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Tom Beck stands out as best for Forest Grove City Council

Forest Grove is fortunate to have an excellent mayor and an outstanding council leading our city. Among the several impressive new candidates for the council, Tom Beck stands out as the person who is most qualified to lead the city in this period of growth and change. I have worked with Tom Beck both during his tenure as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Pacific University and as a member of the Forest Grove City Planning Commission, which Tom chairs. Tom Beck will bring to the city council his deep concern for the well-being of the citizens of Forest Grove, his unsurpassed understanding of budget and other complex numerical information, and his ability to work with others to develop the policy that promises to best serve the city. Please join me in supporting Tom Beck for city council.

Phil Ruder

Forest Grove

Boone has demonstrated her support for veterans

For the better part of the last decade, I worked with state Rep. Deborah Boone while she served as a member of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.

Our country was and is at war, and the work of this important committee is more critical to our veterans than ever before.

Rep. Boone demonstrated her concern for our veterans in areas such as veteran employment, education, health care and housing. In addition, she supported our state reintegration team in our efforts to support our returning National Guard, Reserves and active duty personnel.

With over 1,000 Oregon National Guard members currently serving in Afghanistan, it will be necessary to retain members of the House of Representatives who have demonstrated their willingness to support our veterans.

Rep. Deborah Boone is such a person, and I urge you to re-elect her as your representative from House District 32.

Jim Willis

Retired director, Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs

Vote for Truax for mayor

Peter Truax should be re-elected as our mayor of Forest Grove, and here are a few reasons why.

For decades, he has demonstrated his passion for the broader communities including Pacific University, the Forest Grove School District, and our senior citizens. He is willing to continue representing us with vast accumulated experience, knowledge and skill.

Pete serves as liaison to the Library Commission and to the Commission on Sustainability as part of his duties with the city council.

Pete represents us on the Metro Policy Advisory Committee, and will chair that commission next year as it offers input to the Metro Council. In addition, he is the incoming president of the League of Oregon Cities, and will have a voice with the upcoming 2015 legislative session on behalf of Forest Grove and the other 241 cities in Oregon.

Truax tells me he spends an average of 80 hours a month, including the eight hours for official council meetings.

Join me in a vote of confidence and appreciation.

Loren Waltz

Forest Grove

Mayors support vehicle registration fee

We depend on our roads every day. From commuting to work to going on a family outing, our transportation infrastructure plays a crucial role in our quality of life here in Washington County. Without it, we would be left motionless.

The challenge we face today is that our roads are aging and beginning to enter a state of complete disrepair, where no level of patching could fix them and they will simply need to be torn out and replaced. The gas tax, the primary funding mechanism for road repairs, cannot keep up with the increasing demand for maintenance as the supply and labor costs continue to rise. Furthermore, the federal gas tax has not been raised since 1993, meaning that we have to do more with less.

If we cannot find a cost-effective way to maintain our roads today, it will end up costing all of us in the end. For every dollar we spend on road maintenance today, we save ourselves $5 to $10 that we would have to pay in the future to wholly replace them. This only underscores the importance of finding a solution now.

Nobody wants to pay more in taxes, but there is a difference between a tax and an investment. If we are able to perform preventative maintenance today, we are able to care for our roads at a cheaper cost.

When you fill out your ballot this election, you will be asked to weigh in on Washington County Ballot Measure 34-221, authorizing the county to create a $30 vehicle registration fee for automobiles and a $17 fee for motorcycles.

As the mayors of Washington County, we ask that you join us in supporting this ballot measure as a sensible way to safeguard our investment.

Signed by the following Washington County mayors:

Jerry Willey, Hillsboro; John Cook, Tigard; Denny Doyle, Beaverton; Peter Truax, Forest Grove; Jef Dalin, Cornelius; Gery Schirado, Durham; Lou Ogden, Tualatin; David Hatcher, North Plains; and Bill Middleton, Sherwood

Kitzhaber is making a habit of saving lives

It is well known that Gov. John Kitzhaber was an emergency room physician for 14 years, where he saved lives. Earlier this year, he jumped out of his vehicle to rescue a woman in distress. Gov. Kitzhaber administered life-saving CPR, and the woman survived. What is less well known is that Gov. Kitzhaber, by accepting the Medicaid expansion to 100,000 Oregonians in January of 2014, saved 568 Oregonians lives this year. The landmark study on Medicaid and mortality by Benjamin Sommers, M.D., established that for every 500,000 people that get Medicaid, 2,840 deaths are prevented per year (“Mortality and access to care among adults after state Medicaid expansions," Benjamin Sommers, M.D., New England Journal of Medicine, Sept. 13, 2012).

Therefore, by simple math, if 500,000 people receiving Medicaid prevents 2,840 deaths per year, then 100,000 Oregonians receiving Medicaid will prevent 568 deaths per year. That means 568 Oregonians lives will be saved, this year, because of Gov. Kitzhaber's decision to accept the Medicaid expansion.

With Gov. Kitzhaber, saving lives has become a habit

Robert L. Seward, M.D.

Forest Grove

Measure 91 deserves “Yes” vote

In Oregon this November, we have an opportunity to be at the forefront of a historic shift toward common sense. At the same time, we have the advantage of being the third state to regulate, legalize and tax marijuana. The most compelling reasons for to vote to support Measure 91 have almost nothing to do with marijuana and everything to do with the harm that prohibition is doing to our communities. I’m not a pot smoker, but I’m urging everyone I know to vote “Yes” on Measure 91 because it’s clear the current approach has failed. Marijuana is here right now, all around us in the community. 40 years of trying to regulate marijuana using the criminal justice system has had little effect on its availability or demand. Arresting people for using marijuana has forced the economy underground into the hands of drug dealers and violent cartels. The criminal market pulls hundreds of millions of dollars in profits while paying nothing into our system. It operates with no safeguards for the product and sells with impunity wherever and to whomever it chooses, including teenagers. Measure 91 will refocus the police on what matters: keeping us safe. It will save money on enforcement and courts, while also generating new money for vital state services. Drug dealers on the streets will be run out of business by licensed, audited, properly-zoned stores operated by people who are background checked. Products will be tested for safety and potency and labeled properly inside child-safe containers. Tens of millions of dollars from taxes on legal marijuana will go toward schools, state and local law enforcement and drug treatment and prevention programs. Washington and Colorado have gone first. Legal, regulated marijuana is on sale in those two places. Traffic fatalities are down or flat in Colorado and Washington. Crime is down. Teen use is down. Both states have already collected tens of millions of dollars in new tax revenue. We aren’t voting on whether to allow marijuana into Oregon or not. It’s already here. This is a vote to either keep the decades-old, failed system run by drug cartels or try a new, common sense system of regulation and taxation in the hands of responsible adults. It’s an easy choice for me. Vote “Yes” on Measure 91.

Brad Reed

Forest Grove

Proud of job Starr has done for district

One of Bruce Starr’s strengths as our state senator has been his support of our local economy. Just last year, he voted for the largest tax cut for small businesses in state history. He has worked hard to ensure big companies like Nike and Intel are a part of our communities well into the future. He has pushed for the local infrastructure investments, like roads and bridges, which keep our economy healthy.

He believes good jobs help families provide for their needs and their futures, and helps fund essential state services. I’m proud to call him my state senator, and would encourage you to cast your vote for him this November.

Neal Knight

Cornelius

Riley’s record shows support of public education

Chuck Riley and Bruce Starr are extremely far apart in their voting records regarding education, yet Riley seems to be the only of the two to represent his voting record accurately. Chuck Riley voted for funding education every time it came up during his tenure with the Legislature, while Bruce Starr voted against it, except for a one-time boost.

Do we want someone like Bruce Starr representing our interests in Salem for public education when he obviously doesn’t consistently vote for it in the Legislature and doesn’t send his children to public school? Chuck Riley’s voting record speaks to his support of the public education system. He wants to represent me and my community in the Legislature in Salem. I support Chuck because he spends his time listening to constituents so he can help solve our local concerns and challenges around public education and other important issues. Claire Berger Forest Grove

Riley is the better candidate for the Oregon Senate

The other day I got one of those letters in the mail from Mrs. Bruce Starr. You know the kind of letter -- the one that looks like it was written by hand, but you know it went through a “Word Merge” so it looks personal (but the return address is from the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce). Mrs. Starr talked about how Bruce Starr supports education, and she felt badly about the “lies” about her husband. There are two problems: 1) Bruce Starr has consistently voted against public education funding except for a one-time addition to the education budget in 2014 when the bill was going to pass anyway; and 2) although every family has the right to choose how to educate their children, the Starrs chose private school over public school. Bruce Starr is not a public education supporter. Chuck Riley consistently supported education during his three terms in the Oregon House, and is the better candidate for the Oregon Senate.

Linda Erickson

Hillsboro

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