Letters the the Editor
- Gresham Outlook - Opinion
Nielsen-Hood will help Gresham move forward
Until a year ago I worked for the Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce under the direction of Carol Nielsen-Hood.
During those five years, I witnessed the tireless hours she committed to so many successful committees and projects for the improvement of Gresham. She knows first-hand what is needed to help Gresham grow in the right direction.
Carol's experience, integrity and enthusiasm are reasons I agree with The Gresham Outlook editorial endorsement headline for her on Oct. 4 - 'Nielsen-Hood has the right Council skills.' I urge you to vote for Carol Nielsen-Hood for Gresham City Council.
Negative ad only ensures vote for Minnis
Every election year, campaigns seem to get uglier and uglier, but never before have we witnessed such inappropriate attacks as those the Rob Brading campaign has been putting out against Karen Minnis. We find it offensive that Brading would assume that tactics like these would sway voters.
The only thing his ad has accomplished is securing our vote for Karen Minnis - we would never vote for a candidate who would stoop to such lows.
AL AND PHYLLIS HOPPER
Brading campaign didn't start dirty attacks
The Outlook's Oct. 21 editorial, 'Sadly campaign goes as expected,' beleaguers the false notion that Rob Brading's campaign had somehow introduced dirty politics to the House District 49 race. Really?
In an earlier Outlook article on Aug. 21, the editor and staff members warned us that a dirty campaign was about to begin in the Minnis/Brading race. Oh really?
I volunteer in the Brading campaign and witnessed the black and foul attacks by the Minnis campaign sent door to door well before Aug. 21, calling Rob Brading everything but a cannibal.
Don't be fooled. The editors and staff of this newspaper know who started slinging mud, and it wasn't Brading's camp. Minnis' camp took the campaign negative by personal attacks. Brading's camp simply called Minnis on her record and her financial backers. When you work for Oregon's third-richest citizen, Bob Pamplin, you know where your bread is buttered.
The Oct 21 'Sadly' article refers to the Web site www.candidatesforsale.com and places pollution blame on Oregon citizens for driving cars using electricity, gas and eating groceries. However, it completely ignores the other connections to corporate polluters Minnis has courted through the years.
Take Conico-Phillips and Chevron-Texaco's thousands of dollars contributed to Karen Minnis. I don't suppose that had anything to do with Karen's deep-sixing the clean-burning biodiesel bill in late 2005?
Those visiting the above Web site will soon learn of the 'in-depth unbiased reporting' by The Outlook. East County citizens deserve better.
WILLIAM E. DODDS
Abortion law will do more harm than good
At first glance, Measure 43 seems perfectly reasonable and a good idea. It's the one that will prevent a teenager 15 to 17 from getting an abortion unless a parent is notified. In the Voters' Manual, many arguments in favor are heartfelt and even heartbreaking, but I nevertheless am convinced this is a bad bill and especially poorly written.
A majority of the arguments in favor include the same two points: sexual predators and the legal bypass. Over and over, these arguments mention 'boyfriends' who are adult men (statutory rape) and sexually abusive fathers, uncles or brothers (incest). Doesn't it make you wonder about the parents of a 15-year-old girl who somehow manages to 'date' a grown man in the first place? Or a family in which she can be sexually assaulted? Do we really want to pass a law that makes her confide in one of these parents?
This brings us to the second point, the legal bypass. The arguments in favor refer to it as 'simple' and 'easy.' But as anyone knows who has ever had to go to the courthouse to pay a traffic ticket, there is nothing simple about dealing with the law. And if the teens are as confused and scared as the arguments claim, securing the judicial bypass will be that much more difficult.
Another point frequently made is that most states now have such a law. The number of states is given variously as 34, 35 or 44. This is because at this time, 10 of the states' laws are under judicial review for being possibly unconstitutional. If passed, Measure 43 will immediately face such a challenge. Not having an exception for rape or incest, the difficulty of the legal bypass and the singling out of a particular medical procedure are three obvious points for challenge. A better-written bill would have a better chance of staying on the books once passed.
The truth is, we can't legislate loving families or good communication. Yes, there will be teens with emotional fallout from an abortion obtained without their parents' knowledge, as described in some of the arguments in favor, but there will also be others for whom it truly saves their lives. Think of girls who attempt suicide - who would literally rather die than have to tell their parents.
If you haven't voted yet, I urge you to please read all the arguments on both sides and then vote no on Measure 43.
Smith's voting puts corporate interests first
The only one distorting Patti Smith's record, in this year's state representative race, is Patti herself. She has no choice. With a 95-percent partisan voting record, she has nothing good to stand on.
If voters were to ever get an accurate assessment of her overall voting pattern, favoring corporate interests over the interests of her constituents, they would vote her out of office in a heartbeat.
VanOrman stands for efficient government
The House District 52 election between Suzanne VanOrman and Patti Smith is an interesting one in many ways.
Suzanne recently retired as director of the regional Head Start Program after serving efficiently and compassionately for 22 years.
After listening to both candidates, I believe each is sincere in their beliefs.
My vote goes to VanOrman, because she wants efficient government and believes that 'we the people' - who collectively are the government - can really make a difference in people's lives through stable funding for schools, wise energy and land use and affordable health care.
One example of this is VanOrman's endorsement of SB329, which would have allowed Oregonians without insurance as well as small businesses to join in the statewide purchasing pool to reduce prescription drug costs. Smith voted 'no' on this bill. Smith has voted with her Republican colleagues 95 percent of the time.
This is the main reason not to endorse Smith's re-election: she supports and is a member of a party that seems to feel that government should be cutting every social safety net while handing out tax cuts and tax breaks to wealthy donors.
Smith steadfastly protects property rights
I would like to put in a good word for Rep. Patti Smith. My wife and I live in unincorporated Multnomah County and are represented by Smith. Over the past two years Patti has been steadfast in working toward a solution to a property rights problem that we, along with other neighbors, have needed. The problem required the diligent efforts and cooperation between several local, county and state agencies which cooperation would not have occurred without Patti's good work.
Patti Smith is a diligent hard working person who I believe represents the interests of her constituents. We urge support for her in the upcoming election.
BRIAN D. BLACK and DIANNE L. BLACK
Ken Noah's numbers just don't add up
I was shocked when I read that Ken Noah stated it would cost our school district $1.89 million to comply with an information request. I was then further shocked to see how Noah calculated those numbers.
He states it would take 31,000 hours to process 450,000 e-mail records, at $60 per hour. Where should I begin? $60 per hour to search e-mail records? No wonder the schools are always asking for more money.
The superintendent is willing to spend $60 per hour for a job that can be farmed out at less than $10 per hour. Further, 31,000 hours to process 450,000 e-mail records? That's 14+ records per hour, or about 4 minutes per record.
Most records don't have to be searched; they are not going to be relevant. Those could be easily eliminated with a simple search, leaving a fraction of the number of records that are relevant.
I would be surprised if it was more than a thousand. At 14 records per hour, that is 72 hours. At $10 per hour, That is $720.
Seems a lot less expensive than $1.89 million. I understand Noah's motivation; he wants to create an outcry from the community to avoid embarrassment to the school district. Instead of doing that, it takes away a lot of his credibility.
College bonds will be good for local business
I am a business owner in East County and am a strong advocate of improving economic development in this region.
It has been 30 years since the college has passed a general obligation bond, and as the result, most campus buildings are beginning to fall apart.
The college needs up-to-date facilities to educate the future workforce. Good businesses with family wage jobs will continue to come to East County if we invest in the college and provide a quality, educated work force.
Therefore, I strongly support Measure 26-83, and I hope you will do the same.
Minnis has East County at heart
There is no doubt in my mind that Karen Minnis is the right person for the job.
Not only because she balanced the state budget without raising taxes in 2005; she made sure East County schools received an equal share of funds for education, she supported the will of the voters by defending Oregon's marriage laws, and supports having Internet filters on library computers.
I support Karen Minnis because I've met her, heard her interact with people and seen the real interest she has for the people of East County.
We need a strong person with her leadership skills to continue to deliver on behalf of East County.
Karen Minnis has my vote. I hope she has yours.
Smith advocates for her district
District 52 is facing critical and complex issues. We need a seasoned, experienced and balanced legislator to represent the agricultural, educational, children's issues, social issues and fiscal complexities.
We agree with The Gresham Outlook that Patti Smith is the answer. She has been at the forefront in educating the public on drug awareness as well as supporting the funding of drug courts.
She has proven ability to work with legislators across the aisle. Why would we want to replace the experience that Smith provides? She chairs the Ag and Natural Resources Committee as well as the House Trade and Economic Development Committee. These are committees vital to our district. It is no secret that our region has significant illegal drug issues. She introduced and passed a meth bill and served on the governor's Meth Task Force. She is a representative for all people whether small business, agriculture, children or seniors.
Rep. Smith introduced and passed legislation that stiffens penalties for sexual predators.
She has a record of effectiveness. She is not simply a one-issue representative; although education is at the forefront of everyone's agenda, including hers.
She recognizes the importance that a strong economy plays in solving the problems of financing education.
My personal interaction with Patti Smith led me to the conclusion that she is a caring and compassionate listener and an independent voice for us.
She provided invaluable counsel to our group of concerned citizens when our Boring area was faced with a critical crisis and demonstrated that she is not afraid to spend the time in the district helping to make District 52 a better place for everyone to live without damaging the quality of life we are accustomed to enjoying.
Her commitment to our locality is demonstrated by her personal visits to all of our neighborhoods. Please vote for Patti Smith to continue the excellent job she has been doing.
WAYNE G. STRICKLAND
I have known Carol Nielson-Hood for over eight years and have found her to be one of the most influential women in the city of Gresham. Her background in managing people and her tenure as the CEO of the Gresham Chamber of Commerce will serve her well as a council member.
I don't know anyone who has better hands-on working knowledge of this city and its citizens. Carol has the ability to bring people together and get things done.
I highly recommend Carol Nielson-Hood to serve on Gresham City Council.
Brading's tactics are unbelievable
It has simply been unbelievable to watch Rob Brading whine and moan about people asking legitimate questions about his past and his record on the Multnomah County Library Advisory Board, and call it dirty politics, and then unleash the slanderous television ad calling Karen Minnis a hypocrite.
Rob Brading shrieks every time someone asks a question about his past, but he has the audacity to make flat-out, untrue accusations against Karen Minnis and call her the hypocrite? Simply unbelievable. Vote no on Brading.
Will Brading stop at nothing?
We are saddened by the lengths that Rob Brading will go in order to win this election. We saw his ad on television yesterday, accusing Karen Minnis of horrible things, and it made us wonder, will he stop at nothing?
The fact that Brading has had to resort to spreading lies about Karen makes one thing clear: He cannot win this election any other way.
She has done far too much for this community and has been such a strong advocate for the residents of East County, that Rob Brading cannot hope to win unless he resorts to lies.
We will not let Rob Brading get away with this. We'll be ignoring his lies and voting for Karen Minnis.
BOB and IRENE EWALD
Minnis turned her back on victim
For someone who supposedly stands up for women, Karen Minnis lacks execution. As a young woman I am disturbed at the recent revelations that Karen Minnis covered up the attempted rape of a 17-year-old girl by her brother-in-law.
The Minnises maintain that they didn't believe the girl who worked for them even after Karen's brother-in-law was arrested for public indecency and harassment. We cannot as a community turn our backs like the Minnises did to that young girl. This behavior is morally wrong and cannot be tolerated. It is unfortunate that it took a political campaign to learn the truth about the Minnises and how they conduct their lives.
A work place should be a safe place and our elected officials should lead by example. I believe that young women will be better represented by Rob Brading than by Karen Minnis. This election I am voting for the women in our community by supporting Rob Brading.
Brading should go back to East Coast
I'm not surprised by Rob Brading's lies or the gutter campaign that he's running. He's not from Oregon; he's not even from our community. I am a second-generation Oregonian - my kids are third generation - who is concerned about the affairs of Oregon and the community in which I live.
Brading's consultants are in Chicago, and he's from New York.
He doesn't understand that in Gresham, Troutdale, Wood Village and Fairview, what matters to us are results and how we've been represented.
Karen Minnis has gotten results for us, and she and her husband have represented us well for over a decade. Brading is being supported by liberal, special-interest groups who really don't care about the long-term welfare of our community.
I encourage Rob Brading to go back to the East Coast after he loses this election - and he will lose, because I, my family and my neighbors in East County won't buy into his lies - and we won't let him get away with them either.
Attack on Minnis marks a new low in politics
I've seen a lot of dirty politics over the years, but the attack ad on Karen Minnis that was released by Rob Brading's campaign has hit a new low. To compare Karen Minnis to Rep. Mark Foley and make outrageous, untrue statements about a matter that has no bearing on the race, shows that Brading has no shame whatsoever and is acting out of desperation.
Karen Minnis has been a strong advocate for District 49 and has an excellent record to run on. Rob Brading's record includes siding with the American Civil Liberties Union to lift Internet filters on public libraries and stopping at nothing to smear Karen Minnis and distort her record for political gain.
Let's send Karen Minnis back to Salem to represent us once again.
Mayors urge yes vote for college
Vote yes on Measure 26-83, protect your investment. Mt Hood Community College is the heart of our region. The college is the engine that provides the work force for economic development in East County.
MHCC serves 26,000 students a year. This includes technical training, college-transfer programs, community-education classes, childcare educational programs and athletic programs for the community.
We need your help in support of the bond for many reasons:
• The college's aging facility is in desperate need of repair. Leaky roofs are a good example of the wear and tear that is taking place.
• The facility is not prepared for a catastrophic earthquake. Seismic upgrades are a must.
• The college lost one of two cooling systems this summer, another example of aging infrastructure.
• Safety and security on campus has always been a top priority, that's why upgrading the outside lighting system is a necessity. Keeping our campus safe should be of concern to all.
• Parking lots and walkways are aging as well and should be resurfaced.
• The Early Childhood Education Center is over 30 years old, meant only to be temporary; it needs to be replaced to continue to provide childcare to our students and the community.
Mt. Hood Community College makes it financially possible to get the work force training or degree people need to better support their families and climb above a minimum wage job. This in turn attracts big business, and employers gain better employees. It all comes full circle; educated communities become financially successful communities.
Our college campus is beautiful and resourceful, but it needs and deserves our help to keep it that way. Join us in support of Measure 26-83 to protect our most treasured investment - Mt. Hood Community College.
Mayor Paul Thalhofer, Troutdale
Mayor David M. Fuller, Wood Village
Mayor Chuck Becker, Gresham
Mayor Dee Wescott, Damascus
Mayor Tom Potter, Portland
Mayor Gene Grant, Happy Valley
Mayor Mike Weatherby, Fairview
Bond will fund essential repairs
Mt. Hood Community College is proposing a bond measure to take care of essential repairs to the college. Proceeds from the bond will also provide better security for our students and staff. What's being proposed are not items that would be nice to fix. These are essential repairs that have been put off for so long that they must be taken care of now or the college runs the risk of having to close parts of the campus and certainly faces even more costly repairs in the future as the buildings continue to deteriorate.
Throughout the years, MHCC has continued to provide the community with a first-class education. As superintendent of David Douglas School District from 1981-85, I worked closely with the community college; I can assure you the college provides a superior education for students and adults in this community.
Since my retirement, I too have taken enrichment classes at the community college. As a frequent visitor to the campus, I've seen first-hand the run-down condition of the buildings.
A 'yes' vote to bring MHCC up to today's standards makes good sense, and at 17 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, the time is now so we will have the college around for many more years for our children and grandchildren.
John Kilian can see the big picture
Gresham First Citizen and the guiding light of Mt. Hood Community College, Betty Schedeen, was a businesswoman, community activist, elected official and mother who made Gresham strong. Voters have the chance to elect a person with similar qualities and community commitment by electing John Kilian to the City Council.
Smart, sensitive and pleasant, John Kilian is independent in his political thoughts, bold in his solutions and sees the big picture while grasping the smallest details. Kilian's longtime professional and personal involvement in the Gresham community is unmatched in this council election.
Kilian's remarkable leadership was evident when he was an undergraduate at Oregon State University and continued to shine in his steadfast pledge to Gresham. Few people come close to matching Betty Schedeen's ability to multi-task, find solutions and bring people together. John Kilian is one person who can.
Gresham will be well served to elect John Kilian to City Council position 6.
Vote yes for the future of Mt. Hood
We are in support of the Mt. Hood Community College bond measure and urge you to vote YES for MHCC.
Mt. Hood Community College provides an affordable bridge to a four-year degree for people who choose to begin their college education close to home. MHCC provides a resource for those who wish to upgrade their skills for advancement in the job market and gives high school students a chance to jump start their college careers. The opportunity for life-long learning at MHCC is available to all of our residents.
The college is in need of significant upgrades in its buildings and grounds. The proposed installation of energy efficient heating, cooling and lighting equipment will result in a considerable reduction in utility expenses. Earthquake safety work must be accomplished for the safety of everyone and the protection of our investment.
For the cost of one coffee drink per month, our community can make a huge difference in the economic health and vitality of this area.
Please join us in voting yes for MHCC.
MARY ZOE and LARRY PETERSEN
Vote for Minnis to send a message about ads
This time during an election year I've gotten used to seeing attack ads on my TV and filling up my mailbox, but Rob Brading has gone too far. Criticizing a candidate for their stand on the issues is one thing, but spreading blatant lies is a tactic that I will not stand for, nor will I support. Brading's lies about Karen and John Minnis are outrageous and unjustified. I'm disappointed that Karen's opponent has sunk this low, and I will be telling all of my neighbors to send him a message by voting for Karen on Election Day.
Metro measure isn't all it's made out to be
The Metro Open Space Measure 26-80 should be a good deal for all our citizens, but it is not and you should know why. Both Rod Park and David Bragdon have done a remarkable job to camouflage what 26-80 means to you. It is not pretty and it speaks to Metro's malignant forays into places the citizens of this area never meant Metro to go.
Measure 26-80 is more than $200 million of your money that will be added to the $140 million from the 1995 bond. Wanna guess how much we owe from 1995 that we still need to pay? It's well over $110 million. We have made barely a dent in the first bill. The interest on that old bill continues to this day. Now comes almost double more principle and even more interest, about $34 million more in interest that goes to our friends in Metro. My bet is that they want to keep your interest, not share it.
Metro also may spend most of your money buying land outside the Metro boundary. Would you not think that money collected inside Metro should be spent inside Metro? David Bragdon and Rod Park think your money spends well anywhere, so why ask adjoining areas or the state to help? I am sure these guys wink and smile daily about this crafty form of bait and switch.
To top it all off, Bragdon and Park quietly engineered a garbage fee increase that was to be collected and spent on open spaces. That was the deal to us, and they have very quietly changed it. They collect about $3 million per year from our garbage bills, which now will go into the general fund, not to open space.
There is more to this story, but maybe you should call Bragdon or Park. My guess is that they will give you fog and not sunshine on the subject, but they well deserve to be made nervous. Being the only individual who donated land to Metro without being paid, I think I have an obligation to share my disappointment.
Community college deserves investment
Can you imagine owning a home for 35 to 40 years without undertaking any refurbishing or remodeling? That is the dilemma faced by Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) with its aging 1967 campus. It now needs to have the support of the voting public to pass its bond measure and protect the infrastructure of its facility.
MHCC needs its roofs repaired, asbestos removed, the parking lots and walkways refurbished, lighting should be updated and landscaping changed for better security and safety of our students. In addition, the Early Childhood Education building, which is consistently filled to capacity with the blossoming Early Childhood Education program, began as a temporary structure, but the program now requires a new permanent facility to ensure the safety of the children.
As an instructor of science at the college, I am consistently proud of the tremendous job our faculty, staff and administrators are doing to ensure opportunities for people to change their lives.
Mt. Hood Community College has had more than 800,000 students benefit from the classes we offer, and we constantly hear how the education received by our students has benefited them in their search for employment and career satisfaction.
Our reputation for excellence has grown, but an investment in the facilities is now critically needed to insure that the college continues to flourish and grow.
Remember that Oregon is providing less support to MHCC than in previous years, and we are only being asked to give approximately 17 cents per $1,000 of assessed value (about $34 for a $200,000 home.) Please invest in the future of our community by joining me in voting yes for the Mt. Hood Community College bond measure.