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The News-Times also hears from supporters of causes and candidates before the Nov. 8 election.

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. Submissions should not include profane or defamatory language. We may lightly edit submissions for style and clarity. We encourage writers to suggest their own headline when submitting a letter; otherwise, a headline may be generated based on the contents of the letter.

Former state rep, wife backing Stephenson for BOLI

To the voters of the state of Oregon:

We urge you, as voters of the state of Oregon, to cast your ballot for Christina Stephenson for our next commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries.

Christina is an attorney and fully equipped to hit the ground running, after 10 years of practicing labor law representing both employees and employers. Stephenson graduated from Hillsboro High School and the University of Oregon Law School in Eugene. We have been very impressed with our meetings with her.

Stephenson has gained support from a wide variety of groups, both employees and employers. Our area serves both farms and small and large business for the state of Oregon.

Please cast your vote with confidence for Christina Stephenson for our next labor commissioner.

Al & Jan Young, Hillsboro

Forest Grove mayor wants Wenzl to succeed him

I had the privilege of attending the Candidates' Forum last Thursday, which was conducted by the Forest Grove/Cornelius Chamber of Commerce. It reinforced my belief that we are in a win-win situation when comes to our options for mayor. Both Malynda Wenzl and Tim Rippe are more than qualified and either one will make you forget about whatsisname who is leaving office. But I will be voting for Ms. Wenzl, and these are the reasons. First, if Ms. Wenzl wins, Councilor Rippe will continue in that position for at least two more years and will continue supplying his expertise. Should he win, however, Ms. Wenzl's term of service ends and the city will have lost a very capable and active voice. Second, Ms. Wenzl is younger and offers an energetic voice to the conversation. She combines an understanding of council practice and city government with her unique view of the world. The argument that she holds a job and is raising a family is specious at best and, at worst, dog-whistles her gender. Third, while Mr. Rippe has a laudable history in the Grove, it doesn't match Ms. Wenzl's contributions as a teacher, mentor, cheerleader and role model. If we are serious about diversity, we have an historic opportunity to walk the walk. Again, we are an enviable position. Either candidate will serve Forest Grove well. My vote, however, will go to Malynda Wenzl. Thank you for your time, and thank you for allowing me to serve you as mayor for the last 13 years. Pete Truax Mayor, Forest Grove

Nurse, teacher backing Sollman for Senate

I have been honored to know state Sen. Janeen Sollman for six years.

In that time, Janeen has been a wonderful advocate for Washington County. Not only does Janeen advocate strongly for education, health, and environmental stewardship, she truly represents all the people of this area and listens to her constituents.

A few years back, a former co-worker reached out to me. Her son had a rare condition that could have been treated with early detection.. Because it was not detected, her son's condition was terminal. She wanted to know who could help with changing Oregon law to include the simple, life-saving test with standard newborn screening for Oregon babies.

I reached out to Janeen, and she was more than happy to help. Janeen co-sponsored House Bill 2987, and with the passing of this bill, Oregon will be able to protect our smallest of residents.

Janeen not only was more than willing to help my former colleague, she truly cared about them and their son. She made a difference.

Janeen is a champion of public schools and supporting education. She recognizes that career-technical education (CTE) can provide a strong foundation for many students and she supports expanding CTE programs. As both a mom of two children in the Hillsboro School District and a CTE educator in the public school system, this support is appreciated.

Janeen also recognizes that the diversity of Washington County is one of the things that makes it most beautiful. She strives to learn about the cultures and backgrounds of all residents, helping to be a voice for everyone.

As both a registered nurse and a public school educator, I fully endorse Janeen Sollman for the position of Oregon state senator representing District 15.

Erika Probst, Hillsboro

Don't blame immigrants for structural inequity

Immigrants are being scapegoated and abused by powerful people who should know better.

Immigrant labor built our country. Immigrant workers continue to do the dangerous, dirty and degrading jobs no one else will take.

Maybe we should take a look at the real problems.

First and foremost is income inequality. A small number of wealthy people and corporations control the vast majority of the wealth. Minimum wage in most parts of the country is so low, no one can live on it, thus the middle class is shrinking at an alarming rate.

But it seems to be much easier for some in power to ignore reality and heap invective on those least able to defend themselves. Shame on people who do this.

David Pauli, Forest Grove

Ivette Pantoja Avalos for Hillsboro City Council

Over the last few years that I have known Ivette Pantoja Avalos, she has shown nothing but compassion, understanding and guidance. She has helped her community of Hillsboro immensely by providing great care for families and creating jobs for people like me.

She is always the first person to help people, find solutions and be respectful. I admire her determination and her ability to always be there when you need help.

I am excited for Ivette and the journey she has embarked on. I fully support her, on her run for Hillsboro City Council and know she will be amazing at it.

Heidi Barrera, Hillsboro

Walk away from Ballot Measure 113

In just a few weeks, Oregon voters will be getting their ballots in the mail.

In addition to voting for a new governor, legislators, and members of Congress, Oregonians will face several ballot measures. There are always a bunch of bad ones, and Measure 113 is one of the worst.

Measure 113 amends the state constitution to punish legislators for 10 or more unexcused absences from floor sessions. Any legislator with 10 or more unexcused absences would be banned from holding office in the next term.

Measure 113 is designed to put an end to the legislative walkouts that have succeeded in stopping odious bills from passing. The majority party gets mad when the minority party stands in the way of ramming through their agenda and Measure 113 is seen as a way to clear the path.

This measure should offend anyone who cares about the exercise of freedom of expression and election integrity.

A walkout is one of the clearest forms of expression, and should be protected under the state's constitution. Perhaps more importantly, many constituents want their legislators to walk out if doing so serves those constituents. The legislators who walked out were serving their constituents effectively and were rewarded by being re-elected.

Measure 113 doesn't just punish legislators, it punishes the voters of their districts.

Eric Fruits

Vice President, Cascade Policy Institute

Principal, parent urges 'yes' on Forest Grove school bond

I encourage you to vote yes for kids on your November ballot. Our students deserve safe buildings.

As a parent and principal of Cornelius Elementary, I know how badly we need a new building. Cornelius was built in 1943. It costs a lot to repair an old building. For example, replacing the carpet in one room cost $10,000 due to asbestos abatement, which I couldn't afford.

Cornelius was built for 300 students, not our current 400 students. Portable classrooms are a temporary solution that don't add infrastructure. I currently have 12 classrooms sharing one set of restrooms. We have five lunch periods to accommodate all of our students.

Last year when a fugitive was hiding in the neighborhood behind our school, it was scary for our students in our portables. Keeping all of our kids inside our school would be safer.

If we don't replace Cornelius Elementary, we will have to add more portables. We will have more students sharing the same restrooms. We will patch and repair an old building. We will continue to have safety issues with our portables and easy access to the highway.

Please vote yes on 34-320 for safer schools for our kids!

Angella Graves

Principal, Cornelius Elementary School

School measure looks like just another tax increase

So here we are once again with another measure (No. 34-320). Don't get me wrong, I really do believe that education is the only thing preventing total chaos from collapsing this country of ours. I do have to ask, however, when is enough, enough?

I am a single senior living in a modest home and more or less on a fixed income like many other seniors in this community. The only part of fixed that might change is whether us seniors get a cost-of-living increase in our Social Security. Depending on the value of my home, the increase in my property tax statement, if this measure passes, will be between $500 to $600.

The thing is, I believe it is high time for this county to consider giving seniors a break. We no longer have children enrolled in classes in this district and by now have more than paid for our own education many times over. Suffice to say I am considerably annoyed that I am obligated to pay as much as say someone down the street with same size house and property and have two, three and possibly even more kids in the system.

So I ask you, is this the right time to be raising property taxes? With interest rates on mortgages increasing almost monthly, will there be foreclosures? The rent on apartments is insane, and dare we mention gas prices or the ever-increasing cost of buying groceries?

I am not asking anyone to vote yes or no on Measure 34-320, but when deciding, to consider others in this community who cannot afford or appreciate the consequences of an increase in their property tax.

Lin Vanderzanden, Forest Grove

Want accountability in Salem? Vote for Carolina Malmedal

Oregon is in trouble. We are faced with rampant crime, a rapidly growing homeless population, a failing education system, and rising taxes which threaten to force people out of their homes.

Voting for the same people that who have gotten us to this point will not solve the problems. Changing the downward trajectory of out state requires new leadership in Salem. In Senate District 15, we have the opportunity to elect Carolina Malmedal, a candidate with the will, knowledge, and business experience to attack the problems facing us and our state.

For someone to work to fully fund law enforcement and hold criminals accountable, vote for Carolina. For someone to bring forth fresh ideas to deal with our homeless crisis, vote for Carolina. For someone to work to improve our education system, and hold schools accountable, vote for Carolina. For someone to work to control taxes and make state agencies accountable, vote for Carolina.

Please join us in electing Carolina Malmedal to the Oregon State Senate.

Darell & JoAnn Lumaco, Hillsboro

Hillsboro needs Pantoja Avalos

Ivette Pantoja Avalos is the perfect candidate for Hillsboro City Council, not only because she brings diversity to the table. She is also a fierce leader, resilient and has so much wisdom. She fights for everyone; for people that come from all types of background and never gives up.

Ivette is the voice for the voiceless, she listens and takes into consideration peoples needs and individual situations. She's a great problem-solver and the voice of reason! She stands her ground and fights for what she believes; she never lets anyone dim her light.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Ivette for over five years now and I'm happy to call her not only my colleague but also my friend.

Ana Mandujano, Hillsboro

Setting the record straight on Sollman

I was disappointed to see Janeen Sollman's opponent spreading negative misinformation in the race for state Senate District 15.

Janeen supports keeping taxes affordable for seniors. It's also the duty of legislators to ensure the state can fund needed services while also having fair taxes for everyone.

The vote Janeen Sollman's opponent refers to was a procedural vote to skip the legislative process and bring a bill directly to the House floor for a vote. That concerned Janeen Sollman, as it would bypass public input and hearings, the process by which legislators can review the bill's financial and overall impact.

There was no information about whether the bill would have an income cap to distinguish between seniors struggling solely on Social Security and those with healthy stock holdings and other property. There was no information on how much the bill would cost the state, or what other services might need to be cut to fund this bill, some of which seniors depend upon.

Janeen Solman believes public input is absolutely critical to the legislative process and helps legislators create the best possible legislation with input from all sides and those most impacted. That's what responsible leadership looks like.

Brenda Buratti, Hillsboro

Hillsboro community organizer backs Sollman

I am proud to endorse Janeen Sollman to continue as Oregon's state senator for District 15.

I've known Janeen for about eight years now. We met during a Liberty Fit community walk when she was serving on the school board, and I've been bumping into her at community events ever since. She works tirelessly for the community, listens deeply, responds to her constituents' priorities, and is an extraordinary team player, collaborating, always quick to step up to help and to serve.

If you could see all the community programs Janeen helps with, it would leave you breathless.

Sen. Sollman is devoted to improving the community we all live in and love. With her 11 years supporting the Meals on Wheels program and most recently working with local law enforcement agencies to make improvements to Oregon's Silver Alert program for seniors, Janeen consistently demonstrates her empathy and advocacy for issues facing seniors, especially those most physically and financially vulnerable.

Since her eight years serving on the Hillsboro school board, Janeen continues to support and advocate for legislation which supports schools and education, particularly through her work on the career and college pathways steering committee, which creates bridges between the school district and local business and industry to help young students find their career path. It is always especially wonderful to see Janeen's tremendous ongoing support for the Hillsboro Schools Foundation.

Thank you, Sen. Sollman, for your dedication and devotion to improving our community for everyone. We appreciate you very much!

Cindy Cosenzo

Founder, Just Create Community

Former school board member's vote is for Sollman

As a 25+ year resident of Hillsboro, now living in Cornelius, I have known Sen. Janeen Sollman for many, many years, and she has always represented her community with integrity and grit.

As Hillsboro school board director, legislator and now state senator, she takes the time to get to know her constituents and always listens to learn. She understands that "listen" and "silent" have the same letters, and you cannot be successful at one without the other.

I have seen Sen. Sollman grow and persevere in her political career without compromising her integrity, values and morals.

Janeen shows up. She is one of the most engaged elected officials I have ever encountered — since being elected, she has hosted over 95 community conversations to meet with residents and hear their concerns and discuss policy changes that could improve our communities. She welcomes all parties to the table and is eager to learn about our priorities and needs.

Sen. Sollman's opponent, the extremely well-funded Carolina Malmedal, has been plastering my mailbox and television with dishonest and misleading attacks on her record. Honestly, it's almost laughable to compare reality with the stories Malmedal is pushing!

My fellow voters, I trust you will not be fooled by this dishonesty and make your own informed decision.

Please join me in voting for Janeen Sollman.

Jaci Spross, Cornelius

Another former HSD board member backing Sollman

I am so tired of negativity and dishonesty in politics.

Some candidates think our community can be bought. I am offended by the dishonest campaign claims being made by Carolina Malmedal, the challenger who has been given over $650,00 in campaign contributions by two GOP PACs to saturate our community with misleading attacks.

As someone who has known Janeen Sollman for over 20 years and worked in public service side-by-side with her, I know she lives the values of Senate District 15. She puts in the time. She does the hard work. She listens to us and represents us. And most importantly, she builds coalitions.

Don't be deceived by the misleading attacks from her opponent. Sollman is supported by local business and education leaders, police captains and safety organizations, as well as senior citizens. Her list of endorsements reflects the diversity of our community. Visit her website and see the depth of her experience and her priorities.

Our district can't be bought, especially by dishonest attack ads. If you want an honest public servant representing you in Salem, I invite you to join me in re-electing Janeen Sollman as our state senator.

Kim Strelchun, Hillsboro

Malmedal's claims strain credulity

I receive a Carolina Malmedal mailer almost daily and I am getting tired of the false implications they make.

If you take those mailers at face value, it would be understandable if you thought that this year the general election for Senate District 15 was a second Democratic Party primary.

Mrs. Malmedal's mailers mention support for values that liberal voters hold dear, abortion rights, gun control and environmental protection while frequently outright lying about her opponent. But on second glance, all of them are ambiguous and are written in such a way as to give everyone what they want while committing to nothing. A reader can walk away from her mailers thinking they know about her but in fact know nothing about her policy positions or party affiliation.

Let's look at her website.

More flash words and interesting blurbs that don't mean very much, and continued silence about a party affiliation. Most of the blurbs there sound laudable to liberals though! Why won't she just say it?

Because it's all a lie.

The Voter's Pamphlet is where she finally lets us have it. Republican with standard Republican credentials. Hard against crime, taxes are evil, endorsed by conservative PACs and special interest groups. Groups that have funded her 10-to-1 over her opponent. You don't get that kind of funding without obligations attached and votes expected.

Sen. Janeen Sollman doesn't hide her positions and isn't bought. Even with potentially controversial issues, she has never once tried to cover up her tracks and always has good reasons for her votes. She has always responded to me as her constituent, even when I was livid and she was willing to listen and negotiate. That kind of relationship and accountability are important and deserving of reelection.

With Carolina Malmedal, we don't know what we would be getting. An old-school Republican? A Trump sycophant? A RINO? An elephant wearing a donkey costume? I don't know.

What I do know is this: If we send her to Salem without knowing what her policy positions are during this critical juncture for our state, we would be buying into the reality distortion field where the facts are made up and the truth doesn't matter. We cannot afford that anymore.

Voting for a politician who won't own her policies is akin to jumping off a ledge because someone told you there was a lake down below. Once you are airborne, you can't come back.

Kyle Martin, Hillsboro


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