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The Nov. 8 election is on News-Times readers' minds. See what they have to say in our weekly mailbag.

Change course to fix Oregon's problems

We have a few problems.

The number of violent crimes in Portland increased 38% in 2021 according to FBI data, overdose deaths have increased by 41% since the legalization of heroin. During the summer of 2020, our Democrat leadership allowed 100 nights of unimpeded rioting in the streets, destroying businesses, injuring Oregonians and tourists.

Our taxes are high. Our electric grid is unreliable and our forests have been mismanaged for years, allowing undergrowth and deadwood to turn our forests into piles of firewood.

Progressive policies pushed by Democrat leadership have increased energy costs while penalizing energy production, dumbed down our schools, and allowed heroin (a gateway drug to the less-expensive but lethal fentanyl) to flood our streets and enrich drug cartels. The view from our now-filthy MAX trains is one of broken dreams and homeless encampments to and from PDX.

We can't fix our problems by continuing to vote for Democrats or "ex" Democrats running as "Independents." It's time we elected solid Republican leadership to enact the change we know we need.

This year, I've taken on something very uncomfortable for me — I'm walking door-to-door, canvassing for Joe Everton, candidate for state representative in District 30. I'm doing this because it is so vital to change our direction and because I know Joe will work hard to do that.

I first met Joe when he ran for the school board. I know how important schools and Oregon are to him and to his family; he's strong enough to do what's needed to fix the problems we all see.

We need the solid leadership we can get from Joe and other common-sense, business-savvy Republicans like Christine Drazan, Jo Rae Perkins, Carolina Malmedal and Mike Erickson, people who understand the unique challenges, resources and beauty of our wonderful state of Oregon.

Steve Pitzel, Rock Creek

Former FG councilor backing Rippe for mayor

This November, Forest Grove residents will be electing a new mayor to replace Pete Truax, our mayor since October 2009.

Our city is fortunate to have two very qualified councilors willing to step up to the role of mayor. As a former city councilor, I have served with them both and fully value their service to our community.

I believe, however, that only one candidate has shown the leadership and commitment to step up from the part-time role of councilor to serve as our mayor.

I will be voting for Tim Rippe, and these are the reasons: a full-time champion, regional advocacy and community engagement.

First, I know thriving cities usually equate with strong and visionary mayors. While effective mayors can be of any age or gender, the singular trait is being the "single voice" or champion for the city.

As Tim Rippe has stated, our city needs one voice that "can be at the table during difficult discussions — otherwise we run the risk of being minimized or ignored outright" by larger urban cities. He is correct. Key decisions occur daily on critical topics involving the allocation of limited resources to transportation, housing, equity, and public health/safety. It cannot serve our best interests if representation at "the table" is delegated to whatever councilor may be available that day. Tim Rippe is committed to devoting his full-time efforts to be that "champion."

Second, Tim Rippe is the only candidate that has already demonstrated the leadership to effectively engage, collaborate and partner with elected leaders of all jurisdictions. This is important, as Forest Grove's vital interests extend well beyond just our city limits.

To avoid raising taxes to fund additional staff and services, our city must be adept at advocating to the county, Metro and state for resources and services of importance to our residents. This personal advocacy is paramount to achieving our city's priorities, and Tim Rippe is qualified to do so.

Finally, Tim Rippe has been a strong and creative contributor to our community's goals. He is an active contributor to the City's Economic Development Commission, the council's homeless subcommittee, the Forest Grove Senior & Community Center, and the Rotary Club.

Tim Rippe has demonstrated leadership through his career at local, regional, and national levels — and he is readily qualified to represent you as our next mayor to a thriving future.

Thank you for your consideration.

Adolph "Val" Valfre Jr., Forest Grove

Malmedal will go to work for Forest Grove

Over the last several years, a noticeable increase in crime and homelessness has affected Forest Grove.

As a citizen of Forest Grove, I am concerned and frustrated as I watch our current leaders contribute to the problem by voting to reduce criminal sentences for even the most violent of offenders, tie the hands of law enforcement, and put forth legislation to legalizes drugs. Those in office would rather avoid the issues, point fingers at others, and often suggest the situation is inevitable.

However, it doesn't have to be this way. We must elect leaders that listen to our feedback and work with those who offer solutions.

Carolina Malmedal has connected with local law enforcement and has vowed to listen and give them the resources they need to address crime and prosecute those responsible.

Along with crime, the community is also seeing a massive growth trend in homelessness and drug use. It's time Forest Grove elects a state senator who will work for mental health and addiction service solutions and not condone or support the actual causes of the problem. Carolina Malmedal meets these criteria and will represent Forest Grove citizens again.

This election, vote Carolina Malmedal for our state senator.

Tom Harris, Forest Grove

Sollman has solutions for criminal justice system

As a former Oregon Department of Corrections employee, I urge you to reelect Sen. Janeen Sollman.

In her role as the co-chair of the Joint Public Safety subcommittee, Janeen has made our cities, schools, and other public spaces safe by backing common sense legislation. Her work made our prisons safer, better places for both staff and adults in custody.

Rather than needlessly overburdening our prison system with people who pose no threat to themselves or others, Janeen improved our justice system and the safety of our communities through policies to keep guns out of children's hands, increase the efficiency of our courts, eliminate unfair and discriminatory fees, and protect the rights of citizen through the court and incarceration process.

Oregon doesn't need another Republican who slashes budgets, overcrowds our prisons, and traps people in a cycle of crime with ineffective, outdated policy ideas. We need a senator who recognizes the important, difficult job public safety professionals do and who works to make our communities safer by focusing on rehabilitating offenders and teaching them life skills during their incarceration, which leads to more productive members of society and less repeat offenders.

I'm proud to vote Janeen Sollman for Senate District 15, and I urge you to join me when you cast your ballot this November.

Jenna Devenberg, Hillsboro

Pantoja Avalos gives back to Hillsboro community

I have known Ivette for 20-plus years and I am confident that she is the best person for Hillsboro City Council.

As a local business owner, Ivette knows the value of hard work and teamwork. She has built a successful business that families not only rely on, but trust that they will receive the utmost care. Her kind and loyal team is a product of the work environment she has created, which is based on respect, support and communication. She is a strong and thoughtful leader who is strategic and is always looking at the bigger picture.

What I appreciate so much about Ivette is her commitment to giving back to the community. Ivette gives it her all, whether that is volunteering for nonprofit organizations, participating at city events, or just taking the time to listen to a concerned community member.

Ivette is an outstanding individual and friend. If you want someone that is passionate, committed, and will always fight for what is best for the people of Hillsboro, vote Ivette Pantoja Avalos for Hillsboro City Council.

Lia Gutierrez, Hillsboro

Firefighters union backs Alcaire for Hillsboro

Your professional firefighters, serving the City of Hillsboro, strongly endorse Olivia Alcaire for Hillsboro City Council Ward 3, Position A. Olivia is a leader we need in Hillsboro and deserving of a second term.

Olivia will dig deeply into issues and work towards practical solutions that serve all the citizens of Hillsboro. For example, following two significant structure fires, Olivia made it her mission to find out what first responders on the front lines need to better serve you. She requested hard data and traveled to every fire station, sitting at kitchen tables, and listening to the needs of your firefighters.

Armed with firsthand information, Olivia was one of the city councilors who was instrumental in gaining additional staffing for a rescue unit opening soon. This unit will provide critical redundancy in the downtown core while enhancing the ability to transport patients throughout the region when the private ambulance service is unable to meet the need. It will undoubtedly save lives.

Please join us and vote to reelect Olivia Alcaire on Nov. 8.

Shane Rice

President, Hillsboro Firefighters Association

Great-grandmother supports Forest Grove school bond

As a longtime Forest Grove School District resident and taxpayer, I support the proposed School District 15 measure which will be on the November election ballot. [Ed.: School District 15 is the official designation for the Forest Grove School District, which also serves much of Cornelius and the unincorporated communities of Verboort, Gales Creek and Dilley.]

I have two children and two grandchildren who completed their elementary and secondary educations in the District 15 schools. Their Experiences prepared them for post-high school programs in college and vocational programs.

During the time that my son and daughter attended school, there were multiple building bonds passed by the voters to allow for increased population. Echo Shaw Elementary School was built when Cornelius School was bursting at its seams. The Forest Grove High School was built when the student population was overloading the old building. Following that came several other upgrades at each of the district's facilities.

Well, folks, we are at that place again. With the growth in the district, we need to go back to the drawing board, literally. We have needs to upgrade several buildings. And the major project is back again in Cornelius, at Cornelius Grade School. The building is aging and not adequate for the number of students and the program. There are several portable classrooms placed in back of the existing building. Students in these classrooms do not have access to services like those in the building. Like restrooms, for example.

The COVID experience has heightened our awareness of the need to upgrade all our school buildings for health issues such as increased airflow. There are additional programs in our schools, for example pre-kindergarten, that make some adaptations to classroom spaces necessary. All of these issues are addressed in the new building bond.

Some people may ask why a person who no longer has children in the district is supportive of another building bond. I am grateful for all those who supported the schools when my kids were in school. I would like to be a part of a community that helped the children prepare for their future and our future. And I hope the schools are ready when my great-grandchildren reach school age.

The schools are so important for the students. But they are also important for all of us.

Please support the Forest Grove School District bond measure on the November election ballot.

Carol Brown, Cornelius

Vote Malmedal for solutions to our problems

Carolina Malmedal is a local small business owner, wife and mother who knows how a healthy and safe community is good for everyone.

Carolina believes that crime is running rampant in our communities and the current administration has hamstrung law enforcement, making it nearly impossible for them to effectively protect law-abiding citizens. Carolina will work to introduce legislation that will give law enforcement the tools to bring law and order back to our neighborhoods.

Carolina will be a champion for our children's education, we have to give parents the ultimate say so in their children's education, and make the money follow the child. This includes public, private and home schools. She knows the importance of an unbiased education.

We all know how homelessness affects local communities with camps, panhandling, loitering, and crimes associated with them. Carolina knows that we have to address this issue head on to make changes to our current policies. She knows that many of the homeless need medical, psychological and substance abuse treatments. For too long, many of the current leaders have basically swept this issue under the proverbial rug.

I hope you will join my wife and I in supporting a real champion of our community and support Carolina Malmedal for Oregon State Senate.

Robert Edmonds, Blooming

Sollman has needed experience to serve

As we prepare to vote by Nov. 8, let us look at the candidates' previous record of achievement.

Janeen Sollman has been elected to the school board, served as our state representative for six years, and after being appointed a state senator, she is running for reelection.

She is supported by local and state police and she has been instrumental in trying to end the homeless crisis.

Her opponent has no governmental experience and no public record in any of the issues we face.

That's why I hope you join with me in electing Janeen Sollman to the State Senate from District 15.

Blaine Ackley, Hillsboro

Council challenger offers much for Hillsboro

Ivette Pantoja has been a close friend of mine for many years.

In all the years I've known Ivette, she's been an intelligent and driven woman who strives to be her best and make her community a better place. And for a person like Ivette Pantoja, that's more than just a figure of speech — she means it! It was therefore no surprise when she announced her run for Hillsboro City Council.

For those who don't know Ivette very well could say as a small business owner in Hillsboro, this was a natural progression for someone who wanted to be more involved in their community. But Ivette's commitment to her community shines through in her role as an employer and business owner, avid volunteer, and in her participation in community events.

Ivette has much to offer as a young Latina business owner and lifelong resident. Her fresh perspective and experience will no doubt make a lasting impact on the City of Hillsboro if given the opportunity.

Angelita Flores, Hillsboro

Independent is voting Malmedal for Senate

I've been a resident of Oregon since 1992. I've been a resident of Washington County since 2001. We love Oregon, and it's our home.

I'm a registered independent. I believe in the value to cross party lines and vote for the strongest candidate.

The election this fall, for Oregon, is critical — for the future of next-generation Oregonians. Enabling investment in business and growth is foundational to our economic stability and way of life. That investment is threatened by our significant and uncomfortable homelessness problem.

The City of Hillsboro's recent announcement to build a tiny home pod village is a start.

This fall, I'm supporting candidates with a platform on public safety, and creating real solutions for our homeless population. Carolina Malmedal fits the profile for that candidate.

Carolina has the passion as a long-term Oregonian, the personal investment of a small business owner, and the heart of grandmother wanting to build a safe environment for the next generation.

For Oregon State Senate District 15, Carolina has my vote!

Rocky Scales, Helvetia

Sollman fights to protect renters

As a renter in Sen. Janeen Sollman's district, I was shocked to see the mailer and television ad promoted by Republican candidate Carolina Malmadel — claiming that rent had gone up because of the rent cap legislation. Her characterization of the legislation and its impact is blatantly false and misleading to renters.

While my rent has gone up over the past year, and it is challenging, Malmedal and her Republican bank account have no plan to help renters like me. They will continue to help boost the profits of the conservative PACs who are funding her campaign.

I am grateful to live in Janeen Sollman's district and know that she is fighting for renters like me and my family.

Research shows that children who experience multiple moves when they are young are more likely to struggle in school. Landlord profiteering is causing families to keep moving and make more difficult compromises just to stay housed. Keeping families stable in their homes is crucial to our children's and the community's future success. Sen. Janeen Sollman fights for my children's future.

Renters need representatives who advocate for them and provide clear information about renters' rights — not misinformation about rising rents.

There is only one advocate for renters in the race for Senate District 15, and that is Senator Janeen Sollman. She is proudly endorsed by the Community Alliance of Tenants Action.

Join me in voting for Janeen by Nov. 8!

Rhys Ramey, Hillsboro

Malmedal will make Oregon great again

My name is Don Brown; registered independent, father of two and small business owner.

Our current leadership needs to change, we need someone that isn't afraid to stand up for Oregon and the values we hold deeply.

I once was proud to be an Oregonian and I now find myself wondering how great it once was and if we can get back there.

Janeen Sollman has been our representative for six years, and in those 6 years, we have seen the decay of our great State.

Janeen's votes on crime have made us less safe. Her votes on taxes have made our businesses suffer and our state unaffordable — and she left our kids behind by voting for a law that ended testing requirements!

I am voting for change. I believe Carolina Malmedal will be a great leader for small business, support our law enforcement, support our children getting a quality education, and that she loves our state as much as I do.

Don Brown, Laurel

Voting for Malmedal to put community first

As residents of Hillsboro, we are casting our votes for Carolina Malmedal for Oregon State Senate.

Carolina's hands on involvement in our community, through owning her own business, Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, Hillsboro Elks, Manufacturing Council, and Public Policy and Transportation Committee shows she wants the best for our community.

Carolina has tirelessly canvassed and spoke with residents' face to face for the past several months gathering insight on what her residents really care about. (crime, schools, rent, homelessness, taxes) She puts people first and has a plan.

Her opponent, Janeen Sollman, has voted against her community, voted against holding criminals accountable, voted against victims, voted to raise taxes on gas, groceries and housing, voted against a tax break for our seniors and voted to raise the cost of healthcare. We need a senator voting for us, not against us.

Vote for Carolina Malmedal; she will be a true advocate for those living in our district and all residents of Oregon. On Nov. 8, we urge voters in Washington County, District 15, to cast their vote for Carolina Malmedal.

Jim & Jennifer Adishian, Hillsboro

Sollman is a good friend and senator

I have known Janeen Sollman for many years. We initially met, via the Meals on Wheels People. Janeen as a volunteer, and me as a recipient. We became friends.

Time and time again, she has shown me the true meaning of friendship and I'm thankful every day for her.

It has also been my honor and privilege to experience her work in and for her community, her constituents, and our state. Janeen is tireless, dedicated, consistent, and truly cares about making the lives of all Oregonians better. She faces each new challenge with a positive "can-do" attitude!

I am endorsing her and know that we will all be better for having her continue as our Oregon state senator.

Linda Harris, Hillsboro

Oregon is upside-down; Malmedal will right it

Fellow Oregon Senate District 15 voters,

We desperately need different representation in Senate District 15.

Carolina Malmedal will be a driving force who works for the people. Carolina will stand up against the current policies that have devastated our neighborhoods, our children, and our pocketbooks.

Carolina will not go along with the status quo, which is hurting everybody.

A change of course must happen.

Here's what is up!

• Crime is up!

• Homelessness is up!

• Inflation is up!

• Fear is up!

Here's what is down!

• Our children's physical and mental welfare

• Our children's test scores

• Our children's hope and expectations

• Public trust in government

• Public trust in health authorities

All of these things and more are upside-down from what they should be.

One more thing is up!

The current Senate District 15 seat term is up!

Vote for Carolina, who will fight for our safety, our children, people in need, our neighborhoods and our pocketbooks.

Carolina for Oregon!

Warren Shields, Hillsboro

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