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Letters to the editor

Howard a good fit for council

Let’s elect Aldie Howard to the Forest Grove City Council!I’ve known Aldie most of the 23 years I’ve lived here and so I’d like to share a few observations:

First, Aldie understands how local government works, he speaks the language. He understands growth, land use, code issues and economic development. And he has the time and energy to learn the rest.

Second, Aldie has a great passion to be involved, a zeal to serve. This is a rare quality. He will be neither hard to find nor frequently absent.

Third, Aldie is goal-oriented and pragmatic; he is not encumbered by lock-step ideology. He will work with others to find reasonable solutions to the problems we face.Please join me in voting for Aldie Howard.

Mark Oberzil

Forest Grove

Incumbents serve city well

I’ve had the honor of serving Forest Grove on the Historic Landmarks Board for several years now. It started as an exercise in civic duty but has evolved into much more.

All of Forest Grove’s citizen boards and commissions have a sitting city council member as liaison. Ours is Elena Uhing and has been ever since I was appointed back in 2007.

Every month at our board meeting she gives a report on the city council, what they are doing and insight into how they go about making decisions. She has also been a consistent and valued source of ethical guidance to our board.

My parents retired to Quartzsite Arizona a number of years ago. Quartzsite is famous for its profoundly dysfunctional city government. Even the Wall Street Journal recently published an article on Quartzsite’s insanity. And, by all reports, at the very core of the dysfunction is their city council.

The contrast with how Forest Grove’s City Council and city government functions just couldn’t be more stark!

I’ve been into politics my entire adult life. For many years all that mattered to me was the never ending war between Republicans and Democrats. It still matters to me, but following the shenanigans of the Quartzsite city government for the last several years has convinced me that the political persuasions of the individual members of Forest Grove’s City Council just isn’t relevant.

In truth I don’t know what their individual political affiliations are, nor do I care. They have all done a superb job and stand as a sterling example of good governance with the highest of ethical standards.

I intend to vote to reelect not just Elena Uhing but each and every one of them.

Kevin Kamberg

Forest Grove

Rep. Eyre has needed talent

Ben Unger is wrong to claim the legislature cut the education budget. Funding for education has actually increased thanks to Rep. Katie Eyre.

Katie Eyre worked closely with Gov. Kitzhaber and House Democrats to make sure our schools are being adequately funded and maximized school choice for parents. Her familiarity with the legislative process and her background as a CPA ensured the constituents of her district that she would take the time to get the details right.

The budget passed with bipartisan support and increased funding for our schools. It’s disappointing that Ben Unger cannot get his facts straight, and even more disappointing that he is such a poor student of math.

Maybe if he was a CPA, he would know better. We need Katie Eyre representing us.

Adam Mayer

Forest Grove

Eyre’s mailings misleading

If you have ever raised kids, you have had to resign yourself to just how petty, spiteful and downright mean kids can be when they fight over anything. There is always the reassuring thought, “Well, at least they are going to grow out of it someday.”

With some politicians, unfortunately, there is no such reassurance.

When last week’s glossy mailing from Katie Eyre arrived, I was pleased to see that she had apparently abandoned her snide attack ads about her opponent’s character, resume and qualifications.

Perhaps, I thought, she was finally ready to drop the political mudslinging and start talking about specifics.

No such luck, apparently. Today’s mail brings another glossy, expensively produced mini-billboard titled “MEET BEN UNGER” ... but instead of actually meeting Ben Unger, you are treated to another steaming pile of insinuation, innuendo and name-calling against him... along with such stale debate tricks as bratty kids use.

“Has a history of running false negative campaigns that insult voters” runs one accusation. Well gee now, just who does that sound like?

Unger, to give him credit, has remained above such stale and shabby tactics, and refused to be drawn into the mud fight. Instead, he has been walking around and actually taking to people. And he has put his name, and noted his alliance with the Democratic Party, on every mailing.

Significantly, Eyre’s name does not even appear on this latest bit of bomfog. And it is credited only to “Promote Oregon Leadership PAC,” a vaguely patriotic-sounding disguise for the Republican corporate money machine.

Great gods, I can’t wait for this election to be over. I could shingle a dog-house with the number of glossy full-color slanders that defiled my mailbox, but I wouldn’t want to impose that on any dog.

Walt Wentz

Forest Grove

Attack on renters is outrageous

A recent email from Promote Oregon’s Nick Smith celebrates the anniversary of Ben Unger’s move to Hillsboro!

Anniversaries recount feelings of warmth and joy ... a first date, years of successful business, grandma and grandpa’s 50th. My initial delight over the extended pleasantries to locally raised and returned Ben Unger was short-lived.

The email conveys the Republican Party’s intention to personally attack Unger for having returned to Hillsboro one year ago as a renter. Because being a renter means Ben is not committed to our district and the issues its constituents denote important and relevant?

The email condescendingly offers empathy for Unger, “Of course we don’t blame him for only renting a house and not buying. Elections are unpredictable and buying a home is a big commitment.”

The 2010 US Census Bureau showed only 62 percent of Oregon households were owner-occupied meaning nearly 40 percent of constituents were renters — a number that has likely increased given the rise in foreclosures.

This attack alludes that being a renter translates to failure to commit — that renting is largely a choice and when you choose to rent in lieu of owning ... well, it just may mean that you have a larger agenda.

So — why do I care? As a Forest Grove resident renter just celebrating my one year anniversary here, I am outraged that the party would try to reach voters this way.

Katie Eyre’s negative campaign voice sends a clear message — that renters are not committed. With so little time left in this race I would ask Ms. Eyre to stick to the issues. Considering that you have many constituent renters in your district, why would you want to send a message to them that their housing status deems them not vote worthy?

Elaine Charpentier Philippi

Forest Grove

Obama is no centrist

In his Oct. 12 guest column (“Obama Is More Like Ike Than Marx.”) Russ Dondero paints President Obama as a “centrist.” The president has been called a lot of things, but this is the first time I have heard him referred to as a centrist. 

If the President is a centrist, then surely elephants can fly. Is the professor totally unaware that while a member of the U.S. Senate the president had the most far-left voting record of that entire body?  Are “Cap & Trade,” partial-birth abortion, increasing the debt by $5 trillion in three and one-half years, federal control of the health care system, the appointing of more than 25 far-left “czars,” and pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into failed “green” companies “centrist” positions?  I don’t think so. I could continue, but I am limited by editorial constraint.

Ike must be spinning in his grave when he is being similarly compared to President Obama.

In his closing paragraph the professor goes over the top by referring to Gov. Romney’s wealth as “filthy lucre.” Then he goes on to castigate Phil Knight, Paul Allen, and Bill Gates, Jr.

Yes, these men are wealthy, but they are self-made men. They created thousands of good paying jobs, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given tens of millions of dollars to charity.

Professor Dondero obviously doesn’t like capitalism.  Perhaps he would be happier living in Sweden or Denmark?

 Douglas Crawford

Green Valley, Arizona

Demonizing the wealthy is wrong

There is a terribly serious division in our society resulting from five decades of unchecked progressive thought. We are now so divided that life-long friends are questioning their friendships because of political differences.

Professor Emeritus Russ Dondero has bought into President Obama’s class warfare. It is a sin to be rich and we should make them pay. The venomous envy of Romney’s (and others) “filthy lucre” is fair game for redistribution.

Why is that all right? Disregard the fact the top 1 percent alone paid over 22 percent of all federal taxes, while earning 13 percent of the income. The top 20 percent of earners paid nearly 70 percent of all federal taxes, while 47 percent pay not a dime.

This is Obama’s only solution for all our fiscal problems. Are we to embrace the secular socialism of Obama while believing all conservatives were raised by wolves? I neither accept that kind of thinking nor any kind of compromise with it. This president is tearing us apart and will complete the work if allowed to serve another four years.

James Shores

Forest Grove



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