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Community support key to festival's success, Foreign workers take U.S. jobs, Social Security should not be political tool

Community support key to festival's success

In spite of the rain showers and chilly weather on Sept. 17, the downtown sidewalks of Forest Grove turned into an art gallery of creative and colorful chalk drawings.

The Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival Committee and Valley Art Association would like to thank the following businesses and organizations for helping to make this year's event so successful.

Thanks to our generous sponsors: Woodfold Mfg. Inc.; Pizza Schmizza; Doherty Ford; Ballad Town Chiropractic Clinic (Phil Zapf, R.N., D.C. and Bonnie McDowell, R.P.T., D.C.); Geoffrey Faris, DMD; WSC Insurance; Moore and Ballard, Lawyers; and Frye's Action Athletics.

Thanks to the City of Forest Grove Community Enhancement Project and Public Arts Commission, for providing funding through grants.

Thanks to in-kind contributions, which came from The United Church of Christ, Maggie's Buns, the Epler Family, Pacific University, The News-Times, the Washington County Review, Forest Grove High School, the City of Forest Grove Parks Department, Forest Grove Light and Power, The Forest Grove Street Department and Oregon Waste Management. A giant thank you to the Rotary Club for the use of their tent and the man-power to put it up (that was a lifesaver).

Our talented Featured Artists were Livia Hershman, Tal Sanders, Alexis Bell, Erin Brist, Anthony Perez, and Lang Schwartzwald. Kat Moss created the sponsor thank you square (and a great rabbit aviator drawing to boot).

Lastly, a great big thank you goes to Phillip Thias and the many volunteers from Forest Grove High School, Valley Art Association and the countless community artists who all contributed to making Forest Grove a very special town to visit and live in.

Roylene Read, Chair

Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival

Foreign workers take U.S. jobs

Regarding our unemployment problem, a friend pointed out to me this weekend that nobody talks much about H1-B visas. An H1-B visa allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. Quite frequently, the 'specialty occupations' are teaching positions in our universities, and high-level engineering jobs in our high-tech industries.

The national unemployment rate is at about 9.1 percent (about 14 million people). The Oregon rate is about 9.5 percent (about 190,000 people). The H1-B visa program allows U.S. companies to add 65,000 foreign workers to the domestic payroll each year, with an additional 20,000 visas available to workers with advanced degrees.

While it would not instantly solve the unemployment problem, stopping the issuance of H1-B visas would be a strong first step in putting cast-aside U.S. citizens back to work.

A further benefit is that it could slow the current terrible rush to transfer our manufacturing and engineering jobs to other countries. The H1-B program is a thinly veiled strategy, which trains foreign workers in the methods used by American businesses, then sends them back overseas to compete with the companies (and workers) that trained them.

For an easy read to learn more about this ongoing travesty, type 'H1-B' into your web browser, and check out the Wikipedia article. Then write your congressmen and insist this crazy practice be stopped.

Harold Hutchison

Forest Grove

Social Security should not be political tool

All this talk about Social Security as an entitlement is crazy talk! Social Security was established as a retirement fund that employers and employees contribute into and ultimately receive a pension.

It was not established as a general fund for withdrawals to buy votes (illegal), loans with no interest or when the president decides to decrease payment into fund (currently 2 percent reduction) for more votes.

The system works. Just keep it from the president and congress and let it be what it was established for: a retirement fund for those that put in!

Bobby Griffin

Forest Grove