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Readers write about an honored student-athlete, the late Betty Bode, mass transit and more.

Tigard athlete is deserving of honor

My name is Ben Barbee and I couldn't help but notice that on July 10, 2019 you wrote an article about Tigard's athlete of the year, Fletcher Alh.

I had the pleasure of playing with Fletcher for two years on not only baseball but football as well, and he definitely has earned this award. Not only was he a really good player on the field, but off, he was a strong leader for all of the teams he played for.

Without Fletcher, the baseball and football teams would not be where they are today.

Ben Barbee, Tigard

Betty Bode will be missed

Sadly, former Beaverton City Councilor Betty Bode passed away at home in her sleep on August 17. Betty had been ill for over a year. She served with distinction as a member of the Beaverton Planning Commission, chaired the initial Beaverton Human Rights Advisory Commission and was a multi-term elected Beaverton city councilor.

Betty was a strong advocate for social justice, transparency in government, making certain every resident was heard and treated with dignity, and was always proud of her profession as a public nurse for many years. She also served as the executive director of the Beaverton Virginia Garcia clinic. Hers was a career of public service and caring immensely for others. She greatly valued the trust that residents had in her and her support for an open-style government. People felt they could count on Betty in so many meaningful ways.

Her public service career was a perfect example of how to serve others and make a positive impact for Beaverton residents. Thank you for your service, Betty!

Rob Drake

City Manager, Cornelius

Former Mayor, Beaverton

New thinking needed for mass transit options

Political viewpoint held by a fair proportion of citizens — especially in dissent — should not be suppressed. Those who present concerns before City Hall or Metro cannot expect those concerns to be addressed until after it's too late. Public agencies and committees invite participation then act as unquestionable arbiters whose decisions leave participants disillusioned and sorely disappointed when outcomes fall woefully short of predicted expectations.

News outlets likewise act as censors. The Portland Tribune recently censored my description of the Tigard Triangle development as a laughably exaggerated next Pearl District despite overlooking adjacent Walmart, Costco, Winco and other big box store parking lots with related traffic. Delightful! My professional viewpoint exposing MAX on Barbur Boulevard as dreadfully high-impact, hazardous for pedestrians and motorists, unproductive as an expensive transit investment and whose development is similarly exaggerated has also been ignored by public agency leaders.

A face-saving suggestion I've offered Metro is to authorize an "independent" study of bus rapid transit on Barbur and the WES corridor for MAX to Wilsonville. Obsolete, uncomfortable, roaring rattletrap, diesel-spewing buses are best suited for electric on routes like Barbur. We are decades overdue for truly modern buses built from the ground up for electric and hybrid/electrics. TriMet's new subway proposal is likewise poorly engineered.

Art Lewellan, Southwest Portland

Cancer patients could suffer under Trump proposal

Fifteen years ago, wife Sherie was diagnosed with stage-three ovarian cancer and our family founded the Sherie Hildreth Ovarian Cancer (SHOC) Foundation to raise funds for ovarian cancer research at OHSU.

SHOC supports research into the developments of better cancer treatments and we believe public policies must ensure access to the best treatments for all patients in need. That is why we are very concerned with the Trump administration's proposal to base U.S. drug prices on those paid in 14 foreign countries.

Known as the International Pricing Index model (IPI), this idea may sound good on the surface but tying drug prices to other countries could have serious consequences for cancer patients. Patients across the United States had access to 95% of cancer drugs launched between 2011 and 2018. This is not the case for countries that follow the International Pricing Index model, Britain only had access to 74% of cancer drugs launched between 2011 and 2018. Even worse, cancer patients in Greece only had access to 8% of cancer drugs.

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network has noted that the IPI "could actually make it harder for cancer patients, especially those living in rural areas, to find the right provider to treat their cancer with the right drug." In addition, a report by the U.S Department of Commerce unveiled that IPI along with other foreign price control models hampers investment in global research and development by 11% to 16% annually.

In our 15 years, we have donated over $1 million to the Gynecological Cancer Lab, but that is just a small fraction of what is needed to fuel the development of more effective treatments of cancer. Once better treatments are achieved, it is critical that those in need have access to them. This IPI proposal endangers both.

Bruce Hildreth, Gladstone


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