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Letters to the Editor for May 3

School funding

Make school funding a real priority:

In a recent article in the Hood River News, Rep. Mark Johnson was calling for a “show down” on school funding in the next legislative session. That’s great, but it’s 20 years overdue for the state, and four years overdue for both Rep. Johnson and Sen. Thomsen, from whom we haven’t heard yet, to notice that state school funding seriously needs to be made a high priority in the Oregon Legislature.

According to Supt. Dan Goldman, of the Hood River County School District, Oregon state funding per student was in the top 10 states in 1992. By 2012 Oregon state funding per student was in the bottom 15 states.

Gee, Rep. Johnson, do you suppose that sinking school funding level, nine consecutive years of cuts in the Hood River County School District and most Oregon school districts, and classes with 38 to over 40 students, as is happening right now in some local schools, have any bearing on why “other states are just beating the pants off us in academic achievement”?

Four years ago when both of our local legislators first went to Salem was the time to identify this — the real problem — that is cheating our students out of a top-quality public education, and forcing local voters to pass Local Option levies to save their children’s education from disaster, and to have begun to do something about it.

After working with Oregon’s public school students for 37 years, and Hood River County’s public school students for 27 years, I do not believe that Hood River’s, or any of Oregon’s students, deserve to be in the bottom 15 out of 50 states in anything, especially not school funding.

Therefore, I encourage all of you to get to know Stephanie Nystrom, who is running for the District 52 state House of Representatives seat, by going to StephanieNystrom.com, and Robert Bruce, who is running for the District 26 state Senate seat, by going to BruceforOregon.com. These candidates already know what needs to be their legislative priority.

Ldee Lorengel

Hood River

Westside safety

Dear Hood River Community: Westside Elementary School is looking forward to more students and their families walking or biking to school with the coming of spring and the Walk and Bike to School month of May.

As the road around the school has always been a problem with pedestrian safety and speeding cars, we are implementing a new program to give pedestrians better visibility with a system of orange flags when using the designated crosswalks.

Please be even more alert when you see people crossing with these flags. We are hoping they will be a better reminder to drivers to slow down!

Please feel free to use them and encourage your children to whenever using the Westside fields or school facilities and return them to the holders on the signposts. We hope this is a fun and effective way to improve pedestrian safety around our school.

Theo Parkinson

Hood River

It could happen

Some claim this won’t happen here:

May 1, 2014: Several CSX train cars carrying crude oil derailed and caught fire Wednesday along the James River in Lynchburg, Va., with three black tankers ending up in the water and leaking some oil, becoming the most recent crash involving oil trains that have safety efforts pushing for better over- sight. Firefighters made the decision to let the fire burn out.

David Michalek

Hood River

Awareness, prevention, cure

The recent article about Lila May and her battle with cancer was very powerful.

I would like to say I was shocked to hear of an infant with cancer, but my family knows all too well the devastation of neuroblastoma and other forms of cancer.

My heart goes out to Lila May, her family and others touched by her situation. I feel powerless at times in the fight for a cure. It seems everywhere you look cancer is rampant.

I don’t want to turn Lila May’s situation into a commercial, but I would encourage this community to fight for a cure as a team. That team would be at the Relay for Life.

Help in this fight to the finish. The Relay takes place July 19 and 20, but the fight against cancer is 24/7/365.

For those interested in joining a team, forming a team, or being an event sponsor, please contact me at 541-386-1288. Together we can make a difference.

Tony White

Relay for Life volunteer

Hood River

Don’t invite fear

Charles Beck’s letter of April 25 (regarding the John Birch Society) troubles me. The resurrection of this legacy of divisive, fear-mongering McCarthyism would tarnish our beautiful valley.

David Hupp

Hood River

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