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Tell Metro to butt out

I have never understood why western Washington County ever let Metro make our decisions for us. They have been trying to annex and develop farmland north of Cornelius and Helvetia and now, with Portland Mayor Sam Adams mass transit vision, they want to mandate inc reased population density. Developers want to make money and Adams wants an auto-less society by increasing the money pit of mass transit. I have stayed in Forest Grove for 60 years to keep away from the mass congestion of the metro area. Tell them to leave us out of it.

Paul L. Haller

Forest Grove

Philharmonic has grown in numbers and quality

As an alumna of Pacific University and of the Pacific Philharmonic, the fall concert on Friday, Nov. 18 was thrilling. The group is six years old this year; I came into the program as a freshman in 2006, when it was only in its second year.

The number of performers on the stage has increased even since I last sat on that stage, in the spring of 2009.

Watching the performance Friday night, I remembered when there was only one bass player instead of four, and three cellos instead of eight.

The added instruments give a wonderfully balanced sound; all through my career as a violinist, I'm used to a fleet of violins and only several of the low strings.

The program consisted of music with which I am familiar: Beethoven, Saint-Saens, 'American Salute' by Morton Gould (seriously, look it up. It's one of those songs you didn't know you knew), and a few modern favorites, including music from 'Super Mario Bros.' and 'Angry Birds.'

My hands-down favorite was the march from 'Raiders of the Lost Ark,' a piece I had played in high school. And who can resist John Williams' music? I never could. Even better, Miguel Guenther-Rodriguez, age eight, conducted this piece, in full Indiana Jones costume.

The height of the evening for me came right in the middle with the opening notes of the 'Berceuse and Finale' from 'The Firebird Suite' by Igor Stravinsky, which I played as a freshman at Pacific.

The Philharmonic has also grown in quality, coming in as a finalist for The American Prize, which is a national Excellence in the Arts Competition in the Collegiate Orchestra Performance Division.

The next concert the Philharmonic will perform in will be Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at the Roseland Theatre in Portland - along with the rock band Kansas.

Community members are always welcome to play in the Philharmonic, too, so if you play any string or band instrument, contact Dr. Bryce Seliger, Music Director and Conductor of the Philharmonic, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Congratulations to the Pacific Philharmonic!

Jessica Cornwell

Forest Grove