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Letters to the editor: City stepped up for eclipse visitors

 

August 22, 2017



In the past week and a half, the city (officials, volunteers and business owners) really stepped to come up with a comprehensive plan to welcome potentially huge numbers of visitors for “the Great American Eclipse.”

The city posted many useful links on their webpage. In addition, officials pounded the pavement and got commitments from local businesses, churches and schools to make restrooms available to the public for this event.

Signs were provided to businesses who wished to advertise rest- room availability or lack of availability so that visitors knew when they came in, whether or not a rest-room was available. A great map was posted on the city website for visitors to find prime viewing areas.

They also posted scores of business, church and school locations and addresses where public restrooms were made available.

Driving down Main Street I observed signage for eclipse parking, eclipse viewing and welcoming signs at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Information Center.

Essentially, the city was announcing: “Welcome to Sweet Home! We are open for business! Please enjoy your stay! We prepared for you!”

All of this was accomplished in a very short period of time.

Although, it appears that the mass number of travelers projected by ODOT and other state agencies actually did not occur, Sweet Home was ready. I applaud the city for their efforts.

I had gone to the Aug. 8 City Council meeting and asked questions regarding why the city had done nothing to capitalize on this event (except for the Run with the Sun fun run on Saturday).

Although police and fire and other emergency services had plans in place, I felt the city could do more. I focused a lot of my questions around the issue of restroom shortages in the event that we got the number of travelers prognosticators were predicting.

The following day, I had a guest editorial in the New Era, in which I worried about the same issues (rest- rooms for hordes of visitors). I left that city council meeting feeling that it was too late to put any kind of useful plan together…

Boy, did the City of Sweet Home prove me wrong.

“Nice Job” to everyone involved!

Gary Jarvis

Sweet Home

City staff not to

blame for delays

Editor:

Interesting read on the local economy concerning the former Knife River parcel (“Nyquist: City progress on quarry land ‘adequate,’ Aug. 9), particularly the mayor’s comment about his new building being 16 weeks behind due to “local bureaucracy.”

It makes me wonder if that truly is the case, or is it because the mayor has to follow the rules like everyone else?

I don’t recall any public outcry from Bi-Mart or the new Dollar General about “local bureaucracy.” As a matter of fact, I believe they have had very positive things to say about working with our city officials. Maybe because they had their ducks in a row?

The mayor has been on council for some time now and it somewhat amuses me that now he wants action because it finally affects him and his business. Where was he and his sidekick when Samaritan Health wanted to place a drug-rehab facility in Sweet Home?

Would it not have been more feasible to have a conversation about partnering with them, using this same property, rather than bringing them to task at a local council meeting?

Where was he during all those years of annual council planning sessions to move the city forward – some of which he never attended? Didn’t it matter then?

Why weren’t the policy makers thinking ahead during those times for economic growth instead of blasting staff for coming up with ideas that worked for the majority versus their minority viewpoints? Where was he when council members worked “behind the scenes” to purchase an expensive building for a new City Hall without public comment or city staff input? Why didn’t he step up then?

Oh wait. That’s right. He was part of the crew working behind the scenes.

Speaking of this new City Hall, what does our mayor know that we don’t about the growth of the community moving to the east?

Is it really? Or did he help push this hidden agenda so people have to drive by his business on the way to pay their water bill?

We can’t even fill the empty buildings in our downtown core (which, by the way, is where most city halls are located.)

But now, we’ll have another two-story brick building sitting empty with no forethought of what to do with it. But I’m sure something is being developed behind the scenes.

I believe the city of Sweet Home has great staff who have the heart of this community in their best interest. I don’t believe there is a lot of “local bureaucracy” when people actually understand the rules and follow them.

Perhaps the change in our councilor seats will help.

Surely, a little more respect and entrustment in the staff to do the professional job they were hired to do might help eliminate the mayor’s frustration.

Kristin Adams

Sweet Home

Donors’ generosity

helps readers

Editor:

On behalf of the Sweet Home Public Library and the Library Advisory Board, I would like to thank the many generous sponsors to our annual Summer Reading program.

Without their support it would be very difficult to have programs children and families enjoy, and more importantly, programs which keep children motivated to read all summer long.

Studies show when children read during the summer they are better prepared for school when it resumes in the fall. That is the ultimate goal of the Summer Reading Program – to ensure that children have the necessary tools to succeed in school and life.

This year, 887 children and adults participated in the “Build a Better World” Summer Reading Program! We are thankful for our partnership with the Boys and Girls Club for allowing us to use their gymnasium for our programs.

We are also thankful that the children who were attending the Boys and Girls Club were able to participate in the summer reading program.

To reduce barriers to reading, we partnered with the Sweet Home School District and placed “Free Little Libraries” at each of the ele-mentary schools and the Boys and Girls Club. Children were able to take a book and read it.

A volunteer from the Friends of the Library helped us keep them stocked with books.

Of course, everything that makes the summer reading program so exciting and fun for children takes money and sponsorships.

Many local businesses and organizations in Sweet Home came forward with money and donations to provide reading incentives and free give-away books.

The residents of Sweet Home are very lucky to live in such a generous community.

Story times and other programs will be starting in September, so make sure to check out the library’s Facebook page or stop by and see us at the Sweet Home Public Library!

Rose Peda

Sweet Home Librarian

Deception leads to

division, worse

Editor:

The only thing that can eclipse the darkness in our sky is the darkness of deception that is currently confronting our nation.

This emerging darkness is so evil and so vile that no word, no label and no symbol can fully capture its malicious nature.

Every conceivable deceptive method is being used to turn the American people against their own president and each other, even if it means inciting violence, destruction of property and dismantling America one historical monument at a time.

Our country is going to be a wasteland of hatred and our history is going to be muddied or re-written to benefit the evildoers in the name of political correctness. Words such as “racist” and “bigot” and symbols that engender fearful and hurtful emotions are being put into play to cut off discussions and dehumanize our president and anyone who supports him.

The media are colluding with multiple political and apolitical forces that want to take back control of our country and wrest it from the American people. These lies and labels are being used in a militant fashion with military precision in order to divide us with hatred and civil unrest.

All hardworking, freedom-loving American people who truly love their country, their fellow man, and democracy are being sidelined and forced to watch the sick and putrid propaganda machine lecture them from their television sets, internet, and YouTube videos, and fake news(papers).

Disrespecting the office of the presidency is not only an accepted practice, it’s a favorite sport of the media elite, politicians, and comedians of our day. For those who have bought into these horrific lies, you carry the weight of this blindness at your own peril and the peril of our country and its very survival as a free nation.

If President Trump is run out of office, we all lose. Peace cannot be won by hatred and lies. If we are silenced, then we must use our voices by voting out those who oppose our president, and we must oppose the fake news by refusing to buy their propaganda newspapers and by refusing to watch their television news programming.

The Russia story didn’t work, so now it is racism.

What’s next?

Susan Angland

Sweet Home

Auction house

helpful to locals

Editor:

We wanted to express our appreciation for a local business, All Star Auction, which has been very beneficial to our family. All Star holds auctions every week here in Sweet Home.

They have helped us sell items which have been passed down from our parents and other sources. All Star has been able to help us sell or liquidate tools, furniture, and miscellaneous items accumulating around the house, which need to be donated and sold.

The fees are very acceptable. We wanted to write this as a recommendation for using their business. You may end up buying items also, as we have.

Just a thought!

Tom and Sharon Adkins

Sweet Home

City grant helps

Manna program

Editor:

On behalf of the Manna Meal program and the Sweet Home United Methodist Church, I want to publicly express our gratitude to the Sweet Home Community Grant Program for approving a grant of $1,090 to help replace our aging cook stoves.

Manna Meal is a program of SHEM and has been hosted by the United Methodist Church for more than 13 years. The meal is made possible by the participation and cooperation of several local churches and concerned friends. Our continued service is enhanced by the good will and support of members of the Sweet Home community.

This type of cooperative spirit is one of the reasons I love living in Sweet Home. So again, thank you to the Grant Committee and our community.

Linda Rowton

Manna Meal Coordinator

 
 

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