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Topics includes: Troutdale mayoral race; House District 52 race; Springwater Trail —

Resident grateful for cleanup of public trail

I'd like to thank (those who are responsible) for cleaning up the Springwater Trail.

It's nice to see somebody is keeping our streets, trails and parks clean and that somebody is looking for alternative solutions for our homeless community.

Joshua Hipes (Boy Scout), Gresham

I'm voting for Mark Reynolds

Incumbent Mark Johnson, R-District 52, says he's for education, women, families and the environment. But he votes against them in the Legislature. He is funded by wealthy out-of-state donors and large corporations including the tobacco and insurance industries. He says he's for cleaner sources of energy and reducing the risk from oil train accidents, but he opposed carbon fuel standards and is funded by Union Pacific. He supported Nestle's bottling plant in Cascade Locks while the citizens voted against it. He voted against school funding, smaller class size and raising the minimum wage.

Mark Reynolds is for the people, not large corporate interests. He is for education and families in our community, not for big banks and big insurance companies.

Please join me in voting for Mark Reynolds.

Beverly Persons, Sandy

Casey Ryan will move Troutdale in right direction

FILE PHOTO - Travis Stovall.At a time of national, state and local political unrest, we need to turn our attention to electing true leaders to these very important positions of responsibility. Casey Ryan is running for mayor of Troutdale and he is an individual who stands for solid responsible leadership. Troutdale is an amazing community that has a significant amount of opportunity. There are so many issues that we need to address such as outmigration, "brain-drain" and the lack of living wage jobs in East Multnomah County. We must address these challenges and other opportunities available to the Troutdale community and East County in general.

Casey Ryan is the candidate who I feel brings the talent, desire and capability to continue the work started by Mayor Doug Daoust. He will bring a balanced approach to development, a solid sense for business and a real desire to see Troutdale and East County thrive. Casey has shown his commitment to the region by serving on several nonprofit boards and being a champion for Mt Hood Community College. His passion for helping others and bringing regional resources to bear in Troutdale in East County will directly benefit the citizens of Troutdale for generations to come.

Travis Stovall, Gresham

Mark Reynolds believes in investing in students

I have received numerous slick and colorful mailers sent out by Rep. Mark Johnson and it seems from the photos that he has some of the positive attributes that many Republicans (here and in Texas, where I am from) seem to have: good-looking, seems to be tall, and must be wealthy or has very wealthy contributor-friends. However, I will never vote for him because his few positive votes (for child and environmental protection) came because he “crossed party lines”." He seems not to have the gumption to write such bills himself.

Most important, however, is his lack of support for education. My daughter, a land conservationist in Texas has a motto: “ Conservation without funding is just conversation.” I, a long-time educator in Montana, Idaho, Iowa and several places in Texas, have this motto: “Education without funding is not even a dream.” Republicans in Texas also do not support education properly, but Texas teachers do not have 35 students in an elementary school class.

Some Texas Republicans are honest — or brazen — enough to admit that they want public schools to disappear. In Oregon they’re not brave enough to say that. They have simply reduced funding year after year after year. My message to Rep. Johnson is simple: If you do not like the details of any funding bill that has ever been proposed, then write a good bill or amend one to improve it. I suspect, however, that Mark Johnson's financial backers would never let him vote to levy any amount of taxes to educate Oregon’s children.

I will vote for Mark Reynolds for District 52 representative because he has the classroom experience to understand the needs for proper funding of education and believes in investing in students.

Jane Sanders, Sandy

Mark Reynolds fwill serve district, not corp. donors

Mark Reynolds is a retired teacher who doesn't have big corporate donors, wants to protect our beautiful Oregon from polluters and wanton developers, wants educational opportunities for our children and school equity, small business' access to capital, and believes a woman's health care decisions are between her and her doctor. Mark Reynolds sides with the majority of voters in Hood River in opposing Nestlé's scheme to take millions of gallons of Oxbow Springs water for their own profit without regard to the environmental consequences.

The incumbent, Rep. Johnson, presents himself as a moderate who works across party lines, and he certainly has done some of this. However, he, like many Republicans, does not understand the difference between small businesses, who are the backbone of this nation, and abusive multi-national corporate bullies who are sucking the life out of small businesses.

He supports Nestlé opening a bottling plant in Cascade Locks, despite Nestlé's worldwide claim that all public water should be in corporate hands and sold as a commodity.

His campaign takes money from big out-of-state corporations including the Koch brothers ($7,000), Pfizer ($17,250), tobacco ($15,500) and insurance ($51,150) interests. These number are verifiable at orestar.com.

He voted to let banks collect driver's license information for marketing (HB2613), voted against raising wrongful death payouts, protecting insurance companies (HB4136) and voted against accountability for health insurance companies (SB413)

Johnson recently was endorsed by Stand for Children, an organization that used to advocate for reduced class sizes and support for teachers, but has been compromised by big corporate money and advocates now for privatization schemes and reducing benefits for teachers. This is a good fit for Johnson, since he voted against funding our education system (HB5017), voted against class size task force (HB2928), and voted against expanding early childhood education (HB5010).

Johnson in his first term was a member of ALEC, the big business group who writes anti- regulation bills and bills to privatize the commons that we all own--against the interests of ordinary citizens. ALEC gets their member representatives to carry the bills they write to their respective states. If you don't want a rock quarry or an industrial polluter in your neighborhood, ALEC will tell you to just move, because the rights of big business are paramount.

Also in his first term, Johnson signed on to HB3512, a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks; but during his second campaign, he declared that he wouldn't interfere with a woman's reproductive choice, conveniently ignoring his support for that bill. These anti-abortion bills are problematic for doctors and women, as abortion at 20 weeks is a rare occurrence and usually involves a health crisis, made worse by politicians who pass these kinds of bills.

I support Mark Reynolds to represent our house district in Salem and I hope you will consider voting for him too.

Mary Anderson, Sandy

Johnson cares enough to actually show up

On Oct. 1, I attended the candidate forum at the Boring-Damascus Grange to hear candidates for my state representative in House District 52 share their thoughts and answer questions. I’ve gotten to know Mark Johnson over the last six years, and I respect his service, but I also wanted to hear from his challenger.

I was extremely disappointed that Johnson's opponent chose not to attend the forum and that he gave no reason for his absence. I was disappointed because, as voters, we have only a few opportunities to actually see the candidates face to face and hear directly from them. When one of the candidates, who wants my vote, chooses not to participate, it speaks volumes to me and leads me to question what I see in his paid advertisements.

Johnson's opponent is spending a lot of money to criticize Johnson, but he can't take the time to share his concerns in person? Mark Johnson, on the other hand, showed up at the event, shared his vision for the next two year term and took the time to answer many questions from the audience about a wide variety of state and local issues, including how he will continue to champion agricultural issues and stand up for women in both the healthcare and domestic violence policy areas.

After this, my mind is made up. I'll be voting to re-elect Mark Johnson. He is a strong supporter of our agricultural industry and women’s issues here in our community, and his work on education makes this mom feel better about the future of our state. But most importantly, Mark Johnson shows up.

Angela Bailey, Gresham