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Letters to the Editor, May 30, 2012

Let's set the record straight

So David Buoy ('Re-elect Johnson in District 52,' The Outlook letters to the editor, May 26) wants us to know the facts about financing of local campaigns.

Fair enough.

His source apparently shows heavy expenditures by both campaigns, and with Democrats outspending Republicans by about $185,000.

Mine shows the four campaigns for the two local offices (Senate and House) in 2010 at more than $2 million, with each of the four campaigns spending hundreds of thousands of dollars.

For House District 52 the difference from this source was $97,000.

Now, regardless of any discrepancies, who is going to say this is anything but disgraceful? Not us in the Nordbye campaign, including Peter.

It doesn't matter which party is the worst offender when both are so heavily invested in mudslinging that is controlled and instituted by outside funding sources. These campaign dollars come largely from the wealthy and from organizations seeking a foothold in the decision of who will represent us.

Moreover, Buoy is absolutely wrong (no question here) that campaign financing is our only issue. It is our main issue, but our website (PeterNordbye.com) makes clear Peter's position on many issues. An our published letters and other public statements have made this abundantly clear.

And there will be more, including whether candidates for re-election of all parties are wise in claiming credit for what came down in the state budget, regardless of the clear evidence about how it affects our schools.

As for the cheap shot referring to the occupy movement, no one who has had contact with Peter would suggest such a thing. Nor would they crudely refer to him as leftist. This label just doesn't apply to this gentle spoken, rational and thoroughly decent person.

We'll be taking no such cheap shots at Johnson, and hope Buoy's style of campaigning will not signal such by others, as was commonplace by both campaigns in 2010, though conceived, funded and directed by outsiders.

Just us local folks engaging as best we can in the self governance conceived by our founders.

But behind all this is what a growing number of local citizens recognize as the corruptive influence of huge outside dollars on campaigns, regardless of the qualifications, political positions and parties of the candidates.

I can't help but believe that if Peter (or one of us close to the campaign) had a quiet, rational conversation with Bouy, he also would agree. Almost everyone we contact does, including Republicans and those registered in other ways. It's just too obvious to ignore.

Then we could move on to discussing the issues and qualifications of the candidates. And let our local residents decide who should represent them.

Dick McQueen

Brightwood

Scouts producing great citizens

I appreciated your article in last Saturday's Outlook about the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts placing Flags at Willamette National Cemetery ('Salute to fallen heroes.')

Scouting provides our young people many opportunities to learn and practice citizenship, honor and respect.

The Willamette flag placement is a great opportunity for honoring and paying respect to those who put their lives on the line to protect our freedom.

Thanks again for your article.

Cynthia Jacobsen

Troutdale

City should adopt district representation

My initial reaction was mixed to Richard Strathern's proposal to replace our at-large council with an at-large mayor and councilors elected from six distinct districts.

Is it a good, bad or indifferent idea?

Then I read the May 23 article in The Outlook, 'Districting effort on track for vote.'

In it, city councilor David Widmark was quoted as saying, 'The district method prevents the most qualified candidates from running.'

Is he saying that because most of the current councilors live in the Gresham Butte neighborhood, only upper middle class Gresham residents should be considered as qualified candidates?

Isn't a truly representative government one that consists of a cross section of its citizens? People who are actually experiencing the socioeconomic issues associated with their communities and their daily lives? Please understand that, with a couple of exceptions, I feel the individuals on our current council are good people with a sense of civic duty.

The problem is collectively their liberal middle class concepts of our city's needs seldom match the reality of those needs.

If they follow Metro's edicts, create more bicycle paths, make the city pedestrian friendly, discourage automobile use, plant as many trees as possible, never dare to do anything that may not be considered politically correct and always think inside the box, their middle class values for our city have been satisfied.

If districting will add diversity to the council makeup and, hopefully, result in a more realistic focus on our city's many real and urgent problems, than it only seems reasonable that we support the Strathern proposal.

Dick Ehr

Gresham

Family appreciates artistic ancestor

Thank you for the splendid article by Calvin Hall about the Crown Point Historical Society's collection of the work of gorge artist Charles W. Post. The 'collection' I referenced did not include the artist's paintings, but his collection of newspaper and magazine articles, studies and other materials that he presumably kept for reference.

When told that the family was considering disposing of this material 'in the Dumpster,' I advised them not to do so. Later, Wes and Juanita Post brought the material to my home so I might catalogue it. Their intention was to donate it to the society in addition to the paintings they had already given.

When I started the task, I found some etchings that appeared to be the work of some well-known European artists of the 17th century. I immediately called the Posts and suggested that they should reconsider donating the material. After another visit, they made a decision to sell the material together with a few of the artist's unfinished paintings at an auction managed by Betty Chisum, a local individual with whom they were acquainted.

One of the items was a small, unfinished painting labeled 'Crown Point.' It appeared to be a hole in the ground, which is exactly what it was. Charles W. Post, the artist, was so intrigued by what was taking place at Crown Point that he painted the excavation made for the foundation of the Vista House. The small painting can now be viewed at the Charles W. Post display at the Vista House. Some items including the etchings were not sold.

My purpose is to dispel the thought that the Post family members do not appreciate the work of their ancestor, Charles W. Post, which might be the case should they read 'the (Post children) suggested that the rest be tossed into a Dumpster.'

Clarence Mershon

Gresham




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