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Letters to the editor

Where are homeless expected to go?

In response to my friend Aldie Howard’s letter (News-Times, Oct. 15 issue) about transients inhabiting the B Street Trail and elsewhere: He suggests cutting the grass to deprive them of cover would be a good way to make them move on. To where?

The problem of people who have no place of their own is not unique to the B Street Trail. Homelessness is endemic across our nation. The idea we can make them “go somewhere else” is a misconception. The stereotype “transient” employed by Aldie deprives them of their humanity.

These “transients” have names and stories. Owing to the fact they have no place of their own, wherever they go they are trespassing. And this is no small group of folks. There are millions in similar straights.

Society delegates control of these people to the police, mostly. The police do amazing things in the course of performing their duties, but trained social workers along with programs are what works if we are concerned with reducing the population of “transients.” Sure, they appear scary. They are often dirty. They often dress in disheveled clothing with worn shoes. Many have mental and physical issues that make them different and less than normal. But I’ve found when I say “good morning” to them and look them in the eye and recognize them as human beings, they respond quite well. Consider that it is unusual for these people to be addressed without fear or rejection. They are human beings, but most of us do not treat them as human beings. We pretend they don’t exist, or we call the police.

Human beings sleep and eat. They need to stay warm and dry. They have lives to live. Whereas it is not “normal” for people to live outside, this does not imply they should be deprived of living. Their needs are real. Are they such a problem out there? If they are, I hope we do more than cut the grass. They deserve more. If it were me without a home, I’d wish for more. Wouldn’t you?

I’m not against cutting the grass out on the trail. I take issue with the reason. My wife and I frequent the trail, and we have had no problems.

I hate to see anyone run out of their “home.” If we can’t help directly and appropriately, let’s at least respect these people for finding a spot for themselves and wish them well. I’m not saying ignore lawlessness. Not at all! But appearing scary to someone is not against the law.

Eric Canon

Forest Grove

Tom Beck would serve Forest Grove well on council

I’m hoping you will join me in voting for Tom Beck for the Forest Grove City Council. I’ve worked with Tom on the Fernhill Wetlands Council for the last 10 years, and have observed firsthand his effectiveness as a leader.

Tom has also been an effective longtime chairman of the city’s Planning Commission; great at building consensus and always coming to meetings well-prepared. He will bring new ideas and new energy to the council, along with his great leadership skills.

Tom will work hard on transportation and land use issues, particularly on Highway 47 safety where it intersects city streets. He will work on developing new recreational facilities, perhaps partnering with the school district. And his service on the Fernhill Wetlands Council will serve us well as we tackle sustainability issues that affect the city.

John Hayes

Forest Grove

Truax is dedicated to improving our community

I have worked with Mayor Peter Truax on many community projects and would find it difficult to locate a more dedicated individual, who strives to improve our community.

I strongly urge a yes vote for Mayor Peter Truax.

Michael Hundley

Forest Grove

Mayor Pete Truax knows how to make our city work

Dear citizens of Forest Grove:

I want to thank you for your support of me as a council member for our city. I have done my best to represent you in my terms of service to my community. I love Forest Grove, and I’ll do anything I can to make it what we all want it to be.

That’s why I want to recommend to you that you vote for our mayor, Peter Truax, to retain his position as our mayor. Pete has proven his leadership and his love for Forest Grove. He understands the complications of city government.

This isn’t Mayberry (though we’d all love it to be). This is the real world, and Pete has a great grip of how to deal with Metro, the League of Oregon Cities (of which he is incoming president) and state and national government in general. He knows how to make our city work in the grand scope of things.

I learned early on that the governance of our city is not an easy task. It takes experience and understanding of how each of the branches of government work (or not) together. This is not a position that you can just walk into and expect to “get it.” It just doesn’t happen that way.

I have served for 40 years in various positions in local government and chamber activities, and I know a lot about how it all works — but I don’t have a clue about the intricacies of government.

Peter Truax does, and I urge you to vote for him and keep a proven leader as our mayor.

Camille Miller

Forest Grove

Bruce Starr’s the one for Oregon Senate

Bruce Starr has been a small businessman and a public servant for the last 24 years. In all those years, he has received almost all of his campaign funding from local voters and businesses.

That is important in that the source of the money that helps get an official elected could have great influence on the votes cast.

In contrast, Chuck Riley has sold out his candidacy to out of state interests who are supplying nearly all of his funding. It turns out that California billionaire (and environmental extremist) Tom Steyer has provided Riley with most of his funding. That is a dangerous position for Riley to put himself in, not to mention the negative impact that has on the voters of the district.

Look closely and the choice is clear: Bruce Starr has earned the right to be re-elected, and that is why Sen. Starr has my vote.

Christiana Mayer

Forest Grove

Seniors would be wise to re-elect Starr

If you are a senior, you know the burden of doctor’s appointments, prescriptions and hospital visits all costing more and more. A big help in balancing those ever-increasing expenses against a set income is the ability to deduct medical expenses from Oregon income taxes. That’s a fair and reasonable tax policy that Oregon has had in place since 1963.

Yet there are those who have served in the Oregon Legislature who have sought to remove this critically important deduction. Chuck Riley (a former legislator) is one of those who voted to eliminate this deduction.

Seniors living in Senate District 15 can be thankful that Sen. Bruce Starr is a clear advocate for keeping seniors’ taxes low and services at their highest possible level. Bruce fought for the deduction to remain in place in 2013.

Re-electing Sen. Starr is a great investment for the future well-being of seniors.

Trudy Good

Hillsboro

Proud to have Bruce Starr as our state senator

I am voting to keep Bruce Starr as our state senator since he has a consistent record of supporting our local community. From his vote for the largest tax cut for small businesses in state history to his push for local infrastructure investments in our roads and bridges, he has dedicated himself to keeping our economy healthy.

His work to keep companies such as Nike and Intel as a part of our community and into the future has helped families provide for their needs and helps fund essential state services. I am proud to have Bruce Starr as my state senator, and ask for you to vote for him too this November.

Adam Mayer

Forest Grove

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