Our weekly mailbag runneth over with thoughts on climate action, road expansion, water rates and more.

Beaverton passes 86-point climate change plan

On Nov. 12, 2019, I was proud to see the Beaverton City Council pass the 86-point Beaverton Climate Action plan.

Also amazing: Nobody showed up to spew climate doubt or conspiracy about the causes and solutions to climate change. Public comment periods were friendly, and most notably, immediately before the council meeting a local Boy Scouts troop had a meeting with Councilor Cate Arnold.

The Beaverton City Council has made great progress towards protecting our community from climate change and protecting the young people of our community from the impacts of climate change. The plan is not the end of the conversation and I hope more citizens of Beaverton continue the dialog.

Thank you so much to our city leaders for putting this plan into action.

Adam Gretzinger, Beaverton

As Roy Rogers Road expands, homes should go elsewhere

In response to a flyer left on our door entitled "Not in my backyard!!! Conversion of Roy Rogers into a five lane highway?" I would like to add my thoughts on the construction project planned on the border of our neighborhood.

Obviously, it would be better to plan in advance of population growth and build extra lanes and comfortably accommodating roads before traffic congestion turns into an unbearable situation. For now, we are stuck in a sticky situation with the proposed project.

It is only sticky to the residents who live north of Roy Rogers Road and west of Highway 99W. There are about 225 single family homes affected — about 30 acres of single family residential. I'd like to ask the question why was this area even zoned for single-family residences?

The area north of Roy Rogers on the other side of the highway is zoned commercial/industrial. The land north of Roy Rogers on the west side should be, too.

Build the highway, expand the road. But move the families into new homes on a 30-acre lot of land nearby that is more suitable to single-family residential zoning. The idea and cost may sound absurd at first. But think about the money that could be made by turning this area into a commercial zone and having plenty of room to expand Roy Rogers into the commuter highway it has turned into.

Changing the zoning and moving the residents of this area would solve a lot of long-term problems and bring cohesion and a better standard of living to all of Sherwood's residents.

Chadlee Colson, Sherwood

Supply chain technology and its impacts

The industrial internet of things (IIoT) drives the modernization of digital supply. Solidifying digital supply chains requires a new awareness among the industry, as well as providing them with modern tools. While obstacles exist, implementing these new technologies will greatly enhance the effectiveness of global supply chains.

Standardizing digital supply chains may prevent a bottleneck effect brought about by the barrage of highly anticipated innovation.

The management of future supply chains will be quite different than what is common today. However, several factors are slowing the standardization of the IIoT. These include:

• integration

• accessing system data

• analytical systems for leveraging data

• net neutrality

Digital supply chains will need to refocus their resources toward hiring qualified staff that can make data operational, as well as upgrading their servers and accounting for increases in energy consumption.

The future of net neutrality is a significant factor because of the role of IIoT providers.

Among the emerging technologies that will reshape digital supply is blockchain. It provides the kind of visibility and other logistical advantages that is much needed by modern supply chains. One hundred percent visibility is possible on a blockchain.

Regulatory compliance and product tracking improve greatly in a transparent supply chain business model, though, it does not come without its challenges. Data scientists who understand blockchain technology are needed to close the skill gap. The consensus is that the manufacturing and retail benefits of putting a supply chain on a blockchain outweigh the effort.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is often mentioned in the same breath of both blockchain and distribution. As machine learning and augmented reality advance, so do the applications for more efficient and effective supply chains. Automation of the future will include robotics to minimize any repetitive movements in a system. Finally, the mass adoption of cloud-based technology will lower consumer prices while encouraging industry growth.

Justice Owusu-Hienno, Beaverton

Seniors, people with disabilities hurt by rising Medicare costs

Despite the inevitable financial challenges I face as a retired Oregonian on a limited income, I am grateful to have all of the healthcare coverage I could possibly need through Medicare Advantage.

If I were to tell you about all of the benefits I receive through my plan at no extra cost — diabetes counseling, a SilverSneakers gym membership that includes exercise classes and community events, and preventive care screenings for high blood pressure, just to name a few — you might not believe me. But that's what is so great about Medicare Advantage, an all-encompassing plan allows me to focus on other things in life, like my family.

I'd much prefer if every member of my family were on Medicare Advantage. I help out quite a bit with my grandson's healthcare since he was diagnosed with a developmental disability. He is able to work and live on his own, but finances are tight for him as well. I've seen his traditional Medicare and Part D prescription drug plan fail to adequately and affordably cover his care, and I can't help but think that Medicare Advantage would serve him far better.

As is the case with essentially all conversations on healthcare, cost is a factor. But there's a tax that could go into effect called the "health insurance tax" that may raise costs on Medicare Advantage, a consequence I'm not able to take on right now.

I recently had the chance to sit down with the office of Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici to discuss this pressing issue, and I will tell you all what I told them: Seniors and others who need access to affordable health care are looking to our representatives to support a delay of the tax through the Health Insurance Tax Relief Act of 2019.

Mary Lou Ritter, West Slope

Why is reader's water bill so dang high?

Does anyone every really look at their water bill in Beaverton? I do, and it baffles me how expensive water is.

Let me preface this by saying we are two older folks that use the shower once per day and on average do two loads of laundry per week, we water on occasion during the summer. On our latest water bill, the water itself runs at $14.28 for a month, but the water base is $16.00.

How can the water base be more expensive than the water itself? Clearly, I don't get how this works.

The sewer use is $7.11, sounds lucky and reasonable, but wait, the sewer base is $31.60. Now let's toss in another $11.31 for surface water management. Who are these managers?

Can someone please tell me how my water bill for two of us is close to $80.00 to $90.00 a month? I need to understand where all this money goes and who gets it. I can't imagine what someone's water bill must be with a house full of kids.

Seriously, I want answers, this bill is outrageous compared to other places friends and family live, and some of them live in the desert and pay almost half what we pay. How does that makes sense?

James Maass, Beaverton

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