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Schools shouldn't be giving out big raises

The Forest Grove School board has extended Superintendent Jack Musser's contract for three years, retroactive to July 1. Musser's salary will be $124,000 this year, up from $114,400 last year. The raise was based on cost of living and performance.

The school board was wrong in giving this raise. It is out of line when schools are so desperate for money to operate.

This is out of reason as people on fixed incomes receive no cost of living increase.

Robert E. Shannon

Damascus

Thank you Mayor Becker for your help

As many of you Outlook readers know, I have been through virtual hell in the pursuit to reopen The View Point Inn in Corbett.

Well you might just be able to imagine how blown away I was to get a call from Bob Moore from the city of Gresham building department on Friday afternoon, Sept. 15.

Bob was calling to set up a meeting with me, our architect, the state of Oregon offices of Historic Preservation and Multnomah County's Land Use Planning Department. Please keep in mind, Gresham called me, Geoff Thompson; so far on this journey it's been me calling the world and his wife. No government agency has ever reached out to me before. Purpose of the meeting? To get the View Point Inn OPEN!

All parties invited showed up, along with Gresham Mayor Charles Becker, and it looks like The View Point Inn will be open by Thanksgiving. Unbelievable!

I don't live in Gresham, but Mayor Chuck Becker knows that my small business matters to other Gresham small businesses and Gresham residents. Most brides getting married at The View Point Inn use shops, florists, tuxedo rental shops, hotels, etc., in Gresham. I bank in Gresham, eat in Gresham, get my permits from Gresham City Hall, you get the picture. All the surrounding smaller cities and the even bigger cities do business with Gresham.

Mayor Chuck Becker has reached out to neighboring business owners, communities, city leaders, etc. That's good government. That's good leadership. If I lived in Gresham I would vote for Mayor Chuck Becker.

Chuck is a true ambassador for the city of Gresham who has proven his leadership skills.

Geoff Thompson

The View Point Inn

Corbett

Mayor Becker showed his loyalty for inn

On May 25, 2004, Mayor Chuck Becker attended a prayer breakfast at The View Point Inn in Corbett. He vowed that day to help get the Inn opened and subsequently has written numerous supportive letters, showed up at crucial public hearings and made several calls to Multnomah County asking it to expedite the process. A few days ago the City of Gresham took voluntary action to expedite getting the necessary permits in place to ensure The View Point Inn has no delay from Gresham. Mayor Becker showed up at that meeting too! This speaks volumes to his loyalty, being a man of his word and getting the job done.

When I thanked him recently, he said 'I'm glad I could help.' Then he smiled, saying, 'It's good for business in Gresham too.' He knows business in Gresham extends beyond city limits. The View Point Inn looks forward to doing business with Gresham business owners. You have Mayor Chuck Becker's ambassadorship to thank for that.

Mayor Chuck Becker's character is gold and his business acumen platinum. He's good for Gresham and good for business. If you know what's good for you and the city of Gresham you'll keep Chuck Becker in the driver's seat. Vote maturity and experience - vote Becker.

Angelo Simione

The View Point Inn

Corbett

Wal-Mart isn't the best fit for area

Alas, poor Matthew Vantress can't seem to get beyond his own bias, for if he had read the entire government report on Wal-Mart, he wouldn't still be in denial. Mr. Vantress's continued diatribe about the subject in question leads me to believe he did not assimilate or comprehend the contents, or he wouldn't continue to harp on the subject. He rambles on and on about the alleged propaganda and unions in his statements. And yes, many employees are subsidized, and that is fact.

If Wal-Mart is so aboveboard with its wages and benefits, how come there are so many lawsuits pending against it? How come it is continually under fire for its business practices?

There are many retailers out there that are now employee-owned and others that give their part-time employees liveable wages and benefits. Some of the retailers Mr. Vantress has mentioned pay very well, not to mention their benefit packages. And those are the facts.

Many of the retailers that Mr. Vantress has brought to light in his statement have locations that can indeed handle the additional traffic.

Yes, the site in question is looking rather grim right now, but a big-box store is not the answer. Again, the much anticipated traffic it would bring would be a detriment to the area. Maybe something more conducive to the area would be the answer, such as a park that everyone could benefit from, since there is the Springwater Trail nearby. Or some smaller retailer(s) tailored to the area and that everyone would benefit from, including the employees.

My comments have not in any way been whiny but have been statements and facts. He still fails to grasp the real issue here. There will be too much traffic for the small site in question. My comments are in no way meant to be insulting to Mr. Vantress' intelligence.

Alyson Huntting

Gresham

Karen Minnis gives East County more say

In response to the question posed in Mark Garber's editorial: House Speaker Karen Minnis is the most effective choice for House District 49 residents.

With Karen Minnis we have the speaker of the House, and that position lends her an incredible amount of influence and strength, which in the past, has benefited East County innumerably.

Just a few examples of how Speaker Minnis has worked for us: securing more than $1 million to combat the gang problem in East County; preventing the Port of Portland from implementing an expensive rail system; opposing tax increases in Multnomah County; and passing tougher laws regarding the meth epidemic in our community.

For East County, and the entire state of Oregon, Speaker Minnis has protected traditional marriage, helped secure $318 million more for Oregon's public schools than the governor initially proposed, authored and saw the passage of two bills that cracked down on sex offenders who target children, and fought off efforts to raise taxes, despite the numerous attempts by her opposition.

A political novice like Rob Brading would lack not only the powerful position of Speaker of the House, but the years of experience that Speaker Minnis has acquired in Salem. East County can't afford to squander the luxury of being represented by the speaker of the House and all the benefits her position has granted us.

Grace Ishida

Gresham

Brading needs to answer real questions

I recently saw a television ad featuring Rob Brading talking about the groups who don't support him, and it raised a few questions.

First, knowing that payday lenders were regulated during the Legislature's special session last spring, and knowing that Speaker Karen Minnis and other legislators approved that bill, how is it that Brading says he led the charge?

Second, knowing Rob Brading's position on Internet filters in libraries and free speech, how does he intend to tax the pornography industry by 25 percent? Not only would this be an impossible proposal to see passed, but wouldn't an industry-debilitating government tax block the very free speech rights Brading is so adamantly protecting?

And lastly, what is his plan for lowering the cost of prescription drugs?

Every year we hear about the rising cost of prescription drugs, and every election cycle we hear politicians pandering to seniors, promising lower drug costs, without making public their plan of action.

I'd like Rob Brading to stop pandering and start answering the real questions in this year's election.

Lauren Graham

Troutdale

Leadership after 9/11 has been flawed

After reading Mike Brink's letter, in the Saturday, Sept. 23, issue of The Outlook, in response to mine about how President Bush and his cronies should be tried as war criminals and put in jail, I have to ask him, 'Just how safe do you think we are now?'

I, like every American on 9/11, was shocked and saddened about the attacks on the World Trade Center. Even though I didn't vote for Bush, I would have been 100 percent behind him if he would have gone after the real perpetrator of 9/11. The world now knows it was Osama bin Laden. Instead he invaded a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 and went after Saddam Hussein.

I love my country as much as any American, and I support our troops 100 percent. They are fighting under flawed leadership and they are giving their all. It is time to bring them home.

Sherry Anderson

Gresham