LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

From Our Readers

Highway 22

I'm responding to Bertha Bartel's letter. Yes, it's a dangerous situation at Greenwood Road and Highway 22 but I think we have the same problem at Rickreall and Greenwood Road.

We finally got a four-way stop but no help in patrolling it. I watch cars all day and evenings crossing the four-way stop without even slowing down for the stops and one out of five stops when going around the corners.

Don't say call the sheriff's office. I have and only get the excuse that there's not enough officers. When one does show, it's only for maybe 10 minutes.

I feel the county could pay the salary of an officer with the fines they would get.

Shirley Weigel

Independence

Too much money

I find it incredible that Polk County is spending $66,000 to help obtain federal funds for Highway 22 construction and has enlisted the help of Rep. Holley -- all for the apparent purpose of enhancing safety on a STATE highway.

This has got to be the classic "government" case of the wrong people doing the wrong thing for the wrong reason and spending a fortune ($59 million) to do it.

In the first place, all of the planned overpasses and interchanges are at locations which have not been a high-risk area.

State accident data compiled by Polk County indicates that the majority of fatal accidents have occurred west of Dallas, mainly in the Willamina-Grand Rondo sections of highways 18 and 22.

Indeed there has been only one fatality at the Highway 99-22 intersection where the main interchange is planned, and one in the vicinity of the Highway 51-22 where the other construction is envisioned.

As for safety, the center dividers seem to have provided the greatest benefit even though they have not been fully installed in the most dangerous locations.

In that regard, I submit that high speed traffic at the cloverleaf-interchange at Highway 99W-22 will create a substantial threat to the pedestrians attending Rickreall School and nearby businesses.

It is all well and good for Rep. Hooley to help get federal funds back to the state for any purpose, but there is no excuse for inefficient use of such funds or to imply that such spending will solve all safety problems.

Paul Tanksley

Dallas

Cemetery board

As a voter, you will be receiving your ballot in the mail this Friday, Feb. 23, for the March 13 election. Many times special districts elections don't always arouse the fervor that voting for other elected officials do.

You will be voting on school board members, fire board members and cemetery district board members. All very important positions that touch the lives of many in this county in one way or another.

All of these jobs are elected positions, and people are willing to volunteer countless of hours to improve our communities and serve the voter better. These various districts operate on tax dollars that are levied on your property.

It is with this in mind that I ask you to cast a vote for me, Nancy Adams. I am running for a position on the Dallas Cemetery District board. I was born and raised in this community and feel that I would be an asset to the board.

Cemetery boards serve as the guardian for families who have left their loved ones in their care. Cemetery boards serve as the caretaker of the grounds and maintenance so that visitors will find a place that shows that their community cares about quality of life for its residents and honoring the memory of its dead.

Cemeteries are one of the main keepers and protectors of our history as people who settled and called the Dallas area their home. So it is very important that consistency as well as compassion need to be exercised when making decisions concerning the operation and the care of the cemetery.

True cemetery district elections don't always stir the political passion that many elections do but they still have the same impact on how people feel about trusting the final resting place of a loved one.

I encourage you to take the time and look at your ballot and at all the people in your communities who are willing to step up and be a part of creating a great place to live. It is a privilege to vote. Let us not lose this special right.

Nancy J. Adams

Dallas

Falls City thanks

On behalf of the Falls City Elementary and the Parent-Teacher Club, I want to thank all of the businesses that so generously supported our first annual PTC spaghetti feed and Bingo night with donations of food, prizes and matching funds.

Your contributions made our event a real success, the proceeds of which will go toward busing costs for field trips, books for our new music program and the outdoor school program.

We sincerely appreciate your positive attitude toward the support of our school.

Our students, parents and teachers recognize the commitment your business makes toward the quality of education in our community. We look forward to your continued support.

Thank you again to the Polk County Itemizer Observer, Hometown Grocery, Carter's Nursery and Greenhouse, Dallas IGA, Safeway, Roth's, WAL-MART, Wimer Logging, Siletz Trucking, Rite Aid, Radio Shack, Guy's Gifts, Starlite Lanes, Hi-School Pharmacy, Figaro's, Dallas Floral, Oak Knoll Golf Course, Focal Point Photography,

Brixius Jewelers, Cooley's Furniture, Myers Super Lube, Polk Vet Clinic, The Feed Store, Roller Zone, Curves for Women, Murphy's Grill, Sheer Perfections, Abby's Pizza, The Decorated Wall, and the Washington Street Steakhouse and Pub.

Thanks also go out to the kids, teachers and parents who volunteered their time and effort before and during the fund raiser.

Kay Mcgee

Falls City PTC

Spaghetti feed

On behalf of the staff, parents and students at Whitworth Elementary School, we'd like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere thanks for the support and hard work that so many people put out for our fourth annual spaghetti feed and silent auction.

The funds raised in excess of $8,000 will be used by the PTC to support projects, such as field trips, awards, assemblies, computers and instructional supplies and materials for the students at Whitworth.

In addition, this year the PTC has committed to spending a large sum of money on new playground equipment for the school.

The Dallas area business community and parents came through in the form of numerous donations for items and service, large and small. We would like to particularly mention a few folks who committed many hours to seeing that this event was such a success.

The planning committee consisted of the following folks: Kris Scofield, Julie Church, Denise Derrick, Carla Cudmore, Art Fox, Linda Jenkins, Michelle Poole, Tanya Henry, Francine Shetterly and Michelle DePlois.

These folks worked long hours and gave up extra nights to support this event and then worked long house that night. Thank you so much.

We also owe a great deal of thanks to the folks at Dallas High School, including Principal Dave Novotney. Again, this year's event was so much better because we were able to hold it there. Indeed, attendance was so high, we may have outgrown that facility.

We appreciated the publicity the high school gave to this event through their announcements, newsletter and reader board.

Penny Johnson's culinary classes made the food. Kathy Voves' leadership students helped out bussing tables, serving food, setting up and cleaning up.

The Whitworth choir performed several numbers. The VIP Strings program performed a short program and the DHS Stage band under the direction of John Skelton also entertained us at the end.

We'd like to thank Royce Thorpe and the high school custodial staff who assisted at various times during the evening and during the set up.

Two of our parents, Ron and Sherry Lines, volunteered to do all the custodial and maintenance work after the event. There were a number of staff, former students and parents who worked various activities throughout the night and we are deeply indebted.

We wouldn't have been able to do it without them. Many folks donated items. The class projects were extremely popular.

Special items and businesses that deserve mention are Joe Hayward Ford, Westview Products, Roller Zone, Stuart Wright Exxon, Bethel Heights Winery, Figaro's, State of Oregon Parks ana Recreation, Spirit Mountain Casino, Bon Marche and Walden Books.

McDonald's donated the punch and parents sent cookies for dessert.

Thank also to Bill Hahn and his crew for spreading the word on the city reader board. We would also like to give thanks for publicity and donations to Betty and Bob Redington. Betty worked with her boss to put up the announcement at the Dallas Motor Vu Drive-In.

A special thank you to the Itemizer Observer for their great coverage and publicity for this event.

Our apologies if we have left anyone out, but our thanks go to all of you who supported Whitworth's students by participation in this year's spaghetti feed and silent auction.

What a great community to live and work in.

Whitworth Elementary Staff

and Parent Teacher Club

Dallas

Care for animals

Much of the nation is shivering as temperatures plummet and snow piles up.

Those of us who don't live in Maui are cranking the heat and layering our polar fleece. We all must also pay particular attention to the animals, both in our homes and backyards, who are struggling to stay warm and fed.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) offers these simple tips to help animals stay comfortable and ensure their survival during the harsh winter.

♦ Check your local hardware/garden store for an inexpensive heating element to use in your birdbath to ensure that robins can keep bobbin' at in their familiar watering hole.

♦ Clean up any antifreeze spills. Antifreeze tempts animals with its sweet smell and taste -- but even just a small taste is a lethal dose for Fido.

♦ You and Poochie have been romping on snowy streets? Soak his paws in warm, soapy water to prevent irritation from salt.

♦ Store any wood piles out of your puppy's reach. Young dogs love to chew but can't realize that chunks of splintered wood don't digest well.

Same goes for Valentine's Day chocolates. Sure dogs go bonkers for sweets but chocolate can kill them.

Even dogs who have eaten chocolate in the past without any obvious signs of poisoning are in danger. Every bite brings Barney one step closer to a trip to the emergency vet.

♦ Don't isolate your companion animals outdoors.

It's always cruel to force social dogs and cats to stay outside, solo, but even more so in the cold, winter months.

It's killing them -- literally -- to be left alone in freezing temperatures while the rest of their "pack" (you and the family) are inside where it is warm.

♦ If your neighbor refuses to provide his dog with the basics, file a report with your local animal control department.

The law requires that outdoor dogs have access to clean, dry shelter and fresh food and water.

♦ Your toasty home can be awfully tempting to mice.

Plug up small holes in your home with steel wool to keep any uninvited guests from crashing at your place during the winter.

Follow these simple tips and you'll make life easier for the animals. For more information, contact PETA, 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 13510.

Karin Bennett

PETA

Correspondent, Ext. 463

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