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The Times publishes reader submissions in this week's letters to the editor.

Editor's note: Have a letter to share? Email your thoughts to Editor-in-Chief Mark Miller at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Letters should be no more than 400 words. All submissions must include the name and hometown of the author. Submissions should not include profane or defamatory language. We may lightly edit submissions for style and clarity. We encourage writers to suggest their own headline when submitting a letter; otherwise, a headline may be generated based on the contents of the letter.

The real reason urban wildlife sightings are up

An article appeared in The Times, "What happens when wildlife comes to town?" (published July 14, 2022) with many statements made by district biologist Steve Niemela of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. He mentions several reasons why people are now seeing wildlife in their backyards and local neighborhoods, but not the No. 1 reason, loss of habitat.

His No. 1 reason is the outdoor cameras people are now installing. Yes, they are spotted more often because of these cameras, but the wildlife wouldn't be there to see if they hadn't lost their original habitat.

Anyone one with a little knowledge knows the No. 1 reason we see more wildlife in our neighborhoods today than a few years ago is the loss of their habitat. The empty lots having homes built on them, the vacant fields with large tracts of homes being built like Cooper Mountain and Reedville. Where does he think these animals go to find food, the local grocery store?

Read our July 14, 2022, story on urban wildlife.

I assume ODFW must have an agenda not acknowledging the loss of wildlife habitat as at least one of the reasons wildlife are seen more often in our backyards. Wonder what it is?

Jan Asher, Beaverton

Betsy Johnson's spiel is hypocritical

It seems that Betsy Johnson's call for "individual responsibility" means for everyone else, but not for her.

After she caused an accident in 2013, she claimed legislative immunity and tried to get the taxpayers to pick up the tab.

Many countries and 43 states, including Oregon, have some form of this law, but it was never meant to shield our elected leaders from the consequences of their actions. The purpose, and I find this highly questionable anyway, is as follows:

This immunity protects legislators from punitive executive or judicial action. The intent is to allow lawmakers to work independently and unimpeded by the threat of intervention from the other branches of government in the discharge of their legislative duties.

No class of people should be exempt from following the law. Especially ones that make the laws.

David Pauli, Forest Grove

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