Sustainability panel to be created

When citizens were invited two years ago to join an ad hoc committee on sustainability, Elaine Cole knew this was a way to combine her expertise in sustainability and her lifelong value of contributing to society, something instilled by her parents when she was a child.

On Oct. 28, two years of steady work paid off when the Forest Grove City Council voted unanimously to accept the ad hoc sustainability committee’s action plan, and to form an official sustainability commission for the city.

“It’s a double win,” said Cole, chair of the ad hoc committee and sustainability coordinator at Portland Community College’s Rock Creek campus. Nineteen other citizen volunteers and city staffers round out the committee.

“It speaks to the sense of community,” said Cole as she described her engagement in the process. “I’m so proud of the grassroots perseverance and the support we got from the city staff. This is a living document.”

Committee member Dale Feik agreed. “This is just the beginning. It won’t be a document that sits on the shelf.” A former Forest Grove teacher, Feik praised the ad hoc committee and Cole in particular. “She is a super leader, getting agendas out and working with city staff. She’s the glue that held this together.”

The next steps will be for the city to establish the commission, and for the commission to review and evaluate the plan, giving recommendations to the city council.

Talk promotes free vision screening

Award-winning actor, entertainer and author Tom Sullivan will bring a motivational message in support of the InfantSEE initiative at 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, in room 223 of Jefferson Hall at Pacific University.

Supported by the American Optometric Association Foundation, the national InfantSEE initiative provides free vision care for infants 6 to 12 months old.

Sullivan, who has been blind since shortly after birth, will share his story and be joined by a panel of experts to discuss the importance of eye and vision care for infants.

“One in four kids start school with undiagnosed vision problems—often ones that, if caught early, can be treated,” said Dr. Jenny Smythe, dean of Pacific’s College of Optometry.

Undetected vision problems can lead to developmental and behavior difficulties and impede progress in school, she said.

The program is free and open to the public.

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