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Letters from the community


October 25, 2017

My parents, Ken and Charlene Morrison, moved to Goldendale over 20 years ago. They built their dream home in Goldendale and became fully entrenched in the community. My mom was an active volunteer at the art gallery as well as the Farmers Market. She and my dad were active members of Community Grace Brethren Church. Mom taught Sunday School for many years. She was also a Special Education aide with the Goldendale School District. My dad loved driving his antique tractors in parades and was a member of the Tractor Club and Car Club of Goldendale. He was often seen working on his heavy equipment in Klickitat County.

Charlene Morrison suffered a massive stroke on Sept. 29 this year. Their home sold, and we were in the middle of packing when the stroke occurred. Given the magnitude of the job at hand, the stroke was a crisis.

My sister and I called on Pastor Greg Howell at Community Grace Brethren Church asking for help. Pastor Howell put out our plea to members of the church and the members of the community. In a few short days, we had teams of people at the house that helped sort, pack, take items to the thrift store, take loads to the dump, haul off antique tractors and farm implements to storage, and much, much more.

We received an outpouring of support from the Goldendale community, and we will be forever grateful for your help and kindness. People came out of the woodwork to help. You restored our faith in community. We plan to give back to our communities like you have so generously given to our family.

On behalf of Ken and Charlene and the Morrison Family, thank you for your love and support.

Cathy Morrison Gidley and Lori Morrison Specht

West Linn, Oregon

Did your Open Space, Classified Land assessments increase this year?

Mine went up about 15 percent. As the classified land assessments are averaged over five years, that means for 2017 the increase was actually about 60 percent.

Following this pattern for another four years will mean a total increase of about 75 percent from the 2016 assessment.

I have reviewed the data the Assessor used to justify this increase and find it to be inadequate, flawed, and biased to create the increase.

I plan to appeal the increased assessment and urge all to do the same by Oct. 30 or lose any chance for adjustment.

Will Bowdish


I recently met with Mayor Canon, City Administrator Bellamy, Police Chief Bartkowski, and Building and Code Enforcement officer Ken Bostick regarding a recent misapplication of an unattended trailer parking ticket that I wrote about in the Oct. 11 edition of The Sentinel.

After a pleasant and informative conversation with these public servants, I have come away with a better understanding related to code enforcement and the division between vehicles on city streets vs. private property, and who issues tickets for what.

I resolved my initial complaint satisfactorily, and we then had a frank discussion related to the general state of home and business properties in the city and how we might correct, in a gentle and least-coercive way, compliance related to the condition and appearance of so many homes and businesses that contribute to an atmosphere of "we don't care" as property owners and occupants in the city.

As in so many things, there is responsibility all around. With this city and police force, every minute counts with staff and budgets; and the self-regulation of the citizenry and the condition of their respective properties needs to be a large part of the solution as well. In order for Goldendale to look sharp, we cannot simply expect the governing and enforcing bodies to do all the work (which is the most invasive solution possible) by using notifications, escalations, tickets, towing, and liens being the only solutions. The citizenry must not only hold themselves responsible, but also take action on their own properties to keep up an inviting, clean and safe environment that says Goldendale is a great place to live, base your business, and raise your children.

Therefore, I offer a suggestion: let's develop an annual award (or series of awards based on several criteria and levels of achievement) that would offer a positive incentive to "the most improved home or business," or "the home of distinction," or "the block most improved," and the like. Businesses and service clubs, the city and the Chamber of Commerce, and even individuals could contribute to awards. The city, the Chamber, and/or service clubs could sponsor and promote the program, with The Sentinel publishing photos of the winners and their properties when awarded. This puts a positive spin on the cleanup and improvement and allows for positive encouragement in any given neighborhood.

For those folks too infirm or who do not have the wherewithal to haul away the excess and trash from their yards, the city is in contact with individuals and groups that would assist, based on individual need and ability.

Let's make Goldendale a city of beauty, comfortable, and safe to be in.

Darrell Smith



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