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This is our final mailbag of letters to the editor before Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Don't believe Buehler's 'moderate' shtick

Rep. Knute Buehler wants voters to see him as a moderate alternative to Gov. Kate Brown, but his positions on two important issues — protecting immigrants and preventing gun violence — tell a different story.

Buehler has endorsed Measure 105, which would rescind a decades-old state law banning racial profiling and focusing local resources on local crime instead of federal immigration enforcement. Police officials charged with protecting the vast majority of Oregon's population strongly oppose Measure 105 because it will make communities less safe.

Similarly, on gun violence prevention, candidate Buehler claims he would support limited reforms but has voted against most common sense gun legislation, including red flag laws and universal background checks, that law enforcement support and research shows actually work to prevent gun violence.

Fortunately, voters like me who care about public safety have a strong advocate in Gov. Kate Brown. I'm voting for Kate.

Hilary Uhlig, Hillsboro

Sollman's work on healthcare stands out in HD 30

Rep. Janeen Sollman is the right choice to represent us in House District 30.

As a local healthcare provider, I appreciate that Janeen helped to pass the Cover All Kids bill in the 2017 Legislature, providing expanded coverage to all children in the state of Oregon so that now 100 percent of children in Oregon have access to healthcare. Janeen also supported and helped pass the Reproductive Health Equity Act to extend reproductive care for more women and expand no-cost preventive health services. Additionally, she supported House Bill 4005, which created a statewide prescription drug cost and price transparency program. Janeen cares about her constituents and works to ensure that they have access to affordable and accessible healthcare.

As costs rise, living and working in Washington County is increasingly difficult, and I know that Janeen will continue to fight for all Oregonians. Fortunately, families like mine have a champion in Janeen. She understands our community and won't stop until every Oregonian has access to affordable healthcare. This is why I will vote to re-elect state Rep. Janeen Sollman on Nov. 6.

Lyn Jacobs, Hillsboro

Former primary opponent has not forgotten 'fake' site

I am writing to remind voters that Alexander Flores, currently a candidate for State Senate, and The Leadership Fund, a political action committee for the Oregon State Senate Republican Caucus, set up a "fake" website using my name and image without permission and with intent to mislead, collect donations and do harm to win in the Republican primary.

We have enough dishonesty in state government already; say no to corrupt people like this.

Monte Akers, Hillsboro

Newspaper's Buehler editorial is not convincing

Your endorsement of Knute Buehler ("Bring back divided government with Buehler") disturbs me immensely. Everything I've heard or read from and about him is a misstatement of truths. My sense is that he would keep things divided and not do much for Oregonians.

Refer to our editorial on the governor's race, published Oct. 17, 2018.

"Shaking things up" is not a good reason for selecting a candidate. So I respectfully disagree.

Barb Epstien, Hillsboro

Thompson continues to make a difference in Forest Grove

I'm responding to an article in the paper for the up and coming election for Forest Grove City Council member Ron Thompson ("Put Johnston, Wenzl, Downeysmith on Forest Grove council").

Refer to this piece, an endorsement published by our editorial board, from Oct. 3, 2018.

It was disturbing to read his age as a senior running for City Council was mentioned. Ron Thompson brings years of experience to the City of Forest Grove, and knowledge to the council. He has been a very active citzen in Forest Grove for many years. Because of him, he has brought many changes to our community. He works hard for our veterans, transports them to appointments in Portland

To mention a few other things, Mr. Thompson has been involved in senior transportation, implemented and brought GroveLink to the city, and now expansion. Community Involvement Committee, League of Oregon Cities Energy Advisory, Economic Development, sidewalks for Main Street and especially near schools. The list goes on with many years of devotion to our city, as well as volunteering at many events. This is why I will be supporting Ron Thompson for City Council this election.

Janet Anderson, Forest Grove

Former Hillsboro City Council president backs Harrington

I have known Kathryn Harrington for around 16 years, since before she first stepped up to run for office. As our Metro Councilor for almost 12 years, even though it was "part time," Kathryn was at every single housing project or park opening, presented to city councils throughout her district every single quarter, attended fundraisers for large and small organizations, and more. She has hiked and biked about every square inch of Washington County. She has been the biggest cheerleader for our county at the regional table. Kathryn Harrington is everywhere and always has been. She remembers that we are a city and a significant part of the county, and pays attention all who live in the county.

Kathryn's background is with Intel, and she is incredibly intelligent. She isn't willing to back down from fighting for what is right and the will of the communities she has represented. She listens and learns. She asks questions and seeks solutions. She uses our stories and experiences to make thoughtful decisions that impact all of us. She is approachable. She is humble. I feel incredibly strongly that Washington County needs Kathryn as we face our future. Please vote for Kathryn!

Aron Carleson, Hillsboro

HD 29 race has Old Testament parallels

We all know the story of young David set up against the Philistines' Goliath, a giant of a man with years of experience on the battlefield. What is sometimes missed in that story is the conditions set from Goliath. Goliath's condition was that the losing nation (he thinking he'd win) would be subjugated or placed in bondage, subservient to their rule by the winners. (see 1 Samuel 17:9).

We have a similar battle in Washington County. A David Molina versus a lifelong goliath politician. A career politician with thousands of special interest money is out of touch. Her party has produced a lot of bad public policy: wildlife and forest mismanagement, failing PERS, failing foster system, tax system, and education funding. She wants to continue to have all of us service the state and place us more under the bondage of Salem and its regulation with more bad ideas: tolling roads, anti-gun policy, anti-housing policy.

But we have a champion in David Molina, small businessman, Army veteran, and father of three little girls. He believes in the individual. And he knows how to fight. I believe he can win, just like David of old. A Latino raised in Oregon to a poor working family. [Ed.: Molina was born in Hood River but grew up mostly in Washington.] David knows struggle and has experienced it. He said he can no longer sit idly by while Salem's one-party rule continue to harm our state. He can no longer watch while Salem continues to waste money, fight citizens' civil rights and hamper small business growth. I am convinced that David Molina can keep us out of bondage and tell Salem that we are citizens, not subjects.

My vote is for David here in the 29th House District. I am just one rock and one vote. But my belief is you can be too.

Ben Blake, Forest Grove

In chair race, Harrington has expertise, enthusiasm

Kathryn Harrington and I met almost 15 years ago when we both lived in Bethany. I worked alongside Kathryn on the leadership team at CPO 7, a part of Washington County's volunteer public involvement program.

Whether it was research, reviewing documents or testifying before elected officials, Kathryn was often the first to volunteer to take on the task. Kathryn always did her homework in working to improve our community.

Since then I have watched her move into an elected position, but she has never lost her enthusiasm for and commitment to public involvement and transparency in government. She continues to advocate for keeping the public well informed about the organization and activities of local government, and for asking public input to major decisions, even when the decisions are complicated.

Combine that attitude with her deep knowledge of Washington County and you have the perfect chair for our Board of Commissioners. Kathryn will bring us openness, enthusiasm, knowledge, and a willingness to get more people involved in developing solutions.

Help me elect Kathryn. Vote!

Mary Manseau, Bethany

Faulty logic in 'take a chance on Flores'

I was disappointed to see the News-Times editorial endorsement of Mr. Alexander Flores in Senate District 15. I had the opportunity to meet and listen to each of the SD 15 candidates at the Cornelius Booster's candidates forum on Oct. 16. Hearing Mr. Flores tell his story, I found myself really struggling to reconcile the R next to his name. He stresses though, as you pointed out in your endorsement, that he is not a "Trump Republican." Which means he's the kind of Republican that I grew up with. The kind of Republican currently running the U.S. House and Senate: cut taxes, cut social services, and then wait for the economy to trickle down while the deficit skyrockets.

Refer to our endorsement editorial for the Senate District 15 race, published Oct. 17, 2018.

The problem here is that those policies don't work. Trickle-down economics does not work; it has never worked. Washington County residents do not need lower taxes for businesses, business is booming here; they need affordable places to live, they need funding for education. Cutting taxes for businesses will not make those happen.

Like the editorial board, I am underwhelmed by Mr. Chuck Riley's focus, efficacy, and track record or lack thereof — I would prefer that he were a stronger candidate. However, saying that because he has not accomplished much of note, in a county that is already one of the fastest-growing, most successful places in the entire U.S., is like criticising NBA Coach Steve Kerr for not having a more active hand in his team's success.

When you say "take a chance on Flores," you're saying that it is better to elect someone who will make changes for the sake of creating a track record of making changes rather than stick with a candidate who hasn't meddled unnecessarily with success. If things weren't going well in Washington County, this logic might hold up; as it stands, though, it just doesn't.

John Colgan, Cornelius

Harrington's dedication to community shows why she should serve

The Orr family is voting for Kathryn Harrington for Washington County board chair. We feel like she has moved into our lovely city of Forest Grove, she is here so often! It's not often you see an elected representative dedicate so much personal time — including evenings and weekends — to connect with our community and learn about the character and needs of a city like ours.

It's not just the surface that interests Kathryn; she really listens to people, so she can understand what is important to them and what government can do to help them in their lives. That is what we need in Washington County — sensitive, compassionate and carefully considered services based on communication with the people being served.

Kathryn has represented Forest Grove for almost 12 years, and knows us almost as well as just about anybody who lives here. We want our county board to demonstrate that kind of commitment to learning and listening, and we know Kathryn will do that when we elect her. Our support is behind Kathryn. Vote Kathryn!

Tim, Evelyn and Aaron Orr, Forest Grove

Nonprofit wants to hear from parents and guardians

Washington County Kids (WCK), a nonprofit organization supporting out-of-school time programs, would like to learn about parent and guardian experiences with early childhood, after school, and summer programs.

An online survey is available to tell WCK what parents and guardians look for in these programs and what challenges they've experienced finding and using them. Information from the survey will help WCK identify ways to better support and grow programs in Washington County.

The online survey is offered to parents and guardians who are unable to attend the Community Conversations that are being held with local providers like the Boys & Girls Club, Adelante Mujeres, Centro Cultural, Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District, and in library facilities.

The Washington County Kids online survey is available in English and Spanish.

The online survey and "Community Conversations" are made possible by a grant of $35,000 from Meyer Memorial Trust* to Washington County Kids.

For more information about Washington County Kids' Community Conversations or how you can be involved, visit WashingtonCountyKids.com, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 503-349-2965.

Meyer Memorial Trust is a private foundation that is not connected to Fred Meyer Inc.

Katie Riley, Hillsboro

HD 30 could use Merritt's fiscal sensibilities

State elections often seem unimportant in the shadow of national politics, but elections have consequences, and our vote for House District 30 makes a difference.

One of the candidates, Dorothy Merritt, along with her husband Hal, have been neighbors and friends to our family and to the community for more than 25 years. I have worked side by side with her as she led humanitarian efforts in our community reaching out to those in need.

Service is good, but the reason I recommend voting for Dorothy is because she is fiscally wise. Dorothy and her family know what it's like to live on very little. When her family was young, they struggled to feed and house their growing family. But hard work, thriftiness, and financial responsibility helped her family become financially strong.

I believe Dorothy will apply those same fiscal principles to our government. Salem needs more thriftiness and financial restraint to reduce our taxes and government overspending. Thriftiness doesn't mean cheap. We can still advance education, care for the poor and support the environment while being wise about spending. Thrifty is being fiscally wise.

Dorothy understands how to be thrifty. That's why I recommend a vote for Dorothy Merritt.

Ed Arrington, Hillsboro

Aloha business community leader backs Harrington

I am an active participant in the work being done in Aloha to build a united community and determine our future identity. As past president of the Aloha Business Association and a member of CPO 6, I have had many opportunities to speak with and watch Kathryn Harrington doing her work of representing our community at various government-sponsored events.

Kathryn has demonstrated over and over again that she listens, and that she wants to work with all people to get results that benefit the majority. She excels at working with people to search for the solutions that work for our community. I know she will continue to work this way as chair of the Washington County commission.

We need this approach from our leaders. Aloha's future will be in good hands if we elect Kathryn to help us continue to improve our community.

Karen Bolin, Aloha

Got actual solutions to gun violence? Buehler...? Buehler...? Buehler...?

As a voter who is concerned about gun violence, I am dismayed to learn that The Oregonian has endorsed Rep. Knute Buehler for governor. [Ed.: The Pamplin Media Group editorial board has also endorsed Buehler for governor.] While claiming to support limited gun reform, candidate Buehler has voted against common sense gun legislation, including universal background checks. Research is clear in showing that red-flag laws and universal background checks actually do work, so it makes no sense to me that Rep. Buehler would vote against these.

Gov. Kate Brown has proven herself to be a leader in public safety, including signing the law to prohibit gun ownership to those who are convicted of domestic violence. This was the first piece of gun violence prevention legislation passed in our country after the horrific shooting in Parkland, Fla., earlier this year.

For me, the choice is clear. I am voting to re-elect Gov. Brown.

Dara Wills, Hillsboro

Positive Merritt offers solutions in HD 30

Voters want Republicans and Democrats to work together, and they make clear they hate partisan and negative campaigns. Dorothy Merritt has run a positive campaign that focuses on her job-creating accomplishments and bipartisan skills.

Voters want public officials to solve problems, not just complain about problems. Dorothy is a problem-solver. She is able to quickly assess a problem and develop a plan to solve it. Dorothy can't wait to address the poor graduation rates in Oregon, the lack of affordable housing and the PERS.

Dorothy's opponent had her chance. It's time for House District 30 to send in a new team captain. Join me in supporting Dorothy Merritt for state representative.

Shawn Lindsay, Hillsboro

Cheap politics from Terry make the case for Harrington

The next chair for the Washington County Board of Commissioners will shape the future of Washington County. It's never been more important to have a leader who will lead with our values and work with others to move every person in our community forward.

It's political tactics like Bob Terry's that are cheapening our election process. I'm sick of it!

Our families, small businesses, local farms and communities deserve a leader who will rise above politics as usual and put the focus back on the needs of Washington County. There's only one candidate for the race for county chair who's putting those values in action: Kathryn Harrington.

I have known and worked with Kathryn Harrington for 15 years. She is focused on finding solutions to keep local families from being priced out of their communities, strengthening support for local business and family farms alike, and building stronger opportunities in Washington County for every person.

That's why I'm voting for Kathryn Harrington for county chair this November, and I hope you will join me.

Martha Moyer, Bethany

Not the time to take vital Terry off county commission

Bob Terry is exactly who we need as Washington County commission chair. His long-standing service and commitment to the residents of our community is extensive and impressive. Bob has valuable historical perspective, as well as proven business expertise, which continues to guide his resolve to maintain a balanced budget so that important existing services continue.

This is not the time to disrupt the progress Bob has advocated for as county commissioner these last eight years. Our diverse and rapidly growing county will benefit from Bob's leadership as we look toward vital and sustainable innovation we so desperately need.

Lori Eischen Porter, Cornelius

Oregon needs Merritt's voice in HD 30

We will be supporting Dorothy Merritt for state representative in House District 30.

Over the years we've known and worked with her, we have come to admire her integrity, work ethic and commitment to making our neighborhood and community a safe and positive place for families to work, learn and play together. Her perspective on government accountability for taxpayer funds spent is sorely needed. She is a strong, conservative, fair-minded choice for state representative.

Robert Duzett, Hillsboro

Support Grider, Neron in legislative races

I attended a local event recently and was impressed with the state candidates I met there: Sarah Grider, running for the 13th Senate District, and Courtney Neron, candidate for House District 26.

But I was alarmed to see that Sarah Grider's name does not appear in my Washington County voter pamphlet. If readers do not find her name in their voter pamphlet, be assured she will be on the ballot and deserves your vote. Grider and Neron are inspiring young leaders who come from a life of community service and are committed to promoting policies to help our communities — better funded schools, supporting small business and access to affordable health care.

Grider, a veteran of the U.S. Army, now works as an educational assistant in special ed and as a caregiver at a senior facility. She plans to fight for good paying jobs and equitable development.

As a high school teacher and a mother, Neron wants more investment in education, to provide adequate resources and student safety. She has promised to work for family-friendly policies, such as equal pay for equal work and paid family leave.

I urge you to vote for Sarah Grider and Courtney Neron.

Kat Sunlove, Sherwood

Johnston gets vote of confidence for service

I have known Tom "TJ" Johnston for many years, including his time on the Forest Grove City Council.

He is a down-to-earth individual with deep roots in our community. His long service as a peace officer and city councilman demonstrate his commitment to Forest Grove.

Reelect Tom Johnston to the Forest Grove City Council.

Rod Fuiten, Forest Grove

North Plains mayor says Harrington best for county chair

As mayor of one of Washington County's vibrant small cities, I look to support local government leaders who live by a philosophy of partnership, communication, and transparency.

Kathryn Harrington has demonstrated those qualities throughout her years of public service to Washington County. She is clear about her goals, she listens and acts to engage others in the decision-making process. Kathryn wants to continue to make Washington County a place to raise your families and a place where the quality of life is something that you have come to expect. I believe she will continue to be innovative in bringing all partners to the table to work on affordable housing and better ways to improve our transportation needs.

There is a lot of work to be done and I believe Kathryn is the right choice. Please support Kathryn for chair of the Washington County Commission. Thank you.

Teri Lenahan

Mayor, North Plains

Vote for Sollman, affordable housing measures

As a build site volunteer for Willamette West Habitat for Humanity for the past seven years, I appreciate Rep. Janeen Sollman taking direct action regarding her belief in providing affordable housing in Washington County. She has joined me on the build site on numerous occasions to help build simple, decent, affordable housing for our families.

In her role as state representative for House District 30, she has supported legislation to raise the document recording fee to go towards low-income housing. She has also given her full support for Measures 102 and 26-199. Both of these measures will add extra "tools in Oregon's tool-belt," to address our critical need for additional affordable, workforce housing for our fellow Oregonians in this region.

Habitat supports families finding their forever homes through sweat equity and utilizing public/private partnerships, and I am proud that we can make a difference. However, we need additional access to affordable housing, which brings stability to a family's life. Please join me in supporting Measure 102, Measure 26-199 and re-electing Janeen Sollman for House District 30; her actions speak to my Oregon values.

Nanette La Du, Hillsboro

Downeysmith's commitment to diversity, equity laudable

Perhaps you had the good fortune to attend the City Council Candidates forum last Wednesday. You no doubt noticed the change in body language in the room when candidate Devon Downeysmith shared her ideas for a future that will encourage 40 percent of our community members to stand and be heard.

She is prepared to move Forest Grove ahead to become a more welcoming community for our diverse population. She got applause for offering a portion of her presentation in straight-ahead Spanish. It's no doubt significant that only one person applauded at that point, and clear that it happened because most of the rest of us didn't understand what she said, as we are still largely monolingual. Devon, thank you for being alive to the fact of who we are as a community — divided due to language barriers on both sides. We can do better.

Beyond that, Devon is a candidate who deserves attention because she is well versed in how critical it is to work harder to develop our "green energy" future. Being complacent about having less expensive power rates at this time should not mean we ignore our reliance on hydropower contracts and even Forest Grove's healthy stand of trees generating income from timber sales. We have no cohesive plan in place for local solar or wind power anytime soon.

We have mixed opinions about the existence of "peak oil," but it's coming closer to a shared reality all the time.

In addition, local "emergency preparedness" work could get us to a future where we learn how to take care of each other at any time, not just in an emergency.

Another issue is alive and active in our community, and Devon "gets it." Coming to recognize white supremacy — our own and others' — and openly working to dismantle racism is a reality that more of us are coming to every day. We may not all know the latest terminology in this effort to understand, but ridiculing those who do not will not bring us together. Focus, people.

The needed community discussions for these issues and how they affect us locally are imperative. I see Devon as a visionary hard at work to bring our combined solutions to reality.

Working for the common good is a worthy path, and Devon will get my vote because she understands the urgency to move along, together.

Robin Lindsley, Forest Grove

Neighboring city official backs Harrington

As an elected official, you would think I like election season, but I'm actually sick of it this year. The negative advertising being used really bothers me. I was happy that our local city and county elections had been free of this type of campaigning, until this week.

You see, I support Kathryn Harrington as our next county board chair. I believe she has the vision and values to lead our county forward. She has run a positive campaign. Her opponent has spent thousands of dollars on negative mail advertisements this week. He has made baseless claims that slander Kathryn and the hard work she has done for our community.

On Nov. 6, join me in standing for Washington County's future and say no to these negative campaign tactics. Vote Harrington for county chair!

Mark Fagin, Beaverton City Councilor

To serve entire county, Harrington is the best choice

As a resident of Garden Home, I vote for county commissioners, not mayors or councilors. So it is important to me that we elect a chair for the Washington County Board of Commissioners whose mission is to support the entire community.

Kathryn Harrington has shown that she is committed to inclusion, to working collaboratively, and to developing strong, productive partnerships. As an educational administrator, I love that Kathryn's mission includes showing respect for the teachers and the administrations that work daily with our students. I love that Kathryn listens, engages, considers options carefully, and acts with the knowledge that she has consulted the community.

We can't ask for a better leader for Washington County than Kathryn, and I hope you'll support her with your vote.

Diane Doctor, Garden Home


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