Solutions and challenges to solving gun violence; kudos to the high school robotics club and more

Wilsonville excels as a kind community

On behalf of the board and staff of Wilsonville Sharing, I wish to thank our community and its leaders for their increased support in this past year.

We are blessed to have consistent and enthusiastic support from our Mayor and City Council, and to have growing support from city businesses. Three cheers for Wilsonville Subaru for including us in the Share the Love event sponsored by Subaru of America, making Wilsonville Subaru our largest business supporter.

We are grateful for their commitment to our community. And we are grateful for strong partners like The Green Group Realty, The Beer Station, Orepac, Fred Meyer, Republic Services,The Edge fitness gym, Jay Puppo and State Farm, the O'Neil Law Firm, and Safeway. We also wish to recognize Innovative Dance, Wilsonville Rotary, Community of Hope Lutheran Church, Wilsonville United Methodist Church, and Saint Francis Episcopal Church. These businesses and a growing host of individual donors have increased the ability of Wilsonville Community Sharing to distribute food, provide help with utility relief, give travel help, counseling and encouragement, and much more. Wilsonville is a stronger and kinder community because of their commitment to share and serve!

Taft Mitchell

Chairman of the the Board

Wilsonville Community Sharing

Use common sense against gun violence

I am just a mom who wants a change in our country to protect our children.

We have had far too many moments of silence since Sandy Hook. Our children and community deserve real action to stop the epidemic of gun violence in our country. We're not alone and we're not helpless. There are many seemingly simple, yet powerful things we can do today!

More and more of our neighbors are uniting to bring the change we need. The phones in Congress are ringing off the hook with calls for common sense gun reform, peaceful rallies are growing in numbers in cities across the country, and families and friends are gathering together in their own living rooms to talk about bringing violence prevention programs to their schools. The movement is growing and we must keep growing it. There is reason to have hope that we can prevent gun violence before it happens through sensible gun safety laws and programs in our schools and communities that help us identify the signs and signals before a shooting happens and intervene.

To keep this hope alive and bring the change we need, I am asking everyone to take two simple actions today. First, call your member of Congress today and ask that he or she support gun violence prevention legislation to keep guns out of dangerous hands. Secondly, Make the Promise at and help bring no-cost, violence prevention programs to our schools and community.

Nichola Roensch

West Linn

Arming teachers is not the answer

OK, so we are going to arm our teaching staff so there will be more guns in the world (you can almost hear the NRA's enthusiastic applause).

Has any civilized country ever proposed this as a possibility? No, because it would transform schools from centers of learning into armed camps. Our classrooms are places of educational inquiry, lead by teachers who skillfully focus on the social, emotional and educational growth of each of their students.

As a retired educator, having spent more than 40 years in schools, I find this proposal by our POTUS to be utterly ridiculous. He shows he knows nothing about public education in America and has no knowledge of the challenges teachers face daily and the skill they bring to their roles as educational leaders.

In a time when schools are striving to improve the quality of their teaching and the effectiveness of their programs for all students are we now going to hire staff based on an ability with firearms?

Increasing guns in schools does nothing to promote safety; all it does is to financially reward those who sell firearms. The first step in our journey to being a more civilized country with fewer mass killings is to ban assault weapons.

The President needs to resign his job as the number one promoter of the NRA and its agenda and start acting as the leader of this country. That would be a welcome first step to helping us all feel safer.

Edward Bettencourt

Lake Oswego

WLHS robotics team on the right track

I feel so fortunate, as a parent, that I was able to witness the very first scrimmage of our newly formed FIRST Robotics team at West Linn High School.

The challenge was to use their team-designed robot to breach their opponents' defenses, score boulders through goals, and surround and scale the opposing tower to capture it. The main goal of the team for this first scrimmage held in Corvallis was to learn to drive the robot in a competitive environment and work on scaling the wall.

The team, To Be Determined, did an amazing job. I cannot begin to tell you how thrilling it is to know that my son is being exposed to both science and technology in a setting that strives to incorporate every teen. His teacher and mentor, Mr. Manes, along with many more mentors, have worked very long hours to help in creating a positive, successful environment for their team.

It is the first year for the Robotics team at West Linn High School and when I learned that I was a little shocked, knowing how important STEM is to the school district.

Looking to next year and beyond, I can only imagine this is just the beginning of what is so important and vital in developing skilled, innovative thinkers.

Karen Wied

West Linn

Dominquez has the right vision for Metro

Betty Dominguez, longtime Clackamas County resident, is running for the District 2 Metro Council seat. Betty is a proven leader who's tackled the urgent challenges facing Clackamas County, including our affordable housing crisis and the traffic congestion clogging our roads.

No other candidate comes close to matching Betty's broad, hands-on experience with these core issues. While her opponent Joe Buck has recently discovered his employees struggle to navigate transportation in our region, Betty has spent decades working on solutions as a lender, housing developer, community activist, and a volunteer who has given countless hours of her time to improve the quality of life in Clackamas County.

Betty has served on a broad array of Metro committees and has intimate knowledge of affordable housing and transportation issues, and the way these affect efforts to revitalize main streets and create family wage jobs. This fall, Metro will pursue an affordable housing bond measure to ease the burden of skyrocketing housing costs on seniors and working families. Metro will also face tough decisions as it allocates funds to relieve traffic congestion. Metro needs leaders who are informed about the issues and committed to getting things done.

We need leaders willing to make hard decisions to keep us from going the way of Seattle and San Francisco.

Michelle Haynes,

Lake Oswego

Contract Publishing

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