can unify our community.

Kenneth Stevens, Sherwood


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