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Letters to the Editor Oct. 11

What else has Karen Minnis forgotten about?

In recent weeks, I have received seven pieces of campaign literature from the Republican speaker of the House, Karen Minnis, extolling her great legislative accomplishments for the people of Oregon and District 49.

I find it hard to believe that she discovered she had 'neglected' to disclose a trip to Israel arranged for by Paul Romain (beer and wine lobbyist) and the Jewish Federation of Oregon. Four thousand dollars is well over the spending limit of $148 for the year 2005. What else has she forgotten?

She would like us to believe that this is an 'oversight,' and she is 'embarrassed.' However, when the Republican Speaker of the House is responsible for, and has oversight of, a $12-plus billion budget, trust and accountability are big issues.

We need change in District 49 and in the House leadership. Vote.

DOLORES HUBERT

Portland

Bemis builds consensus, Becker just accepts it

Because I am a former Gresham city councilor, I have the opportunity to work with both Shane Bemis and Chuck Becker. Beyond the age and experience there is one fundamental difference that supports Shane Bemis over Chuck Becker. That difference is leadership.

Bemis, as City Council President for the past three years, has demonstrated leadership by building consensus, unlike Becker, who accepts consensus.

Bemis will bring stronger representation and leadership regionally so our voice is effectively heard and we get our share.

Chuck Becker is a nice man, but he is not the leader we need to represent the city and guide the council in making the major decisions that will affect the future of our community. Being mayor requires taking the heat when making tough decisions. Tough decisions require tough debate, active discussions and conflict resolution. Our current mayor lacks the leadership to engage effectively in any of these.

Councilor Shane Bemis is a leader. I have watched that quality grow every year he has been on council. You can see the difference in the campaign literature. Bemis' shows humility. He hasn't claimed to be responsible for every city success, as Becker has done, just what he was actually responsible for.

Examples? Leading the negotiations for transfer of roads from Multnomah County, initiation and enacting the new graffiti ordinance and presiding over preparations for our recent Centennial celebration. He also has earned the respect of his peers; the council has elected him as president three years in a row, and all but one councilor has endorsed his candidacy for mayor.

In meetings, Shane has demonstrated his ability to lead council discussions by cutting short unproductive debate by 'calling for the vote' when the mayor has allowed the meetings to ramble on, time and time again.

We are at a critical place for the city, and we need a strong leader as our mayor. We need Shane Bemis as our next mayor.

JACK HORNER

Former councilor and council president

Minnis' trip to Israel just the tip of the iceberg

In Wednesday's story ('Minnis overlooked trip to Israel in 2005'), you mention big tobacco as one of Karen Minnis' big main contributors. Oregon is the only state in the country that has actually reduced the cigarette tax in the 21st century, despite numerous studies that show lowering the tax increases smoking rates among children.

This move drained tens of millions of dollars from the Oregon Health Plan, some of which was made up with money taken from our schools. House Speaker Karen Minnis killed House Bill 2940, which would have renewed the expiring 10-cent tax.

Now, why would she do that, knowing that it would have such a terrible impact on the OHP and our schools? Do you suppose it has anything to do with the thousands of dollars she got from tobacco companies like Philip Morris? What do you suppose she'll do for the casino operators ($7,500), drug companies ($14,750), electric power utilities ($12,000) and alcohol lobbyists ($18,400).

We need a representative who represents voters, not corporate patrons. We're voting for Rob Brading.

RAY AND PAT KOLBERG

Troutdale

Kilian's leadership will be good for Gresham council

John Kilian would make an outstanding team member on the Gresham City Council. While an independent thinker, he also has a unique ability to engage others to reach a positive outcome.

He has a strong relationship to small business, because he started his own Gresham dental practice soon after graduating from OHSU Dental School in 1975.

John has always been a leader in the community and runs a top-notch dental practice. At his undergraduate alma mater, Oregon State University, he was active in student government with the Memorial Union Program council and the OSU student senate.

I worked with him in both of these leadership positions and witnessed first hand his intelligent and creative approach to community solutions. At OHSU dental school, he also excelled in leadership and was elected president of both his dental school class and the student body and as a national student representative.

While practicing as a dentist he has also served as a leader in a number of capacities including OSU Science Advisory.

John loves his patients and his community and allocates free dental days to serve the less fortunate in Gresham and East County. He understands the health care needs of Gresham citizens. Once again, he's offering his volunteer services to the City of Gresham as councilor. Voters would be well-served to elect John Kilian to the Gresham City Council.

SUZANNE P. McGRATH

Portland

Patti Smith understands, supports sailing center

I would like to explain why I support re-election of Rep. Patti Smith.

I am an attorney in Gresham and, like other small business owners, I am sensitive to the local economy. One of the non-profit organizations I do volunteer work for is the Columbia Gorge Racing Association (CGRA).

It is a group of local sailors who run Olympic-style sailboat racing in the Columbia River Gorge from the marine park at Cascade Locks. Each year, CGRA hosts sailing regattas that bring hundreds of sailors from all over the world to the gorge.

Just like Hood River is known as one of the best places in the world for windsurfing, the Columbia River near Cascade Locks has a reputation as one of the best places for racing sailboats in the world. Although these sailing events are important to the competing sailors, they also provide an important economic benefit to businesses and communities in the Columbia River Gorge.

Rep. Smith has been an active supporter of CGRA's vision to develop a sailing center facility in the Columbia River Gorge. She understands that the gorge is a natural resource that must be protected for future generations. But she also understands the benefit to our local economy of attracting visitors to the gorge in a way that does not harm its beauty.

I appreciate Rep. Smith's efforts to help small business owners in our district through support of projects like CGRA's sailing center.

JAY McROSTIE

Gresham

Oil another example of rich stealing from poor

In recent weeks oil consuming nations have seen a drastic price reduction in gasoline. At a time when most of us were seeing light at the end of the tunnel of sky-rocketing gasoline costs, OPEC is now renegotiating its output of oil in order to return to higher prices at the pump. Corporate America can twist the consumer to its demands.

With an election on the horizon it is only natural that high office politicians are trying to paint a rosy picture before us then make an about face and pull the wool over our eyes. Many consumers are buying back into the market of large SUVs since gas prices have recently come down.

Gas prices will soon spike upward after the election not because of a shortage of oil in the ground and oil from war-torn countries, but for oil companies to make a large profit by lowering supply and increasing demand.

Thus higher prices at the pump. OPEC and their cartels will do anything for higher profits at the expense of the consumers. Another ploy where the rich continually steal from the poor and middle class.

MIKE P. BRINK

Gresham

Lim's commitment to education sets him above the rest

My name is Elizabeth Hall, and I am proud to call Gresham my home.

I met John Lim at a Memorial Day event in Gresham this year, and I was grateful to finally express my appreciation face-to-face. My family has benefited from John's commitment to education. My daughter, Monica Wilson, and I were both recipients of a scholarship endowment started by John Lim.

The scholarship afforded me the opportunity to use my college education to volunteer and serve in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Iraq. So you never know how far your scholarship can reach or the impact that such an award can have.

By starting this scholarship, John showed that he is dedicated to education. He has never glorified himself for having done this, and he established the scholarship long before he was a public servant. For these reasons, I am fully supporting his run for State Representative of House District 50, and I encourage you to do the same.

ELIZABETH HALL

Gresham

Kight won't bow to special interests

Well, it looks like the cat is out of the bag. I see that Jim Kight's opponent 'works well with the developers' according to a letter to the editor from a city councilor. It appears from that comment and where the opponent's signs are being placed that she has indeed been taken under the wing of the developers.

Maybe the developers are counting on the urban renewal funds, which will end up running in the millions of dollars, but I could be wrong.

Jim Kight has proved in the past to represent all the people of Troutdale and not the special interest groups. He has taken a lot of heat, because he won't bend to their pressure. I know who I am voting for in this election. Jim Kight for Troutdale City Council.

D. HOUSTON SMITH

Troutdale

Corbett Boosters Club are leading by example

I applaud the Corbett parents and community members who formed the Corbett Boosters Club this summer. Many towns across the country should follow their example when programs are in jeopardy of being eliminated instead of throwing up their hands and walking away from what will become a larger problem if school sports are eliminated.

Numerous studies have shown the powerful benefits that school sports provide teens, especially boys.

If full inclusion of all students who wish to participate in after school team sports is front and center on the boosters' agenda, then it is in the best interest of the entire community to rise to the occasion and dig deep to ensure sports continue to be an integral part of the Corbett community experience.

BROOKE DE LENCH

Concord, MA

Becker's experience, time, vision make him right choice for Gresham

Having been active for the last eight years as a citizen volunteer, I have been shown why Chuck Becker should be our next mayor in Gresham.

First and foremost, it is obvious that Mayor Becker has a long list of experience in city service in advisory and elected positions. He also has life experiences to draw upon. From the urban development of Rockwood, the siting of a new justice center to urban growth issues and the intricate issue of road and traffic planning, we need people who have experience and history now more than ever.

The Gresham revised code requires a full time mayor. Becker has been and will be a full time mayor. His opponent, Shane Bemis, on the other hand, puts great emphasis on his business experience as a pizza parlor and restaurant owner.

Mayor Becker's opponent has the backing of the mayors in the other three cities in East County. Bemis also has embraced a justice center in Rockwood, a spot that from the outset was promoted by our county representative. But the site study shows the Rockwood site simply doesn't fit the criteria as originally proposed. For instance, one of the set criteria for siting in Rockwood was that the land could not cost more than $2 million. But when the cost of the land came in at $4 million, the criteria conveniently changed.

Next, the study specified that the location of the center could either be on MAX or rapid bus. The Rockwood site was promoted by Bemis and a few others because it was on the MAX. Other proposals, including a few by Mayor Becker, were not allowed to be considered because they were only on rapid bus lines … but within walking distance of MAX.

Mayor Becker has a creative plan for the justice center that would not only site it in Gresham, it also would free up valuable land near the present city hall for more commercial development and possibly bring a positive cash flow to the city.

Shane Bemis says he has plans for Gresham and proposals for the future. But he has had four years to make a difference and coordinate with the mayor but hasn't done so. Why not? The role of the council president should be as an advisor to the mayor and council. Reportedly there has been very limited verbal or written communication by the council president during the past year.

I believe Gresham needs to retain the experience, vision and integrity in a mayor it has enjoyed for the past eight years. Gresham deserves Mayor Charles Becker.

BILL WILLMES

Gresham

Minnis takes the low road in campaign

Karen Minnis has once again taken the lowest possible road with her campaign. Her latest 'hit piece' against Rob Brading just confirms my opinion of the Republican Party. They don't care a bit for ordinary Oregonians. All they care about is how much can they cater to special interest groups and big corporate contributors.

The Republican Party platform is, 'If you tell a lie often enough, maybe people will believe it.' She says that Rob can't solve any of our problems with the payday loan industry, or the high prices that pharmaceutical companies charge for prescriptions, or get a tax on the profits of the porn industry as they have successfully done in Utah. Guess what, Karen, Rob will do all this and more when the voters have their say on Nov. 7. As the House District 49 state representative, Rob will do his best for the state of Oregon. He, along with other Democrats, will try to undo all the damage you and your extreme right wing neocons have done.

Mike Mattingly

Gresham

Come one, come all to public forum on ballot measures

This election we have 10 statewide ballot measures that we need to educate ourselves about. To that end, it is my hope that all citizens, regardless of voting party, come to a non-partisan ballot measure forum being held at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, at the Gresham Grange, at 875 N.E. Division St.

Come hear from the organizations Defend Oregon, Protect Our Teen Daughters, Planned Parenthood, Fair Elections Oregon, Protect Our Voice and Rainy Day Amendment Committee speak for and against five of the measures.

MEL HARMON

Gresham