Vote early to avoid campaign calls
Ballots will arrive in mail boxes soon with candidates to choose and issues to decide.
Ask yourself whether you like to talk with volunteer campaign workers on the phone or whether you would prefer to minimize the number of political calls.
Last fall was my first time to actively work on a campaign and I learned a tip that I have been passing on to friends who have been happy to know about it.
With elections by mail, one advantage for both voters and candidates is that once ballots begin to come in to the county elections division a list becomes available to candidates and campaigns with the names of people who have already sent back their ballots.
Campaigns do not like to waste their time calling people who have already voted so they use the lists to help decide who will or will not be called.
So if you dislike candidates calling around election time, the most effective thing you can do in every election is to study your voter's guide or newspapers when the ballot comes, mark it as soon as you decide and then send it in.
There may be a short lag time between when you put it in the mail or drop box and when the list gets updated, but it works.
Then you can brag to your friends who live out of state that not only do you get to vote in your pajamas if you want, but you have an easy and patriotic way of cutting out the phone calls too, just by turning in your ballot as early as possible.
City emergency services are a necessity
The parks, aquatic center and library are nice things to have available and most members of the community use one or more of them throughout the year.
A renewal of the Forest Grove operating levy would allow for the city to continue providing full access to them.
The fire department and police department are more of a necessity. The community depended on them 11,719 times last year. A failure of this operating levy would put staffing and money available for training back to 2002 levels.
The call volume for both of these departments has grown exponentially. In the last 10 years the call volume has nearly doubled.
With current staffing the fire department has the ability to handle two separate incidents at the same time. This means that you could call 911 because your child just had a seizure and someone else in town could call 911 at the same time, and receive service, for a heart attack. Last year there were over 300 times that two calls came in simultaneously.
Imagine that you called in for your heart attack only a minute after someone else called in their emergency. You would have to wait for off duty firefighters and volunteer firefighters to respond to the fire station then respond from downtown Forest Grove to your emergency. This could add an additional 10 minutes to their response times.
It will cost 36 cents more per thousand than we are currently paying to maintain the levy. This would be an average increase of only $64.92 a year per household.
I find this a small price to pay for the comfort of knowing our police and fire resources are at sufficient staffing levels. I am voting yes because we will lose firefighters and police officers if it fails.
Please join me in voting 'yes.'
City pool vital for health of Forest Grove
I am a regular attendee at the Forest Grove Aquatic Center. My first time at the pool was as a Pacific University freshman in 1952. When the indoor pool was constructed I enjoyed early morning men's exercise class.
Now, as a senior citizen I enjoy the arthritis classes and fitness swim periods. The term fitness is a variable term that covers lap swimmers to individual exercisers. Each person is selecting their own objective in physical and motivational levels.
My observation and interaction with fellow fitness participants reveal a variety of benefits received. They have a goal or objective in regular attendance for exercising at their ability. They enjoy socializing with fellow pool users. The environment is accessible and aquatic staff supportive and friendly.
In conversations with regular attendees, they are upbeat and positive about the benefits of regular water exercise.
If the May ballot measure does not pass and hours are reduced (with weekends closed), it will severely affect everyone. The effect will be felt more severely for senior and disabled users. They will be competing for open hours and parking.
Without parking, they will go home and not get to exercise. As you become less active, the strength, agility and mobility diminish - the phrase 'use it or lose it' comes to mind.
I have emphasized the senior and disabled users but the young will not have as much access to learning to swim for a life-long exercise option, also.
We should be making an opportunity for community health and fitness more accessible rather than less.
I encourage every one to vote and ask friends and neighbors to do the same. Vote for the health of this community.
Please vote in May election
When I first came to Forest Grove in the summer of 1948, the city pool was the first place to give me an opportunity to meet other kids. As time progressed, a marriage and then children (five of them), we used the pool a lot. All five of our children eventually joined the swim team and then some of them went on to swim in high school.
I started using the pool for early morning lap swimming over 30 years ago and still today I put in 20 laps three days a week.
As you can tell I am a strong booster of the aquatic center and our other recreation facilities in the city.
I ask for your yes vote on the levy that is coming up in May. The other request is that you vote. The 'double majority' means that a ballot not turned in is a no vote, not too democratic but it is our law.
City police vital to business security in Forest Grove
The officers of the Forest Grove police force have been instrumental in the reduction of loss due to theft from our trailers that are parked at the rear of our store.
When I first came to work here in November 2005, our trailers were being entered almost every night. Due to the diligence of the police, it is rare that anyone enters the trailers.
Whenever we call for assistance, officers arrive in a timely manner and help us with whatever problem we might be having.
They have told us that we can call them even if we just have someone here in the store that makes us uncomfortable.
They are kind to us and to the person or people from whom we have been forced to ask for assistance with. They are extremely helpful and professional in their approach.
Please let our officers know how much we appreciate them and value their service to Goodwill and to the community.
Please support our excellent police department by voting yes in the May election.
Forest Grove Goodwill