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The Times hears from readers on the Beaverton City Council election, the pandemic and more.

Former OHSU spokesperson fires back

The claim by the animal rights lobbying group White Coat Waste Project that animal studies taking place at Oregon Health & Science University are "wasteful" (letter to the editor, published Aug. 26, 2021) is blatantly false.

Read the letter from Natalie Warhit published Aug. 26, 2021.

The current pandemic has repeatedly demonstrated the critical need for animal studies. Animal research helped scientists develop safe and effective vaccines in record time. The groundbreaking use of mRNA snippets to fight the coronavirus — an approach used in both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines — was developed years ago in animal studies.

Animal research also demonstrated how the virus spreads, helping us prevent transmission. Studies in animals over several decades gave us the previously FDA-approved drugs that we are now using to fight the disease in infected patients. At the same time, animals are helping us develop new and better therapies.

Now is a time when we need a lot more science and a lot less political spin.

Jim Newman

Director of Strategic Communications, Americans for Medical Progress

Too much, too fast in digging out from COVID-19

While there is a big push to open things up full-blown post-COVID-19 but pre-the delta variant, it's hard not to be overly concerned.

Yes, we all want everything back to what we used to view as normal, but from my people inside the medical community, the variant is worse than the original outbreak on countless levels. Oregon Health & Science University, for one, is turning away patients right now due to no available beds. Patients all over the country are being shuffled to different locations because of lack of availability at the hospitals they are being brought into.

There is still an alarming amount of people not vaccinated. How they justify it is anyone's guess, but it's not based on logic or medical data.

So this begs the question: Are we opening everything up such as a schools and restaurants too soon?

We now have a new mask mandate that came down today, which includes wearing the mask outdoors [Ed.: The Times received this letter on Wednesday, Aug. 25, one day after Gov. Kate Brown announced the outdoor mask requirements.], but the school districts think it's a good idea to full-blown open up schools. We all want normal, nobody wants another mom-and-pop business to go out of business, everyone knows most kids learn better in the classroom versus through a Zoom call — but the current decision to open everything up seems ill-advised and a step in the wrong direction.

James Maass, Beaverton

Put Ashley Hartmeier-Prigg over the top in runoff

Beaverton has a special election on Sept. 21, a runoff for City Council Position 1.

In the May 2020 primary election, Ashley Hartmeier-Prigg was the frontrunner by double-digit margins. Please vote for Ashley and make her the winner. She has been an effective board chair of Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District (THPRD) and will be a strong leader on City Council.

Ashely is recognized by her former board colleagues as someone who will work consistently on local climate solutions and affordable housing. She cares. When COVID-19 caused the closure of THPRD buildings last year, she was part of THPRD opening a shelter for houseless persons.

Ashley is well aware of the need for equity in any changes that address city livability and climate. She has her sights set on reducing environmental impact from transportation and providing more electric vehicle charging stations in Beaverton. She would work toward use of green roofs, solar panels and grey water reuse plumbing systems, and making a greener standard for construction, which would be developed together with builders.

Ashley is a principled leader who would be a terrific city councilor. Vote for Ashley Hartmeier-Prigg in this September election.

Donna Maebori, Beaverton

Not impressed by Tootie Smith's grandstanding

People seem to misunderstand Gov. Kate Brown.

Take Tootie Smith, chair of the Clackamas County commission. She recently held a town hall, jammed with largely maskless Smith supporters, claiming Brown "had lied and then panicked," because Brown first gave the go-ahead to largely open the state late in June, and then recently issued a mask mandate. Smith claimed Brown threatened everyone's civil rights for ordering this mandate.

So, when did Brown lie? She set a benchmark of 70% full or partial vaccination for opening, and the only reason she opened just shy of that goal was because, that last June weekend, our region was destined for triple-digit record heat. Places previously restricted needed to be available for use as cooling centers.

Panicking? How does acting in the best interests of her constituents because of the delta variant's scientifically documented rapid spread constitute such a charge? Vaccinated folks can still be carriers, and masking is proven to slow the spread. Even if vaccinated folks become break-through cases, they will most likely never need the ICUs, which, by the way, are filled across the state.

Tootie Smith does her constituents a grave disservice (no pun intended) by behaving like just another opportunistic, grandstanding public official, with her irresponsible politicization of a serious public health crisis. Even more egregiously, she panders to the lowest common denominator of those holding the attitude of, "I don't wanna, and you can't make me, because it's all about me."

If that town hall event she held turns into a super-spreader event, with some ending up in the ICU, the only folks deserving of sympathy are the frontline healthcare professionals, who must expend precious resources and personal energy caring for these selfish, willfully ignorant folks.

Brian McGahren, Tigard

Retired city councilor says Beaverton needs Jerome Sibayan

You may not have seen much about Jerome Sibayan running for Beaverton City Council. He is not a politician. He is running a quiet campaign using a modest amount of his own retirement money.

I am voting for Jerome this September for many reasons: One, his professional background includes civil engineering work that relates to our most expensive city functions such as providing water, sewer, roads. Two, his volunteer background over the years includes several positions on city commissions and committees, as well as ongoing work as a Beaverton Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) member. Three, as a retired veteran, he believes he has an obligation to continue to serve his community.

To me, the choice is clear. Jerome has the best experience and integrity to serve on our City Council. Please vote for him!

Cate Arnold, Beaverton

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