Letters to the Editor: Oct. 24, 2018
Editor's note: Letters to the editor are published as space allows. Due to the high volume of letters to the editor we are receiving in the weeks before the Nov. 6, 2018, general election, some letters may not appear in the issue for which they are submitted, but may be held over to appear in a subsequent issue.
Forest Grove voters can elect strong female candidates
Once again, as was the case when Clarence Thomas was confirmed to the Supreme Court, this is the year of the woman. And lucky us! We can vote for three women who will change the status quo on our Forest Grove City Council as well as the Washington County Board of Commissioners. In each instance, for both governing boards, the change will be huge and is long overdue.
I know two of these women personally and the third by her record. I've worked with Kathryn Harrington. Because she cares so much about the issues and her constituents, she frequently is seen at meetings where citizens grapple with issues seeking solutions. Specifically, I've sat at the same table with Kathryn and listened to her remarks as she helped us understand some of the finer points of sustainability and homelessness. What a change she will bring to the County Board of Commissioners.
I've known Devon Downeysmith since she and her husband attended Pacific University. They rented from me. Upon graduation, they left town to pursue other levels of learning and when they decided to settle down and start a family they came back to Forest Grove, the town that felt like home.
Devon is now running for a seat on the Forest Grove City Council. She is deserving of our support. In a time when so many people have become targets of our president, Devon embraces all our residents, all cultures, all religions, without the bigotry and nasty tone of our nation's current national politics. Go to electdevon.com and have a look. I'm thrilled about her vision statement, her wonderful family, Devon's ideas and the fact she's running.
The third woman I'd like to recommend is Malynda Wenzl. She has served on our City Council this past term with distinction as the lone woman member. I've exchanged emails with Malynda and followed her votes. She is precisely what we need more of. Malynda needs company at the City Council. Malynda endorses Devon and Devon endorses Malynda. In fact, all three of these women endorse one another. They will work together. Return Malynda Wenzl to the Forest Grove City Council.
I urge you to send two women to our City Council and make Kathryn Harrington the new Washington County chair. Use your vote to make a change in how things are done. Use your vote to say clearly women need a seat at the table. They change the tone. They bring a unique approach and experience, and we need that right now so desperately.
Join me in voting for change. Join me in acknowledging, with your vote, that women change how things are done and need a seat at the table.
Eric Canon, Forest Grove
Time to change the way we think about our planet
Climate change is humanity's ultimate test. We cannot claim to love our neighbors or God at this point in history without massive changes to protect our children and the future of Creation.
As the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has concluded in their just-released report, the changes needed will require an abrupt reordering of the world economy. Still, this is not just an economic or environmental crisis. We also face a spiritual crisis.
Climate change now forces us to rethink our relationships with Creation as a whole. Christianity and other faith traditions teach that humans are called to be stewards of Creation; not exploiters of it. Recognition of this sacred role will now determine what the future of all Creation will be. The stakes could not be higher.
The Rev. Chuck Currie
University Chaplain and Director, Center for Peace and Spirituality, Pacific University
Sollman supports military families, veterans
This letter is in support of Rep. Janeen Sollman's re-election campaign to the State Legislature. I have known Janeen for six years and she is a dedicated public servant to the residents of Hillsboro, Aloha, North Plains and Helvetia. Her service on the Hillsboro School District School Board of eight years, delivering Meals on Wheels and her two years of service with the Oregon State Legislature are all examples of her commitment to community.
Janeen comes from a Navy family; her husband, brother, both parents and two siblings all have served. As a veteran myself, I appreciate that Janeen is a champion of military veterans and has passed legislation to support them via:
Measure 96: A percentage of Oregon Lottery funds ($27.2 million) go to support veterans with employment education, housing and physical and mental healthcare.
HB 2891: Established the VA Services Grant Fund, which supports outreach efforts, employment and training opportunities.
HB 4098: Established apprenticeship programs specifically for veterans.
Janeen is a true champion for her constituents and is tireless in her effort to meet and understand the issues they face. I proudly support Janeen Sollman to be our representative for House District 30.
Beach Pace, Hillsboro
Ed professional supports Pace in Hillsboro council race
I am writing with my strongest support for Hillsboro City Council candidate Beach Pace. Beach and I have worked on several community events together. Throughout our work, I have continuously admired her abilities, professionalism, and dedication.
I first met Beach Pace when she ran the committee for the Jackson Elementary School Fall Fest. She transformed the event from an evening for some to a fun community event for all. I saw first hand that when Beach takes a role, she does it with her efforts focused on the best possible outcome. She is organized, works with community partners, solves problems calmly and quickly, and takes the work seriously. Beach and I also canvassed for the Hillsboro School District bond. As we talked with voters, I saw Beach's commitment to community, focus on students, and willingness to listen and discuss.
Beach Pace is dedicated to Hillsboro and is an outstanding candidate for City Council. She will focus on the right goals, will put in the hard work necessary to see things through, and bring innovative ideas and partnerships that will benefit Hillsboro's organizations, businesses, families and future.
Director of Student Services, Hillsboro School District
Follow example of DA's race in electing Terry
As a nearly lifelong resident of Washington County, I am writing to encourage my fellow residents to cast their ballot for Bob Terry for chair of the Washington County commission.
Washington County is a great place, to live, work and raise a family. For nearly three decades, Bob has been devoted to our county, constantly volunteering on boards and commissions to foster its economy and livability. During his two terms as a Washington County commissioner, he has maintained that focus. Bob recognizes the uniqueness of Washington County.
Terry's opponent, Kathryn Harrington, has served three terms as a Metro Councilor. Now that she is term-limited out of Metro, she wants to slide into a new elected position. Her record is one of supporting policies of increased density, congestion and centralized planning. Harrington is primarily funded by a variety of liberal groups from outside Washington County. Harrington supports Metro's so-called "affordable housing" bond, insisting that increasing taxes on all housing will somehow make housing affordable.
Despite the huge influx of cash from outside interests, we rejected liberal elitism in our recent election of Kevin Barton for district attorney. Let's do the same now and elect Bob Terry as commission chair.
Roger M. Harris, Hillsboro
Riley is pro-healthcare candidate in SD 15
Ensuring that health coverage is widespread and affordable is extremely important in securing the continued growth of Washington County. Keeping prescription drug makers honest in how they price the vital medicines people rely on is critical to helping everyone be able to afford the treatment they need.
That is why I support Sen. Chuck Riley for State Senate District 15. As a senator, Chuck has stood up for the people of Washington County against big pharma by supporting legislation that requires them to explain any drug price increase of more than 10 percent to the legislature. This measure will help keep drug companies honest and ensure more residents of Washington County are healthy and thriving.
Chuck never takes a break from fighting for his constituents and spoke out in support of Measure 101. This law will provide Medicaid coverage to more people in our community who need the help while stabilizing the insurance marketplace by slowing rate hikes.
If protecting your healthcare is a critical issue to you, join me in supporting Chuck Riley for Senate District 15.
Dr. Robert Seward, Forest Grove
Do we really want to live in Knute Buehler's Oregon?
Gubernatorial debates should provide voters with clarity and insight on the candidates. They should show where each candidate stands on issues that are close to the hearts of Oregonians. Yet the recent gubernatorial debate left me confused by Knute Buehler's stance on a variety of issues.
Buehler dodged many of the questions on important issues that impact Oregonians, like healthcare, immigration, and education. While Gov. Kate Brown responded with facts, accomplishments, and her plans moving forward, Buehler presented vague responses—showing that he does not understand the realities of Oregon government. Rather than responding with clear plans on how he will improve Oregon, he spent his time making baseless attacks on Gov. Brown.
When Buehler was able to articulate stances, his responses left me apprehensive for the Oregon he would create. He doesn't support common-sense gun reform like comprehensive universal background checks. He would cut programs that protect Oregon's environment for future generations. These positions are alarming, and out of step with what our state needs.
After this debate, I am convinced that he does not have the experience, vision and concrete solutions Oregonians need and deserve in a governor. We cannot trust Buehler to help Oregon move forward.
Karen Kemp, Bull Mountain
Washington County is already great with Terry
I had the opportunity to attend the first Community Outreach Forum for Washington County chair candidates at Pacific University. Commissioner Bob Terry knocked it out of the park for many reasons. The disparity of county knowledge could not have been clearer between the two candidates. What candidate Kathryn Harrington offered as county "needs," i.e. a performance troupe like Portland, light rail and budget reform, Commissioner Terry ably answered with facts, figures, past accomplishments and solid future proposals. Secondly, candidate Harrington boasted of Metro's accomplishments, such as light rail and proposing new taxes to put Metro in the low-income rental business. Commissioner Terry rightfully pointed out Washington County roads are in good repair, the best in the metropolitan area, committing in August 2018 to study county road capacity. Washington County already has successful public-private partnerships developing the needed low-income housing, and the county pays all its bills and budgets for the future, all with no debt.
Lastly, attempting to compliment the crowd, candidate Harrington offered appreciation for the county's support of the high-tech industry, natural beauty, agriculture bounty, and livability, to which Commissioner Terry replied, "You're welcome." 'Nuf said.
Susan Zike, Aloha
Sollman's priorities are in the right place on guns, healthcare
I am proud to support Janeen Sollman for state representative. The first time I heard Janeen speak was at a Moms Demand Action meeting about her work to close the "boyfriend loophole" in gun violence prevention. As I continued to learn about Janeen's campaign and all the work she is doing on behalf of our community, I continue to be impressed and grateful for her work to keep all members of our community safe and healthy.
As a woman, I am concerned with the government's continuous desire to restrict reproductive rights and freedom of our bodies. I believe that decisions about a woman's body and health are hers and the only person she needs to discuss it with is her doctor.
I am thankful that Janeen sponsored the Reproductive Health Equity Act in 2017, providing basic reproductive healthcare to all women in the state who need it, regardless of their socioeconomic status.
I am also grateful for Janeen's opposition of Ballot Measure 106 — "No Cuts to Care." While one of her opponents is funded by the Right To Life PAC — I believe we must elect someone who will continue to be a champion for women and reproductive freedom and health.
Elizabeth Case, Hillsboro
In HD 24, Moore takes the stances best for Oregon
I moved to Oregon in 1996 to pursue a degree in nursing. Four years later, my nursing career began in this state, and it evolved into educating nurses here. As both a nurse and an educator, it became my goal to care for residents of Oregon and help provide necessary healthcare for its residents. Because everyone needs access to affordable quality care and because Ken Moore believes this, I am supporting him in his candidacy to be Oregon state representative for the 24th District. He will fight to ensure that this care is provided for all Oregonians.
I now teach our future healthcare providers at the high-school level. Ken Moore recognizes the need for strong schools to shape our next generation. His support for healthcare and education alone has earned my vote, but his stances on other current issues also will benefit all Oregonians.
I urge you to vote for Ken Moore for state representative of the 24th District.
Erika Probst, Hillsboro
Harrington offers solutions to homelessness crisis
It is easy to look watch national politics and say we will show them in 2020. We watch, we rant, and we check out. But for hundreds of Washington County residents suffering from housing instability, they don't have the luxury of waiting. Their entire lives depend on the decisions that politicians make on a local level. When our county gets complacent and ineffective, they suffer. Unfortunately, that's been the case for years; our homeless population is the same as it was a decade ago.
The statistics on homelessness are horrifying: Homeless people's life expectancy is 30 years shorter, they are four to five times more likely to develop alcohol dependency, 83 percent of homeless women have suffered from abuse, etc. These aren't just statistics; they are stories of our neighbors, our community, our fellow Americans, desperately trying to find a safe place to sleep.
I have seen firsthand the impact local officials can have intervened in the lives of our most vulnerable citizens. Too often representatives chose to "keep doing what we have always done." Doing the same thing has not worked, and it is time for new solutions.
We need to elect representatives who will treat the homeless problem with the urgency that it deserves. Kathryn Harrington, who is running for county chair, is one of those representatives. Kathryn is determined to end homelessness in Washington County. That means increasing the rate at which affordable housing units are built, prioritizing mental health resources, and providing adequate services for Washington County residents.
We can and must do a better job protecting the most vulnerable people in our community, and Kathryn Harrington has the will and the experience to do just that. I urge you to vote for Kathryn Harrington for county chair on Nov. 6.
Danielle Schira, Beaverton
Riley takes a stand in support for immigrants
America has a proud history of accepting immigrants from all over the world. In addition, immigrants, especially those from Mexico and Latin America contribute so much to our community here in Washington County. Opposing Measure 105 is a critical issue for me in this upcoming election.
That is why I am supporting Chuck Riley for State Senate District 15. As a Senator, Chuck has been so supportive of the Latinx and immigrant communities here in Washington County. He recognizes that immigrants contribute more to their local economy and tax base than they take. While people who commit serious crimes should face punishment, those who work and follow the law should not have to fear for the safety of themselves or their families. Deporting anyone who comes into contact with law enforcement is bad for security in our communities and their trust of law enforcement.
Chuck has made his opposition to Measure 105 and his support of both the immigrant and Latinx communities clear from day one.
If fighting for the rights of immigrants and the safety of our communities is important to you, join me in supporting Chuck Riley for Senate District 15.
Ernest Flores, Cornelius
Newspaper's endorsement of Flores is weak
Your endorsement "Take a chance on Flores" (published Oct. 17, 2018) is one of the most tepid I have ever seen. We like much of what Chuck Riley has done. Just don't vote for him. We have no clue what Alexander Flores might do. Just take a chance. It puts either candidate in the category of "damned with faint praise." To follow the Tribune's logic, I could just as well flip a coin and have a better chance.
Refer to our endorsement editorial published Oct. 17, 2018, for Alexander Flores in Senate District 15.
I choose to go with the integrity and experience of Riley over the potential and personal fiscal irresponsibility of Flores.
Chuck is not a young man. Perhaps Alexander still has time to gain a proven track record. That would be less chancy for us all.
Bill Warren, Hillsboro
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