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Support state Tobacco Preventaion and Education Program

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network held its annual state lobby day in Salem on April 9. It was highly successful. Advocates from around the state converged on our Capitol to meet with their legislators and share three important requests with them. The meetings were impactful and our message to help cancer patients and survivors achieve a better quality of life was heard by Oregon lawmakers.

One of our requests involved giving $120 million of currently available funds from money received yearly from the big tobacco companies to the state Tobacco Prevention and Education Program (TPEP). This program has a proven track record of success in helping Oregonians reduce (and avoid) dependence on deadly tobacco products.

Having lost my wife nearly 10 years ago to tobacco-related cancer, I have continued her advocacy work to keep others from suffering a fate similar to hers. We both worked within TPEP and saw firsthand how effective it is when funding is available to enable its powerful community outreach.Please let Ways and Means Co-Chair Sen. Richard Devlin and Rep. Julie Parrish know of your support for this life-saving program. Thank you.

Eric Jones

Vision Lead volunteerAmerican Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

West Linn

Julie Parrish story missed some facts 

It was very gracious of the Tidings to include me in this year’s Perspective issue (released April 25). The difficulty in not having an easy life means that it’s not an easy life to write about. I’d be remiss if I didn’t offer up a few corrections to the record.

Being the second to the oldest eight children, if my siblings read this, they’d wonder who got left out in the head count. My mother moved all six of her children to Seattle from Oregon when we were young, and my father stayed in Oregon, remarried and had two more children.

Moving back to Oregon as a grown woman unaccustomed to rules made it difficult to transition into my father’s home. I lasted a week. With nowhere to go, I wound up in a tent at Barton Park for about a month along with my older sister and her family.

When I did reconcile with my dad, I moved back and stayed for a year. It was that summer before I moved to Ashland I met Mark.

I became the only commuter student from downtown Portland to go to Southern Oregon University, back and forth nearly every weekend for almost two years. Nineteen years later, I can definitely say he was well worth the drive.

Mark going to Iraq was indeed a catalyst for running for office. Half the deployed soldiers came home to no jobs. Twenty percent are still unemployed three years later. Mark remained in the military and just retired last year.

For 2014’s deployment, he’ll be home, but we’ll be working to get the Oregon Veterans Lottery Bill to the ballot so when soldiers come home next time, there will be more money for programs and services.

Again, I appreciate the opportunity to share my story, and thank you for letting me make a few corrections.

Rep. Julie Parrish (R-West Linn, District 37)

West Linn

Legislature needs to fund community colleges

The mission of community colleges is more important today than ever before.

We provide an affordable path to a four-year degree for students. We offer the skills and training Oregonians need for good, family-wage jobs from health care to high tech. We retrain workers, working closely with our local businesses to identify their needs and provide the training to fill those needs. We help people in our communities gain basic skills or complete high school so they can train for better jobs and provide for their families.

The education and training community colleges provide is vital to building a strong economy in Oregon. Jobs requiring a two-year associate’s degree will have the highest growth rate through 2020. The average growth rate of all jobs by 2020 is just 14 percent, while high-growth jobs requiring an associate’s degree will grow by an average of 35 percent.

The governor and the co-chairs of the Ways and Means Committee are recommending funding community colleges at $428 million, a funding level last seen 10 years ago when the state’s community colleges served 70,000 fewer students.

After five years of growing enrollment and a 20 percent loss in state funding, this budget will force more of the burden on Oregon’s students who will lose access to courses and programs and see higher costs. We must do better for our students and for our community.

We are asking the Legislature to fund community colleges at $460 million, an increase proportionate with the increase the co-chairs budget gave our K-12 partners. If keeping quality, accessible education and training in your community is important to you, I urge you to contact your legislator and ask them to support community colleges at the $460 million level. You can find the name of your representative at leg.state.or.us/findlegsltr.

Ron Adams

Chairman, Clackamas Community College Board of Education

Keith Steele is a strong leader

Please support Keith Steele in his re-election to the West Linn-Wilsonville School Board. After first meeting Keith in 2008 when he was asked to co-chair the bond and levy campaigns, I learned that he was both a hard and effective worker, as well as a person that kept his word — traits that are extremely important in his current position. He has children that have been educated in this district as well.

When serving on the board with Keith, I found him to be inquiring of current practices, courteous to everyone and diligent in getting what he needed to make informed decisions.

He wants to know that every dollar spent is effective for children’s learning and value for taxpayers. He is focused on getting information back to constituents. He will provide consistency in a small board that will have new members. He is a strong leader for our children.

Mary Furrow

Former school board member


Keith Steele has the know-how and dedication

As a West Linn-Wilsonville School District alumnus and parent of children in our school district, I endorse Keith Steele’s re-election to the school board. Keith has the proven capability and experience to guide our school district through the next four challenging years.

Keith, as a school board member and chair, has been a strong advocate for our community, schools and students during these times of economic challenge. Due to economic downturn, Keith has had to make some tough decisions during his tenure on our school board. There will be more tough choices in the next four years. Keith has the know-how and dedication to continue to make solid decisions with the best interests of our children as his guiding principle. Keith’s experience, leadership and desire put our children first make him critical to the school board as our district continues to deal with funding challenges and embarks on a bond campaign.

I urge our community to re-elect Keith Steele.

Regan Molatore

School board candidate


Kudos to those fighting West Linn City Council

I humbly declare my admiration and respect for those who filed the complaint naming Mayor Kovash and the councilors for numerous violations.

They should know that my personal conversations with citizens from West Linn, Lake Oswego, Tigard and Portland support your continued opposition to the tyranny of this city council in the face of overwhelming opposition to an industrial development in a residential neighborhood.

The decision of the city council based on so called “12,000 pages of submittals “ was wrong, pure and simple, and the unanimous decision of the planning commission should have never been overturned.

I and others wish you the best of luck in your continuous fight to protect the livability of a small but viable neighborhood that defies destruction.

Charles K. Landskroner

West Linn

Keith Steele ‘cares about our schools’

As a taxpayer and the member of a family that has a child in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District I am supporting the re-election of Keith Steele to the School Board. I would ask you to do the same.

Keith has worked as a volunteer for the school district for almost a decade. He was instrumental in insuring the 2008 bond measures passed, he has served on the school board in extremely uncertain times, and he is president of the board. He has worked to refinance the 2004 levy which has saved us $800,000.

In short, he has provided the leadership necessary to insure we continue to have one of the best school districts in the state and the country.

For any board or commission to be effective there must be some continuity. Our current school board, which is composed of dedicated individuals, needs Keith’s experience and tenure. Keith is running because he cares about our schools. He is not running because he feels like he must represent a specific ideology. He is the clear best choice for this nonpartisan board.

Mike Jones

City councilor

West Linn

Small poker clubs do have some merit

 I have just finished (an) article regarding Reps. Parrish and Kotek’s bill to close down these small poker clubs in Portland and I want to add my “two cents.”

 I enjoy an occasional game of poker and since one can’t play by (yourself), I found a great little club where I can go at my convenience, enjoy the social interaction and play with friends for a couple of hours.

 If Reps. Parrish and Kotek have their way, the only other choice for players such as myself would be to drive quite a distance to Sprit Mountain (which is a “casino”) or cross the river into Washington where poker is legal (and in both cases depriving Portland from the revenue).

 On top of that, instead of charging a $10 admittance fee like the Portland clubs, both the casino and the Washington clubs have a “rake” in addition to the charges for food and beverages. (A “rake is charge averaging from 5 to 10 percent from each pot.)

So my question is, when does “political overreach” infringe on one’s freedom? And are we now becoming a miniature New York City?

Ken Gomes

Lake Oswego

League supports Metro measure on ballot

The League of Women Voters of Clackamas County urges voters to support Metro’s Parks and Natural Areas Levy 26-152, which will appear on your May 21 ballot. This five-year local option levy of 9.6 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation of your home is proposed to restore natural areas, protect water quality and provide people with more opportunities to enjoy nature.

Voters approved bond measures in 1995 and 2006 to purchase and protect some of the region’s most significant undeveloped land. Neither of these bond funds for property acquisition could be used for operating expenses.

Metro owns or manages more than 16,000 acres, including more than 100 miles of stream and river frontage, wetlands, prairies, forests and more. Metro’s regional parks and natural areas are visited by more than 1.3 million people a year.

Metro has spent limited general funds to maintain these parks and natural areas, but has determined that such funding is not sustainable over the long term. Input on this proposal consisted of public opinion research, an advisory panel, local governments and community groups. Metro council voted unanimously to put this levy on the ballot.

The League supports management of our natural resources to improve water quality and wildlife habitat, fight invasive species, build trails and improve parks.

Luana Luther


Joan Batten

Action chairwoman