Letters to the editor
It's time to fight for CHIP, diabetes funding
I applaud the decision of Gov. Kate Brown to dedicate Oregon funding to continue the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as the federal GOP prioritizes tax cuts for the wealthy over children's health care.
In a time of political strife and malfeasance, Gov. Brown has stood up when others stand aside.
I also applaud the efforts of U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, who, as a ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, has championed a program near and dear to my heart during the bipartisan CHIP re-authorization agreement: The Special Diabetes Program.
Since 1997 the Special Diabetes Program (SDP) has served as a vital funding source in the fight against diabetes. This program has provided important resources to support research into cures and treatments for Type 1 diabetes, with direct application to Type 2 diabetes as well. The $150 million-a-year program has already proved to be valuable to communities across the country, with $20 million in funding to support Oregon research institutions.
As a career public health nurse, I know how important funding to fight diabetes is, especially in our poorest communities. Despite the enormous importance of this program, the current CHIP re-authorization does not include funding to support the SDP. Please join me in supporting U.S. Sen. Wyden as he fights for a three-year re-authorization to guarantee that lifesaving research to combat diabetes can continue, given the impact that diabetes has on Oregonians and Americans nationwide.
State Rep. Sheri Malstrom
Oregon House District 27
What's being done for vulnerable dam?
Scoggins Dam is the most vulnerable dam in the Northwest. In the event of a two- to three-minute, 9.0-magnitude earthquake, Scoggins Dam at Haag Lake would likely collapse, causing huge floods in lowland areas from Forest Grove to Tualatin. Not only would this affect Washington's County water supply, but it would likely cause a large loss of life as well.
The U.S. Senate and the House passed a bill allocating $1.1 billion to oversee seismic dam upgrades. It was signed by President Barack Obama on Dec. 18, 2015. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, along with Clean Water Services, have had two years to decide on how best to proceed with either retrofitting the dam or building a secondary dam downstream.
I'm sure Washington County residents would like to know how this potential catastrophic disaster is being addressed, including the progress that's been made and the realistic timeline for completion.
More details needed in weekly police log
Previously I looked forward to the Police Blotter feature every week (See Page A8). Then some months back it was changed to omit all the interesting information. The name of the person arrested (public info), the name of the business impacted (public info) and now each item says, in effect "A person did a bad thing." Not worth reading.
I understand the rationale had something to do with the accused not being convicted, yet the paper is full of the names of people arrested but not convicted. In (the Nov. 30) edition I note that immediately below the Police Blotter is an article on a human-trafficking sting operation. The piece includes the names, ages and home towns of 22 men arrested in this operation.
Please return our beloved Police Blotter to its interesting and useful form so that we can read it every week to see if our friends and relatives have made the news!
Puerto Rico receives scant aid from Congress
Recently, Bernie Sanders unveiled a comprehensive federal recovery plan for Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria that includes funding for infrastructure, health care, education, transportation and debt relief.
It has been over two months since the storm wreaked havoc in my homeland, and after the headlines passed most Democrats in Congress seemed to forget that over a million Puerto Ricans did not have access to clean drinking water or electricity. Our people are dying, and the last thing I want to see is Democrats criticizing Republicans and the Trump Administration without ever stepping up and delivering serious proposals that would provide substantive relief to the people of Puerto Rico.
I will never forget the time I spent in Puerto Rico as a young boy. I remember playing at the beach with my cousins, and riding horses on my uncle's ranch; I recall my grandmother's house and dancing with friends and family. When I think of these experiences now in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, my heart aches, because these memories are essentially all that is left of the beautiful Puerto Rican landscape I explored all those years ago, and I will never see it the same again.
As an Oregonian and member of the Puerto Rican diaspora, I am deeply concerned about the futile response of Congress and the Trump Administration to the devastation in Puerto. Those living in Puerto Rico cannot vote for president or members of Congress, so it is up to Americans around the country like us to stand up and demand that our elected officials make it a priority. While I know that Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley care about the people of Puerto Rico, I want to see them doing more to advance policies that revitalize the Puerto Rican economy like sponsoring this legislation.
Tigard did well in OK'ing unity measure
I'm writing to say THANK YOU to the Tigard City Council for adopting the City of Tigard Unity Resolution (Tigard City Council declares city to be welcoming," TigardTimes.com). By being willing to go on record with a vote, our City Council has made it very clear that they want everyone in our great city to feel welcome and included. Their leadership is even more crucial at a time when a significant segment of our community is experiencing fear and uncertainty about whether they truly are welcome in Tigard.
This resolution does not fix our nation's broken immigration system or protect undocumented people from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). But it sends a very strong message from our city's elected leaders that all people who are simply going about their lives in our city — regardless of their immigration status — are welcome as valued members of our community.