No reason to wait for action

I just returned from Forest Grove’s annual town meeting, where the need for a community center for serving our youth and younger population was often mentioned. It made it to the action list to have such a center near downtown. While that would be great, it would require a new building.

Let’s use the resources we already have: our schools, especially the beautiful new facility at Joseph Gale Elementary School, for the hours and days it could be available.

We need a joint task force from the school district and the city to work to make this happen. As a candidate in next fall’s election for the Forest Grove City Council, I will make this one of my goals — but let’s not wait.

I urge the mayor and the chairman of the Forest Grove School District to work with their respective council members and board members to form this task force now.

Tom Beck

Forest Grove

Forests and parks are major factor in economic growth

Washington County is a rapidly growing and successful county. Washington County is now one of Oregon’s principal economic engines and population centers. The county’s success rests in no small part upon its strong outdoor equipment and apparel manufacturing and design “cluster,” and its proximity to outdoor amenities.

My employees (at, which creates cycling and triathlon apparel for women) greatly appreciate the public forests and parks, wilderness areas and other public lands found in this county and all over Oregon. They value their access to those outdoor amenities, and I see them as an important recruitment and retention tool for the work talent our company needs. I also believe those outdoor amenities help support Washington County’s local jobs and economy, and thus are critical for this state’s future economic growth.

I want to thank U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden for supporting full and permanent funding for the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). LWCF uses no taxpayer money and helps pay for conservation activities and land purchases all over Oregon, including here in Washington County. Locally, LWCF funding has been used to develop recreational facilities at Henry Hagg Lake and Stub Stewart State Park and to acquire key parts of the Tualatin Hills Nature Park and Cook Park in Tigard, and there have been many other conservation projects and lands in Washington County this program has benefited.

These LWCF projects and other outdoor amenities we have in Oregon provide this state and this county’s businesses with competitive advantages we need to succeed.

Susan Otcenas


Contract Publishing

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