Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


Letters to the editor

Significant changes are needed at Pacific University

I do not hate Pacific University in any way; I traveled very far to attend Pacific, and at first it was worth my while.

Lately, though, the administration of this school has been forcing me to second-guess my decision. As my undergraduate career has progressed, the administration has altered the values of Pacific from ones I agreed with to values that seem to emphasize football recruitment, the sciences and increasing the student population so much to a point that the university I loved is nearly unrecognizable.

It feels as if the administration has forgotten the students that do not take part in sports or the sciences (or are not incoming students). I am definitely not trying to say the football program or the sciences are bad or do not deserve attention, but it is incredibly alienating to those of us who are not involved in those programs to see so much attention given to these programs when there is so much more to Pacific. It would be amazing to see the arts, among other programs, get even a fraction of the focus other programs receive, especially because there are some incredibly talented and bright students in attendance here.

We pay a considerable amount of money to attend Pacific, and the administration consistently and completely disregards the fact that the students at this institute are the integral part of Pacific University. Our voices, regardless of whether we are happy or not, should be not only heard but should be taken into serious consideration by the administration.

Lesley Hallick receives an ample salary to treat the students’ opinions as though they are not important, or at least so it seems. I feel as though a minimal amount that is beneficial is being done for the current members of the Pacific community, and it is absolutely necessary that something significant changes at this school.

Catie Cooper

Forest Grove

Terry has long record of strong service to county; deserves vote

I wholeheartedly support the re-election of Bob Terry as the commissioner for the Washington County Board of Commissioners, District 4. The politics and budget decisions the current board has approved has enabled Washington County to grow as the economic engine for the state of Oregon in the high tech industry, as well as such areas as diverse as agriculture and tourism.

Washington County is a dynamic, diverse county blessed with growth in both jobs and population. The county has pursued a controlled growth set of policies, coupled with prudently conservation policies which have enabled the county to provide services to our diverse population.

Commissioner Terry has owned Fisher Farms, a regional provider of value-added nursery stock, employing over 150 people with products sold throughout most of the United States.

He has a long history of service with various community and nursery industry associations. His community activities include past chair and president of the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce, chair and founder of the Oregon International Air Show, member of the Washington County budget committee for 14 years as well as serving on other boards and committees.

Commissioner Terry’s opponent (Elizabeth Furse) claims she is running because she wants to shift the “bias” on the board from land developers to environmentalism, favoring high-density living, alternative transportation, expanded social welfare and opposing the county’s proposed Event Center and Veterans Plaza at the Washington County Fairgrounds.

She has also spoken and written of tax giveaways and backroom deals being made; however, there there has never been any specifics given of what these tax giveaways and backroom deals are. Her election would launch a major shift from responsible economic growth to leftist social engineering, high taxes and anti-business policies.

Please vote for Bob!

John Leeper

Portland

Zone change violated county code

At the Washington County public forum March 24 during a candidate presentation, District 4 County Commissioner Bob Terry said the county does not rezone and redevelop residential property. But this simply isn’t the case.

On Jan. 15, Washington County approved a zone change on two residential lots to general commercial, allowing an expansion of the Mini Cooper sales operation into our residential neighborhood. This is a violation of the County Community Development Code and the comprehensive plan. Yet during the election rhetoric, Bob Terry plays the denial card.

Scores of neighbors testified in the county hearing, and were allowed two minutes each to present testimony. Without reading the submitted written testimony, the county approved the zone change. This is one of the reasons the county process is labeled as a backroom-deal practice, and why I don’t trust that Bob Terry has the community’s interests at heart.

I urge District 4 voters who care about bringing integrity back into our county’s operations to vote for Elizabeth Furse May 20.

David O’Guinn

Portland

Recent guest commentary was naive at best

Jason Miner’s “Guest Comment” (News-Times, March 19 issue) is, at best, naive on at least three counts: First, his viewpoint is single-issued, concerned solely with his own self-interest. Second, he does not demonstrate an understanding of the process involved in this particular instance of land use planning. Third, either he has not read the land use Court of Appeals ruling, or he is misrepresenting its findings.

First, Miner’s statements assume that everybody who disagrees with him operates from evil motive. He says that those with the loudest voices have something to gain. Well, the loudest voices have been “Save Helvetia” and “1000 Friends of Oregon.” He states that those who disagree are for “completely dismantling land use planning.” So, in his eyes, if you don’t agree with him and his cause, then your goal must be to destroy the land.

Second, Miner’s comment does not reflect an understanding of the extent and breadth of the process that went into the recent land use plan in the first place. Over a period of years, the Washington County Board of Commissioners heard from professional land use planners, attorneys and the testimony of a diversity of citizens. The plan was ultimately approved by three boards of county commissioners, by Metro, and by the Land Conservation & Development Commission.

But Miner says: “Quite simply, Washington County overreached in the land reserve process.”

Really? Where is the “overreach”? Considering this process, it is impossible to give credence to such an accusation.

Third, did Mr. Miner read the ruling of the Court of Appeals? It clearly states the LCDC made multiple errors in the approval process — not the Washington County Board of Commissioners.

Readers of this newspaper deserve to have a balanced point of view on this complex, many-faceted subject.

Roger G. Smith

Cornelius

Many questions regarding Salmonberry Corridor

Note: The following is an open letter to Rocky Houston, state trails coordinator, Oregon State Parks:

I just received the notification in regards to the Salmonberry Corridor planning meeting in Banks being postponed. As you establish a time and date for the new meeting, please take into consideration that many of the people who want to attend this meeting work during the day, so a meeting time of 10 a.m. to noon on a Friday is really not a good time to have a “town meeting.”

Also, I would like to see what kind of environmental impact studies you have done in your feasibility study. I am sure that any/all construction, demolition, and landscapes will have an impact on the streams, rivers, forest, timber and other vegetation. Also, with that I am sure you will have an accounting breakdown for what it will cost to adhere to the very strict guidelines the various state and federal agencies have established. In addition to the environmental impact studies, and in light that we are dealing with a high risk corridor for floods and landslides, what preventative measures are going to be taken to prevent additional damage that will make this multi-million (tens of millions, or hundreds of millions) project too damaged from being used in the future by another storm?

Also, I will be curious to know more about the recent Supreme Court ruling (regarding Rails To Trails ownership) and how it related to the Salmonberry Trail project.

I have cc’d Betsy Johnson on this e-mail, and would also like to hear her stance on this Supreme Court ruling and how it will direct/drive the Salmonberry Trail project. I also welcome Sen. Betsy Johnson to attend the next town meetings, so she can hear first hand from her constituents.

Josh Merritt

Buxton

Furse will help restore credibility and accountability to our county

I have lived in a Washington County neighborhood in an unincorporated area for the past 13 years, and I support Elizabeth Furse for District 4 County Commissioner. Elizabeth will help us restore credibility, honesty, and accountability to the conduct of our Washington County Board of Commissioners. She plans to follow the state laws and the county’s comprehensive plan to preserve farm and forestry land, and in the urban areas she supports building strong communities where people can live, work and send their kids to school.

A healthy economy requires safe and livable residential neighborhoods for our commercial, technical, industrial, medical and educational workers to live, raise their children, walk their dogs, safely cross the street and safely and easily access their homes. Elizabeth will stand up for families, preserve our open spaces, and work to build healthy neighborhoods.

I urge District 4 voters who care about bringing credibility, honesty and accountability back into our county operations to vote for Elizabeth Furse May 20.

Earl Cahoe

Portland

County decisions impacted our water rates

Our Washington County Commissioners made some decisions that were not openly debated that could affect your water rates.

Rob Baur of Clean Water Services (CWS) worked with a private firm to come up with a patented “unified fermentation and thickening” process, and has applied for a patent pending for a more refined process. That basic science and technology is good because it uses waste, and in the long run might help keep our drinking water clean.

CWS created a non-profit Clean Water Institute. That may be good. But are the profits made from patents going to reduce ratepayers’ water bills? Or are they going to be used as a slush fund to pay for travel expenses of the institute’s board of directors and the county board of commissioners?

Our county commission never had any public hearings about creating the Clean Water Institute. When it was brought up in a commission meeting, the commissioners just rubber-stamped it. There were no questions or public hearing to discuss using this money to offset rates or anything else.

As the CWS board, our county commissioners have the duty to make sure Intel’s 154 hazardous chemicals that are discharged into our sewage system are not harming public health and safety.

For 35 years, Intel emitted fluoride from its facilities without reporting this to DEQ. What, if anything, did CWS and the commission do about this? Why is fluoride such a big issue? Because the chemical compounds derived from it are extremely corrosive and toxic.

Bob Terry has not demonstrated that he is looking out for our community’s well-being when it comes to monitoring such health hazards from our high-tech industry. Because of Bob Terry’s lack of transparency and because of his attitude of “we know what we are doing; this is all OK or we wouldn’t be doing it”; and his “who are you to even ask?” attitude, I will be supporting Elizabeth Furse for county commissioner.

Elizabeth Furse understands the values of preserving the water, soil and air for future generations — as Native Americans believe, it is a moral, sacred obligation to care for Earth.

As our former representative in Congress, Furse has a proven track record of openness, looking at things with a sharp eye and listening to citizens.

Please join me and vote for Furse for county commission, District 4 (Hillsboro, Cornelius, Forest Grove, Banks and Gaston area).

Dale Feik

Forest Grove



Local Weather

Fair

73°F

Forest Grove

Fair

Humidity: 49%

Wind: 5 mph

  • 16 Sep 2014

    Cloudy 79°F 57°F

  • 17 Sep 2014

    Cloudy 81°F 57°F