The independent. (Vernonia, Or.) 1986-current, May 07, 2009, Page Page 3, Image 3

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    The INDEPENDENT, May 7, 2009
Page 3
Krahn’s leadership
needed for schools
To the Editor:
Help Vernonia build a new
The timing for building could-
n’t be better. It seems strange
to say something like that with
the current economy, but it’s
true. The availability of Federal
funding due to the relief pro-
gram will allow us to build the
long overdue new school, out
of the flood plain.
Our schools, just like most
small towns across America,
are the hub and lifeblood of our
community. It is a sense of
pride to students and a place
where lifelong friendships for
Policy on Letters
not publish letters that in-
clude personal attacks on
private citizens. Because of
space limitations, preference
will be given to brief letters,
300 words or less.
All letters must be signed
and include a verifiable ad-
dress or phone number.
young adults and parents are
born and nurtured. If the
schools don’t thrive, neither
does the town. Is it wise to wait
to see if we flood a third time?
Then what will we do?
It will require good leader-
ship and experienced profes-
sionals to guide us through the
bureaucracy that accompanies
such funding. I would urge
everyone to elect Jim Krahn to
the school board. His profes-
sional experience, and both na-
tionally and internationally rec-
ognized leadership skill, is criti-
cal during this process. To have
someone of Jim’s ability, at our
community’s disposal is price-
Pat Stacklie
Council doesn’t hear
citizen complaints
To the Editor:
Regarding the article posting
in the April 2, 2009, edition of
The Independent, page 9, “Ver-
nonia Police Raid MIP Party.”
Reading this article one
would assume that the Graf kid
beat up the public safety offi-
Where to Find Them
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden
Senator Betsy Johnson
1220 SW 3rd Avenue, Suite 585
Portland OR 97232
Phone: 503-326-7525
223 Dirksen Senate Ofc. Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20510-0001
Phone: 202-224-5244
Website: http://wyden.senate.
(Dem) Senate District 16
PO Box R,
Scappoose, OR 97056
Phone: 503-543-4046
900 Court St. NE, S-314
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: 503-986-1716
E-mail: sen.betsyjohnson@
Website: http//www.leg.state.or.
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley
Representative Brad Witt
One World Trade Center
121 SW Salmon St., Suite 1250
Portland, OR 97204
Phone: 503-326-3386
107 Russell Senate Ofc. Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3753
E-Mail: senator@merkley.senate.
WebSite: http://merkley.senate.
(Dem) House District. 31
21740 Lindberg Road,
Clatskanie, OR 97016
Phone: 503-728-4664
900 Court St. NE, H-373
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: 503-986-1431
Website: http//www.leg.state.or.
U.S. Representative David Wu
(Dem) OR District 1
620 SW Main, Suite 606
Portland, OR 97205
Phone: 503-326-2901
2338 Rayburn House Ofc. Bldg.
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-0855
Representative Deborah Boone
(Dem) House District 32
PO Box 926
Cannon Beach, OR 97110
Phone: 503-717-9182
900 Court St. NE, H-375
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: 503-986-1432
E-mail: rep.deborahboone@
Website: http//www.leg.state.or.
cers. This begs the question:
How does a kid who weighs
only 135 lbs. beat up two offi-
cers who each weigh well over
200 lbs.? Trained profession-
als! According to others at the
party, the violence was initiated
by the two officers and after fur-
ther investigation it’s become
apparent that Graf was unnec-
essarily beaten by these offi-
cers. Graf sustained multiple
injuries from the beating and
I find this type of conduct by
the Vernonia Police Depart-
ment repulsive. Oppressive
abusive police tactics of this
nature are unacceptable. This
is a violation of a person’s civil
I brought this matter before
the city council. I wanted Mike
Kay to explain his actions. At
the time there were quite a few
folks at the meeting giving ku-
dos to the Vernonia Police De-
partment and I agree they do
deserve kudos for good things
they do. However, the city
council didn’t want to hear what
I had to say. It seems to me that
if the city council is willing to
hear kudos for the police de-
partment then they should also
be willing to accept negative
feedback. If members of the
city council find it difficult to ad-
dress such issues then they
shouldn’t be city council mem-
bers and I encourage the public
not to re-elect them when it
comes time.
It appears that the Vernonia
Police Department has no ac-
countability. The chief tells the
city council what they’re doing
as a police department and the
city council just replies, “Won-
derful…glad to hear it…let’s
move on to the new business.”
This attitude tends to set a very
dangerous precedence. The
public has the right to know
what the police department
does and the public has the
right to verify what they do.
Also, the public has the right to
expect their elected public offi-
cials to investigate matters of
this nature.
The city’s council members
are the voice of everyone in the
community. I encourage the
public to become more proac-
tive by attending the city coun-
cil meetings. The public should
know how the city council is
spending their money and the
public should have the opportu-
nity to reject, or approve, how
their money is being spent.
Edward Johnson
Krahn is an invaluable
47J board member
To the Editor:
47J Citizens: This year, the
school board election is occur-
ring at an extremely critical
point. Jim Krahn has been an
invaluable 47J board member.
Please acknowledge his contri-
butions and commitment by
voting for Jim.
After the flood of 2007 there
was a vacancy on the board.
Jim had previously served on
the Vernonia School Board, he
knew what was involved. Un-
daunted by the amount of work
that the term would present,
Jim knew he could help the dis-
trict get through this devastat-
ing period. He put his name in
and was appointed to a position
ready for the huge task of get-
ting our schools back on track
after the flood.
Experienced in managing
publicly funded entities, Jim
knows the importance of keep-
ing himself connected to what
is happening in state govern-
ment. This helps our small town
stay on the minds of legisla-
Jim does not pretend to
know it all. He will listen. He
also will admit that not every
decision is perfect, but he
learns from what has happened
in the past and moves forward
with better knowledge.
Shortly after being appointed
in 2008, Jim experienced a
very serious personal issue.
Many would have resigned at
that point, however Jim made
sure that he attended every
meeting possible either by
phone or in person. He is com-
mitted to seeing the schools
through this period.
Jim’s children are grown and
his motive is not in one particu-
lar area of the school district, it
is purely for the greater good of
the whole community. Right
now the school board is at an
extremely critical point in a
process that will take a couple
years to complete. Please don’t
throw away his valuable invest-
ment. Let him finish the job he
See Letters, Page 20
Sen. Merkley holds Town Hall in Scappoose
Although he is a freshman
U.S. Senator, Jeff Merkley dis-
played the calm, unruffled de-
meanor of a seasoned politi-
cian during a Town Hall meet-
ing Sunday, May 3, in Scap-
poose, as he answered fre-
quently angry questions about
immigration, term limits, gun
ownership, Social Security,
Medicare, the financial system,
federal deficits and more.
After an introduction by
State Representative Brad
Witt, Merkley, who serves on
four committees (Banking,
Housing & Urban Affairs; Bud-
get; Environment & Public
Works; and Health, Education,
Labor & Pensions) spoke
briefly of his first few months as
a senator and his efforts to be-
come acquainted with Republi-
can Senators (He finally started
making appointments with
them.), then opened the gath-
ering to questions.
The first question was
whether there would be legisla-
tion on immigration and am-
nesty for illegal aliens. Merkley
expressed doubt that there
would be a bill this year, but
added that discussion on the
topic must involve borders and
employers, not just immigrants.
Asked if he supported E-Ver-
ify, an on-line verification sys-
tem for employers to check on
Social Security numbers, Merk-
ley said he voted in favor of ex-
tending the law.
A man asked about term lim-
its, noting that some legislators
had been in office for 30-40
years, and saying he thought
that some of those “involved
with General Motors had stock
in GM.” After explaining that the
detailed financial statement of
each U.S. Representative and
Senator is on their web sites,
Merkley recounted Oregon’s
experiment with term limits,
which resulted in a loss of insti-
tutional memory as seasoned
legislators left the capitol, and
increased the power of lobby-
Rep. Witt supported that ob-
servation, saying that he could
speak from a different view-
point because he had been a
lobbyist when term limits were
instituted, and “we became the
See Merkley, page 20