Letters to the editor
Osprey populations in Oregon more durable than elsewhere
I received your article on the osprey being designated as Oregon's state raptor through Hawkwatch International.
I conducted research on ospreys at Crane Prairie Reservoir and the surrounding Deschutes National Forest in 1970 and 1971. I earned a master's degree in science in 1976 from Oregon State University. My thesis title is "Production, Nest Site Selection, and Food Habits of Ospreys on Deschutes National Forest, Oregon." Hadley Roberts (U.S. Forest Service) and I also published a paper titled "Status of the American Osprey in Oregon" in 1971. A total of 231 nest sites were reported in 1971, of which 120 were active. Major concentrations of nests were found at Crane Prairie Reservoir, Lookout Point Reservoir, and the Rogue River drainage.
In my study, a total of 99 young was fledged from 95 active nests during the two breeding seasons. These numbers indicate that the population was stable. Also, samples of tissue from dead birds and eggs showed very low concentrations of DDT. So there was no "amazing comeback" from DDT in this population as there was in the East.
Crane Prairie Reservoir and surrounding forest was designated an osprey management area by the USFS in 1969.
It sure was good news to see that my favorite bird is getting recognition.
Be a good neighbor to cyclists
An often neglected yet critically important aspect of travel in the "tri-cities" is the bicycle lane. Pacific Highway (99W) is especially vulnerable to dead animals and gravel.
I must pedal a bicycle to get virtually anywhere along that main route. Just a few days ago, I spotted two dead animals in the bike lane and reported them to the Oregon Department of Transportation.
You ought to propose to business owners that they sweep just their portion of the bike lane (perpendicular to 99W). By doing so, they will eliminate dangers bicyclists face daily and motorists won't have to risk tire punctures or wheel misalignments. Clean bike lanes clearly promote better business and goodwill.
The sad but still prevalent median-squatter holding a cardboard sign and begging for money needs to be removed as well. Washington County is affluent enough to provide subsidized food and shelter.
Are you as curious as I about the future construction next to the pioneer graveyard above Canterbury Lane in Tigard? So far, water-absorbing trees are gone and an asphalt-lined cul-de-sac has appeared. That's terrific if you drive a motor vehicle and not great if you seek flood or heat mitigation!
Stress on environment? Look to yourself
It's true, every human being puts stress on the environment, including undocumented immigrants ("Illegal immigration bad for environment," Aug. 17 My View by Richard LaMountain).
Yet, in spite of all the work they do, undocumented people create far from the largest environmental footprint. They own and drive fewer cars, consume much less fuel, food and furnishings, and live much more densely than average Americans.
If Mr. LaMountain is concerned about human environmental impact, perhaps he should look first to his own backyard.
Information wrong in climate agreement story
Considering the magnitude of the U.N. Paris Climate Agreement promotion, it is not surprising to see your Mark Miller's "Climate Mayor" report of Aug. 11 ("Tualatin leans toward joining 'Climate Mayors.'" Aug. 17).
Unfortunately the topic is based on a false premise.
The climate change topic, formerly global warming, is based on the assumption the ambient atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) drives the temperature. Two separate ice core studies show ambient temperature has lead CO2 for the past 410,000 years. The ocean absorbs and releases CO2 depending on ambient temperature.
Dr. Craig Idso, the well-known agricultural scientist of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, says CO2 is not a pollutant and the more the better. It is atmospheric fertilizer. He calculates the monetary value of ambient CO2 enrichment from 1961 to 2011 as $3.5 trillion per year. He projects the future gains in global food production resulting from higher levels of CO2 through 2050 at $11.6 trillion.
Only God knows how many human beings avoid starvation as the result of the increasing CO2 in the atmosphere.
Police horse headed toward bright new role
Saying goodbye the Portland Mounted Patrol this week has been bittersweet. Their long-standing relationship and service to the city of Portland will not soon be forgotten. Budget cuts affect everyone in the city and the four-hoofed friends were no exception this past week at their decommissioning ceremony.
However, I can speak from experience that Olin, one of the horses from the Mounted Patrol, still has many more years of service of a new kind ahead of him. Olin arrived Friday at his new home at Forward Stride in Beaverton.
Forward Stride provides equine assisted therapies and activities to families in the greater Portland area. My daughter, now 5, has participated in therapy at Forward Stride for over two years. The services they provide to the community make a huge difference in the lives of their clients and their families. My daughter is living testimony to that. Forward Stride truly changes lives.
So while I'm sad to see the Mount Patrol disperse, I know that Olin will go on to serve in so many new ways. He'll be well loved in his new home and will still make a difference everyday in people's lives, right here in the Portland area. Proof that every cloud has a silver lining.
Forward Stride is a non-profit organization. Their annual Round Up Relay takes place this coming Saturday, Aug 26. If you want to support Forward Stride and Olin's new home please visit their website. www.forwardstride.org.
Legislators failing to help Oregon's senior population
We have a serious situation in Oregon impacting the senior population. Many of us don't have families or have families that are not able to help us. This is not a new problem and very little is being done to address it. Those trying to help are limited by a lack of funding by legislators who don' t seem to feel that this is important enough to do much about. Other projects take priority.
Many seniors live solely on Social Security are either unable to work or can't find work. Affordable housing is not available and more and more are forced to live in their cars or wherever else they can find to live. The senior population is growing and it is only going to get worse.
A lack of dental care is also very serious for seniors. When it is difficult to pay for basic needs, how can they afford the high cost of dental care, which is often desperately needed?
It seems that politicians here do not feel that seniors are important enough to care about what happens to them. I must say there is one exception. I had the opportunity to talk to Mayor Denny Doyle of Beaverton and he showed concern. I wish our legislators would also show concern. They could provide funds if they wanted to. Instead, when faced with budget cuts, they take away from seniors and the poor.
In the past people looked forward to getting older as seniors were respected for the experience and knowledge they gained over the years. But now we are looked upon as being more of a burden on society. Being old doesn't mean a person is useless. Most seniors have worked hard and contributed in many ways in their lifetimes and deserve the consideration to live out the rest of their lives with some dignity and respect.
League praises work of Beaverton senator
On behalf of Oregon's 241 cities, the League of Oregon Cities would like to acknowledge State Sen. Mark Hass's leadership on tax and finance issues during the 2017 legislative session. As the chair of the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee, he provided invaluable leadership to promote state and local tax reform.
Sen. Hass pf Beaverton understands all too well the problems with Measures 5 and 50, and voiced his support for property tax reform — a League priority, as property taxes are cities' primary revenue source.
Oregonians are frustrated and perplexed that similarly valued homes in the same city can pay drastically different tax bills. Sen. Hass continued to be a leader this session, holding property tax hearings and calling for reform to restore equity and eliminate "the Tale of Two Houses" problem. Ultimately, property tax reform work was pulled off the table as the Legislature focused on trying to address state business taxes as the session progressed. However, there was a commitment to continue local and state revenue reform discussions in the interim with recommendations for the 2019 session.
While comprehensive reform to fix the broken and complex property tax system did not advance this session, a pilot program for a more equitable property tax assessment method for new construction did pass. In addition, under Sen. Hass's leadership, important discussions got underway for a potential new homestead exemption for property tax payers.
The League again thanks Sen. Hass for being a strong partner with local government in advocating for sound revenue policy and property tax reform.
Those who would restrict guns make illogical point
A letter in the Aug. 10 Times (" 'Concealed carry' idea would make us less safe," Page A7) laments an incident of gun violence.
If the suspect in that incident had used a ball bat or a butcher knife, would we be trying to restrict access to them as a result?
The letter writer urges support for Moms Demand Action. I want to urge those who support gun rights to join the Oregon Firearms Federation (OFF)