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Our weekly mailbag contains thoughts on 5G, local taxation in Tigard and a Wilsonville library display.

Don't microwave our planet

While the media's attention with regard to environmental issues has been captured by climate change, fracking, and plastics in the ocean, an International Appeal to Stop 5G on Earth and in Space has been quietly making its way around the world.

Signed by 4,800 scientists, 2,800 medical doctors, 770 beekeepers, 2,000 environmental organizations, and 180,000 others from 202 countries and territories, this Appeal calls on the world's governments to stop the deployment of 5G.

On Jan. 25, 2020, environmental groups are planning events in 31 capital cities so far, with more being added daily. Their goal is to stop the deployment of millions of 5G antennas on Earth and 50,000 5G satellites in space, and to secure emergency high-level meetings with officials in governments and international governmental organizations including the European Union, the United Nations, and the World Health Organization.

The issue is microwave radiation, which has been steadily intensifying for over two decades courtesy of the wireless revolution. 5G will bring a huge increase in radiation, virtually overnight, everywhere — in cities, suburbs, parks, nature preserves, wildlife refuges, oceans, Greenland, and Antarctica. Instead of cell towers every few miles, there will be cell towers — small but powerful — in front of every third to fifth home. Instead of 2,000 satellites orbiting the Earth, there will shortly be 50,000.

Tracy Schlanser, Aloha

Tigard City Hall needs to live within its means

I was disappointed to read in the Jan. 9, 2020, Times that Tigard will proceed with a new public-safety tax, despite two taxpayer-funded surveys that showed very low support for the idea. It was also disturbing to read that Mayor Jason Snider now feels an obligation to "keep the community safe," since he's been on the council for years. Tigard has not added to sworn officers in 10 years despite growth in population and massive increases to city tax receipts during that decade.

A primary function for cities should be keeping the citizenry safe, yet for 10 years, they spent all the new money on less important items. It feels like this problem is self-made by the city. Tigard tax receipts continue to grow quickly; they can rectify the mistakes of the past by approving two new officers per year for the foreseeable future.

Tigard does not like living within a budget. In the past 12 months, they've approved big increases to several fees, such as the 12% rise to the parks fee,

for example.

They ignore their own surveys as to what Tigard citizens want. Snider downplays the opposition by incorrectly rationalizing that if citizens knew the details they would favor the new tax. This is not true. Rather than try for the home run of hiring 10 officers at once, they could incrementally add protection while staying on budget.

Trust is something that needs to be earned, not just talked about. To place a new tax on the ballot to "save face" is not the way trust is earned.

We all respect and appreciate what law enforcement does for the community. It is appropriate to look at how we got here, and why Tigard is asking us to impose yet another new tax on homeowners.

Paul Hoffman, Tigard

Library should stick with the facts

I would like to say that I have enjoyed the Wilsonville Public Library for years and have been impressed with the

progress they have made.

However, I was surprised recently when I entered the library and saw a book display in the lobby denying evolution and global warming. I do not dispute the role of the library in having books on these subjects, and I support people's right to their own opinions. I do question the propriety of the library promoting misinformation.

Libraries are established under the assumption that information is a tool for social good. For years, libraries have extolled the virtues of information literacy. They have insisted facts are important.

But if information promoted by the library is built on ideas not substantiated in fact, are they to be trusted? Has our library fallen into the trap of thinking facts are not relevant to social discourse as so many of us have?

In promoting ideas, the library

should be careful to differential facts from fabrications.

Ken Panck, Wilsonville


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