Paper should support small businesses

I have been a resident of West Linn for 16 years and have always been proud to see a community so supportive of small and local businesses and the accomplishments of its citizens. I am disappointed to see the large article promoting the new Banfield Veterinary Hospital owned by Mars Corporation.

I thought Pamplin Media Group supported locally owned businesses, not large national corporations such as Mars. Next to Dr. Bob Pamplin’s picture at the (bottom) of this publication it says “Owner and Neighbor.” Banfield’s owner is not a neighbor at all. It is a huge corporation that has the potential to hurt our neighbors who are local veterinarians.

Banfields are opening all over Portland in the backyards of local vets and directly competing with them. There are many reasons we should support our local businesses over large chains.

Local businesses nurture the community. Local business owners are more accessible than executives of large corporations. Do you think Mars executives love your pet as much as your local vet?

When my dog had cancer my vet was on speed dial 24/7 including the weekend day we had to say our goodbyes. I doubt a Mars executive would do the same.

My local vet cares about their reputation in the local community and I believe is much more willing to address any of my concerns than a national chain store manager. Local business owners spend their money supporting other local businesses within the community. Large corporations change the unique character of the local business community. I am certain the executives of Banfield who reap the profits from their numerous Banfields do not reinvest in the community when they themselves are not residents.

Heidi Benaman

West Linn

(Editor’s note: As a service to our readers and the local business community, the West Linn Tidings and the Lake Oswego Review strives to write stories about businesses located in our specific communities as way to encourage people to shop locally. Whether a business is locally owned or not is not a factor in our decision to write the story.)

Locally owned vets offer the best care

The article about Banfield Pet Hospital (June 6, West Linn Tidings) was not a local news story but rather an advertisement for a large national chain that is competing with local veterinary hospitals.  

There are multiple large national corporations that are competing with local veterinarians. My vet clinic is now the only locally owned veterinary clinic in West Linn. As a veterinarian, I can tell you that the care pets receive at big box veterinary clinics is not considered the “best” in our profession as your article states. 

Many veterinarians feel that the vaccine protocols at national chain vet clinics include too many vaccines for pets who are indoor or do not have a social lifestyle. Vets at many big box clinics perform dentistry but do not have dental X-ray machines to use. This is below the standard of care for veterinary medicine. 

Pet owners need to be aware that the care that they will receive at any national chain vet hospital will be a standardized approach to maximize profit, period. I have spoken with many vets who have worked for national chains and heard about the pressure they are under to sell additional services at every appointment.  

The article mentions Banfield’s emphasis on preventative care, but that is not unique to Banfield. Many local vets offer wellness plans.

Regarding state-of-the-art equipment, many local vets have better equipment than national chain clinics. For example my local vet hospital has an in-house ultrasound machine. That machine is not profitable, but can help me save a life in an emergency. 

I care more about the patient than I do profit. I encourage pet owners to do their research and speak with their local veterinarian if they have questions about the differences between local vet hospitals and large national chains.  

Dr. Christine Ortner, Diplomate ABVP, Specialist in Canine/Feline Medicine

West Linn

Mayor should promote LOT agenda on his own dollar

I was very disappointed recently when I opened my utility bill from the city to find a full-color print of John Kovash’s recent opinion piece that ran in the Tidings (June 6) proclaiming the benefits of the Lake Oswego-Tigard water project.

To begin with, there are multiple errors in the mayor’s reasoning, but these have been discussed before and were brought out by Jenne Henderson’s letter (June 13) in response.

I will reiterate what I have said before which is that, given the likelihood of the seismic disaster the mayor refers to, it is nothing short of irresponsible to advocate putting that water plant in a seismic red zone in a residential neighborhood.

Now, besides having to put up with the mayor’s illogical rhetoric in an opinion piece, we are subjected to taxpayer resources being used to create propaganda for the LOT project. I am sure that it was not cheap to create the piece that was included in this month’s billing and how convenient that it could be included in a mailing to every citizen of West Linn. Maybe Mr. Kovash could arrange for me to have a similar counter commentary in next month’s bill. 

If the mayor wants to promote LOT’s agenda, he should do so on his own or their dollar, not ours. The fact that almost immediately after coming to an “unbiased” opinion in favor of the LOT project, he began promoting it was insult enough.

This latest move only adds fuel to the fire of his sellout of the citizens of West Linn.  

Scott Gerber

West Linn

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