Your Letters to the Editor for 5-15-19

Old courthouse doesn’t meet new security needs

From the perspective of a law enforcement officer, I want to offer a few reasons why our current courthouse is inadequate and why we need to replace it now.

Our deputy sheriffs are charged with serving the circuit courts and providing for the safety of the public, the court staff, the in-custody defendants and the individuals seeking justice at the Lane County Courthouse. 

Because of the courthouse’s outdated and inadequate layout, inmates must be moved through public spaces where crime victims and witnesses are waiting. This leads to confrontations, stress, outbursts and even violence; that should be unacceptable to all of us and yet is unavoidable with the current building.

For similar reasons, inmates can enter courtrooms only by going through the workspaces of court staff and judges. These same inmates share our single elevator with staff, judges and attorneys.

This is especially dangerous because the elevator breaks down not infrequently.

The remodeling of the existing courthouse over time in order to accommodate three times as many courtrooms as originally designed has not allowed for an appropriate emphasis on space design for safety and security.

When a community member wishes to seek a domestic violence protective order, they must do so waiting in a small public hallway.  No separation of space results in deputy sheriffs having to respond to domestic disputes within the courthouse — or worse — in victims who are too afraid to come to the courthouse to seek an order.

Our courthouse was built for a different time before we had the security concerns of today. The courthouse is not as secure from external access as it needs to be.

Measure 20-299 will allow us to build a courthouse to meet today’s needs. I will be voting “yes” for a new Lane County Courthouse.

—Cliff Harrold


Following example set by Clarence ‘The Waver’

Cottage Grove is such a caring community on so many different levels it makes me proud to be a Grover!

The most recent example of that is how quickly we came together to create a beautiful memorial bench for the late Clarence “The CG Waver” Kreamier on the corner of 16th and Main streets.

The community Facebook page has many heartfelt stories about how his effort to brighten a person’s day really did for some. As a community, we came together to honor a neighbor who served our country, supported his family and encouraged our community. 

I “tip my hat” and applaud the efforts of those involved who made it happen.

Today as I drive through the intersection, I see a beautiful bench just begging for someone to sit for a spell and carry on Clarence’s legacy of sprinkling a little goodness upon all who pass that way. Last week, I saw my friend, Dana Merryday, sitting on the bench waving at drivers passing by.

It made me smile as I tooted my horn and waved back at him. I plan to follow his example when I have a bit of time. I’ll just park my car on 16th Street and spend 15 to 20 minutes waving to all of you.

I encourage others to follow Dana’s example and make it a new tradition we share together.

I think “The Waver” would love it!

—Cindy Weeldreyer

Cottage Grove