Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.

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This week's letters include thoughts on local candidates and good works in Washington County.

While we're waiting for cures, we can do more

While we are waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine and the passage of legislation that will address police brutality and institutional racism, there are several simple antidotes for these pandemics that we can adopt and utilize in the meantime: choose behaviors of compassion instead of hostility toward others, replace bigotry with kindness, and wear masks for public health reasons rather than wearing attitudes of racism and making claims in defense of fake personal freedoms.

Lowell Greathouse, Forest Grove

Veterans doing good work in community

Kudos to the American Legion, Post 104, in Aloha.

They put up our beautiful flags along Tualatin Valley Highway over the holidays. I love to see them flying along the highway.

They also do road cleanup along that part of the road.

We belong to the post and recommend veterans to join with their families. The post has all kinds of programs for members.

Diana Jensen, Aloha

Neron's priorities are in the right place

As a college professor and volunteer reader in our local elementary school, I have firsthand experience teaching students and see every day how important the quality of public education is for our future. Not only will these students be responsible for themselves and their families, but they also will be making decisions that will have impacts on older generations as well.

Oregon's Legislature made a major investment in the quality of education by passing the Student Success Act. It is a giant step in the right direction but there is much that must be done just so Oregon students may someday perform as well as the "average" student in the United States. Compared to the other states, Oregon lags behind in critical measures such as graduation rates and per-student funding.

One state representative who is providing the leadership we need in education is Courtney Neron. She is an educator and experienced teacher who is committed to giving students in Oregon the skills and knowledge they will need to succeed in a rapidly changing world.

The latest obstacle students must now face is the COVID pandemic. How well the state and local school districts meet this challenge will impact us all. One thing we can all do is support those like Rep. Neron who have made the most important investment the state can make: in our future and the education of our children.

Stephen Dean, Aloha

We should shout less and listen more

In his disturbing report on political protests in Sherwood, Ray Pitz reported, "But with just the two lanes of Main Street separating them, (the two groups) spent most of their two hours trying to shout down one another." He went on to report, "One man at the All Kids Matter rally was equipped with a megaphone. He spent nearly the entire event speaking though the megaphone rallying the All Kids Matter side of the crowd and criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement and 'socialist' opponents."

Just the other day, my friend, noted author and TED Talk celebrity Julian Treasure declared, "The sound of democracy is silent listening." You can't do that through a megaphone.

Read the story on competing rallies in Sherwood, published online July 11, 2020.

Mr. Pitz put his finger directly on the heart of the problem. Both sides of any political debate these days are just shouting slogans at each other across a thin — increasingly threadbare — ribbon of yellow police tape. Democracy doesn't work that way. Democracy is not "rule by the loudest."

The left is seldom perfect. The right is seldom perfect either. Since the founding of this nation, since the very drafting of our Declaration of Independence, our national strength has been our ability to fine the best answers somewhere in the middle. And we have done that by long tradition of constructive, considerate debate including a lot silent, respectful, and open-minded listening. It's the very sound of democracy.

Following a scientific conference, Albert Einstein was approached by an woman who complained, "Professor Einstein, I came to hear you speak and you hardly said anything." His reportedly replied, "Woman, I find that when I'm talking, I'm not learning." It's hard to learn through a megaphone.

Thankfully, while doubtlessly unproductive, Sherwood's protests remained peaceful.

Sherwood is a very educated and intelligent community full of smart people. I urge all of my fellow Sherwood citizens to put down your megaphones — whether literal or figurative — and practice traditional American democracy by listening quietly, respectfully — even with a genuine curiosity — to what others who don't hold your beliefs are saying. Maybe you might even learn something.

Chuck Gollnick, Sherwood

Sloop is from our community and for our community

I had the privilege of meeting Kelly Sloop at a small social distancing gathering at a friend's home in Tualatin last month. Kelly is running for an Oregon representative seat in District 37 and is the warm, caring conservative we need representing our community.

Kelly has lived in West Linn her entire life and, with her husband, raised her three children in the community. She is a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and saw firsthand how the increasing cost of healthcare impacted patients. As a small business owner, she is a savvy business advocate.

Her focus and priorities are education, low taxes, government accountability and getting people back to work. What happens in the Oregon Legislature has a big impact on our day-to-day lives, and we need Kelly there, representing our district and bringing balance to Oregon.

I am confident Kelly will represent our key values in Oregon. Please learn more about Kelly at kellysloop.com.

Teri Jorgensen, Tualatin


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