In an extra-large mailbag, readers write about election issues, Brett Kavanaugh and the NFL.

Former School Board ally backs Sollman in HD 30

Rep. Janeen Sollman is the right choice for House District 30, as she has proven to be a true leader in our community. As a fellow Hillsboro School Board member, I appreciated her direction and guidance, especially while she served as board chair from 2011 to 2013. She also served on several committees while on the School Board, including the budget, audit and superintendent evaluation committees, as well as the Career and College Pathways Steering Committee. Her passion for career and technical education is unmatched.

Rep. Sollman is someone who always does her homework. I admire her commitment to understanding the issues, hearing all perspectives and seeing firsthand what is happening. She leads by example, always walking her talk.

I know when Rep. Sollman goes back to Salem, she will continue to be a leader as she works toward strengthening our schools and education system. This is why I will vote to re-elect Janeen Sollman on Nov. 6.

Kim Strelchun, Member, Hillsboro

School Board

Former Cornelius mayor says Terry smart with money

Why I support Bob Terry for Washington County chair:

Bob was on Washington County's budget committee for many years. During that time he was instrumental in getting the county to operate in the black and continue to do that without raising taxes. Since Bob became county commissioner, he has continued to keep the county going fiscally strong without raising taxes.

Being fiscally responsible in using nonprofit services for low-income families, Bob supported creating nonprofits like Lifeworks, Luke-Dorf and Virginia Garcia to provide needed services and preventing the huge cost of creating another county-run organization but still at the same time providing a needed service at a substantially lower cost.

Neal Knight, Cornelius

Religious leaders opposed to Kavanaugh confirmation

The elevation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court will have a deleterious effect on American democracy. His nomination has been opposed by the National Council of Churches, along with other faith bodies, and hundreds of religious leaders have urged the U.S. Senate not to confirm his appointment.

For those of us concerned about true religious freedom, voting rights (and other civil rights), protection of the environment, and the epidemic of gun violence, this is a sad day. What makes this a tragedy are the serious and credible allegations of sexual assault against Judge Kavanaugh. A majority of U.S. Senate members, not to mention President Donald Trump (himself accused of sexual assault), have chosen to place ideology over the voices of women.

People of faith have a special obligation to continue the hard work of building up the ideal of the Beloved Community. I believe that work becomes more difficult but more urgent still with Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.

The Rev. Chuck Currie, University Chaplain and Director, Center for Peace and Spirituality, Pacific University

Former Republican state representative backs Terry for chair

I would like to add my support for Bob Terry for chair of the Washington County commission.

The voters have elected in the primary two fine new board members to the Washington County commission: the former mayor of Hillsboro, Jerry Willey, and Pam Treece, executive director of the Westside Economic Alliance.

As a volunteer and past chair of the Community Corrections Advisory Board, I have seen how our countywide elected officials, district attorney, sheriff and judges work with the county commission.

With Bob Terry as our chair, with his years of experience, Bob will set the tone of continuing cooperation with these important elected officials and the elected mayors.

I have full confidence in our county commission led by Bob Terry.

Al Young, Hillsboro

NFL protests disrespect American flag

I'm writing this to respond to the letters to the editor in the Forest Grove News-Times. So, they think Nike, Colin Kaepernick and the NFL are heroes for kneeling in protest at our national anthem. As a veteran, I had the misfortune to watch a shipmate die in a very horrible way. I saw his coffin covered in the U.S. flag. I watched his young wife with tears in her eyes, baby in her hands, being presented with that flag, at his grave site.

Read letters published Oct. 3, 2018, taking a different view of Nike and Colin Kaepernick

In this country there are many other ways to protest. You people that applaud Kaepernick and Nike and don't find the NFL disgusting for allowing it, I pray that you never have to experience one of your loved ones coming home to you in a coffin draped with the American flag. Then again, you must be a patriot with sensitivity to understand.

Glad I served this country for 10 years to protect your rights. I'd still do it again.

Kurt Carlsen, Forest Grove

Giving power to Metro to build housing is a bad idea

It seems to me that all housing in any community should be affordable and accessible.

Expanding bureaucratic power by increasing an agency's taxing authority is not a good solution to our housing issues. Measure 26-199 is a stealth measure that merely grows agency power and will not give us needed relief from the shortage of affordable housing.

We can find better ways to solve housing issues. Common sense economics by putting fat agencies on a diet would do us all good. We also need relief from growing bureaucracy by increasing our tax burdens.

Please join me in voting "no" on Measure 26-199.

Deborah Knapp, Gaston

Downeysmith a proven, positive changemaker for Forest Grove

This November, we should elect Devon Downeysmith to Forest Grove City Council.

I first met Devon when she worked at Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Research revealed that Latina women were more often diagnosed with breast cancer at later stages of the disease, so they helped create Komen's Latina Initiative, a specific program to address the disparity.

Working with then Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum, and current House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson, Devon also helped pass SB 433, closing a loophole that had prevented hundreds of low-income women from receiving life-saving treatment for breast or cervical cancer. Thanks, in part, to Devon's tireless work and collaborative approach, this legislation passed unanimously through the legislature.

As a member of Forest Grove's Committee for Community Involvement, Devon helped plan the most recent Latino Summit with local equity leader and interim Fern Hill Elementary School Principal Rogelio Martinez, bringing together diverse leaders to build trust and explore how we can collaborate to better serve our communities. Devon also served as a volunteer with Adelante Mujeres last year to help facilitate a Chicas Youth Development program at Tom McCall Upper Elementary School for Latina girls.

Outside her work with the Latino community, Devon has worked with Oregon lawmakers and communities across the state to achieve consensus on issues that impact the most vulnerable in our communities. She helped protect the Clean Fuels Standard, a program that reduces pollution from Oregon's transportation sector. She fought to reduce diesel pollution in our state, a problem that takes a $3.5-billion-dollar toll on the health and productivity of Oregonians each year. She was part of the team that passed Coal to Clean and is working on Clean Energy Jobs — two bills that will create more clean energy in our state, reduce air pollution, and keep utility rates stable. She worked on the Toxic Free Kids Act — a law that requires manufacturers to report when children's products sold in Oregon contain toxic chemicals.

In this very partisan time when many people feel disillusioned about politics, Devon has a proven track record of fighting for the good and bringing people together to get things done that benefit us all. She will inspire community involvement to create positive change. When your ballots arrive later this month, be sure to vote all the way down the ballot, and vote for Devon for Forest Grove City Council.

Bridget Cooke, Executive Director, Adelante Mujeres

Kavanaugh hearings, confirmation a disgrace

Same old story. Although the circumstances are somewhat different, it's just Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas all over again 27 years later. The names have changed, but the double standards remain, as do the "good old boys" deciding the outcome.

I don't know if Brett Kavanaugh did the dirty deed or not, although personally, I doubt his innocence. What I did see, however, was an immature, extremely partisan ("revenge of the Clintons," really?), angry man. The arrogance and self-entitlement were so disgusting I found myself shouting at the TV. If the future U.S. Supreme Court should make a decision he disagrees with, will he throw a temper tantrum like a spoiled child?

Like others of his ilk, he claims to love this country. If he truly loved this country he would have rejected the offer of a seat rather than to divide the country further. Unfortunately, a person of his character would never be so bold, at least not until pigs learn to fly.

Congratulations to the Republicans in the Senate as you are now officially the party of divide and shame. Remember November is just around the corner.

Lin Vanderzanden, Forest Grove

Terry's leadership needed as Washington County chair

We have known Bob Terry for several years and he's always been responsive and forthright when we have asked for his help. He truly understands the trust voters have placed in him, and his actions on the county commission have shown thoughtfulness and sensibility.

Bob understands the need to spend taxpayer money responsibly and will work to keep Washington County the economic engine that has led Oregon.

Bob's opponent has demonstrated time and again that she favors higher taxes without thought to the people who pay the bills. Kathryn Harrington has consistently been an advocate for higher taxes and the Metro Council received her support as they doubled their spending. What will she do for Washington County? Will we continue to grow reasonably and responsibly, or will we become a "cash cow" for her carefree spending?

We plan to vote for Bob Terry based on his record of stewardship, sensibility, and knowledge of the issues facing the county. Washington County has been the economic lead for Oregon for many years, and livability has grown with that lead. Bob Terry will continue to guide the county toward even more prosperous days. We urge you to vote for him.

Herb and Cindy Hirst, North Plains

Harrington will change the way county works for better

Kathyrn Harrington is a refreshing choice to change business as usual in Washington County. Her leadership style is one of bringing people together, listening to all points of view and respecting the will of the voter.

The current county commission is building an event center on the fairgrounds after voters on three separate occasions voted overwhelmingly to not fund such a a facility. I wonder why it is being forced on us and how it will be paid for? Why have so many fairground facilities been destroyed without any plans to replace their uses as agreed to in the master plan? Why have so many individuals and groups been demonized when they speak up?

I am looking for a leader that will respect the voters' wishes; protect the public trust; and restore quality of life considerations as our county moves forward. Unlimited growth at all cost is not good for most citizens and seems to be applauded largely by those benefitting financially.

My conversations with Kathyrn has me convinced that she is the one to lead Washington County in a direction that gives me hope that all voices will be heard and respected.

Lyle Spiesschaert, Forest Grove

Downeysmith a natural in Forest Grove council race

I would love to share a few thoughts about why I am voting for Devon Downeysmith in this upcoming City Council election.

Have you ever met someone and thought: "This person was simply born to do this?" Well, I am here to say I have never met such a young, brilliant, driven and knowledgeable woman for this position.

Devon was born with an unparalleled voice and representation for her community. I was lucky enough to witness her in action when we ran against each other for an empty seat for City Council in 2017. She completely mesmerized me with her confidence and ability to know exactly what it is she is talking about, and to communicate it very well to everyone to understand her, and her goals. Her ambition is awe-inspiring, and for a 34-year-old to have this much heart and soul poured into her community, I just know she was born to do this.

Devon knows how to make things change, and change is sincerely what we need most right now. Thank you for voting!

Ashley Roth, Forest Grove

Pace a strong candidate for Hillsboro City Council

I'm a long-time downtown Hillsboro resident and have had the opportunity to meet and visit with City Council candidate Beach Pace on a number of occasions over the past six months. I have been tremendously impressed with Pace's career credentials in military service, business success, and nonprofit community service focusing on at-risk youth and families. She is currently working as the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Columbia Northwest, whose mission is to ensure all children achieve success in life.

In addition, Pace has thoughtfully engaged to do her Hillsboro homework prior to running for office. She has given time and ideas as a volunteer on the Hillsboro Planning Committee, and has attended City Council meetings and work sessions for the past year. Pace is energetic, committed, and an excellent listener. Her career experience indicates that she enjoys challenges and is a capable team builder.

I'm delighted Hillsboro has such a well-rounded and capable candidate to vote for.

Debby Garman, Hillsboro

Riley is right choice for women's rights in SD 15

For the past two years, I have watched in horror while right-wing politicians systematically attack women's rights. The Affordable Care Act has been sabotaged, and Roe vs. Wade hangs by a thread.

I refuse to go back — which is why I'm voting to re-elect state Sen. Chuck Riley. He trusts Oregonians to make their own healthcare decisions. By sponsoring 2017's Reproductive Health Equity Act, he safeguarded abortion rights and no-cost contraception in Oregon — no matter what happens at the federal level. I'm grateful for his bold leadership at this critical time.

His opponent, Alexander Flores, is endorsed and supported financially by a radical anti-abortion group. That means he'll push their dangerous agenda to outlaw abortion — even in cases of rape and incest — as well as the most popular forms of birth control. That means he believes bosses should get to decide what birth control their employees can access through their health insurance. That means he believes our young people aren't entitled to health education that's medically accurate so they can plan their futures and protect themselves.

That is not the future that I envision for my community. Please join me in protecting women's rights by re-electing Chuck Riley.

Ivette Pantoja, Hillsboro

In HD 30, Sollman stands up for immigrant rights

Rep. Janeen Sollman is someone we can count on to support immigrant rights in our community. She has shown care and concern for how we treat all people that reside here and, like Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett and District Attorney Kevin Barton, supports the campaign for No on Measure 105, that would try to repeal sanctuary status in the state of Oregon. She believes, as I do, that communities are safer and stronger when all people can access justice without fear of being arrested or deported.

I also appreciated that Janeen attended the Families Belong Together rally in Hillsboro over the summer and most recently attended the Sheridan to NORCOR vigil at our Washington County Courthouse in support of immigrant rights.

In my years serving the low-income and migrant community of Washington County, I know that we are a better community because of our immigrants. We need representation in House District 30 that will fight to support all the residents of our community. For these reasons, I know that Janeen is the right choice for House District 30 and I will vote to re-elect Rep. Sollman on Nov. 6.

Molly Neill, Hillsboro

No-shows at free candidate forums could get no vote

A lot of us get tired of the barrage of political ads on TV this time of year. I'm concerned about the role of big money in political campaigns, and I believe campaign finance reforms are essential. One of the best ways for elected officials to connect with us for free is by showing up to candidate forums. I try to go to as many of those as possible so I can be an informed voter.

However, I've noticed that at legislative forums in my area, the Republican candidates have not been showing up. For instance, at a recent forum at the Hillsboro Library, the Democratic incumbents Janeen Sollman and Chuck Riley were there, as was a Libertarian candidate. But Dorothy Merritt and Alexander Flores, the Republican candidates, weren't there. I asked the organizers why Ms. Merritt and Mr. Flores weren't there, and they told me that they were invited but declined to participate.

I encourage these candidates to attend citizen forums and debates in the future, since we deserve access and direct answers from people running to represent us. I will be skeptical of giving my vote to those who regularly choose not to attend.

Patrick Maguire, Hillsboro

Terry brings right approach to county commission

I have been acquainted with Bob Terry for more than 30 years. During that time I have seen him run a successful business, volunteer his time and resources for charity causes, lead the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce, spend major volunteer hours at the Hillsboro Air Show, and be on the Foundation Board of Tuality Hospital. In every instance he has worked hard to insure a successful outcome.

Bob has been a county commissioner and now is running to become the chairman. I have no doubt his history of active participation will make him a success in this job. Bob knows the issues of Washington County. He has a heart for the farmers and is an advocate to protect farm land. He also knows the issues of transportation in one of the fastest growing counties in the country. Bob will be in a leadership position and he will get things done by doing the right thing — not by raising taxes. He is not afraid to step up and get his hands dirty. He works to bring the players together for a solution to the issues without beating up the people he does not agree with.

With all of the issues facing the county in the near future, we need Bob Terry's strong leadership.

Sue Horton, Hillsboro

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