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August 8, 2012     The Sun Paper
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2 The Sun, Wednesday, August 8, 2012 I i). U Let's face it--none of us likes rough railroad crossings. Whether we walk, drive, bike or wheel across the railroad tracks in Sheridan, it is a jarring experience. I have yet to fred anyone on the Sheridan City Council that doesn't agree that the tracks are in disrepair and need to be fkxed. So what is the hold up? Until this week the primary concern was funding. That changed on Tuesday when ODOT Rail announced that it would not allow the city to do any work to the crossing unless it upgrades it to current standards. So much for the $3,000 fix or even a $20,000 repair. Nowthe cost has escalated exponentially- and ODOT Rail wants the city to close the sidewalks at the crossing. Marguerite Alexander We live at a time when the economy is uncertain. Some cities have even filed for bankruptcy. Just because a municipality sees a need doesn't mean it has the money to fund the project. Each municipality also works with different types of en- terprise funds. Just because there is money in the sewer fund doesn't mean there is money for roads. Money desig- nated for parks cannot be spent on water projects. There has been a lot of talk- and misinformation- about the Bridge Street railroad crossing. Some citizens are de- manding that the city fix it. At one point the city considered paying $3,000 to fix the crossing with asphalt. If you have seen the rails bounce up and down as the lumber-laden trains travel through town, you'd realize just how temporary a fix that would be. A more permanent solution would have been to install a concrete crossing. Cost: $20,000. But wait if you pay to have the railroad install a concrete crossing it is important first to address any potential problems lying beneath it. If you re- place the undersized sewer line now, you avoid an emer- gency-an even costlier fix--later. That makes sense. But it's not just the road that residents are complaining about. They want the sidewalks fixed too. The rail line running through the heart of Sheridan has been around a long time. It was there long before the city established standards for sidewalks. In fact, according to the state there are no sidewalks cross- inn the tracks on South Bridge St.--there never have been. To install sidewalks would mean going through all the engineer- ing and plan designs required for crossing upgrades. That would involve four engineers from four agencies ap- proving the project The cost of engineering does not come cheap. But wait the crossing is flanked by buildings. If you widen the sidewalks to meet the current requirements for walkways crossing ' t Iroad tracks when there are warning signal arms installed, there is a building in the way. Do you ask Sheridan Building Supply to move their building to accommodate a sidewalk? And what about the crossing arms? Stand alongside the tracks as the Wain rumbles through and it becomes clear that the cross- inn arms were installed without regard for pedestrians. By the way, the signal arms are in the wrong place. They were installed when there were two tracks. Now there is just one. So who should pay to move the signals? ODOT Rail insists the city should pay. That adds still more to the final price tag. A simple $3,000 fix has now mushroomed into poten- tially hundreds of thousands of dollars. Not only has a rela- tively simple fix become very expensive, it has become very complicated - if not impossible. The next factor to consider is who is ultimately respon- sible for the care and repair of the crossings. The problem with these railroad crossings falls between the ties, placing the problem in the hands of the railroad company. As a hard-working taxpayer, I would be concerned if, during these tough economic times, I knew the city was spending my money to fix a problem that clearly falls within the jurisdiction of another entity. The City of Sheridan is operating in the black. I'd like it to stay that way. What you may not know is the state has money set aside to upgrade railroad lines and spurs that have safety issues. Dangerous crossings are placed at the top of the priority list. There is money available. Much of it requires matching funds. If the city had matching funds to apply toward rail- road upgrades, would it even be able to apply for funding to fix a problem that belongs to the railroad? I'm not sure. There is a problem in Sheridan with the railroad cross- ings. That no one will deny. But the remedy is not as easy as anyone would hope it could be. After today's announce- ment by ODOT Rail, the discussion on fixing the crossing may be a moot point. It may never get done. Blame it on bureaucracy. Point the finger at the railroad company or ODOT Rail. You might even focus the frustra- tion on the individual who seems bound and determined to force the city to do something. But don't shake your fist at or bad-mouth the city council or city officials. Neither the Sheridan City Council nor the city staff cre- ated this decades-old problem. They are just trying to fred a way to address it without spending limited resources on an expensive and very complicated solution to a problem the city does not even own. -~-~ Postal # --= olrPA 493-940 Clinton Vining EDITOR and PUBLISHER POSTAL NOTICE: Published weekly by The Sun, 136 E. Main Street, Sheridan, OR 97378. Periodicals postage paid at Sheridan, OR 97378, SUBSCRIPTION RATE (one year): $29 in Yamhiil/Polk County. $39 out of area. Payment must be received by noon Friday for subscription to start with the following Wednesday's edition. DEADLINES: Letters to the editor, society and church news, press releases, general -- Noon Friday. Legal notices, display -- 5 p.m. Friday. Classified display -- Noon Monday. Classified ads--5 p.m. Monday. Phone: (503) 843-2312. Fax: (503) 843- 3830. E-maih news@sheridansun.com POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Sun, RO. Box 68, Sheridan, OR. 97378. ,cT To ll Ng T AT 6oo MILLION P PLE LosE WER I I)Ih- J City should not endorse private enterprise To the Editor: The failure of the City of Sheridan to NOT endorse the establishment of an equestrian center in the Willamina area was the correct thing to do. I say that because the council is a governmental body. I don't believe the government should be in the business of support- inn or denigrating any private enterprise unless it is breaking the law. With all the complain- ing coming from two or three tiresome figures who continually attack, the council should consider that if the gov- ernment can endorse a private business, then they have given them the power to publicly scorn a businesses. What would these people say if the local government said to support one Chinese restau- rant and not the other? How about a council recommenda- tion for which pizza place is best? I would like them to vote on auto mechanics, too. Alas, we only have one gas station in the area so would the Mayor support it or advise against buy- inn their products? This whole thing is actually the business of the chamber of commerce, not the city council. Dennis Carmody Sheridan Library patrons enjoy summer adult reading challenge To the Editor: Willamina Public Library's first Adult Summer Reading Challenge was a huge success. I'd like to thank all the library patrons who joined in the fun and read, read, read. And the contest wouldn't have been possible without help from the following businesses and indi- viduals: Ray's Food Place; Coyote Joe's; the Pink Poodle; G&M Insurance; Wildwood Hotel; Blue Owl Knits; Sun Shack Tanning & Fitness; Salon 333; Brown's Automotive; Main Street Brew; Willamina Maley's Mercantile; Marion Mercier; Linda Brown; Gladys Blackwell; Linda Scott; David Howell; Mary Jane Hollinger; The Friends of the Willamina Library. The names of the prize win- ners will be posted at the library Tuesday, Aug. 7. Melissa K. Hansen Senior Librarian Willamina Public Library Representative not addressing constituent concerns Dear Representative Weidner: I left a message on your voice mail last week and was hoping to speak with you or a member of your staff. No one has bothered to return my call. Several years ago, since you were my representative, you as- sisted in passing the amendment to the bakery bill. In that time, I have not seen you supporting my business nor have I heard of any other accomplishments, nor have you been appointed to any House committees. I was furious when I saw you have freely plastered my name on your re-election materials. You did not ask me if this was okay. I am NOT a registered Democrat or Republican, yet your 20,000+ mailing makes it seem as if I support your cam- paign. I spoke with several at- torneys about this, and while what happened is fact, theywere quite surprised at your audacity. Legally, I cannot sue you, but I would love to. I would prefer if you ~,want to use my business name, tlaat I at least be given the courtesy of a telephone call. Red Fox Bakery does not take political sides, but I am very sure we will this time. Laurie F~rch Red Fox Bakery McMinnville Letters are welcome, but must be signed Yes, we like letters. But they must be signed or they won't be published. Please provide a telephone number -- for verification pur- poses only. The phone number will not be published. All letters are subject to ed- iting. Please limit length to 300 words or less. Deadline is 5 p.m. Friday. Send your letters to P.O. Box 68, Sheridan, OIL 97378. You may also e-mail to: news@s heridansun, com. Nancy Jeanne Smith July21, 1937-Aug. 4, 2012 Nancy Joanne (Buswell) Smith, age 75, of Sheridan, passed away on August 4, 2012 after a short illness with Pan- creatic Cancer. She was born at home on July 21, 1937 to Walter and Inez (Turnidge) Buswell in Willamina, Ore. Nancy was raised in Wil- lamina where she attended grade school and graduated from Willamina High School in 1955. She was very active in high school participating in the Girl's League, Thespians, Drama Club, Choir, Class Trea- surer, Volleyball, Sextet, Cheer- leader, Pep Club and Girls Ath- letic Association. She had many fond memories of growing up in Willamina and loved to tell her stories. On July 23, 1954 she mar- ried her high school sweetheart Jim Smith and moved to Port- land in 1957. Over the years they made their home in Vancouver, Wash Milwaukie and Tigard. In 2008 after Jim's death she moved back to the area and settled in Sheridan. Nancy enjoyed reading, decorating her home, and writ- inn poetry. She loved her fam- ily dearly, whenever asked what she was thankful for the answer was always "my fam- ily" followed by her big smile. She is survived by her chil- dren, Mike (Conny) of Van- couver, Wash Jodi Rasar (Bill) of Sheridan, Lori Bain of Canby and Jaki Darby (Lee) of Bay City; her grandchil- dren, J.J Kate, Daisy, Steven, Christine, Donnie, Mallori, Seth, Anna, Jered, Matthew, Tanner and Rob; 23 great- grandchildren; sisters, Norma Blackwell and Wallie Chap- man; and sister-in-law Patsy Buswell, as well as many be- loved aunts, cousins, nieces and nephews. Nancy was preceded in death by her lovin~ and de- voted husband of 54 yhars, her parents, her brother)kBud Buswell, son-in-law Don ain, brother-in-law Carl Blacldvell, nephews Bobby Buswell and Dennis Blackrwell. Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, at Willamina Chris- tian Church. Arrangements by Adam- son's Sheridan Funeral Home. To leave online condolences go to www.AdamsonsSheridan FuneralHome.com. Obituary policy The Sun will publish free of charge a basic death/funeral no- tice for persons who are (or have been) a resident of the West Valley. The notice will include the name, age, birth date, death date, city of residence, and time, date and location of the funeral service. Aphoto may be added for a $5 fee. The charge for a more de- tailed obituary is $20 per 10- inch increment. Aphot0 may be added for an additional $5. For more information, email us at news@sheridansun.com, or fax The Sun at 503 -843 -3830. U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, 223 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Wash- ington, DC 20510-3703. Phone (202) 224-5244. Local office: 911 NE 1 lth Ave, Suite 630, Portland, OR 97232. Phone (503) 326-7525. Website: http://wydan.senate.gov/ U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, Office 107 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C 20510. Phone (202) 224-3753. Salem Office: 495 State St Suite 330 Salem, OR, 97301. Phone (503) 362-8102. Website: http://merkley.senate.gov/ U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader, Oregon-Sth Dist 314 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515. Phone (202) 225-5711. Salem District Office, 494 State Street, Suite 210, Salem, OR 97301. Phone (503) 588-9100. Website: http://schrader.house.gov/ U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, 2338 Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC 20515. Phone: (202) 225-0855. Fax: (202) 225-9497. Portland Office: 620 SW Main, Suite 606, Portland, OR 97205. Phone: (503) 326-2901. Fax: (503) 326-5066. Website: http:// bonamici.house.gov/ Governor John Kitzhaber, 160 State Capitol, 900 Court Street, Sa- lem, OR 97301-4047. Phone: Governor's Citizens' Representative Mes- sage Line 503-378-4582. Sen. Brian Boquist - Dist. 12; 900 Court St NE, S-305, Salem, OR, 97301. Phone 503-986-1712. E-maih sen.BrianBoquist@state.or.us Rep. Jim Thompson - Dist. 23; 900 Court St NE, H-388, Salem, OR, 97301. Phone 503-986-1423. Emaih rep.jimthompson@state.or.us Rep. Jim Weidner - Dist. 24; 900 Court St NE, H-387, Salem, OR, 97301. Phone 503-986-1424. Email: rep.jimweidner@state.or.us Oregon Legislative Information and Citizen Access: Phone 1- 800-332-2313. Yamhill County Commissioners: Kathy George, Leslie Lewis, Mary Stern, Yamhill County Courthouse, 535 NE Fifth Street, McMinnville, OR 97128. Phone 503-434-7501. Polk County Commissioners: Mike Ainsworth, Craig Pope, Jenni- fer Wheeler. Polk County Courthouse, 850 Main St Dallas, OR 97338- 3174. Phone 503-623-8173. City of Sheridan - City Council: Val Adamson (Mayor), Harry Cooley (Council President), Roxie Acuff, Larry McCandless, Christopher Ehry, Rene Quinones, Sue Cain. 120 SW Mill Street, Sheridan, OR 97378. Phone 503-843-2347. Fax 503-843-3661. www.cityofsheridanor.com City of Willamina - City Council: Vernon Mosser (Mayor), Rita Bailer, Allan Bramall, Randall Long, Ila Skyberg, Corey Lee Adams, Laurie Toney. 411 N.E. C Street Willamina, OR 97396. Phone 503-876-2242. Fax 503-876-1121. Sheridan School District Board of Directors: Larry Deibel, Jason Alexander, Harvey Hall, Judy Breeden, Robin Rawlings. 435 South Bridge St Sheridan, OR 97378. Phone 503-843-2433 FAX) 503-843- 3505. SheridanSD-48J@sheridan.k12.or.us Willamina School District Board of Directors: Daniel Heidt, Clin- ton Coblentz, Loren Wasson, Craig Johnson, Ron Smith. 324 SE Adams St Willamina, OR 97396. Phone 503-876-4525. Fax 503-876-3610.