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Letters to the editor

for Oct. 9, 2012


Re-elect Monnes Anderson to Senate

It’s not news that our kids have been hard-hit by school funding cuts. Teachers are being laid off, class sizes increased and after-school programs eliminated.

I’m voting for Laurie Monnes Anderson for state Senate because she has the right priorities: funding education, not giving tax breaks to big corporations.

She is the daughter of teachers, a proud parent of Gresham public school graduates and a former school board member.

She knows we must stop spending cuts to education, so we can reduce class sizes and increase instruction. To accomplish this, Laurie supports putting the corporate kicker into K-12 schools, and making education funding our No. 1 priority.

Bottom line: She knows we shouldn’t send taxpayer money to out-of-state corporations while teachers are being laid off and school days are being cut.

Laurie has the right priorities, the experience and the know-how to fight for our schools, protect our community and care for East County. I urge you to vote for Laurie Monnes Anderson this election.

Janine Morgan, Gresham

How many failures before we wake up?

Remember Solyndra? That was the solar panel company that filed for bankruptcy last year, costing taxpayers $1 billion.

Now, there is a new solar panel company — SoloPower — that just opened its doors Thursday, Sept. 27, in Portland. SoloPower is a solar panel company similar to Solyndra.

SoloPower received a $197 million federal government loan guarantee (risking our tax dollars), which it will start spending at the end of the year, plus $219 million in private funding and $56 million in tax credits and loans, and hired 60 workers on the production lines and plan to hire an additional 450 production workers in a couple of years.

The problem with solar panel makers being successful in this country is that panel makers in China have a 30 percent price advantage and control the market.

So, the question is, should the federal government be in the venture capital fund business? First it was Solyndra that failed, then another failed solar company in Colorado that cost $70 million. If SoloPower fails, that will be three out of three ventures that failed.

Is this another example of political cronyism since the CEO of SoloPower (per FOX News) donated $30,000 to the Obama campaign in 2008?

Louis H. Bowerman, Portland

Measure 80 in not a joking matter

I’m not sure what’s worse, yellow journalism or a lack of journalism.

The Outlook’s editorial board plays cute with its “No-Brainers” headline for suggesting how you should vote on Measure 80.

Meanwhile, thousands of our residents who are suffering from chronic pain and terminal diseases are at risk every day another law-abiding cannabis grower is raided by the over-reaching federal government.

With the little space it devotes to the matter, The Outlook thinks you would prefer to hear jokes about Measure 80’s authors “consuming a little too much of their product.”

This is insensitive to the elderly who must take marijuana as the only viable medicine to relieve their pain.

These people don’t smoke pot to become stupid. They smoke pot to survive. And some who are not able to achieve an appetite because the feds have raided their grower; these people are at risk of death from wasting syndrome.

The editorial board has provided this community with zero research into the premises behind Measure 80 and zero research into the struggle between a free Oregon vs. the powerful economic lobbies of the beer and wine industry and big drug companies in Washington, D.C.

The editorial promotes fear. They admit their lack of research (“We’re not sure about the scientific aspects of this measure”) and then twist this journalistic failure into a premise for calling Measure 80 a “wild experiment.” This smacks of yellow journalism.

For more than 2,000 years, marijuana has been freely used for medicinal and recreational purposes. There has never been a single death certificate listing marijuana as the cause. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Americans have died violently to protect your freedoms and your rights.

In states that legalized medicinal pot, automobile fatalities dropped double digits (TIME magazine, Dec 2, 2011). Is this something to joke about?

The feds took away Oregonians’ rights 75 years ago. Measure 80 is your chance to reclaim them.

Vote yes on Measure 80.

Sean Mulvihill, Gresham

Hansen’s charitable giving idea has merit

Scott Hansen’s recent letter to editor, “No one should go hungry here,” is of particular interest because he proposes a way for Oregonians to receive tax credits for charitable giving.

While not yet guaranteed through future legislative action, his proposal has considerable merit.

Alternatively, what is available for charitable giving now is the Oregon Individual Development Initiative 75 percent tax credit.

Led by then-legislators Ben Westlund and Jeff Merkely in 1999, this Initiative allows a citizen to make a charitable contribution, receive a 75 percent credit on an Oregon tax return and know that the contribution will go to work directly in the community.

Within the initiative are the Oregon Individual Development Accounts, known as IDAs, which are matched saving accounts designed to build the financial capabilities of qualifying Oregonians with low incomes.

These individuals are trained by nonprofit organizations across Oregon, including CASA of Oregon, Mercy Corps Northwest and the Portland Housing Center, all of which offer financial education and specific training, and make accounts available to program participants.

Statewide, the Oregon IDA Initiative is managed by Neighborhood Partnerships and independently evaluated by Portland State University.

The purpose of IDAs is to help families save toward defined goals: to purchase a home, fulfill an educational objective, develop and launch a small business, restore a home to habitable shape or purchase equipment to support an employment goal. When a savings goal is reached and all parts of the savings plan are completed, every dollar saved by a participant is matched by the initiative, typically $3 for every $1 saved.

Clearly, this philosophy is what Oregonians should expect: that we all benefit in Oregon when more families are financially stable.

What could be a better win-win contribution than receiving a tax credit for helping rebuild the pathway to prosperity for our neighbors with financial challenges? Please consider contacting the Oregon Initiative at oregonidainitative.org today.

John H. Kilian, Gresham

Hansen understands what’s important

I am supporting Scott Hansen for the Oregon State Senate. As a Democrat, I have supported his opponent in her previous races.

However, I now believe that it is time for a change.

With Scott’s strong mix of private and public sector experience, he is the right person for the Senate position. Scott has served on the Gresham Grade School Board and also has been a strong and active member of the Gresham Barlow Education Foundation.

He understands the needs of education as well as the importance of meeting a monthly payroll.

Oregon is privileged to have a person of Scott’s character and abilities willing to make the economic sacrifices to run for, and serve in, the Legislature.

Steve Lewis, Gresham

Scott Hansen for positive change

I met Scott Hansen over the summer and, as a college student nearing graduation, was encouraged by his vision and ideas for our state and our economy.

Scott is a man of character with a firm grasp of what it takes to bring about positive change. His emphasis on fiscal discipline and commitment to small businesses is of tremendous importance, and he will do this by helping to produce a balanced and properly prioritized budget and working to remove regulations that have constricted economic growth.

While Laurie Monnes Anderson is to be honored for her years of service, the time has clearly come for new ideas, new leadership and new energy to restore Oregon’s promise. My classmates and I have a clear message for our political leaders: We need jobs.

I am convinced that as senator, Scott Hansen will provide the needed leadership to help our economy thrive.

Cheldon Chriestenson, Gresham

Sheriff endorses Monnes Anderson

As Multnomah County Sheriff and a longtime East County resident, I know all too well that we need to be smart on crime and hold violent criminals accountable.

That’s why I’m voting for Laurie Monnes Anderson for the Senate. As a nurse and our state senator, Laurie has consistently led efforts that keep our community safe. She has been instrumental in funding the East Metro Gang Enforcement Team that prevents and cracks down on gang violence, while prioritizing services that help women and families, and passing legislation that helps public safety officers catch predators and stay tough on violent criminals.

Laurie is a critical partner in the fight against crime and gang violence. We need her voice in Salem to stand up for East County. She is looking out for East County families, and has the right priorities to make our community a safe place to live and work. When ballots arrive, join me in voting for Laurie Monnes Anderson.

Sheriff Daniel Staton, Gresham



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