Hermiston herald. (Hermiston, Or.) 1994-current, April 19, 2017, Page A10, Image 10

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Stop trucks turning
onto Elm Avenue
from Highway 395
helping our students with dis-
abilities? I have not noticed
anything being said about
those needs of the Hermiston
School District.
According to the popula-
tion study done by Portland
State University that I read
in the Hermiston’s Herald,
it stated that the “Hermiston
School District will continue
to increase in student popula-
tion by a total of 800 students
by 2023 a short seven years
from now.” With that said, I
would think our students with
disabilities would increase
Some of our disability
students require unique care.
Some are in wheelchairs;
some wear diapers, have
feeding tubes, and are on spe-
cial diets. They require tak-
ing medications throughout
the school day. Some require
the need to be showered due
to having a bowel accident
that is beyond their control or
from leaking feeding tubes.
Our Special Ed teachers, last I
seen, did not have the supports
in place they needed to ad-
dress all these situations when
they occurred. Will there be
any bond dollars, if passed,
to help put some handicapped
showers and changing tables
in next to their rooms for easi-
er transferring and for student
privacy rather than them be-
ing taken down the hall to the
locker room or wherever they
can be changed? They could
use some Hoyer lifts in each
school to help our teachers
lift our students easier, for the
safety of our students and our
teachers. Longer changing
tables would accommodate
the short and longer students
along with the lighter and
heavier students, rather than
the short changing tables.
Will the bond, if passed,
help our students and staff at
the Kik Center, (AKA the Kik
Building). Hermiston School
District’s, Super Senior pro-
gram for our students with
disabilities; initially designed
for our 18-21 year old students
with disabilities to help them
transition into the real world.
Will they ever get a bus that
will have a decent wheelchair
lift that has air-conditioning
and heating for our students
trucks making inappropriate
and dangerous right-hand
turns from Highway 395 onto
East Elm Avenue.
Our family was sadly re-
minded of the senseless death
of our mother, Joan Reeske,
which occurred on Dec. 1,
2008, when we read a report
of a 55-year old man who
died on April 3rd. Both were
killed by heavy semi-trucks
making right-hand turns from
Highway 395 onto East Elm
Avenue in Hermiston. This
inappropriate and dangerous
maneuver for this location
requires the truck drivers to
turn into the oncoming lane
of traffic on East Elm Avenue.
Joan Reeske was legally
crossing East Elm in Herm-
iston under the direction of
the crosswalk lights when she
was struck from behind by
a heavy semi-truck making
an inappropriate and dan-
gerous right-hand turn onto
East Elm. Joan Reeske was
crushed to death. The truck
driver was only cited for “fail-
ing to stop for a pedestrian”.
These facts can be confirmed
in Hermiston Police Depart-
ment Report #08-3466. The
district attorney choose not to
file criminal charges against
the truck driver.
The Hermiston Police
Department, district attor-
ney’s office, and Hermiston
City Council are well aware
of the danger to pedestrians
and bicyclists in allowing
heavy semi-trucks to make
this inappropriate and dan-
gerous right-hand turn from
Highway 395 onto East Elm
Avenue. We believe the citi-
zens of Hermiston should de-
mand that heavy semi-trucks
be prohibited from making
this inappropriate and dan-
gerous right-hand turn and
be required to use alternative
routes. By simply requiring
heavy semi-trucks to contin-
ue north on Highway 395 to
Highway 730, rather than us-
ing East Elm Avenue (High-
way 207) as a bypass to High-
way 730, would only add 4.5
miles to the truck driver’s trip.
We believe the use of alterna-
tive routes would reduce, and
perhaps end, any more sense-
less deaths due to heavy semi-
Support school bond
As a retired Hermis-
ton School District/Rocky
Heights teacher, I am writ-
ing in support of the up-
coming school district bond
As we all know, our
community has grown in-
credibly in the past decade
and our schools are not able
to accommodate all of our
children. We now have 34
portable modulars and at
the rate estimated, we will
have to add another 46
during the next six years.
Our district is working hard
to keep classroom numbers
down but our lack of facil-
ities makes this goal very
Having children housed
in portable modulars sepa-
rate from the school build-
ing impacts actual class-
room time spent on task
and also child safety as stu-
dents walk back and forth
to the main building sev-
eral times a day. Addition-
ally, my own grandson’s
elementary lunch program
must begin serving K-5
lunches by 10:30am and
serve well past noon in or-
der to provide all students
an opportunity to eat in his
overcrowded school.
Please join me in support
of the HSD bond measure
in order to provide a quality
education in quality schools
that meet the needs of all of
our precious children.
Does bond address
special needs students?
I’m writing in regards
to the Hermiston School
District’s bond. If this bond
passes, what are the plans in
and raised the property tax.
So if there is suppose to be
an overall reduction, why did
my property tax go up?
If the current bond is voted
in I will see an increase. So
over time, how much time are
you talking about — 10, 20,
40 years?
I’m not against growth in
the school system. Our family
donated 6,000 yards of fill for
the new football field and I
helped load it into their trucks
for free. What I am against is
the school district holding on
to $5 million they have now
and wanting to spend it on
property for future growth,
say, 40 years down the road.
If expansion is needed, they
should spend what they have
now to better the community.
Most companies want a
25,000-person base within the
city limits. Hermiston’s last
census was in 2013; at what
point will the city update the
census? I feel the time is now
to allow economic growth.
How about the school
board sell off the Highway 395
frontage in front of the Sunset
School to develop commer-
cial business and take the $2-3
million value that I have been
told is considered for this. Ap-
ply it to the expansion and re-
pair what we have now.
I would vote yes on a
bond to help pay for what is
needed if they would show
good faith in this commu-
nity and allow Hermiston
to grow as well on the com-
mercial side. Sell off one
part to pay up to $8 million
total and put up a bond for
the remainder. Compromise.
I do not feel we as resi-
dents need to carry the whole
bond. The retired community
of the town will not be able to
afford the increase. Maybe a
smaller increase would work
on both sides.
and runs good? Last I seen
they were still driving around
the same yellow bus that my
son rode in when he was in
school, and when he needed a
wheel chair we had to make
special arrangements with the
bus company just so he could
continue his education.
As our student population
increases so will our students
with special needs. I under-
stand that our people with
disabilities have the most
extensive care needs but by
avoiding their unique abilities
will put the health and wellbe-
ing of our most needed people
at risk. I believe ALL our stu-
dents and teachers need to be
kept safe. As the Hermiston
School District states in its vi-
sion and mission statements:
“Striving to be the premier
public school district in Ore-
gon and to serve the needs of
all the children with rigorous
program choices, high expec-
tations, mutual respect and ex-
cellence in all endeavors.”
How will this bond be
used to help the students and
teachers in this population?
District should look at
other ways to pay
“The good news is, as
home owners, we pay only
about 48 percent of the
schools’ bond levy. Business-
es and utilities pay 52 percent.
Also, as our area continues to
grow with more residents and
business, the tax rate will be
lowered each year since more
people and businesses will be
included to pay the bond, thus
lowering individual tax bills
over time.” (Dr. Jer D. Pratton,
March 29 Hermiston Herald.)
As this comment sounds
good, I find a few things with
a flaw. As follows:
I have been a Hermiston
resident for more then 30
years, and graduated from
Hermiston High School.
My taxes have only gone
up; the only time my property
tax ever went down is when
the county devalued my prop-
erty by $25,000 three years
ago and for 2016 they de-
valued my home value again
Let’s talk taxes
and schools
This paper published sta-
tistics about how Hermis-
ton’s real property taxes rate
among Oregon cities because
school bonds are paid through
property taxes. As part of this
evaluation, let’s not forget
that Hermiston has the fifth
lowest utility rates in the
state. Hermiston has its prior-
ities straight: we pay property
taxes to improve our kids and
community, and we pay a
bargain for our utilities. Well
done, Hermiston. Let’s keep
it up by voting “yes” for the
school bond.
Bond is an investment
in our future
Private investment follows
public investment.
This is true with infra-
This is true with educa-
tional facilities.
The Erie Canal opened the
early American frontier.
The Transcontinental Rail-
road unified the nation.
The Interstate Highway
system gave access to mar-
brought light and energy to a
world that labored in darkness.
Irrigation systems in-
creased food production.
Telecommunications sys-
tems facilitated the flow of
open the frontier of the mind
of a child. Schools are where
the sharing ideas bring peo-
ple together and provide ac-
cess to concepts that were
previously unknown. School
teachers bring light and en-
ergy to the ignorant and be-
nighted. Classroom instruc-
tion increases the productive
capacity of individuals who
can choose to become part of
a well informed workforce.
Prosperity is directly con-
nected to an informed popu-
I’m voting for the Herm-
iston School Bond because
there is no better public in-
vestment than schools, no
greater return on investment
than learning, and no better
way to insure private invest-
ment than through a well edu-
cated workforce.
for any task on every property.
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