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Theater talent is in Wilsonville

My husband and I attended the opening performance of a comedy, “Miracle on South Division Street,” Friday night at the Frog Pond Grange.

Wilsonville Community Theater’s production of this very witty script rivals anything Portland offers. The actors gave flawless performances, the set was beautiful and we laughed from start to finish.

Forget the drive to Portland, we have the talent right here in our own backyard.

Wendy Smith


Enroll in cancer research project

It’s often far too easy to underestimate the importance of cancer research — until you hear the words “you have cancer.”

Those three words can make all the difference between simply absorbing news about developments in cancer research and truly appreciating the power of what scientists like those funded by the American Cancer Society do each and every day. This October, scientists aren’t the only ones who will be making a difference. Residents of our community will have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to enroll in the American Cancer Society’s third Cancer Prevention Study which seeks to help us better understand the factors that cause or prevent cancer.

Individuals between the ages of 30 and 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer and who are willing to make a long-term commitment to the study will be able to enroll through Saturday. You can see all the locations and times of enrollment by visiting cps3Portland.org.

I encourage all eligible men and women in our community to consider taking part in this important study. I also call on my fellow cancer survivors to spread the word by asking friends and family to enroll in your honor. Remember: Research being done today will help ensure future generations never have to hear those dreaded three words.

Shammra Smith


This is no way to run a country

Across Oregon and throughout America, there are people out of work. There are kids who want to go to college but can’t afford it.

There are bridges literally in danger of falling down and schools with leaking roofs and out-of-date textbooks.

We have big challenges that we should be coming together to try to solve. Instead, the Tea Party has shut down the government and made many of our problems worse.

Here’s the situation: The House and Senate laid out different budgets six months ago, assuming different levels of spending and investment. For the last six months, Republicans in the Senate have repeatedly filibustered every attempt to negotiate an agreed-upon budget.

More recently, to avoid a shutdown, the Senate simply agreed to the House level. Unfortunately and incredibly, House Republicans refuse to accept their own budget unless we accept their ransom demand of gutting or delaying the Affordable Care Act.

It has been widely reported that a majority of the House would vote to pass the bill passed by the Senate and re-open the government, but Speaker Boehner refuses to let the House vote. It’s incredibly irresponsible.

This is an attempt to undermine our usual democratic process by hostage-taking.

House Republicans, responding to a small group of Tea Party zealots, are willing to damage the economy, make veterans wait for benefits, and deny kids access to Head Start and to medical trials just to pursue their obsession with blocking millions of Americans from getting affordable health insurance.

But it’s not going to work.

The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land. It was upheld by the Supreme Court. It was ratified by the public when they re-elected President Obama.

If we give in and let a small group undermine our laws under threat of harm to hard-working Americans, this political blackmail will become the new normal.

We have all sorts of processes for negotiating over policy differences. Threatening grave economic harm unless you get your way isn’t one of them. It’s time to meet our obligations, re-open the government, and pay the bills. Our country deserves better than this.

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley



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