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April 19, 1989     The Sun Paper
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April 19, 1989
 

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2 The Sun, Wednesday, April 19, 1989 I len SU in The battle over who will get the most financially out of the federal prison and the Willamina area---In terms of health care--- shows once again how money too often seems to run the medical professions. Sure, medicine and hospitals are s business. And, sure they should and must make money to stay in business. That's not the issue in this case, however. It seems to us that the tug-o-war battle pitting one MD against another in Willemina is really a battle for hospital referrals. This struggle is chronicled on Page 1 of today's edition and it makes for interesting reading. Unfortunately, it appears that local patients may sufter--no matter who wins. G.R. THANK YOU To the friends and supporters of the Merle Olsen family: We are so grateful for the Support Group One that is giving so much of their time and energy to make life a little easier in time of Merle and Linda's need. The Schmitz and Olsen families "thank you" from the bottom of our hearts. A big "thank you" to all the workers, donors, and the greatest pie bakers in Willamina for making the dinner Saturday night a huge SUCCESS. We understand there has been some concern about the money being used for a vacation to Hawaii, which is not true, and some say "if that is the case they don't need my support." We are sorry you feel this way, but let me tell you a story about this: In the fall of 1988 a husband had promised his wife a trip to Hawaii, which she has dreamed of for many years, if she would do a certain thing. It has taken months but she has accomplished what he asked her to do; she has lost 75 pounds. When Merle was diagnosed with Lou Gehrigs disease, it seemed impossible for him to keep his promise due to the financial burden of medical bills, above what insurance will pay, and the inability of Merle to keep on working. It seemed way beyond reach and an impossible dream. Morn and dads, aunts and uncles have rallied around and are helping Merle's wish for Linda come true. Could anyone deny this trip for them when their life together will be so short? They are going to Hawaiil We assure each of you who are supporting with donations and volunteer work on the fund raisers that the money will be used in a reasonable manner. It is estimated that the uninsured medical expenses will exceed $75,000 before nature takes its course. Thank you again for your support, love and prayers. It is all greatly appreciated. Dale and Lorene Schmltz, Winmsdna ~" 1989Ro~er Pond by Roger Pond Solid waste disposal has become a prime concern and a thriving business in many parts of the country. Thirty years ago who would have thought burying garbage would become a major industry? Now the business is taken over by big companies with names like Environ- mental Dumps or Eco-Trash. Regardless of a person's views on solid waste, we've come a long way from the time when shooting rats at the dump was our main Saturday night entertainment. When I hear kids today say they're bored and have nothing to do, I always regret the closing of the dumps. This generation will never see the rats we used to have. A dump wasn't a big thing in those days--just an acre or two where people could come and throw out anything they didn't want. Or folks could come and trade---you'd throw out some old cans you didn't need and pick up a set of handlebars for your bike or an old handbag for your sister. Where I grew up every community had a dump, and most townships did, too. It was sort of like a bowling alley: If your community didn't have one, you felt second-class. Nobody had a bulldozer to cover the trash in those days, and I really can't tell you for sure whatever happened to it. After the dumps were closed everything was covered with dirt, but in the meantime the rats did their best to tidy up the )lace. I wasn't old enough to drive to the dump and had to tag along with my brother when we went rat shooting. Somebody had to hold the light, and my brother said I was too young to handle a gun. As far as I can remember there really wasn't much shooting on those trashland safaris. Most of our time was spent jumping at noises. Anyone who hasn't heard about a rat running up a kid's pant leg, has never been to a rat shoot. That story was told at least once each hour, and before long everyone had eyes like Barney Fife and couldn't hit a fifty gallon drum, let alone a speeding rat. Then an old bedspring would tawang and we'd be four feet in the air grabbing our pant legs. When they closed the dumps and replaced them with "sanitary land- fills," that pretty well ruined the rat shooting for future generations. ] don't know where a guy could go for that kind of sport these days. Some folks look at landfills as a blight on society--an object of scorn and disgust. Most of us would like to have them somewhere'far away. But if 1 had a few thousand acres with a big canyon or two, I don't think I'd mind leasing-out some land for a landfill. It's better than a prison, I think. There are two things I would want in my lease though: 1. All trash will be compacted severely and buried immediately. 2. If any part of this agreement is broken, the landowner gets first shot at the rats. ~ :-------~ ~ (USPS 493-940) === ONPA _.. Pub] ~d~rs A.ssoc'.ax~n _~. ~ - NATIONAL NEWSPAPf.R ASSOCIATK)N George Robertson EDITOR and PUBLISHER NEWS - CORRESPONDENTS - PRINTING - Mike Petrovsky Floy Blair Toni Rose Doris McKellip Mickey Barber Kathy Olson Myrtle Barber PRODUCTION - ADVERTISING - Leslie Newberry Chris HIgginson Paula Necas PHOTO TECHNICIAN - Terry High Rlta Kramer Corinne Ivey JoAnn Ashcroft POSTAL NOTICE: Published weekly by The Sun. 249 S. Bridge Street, Sheridan, OR 97378. Second class postage paid at Sheridan, OR 97378. SUBSCRIPTION RATES (one year): Sheridan, Willamina and Grand Ronde postal addresses, $17; all other postal addresses, $26. DEADLINES: Noon Friday - Letter to Editor, Society & Church, press releases, general. 5 p.m. Friday - Legal Notices, Display. Noon Monday - Classified Ads, Classified Display. Phone number 843-2312 POSTMASTER: send address changes to The Sun, P.O. Box 68, . Sheridan, OR 97378. II I IIIIIIII I IS THIS A Re By J~ck Zimmerman In just a little more than a month---on Tuesday, May 16-- Oregonians will go to the polls to complete a second step toward resolving the state's public educa- tion finance problem. Critical elements of that second step have been enacted by the 65th Legislative Assembly now sitting in Salem. In essence those elements are the result of recommendations by the Governor's Commission on School Funding reformmcreated by the 64th Assembly in 1987--and which spent two years studying the problem and possible solutions. What has emerged from that study and current legislative deliberations is a partnership proposition uniting those who pay both property and income taxes to achieve more stable financing and more equitable education for all students. Measure No. 1 on the special ,election ballot will ask voters to amend the constitution, granting new tax bases for one-third of the state's 303 school districts that do not now have current tax bases. Tax bases represent an amount of property taxes school districts may levy for operational purposes. Districts without current tax bases often have to ask voters for additional funds in order to operate satisfactorily. If voters do not approve so-called excess levies, districts must get by on whatever they operated on the year before. That process is the result of safety net legislation enacted in 1987 to prevent districts from closing schools when excess levies failed to achieve voter approval. It is often called the first step toward an ultimate solution for school finance. Since its creation, 21 districts have been in the safety net two years and 44 have been in the net either during the 1987-88 or 1988-89 school years. Other opinions I I It's questionable at this point if the controversial "school reform" movement can be stopped, let alone be slowed. Once again, OEA backed Democratic legislators set to push through both houses legislation that will surely increase the taxes of most Oregonians. House Joint Resolution 1 would amend Oregon's Constitution, upon voter approval, to create tax bases for all school districts operating outside a tax base in 1988-89. That in essence would begin to severely handicap local voters about how much money they would allocate to their local school district. It also means that once again, big brother Portland and the Metropolitan area would be telling the rest of us Oregonians what's good for us. (And if big brother Portland thinks it's ready to "remove the stick from our eye, while it can't see past its own log-infested eye," then maybe they wouldn't object to the rest of Oregon telling it how to solve its crime problem, its drug problem, its gang problem, and so on, and so on.) Rural voters may not see the subtlety of this move, but next stop would be that teachers and administrators Would be state employees, directly responsible to ,4,'O7" XVO SU po ron Approval on May 1 6 paves way for reduction in reliance on property taxes to fund education. ii1| All would be granted current tax bases if Ballot Measure No. 1 is accepted by voters statewide. Granting current tax bases to those now without will cost an estimated $26.5 million in property taxes in those districts which receive new bases. On the other hand, voter acceptance of Measure No. 1 will trigger an influx of $112.3 million more in state aid to school districts and relief for specific homeowners-- most notably those with low incomes. Money for these programs comes from the state's general fund and represents income tax revenue applied to school finance. The basic proposition is not complicated. It simply states that the next step toward the ultimate solution is to grant current tax bases to all districts (leveling the-playing field) and somewhat offset the impact by providing more general fund money to provide more equal educational opportunities and relieve most seriously impacted property tax payers. Of the $112.3 million in additional state support of public education, roughly $57 million is spread among various districts to attempt to equalize property tax loads. Thirty- five million dollars will be apportioned among all districts to help pay for education of the severely handicapped. And $20.3 million goes to homeowners in property tax relief based on household incomes. Members of the 65th Assembly passed the major elements of the school finance package by sub- stantial majorities. Gov. Nell Goldschmidt is leading an effort to raise funds to finance the campaign in favor of Ballot Measure No. 1. The League of Women Voters, Asso- ciated Oregon Industries, teachers unions and associations of school administrators and school boards favor this so-called second step. A unique element of this election is the fact more than two-thirds of those eligible to vote reside in districts which already have current tax bases. They presumably would share only in a portion of the larger state appropriation, at least as far as educating the handicapped is concerned and low income property tax relief. But although this circumatance is unique, it's not without precedent. Two years ago similar circumstances prevailed. The last Legislature placed the safety net proposal on a special May election ballot and that issue really only impacted school districts without current tax bases. Voters statewide approved that concept by a substantial 55-45 percent margin--the first approval of a major constitutional change affecting school finance in 37 yearsl Supporters of Ballot Measure No. 1 hope for the same kind of voter turnout and support this year. Its approval May 16 will pave the way for the third step toward final solution of financing public schools in Oregon--significant reduction of the reliance on property taxes to fund education. (Zimmerman writes for Associated Oregon Industries.) I another state bureaucracy in Salem. This is not to say that everything is bad at the local school, or some state involvement might not be good. House Speaker Vera Katz talked about her concern for students being able to enter the 21st century prepared to cope with perhaps yet unrealized changes in life. Yet how do that when the high school dropout rate hovers near 30 percent, and of those left, between 20 and 25 percent who graduated are functionally illiterate. Just spending more and more money won't solve the problem. We need a greater commitment to children, and perhaps a fundamental change in the way we approach training and educating our children. Let's stop treating our schools like baby sitting factories, and teachers like day care providers. It's easy to see some of the apparent success of European and Japanese educational systems. Obviously many families that are home schooling are also finding success, because mother or father approach teaching as something they want to do, not because it's just a job. Why not incorporate some of their ideas? Katz is right when she points out that Head Start graduates are more likely to finish high school, stay off welfare and become productive citizens. But this is not to say that we need to get children into school houses at a younger and younger age. We can make educational tools available to mothers who choose to stay at home, and spend some monies to help in this area. Two education bills introduced into the House, that might have some merit are HB 2131 which requires the Office of Educational Policy and Planning to conduct a study of the potential consolidation of school districts and ESDs, and HB 2138 which would distribute Basic School Support in 1989-90 and 1990-91 based on each school district's 1988-89 allocation, an- nually increased by the growth in the Portland Consumer Price Index and adjusted for enrollment changes. It also requires the state to increase its share of the cost of educating severely handicapped children. Oregon's educational system is much like the rest of the country, not so bad, but not so good. Too often governments answer to solving the problem is putting another band-aid here, and another band-aid there, withoutrecognizing a terminal patient. --The Dsdles Weekly Reminder Homespun isn'ts My husband I think he's right. I about how much to cut frost-bitten roses, I cutting them at all. freeze kill the newly any life left except Should I dig them up ones? I think I'll wait think about it. I have the same tree-pruning. Should branch or that one? Is this twig angled too the wrong direction? Am too many limbs? I think !q letting the tree grow likes. Thinking breeds think about writing, I After all, I might and get murdered. be funny and fail.) I don't think great Certainly great If they did, or revolutions. You that way. I used to think writing ~ sedentary occupation, Long before threatened to Rushdie for "The writers have been targetS readers. acutely dangerous lives. been murdered for their investigating political shenanigans business. The life of a book quite so scary, when it. Usually, the toward the work, not Books have been banned and burned, are usually ignored. are more apt to be publishers t However, Mohammed a wives "whores," even infuriated Moslems. reacted violently, Ayatollah. Most Moslems indignant rather just as fundamental indignant last year Scorsese's film, "The tion of Christ," portrayed as having about Mary Christ is as Christians as Moslems. Movies often viewers---especially us to think about we've never thought anti-Catholic film attacks on a film was again in public for Black muslims 1977 film, of God." Why, I'm glorified the Maybe because The muslims took Washington, D.C. were injured and one (See, what did I tell Plays, as well as been actors. Members of Native 1849, didn't think a (William a British play, York soil. They troops reacted and up dead. wounded. I wonder if! about the potential Musicians without thinking just rock George Antheil's piano music started members of his Budapest in 1923. thought long and performing the did, he placed a before beginning. stayed in their seats. Emotional reactions t art are cot~mon. I thinl~ to arouse us. Some well. The as a rug in a said he just wanted about the flag in most viewers think. Turning anger Chicago the School of the Chicago the late mayor, "Mirth and Washington underwear. I don't artist wanted viewerS! Continued