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Letters to the editor from our readers

Huma Pierce is woman of action School Board needs

Local businesswoman, chiropractic physician and political activist Dr. Huma Pierce is running for Beaverton School Board Zone 7 in the May 21 election. I write out of a sense of duty to our next generation, which Dr. Pierce shares.

Dr. Pierce will bring that sense of duty, her boundless energy and her keen sense of justice to the board. The Andrew Keller Memorial Stadium debacle demonstrates why her values and leadership are needed. Keller was the popular Southridge High football star and youth mentor-turned soldier killed in action in 2012. Rather than allowing the Southridge stadium to be renamed after Keller, the board launched “studies,” kicking the can down the road.

With school budgets under constant threat, voters should demand people of action. Huma Pierce is a woman of action. As a small business owner and former naval officer, Dr. Pierce has the experience, intelligence and intestinal fortitude to lead.

Thomas Patton

Tualatin

Tom Colett has added depth to community engagement

It is notable that both in campaigns and in exchanges with the Beaverton School Board at board meetings, there is a dearth of real detail when it comes to dialogue with the community. In this campaign year, most candidates for the board extend their rhetoric only as far as good-sounding generalities and sound-bytes, trying to trigger hot buttons with the public, but there is very little real engagement on the substance of our challenges in public education.

A refreshing exception is Tom Colett, who is running for Beaverton School Board’s Zone 7. Unlike other candidates, Mr. Colett has made a point of organizing parents into self-education groups and engaging School Board members in detailed discussions of the nitty-gritty implications of budget decisions.

Typically, by the time the board itself considers budget choices, much of the classroom-level (and hence long-term student impacts) of budget decisions have been washed out of the dialogue through staff summaries and grass-roots discussions the board never sees.

Mr. Colett has demonstrated that this is not good enough. By bringing groups of parents to Budget Committee meetings, and sharing the latest research on what happens to students over time when specific educational cuts are made, Mr. Colett has added to the depth of this community dialogue and done great service to the process.

The Beaverton School Board has explicitly endorsed a higher level of community engagement with the new “CEC” committee structure it created to replace Local School Committees, but has shown little skill yet in making them work. Someone like Tom Colett can bring a much needed dimension of active listening and in-depth research to this critical aspect of public education in Beaverton — something we have not seen from other candidates.

Bill Hall

Cedar Hills

Jerry Jones brings fresh perspective to THPRD Board

As chairman of the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District’s Park Advisory Committee, I’m excited to see a terrific choice for the THPRD Board election this May.

Jerry Jones will bring a fresh perspective to the board as a 30-year resident who grew up in the district, and now with his own young family who are regular users of the parks, programs and trails. Jerry’s love of not only sports, but the beautiful natural areas within the district, shows me that his balanced approach to managing our resources will ensure many diverse ways of recreation for the complete community.

I am certain Jerry will do a great job for all of us. Please join me by voting for Jerry Jones for Tualatin Hills Park & Rec board.

Miles Glowacki

Aloha

A chastised Novick responds to Washington County

I don’t apologize for standing up for my city after Nike hurt our feelings by spurning us for Washington County. But I was impressed and amused by your April 25 editorial, “Culture and quirkiness beyond the tunnel,” which took me to task for my remarks extolling Portland’s hipness over that of our suburban neighbors.

I am quite certain that Washington County’s suburbs are cooler and more creative than many major cities are themselves. And yes, I agree that I now have a neighborly obligation to sample some of Washington County’s culinary and cultural delights.

So I hereby solemnly swear that between now and Oct. 15, I will indeed sample a burger at Helvetia; join Forest Grove News-Times publisher John Schrag for dinner at either Stecchino or 1810 Main St. Bistro in Forest Grove; get a cappuccino at either Ava Rostaria in Beaverton or Insomnia Coffee in Hillsboro; and see a play at either Bag & Baggage or Broadway Rose. I also hereby confess that since I now live in Multnomah Village, I regularly cross the county line on my way to the Raleigh Hills New Seasons.

I also thank you for making me feel like I’ve really arrived as a big-city city councillor. I don’t think you’ve really made it in a job like this until you’ve (1) gotten involved in a taxicab issue, (2) had a hearing on off-leash dogs, and (3) insulted the suburbs. And now, I’ve done all three.

Steve Novick

Portland city commissioner

Metro Measure 26-152 will help maintain land

I am proud of the many wonderful features that attract people to live, work and play here. People and businesses are drawn to Washington County because of our deep pool of skilled labor, strong and growing businesses and wonderful lifestyle amenities. Places like Cooper Mountain Regional Park, the Tualatin Hills Nature Park, Fanno Creek Greenway Trail and Killin Wetlands give our residents ready access to natural areas right in Washington County.

In 1995 and again in 2006, Metro voters overwhelmingly approved bonds to purchase thousands of acres of natural areas throughout our region, including significant areas in Washington County. However under state law, those bonds cannot be used to restore and maintain the purchased land — a restriction long established under state law. Nonetheless, any number of my constituents told me then that it was important we “get the land first” before it gets developed, quarried or logged off.

Metro has consequently purchased over 12,000 acres of natural area lands. Now the time has come for us to pass Metro Measure 26-152 to provide funding to restore and maintain these lands. For just $2 per month for the typical homeowner, we can invest in maintaining the legacy forest lands, wetlands and streams we have bought.  

This makes great business sense too — just as we maintain the investment we make when buying a home, we should restore and maintain (remove invasive weeds, repair eroded stream banks, provide better public access, etc.) the great natural lands we’ve acquired these past 18 years.

I urge you to vote “yes” on Measure 26-152 on May 21. Let’s maintain our natural area investments and protect an important regional and county legacy.

Dick Schouten

Washington County commissioner

Susan Greenberg will work for our kids

Please vote for Susan Greenberg for Beaverton School District School Board Zone 1. I have had the great fortune of knowing Susan for 20 years.

She has been a dedicated Beaverton School District volunteer first, starting as a room-parent, to Parent Teacher Organization president, to BSD Budget Committee member for two years. She has layered each subsequent volunteer role with additional responsibility and accountability.

Through the years, Susan has listened to many parents express concerns regarding class sizes, program changes and school funding.

Susan now seeks to effect positive change as a BSD board member. She has a genuine interest in fostering community involvement and the experience to advance policy for the betterment of all Beaverton students.

Susan’s commitment to quality public education knows no bounds.

Isabel Sturman

Lake Oswego



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