Letters to the Editor

Vote yes for
Kelso kids

Kelso School District voters are receiving ballots by mail for the replacement school levy and bond proposed by the Kelso School Board.

Citizens for Kelso Schools, a non-partisan community group, encourages a "Vote Yes for Kelso Kids."

The levy is for learning, and our current levy is expiring. Increases in state funding of Kelso schools limit this levy rate to less than the levy it is replacing. Detailed levy and bond information can be found at wearekelso.org.

The bond is for building. There are many building projects proposed, and they can all be viewed at wearekelso.org.

The bond is appropriate, and will provide needed capital improvements to our schools. The last Kelso bond was approved in 2001. The Facilities Improvement Team, with broad stakeholder involvement and community input, developed the bond proposal. It includes improvement for safety and security, traffic and parking, heating and ventilation, and athletic facilities. Many of our schools have outlived their useful life; the bond builds three new elementary schools.

The bond is affordable. The facilities committee balanced needs with Kelso's pragmatic approach to its schools. Since the new schools replace aging ones, the bond qualifies for significant state match. With the reduction in the levy rate, the owner of a $200,000 home will see a modest $5 per month increase in total school property tax.

The bond is an investment in Kelso. Local businesses, Realtors and community groups are showing their support. "We are Kelso," and our students, teachers and staff are deserving of the significant infrastructure improvement this bond will provide.

Please remember the Feb. 13 election date, and "Vote Yes for Kelso Kids"!

Mike Haas

Chairman, Citizens

for Kelso Schools

A blind eye

The Humane Society of Cowlitz County belongs to the people of the community. Unfortunately, the shelter, like other shelters, can be overlooked.

My passion and love for animals runs deep. However, due to the reputation of shelters, I once turned a blind eye. I could not bear the thought of walking through the front door. I finally told myself it was time to get over it. Beyond the door, I soon discovered hard working people who care about animals.

I decided to help through donations and participating in fundraising events. Later, I became a volunteer on the board. I learned the budget was tight and that shelters are a difficult business. However, improvements have occurred such as in-shelter spaying and neutering. Furthermore, fundraising has resulted in expanded space for healthier cats, replacing worn kennels, and creating a social room for training.

While there is still work to be done, I encourage Cowlitz County residents to not turn a blind eye. Please consider a way you can help, and thank you to those who provide support.

Cindy Nordstrom

Kalama

Humane Society woes

I am honestly very happy and very proud to announce veterinarian Aaron Gilbertsen as the "best veterinarian I have ever known."

His compassion and thoroughness in his work showed excellent standards for the welfare of his "patients."

He was my little Katie's veterinarian until he transferred to the Olympia area, and because of the miles between us, I had no choice but to seek out other veterinarians in my area.

Although I am fortunate to have found Dr. Laura McNulty as being just as loyal and devoted, I am also happy to know Dr. Aaron Gilbertsen is back in our area.

As far as "transporting" the animals from the Humane Society of Cowlitz County to either the Oregon Humane Society in Portland or the Humane Society for Southwest Washington in Vancouver, I would be honored to take on the job of giving those precious animals a ride in the cozy quad cab of my truck. Please sign me up as I believe every word from Dr. Aaron Gilbertsen, and, according to his report, "Let's get 'em outta there"!

Christina Chappell

Longview