The Clackamas print. (Oregon City, Oregon) 1989-2019, December 06, 1989, Page 3, Image 3

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December 6,1989
Page 3
Victims1 panel tells tragic stories of drinking, driving
by Jennifer Soper
Staff Writer
A teenage boy was killed less
than a mile away from his home
on the way to his church youth
group. A young woman was fa­
tally injured on the way home of
dance practice. A young man is
paralyzed from the waist down for
the rest of his life. These are only
a few of the tragedies the Clacka­
mas County Victims’ Impact Panel
tells people about every month.
Attending the panel is just
one of the steps drunk drivers must
go through in Clackamas County.
“I can’t express the words I
feel, and I know there is no excuse
for what I did, but I promise to you
all that I will never drink and drive
again as long as I live.” That is just
one of the reactions to the panel
since it began.
The panel, which held its first
meeting just over two years ago, is
more than just part of a process. It
is made up of people whose lives
have been forever changed by a
drunk driver. The victims tell their
stories to DUII offenders hoping
the crimes won’t be repeated.
People who are in the diversion
program, involved with commu­
nitycorrections, or have received
a citation for minor in possession
of alcohol are also sentenced to
attend the panel. Driver’s educa­
tion students and the general public
attend the panel also.
At each panel the speakers
are introduced and then left to tell
how a drunk driver severely af­
fected their lives. The panelists
don’t quote statistics or blame other
people for the choice one drunk
driver made.
“I got involved when the panel
was first organized. I felt I had
good reason to join because my
husband was killed by a drunk
driver; I wanted to impress upon
one person not to drink and drive,”
said panelist Carol Monahan.
“They tell their stories with
the hope that they can prevent
this from happening to someone
else,” explained Connie Strang-
field, a member of the panel’s
steering committee.
After the panelists are through
speaking, paper and pencils are
passed out and viewers are asked
to comment about the paneL Later
the panelists read and discuss the
comments that were made.
“I think reading the comments
after the panel each time is rein­
forcement,” said Sharon O’Shea,
a member of the Victims’ Assis­
tance Program.
Although each of the panel­
ists have very different stories to
tell, they have similar reasons for
being members of the panel.
“It makes the victims feel like
they’re doing something real posi­
tive with this tragedy that’s hap­
pened in their lives,” said Strang-
Forney elected to NEA board
by Brenda Hodgen
Staff Writer
After an entire week of cam­
paigning, Kevin Forney, publica­
tions designer at CCC, was elected
to the National Education Asso­
ciation’s Board of Directors dur­
ing NEA’s annual representative
assembly last summer.
“At the beginning of the week
there were only two of us running,
and we were like ‘This will be a
breeze,”’ explained Forney. “Later,
two more women signed, which
brought the total to four people
running for three seats. Then the
race was on.”
The Assembly was neld in
Washington, D.C Representatives
from all 50 states attended, as well
as some from overseas.
Forney was up early every
morning traveling from hotel to
hotel meeting with various repre­
sentatives and support groups. “It
was quite a drain waking up every
morning at 5 a.m. with meetings
beginning at 7 a.m.,” he stressed.
“Most of the candidates were
more concerned about hitting the
major states, but I thought why
not hit the hotels where several
states’ reps were staying instead
of those with only major states. It
was like killing two birds with one
stone,” said Forney
Forney is the first classified
member ever to be elected from
Oregon. Classified members are
members other than teachers and
administration, such as cashiers,
registrars, and custodians. Classi­
fied members were admitted as
full members of NEA in 1984.
Before that time, the NEA con­
sisted only of administration and
classroom teachers.
“Some teachers still won’t vote
for classified members,” said
Forney. “Someone said once‘You
mean we could have a janitor for a
présidait some day?’ and l thought
‘Well no, not unless you vote for
Forney was also appointed
to NEA’s National Publication
Relations Committee.
“We basically asses how well
we can implement the program,”
he said. “Our main message is
toward states, businesses, and the
government to urge them to in­
vest in education.”
Kevin Forney of the Public Information Office is a recently-
elected member of the Board of Directors for the National
Education Association.
Pho«® by cw
T he M oney M achine
out of respect
for the dead.
And the living.
American Heart
in Oregon
‘The healing comes from tell-
ingyour story. It doesn’t make the
paid go away totally, but it makes
it better,” said Monahan.
“We know we can’t stop the
drinking; that’s not our intent. It’s
the lethal combination of the two
(drinking and driving) that we want
to stop,” Monahan continued.
Currently there is a study being
done to establish the return rate
of DUII offenders to the panel.
“Based upon the feedback that
(the offenders) give us, it has a
noticeable effect,” said Sgt. Paul
Steigleder of the Clackamas
County DUII Taskforce.
“What sort of long lasting
impact it has remains to be seen,”
Steigleder explained.
If viewer feedback is any indi­
cation of the impact the panel has
on offenders, the return rate won’t
be high.
“I realize how difficult it was
for these people to share their
experience. I think this should be
kept as part of the sentence/treat-
ment for DUII conviction. It brings
a realism that few other programs
can,” wrote one person after see­
ing the panel. “I think the panel
gives (offenders) a different per­
spective than they’re getting from
any other kind of treatment,”
Strangfield said.
“It’s an aspect that nobody
ever thinks about before they get
behind the wheel.”
One member of the panel
summed up the experience this
way: “I cannot begin to describe
how much the panelists stories
touched my heart. They are doing
a great service to the community.
God forbid if I ever get behind the
wheel drunk again.”
Form now available
by Tootie Smith
Staff Writer
Available as never before to
students at CCC are the Student
Complaint Forms.
The student complaint proc­
ess is initiated when a student
brings a complaint against any
member of the CCC staff or fac­
ulty due to mistreatment or in­
competent instruction.
Realizing the inadequacies
that exist in thepresent system,
the form arose concurrently from
the Counseling Office, Dean of
Instructional Services office, and
Student Community Services.
“Student complaints were not
being nandled as well as they
should be,” said Vince Fitzger­
ald, counselor.
The Student Complaint
Form is an avenue allowing stu­
dents to assume the responsibil­
ity for his or her rights.
Also, the supervisor is inter­
ested in being accountable for
the performance and standards
of his or her department, contin­
ued Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald urges students
who have complaints to try to
resolve the conflict between the
person involved before pursing
other steps in the three-step,
“It should solve some prob­
lems we’ve had before of stu­
dents going to the wrong per­
son," said Fitzgerald
“In the past, students mis­
takenly went to counselors to
complain, aboutjan instructor,
and that created friction between
staff members, counselors, and
fellow faculty,” said Tom
Richards, head of the English
“I think it gives students a
sense of satisfaction. We have?
n’t had a lot of complaints,, but:
now they don’t have to wonder
where the complaints should go,”
said Dean of Instruction Lyle
Reese also urged students
who have complaints ¡ to, .-try to
resolve the conflict directly with
the staff member in question.
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