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The Mid-county Memo is your newspaper. We want to hear from you. Discuss an important issue or address a concern you want to call to the community's attention. We prefer e-mailed letters to the editor sent to Darlene Vinson at editor@midcountymemo.com. Please put “Letter to the editor” in the subject line. You can also mail your letter to 3510 N.E. 134th Ave., Portland, OR 97230 or fax it to 503-249-7672. Deadline for the April issue is Monday, March 15.

Margaret Scott Elementary seeks help from Mid-county community
To the Editor:
As a way to increase community involvement in our school, we are sponsoring several upcoming events. Please plan to join us or support our efforts with donations to assure their success.

Over the past two years, we have been unable to provide our students with the opportunity to participate in field trips. However, on March 12, we are providing a school-wide field trip to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. This field trip will include all students - kindergarten through fifth grade. We will provide transportation for our students and staff. Parents have been invited to join us as chaperones at no cost. This trip will cost about $2,300. We held fundraisers to help offset the cost. However, we will still need to come up with $1,500. Our school will provide a family opportunity for a follow-up in May. OMSI Family Night will be held Monday, May 3. Transportation will be provided to families for a free evening at OMSI.

Our PTA is also reaching out to our community to provide a fun experience for Scott families with Family Fun Night at the school on Friday, March 12. Along with music and activities we will offer food at a low cost.

Donations welcomed at Margaret Scott Elementary, 14700 N.E. Sacramento St., Portland, OR 97230. For more information call 503-255-2031, ext. 8440.

Kathy Nickoloff - Margaret Scott Elementary Principal

Parkrose Swim Club torpedoed?
To the Editor:
Where does the Parkrose Swim Club swim? If you said at the Parkrose High School pool, you would be mistaken. One might assume that the club would be practicing there just as it has done for the past 54 years. But, since recent events have made the club no longer (feel) welcome at the pool, they left.

Mainly because in less than a year, pool rates for PSC went from $6 a month to $84 a month per swimmer. But when the rates increased in March of 2009, PSC also had their pool access cut in half. It was now alternating days with a new swim club called Northwest Blue Crush Aquatics Club. This club was formed by the Parkrose Aquatics Center director. In order for the PSC to keep up training schedules, it had to find other available water at pools farther away. Some members could not absorb the changes or extra travel and withdrew from PSC. The club needed to act and did so.

Because of the reduced access and skyrocketing rates, PSC went before the school board to get some relief. The club had learned that BCAC received a free or reduced rate and applied for the same. But PSC was denied.

The cutbacks in available pool time disrupted PSC's swimmers' ability to stay competitive. So the club asked for mediation from Oregon Swimming. It was suggested that both clubs merge, but BCAC refused to replace their family operation with new coaches. Then it was suggested that both clubs share the pool at the same time. Once again BCAC refused.

PSC was not the only victim torpedoed. The aquatics center and the high school have also been affected. The pool no longer receives the revenue PSC provided for its 5-7 p.m. training block. BCAC certainly can't make it up, as they don't have the revenue.

But BCAC has grown more intertwined with the Parkrose pool than ever. The mingling of the pool's business with BCAC's business is documented for all to see. Apparently this is acceptable to the Parkrose School District superintendent, and the school board, currently led by a member whose spouse is co-president of BCAC. How opportune it is that the BCAC's mission statement promotes “building character and strong athletic leaders” since the prospects to do so are ripe for the picking.

Team swimming is an exciting and competitive sport for youngsters of all ages and abilities. More swim clubs mean more swim competitors, and that is healthy for the sport. Both clubs can make contributions to the swimming community. But there must be courtesy and fairness. They must share limited resources. They must be nurtured by a school and district staff that demonstrates ethical behavior, common decency and equality. Otherwise, in this time of promoting and embracing Olympic ideals, sportsmanship at Parkrose will appear to be little more than a (quaint) idea whose time has passed.

Don Sheeran - concerned Parkrose resident
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