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Letters to the editor

Measure 91 is a bad idea

For all of the voters in Forest Grove and Washington County, my plan is to encourage a resounding vote of “No” on Measure 91 on the November ballot. The measure would open the door to recreational marijuana in Oregon and make the state one of only three in the United States to allow anyone older than 21 to possess pot.

First, from a recent article in the Oregonian, I quote: “There are adverse health effects of smoking marijuana and the costs of treating these effects.” The American Lung Association says marijuana use more than doubles a driver’s risk of being in an accident, and marijuana smoke deposits four times as much tar into the lungs as do cigarettes. An increase in marijuana use will cause an increase in death caused by cancer. In Oregon, tobacco kills approximately 6,000 people per year and costs $900 million in health costs per year. Is it right for Oregon to trade lives of pot smokers for revenue?

Second, about two years ago, a circuit judge from Washington County drug court lectured the Forest Grove Rotary Club on problems and issues in the operation of his court. When asked about the legalization of marijuana, his answer was, “It would be an amazingly stupid thing to do.”

Third, why should we be concerned? There are 2,000 students in Forest Grove High School and 4,000 students and staff on the Pacific University campus. These students are, for each year, guests of Forest Grove and Washington County. Pot must not become available for recreational use for these students as they become 21 years old.

A personal note: I am 94 years old and don’t smoke. My brother made it to 95; he did not smoke. My grandfather, 92, did not smoke. But my father smoked, and he died from it at 82. What a price to pay for tobacco use, and marijuana is worse.

For those of you who don’t know me, I graduated from Pacific in math, was a Navy officer in World War II, came home to Forest Grove, worked for 36 years in administration at Pacific University, was district governor of Rotary from 1979 to 1980 and live at Jennings McCall.

George Horner

Forest Grove

Riley would strongly advocate for Oregon’s vets

“Veterans are people who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America, for an amount up to and including their life.” — Jose N. Harris

I am one of nearly 317,000 Oregonians who are veterans, so it is important to me that Chuck Riley, candidate for Oregon Senate District 15, has made support for our veterans one of his top issues. As a veteran himself, Chuck knows its importance first-hand. He demonstrated his commitment when he fought hard for us on the Veterans Affairs Committee as a member of the Oregon House of Representatives. Since the Oregon Legislature oversees the important programs and services of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs, we need to have Chuck there advocating for us.

Let’s join together to elect Check Riley — former legislator, veteran, proven leader — to the Oregon Senate.

Paul Erickson

Hillsboro

There are big problems on B Street Trail

Several years ago, Metro spent a lot of time and money planting trees in the wetlands just south of 16th Avenue to the east of what is known as the B Street Trail. Now those trees have grown up, and with them problems have developed.

Transients inhabit this forest. They live under the Gales Creek bridges, and they have created a very unhealthy atmosphere — particularly for women and young children. People are frightened, and their use of the trail has stopped.

The warm, dry months of summer bring men and an occasional woman out of this area early each morning. They walk or push or ride bicycles wearily past my house. Sometimes, they carry large bundles of cans, or haul a dog in a small trailer behind a bicycle. They don’t smile. They don’t speak when spoken to. All day, they trickle back with plastic bags of whatever. Gales Creek has become a disposal canal for their trash.

As soon as the heavy rains start, I no longer see these people, because the trail is flooded and their camps become uninhabitable. Obviously, this is a seasonal problem, but during the summer months is when people wish to use this recreational area, and many are prohibited from doing so by a rather unsavory element.

I suggest that the city ask Metro to mow the tall grass between the rows of trees, and thin the trees to expose potential campsites. Trees abutting the trail along the eastern perimeter should be removed to allow an open space of at least 30 feet. The western perimeter should be cleared of some trees and should be mowed clean. Periodic police inspections of campsites or spaces under bridges spanning Gales Creek should be initiated, and persons found “camping” in those locations should be asked to leave. Refusal to do so should result in a citation for vagrancy.

The city should initiate a public meeting, and ask those who use the trail to suggest ways in which this area could be enhanced. I believe government can learn a great deal from those directly affected, if they will simply listen.

Aldie Howard

Forest Grove

An open letter to residents of Forest Grove

On behalf of the Friends of Historic Forest Grove, I want to thank you for your enthusiastic support during our “September to Remember.” September began with the long hoped for news that the city of Forest Grove would join with FHFG as partners in the A.T. Smith House project. One week later, we hosted a chamber of commerce luncheon at that same house, featuring historically-costumed hosts and hostesses.

The next weekend found us at the Corn Roast, helping youngsters of all ages stencil muslin squares for a historic quilt destined for the Smith House wall. On the last Sunday of this extraordinary month, Friends hosted one of the most memorable and well-attended Historic Home Tours ever.

Almost every day saw volunteers working together to support each of these activities, demonstrating how much our town means to each of us. More than one person observed that “everyone seems to be catching the fever” — a growing excitement about Forest Grove and its history.

Let’s all catch that fever, and keep it going!

Diane Morris

President, Friends of Historic Forest Grove

Howard devoted to making Forest Grove a better place

I ask all voters to join me in voting for Aldie Howard for Forest Grove City Council. Aldie has been a contributing citizen since attending Pacific University and graduating after serving as student body president. With breweries and wine tasting downtown these days, we should recall that Aldie led the drive to end prohibition in Forest Grove in the 1970s. Soon thereafter he was elected city councilor.

Aldie is running for council not only based on past accomplishments. For some of his many visionary ideas for improving and strengthening Forest Grove, please see aldiehoward.com. From equitably and affordably upgrading our transportation infrastructure (add sidewalks and repair streets) to creating a true community center to transforming Forest Grove into the Hydrangea Capital of America, Aldie is thinking about and devoted to making Forest Grove a better place to live, work and get an education.

Let’s invest our votes in candidate Aldie Howard, then watch for an excellent return on investment from councilor Aldie Howard.

James Draznin

Forest Grove

Pete Truax offers superb leadership

Pete Truax is a solid, proven leader and I urge voters to re-elect Forest Grove’s mayor, who has worked tirelessly for Forest Grove.

With his experience and knowledge, he has created partnerships that benefit every aspect of our community, notably the new jobs created with Chaucer Foods and Old Trapper’s. The improvements at Thatcher Park, along with the impressive expansion at the Lincoln Park “complex” show that Pete is effective at using collective energy to benefit us all.

As mayor, Pete’s active involvement with the Forest Grove/Cornelius Chamber of Commerce and Rotary, among others, provides valuable experience and knowledge to our community. Let’s support Pete and continue to benefit from his leadership.

Jarrod Sherwood

Newberg

Gallegos served district’s constituents very well

Joe Gallegos, who is running for re-election to the legislative seat for the 30th District in Washington County, is an intelligent, compassionate, experienced man with the interests of his constituents uppermost in his mind.

In his first term in the Oregon Legislature, Joe’s work has served employers and employees alike. Small companies have been able to have easier access to capital. Tech companies have been able to create more jobs at a living wage. And, through Joe’s efforts, more job training programs have been made available for Washington County workers.

In addition, Joe was able to get an additional $10 million in funds for Washington County schools from the 2013 legislative budget. He’s sponsored legislation that will allow students to have additional learning opportunities during the summer. And, thanks to Joe, more low income and first-generation students are able to attend community college.

Joe’s priorities have served his constituents very well. He, and we, deserve to have him represent us in the Oregon Legislature for a second term.

Jack Timmons

Beaverton

Chuck Riley will work for working families

Chuck Riley is running for Oregon Senate this year against the Republican, Bruce Starr. Although there are many reasons why I’m supporting Chuck Riley, one important reason is because Chuck Riley is the candidate who will work for working families and small businesses.

I’ve spoken with Chuck about his plans for Washington County, and they include solutions for helping our small businesses. His plan to expand access to capital and loans will make it easier for local small businesses to thrive in our community. He also wants to give local companies the first opportunities at state contracts, so we keep our tax dollars right here in Oregon.

Chuck Riley will also work to make sure corporations pay their fair share of taxes. We need an economy that works for everyone, not just large corporations and the wealthy. That’s why Chuck Riley wants to close unnecessary tax loopholes for big corporations that don’t need them.

I support Chuck Riley because I know he supports working families. That’s why you should vote for Chuck Riley this November.

Jim Davis

Hillsboro

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