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The News-Times also publishes a response to a previous letter, thoughts on the district attorney's race, and more.

Editor's note: Have a letter to share? Email your thoughts to Editor-in-Chief Mark Miller at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Letters should be no more than 400 words. All submissions must include the name and hometown of the author. Commercial solicitations and campaign announcements will not be accepted as letters to the editor. Submissions should not include profane or defamatory language. We may lightly edit submissions for style and clarity.

Stand up for vulnerable seniors in Forest Grove

Adults living in long-term care facilities are among the most vulnerable people in Oregon, and COVID-19 has exposed long-standing problems in the long-term care industry.

Sadly, as I've learned in 11 years of volunteering with the Oregon Long-Term Care Ombudsman program (LTCO), residents in nursing homes, assisted living, residential care, memory care, and adult foster care homes too often receive inadequate care and find their rights and dignity disregarded. Many don't know their rights, much less how to defend themselves.

The LTCO program, which provides free, confidential advocates for those residents, depends heavily on trained volunteers who visit assigned facilities regularly, observe, get to know residents and their concerns, investigate, and work to resolve complaints. Throughout the pandemic, they have worked remotely on behalf of residents.

But unfortunately, fewer than half such facilities in Oregon have ombudsmen volunteers assigned, and only one volunteer (from Hillsboro) is assigned in Forest Grove, which has 14 such facilities besides foster homes.

Please consider becoming an advocate for your community's long-term care facility residents! It's important work, sometimes life-saving. The training is extensive and staff and fellow volunteers provide continuing support. You could mostly set your own hours (at least 16/month), have a say in your facility assignments, gain valuable knowledge, and meet friendly, interesting new people.

To learn more, go to https://www.oltco.org/programs/ltco-about-us.html or call 800-522-2602. To volunteer, call and ask for our volunteer recruitment specialists.

If you or someone you know needs help with an issue or concern in a long term care facility, simply call the same number, 800-522-2602, and request it.

Sally Carter

Recruiting Volunteer for Washington County, Oregon Long-Term Care Ombudsman

Time for a new approach to criminal justice in county

I'm really excited that Brian Decker is poised to be our next Washington County district attorney.

His commitment to community safety is backed up with solid experience. As a federal prosecutor, he's successfully prosecuted big cases including gun trafficking, destruction of natural resources, and public corruption.

Decker also shares my concerns about crime rates rising in our area and waning public trust in the office of the current DA. Here in Tualatin, where I serve on our City Council and on the board of the Tualatin Community Police Foundation, our trust in our police force is high. We have engaged in community conversations and invested in programs for community connection and transparency that have helped us maintain that public trust. Brian Decker would bring those values to the office of the Washington County DA.

As a licensed clinical social worker who has worked with victims of crime, I understand that crime prevention is a key solution that gets to the root of public safety.

Brian Decker understands that addiction, behavioral health challenges, and poverty drive crime. His commitment to addressing crime proactively will reduce costs to our community in real dollars, safety and, most importantly, lives.

Bridget Brooks

City Councilor, Tualatin

'Pacific Speedway' presents problems in Forest Grove

I am happy to see more police presence/speed control on Pacific Avenue through Forest Grove.

A stretch of Pacific Avenue between Highway 47 and Mountain View Lane could be appropriately renamed "Pacific Speedway." The 40 mph speed limit should be fast enough, and should continue to be strictly enforced as a solution to the speed problem.

However, there is another problem along Pacific Speedway: It is nearly impossible to take a left turn out of anywhere along the Pacific Speedway. While the center turning lane certainly helps (at least a driver can get halfway across), I have heard of accidents in that lane where, in one case, that lane was used as a passing lane!

For left-turners, there are alternative routes to get onto Pacific Avenue, but those routes involve going out of one's way, and with the current price of gas, extra miles can matter.

Perhaps, as a solution, the city could consider installing a stop light somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Speedway to give left-turn drivers a chance to get across? I'm not a traffic engineer, so there may be other solutions that could be considered.

I encourage the city to study some, and to continue to enforce the speed limit on the Pacific Speedway.

Teri A. Bjorn, Forest Grove

Last week's letter mischaracterizes law

The Florida law that Flynn Williams seems so distraught over (letter to the editor published March 31, 2022) does not include the words "gay" or "transgender" and it is dishonest to claim that it does.

Read the letter to the editor by Flynn Williams published March 31, 2022.

It simply states that in kindergarten through third grade, there should be no discussion of gender or sexual identification. If Williams thinks it is so important to be able to discuss these things with schoolchildren, he should be teaching middle school, not kindergarten.

Learning how to read and count and get along with others are far more important for 5- and 6-year-olds than learning about the teacher's domestic relations and sexual orientation.

Jeff Keller, Hillsboro


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