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This week, readers write in about legislative action, a dangerous stretch of highway and more.

Thanks to lawmakers for backing wage increase

Rep. Rob Nosse and Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward deserve a round of applause for taking action during the 2019 legislative session to increase wages for Oregon's Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). The need to invest in these caregivers was greater than ever, and Rep. Nosse and Sen. Steiner Hayward took on the challenge and got the job done.

There are over 30,000 Oregonians who experience intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD).These children, teens, and adults rely on DSPs to provide them with 24-hour residential care to maintain safe, healthy, and independent lives.

DSPs perform physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging work — yet the average hourly wage was below $14, which resulted in increased turnover rates and an inability for employers, like Albertina Kerr, to retain and compete for the best employees. Oregon's DSPs needed our legislature to invest in them, and thankfully they did!

DSPs are some of the most dedicated and loyal professionals I know. They demonstrate patience, compassion, and a high level of attention to detail every day, while providing critical services for people experiencing I/DD. They empower our clients to lead self-determined lives and reach their full potential.

DSPs deserve to feel valued for the important work they do, and thanks to the support of Rep. Nosse and Sen. Steiner Hayward, they will!

Rep. Nosse and Sen. Steiner Hayward listened when we came to the Capitol and agreed that the time to invest was now. Thank you both for supporting House Bill 5026 and giving Oregon's DSPs an overdue wage increase.

Jeff Carr

Chief Executive Officer, Albertina Kerr

Highway 8 has become 'Blood Alley'

Another life lost at the price of not doing anything.

The bloodstained area between Hillsboro and Cornelius should come under the 2017 Oregon's guidelines for safety corridors. But that won't happen anytime soon because of a pattern of years of filibustering.

I've learned through life by experience that anything and everything, especially the protection of health, safety and the environment, that is brought before our state and local government is influenced by the greed of special interests that pollutes the minds of those that we elect to protect us, that even common sense is overruled.

As a quote from a legislator in Hillsboro, he said it would cost too much money.

My article is in memory of a neighbor that just gave her life at the intersection of 341st Avenue. [Ed.: Leslie Schmadeke was struck and killed on Tualatin Valley Highway near Northwest 341st Avenue last Tuesday, Jan. 14.]

I hope it wasn't in vain.

Carl Calkins, Hillsboro

Yes, Trump does deserve to be impeached

In reference to Joe Turner's letter on the opinion page Jan. 15, 2020: Yes Mr. Turner, I agree that President Donald Trump is a total narcissist and a most despicable, poor excuse of a human being. That alone should be sufficient cause for impeachment, but hey, that's just my opinion. Furthermore, near as I can tell, Trump is not being impeached for "quid pro quo." If it were to have a name, it should have been called extortion.

Refer to Joe Turner's letter to the editor, published Jan. 15, 2020.

First article of impeachment: abuse of power. Trump solicited interference by a foreign government in the 2020 election (cheater) and placed a hold on military and other aid to Ukraine until they complied with his demand for an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden. Oops, he got caught!

Second article of impeachment: obstruction of Congress. Refusal on his part to release requested documents to the congressional hearings in the House and demanding those in his administration to ignore congressional subpoenas.

Our founding fathers specifically established safeguards within the Constitution to protect the country from wannabe kings, and impeachment serves that purpose.

If the Republicans in the Senate continue to enable this dangerous individual with a quick charade of an acquittal, then say goodbye to what America once was. If they continue to put party over country, please vote them out.

Lin Vanderzanden, Forest Grove

'Operation Christmas Child' shows love, care

I am writing to thank Forest Grove residents for sharing the true meaning of Christmas with children in need this past holiday season.

Because of the generosity of donors in Forest Grove and across the United States, Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan's Purse, collected more than 8.9 million shoebox gifts in 2019. Combined with those collected from partnering countries in 2019, the ministry is now sending 10,569,405 shoebox gifts to children worldwide.

Through shoeboxes — packed with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items — Forest Grove volunteers brought joy to children in need around the world. Each gift-filled shoebox is a tangible expression of God's love, and it is often the first gift these children have ever received. Thanks to the generosity of donors, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 178 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories since 1993.

It's not too late for people to make a difference. Though drop-off locations serving Forest Grove are closed until Nov. 16-23, 2020, information about year-round volunteer opportunities can also be found at samaritanspurse.org/occ or by calling 253-572-1155.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this global project — many who do so year after year. These simple gifts, packed with love, send a message to children worldwide that they are loved and not forgotten.

Dana Williams

Operation Christmas Child

Boone, North Carolina


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