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More Letters to the Editor

Amazing tennis scholar athletes

To the Editor:

The galaxy is brilliant with our class of 2007 shining stars. Who knew the incredible accomplishments of scholastics combined with your talents of sports, volunteerism and the arts? You are to be congratulated for your excellence, humility, and dedication. Your families have guided you admirably - not seeking the spotlight, but basking in your glow all these formative years. They too are to be congratulated.

I am bursting with pride for our top scholars from both schools as six of you have outdone yourselves. Tennis has been our common thread, yet none of you is getting a full-ride from sports - you are getting scholarships for your intellect. Yahoo! Stephanie Higgins, Lakeridge and Lucas Manfield, Lake Oswego, are the No. 1 students from each high school; Katie Gosewehr, No. 2 at LHS; Conor O'Sullivan, No. 3 at LOHS; David Mai, No. 5 at LOHS; Morgan Prince, No. 7 at LHS; and Frank Chen, No. 10 at LHS. I mean how unbelievable to be four year varsity tennis players and be everything else, too!

We've shared many years of fun and learning. Your other tennis friends have excelled, received awards and are in the top percentiles as well: Julie Irvine, Katie Pearson, Grant Branam, Hayley Luhr, Jillian Kay, Lindsey Chestler, Stephanie Levine, Alex Barnum, Meagan Cougill, William Camiano, Anni Zahniser, James Zahniser, Max Grove and Sean Eberle.

Thanks for being a part of the Lake Oswego Tennis Center. Collectively you have fed off each other, been a part of the team and inspired your younger counterparts. I hope I have instilled some life lessons from the tennis court that will lead you into your next adventures. Our days of playing geography Jeopardy, having nicknames, posing for goofy pictures and quiet moments about growing up have been unique. Each of you is special to me and I will be forever proud of your total achievement.

Thanks for the memories - you are a tribute to youth, academics, family and tennis!

Game - Set - Match

Anni Miller

Director of Tennis, Lake Oswego Tennis Center

Mental health funding needed

To the Editor:

It is particularly worrisome that as the final days of the legislative session draw near, legislators have not committed to funding critical programs that will enhance our state's community-based mental health services. Without full funding for all of the components of the Gov. Kulongoski's recommended community mental health services budget, the state's large investment in a new state hospital system will be doomed to fail even before the doors open.

The success of the mental health system depends on the availability of services designed to prevent hospitalization. If the state doesn't fund preventative services, people who could be treated in their communities are committed to the hospital unnecessarily and their duration of stay is longer. Oregon's state mental health hospitals are already overcrowded: Taking away community alternatives will only worsen the conditions for people with mental illness. And it will surely cost the state more money in the end, as hospitalization is always more expensive than preventative mental health services.

The current debate over increasing the tobacco tax to fund the Healthy Kids Plan also leaves us wondering whether more of our most vulnerable children in the state and their families will have access to community mental health services.

I urge the Legislature to fund Early Assessment and Support Team (EAST) programs in our communities, which focus on early intervention and the Healthy Kids Plan, which will give 10,000 of our most vulnerable children and low income adults access to mental health services by expanding Oregon Health Plan standard coverage.

Ken Allen

Executive director of Oregon AFSCME Council 75