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Tuition equity is good for students, state

I am a non-traditional college student at Pacific University, who is strongly in support of House Bill 2787, the tuition equity bill currently being considered by the Oregon state Legislature. I have returned to school after many years, and although the price of tuition has been steadily increasing I am still able to attend.

However, for many undocumented students who have lived in Oregon most of their lives, this opportunity does not exist. They are required to pay non-resident tuition at our state universities, which over the course of four years can equate to $114,000 at the University of Oregon, compared to $37,000 for residents.

The tuition equity bill will bring these costs within reason so that these students will be able to continue their education. This is not a “handout” and it is important to understand that undocumented students will still not qualify for federal or state financial aid. They will have to meet the same admission standards that are set for every student. This bill will also boost the revenue of our state universities whose budgets are stretched thin.

I want to thank our state representatives for passing HB 2787 through the House and urge the Senate to do the same.

These students are our neighbors, children’s friends, and call Oregon home, so why not give these students access to the educational opportunities they have worked so hard for and deserve?

Brenda Tevis

Hillsboro

Robotics team eyes future

The American educational model of today was, in many respects, developed in the 19th Century, when the United States saw the need to prepare a workforce for the industrial revolution. The foresight to tie education to work force was instrumental in powering America to become a world leader by creating a pipeline of employees that, in turn, created great national prosperity.

Today’s work force needs are driven by digital, mobile computers, robotics and technology.

Glencoe High School students understand where opportunities lie and are embracing STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Math) studies — by building robots — to prepare for the future.

Today and tomorrow, the Glencoe robotics team (The Shockwave) will meet with more than 60 teams from Oregon and Southwest Washington at Portland’s Memorial Coliseum in a tournament face-off of six-foot-tall robots playing competitive Frisbee golf. This is a big, bright, vibrant, raucous, exciting event that’s free and open to the public. Come join the fun.

Unlike other competitive events, where spectators don’t have access to the athletes, at the AutoDesk Oregon FIRST Robotic competition, guests are encouraged to interact directly with these athletes. What better way than robots to get students excited about putting their technology passions and science studies into action?

Education is directly tied to Oregon’s prosperity. Understanding that K-12 is where true work force development begins, it’s exciting to see Gov. John Kitzhaber and our elected officials make STEM education a legislative priority this session.

Jobs forecasting data indicates there will be over 44,000 computer jobs in Oregon by 2018 that will require a proficiency in computer systems, programming and technical skills. Programs like FIRST help ensure Oregon students will be the ones prepared to fill those jobs.

Please join us at Memorial Coliseum to be amazed and entertained by Frisbee-golf-playing robots and the students who built them.

Deb Mumm-Hill

Director, FIRST Pacific NW

Good guys and guns don’t always mix

The National Rifle Association tells us that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Okay, but who’s stopping the good guys?

Recently, the Hillsboro Tribune reported that a local good guy cop with multiple weapons terrorized his wife and child; then when 10 good guy cops arrived he threatened to kill them. More than 50 shots were fired, injuring two and tearing up the house. No bad guys in sight.

Why, I ask the NRA, do their prescriptions on guns not make me feel more secure?

George Evans

Forest Grove

Pipeline problems may never hit Washington County

Citizens of Washington and Yamhill counties take heart with regard to the natural gas pipeline issue.

In Clatsop County, Oregon LNG is proposing to build their export terminal on, and run the pipeline through, shifting sandy wetlands that have been drilled to 350 feet without finding bedrock.

The terminal is to be located directly on the Pacific Rim earthquake zone. The terminal (and start of the pipeline) is proposed to be located right at the mouth of the Columbia River, directly in the path of the resulting tsunami caused by an earthquake.

But this may not happen first if a hurricane strikes the proposed terminal site as one did December 1-2, 2007. Winds averaged 119 mph for 34 consecutive hours and topped out at 150 mph (think Hurricane Katrina).

Upon leaving the terminal, the proposed pipeline is to pass under the Warrenton shopping mall, past the Lewis and Clark Fort Clatsop National Historic Register site and then through numerous slide areas on its way up to your area.

So you see, the odds are that we in Clatsop County will suffer the ruptured pipeline explosion, thus saving what is left of your land, after eminent domain is used to force the pipeline through your area.

Oh, did I mention the proposed terminal tower would protrude up and into the often fog-shrouded Astoria Regional Airport space?

So, fight on!

Carl Dominey

Astoria



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