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Hey, legislators — give naturopaths their due

The Oregon Legislature is fighting passage of Senate Bill 734, a healthcare proposal that would ensure you have access to the primary care provider of your choice.

Naturopathic physicians make a significant contribution to the healthcare delivery system across the state. Over 800 licensed NDs provide primary care and preventative services, working in partnership with other providers for the best patient outcomes.

Annually, Oregon spends more than $20 million in taxpayer dollars to incentivize primary care providers to stay in practice, while at the same time leaving unchecked the system that is forcing clinic doors to close and leaving patients out of care.

• This injustice prevents many people from choosing the provider(s) they rely on for their healthcare.

n NDs in Oregon currently make between 40% to 60% less than all other primary care providers (PCPs), and are the only PCPs facing this wage discrimination.

• The cost is minimal. $1.5 million per biennium would cover the cost of paying 800 licensed providers a fair market wage.

With less than two weeks left in the legislative session, the Legislature needs to invest in increasing the state's available health care workforce by passing SB 734.

Dr. Tyler Keliiheleua, ND, Beaverton


Comparing Trump and supporters to Hitler and Nazis is hateful

Mr. Daniel Duron:

Sir, I read your letter where you equate President Donald Trump with Adolf Hitler and his supporters with Nazis ("Love of Trump bears cultlike similarities," June 5, 2019). You must know that Hitler and his Nazis killed over 6 million innocent men, women and children. Sadly, I read your letter on the anniversary of D-Day, where over 9,000 young American soldiers lost their lives in the water and on the beaches of Normandy to start the beginning of the end for Hitler and the Nazis.

Your letter is hate speech. You have caught the disease of demonizing those that disagree with you. Wise up! You and I are better than that.

Monte Akers, Hillsboro

Immigrants need driver's licenses, too

One of the things I love about being an Oregonian is that we truly care about one another.

As a third-generation Oregonian, my life's work has been to support the Spanish-speaking immigrant community. Immigrants make life better for everyone through their hard work.

The number-one priority for immigrants we've surveyed is to have access to a driver's license. [Ed.: Oregon law currently requires applicants for a driver's license to present proof of citizenship or legal residency.] A driver's license is essential to immigrant parents to assure their families well-being and contribute to the economy. House Bill 2015 ensures standard licenses are available to all who meet the requirements.

To drive legally is a core need for most Oregon families: to take their kids to school, commute to work, and care for family and neighbors. I don't know how we'd get by if I couldn't drive my husband to the doctor, pick up chicken feed for my neighbor, or drive to work.

Farming communities like ours thrive, in part, because we have welcomed people from all over the world to live and work here. It's what makes Oregon such a unique place.

Please urge your legislators to pass driver's licenses for our immigrant neighbors through HB 2015. It's Oregonian.

Bridget Cooke, Executive Director, Adelante Mujeres


Dollar General is not the kind of business Forest Grove needs

Forest Grove desperately needs a convenient new retailer for fresh, locally grown produce. But instead, we face the construction of a Dollar General store near homes and schools along Gales Creek Road, by Thatcher Road. A bad idea.

I live a mile from the proposed site and never heard anything about this from Dollar General. Word came via the neighborhood grapevine. Seems the developer must only notify home owners within 300 yards! How many Forest Grove residents, if any (had we been afforded timely opportunity to weigh in), would name Dollar General as a logical choice here, one block from the Plaid Pantry?

Scouting a Dollar General store last week, I found it dismal. Another generic chain store selling toiletries, soft drinks, frozen entrees, disposable butane lighters, tobacco, vaping products, plastic picnicware and foam pool toys. Big colorful stuff is piled eye-high on the sidewalk in front of the Dayton store.

So, is this the image of appealing, intelligent development the Forest Grove Chamber of Commerce might proudly feature on their website and promotional handouts? Hardly.

Bottom line? Forest Grove did not choose Dollar General. Corporate Dollar General chose Forest Grove. Why? Because that tiny lot is (very unwisely) zoned for mixed use. A perfect target of opportunity for a predatory company to drop another store wherever they can. 15,000-plus so far.

Please, speak up now! Hopefully it's not too late. Attend meetings. Contact your community leaders! Take noticeable action to oppose Dollar General's opportunistic intrusion here. We can do so much better.

Tom Waddingham, Forest Grove

Don't rush into approving store without traffic study

Cars have rear-view mirrors, but we don't use them to drive forward!

The traffic studies referenced in the staff report look at the past, but do not accurately reflect the current traffic conditions or future impacts of the Dollar General proposed development. These studies measure past traffic and don't accurately capture the impacts of the massive addition of housing developments off Thatcher Road, and the increased and consolidated number of students at the two school complexes served by the intersection. The proposed development will have a significant impact on a very dangerous traffic intersection, the junction of Highway 8 and Thatcher Road.

The reason Forest Grove has a planning commission is sometimes it is necessary to look beyond development standards and staff review, and use human common sense to evaluate the situation.

All it takes to see that the current intersection is not safe is to try to enter Forest Grove from Thatcher Road when the schools have let out or when commuter traffic is peaking. The line of sight for auto traffic coming from Forest Gale Heights and Highway 8 is very limited, and the jumbled vehicle traffic and pedestrian activity is very hard to negotiate safely.

Avoiding the death of one child or the elimination of numerous vehicle accidents is well worth the delay that would be necessary to complete this vital work. It is up to the planning commission to exercise common sense and demand that this work be done before any permits are issued or construction begun.

Dollar General should be required to fund a traffic study to accurately reflect the current traffic hazards during periods of rush hour traffic and school related traffic. A traffic circle should be studied, and if necessary, Dollar General should be required to bear the majority of the financial burden to construct it.

Paul Sansone, Gales Creek


Forest Grove's public health won't benefit from Dollar General

This is a copy of the Dollar General notice that was mailed to the nearby residents of DG. [Ed.: The letter-writer attached a copy of the notice from Dollar General, which describes the benefits that the retailer offers customers, including a range of brand-name products.] The recipient's name was blacked out and it was posted on a Facebook site, from which it was copied and given to me in hard copy.

My alarm at this notice is in the promotion of the branding partners mentioned in the content.

We have been guiding students away from these corporate food brands at Nana Cardoon since 2004.

We have on average 2,000 visits per year to our urban agricultural on farm learning center. We educate about healthy eating with Hands On and Hands In Food Préparation and thé art of enjoying those foods in the community of table.

We serve Pacific University, the Community School, Adelante Mujeres and spécial interest groups from public schools. We are also involved in on-farm classes and events for our wider metropolitan community.

I am alarmed that many of our current and former students and our community in general would even be presented with yet another presentation of convenience and snack foods no group should be eating, especially with the abundance of healthy and nutritious foods grown in our nearby farmscapes.

I work endlessly to spread the word about the agricultural and culinary strength that Forest Grove is developing, and I am frankly shocked that consideration of a store of this predatory nature is even being considered.

Please help build healthy community business partnerships by voting no on allowing a Dollar General store to build here.

Charlene Murdock, Owner, Foodways at Nana Cardoon

Johnson sides with special interests over constituents

It's time to end the pay-to-play politics in Columbia County and hold our representatives accountable! Far too long Sen. Betsy Johnson has been putting special interest groups above that of her own communities. Her most recent demonstration of this was when she aimed to cripple House Bill 2020. The bill would institute a cap-and-trade program in the state beginning in 2021, and gradually reduce emissions until 2050, but state Sen. Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, revealed a set of sweeping amendments to the cap-and-trade proposal.

The time before this, Sen. Betsy Johnson joined Republicans in voting against Senate Bill 608 and sided with the Equitable Housing PAC, one of her major donors with $20,000 in contributions and a special interest group of landlords that support no-cause evictions and unchecked rent increases.

For the same reasons U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez opposes coal puppet U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin is the same reason we should oppose paid-off Betsy!

"I have concerns, and that's why I say that our issues are not just left and right, but that they're top and down," Ocasio-Cortez said at a press conference held outside the Capitol. "I have concerns over the senator's chairmanship just because I do not believe that we should be financed by the industries that we are supposed to be legislating and regulating and touching with our legislation."

We can do better. Recall Betsy Johnson.

Thomas O'Hanlon, St. Helens

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