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Letters from our readers

OEA made a mistake by not endorsing Bonamici

I have been following, with interest, the endorsement of candidates for the 1st Congressional District, and was particularly surprised at the fact that the Oregon Education Association did not support Sen. Suzanne Bonamici.

I first met Suzanne when I was chairman of the Beaverton School Board about 10 years ago, and encountered a parent who understood education, had a passion for education of our young children and was unwilling to compromise on the quality of education being offered to the students of Beaverton schools.

I also watched her when she became a state senator, and again saw that same dedication and commitment to quality education that translated to excellent educational policy.

The Oregon Education Association did not endorse Suzanne because of her lack of dedication to education. The association endorsed the other candidate because of his ties to the teachers union and its collective bargaining issues. Suzanne was being punished because she stands on the side of teachers, kids and education, not what is 'politically correct.'

The OEA should be ashamed of its decision. There will be no stronger advocate for quality education than Suzanne Bonamici.

She is clearly the educational voice that will represent the citizens of the 1st Congressional District with dedication, passion and the ability to translate that commitment to good educational policy. I am proud to support her candidacy.

BOB SHOOK

Cedar Mill

Beaverton business supports strong schools

As a local business executive helping small businesses grow and innovate in Beaverton, I know how important a strong school system is to our economy.

We rely on our schools to help provide an educated, well-trained workforce. Strong public schools are important to our bottom line.

People want to live, work, shop and do business in a community with good schools. With the severe recession, and state budget cuts, Beaverton schools have experienced significant reductions over the last four years.

Measure 34-193 will help retain quality teachers, prevent damaging increases in class sizes so our children will get the attention they need and preserve educational programs and offerings that are essential for a well-rounded education.

I urge a YES vote for the Beaverton School District Local Option Levy on the Nov. 8 ballot.

PATRICK M.WHEELER

Management Contract Services

Levy provides Beaverton schools needed funding

The Beaverton community has a long and proud history of supporting our children and schools both in lean times and prosperous periods.

We all know we are living in a lean time. In this recession, funds for schools from the state have been reduced. As a result, Beaverton School District has cut its budget by $105 million over the last four years.

This coming year, Beaverton schools will have a shortfall of $24 million to $37 million. This means cutting teachers, larger class sizes and losing valuable educational opportunities for our children. To put it in more tangible terms - 24 school days would be cut to balance the budget.

This local option levy is just what its title affirms. It is our local choice as voters in the Beaverton School District to raise dollars that stay here in Beaverton. The levy will raise approximately $14 million and will maintain that support for five years. These dollars will be spent in the classroom.

We have the choice to provide the funds needed to keep reasonable class sizes and maintain academic programs. The children are here, and they need the best education our community can provide. I ask that you vote 'yes' on Local Option Levy Measure 34-193 and continue the tradition of fine education in Beaverton.

PRISCILLA TURNER

West Slope

Protect our jobs by voting yes for local option levy

The future success of this high-tech driven county absolutely depends on maintaining strong, public education opportunities for our K-12 school children. A strong Beaverton School District is important for our children and grandchildren, and a strong school district is also important for attracting and retaining good paying jobs.

It will be impossible for employers like Intel and Nike to stay here - to hire the strong, work force they need - if this area cannot provide a strong public education for their employees' children. Growing and retaining good paying employers requires keeping the Beaverton School District strong.

However, in the past few years the school district has taken significant hits from its principal funder, the state Legislature. With a combination of prudent budget cuts and some additional levy dollars, the Beaverton School District can meet the state funding shortfalls, stay strong and help ensure our county's economic future.

Please make no mistake about what is at stake here. The future economic success of this county absolutely depends on maintaining strong, public education opportunities for our county's K-12 school children.

An independent audit committee will make sure the asked for levy funds are used as approved by the voters, and no levy money will be spent for school administration or sent back to Salem. The authorized levy would be for $1 per $1,000 of assessed value and the levy will end at five years. To estimate your taxes, please go to Beaverton.k12.or.us and click on Local Option Levy.

Please protect our jobs - vote 'yes' for the Beaverton School District Local Option Levy.

DICK SCHOUTEN

Washington County commissioner, representing Aloha, Beaverton and Cooper Mountain

Shame on the Oregon Lottery and its ploys

The Oregon Lottery is like a cancer on our state. It is bad enough that former Gov. Kulongoski made lottery profits part of the day-to-day state budget, and now you have the lottery going after kids on a website.

This technique is similar to how the tobacco companies use cartoon-like characters to get kids interested in their products, and then they are one step closer to becoming addicted to nicotine products as they become adults.

The lottery, along with the gaming company GTECH, has designed games similar to games today's kids are highly familiar with such as 'Bejeweled' and 'Tetris.' Kids who play these games can win prizes but no money. This in turn will get the kids playing these games thinking how easy it must be to win on the adult Oregon Lottery games.

This entire ploy is simply a move to get younger kids involved and addicted to gambling games in the future, which are run by the Oregon Lottery - plain and simple. They say entry to the website will be restricted to kids only over 18, right.

All you will have to do is say you are over 18 and you will be in the website like all other websites of this nature. It is not enough that the lottery preys on the uneducated, and folks who are just simply bad at math, but now they are going after your children, too, and trying to turn them into gambling addicts.

The lottery says, 'It does good things.' Tell that to the folks who have had their lives ruined at any local gamblers anonymous meeting. Tell that to the folks who are behind bars for embezzling money from companies they once worked for, so they could keep their video poker and video slot habits going. Tell that to family members who have had relatives commit suicide because of debt that was created by playing these ridiculous state-run games.

Frankly, if the Oregon Lottery dried up and blew away, it would be the best thing that ever happened to the state of Oregon. And please, leave the kids alone Oregon Lottery. What did they ever do to you?

How do you guys sleep at night, down there in Salem?

JAMES MAASS

Beaverton