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Only two letters this week: Rep. Rich Vial gets kudos, and e-cigarettes get burned.

League of Cities thanks Vial for bill support

I am writing to express the League of Oregon Cities' appreciation to Representative Richard Vial, R-Scholls, for his leadership and support of local governments during the recently adjourned 2018 legislative session.

As an organization representing all of Oregon's 241 cities, we greatly value state legislators who take the time to consider the impacts that legislation will have on their local communities.

Rep. Vial was a chief sponsor of a bill that would have provided additional transparency and accountability when public dollars are spent on certain professional service contracts. Under current law, when state and local governments are contracting for engineering, architectural, photogrammetry, land surveying and transportation planning services, they are unable to consider cost until after they have made an initial selection of a firm based on qualifications alone. While local governments can agree that qualifications are critical when hiring for these services, we also believe that quality and achieving the best overall value for public dollars are not mutually exclusive concepts.

HB 4127 would have allowed local governments to select up to three firms based on qualifications only. After those firms were selected, the local government could receive pricing information from all three firms to determine the best overall value when making a final selection of a firm.

Though the legislation did not pass, Rep. Vial's leadership helped secure the bill's passage in the House and near-passage in the Senate. These efforts better positioned local governments to resolve concerns with the currently mandated process during the upcoming 2019 legislative session, and for that, we are incredibly grateful.

(Rep. Rich Vial represents a section of Washington County including Sherwood.)

Mike Cully

Salem

Don't be fooled by vaping, e-cigarettes

I enjoy creative marketing and the length some companies will go to in order to get customers to purchase their products. Let's face it, bottled water by the soda manufacturers was total genius.

However, when marketing has a direct impact on the health of the customers who buy the product, the game changes. I'm referring to vaping and e-cigarettes marketed to adults to assist them in beating the nicotine habit. In reality this product is being marketed to a potential younger generation of smokers and nicotine users.

Some of these products taste like fruit or mint; think candy cigarettes. Some of the vaping devices look like a computer drive, sleek in nature and easy for a student to carry around in his shirt pocket or her bra. Nicotine giants like Phillip Morris know exactly what they are doing. Marketing tobacco and nicotine products to a younger generation while touting that these products are safer than cigarettes. Hogwash. They are creating nicotine addiction just like the product is intended to do.

E-cigarettes deliver nicotine through a liquid that is heated into a vapor and inhaled. Vaping liquids contain toxic additives like glycol and glycerol that form carcinogenic compounds. These products are designed to create addiction and, in return, billions of dollars in profits for the manufacturing industry while killing people along the way.

Educate yourself and your kids. These products kill, and Big Tobacco again should be held liable.

James Maass

Beaverton

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