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This week, we got letters about upcoming school board races, the Cornelius fire levy and Hillsboro Aero Academy

Grandusky the right choice for Forest Grove schools

I would like to add my voice (and vote) to those supporting Kate Grandusky for re-election to the Forest Grove School Board. She has proven over the past eight years that her commitment is first and foremost to the students of our district. Her long career as a special education teacher and current volunteer in the classroom gives her the perspective to keep this district moving forward in a progressive and inclusive manner. Smaller class sizes at elementary level, increased funding and access to school libraries, and restoration of Outdoor School are just three of her recent achievements. Her analytical abilities and vision for the future, coupled with her experience on the School Board make her the best possible candidate for this seat.

Paulina Kriebel, Forest Grove

We welcome submitted opinion pieces. Letters are printed as space allows and must be received by 9 a.m. Friday. All submissions can be sent via email to Editor Mark Miller at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or mailed to our office at 2038 Pacific Ave., Forest Grove, OR 97116. Longer letters can be submitted online.

Voters should say 'yes' to Cornelius levy

We are proud to support the City of Cornelius operating levy for the Cornelius Fire Department. This levy is a renewal of the previous levy and does not reflect an increase in personnel or programs.

Our city is growing, evidenced by the homebuilding going on in our community. In the next five years we are facing a population increase of about 3,000 at a minimum when the approved housing is complete. This growth will only increase the need for fire department services such as firefighting and emergency medical care.

The Cornelius Fire Department has a very successful intern program as a result of the previous levy. It is imperative that we maintain this valuable program for our residents and the interns.

Please join us in voting Yes on Measure No. 34-290 to renew the five year local option levy for our Cornelius Fire Department.

Ralph and Carol Brown, Cornelius


Rask understands schools' budget issues, needs

I am writing to recommend a vote for Dr. Bart Rask for Hillsboro School Board.

Dr. Rask has six children in the public school system and has personally seen the results of large class sizes, lost focus on the basics of education, unsafe classrooms both for teachers and students, and general unwise spending of education dollars.

By having children in the school system, it has given him access to real-life experiences affecting learning. From this, he has done the research to determine where money is spent and where the biggest issues are, and then he has developed solutions to these problems without requiring additional monetary resources.

He is the perfect choice for a School Board position.

Juanita Lint, Forest Grove

Retiring Hillsboro School Board member endorses Kim

As I prepare to retire from the Hillsboro School Board, I want you to know I believe See Eun Kim is the best candidate to serve in my seat. I am impressed by her dedication to attend board meetings to learn about the process and the work. She will be ready to serve our community on day one.

You simply cannot do this work without having a deep understanding of how school districts operate and the larger role of the state in education.

See Eun is an active, visible community member who serves on the HSD Community Curriculum Advisory Committee and Hillsboro Arts and Culture Council. She is passionate about children's issues, working as a court-appointed special advocate for children and actively volunteering in classrooms.

She is the only candidate in this race with invaluable classroom teaching experience. She will bring that perspective to the board.

See Eun is a collaborative leader who has spent the last year building relationships with other elected leaders across the county and region. We need that kind of cooperation in order for our district to build successful partnerships to better serve our students.

Please join me in voting for See Eun Kim!

Kim Strelchun, Member, Hillsboro School Board


Former HSD board member backing Rask

Bart Rask is the right person for Hillsboro School District Position 4.

Bart Rask is not a newcomer to our community. He has served the Hillsboro School District for over 21 years. He has skin in the game with six children attending Hillsboro schools. He knows the numbers and knows that we can do better in a historically positive economy.

Dr. Rask will allocate resources wisely and with priority. Dr. Rask is the right person at the right time for our kids.

Monte Akers, Hillsboro

Former member, Hillsboro School Board


Hillsboro Aero Academy disturbs Madras community

I have lived and farmed in Madras for 49 years. I am very curious to know how many other people who live in Madras and its neighborhoods are bothered by this new and very concentrated air traffic we are having.

The little bit of information I have been able to gather is that Hillsboro Aero Academy is training 250 overseas, commercial airline pilots in our Madras skies. The program originated in Hillsboro, moved to Salem, Eugene, Prineville and is now operating out of the Redmond airport. They use the Madras Municipal Airport to take off and land, and our airport receives minimal income from the Federal Aviation Administration for runway repair. Meanwhile, the residents of the area have to endure the persistent and repetitive disturbance of the small, medium and the huge double-engine plane that circles and stalls over our homes and countryside.

When I called Linda Kramer, who is in charge of the program in Redmond, and asked for information, she never returned my call. The Academy seems indifferent to the community's observation of Easter Sunday, or any Sunday, as this is their busiest flying time.

I wonder about the student who crashed at the Madras Airport and if the program jeopardizes the Erickson Air Museum, our local pilots and our aerial applications. I also wonder how a private company from wast of the mountains is able to make millions of dollars with this program and take advantage of the "folks" on the east side of the mountains. Why were they moved from town to town? Why aren't these pilots training in their own countries?

Big bank is being made at the expense of our rural area. We do have a voice, and I hope that many of you will call Linda Kramer, the Madras Airport and/or the Madras City Council to express your opposition to this disturbance.

Leslie Weigand, Madras

Local efforts improve foster care outcomes

Your recent coverage of Gov. Kate Brown's executive order to oversee the Oregon foster care system reinforces that we all share a responsibility for the well-being of children and their families in Washington County before they end up in foster care.

Here at Healthy Families, we work with families every day to help new parents navigate the ropes of parenthood and support positive child development. The work we do is proven to strengthen families and reduce the risk factors that can lead to children to being placed in foster care.

All parents want to provide and nurture their child in a positive, healthy environment, but sometimes they need a little extra support along the way. That's why Healthy Families proactively engages parents in our community, so that new parents like Maria and Tim, who had their second child last year, say things like this about their home visitor: "She's trustworthy and feels safe. Our son adores her. She helps us grow as parents and we feel she is very invested in our lives."

Healthy Families Oregon is creating brighter futures for children and families in Washington County.

Beth Dasher, Program Manager, Healthy Families of Washington County


Glencoe junior says See Eun Kim listens to students

I am Luda Isakharov, a junior at Glencoe High School, and am involved through programs such as student government, newspaper and the Hillsboro Youth Advisory Council. Because See Eun Kim hears us and resonates with our true needs and concerns, I am endorsing her for the Hillsboro School Board.

While advanced classes and class sizes are issues in our schools, the number one obstacle for students' success in my eyes is mental health needs and a lack of resources to respond to them. Family issues, friendship and relationship issues, battles with anxiety and depression, and stress caused by housing and food instability are things many students in the Hillsboro School District deal with.

As my school recovers from a recent suicide and loss of a classmate from cancer, the overload of existing resources in response to these events is clear. See Eun understands the increasingly complex social world for students and the pressure we are under, and she supports mental health care in schools. It is more important than ever for us to have a member on the school board like See Eun that understands the true weight of this issue and will prioritize dealing with it accordingly.

It excites me to see a candidate with new, innovative ideas to make sure we can be successful out in the world, as seen with See Eun's commitment to community-led mentorship. Furthermore, it is extremely concerning to hear the endorsement of outdated views and ideas of her opponent, such as arguing against learning about evolution and testifying against contraceptives in schools to the current school board.

From a concerned and connected student to invested voters, for the sake of me and my peers, please vote for See Eun Kim for Hillsboro School Board District 4 seat on May 21.

Ludmila Isakharov, Hillsboro


Former Hillsboro board member endorses Rask

As a former school board member, I'm writing to encourage my Hillsboro neighbors to vote for Bart Rask for school board. His personal qualifications are amazing — somehow he's managed to juggle a successful medical career (where I know him as a grateful patient) with raising six children, and still has squeezed in time to volunteer with the schools.

In addition, an important fact to consider is that he is the only candidate NOT unanimously endorsed by sitting board members. Ask yourself: do we want the schools run by an insider clique without any hint of dissent, or do we want a contrary voice on the board who will ask tough questions & openly challenge the status quo? Even if (like me) you do not agree with Dr. Rask on every issue, I think this factor is critically important.

Thus, please join me in endorsing & voting for Bart Rask for the Hillsboro school board.

Erik Seligman, Hillsboro

Former member, Hillsboro School Board

Hilhi grad says Rask is man for the job

When I think of Bart, I think of someone who is dedicated to the Hillsboro community and committed to supporting the future of its students.

Dominique Mims, Beaverton

Hillsboro High School grad 2010


Grandusky should return to school board

I support Kate Grandusky's election to serve another term on the Forest Grove School Board. Kate has shown herself to be honest, knowledgeable, and caring in her service to Forest Grove schools and as a past teacher brings to the board experience and expertise critical to making the best decisions for families and their children.

Kate has shown remarkable courage in making hard budget, administrative, and staffing choices in an environment of massive disinvestment in education. She always keeps in mind how we can best serve our most valued community asset...children.

Kate Grandusky gets my vote for the school board because I can trust her to make decisions that best serve the needs of Forest Grove. She has worked well for us in the past and will do so in the future.

Claire Berger, Forest Grove


Forest Grove School Board member weighs in on Hillsboro race

It gives me great pleasure to be able to endorse Dr. Bart Rask for Position 4 on the Hillsboro School Board. I have always been impressed by his visionary, no nonsense straight-forward approach to leadership. He has a great concern for the greater good. I have sat through town hall meetings with Bart and had several conversations with him and have been impressed with his knowledge of the issues and his eagerness tIf i get a o improve the schools. Bart understands the complexities and the challenges of the school system and has the dedication and understanding to tackle problems and find solutions where they are most needed. Bart has children in the schools and has first-hand knowledge of what must be done to improve educational outcomes for all students.

Hillsboro School District citizens should support Bart Rask for school board. He has the leadership, the experience, the vision, and the passion for education that Hillsboro needs.

Fred Marble, Forest Grove School Board

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