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Readers write in about election issues and candidates, the pandemic, and protests.

A resident's open letter to President Trump

It is indecent to force our families to sacrifice their own health for the financial well-being of some of the largest companies in the world, many of whom already pay no taxes. The EPA should reverse its decision immediately and resume enforcement of its minimal regulations, and you should focus on saving lives rather than causing more sickness, suffering and deaths.

The COVID-19 crisis is no excuse to stop enforcing clean air and water protections.

People living in sacrifice zone communities most impacted by pollution already suffer disproportionate rates of asthma, COPD, cancer and other diseases associated with pollution. As a result, they are also disproportionately vulnerable to COVID-19.

Now is the time to ramp up and double down on enforcing existing protections to ensure that those of us least able to fight off this disease are afforded the best chance at survival.

Tell Andrew Wheeler to rescind the EPA's memo of March 26, and fully enforce all existing air and water pollution regulations during this crisis.

Dale Feik, Forest Grove

Build on work to reduce juvenile crime

There is amazing work happening every day around Washington County that makes a huge impact on our future: juvenile crime prevention and early intervention.

A sizeable body of research now shows the most cost-effective way to help positive development in juveniles is through early intervention. Early intervention prevents the onset or continuation of delinquent behavior and supports development of a youth's assets.

Funds from the public safety levy for Washington County enable this work to happen in every city and community across our county. With these efforts, juvenile crime has been cut in half over the last 10 years.

The levy continues existing juvenile crime prevention efforts and enables new diversion opportunities. Juvenile staff are in the community and schools providing skill-building and supporting school re-engagement. The levy helps fund counseling, mentoring and culturally responsive treatment. New diversion opportunities will increase early intervention and further reduce juvenile crime.

Without these early and strategic efforts, we would face increased delinquency, resulting in more victims of juvenile crime, and more youth would be incarcerated, all resulting in higher costs to our community and tax payers.

Support early and effective juvenile crime prevention. Vote yes on Measure 34-296.

Lynne Schroeder, Hillsboro

Forest Grove/Cornelius shelter director backs levy

Here in Washington County, we've seen a significant increase in the need for shelters and related services as our county grows.

The Washington County public safety levy has become an essential source of funding for our domestic violence shelters, mental health response team, and youth alternatives to incarceration. The support services that survivors of domestic violence, mental illness, and childhood trauma need to stay safe, heal, and break the cycle of violence, poverty and abuse must be sufficient to meet the needs of our growing county.

As the director of two seasonal shelters serving unhoused adults, resources like those above are vital to ensuring that especially vulnerable adults and children have appropriate places to go. We serve over 30 adults per night during the 70-plus nights we are open.

There is a significant need for safe and responsive services to become more widely available in Washington County. We cannot take a step back by losing the life-saving services we currently have. We must ensure that people in dangerous situations are able to find avenues to the security they desperately need.

Please vote "yes" on Measure 34-296.

Celeste Goulding, Gaston

Kroll is best choice for Washington County bench

As a Washington County citizen and mother of three, I would like to take the chance to fully endorse Mr. Edward Kroll as this county's new circuit judge.

I have had the fortunate opportunity to work very closely with Mr. Kroll and right from the start I admired his incredible dedication to justice and law. Edward works very hard to seek out the truth, and he is extremely loyal to his community. The truth is first priority.

Mr. Kroll has shown in many ways, time and time again, that he has the ability, desire, and leadership skills to be the man we need as Washington County's new circuit judge. My husband and I both feel that Mr. Kroll will do an exemplary job on the bench. We are confident that with Mr. Kroll's exceptional skills, professional experience and personal qualities, he will make a powerful asset to our community.

He has our trust and our vote.

Haylee Ergenekan, Tigard

Scappoose city councilor lays out ballot

As one who feels it a privilege to both vote and pay my share of taxes for the good of the order, I offer my picks for the May 19 Columbia County primary election.

Jenefer Grant for re-election to the Circuit Court of Columbia County, because I believe she is fair, experienced and brings the necessary integrity to the court. Not in any way to diminish or demean the other candidates who both have solid credentials, but simply that Judge Grant is clearly the best choice to me, to continue as Circuit Court judge.

Alex Tardif for re-election as county commissioner, because I see him as a critical component to the county with his financial background, energy and clear commitment to making Columbia County the best it can be.

Wayne Mayo for election to the county commission, because he has the creativity and good sense to leverage the advantages Columbia County enjoys with its gravel, timber and geography. Mr. Mayo is also someone I have complete trust in to do what is in the best interest of Columbia County residents, regardless of pressure from outside forces.

Joel Haugen, Scappoose

Dudzic will move Columbia County forward

I support Brandee Dudzic for Columbia County commissioner because it is time for a change.

I remember visiting the commissioners personally to discuss coordination between different communities when considering issues such as transportation, railway traffic, business siting and citizen input. We were told, by two commissioners, that they only deal with zoning and have no input on these issues. Even more surprising, we were told that citizens demand too much input. It was suggested that if we had an issue, we should visit port commissioners and other elected officials at their businesses and not take up so much time in public meetings.

This might have worked in earlier times, but we are now a larger, more vital population in this county, and we need to keep pace with the rest of the world.

Brandee is intelligent, experienced and trained and willing to listen to all citizen input. She will help to bring 2020 thinking to our county. A vote for Brandee is a vote for the future.

Carroll Sweet, Scappoose

Smears against Dudzic disserve her and voters

I recently read an op-ed from a gentleman who does not approve of Brandee Dudzic (letter to the editor, May 1, 2020). He refers to her as a "dud" and implies that she's stupid, ill-informed, a liar, indoctrinated, low-information, left-wing nut job and insane.

The unimaginative and poorly written article reads like a composite of statements made by actual lying, indoctrinated, low-information, insane nutjobs who are smitten with President Donald Trump. Think Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Fox News and apparently this writer. They use agitation, insults and platitudes to demean and discredit. Name-calling. Insults. Just like Daddy. They're in heaven with gross incompetence so long as it fits their ideology.

Brandee Dudzic deserves serious consideration — she's brave enough to think independently and follow her own compass. She's intelligent, positive, reasonable, diligent, tenacious and serious about serving her community.

Look beyond the negativity and get to know Brandee Dudzic. This mother, neighbor and veteran deserves much more than canned insults.

Rich Buchco, Scappoose

Stevens will best represent HD 26

I want Peggy Stevens to work on behalf of me and my community in Salem. Peggy is "one tough grandmother." She knows and values the small towns of Sherwood, Wilsonville, King City and part of Hillsboro and will fight to keep them that way.

Peggy is well-versed on the amount of trivial tax bills that are being voted in and wants to stand up for our communities and stop the over-taxation!

Peggy lives and has served in our community for over 30 years, she understands how important is it to keep small business thriving in our towns. She has a deep devotion to make our towns the best place to live.

Join me in electing "one tough grandmother" Peggy Stevens for House District 26 representative.

Dana Crocker, Wilsonville

Judge Callahan backs newcomer Clarke for bench

The legal profession has been my passion for over 20 years, first as an attorney in Clatskanie and St. Helens, and for the past five-plus years as judge.

This honor of the title "judge" reflects the unspoken promise to the community, the attorneys and the litigants that the judge will at all times conduct themselves with the highest standards of integrity and honesty for themselves and the judicial system.

We all know people whose words do not always align with their actions, and it is often difficult to know when a line is crossed. The headline and the details of the independent investigation, "Judge Grant falsely accuses colleague of stalking," as well as my observations and interactions over 10 years, represents that line for me personally and professionally.

The independent investigative report found the stalking behavior allegedly observed by Jenefer Grant and the statements reported by her simply lacked credibility. The alleged victim of the "stalking" knew there was no stalking activity and it was the accused who demanded the investigation. In summary, a car drove up and parked, a colleague got out and walked toward the court. Jenefer Grant reported this action as stalking.

Is this a big deal? Yes it is! Is this what we expect from our paid elected leaders? I do not believe it is; this meeting did not serve the community in any positive manner.

Jenefer Grant has shown no willingness to acknowledge, explain or apologize to the person she falsely accused, or to the community for wasting time and costing the taxpayers additional expense of the independent investigation. Admitting that a wrong (falsely accusing anyone of stalking) has been inflicted upon another deserves a heartfelt apology. It is interesting to me the behavior we are willing to ignore for our candidates, irrespective of the title or position.

At the end of the day, facts matter, truth matters, integrity matters and credibility matters.

Vote for change — join me in supporting Michael T. Clarke. Mike Clarke is responsible, competent and credible.

Cathleen B. Callahan

Judge, Columbia County Circuit Court

Protests ignore dangers of coronavirus

As if the situation isn't dire enough, we now have protesters demanding that restrictions be lifted so they can return to work. Some of these individuals seem to believe that sporting weapons will somehow make a statement. Really? Such a statement resembles dangerous stupidity and ignorance. Needless to say, our dear leader supports these people.

I can sympathize and relate to some of these protesters who struggle to support their families even during the best of times. I do wonder, however, how you propose to support your family if you become infected or you infect your family. All that much-needed income from that job you are so desperate to have won't mean squat if you're dead.

What I find most disturbing about you protesters is the total disrespect for those who have risked their lives every day to protect, heal and provide the necessary services you count on for survival. Shame on you!

Congratulations to the Republican Party as you have finally accomplished one of your long term goals — the dumbing down of America. You even managed to elect the perfect result of your achievement.

Lin Vanderzanden, Forest Grove

Grant is great advocate for foster children, parents

Judge Jenefer Grant is the best and strongest choice for circuit court judge.

I am a resident and practicing attorney in Columbia County. Judge Grant is fair, impartial, and sound. Judge Grant makes strong efforts in court to not traumatize victims, witnesses, and clients.

Judge Grant is passionate about the law and the safety of children and keeping families together, if possible. Judge Grant holds the Oregon Department of Human services and parents accountable. Her leadership has led to significant improvements in the protection of children in the county. Her leadership has significantly reduced the number of children in foster care in this county. This county had one of the highest rates of children in foster care in the state of Oregon. Her leadership these past five years has reduced the numbers. I have seen a lot of families make the changes they needed to make to get children home and safe in her courtroom. Judge Grant protects the parents' and children's rights.

She has a lot of experience in criminal law, civil and family law. She makes sure victims are heard and most importantly, makes sure people's due process rights are protected. It would really hurt this community to lose Judge Grant and her leadership and experience.

Please vote for Judge Grant this election.

Mark Lang, Scappoose

Kroll is qualified, knowledgeable and fit for judge

I've known Edward Kroll for years. I've watched him in trial, and we even co-chaired a trial together. He is a true professional in every sense of the word. He is an excellent attorney. I am confident he will be an exceptional judge.

As an attorney, it's important that when we enter a courtroom we're standing before a judge we can trust to be fair and thoughtful, and that the courtroom is managed with civility and decency. I trust Edward Kroll to be this kind of judge.

Ed has a thorough knowledge of the law, a great analytical mind, and has the uncanny ability to remain calm and think clearly under pressure. He's fair and thoughtful in the courtroom and outside the practice of law. These qualities are, in my estimation, crucially important for a person to be a good judge.

It's not often that we have an opportunity to vote into public office such a qualified person for such an important position. I fully endorse Edward Kroll for Washington County Circuit Court judge this May and I hope you will do the same with your vote and your voice.

Chris Trotter, Hillsboro

Times go to show why Dudzic is best for Columbia County

Please join me in securing a better future in these trying times in our county by voting for Brandee Dudzic for Columbia County commissioner.

Joe Lewis, Scappoose

In Washington County commissioner race, Fai stands out

I am writing in support of Nafisa Fai for Washington County commissioner. Washington County needs a strong voice for improving our public health system, to help take action to address climate change, toimprove our transportation system.

Nafisa has nearly 20 years of experience working in the public health sector and she is a voice we can trust to help us understand the health risks of not taking action to address climate change. She is the owner of a minority, women and emerging small business. She understands how affordable housing, supporting our transportation infrastructure to alleviate congestion is important for us all and can help working families succeed.

Please cast your vote for Nafisa Fai in the upcoming election.

Ann Scherner, Tigard

Campos will be good for our future

Wlnsvey Campos is the one to vote for to be the Democratic candidate for state representative from House District 28 in our May primary.

Campos has had years of experience with helping people find resources for housing, food, transportation, jobs. With the unfolding results of the pandemic, her skills and perspectives are needed in Salem to an even higher degree.

Moreover, Campos strongly supports the proposed Oregon Green New Deal. We need more legislators ready and able to make the vital changes in this decade-only window of time we have to prevent irreversible climate change. Wlnsvey Campos would be one of them. Let's get her there.

Donna Maebori, Beaverton

Police levy enables critically needed training

Many of us have seen someone, or know someone, who has struggled with mental health or emotional issues that culminate into an emergency response. When police receive training to intervene in a mental health crisis, they're better-equipped to successfully de-escalate a situation, resulting in safer and more effective outcomes for our entire community.

We have an opportunity on our May ballot to enable all Tigard police officers to get advanced training in crisis intervention and de-escalation of crisis situations. Measure 34-295, the Tigard police levy, will fund this training.

Calls to police related to a mental health problems, homelessness, or drug and alcohol issues are increasing. Responding to them is a drain on law enforcement resources, which threatens our public safety.

Training in crisis intervention and de-escalation will allow more people in crisis to receive the mental health interventions they need instead of being locked in jail. This is a safer, more cost-effective and more humane way for Tigard's police to handle these difficult situations.

Please support Measure 34-295!

Tom Murphy, Tigard

Tardif merits re-election to Columbia County commission

An easy call for county commissioner is Alex Tardif.

Alex hits the ground running; his current term on the board has given him intimate familiarity with the county's finances. He has applied his skills as a former auditor and qualified accountant to focus on getting the most bang for the taxpayers' buck.

We are indeed fortunate to have in Alex a commissioner who is competent, reasonable and honest — and is an independent thinker. He is not beholden to corporations or "Astroturf" pressure groups.

Alex understands the importance of expanding Internet infrastructure to serve all citizens in the county, especially in this new world of public health-driven lockdowns.

He is Columbia County born-and-bred, lives and gardens with his young family in Scappoose, and will look out for ordinary folks like you and me.

Re-elect Alex Tardif. It's an easy call.

Darrel Whipple, Rainier

Pandemic should call our attention to structural inequalities

From diabetes to hypertension and asthma, people of color have preexisting conditions that leave them at higher risk during health crises such as COVID-19 and the climate emergency. Countless studies have been conducted proving this reality, but what's worse is knowing how long this fact has been apparent in our society and yet continues to go unresolved.

What this pandemic has done is exposed deep structural inequities amongst marginalized communities — which are vulnerable to health issues regardless of how the rest of the world is doing. Imagine already having to worry about being able to breathe the air in your neighborhood, due to contaminants from polluting industries setting up shop in your community, and then being hit by news of a virus outbreak particularly more severe for individuals with breathing disabilities.

People of color are in double jeopardy because of the malice directed towards them by urban development and consistent environmental hazards creeping into their living spaces. Not only are these individuals more vulnerable, they're also less able to respond and cope with crises as many are often uninsured.

Truth is, COVID-19 isn't the only crisis we're facing and it hasn't been easy for Oregonians on the frontlines. We're seeing record-breaking wildfires destroying our forests and snowpack melting at alarming rates, leaving reservoirs dismal and tribal communities dependent on water systems and its resources in distress. News like this is heartbreaking considering the loss of culturally important species, such as salmon, makes it difficult for tribal elders to pass their history on to future generations.

So for their sake, for those that are the first to suffer despite being the least responsible, let's work together to uplift their voices and demand change.

Sharona Shnayder, Tualatin

Blum has skills that House District 28 needs

As we face a future combating pandemics and other global events, investment in education is imperative.

I taught prekindergarten through eighth-grade students and raised three children through college years. COVID-19 has brought the importance of full access to long-distance learning technology to the forefront — one of many funding issues our school systems face.

I am supporting Alisa Blum for state representative because she has both professional and personal experience to successfully advocate for public education funding that serves every student. She provides experience as a small business owner, diversity trainer, adjunct professor and school volunteer, and as an advocate for the under-served.

Better government relies on bridge builders; Alisa brings that well-honed expertise to the job. She sees the big picture along with the needs of the most vulnerable. Alisa is precisely the kind of leader we need.

Janet Olson, Beaverton

Fagin, Tivnon deserve Beavertonians' vote this May

I have had the pleasure of working closely with two candidates running for Beaverton City Council, Mark Fagin and Allison Tivnon.

Mark is running for re-election to the council and I have worked with him as a fellow member of the City Budget Committee and the Beaverton Urban Redevelopment Agency (Urban Renewal) Board, as well as the campaign to pass the bonds for the new Public Safety Center. Mark has always taken his responsibilities seriously and been a dedicated public servant. In these difficult times facing the community and Beaverton city government, Mark should be re-elected to the City Council to continue his work.

Allison is running for the City Council seat being vacated by Cate Arnold. I have worked with Allison while she was serving as Board Chair of the Beaverton Arts Commission in my role as co-founder of the Beaverton Arts Foundation to bring the dream of the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts to reality. She has been not only a great supporter of the center, now under construction, but in her professional life brings an understanding of economics and economic development to the City Council.

I urge all Beaverton voters to elect Mark Fagin and Allison Tivnon to the Beaverton City Council.

Jim McCreight, Beaverton

We need Neron working for us

Courtney Neron is our state representative for Oregon House District 26 (Wilsonville, Sherwood and northwest up to southern Hillsboro). April 11 was typical of how she works for us.

She organized and moderated a virtual town hall with officials from the federal Small Business Administration and Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industry to answer constituents' questions about where they can get help dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on local workers and small businesses. "Typical" because she found, gathered and listened to the experts. She put her constituents' needs first. With more than a thousand constituents on the line, she made no effort to steal the limelight. This is how she's worked for us each day during the pandemic and since being elected in 2018. How refreshing compared to what we see on the national stage.

We need Rep. Courtney Neron to continue working for us. You can support our local communities and small businesses by voting for Rep. Neron in May and November.

John Vandenberg, Sherwood

Generosity helps keep people afloat in time of need

Thank you to Beaverton Family Promise for initiating the "Beaverton Buddies" program to help out families struggling to make ends meet. Family Promise wants families to focus on paying their rent. Beaverton Buddies can help lighten the load by providing supplies not covered by other services or other benefits.

Last month, local churches sent their congregations to several local drop-off areas with non-essential cleaning supplies, diapers, feminine products, toiletries, etc., as donations for those who need just a little help.

I volunteered to collect at one of the sites and it was amazing to see the generosity of the community. People from Beaverton and beyond donated many "non-essential" items to assist their brothers and sisters.

It's not too late to participate: Contact Beaverton Family Promise at 971-217-8949, if you would like to donate or if you are in need of assistance.

Eileen Sleva, Hillsboro

Keeping everyone safe during social distancing

Unfortunately, home is not a safe place for everyone during this COVID-19 crisis. The "stay at home" order leaves little opportunity for freedom for victims of domestic violence. We know that survivors of abuse and their children are more isolated and in more danger than ever before and we all need to pay attention and be willing to call for help. We want all to know that the Family Justice Center of Washington County (FJC) is open and offers a safe place for survivors of domestic violence.

We are here to offer safety, healing and hope. We will assist in every way possible and connect those in need to our partner resources. We have restraining order packets available and can help survivors obtain an order of protection.

For more information about our services and a safety plan, please visit fjcwc.org or call the FJC at 503-430-8300. We are open Monday-Friday.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1; for non-emergency law enforcement assistance, please call 503-629-0111; for the 24-hour domestic violence hotline, please call 503-469-8620.

Let's all do our best to make sure we all stay safe and well!

Judy Willey

President, Board of Directors

Toni Loch

Executive Director

Family Justice Center of Washington County

Stand up for reproductive rights in primary

Across the nation, anti-choice politicians in Ohio, Alabama, Texas and 10 other states are using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to roll back access to reproductive health and abortion care.

Especially in a crisis, democracy is essential. For Beaverton voters, like me, this primary election is our moment to stand up for reproductive freedom in our community and center those hardest hit by COVID-19. We have a chance to make our voices heard and elect leaders who share our values and understand that a crisis does not erase inequity — it simply lays it bare.

We have four pro-choice champions on the ticket who will fiercely protect our rights to reproductive and abortion care and provide the strong local leadership that this crisis requires:

• Lacey Beaty for mayor of Beaverton: Lacey is a proven champion for reproductive freedom. In her time in public health, working for Virginia Garcia, she expanded school-based health centers and increased access to contraceptive care for over 81,000 students and stood up against Measure 106, the backdoor ban on abortion that Oregonians resoundingly defeated in 2018.

• Nafisa Fai for Washington County commissioner: Nafisa is a small business owner and public health expert dedicated to improving the health and strength of our region. With experience at the American Red Cross and in county health, Nafisa is uniquely qualified to help Washington County recover from COVID. With her experience as a refugee, Nafisa will bring important perspectives to the Commission to represent our diverse district.

• Kate Lieber for Senate District 14: Kate is a strong and determined advocate for reproductive freedom and equity. As a former deputy district attorney, Kate has fought to protect survivors of domestic violence and child abuse. She is a fierce supporter of high-quality health care and mental health support for all. As a lesbian and mother of two, reproductive freedom is not just an important issue to Kate — it's personal. She would not have her two children had she not had access to the reproductive healthcare she and all LGBTQ+ community members deserve.

• Wlnsvey Campos for state representative: Wlnsvey is ready to work to expand healthcare and educational opportunities and fight climate change. As an affordable housing case manager and essential worker, she connects families experiencing houselessness with services and a safe place to call home. Her experience working with our houseless community members is needed in Salem — and as a young woman of color from a low-income background, she knows firsthand that housing insecurity can be an incredible barrier for those unable to get the healthcare and reproductive care they need.

Beaverton residents can't afford to sit out this upcoming primary. Our democracy is being put to the test and there is too much at stake. Your ballot may already be in your mailbox, waiting for you to fill it out. As we are all doing our part to stay home and save lives, please take a moment to make sure our reproductive rights are protected by voting for these four fearless candidates.

Olivia Stone, Beaverton

Five cents isn't too much to ask for cemetery

Soon, mail-in ballots will be delivered to most of the voters in Columbia County, which includes the Clatskanie/Rainier cemetery service area.

Measure 5-280 is asking for additional funds to operate our rural cemeteries for five years. The rate requested is $0.05 per $1,000 assessed value — one nickel!

The monies are designated for the maintenance and operations for 12 cemeteries covering 37 acres. All the work to maintain these cemeteries is done mainly by the sexton with some occasional part-time staff. The funds may also fund replacement equipment, provide some office help, provide for extra seasonal mowing and purchase necessary supplies.

Simply, it's a matter of community pride. Who wants to see overgrown grounds covered with weeds and gravesites left untrimmed?

For this family, we will gladly give up two soft drink cartons during the year, as opposed to seeing an undesirable and unpleasant landscape.

Most of us have family, relatives, friends and acquaintances buried in these cemetery locations. No doubt others of us will follow. Let's show that we care.

Please vote by Tuesday, May 19.

Paul and Judy Nys, Rainier

Tardif understands and works hard for Columbia County

I urge you to vote for Alex Tardif, Columbia County commissioner, Position 3.

A vote to re-elect Commissioner Alex Tardif is a vote for a man who has worked tirelessly with private citizens, nonprofits and local governments all over the county to sustainably bring Columbia County into the 21st century. From roads to public health, Commissioner Tardif has brought pragmatic intelligence, modernization and efficiency. As I sit on several nonprofit boards, I know this from actual experience.

I don't know if broadband is yet feasible or affordable for our county as a utility, but his opponent, Casey Garrett, is quoted in the April 23, 2020, Spotlight as saying, "Should the entire population have to pay for a luxury for the rural communities who have chosen to live that lifestyle?" Reliable internet is not a luxury. It is a necessity as much as the telephone or electricity for financial transactions, education, agriculture, social connection, entrepreneurship, and medicine.

Apparently, if you don't live in St. Helens or Scappoose, you don't count. What's his next definition of luxury: good roads? Seventy-five years ago, he would have said the same thing about electricity being a luxury for the rest of us. This is an elitist I don't want making decisions on my behalf.

Please vote to re-elect Alex Tardif Columbia County commissioner, Position 3. He's a good man to have at your back in hard times.

Erika Paleck, Vernonia

Bussell has already proven herself effective at Capitol

My first session in the Oregon Senate in 2019 was more effective and enjoyable because I had the good sense to hire Serin Bussell to be my chief of staff. She responded to constituents with consistent compassion and diligence, leaving no stone unturned en route to solutions.

Serin's collaborative style and knowledge of the Oregon Constitution and good governance practices were especially valuable through the complex process of moving campaign finance reform through the Legislature. Her skilled work is one of the reasons we'll get to vote on SJR 18 this November to clearly establish our right to regulate campaign finances in the public interest.

Until SJR 18 passes, Oregon remains one of only five states with no campaign contribution limits. Serin's decided to limit contributions to her current campaign nonetheless. Her commitment to constituents, collaborative style, and integrity make her exactly the type of person I'd like to keep working with, this time as a colleague, to effectively meet the challenges Oregon is facing. I hope House District 33 voters will make that happen.

State Sen. Jeff Golden, Ashland

Advice on living within your means

After graduating high school in 1969 at 17, I enlisted into the Army rather than go on to college.

While waiting for the Greyhound bus, my dad shared some sound advice. Never buy a house with a payment, including property taxes and home insurance, more than 25% of your gross monthly income.

Never buy a new or used car with a payment, including auto insurance, more than half the house payment, 12.5%. Always save and/or invest 10% of your monthly income for your future or retirement.

In the early 1970s, the Church of Latter-day Saints encouraged its members and their surrounding communities to establish an emergency food storage, which is fairly simple — buy 15% more food and goods each month than you need and use the oldest goods first.

In the fall of 2006 while visiting my wife's family in Latvia, we noticed economic indicators of a forthcoming financial crisis. Upon returning to the states, we notified my sisters, our friends and community to pay off their houses, cars and credit cards because hard times were coming.

Eighteen months later, we watched as nearly 45% of Americans lost their homes to foreclosure, their cars being repossessed and some declared bankruptcy, while we shopped inventory reduction sales and bought our dream retirement home for pennies on the dollar.

Now it's 10 years later and we're once again in a worldwide crisis. Immediately, Congress passed a stimulus package to save banks, investors and corporations on Wall Street who contribute to their re-election accounts, and only pennies to citizens on the street. After six weeks of quarantine, once again Americans are being encouraged to go out and spend to reboot their economy. Well, not this time. Our closets are full, our dream house is paid off, and I am not going to buy a new truck because they are either too big, too expensive or butt-ugly. Our one enjoyment was eating out, but now, being older and high risk, no way Jose.

Maybe now Americans will start living more modestly, eat healthier and enjoy life closer to home. Big house and car payments don't put food and toilet paper in the pantry.

Joseph Turner, Columbia City

Stevens the conservative choice in House District 26

I'm voting for Peggy Stevens for state representative because she is a conservative Republican and particularly because she is pro-Second Amendment. Peggy has the highest possible rating for a candidate from the Oregon Firearms Federation and will stand up for our gun rights.

Please join me in voting for Peggy Stevens.

Grady Nelson, Wilsonville


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