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How do you energize downtown Forest Grove? Readers respond:

"How do you energize downtown Forest Grove?" (News-Times, June 14) Readers respond:

Traffic flow isn't best focus for revitalization

Many of the same recommendations the consultant made are identical to ones recommended to Hillsboro and other cities. Google "Hillsboro downtown couplet." You will find a Hillsboro Argus article from December and a city staff report on changing to a two-way grid in downtown Hillsboro. Getting rid of the couplet would cost millions (see the Hillsboro estimate above) and they were not looking at changing a state highway or having to reengineer the end of the couplet at Maple Street. Remember several years ago when Forest Grove found the city could not lower the speed limit on the couplet? That is nothing in comparison. She says people do not like to turn around in their cars. How will a two way street change that? The city would be much better off investing in other ways in the downtown. A few quick suggestions:

• Give a grant to spruce up sound and lighting at Theater in the Grove, which would attract more evening foot traffic to the shows.

• Host more events like First Wednesdays.

• Complete the Emerald Necklace loop.

• Hold regular events like bike rides and walks through the historic districts beginning and ending in downtown.

• Hold Music Under the Oaks concerts with Pacific University.

• Buy some radio and web ads promoting downtown.

David Cebula

Forest Grove

Give people a reason to come to city's center

I moved to Forest Grove three years ago and have seen little if any major improvements to expand the downtown area. The only reason I have to go downtown is to use the public library or pay my city utilities bill.

There seems to be a lot of vacant spaces and buildings available but unused. I get tired of driving to Hillsboro to shop for anything. I have lived in several small towns and cities that often have a vital downtown. I have heard lifelong citizens of Forest Grove voice there is a lot of town politics that makes it difficult for anyone who wants to start up a small business located downtown.

Besides being a small college town, we overlook that Forest Grove has one of the biggest senior citizens communities in the state of Oregon. Those citizens certainly could use more types of retail stores nearby as well as the college students.

There also needs to be some major reason people go downtown other to dine out or shop. Often the reason is there needs to be something where people gather such as family outdoor concerts or other activities such as cultural events. Finally, a downtown partnership is crucial for business owners, city hall and citizens working together to better the downtown area and make it more pedestrian friendly.

Stephanie Bearse

Forest Grove

Other Letters

Dog owners need to heed leash law

Now that summer has arrived, I'd like to request of my fellow dog owners to please remember our shared responsibility both to our beloved dogs and our fellow citizens.

I run daily, and as winter earlier turned into spring, and now spring into summer, I've been encountering more dogs during my daily runs.  Sometimes the dogs are properly restrained by their owner with a leash or are in a fenced yard.

But there are times where I've encountered a dog either running off its property into the street to confront me or the dog is being walked unleashed and comes running up to me.

For those responsible owners who properly restrain their dogs, I thank you. As for the owners who walk their dogs unleashed, please understand that when you say, "Oh my dog's really sweet and friendly. He/she loves people," I immediately flash back to an incident 20-plus years ago when a dog owner said the exact same phrase mere seconds before their dog bit me in the leg as I was running by their house.

At least one day each week I'm confronted with a loose dog, with the majority of those confrontations being the dog is off-leash, there's no fencing and the dog is racing towards me, barking loudly and baring his/her teeth.

I have to stop in the street, stand my ground and yell at the dog in hopes of scaring it back to its home.

Then I yell at the owner, "You know there's a leash law, right?"  To which the owner either doesn't respond or will say, "Yeah, I know."

I understand the dog isn't at fault in all these situations, and that's why it's so important my fellow dog owners realize their responsibilities to their dog and their fellow Forest Grove citizens.

One more item of note: I frequently take my dog on my daily runs and as she was donated to us from an abusive home [and] no matter all the training we've given her, she is still fiercely confrontational with other dogs.  

And just as a fellow dog owner will say, "My dog's really sweet. She/he just wants to play with your dog," my dog views any other dog approaching her as an aggressive act by the approaching dog.  The other dog owner may be right about his/her dog wanting to play, but dog owners need to realize not all dogs are alike.

Again, I ask my fellow dog owners to please remember to properly restrain your dog at all times, not only for their safety, but for the safety of other dogs and fellow citizens.

 

Allen Warren

Forest Grove

County must be consistent with Fair Board meetings

With the leadership of Washington County Board of Commissioners, every Fair Board meeting feels like a dictator is in charge. Items are brought up and voted on with no public discussion and if someone does ask to speak, many on the board members seem put out and roll their eyes, play with papers or talk to their neighbor. Very rude! Andy Duyck, the County Commission chair, seems to feel he needs his hand on every committee so they don’t make a decision he doesn’t like. I usually attend the Fair Board meetings as I am writing a history book on the Washington County Fair and I am also a 4-H leader/ volunteer and wanting the best for all the 4-H kids in Washington County. Fair Board meetings are scheduled for the first Wednesday of every month. Until the present fair board was appointed (by Andy Duyck) you could count on one hand the number of times the meeting was changed in several years.

Lately, they change it on a whim and do not notify the public. I went there Wednesday, June 6 . The door to the Cloverleaf building was unlocked but no one was there. They didn’t have a cancellation notice posted.

Others, including Pat Willis, who gives the 4-H Report every month, were not notified. The public is to be notified of meeting changes and those who normally attend should be notified. Why do they think it is OK to not announce meeting changes? I had checked the Fair Complex website mid- afternoon of the meeting date and it listed the meeting that night. However, when I got home after my evening meeting, at 10 p.m., the website had changed the meeting time to June 13 .

Inez Griffels

Hillsboro