Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


Letters to the editor

Police, emergency responders appreciated for their service

The Forest Grove West Tuality Habitat for Humanity ReStore would like to extend thanks to the Forest Grove Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Forest Grove Fire & Rescue and the other agencies involved in the response to the unfortunate situation that occurred at our neighboring business April 9 (“Robbery suspect also murder convict,” News-Times, April 16 issue).

The fast, efficient and professional response was reassuring to the employees, volunteers and customers in our store at that time and during the time we had to remain in our building.

The citizens of Forest Grove and western Washington County are well-served by our police, fire and EMS providers and appreciate the fine level of protection they provide.

Diane Wiley

Manager

Forest Grove Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Resolution of land struggle no thanks to Chairman Duyck

Washington County Chairman Andy Duyck does not deserve credit for the “Grand Bargain,” the resolution of our five-year land struggle.

In 2008, Chairman Tom Brian and Duyck directed staff to deviate from state law and customize developers’ plans for our urbanization. Farms in the Tualatin Valley Irrigation District got extra credit. The use of an outdated soil model also helped pick prime farmlands. The county was the economic engine; hubris and power combined to form magical thinking: the system would OK whatever “we” wanted. Duyck would deliver the farmers and Brian would finagle local governments.

This done deal was presented to the public; there was not real citizen involvement. Hearings were theater. As Brian retired to the development sector, he and now Chairman Duyck obtained commitments from a majority of commissioners and Metro councilors. Metro and the Land Conservation & Development Commission approved the plan, even though they had the same information the court got. Nine appeals were lodged.

Eighteen months before the court ruling, 1000 Friends and Save Helvetia were invited to settlement talks by Hillsboro’s mayor, but these were halted when Duyck refused to participate. A year and a half later, the Court of Appeals found the plan violated state law; a shock to the state’s economy. Several representatives at the Legislature amended a bill to seek resolution. Duyck and Metro’s Tom Hughes cried foul for a few days. State Reps. Clem and Unger forged a new map to fast-track lands to be urbanized now, urbanized later, and protecting several thousand additional acres of farmland.

Duyck was silent at that Sunday meeting in Hillsboro. All governments were required to submit consent agreements to the governor, cautious about state intervention into Washington County’s affairs. Duyck had sided with special interests, had staff deviate from state rules, abused citizen involvement, bent public meeting laws, compromised government transparency, declined to voice his conflicts of interests, contributed to a climate of appeals, and in so doing delayed development while spending millions of taxpayer dollars.

Recently asked what he would do differently, he said he would do the same, but remove the court from the process and go directly to the Legislature for an up or down vote. This “taxmail” would assure Washington County getting its way.

Chairman Duyck, you deserve no credit for the resolution of the reserves land struggle, but you did cause it.

Fact check this at savehelvetia.org under “Making our Case, Testimony.”

Robert Bailey

Helvetia

Furse not being truthful about role in MAX expansion

The only truthful statement Elizabeth Furse has made about transportation is that the planning process takes a very long time. In that truthful statement, she demonstrates the dishonesty in her claims to have been responsible for bringing MAX to Hillsboro. Furse is playing the part of a politician who lacks credibility and employs tactics to take credit for the hard work of others.

Let’s examine the facts: The decision to build light rail in the metropolitan area was made in 1978 when the Mount Hood Freeway project was cancelled. Furse did not get to Washington, D.C., as the congressional representative for the district that includes Washington County until 1993 — 15 years later.

The construction funds came from the aforementioned cancelled Mount Hood Freeway project, and 83 percent of the funds for the light rail project came from the federal Urban Mass Transportation Administration — now called the Federal Transit Administration. The initial rail lines began operations in 1986 — seven years before Furse arrived in Washington, D.C.

In 1989, Hillsboro asked to be added to the line. In 1990, the citizens voted for and approved a bond measure for funding. Furse still had not arrived in Washington, D.C., and she is now claiming she obtained the funding. Construction from Beaverton to Hillsboro began in 1993 — the year Furse arrived in Washington, D.C.

Where are all her years of planning she acknowledges are absolutely necessary for the transportation projects she talks about?

Here are the real facts about who brought MAX to Hillsboro: Let’s just state it directly, it was the Hillsboro mayor at the time, Shirley Huffman! Mayor Shirley Huffman was the one who wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. Huffman convinced them and wore them down and they finally agreed to her steadfast demands and reasoning.

TriMet’s general manager (Fred Hansen in 2000) stated: “We wouldn’t be standing here (Hillsboro Central Station) if it hadn’t been for Shirley; we’d be back at 185th looking to the west.”

TriMet added a plaque in 2000 at the Hillsboro Central Station honoring her work on the project. The plaque reads: “Shirley’s vision and leadership brought MAX to Hillsboro, linking the region and its people together.”

Now, Ms. Furse, stop acting like an unethical politician by taking credit for the hard work of others. Run your campaign on your own accomplishments.

Lila Ashenbrenner

Hillsboro

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

Furse will help restore county’s credibility and accountability

I have lived in a Washington County neighborhood in an unincorporated area for the past 13 years, and I support Elizabeth Furse for District No. 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 No. 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

Commissioners’ decisions could affect your utility rates

Our Washington County Commissioners made some decisions that were not openly debated that could affect your rates for sewage service. Rob Baur of Clean Water Services worked with a private firm to come up with a patented “unified fermentation and thickening” process, and has applied for a patent for a more refined process. That basic science and technology is good because it uses human waste for fertilizer.

However, on Nov. 3, 2009, Clean Water Services incorporated a non-profit “charitable” organization and named it Clean Water Institute, doing this without public input or hearings. Clean Water Services (Unified Sewerage Agency) took ratepayer money as a loan to start the Clean Water Institute. In April 2010, Mr. Bill Gaffi, the executive director of Clean Water Services and also director of the Clean Water Institute, said in a public meeting that the estimated eventual revenue from the licensing agreements could be $100 million to $200 million or more. He also said the institute can receive income but must reinvest it into programs or activities that support the institute’s mission, not the mission of Clean Water Services as a public agency.

My questions to Mr. Gaffi, the Washington County Commissioners (who also serve as the board of directors of Clean Water Services) are: Why aren’t the profits made from those patents being used to reduce ratepayers’ wastewater rates? And why didn’t the public have input in the creation of a nonprofit charitable organization, which is predicted to make multi-millions in profits?

We need all the money we can to maintain our sewer pipes from corrosive chemicals, especially when industry discharges huge amounts of them. We also need to make sure Clean Water Services has the best available technology to measure all of those hazardous industry chemicals at the “point of discharge,” not at some aggregate point further down the Tualatin River.

These are some questions all of us need to be asking as we consider who we vote for during the county commissioner elections May 20.

Dale Feik

Forest Grove

Bob Terry is the best choice for Washington County

Washington County Commissioner Bob Terry, by his words and his resulting actions, has performed by balancing the needs and desires of all Washington County residents and not showing favor to one group over another. He and his colleagues have prudentially managed our financial affairs, resulting in not only a budget surplus, but have garnered an “Aa 1” Moody’s rating for the county.

Ms. Elizabeth Furse, on the other hand, is touting solutions to problems that don’t exist or purporting to advocate for services a county commissioner doesn’t have authority over, such as education.

For the continued well-being of the residents of Washington County, Bob Terry is the clear choice for Washington County Commissioner.

Lew Barnes

North Plains

Grateful to clinic for its tender care of dog

Cornelius Veterinary Clinic and its staff, particularly Dr. Bob Bullard and Dr. Kirsten Thursam, treated our dog Tintin and us with remarkable care for years. Tintin was a typical golden retriever, exuberant and friendly, even if you weren’t looking for a friend.

He didn’t slow down at age 3, as other golden owners had predicted, or even at 5, but only around age 10. But he was still jogging (on a leash) and chasing squirrels in our yard (helping Forest Grove Light & Power, perhaps). A few years later, as arthritis struck and movement became painful for Tintin, Dr. Thursam nearly dove down onto the floor to meet him at his level rather than require him to get onto an exam table. She prescribed helpful pain meds.

Last winter, Tintin was diagnosed with cancer. Recognizing that he was not a good candidate for chemo (still too exuberant?), Dr. Bullard and staff carefully led Tintin to a painless end of life and treated us, his humans, very respectfully and gracefully.

For this and all the care provided Tintin throughout his life, we remain grateful to the Cornelius Veterinary Clinic.

James Draznin

Forest Grove



Local Weather

Fair

63°F

Forest Grove

Fair

Humidity: 84%

Wind: 7 mph

  • 19 Sep 2014

    Clear 79°F 57°F

  • 20 Sep 2014

    Sunny 92°F 59°F