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Pamplin Media Group: Letters to the Editor
By Various Authors
September 10, 2020

(Pamplin Media Group) -


Do what is right for the chronically ill

I am a lifelong Oregonian and suffer from stage 5 chronic kidney disease, meaning I depend on dialysis to live. Through my treatments, I've seen first-hand the importance of coordinated care for myself and others with end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

Care coordination is a system where each of a patient's health care providers proactively share information with each other, including what treatments they prescribe and what follow-up care they provide. This helps improve care for the patient, especially those with ESRD, and also ultimately lowers costs for both the patient and their providers.

Unfortunately, many patients don't get that level of coordination, and their care is compromised by inefficient processes, including inadequate communication and long delays between doctor referrals. This is especially dangerous during the COVID-19 pandemic, since ESRD patients are at a particularly high risk of being seriously affected by the virus.

That's why we need members of Congress to support the Better Kidney Care Act. It will institute better coordinated care, enhancing the lives of the 6,418 Oregonians and 661,000 Americans affected by this deadly, life-changing disease.

ESRD patients are underrepresented and need leaders to support this legislation. Thankfully, Oregonians have been frontrunners in leading helpful reforms, including our state's own U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, who played an instrumental role in spearheading the Dialysis Patients Demonstration Act in 2017.

Now, the Better Kidney Care Act offers an opportunity for my representative, Suzanne Bonamici, and Oregon's other congressional leaders to join in improving dialysis care.

Lisa Custer, Beaverton

Former Sherwood mayor glad not to live in Portland

I agree with John Vandenberg; we should all do our part and wear masks as appropriate (letter to the editor, Aug. 6, 2020). But not blindly.

I see people wearing masks outdoors while social distancing. If it makes them feel better, great, but don't demonize people that follow CDC recommendations, "Wear masks outdoors in places where social distancing can't be observed."

Mr. Vandenberg then goes on to rant for Democratic policies and against Republicans, and he has the gull to point to the wonderful job Portland is doing? I suppose he likes mobs of rioters destroying buildings, engaging in arson, and violating the law. He has swallowed CNN's Kool-Aid, that they are just exercising their freedom of speech.

Most of us live in Sherwood and Wilsonville by choice, so we don't have to put up with the nonsense of Portland. We aren't of Portland, nor do we want to be.

For many of us, Portland politics are an embarrassment. We respect property rights, we respect each other, and we recognize the need to fundamentally engage in meaningful dialog to promote social justice, without the rioting, without the elitism of the Portland mayor and cowards on its council.

As an independent, locally, I will not vote for any Democrat; they lost me when they justified the rioting, elitism, and condescending attitudes of the Portland politician.

We aren't Portland, nor do we want to be. For those reasons, I am voting for Peggy Stevens for our representative to the Oregon House.

Mark O. Cottle, Sherwood

Bumper sticker slogan a disservice to people in need

It is election time again and I hear the "tax and spend" expression making its rounds.

These people, blind and proud, think taxes are wasted on the lazy and unproductive, yet favor tax reduction for business as though business is the core of wealth creation.

The truth is, labor, within business, is the core of wealth creation, not business itself. Higher pay, especially for the underpaid, is the core not only for wealth creation, but for tax revenue itself. With a wage that equals at least a modest cost of living, higher taxes are affordable.

"Tax and spend" is the mantra and love song of the elite and privileged in American culture. This song is repeated ad nauseum by Republicans and the "I did it my way" crowd. It is used by those who would starve out badly needed social programs that are designed to level the field for every person. These singers, unaware of their luck and privilege, assume themselves superior and by singing this song and electing their representatives, they hope to have more money in their pockets to spend on themselves. It is a heartless approach to government.

If we are to pursue greatness in our culture, it must be measured by how well we treat those less fortunate. Such are those born with genetic defects, whose jobs are continually being replaced by technology and who can't afford to educate themselves for higher-paying jobs, young mothers whose husbands have abandoned them, and the exceedingly high cost of higher education, thus favoring those whose parents can afford it.

Tax-supported programs exist to close these gaps. "Tax and spend" is an insulting denigration of those who are constrained by compassion for the less fortunate.

Max Greenwood, Sherwood

Local business owner supports HD 37 state rep

I met Rachel Prusak during her campaign in 2018, going door-to-door in the apartment complexes in my neighborhood. She was there to talk to tenants, who are underserved in our community, about their healthcare. We rarely see politicians acknowledge renters, and I was impressed and surprised.

I'm a business owner, and this spring, like so many other Oregonians, my business was impacted by COVID-19. I could not get access to any pandemic relief or unemployment benefits. I was suffering, scared, and didn't know what to do, so I called on my state representative for help.

Rachel Prusak remembered the smallest of details about our initial meeting. She and her staff immediately stepped up to connect me with resources and helped get my claim processed. She threw me a lifeline I desperately needed, just like she does for her patients and their families every day. She really is in this to care for people.

I'm sad for everyone who won't get to meet Rachel in person because of a socially distant campaign. I hope someday, everyone in our district can meet this sincere, ethical and hardworking public servant. The choice is easy: we must re-elect Rachel Prusak.

Sheri Esser, Tualatin

Prusak's bona fides are impeccable

As past president of Oregon School Boards Association, member of the Clackamas Community College Board and West Linn-Wilsonville School Board, I could always count on Rachel Prusak to be fully committed to public education.

She has a proven track record of successes for early childhood and K-12 education, including $17 million of additional funding to our local schools, and she understands first-hand that community colleges are an affordable pathway to college, career and family-wage jobs.

Rep. Prusak is accessible and tireless in her outreach and advocacy for her constituents. Her values for healthcare, public education, housing, and the environment have resulted in improvement of the quality of life not only for House District 37, but for all Oregonians. She listens and communicates well, and her legislative successes speak to her skill in collaboration.

Now, more than ever, we need her public health lens to help guide us through this unprecedented pandemic. She has the head of a medical professional delivering fact-based solutions, and the heart and compassion of a nurse to make a difference in all our lives.

Let's re-elect Rachel Prusak!

Betty Reynolds, West Linn

Prusak understands community needs

My name is Ramey Wells, and I moved to West Linn from San Jose, California, six years ago where I was a teacher. I am still heartbroken from teaching hundreds of children how to hide and protect themselves from an active shooter.

I first got to know state Rep. Rachel Prusak when my neighborhood was in lockdown because of a manhunt for a shooter in the neighborhood. I remember Rachel speaking out about her own experience with gun violence. She's lived it, and she knows what's at stake. I know she'll keep fighting for common-sense gun measures because I've seen her diligence, compassion, and attention to her community.

Since then, I know that I could call her on the phone, and she'd not only take my call, but take notes and take action. She is working nonstop for us and our children, just like she works nonstop for her patients. Our community benefits from her hard work and care, and we need to re-elect her in November.

Ramey Wells, West Linn

Boothe-Schmidt can help lead Oregon out of recession

We are in the grips of one of the worst economic collapses this country has experienced, a crisis of a magnitude many of us have not experienced in our lifetimes. How will we craft a recovery unique to our needs in western Oregon?

Vital to this effort is able leadership. We need to send a competent person to represent us in Salem, who knows our needs and who will bring resources to our community. That person is Debbie Boothe-Schmidt, running for House District 32.

Debbie's respected skills as a public service employee and union leader spans over 20 years. And, she's a successful local small businesswoman. We need a skilled negotiator with a proven track record who can get things done when the going gets tough.

Debbie will represent working families, not outside interests and corporate bullies, like her opponent Suzanne Weber. Our economic recovery depends on the experienced stewardship of our natural resources. Debbie gets this. She grew up in a timber family in Eastern Oregon and knows the challenges of this industry.

Our success relies on those we hire to represent us. Join me in voting for Debbie Boothe-Schmidt, for a comeback that's stronger than the setback.

Rebecca Read, Seaside

King City councilor backing incumbent Neron

Now especially, we need leaders and community members to come together and compromise to get things done.

As a former member of the Tigard City Council and a current King City councilwoman, I spent my career working with everyone, regardless of party, to deliver for the people in my community. With so many facing an uncertain future — jobs, businesses, our children's education, health and retirement — we need to put aside partisanship and unite.

That's why I'm proud to support Democrat Courtney Neron for state representative. Courtney is a former teacher who grew up nearby and spent a great deal of time in our King City community visiting her grandmother and hosting events. Every time I see her, she proves that she is there to support us, to hear from us, and to be accountable to us. She communicates with our City Council and attends local events to let us know she cares and is listening.

I find the focus and attention she pays to our community and all constituents to be extremely encouraging. Courtney always provides thoughtful answers to my questions and works to ensure everyone feels heard. We need a leader who will listen and act for everyone she serves. I know Courtney will because I've seen her do it.

Gretchen Buehner

City Councilor, King City

Kelly Sloop to keep us safe and no new taxes

Our state representative, Rachel Prusak, moved into our community from Portland a few of years ago to run for office and became a puppet of Portland politicians. She is funded by radical groups who do not support life or our safety.

Prusak has voted for every increase in taxes and every increase in government power. Our government does not have and never will have infinite sums of money to implement the grandiose socialist plans of Prusak.

Tough decisions, costs versus benefits, need to be made on our behalf. Kelly Sloop will prioritize essential services, ensure fiscal responsibility, has a lifetime of community involvement and shared values. Kelly Sloop will be our best representative.

Lora Hecht, West Linn

Sherwood councilor supports Neron's re-election

My name is Sean Garland, and I am one of your city councilors here in Sherwood. I am writing to support state Rep. Courtney Neron and urge you to vote to re-elect her in the November election.

I have worked with Rep. Neron over the last two years, and she has been an incredible advocate for the citizens of Sherwood. She has attended City Council meetings and work sessions, and maintains a close working relationship with members of the City Council.

Rep. Neron has worked hard in her first term to secure funding for Oregon schools, as well as support legislation to address mental health issues for students. As a former teacher, Courtney understands the challenges that teachers and students face, and is the right person to lead us through these difficult times.

Rep. Neron is also a strong advocate for working families, passing legislation to address paid family and medical leave.

As we continue to face challenges due to COVID-19, we need solid leadership to represent us in Salem. Please join me in voting to re-elect state Rep. Courtney Neron this November.

Sean Garland

City Councilor, Sherwood

Neron makes education a priority at critical time

School districts across the state are adjusting to the new realities of education during a pandemic. As a high school teacher and college professor who previously taught both in the classroom and online, I know firsthand how difficult it is to make the transition to web-based teaching. Our teachers and students (and their parents) need all the help we can provide!

Fortunately, state Rep. Courtney Neron, a former teacher, and her colleagues made an investment in our schools last year when they led the coalition in the Oregon Legislature that passed the Student Success Act which provides desperately needed funding for our local schools.

Now, with distance learning, everyone will need to work even harder to learn how to make these education programs effective and our students successful. So, it's more important than ever to have leaders like Rep. Neron in Salem supporting our teachers who are on the front line to rebuild the economy and our state by providing our children with a quality education.

Aida Dean, Aloha

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