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Avakian saw need for new voice in Congress, New push for airport expansion a bad idea

Avakian saw need for new voice in Congress

My wife and I have had the pleasure of living in Forest Grove for 25 years. Collectively, the 'Grove,' Cornelius, and areas outside the city limits represent an independent community whose citizens farm or log, work at cutting edge high tech firms, teach at the university or in public schools, run small businesses, work at medium size businesses, and everything in between.

The issues we face are complex. We want a member of Congress who is an outstanding listener and can grasp and work on the varied issues that matter to us. That's why in early 2011 we encouraged Brad Avakian to run for Congress. And Brad was the first to declare his candidacy for District 1, even though the former incumbent was still serving.

Brad declared not because he saw a smooth path for career advancement, but because he recognized that our District had a serious problem, which is no real voice in Washington, D.C. Brad has shown leadership on issues facing our community. For example, he led the way on the Oregon Agriculture and Community Water Act, a piece of legislation that recognized a major issue for Oregon and worked to address it. Avakian can represent Oregon's entire First Congressional District, big city to small town, agriculture to high tech. That's why Brad Avakian has our vote.

James Draznin

Forest Grove

New push for airport expansion a bad idea

After a lengthy and expensive battle, the state Land Use Board of Appeals allowed Apple Valley Aviation to engage in aircraft operations under certain conditions. Primarily restricted to agricultural flights, it was a compromise that both sides could live with. Mr. Applebee apparently has other plans.

From the beginning, he has wanted to expand the original private airstrip into a full-fledged airport. The main impediment has been that most of his property is below the flood plain and cannot be built upon.

So, that should be the end of it, right? Not necessarily so. Mr. Applebee hired an engineering firm and, surprise! Eleven feet of flood elevation disappeared.

With this new information, he has applied to Washington County to continue his expansion with runway improvements, and extension of an 'existing' road for parking his big trucks (which looks very much like a future taxiway with turn outs to eventual hangars).

Washington County, in its continuing appeasement, has accepted the application and is considering approval. The flood plain designation was established long before most can remember and has generally been accepted by state and federal agencies.

The Neighbors Against Apple Valley Expansion (NAAVE) group has once again formed to stop this threat to our rural way of life.

Our lawyers and engineers have questions about the validity of the findings in this report, especially with photographic evidence of severe flooding in 1956, 1996 and 2006. We'll show that the established line is correct, as it always has been, and that our position will prevail.

Unfortunately, this will take money and we can't do it alone. Through the generous contributions of our supporters in the past, we were able to prevent the unbridled expansion attempted last time. It's unfortunate that we have to ask again, but once again the livability of western Washington County is at stake.

NAAVE will sponsor an information booth at the Banks farmers market on Fridays. You can also visit the website at www.NAAVE.org.

Jeff Holme

Banks