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Letters: Readers speak out on variety of topics

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May elections and actions at the Legislature dominate this week's mail bag.

Anthes-Washburn has right answers for schools

I writing in support of Matt "A-W" Anthes-Washburn for Zone 7 of the Beaverton School Board. I have known Matt for many years, as we were co-workers at Vernier Software & Technology.

Matt's experience as a former classroom teacher, volunteer and mentor give him a unique perspective that will serve the district well as a school board member and district representative. Matt's positive attitude and collaborative style have always made him easy to work with, even on the tough projects. Our schools are facing a difficult road ahead with funding shortfalls and timing of budget work in Salem. We need leaders that are ready to roll up their sleeves and dive in to that work. Matt has the energy and passion to do just that. His approachable style will make families and community members feel at ease with knowing he will be accessible to their concerns and questions in these tough times ahead.

Every vote counts in these local elections and I can assure you that a vote for Matt, is a vote well invested for kids in our schools. Thank you.

State Rep. Janeen Sollman

Hillsboro

(Editor's note: Sollman also is a member of the Hillsboro School Board)

Fife-Adams best in School board race

As the Beaverton School District faces the challenges of a diverse and growing population, it is important that our school board representatives can think analytically and creatively. In the next week, voters have a chance to cast their ballots, and I encourage you to vote for Jen Fife-Adams.

Jen's leadership includes a fierce intellect that allows her to listen to people, make connections throughout our community, and solve problems creatively. When I first met Jen, she dived into a volunteer program at our elementary school, encouraging students to participate in Oregon Battle of the Books. Under her leadership, our program blossomed to include over 150 students and to pull in now devoted community members who fostered a love of reading.

This winter, Jen learned that many students in our community go without food. Again, she thought with her head and heart — figuring out how to best serve student needs. Her program has become so successful that it received the WE Award from the Beaverton School District for community partnership.

Since announcing her candidacy, Jen has traveled throughout the district — visiting schools, listening to staff, and reading with students. I urge you to vote for Jen.

Dawn Kimball

Beaverton

Corporations must pay fair share for schools

We've seen this before — Oregon's schools and students face cuts while big business claims they can't afford more than the lowest corporate tax burden in the country.

I spent 10 years in Beaverton School District and graduated just months before Beaverton School District slashed $37 million from the budget in 2012, eliminating more than 340 teaching positions. I escaped middle school classrooms of 56 students, but the district's proposed budget for 2017-18 projects another $15 million hole and our students can't withstand more cuts.

Oregonians have done their part, now legislative leadership needs to hold business accountable.

Corporations should pay a higher tax because Oregon's corporate taxes are the lowest in the country and the rising costs our state faces are the result of big businesses slashing health care and benefits for their own employees. These same businesses pay low wages and then ask us to pay for their employees' health care, child care and education.

Oregon can't cut its way to great schools, healthy families or a robust economy. Only investments can accomplish that. Please join me in supporting the Legislature's proposals to ask Oregon's business community to support the very communities they thrive in.

Robin Ye

Beaverton

Three key lawmakers back revenue proposal

Good news - at last! Speaker of the House Tina Kotek and two legislative leaders — Rep. Phil Barnhart, who chairs the House Revenue Committee, and Rep. Nancy Nathanson, who co-chairs the budget-writing Ways & Means Committee — have released the first proposal in this legislative session to make the investments in schools and families that Oregon desperately need!

This proposal is well researched, sensible, understandable and it will work! It will respond to Oregon's needs for increased revenue, and channel that revenue into the education, health care and other needs that we've been fighting against for a long time.

Let's hold good and positive thoughts that the rest of our Legislature can see the wisdom of this proposal, put people above big business and politics, and get on board.

But don't stop there - call Speaker Kotek (503-986-1200), Rep. Nathanson (503-986-1413) and Rep. Barnhart (503-986-1411) and thank them for their hard work creating this thoughtful proposal.

But, don't stop there! Please call your own representatives and senators, ask them to work with the rest of us to help make A Better Oregon.

Anna Petrov

Beaverton

Aloha: Support Davis in race for board

Voters — I am writing this letter in support of both Glenn Miller and April Davis who are running for the Hillsboro School Board.

Most voters don't actually get a chance to sit down and talk to candidates in person to find out more about their personal philosophy regarding what they stand for. I've had that opportunity on more than one occasion and I can tell you, our kids' education could not be in better hands. Having recently graduated two children from the district, I can say that this subject and the education of our children is very close to me.

Both Glenn and April are open-minded, calm, thoughtful and non-political in their beliefs. Rather than towing some ideology, they continually mentioned ideas and thoughts that were fully along the lines as to what is best for children, schools and the budget. I found this very refreshing.

There is nothing more important than the education of our children. I wholeheartedly trust these two individuals to make the best and most informed decisions regarding the future direction of this district and the priorities it undertakes for the benefit of children.

I strongly encourage you to cast your votes for Glenn Miller and April Davis for the Hillsboro School Board.

Jeff Hindley

Hillsboro

Bravo to Tigard Police for immigration stance

Kudos to Tigard Police. At a recent meeting with the Tigard Police Department, we were gratified to learn the TPD supports Oregon's 30-year old law prohibiting the use of state and local resources to enforce federal immigration law if a person's only crime is being in the country illegally. We were also very happy to hear that many of the ACLU's nine model policies for local law enforcement, aimed at preserving civil rights and protecting communities, are in place at the TPD.

TPD's reason for embracing the ACLU's policies and Oregon's 1987 law (ORS 181A.820) is simple: if people don't trust law enforcement, it makes their job of safeguarding our community much harder. When undocumented immigrants fear that reporting a crime will result in deportation, crimes such as domestic abuse, assault and theft go unreported, unsolved, un-prosecuted. This is a problem for all of us, not just the immigrant community.

The Trump administration will likely continue to pressure local police departments to enforce federal immigration laws. We applaud Tigard's new police chief, Kathy McAlpine, and the entire department, for their steadfast support of Oregon law prohibiting such activities and their belief in the value of the ACLU's model policies for local law enforcement.

Denise Stephens,

Roger Potthoff,

Salvador Castaneda

Tigard

Let knowledge serve city of Tigard

I'm writing to suggest an idea that could increase our community's access to objective knowledge.

For many people, technology is their primary source of knowledge about what's going on in the world. My concern is that the current state of our political affairs has injected doubt into the members of our community about whether the information and facts that are being reported is reliable. How can we assure our community has a reliable source to knowledge?

I'm a student at Willamette University, and am fortunate enough to have a certain access to knowledge. The knowledge I'm being taught is being conveyed to me through a network of expert individuals, not news broadcasters with political and monetary interests. Every day, I get to attend lectures about many issues that are affecting Tigard and cities all across the country. I believe this is the most effective way of learning. The classroom community is an environment in which I feel like I belong and have something to contribute. I can confidently express my uncertainties and get immediate clarification. I can share my opinions with others, and have those opinions challenged respectfully. In the classroom, we all share a common goal. That goal is to reach the truth.

My idea is to advertise a series of publicly funded lectures to Tigard residents. The Tigard Public Library would be the perfect place to host these lectures. Over the summer, we could line up speakers like the mayor, professors and other prominent figures from our area, to give a speech on an important topic of their choice.

I think Tigard would be better off as a community if we pulled everyone together and provide a more reliable and accessible source of knowledge.

Brennan Symes

Tigard

Talk of 'death tax' is unworthy ruse

I have to admit it sticks in my craw when I see a headline that says "Trump Plans to get Rid of Death Tax". There is no death tax. Anyone with a lot of money is free to bury it with them... jewels, cars, bullion, etc.

What we have in this country are rules to manage the transfer of wealth... selling your house, buildings, businesses, etc. We also recognize that special rules apply to family, and that is why we have inheritance rules.

We, as Americans, believe that family should help family, but we also believe that everyone should have a fair shot at success. We know that too much wealth concentrated in a few hands can create empires, which can destroy opportunities for others. The inheritance laws are meant to honor family but prevent excesses.

There is no such thing as a death tax. Our inheritance rules are not perfect but abolishing them, as Mr. Trump would do, is a recipe for economic tyranny of the wealthy.

Gerritt Rosenthal

Tualatin