Forests, parks major factors in economic growth

Washington County is a rapidly growing and successful county. Washington County is now one of Oregon’s principal economic engines and population centers. The county’s success rests in no small part upon its strong outdoor equipment and apparel manufacturing and design “cluster,” and its proximity to outdoor amenities.

My employees (at, which creates cycling and triathlon apparel for women) greatly appreciate the public forests and parks, wilderness areas and other public lands found in this county and all over Oregon. They value their access to those outdoor amenities, and I see them as an important recruitment and retention tool for the work talent our company needs. I also believe those outdoor amenities help support Washington County’s local jobs and economy, and thus are critical for this state’s future economic growth.

I want to thank U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden for supporting full and permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). LWCF uses no taxpayer money and helps pay for conservation activities and land purchases all over Oregon, including here in Washington County. Locally, LWCF funding has been used to develop recreational facilities at Henry Hagg Lake and Stub Stewart State Park and to acquire key parts of the Tualatin Hills Nature Park and Cook Park in Tigard, and there have been many other conservation projects and lands in Washington County this program has benefited.

These LWCF projects and other outdoor amenities we have in Oregon provide this state and this county’s businesses with competitive advantages we need to succeed.

Susan Otcenas


Arrival of WalMart should be celebrated

As a consumer and business owner in Hillsboro for over 30 years, I celebrate the construction of the new WalMart Neighborhood Market.

While I am very happy to see the additional option for groceries, I am still a little disappointed it won’t be the superstore model originally planned. As a result of pressure from businesses lacking confidence in their product, service or pricing necessary to welcome competition, our freedom of choice has been limited.

Consumers and business owners deserve the right to shop a variety of stores and save where and when we can. I expect competition, and believe it is essential to a thriving business environment. WalMart provides a shopping option for consumers eager to save, and will provide immediate and ongoing employment. We should celebrate that.

As a small construction company owner (Renner Trucking & Excavation, Inc.), I want to advocate for small businesses and their employees hit hard by economic challenges. The jobs created when construction begins and long-term jobs that result from any permanent construction, i.e. contracted repair and maintenance, should not be dismissed. These are real jobs for real people who live, work and shop in our community.

Many are the electricians, plumbers, concrete repair, landscapers, painters and other workers WalMart will contract with during construction and going forward and are the neighbors who work for local businesses. Small businesses count on these contracts to survive in an economy made more difficult by regulating and limiting competition.

The new store and the smaller proposed size will benefit local residents — but I still wish it was a full-sized WalMart store.

Denise Renner


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