The Times hears from readers about Carina's Bakery, Betsy Johnson, school shootings and more.

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We don't need anti-environmentalist Johnson as governor

Recently, Democratic state Sen. Betsy Johnson announced a run for governor. However, she's raising eyebrows by running as an unaffiliated candidate.

Oregonians should not be fooled by this decision: Johnson has long been a moderate who votes with Republicans on a number of issues.

Most concerning is her position on Oregon's climate and environment. Even as a member of the Democratic Party, Johnson frequently supported the positions of the most conservative factions of the Republican Party.

This is reflected in her opposition to urgently needed measures to combat climate change like the Clean Energy Jobs bill, and more recently, House Bill 2021, a bill (now law) enforcing clean energy standards. She also opposed action on electric vehicle incentives, recycling modernization, energy efficient appliances, and strong land-use laws by allowing luxury homes to be built on exclusive farmland.

This has resulted in multiple environmental groups giving her unacceptably low marks on climate issues. Johnson earned a 41% and a 31% from the Oregon League of Conservation Voters in the 2021 and 2019 legislative sessions respectively. These ratings are very out-of-step with the average Oregonian.

Johnson's record clearly indicates that she is anti-climate and falls short on the issues that matter the most. We need decisive action, and it surely won't come from Sen. Betsy Johnson. Her administration would be catastrophic for Oregon's status as a leader on climate change.

I urge all Oregonians to support candidates who value environmental protection in the 2022 primaries and again in November.

Yusuf Arifin, Bethany

Article uplifts stories of people with disabilities

On Dec. 1, 2021, you reported a wonderful story about local Beaverton baker Carina Comer, and her wonderful way of representing people with disabilities through her bakery.

Read our Dec. 1, 2021, online story about Carina Comer and her bakery in Beaverton.

As a student studying history at Dominican University of California, I have researched other instances of there being a lack of representation for people with all types of disabilities.

I have learned from analyzing and researching the disabled culture, people with physical disadvantages feel as there is a lack of representation in pop culture, art, and day-to-day activities.

Carina's Bakery has taken a perceived weakness and turned it into a business identity of strength. Carina provides a place for people of all types of backgrounds to feel accepted and a part of a community — since there is a misrepresentation in the media, and the questioning of the authenticity behind it.

This article promotes more representation for people with visual impairments and the disabled community. It also shows that there are establishments in the Beaverton metropolitan area that provide a safe space for people — similar to the precedent of Dave's Killer Bread and their mission to turn people's life around.

I really appreciated the heartwarming article and Carina's intention to outreach into the community and help people with disabilities as well as provide them with a job and safe space. Looking forward to reading more articles about disability outreach in the future.

Teddy Batinkova, San Rafael (California)

A student's view of school shootings

How is it that in the year 2021, there were 28 school shootings?

The amount of terror that kids across our nation face is egregious. I don't understand what more has to happen for members of Congress to come together — not even for the children, the future of our nation.

This is not an argument about the Second Amendment or a constitutional crisis, it's about infringing on a person's right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." How can we expect students to go to school and learn, when they are afraid that their classmate will pose a life-or-death threat to their life?

I find it most ironic as a high school student that a lot of the people, including members of Congress, that are "pro-life" only care about lives when it concerns birth, yet 32 students have died and we still can't get the "adults" to come together — unite, if you will.

At Aloha High School this past Friday, Dec. 10, 2021, we got a shooter threat, at a school that has a student body of 2,000+ students — had apparently only 400 in attendance.

The fear that a threat caused, the fear that parents had for their kids' lives is disheartening.

Read our Dec. 10, 2021, story about violent rumors in the Beaverton School District.

That's not even the most sad part. The saddest part is that because the school's administration heard about the threat. If they hadn't, the story could have gone a different way, and I may not have been here to write this piece.

Anyone can strike at any time, and that is what scares me, and that's what scares students all across the nation every day.

Taliek Lopez DuBoff, Beaverton

Make climate action top national priority

I have had a passion for the environment since learning about climate change for the first time during my freshman year.

Since then, I have made it a priority to think about the environmental impacts of my lifestyle, from what I eat to what I wear and where I buy it from.

I care about climate change because it is a real threat facing me and my generation. It is a source of anxiety for me, so knowing I am individually doing my part to help make the situation better gives me a sense of relief and gives me purpose.

I want this generation's efforts to ensure that future generations won't have the same stress we are dealing with right now.

Hopefully in the future, the need for action against climate change will not be as urgent. But we need help; we can't do it alone.

Because I value climate action and future generations, I am especially grateful for the climate leadership of U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, as well as my congresswoman, Suzanne Bonamici. Thank you for all you have done to pass the Build Back Better Act and keep federal climate action a priority.

I encourage these three to continue those efforts no matter how hard, because there will always be people to support you and people like me who are very much appreciative.

For my future and those of many other youth activists, we want nothing more than that security and hope. Thank you again.

Ava Ortiz, Beaverton

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