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Readers write in about local evangelist Luis Palau, the Hillsboro Airport plan and more.

Glad for update on local Christian leader

Thank you very much for Ray Pitz's article about Luis Palau ("Luis Palau gets some good news, steps out for night of evangelization").

Read The Times' story on Luis Palau from Nov. 28, 2018.

It is refreshing to read positive news about a local resident who has been telling the good news about Jesus for most of his life.

Charles Felton, Hillsboro

Retired Air Force colonel says airport plan wanting

The just completed airport master plan ignores the fact that in a major earthquake, Portland International Airport's runways, built on fill, will likely be destroyed or at least out of service for an extended period, while the Hillsboro Airport's runways are likely to remain serviceable. Hillsboro will then become a major relief center for the region.

As of today, there is no plan for how the City of Hillsboro and Port of Portland will cooperate with federal agencies to insure the airport can provide immediate relief to include evacuation of injured.

Read our story from Dec. 18, 2018, on the Hillsboro Airport master plan.

The master plan should have included specific recommendations to insure that future projects do not get in the way of the large U.S. Air Force C-17, C-130 and C-5 aircraft, which are easily capable of landing at Hillsboro, even if the runways have suffered some damage.

A small investment in planning for this overdue disaster would be of great benefit to the region, but the Port is reluctant to divert even a small sum to an effective plan.

Michael R. Gallagher, Hillsboro

Establish the Devil's Staircase Wilderness now

Thanks to Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, we have the best chance in a decade to protect a rare pocket of old-growth forest.

The proposed Devil's Staircase Wilderness would preserve some of the remaining old-growth trees in the heavily logged Coast Range. This small remnant of untouched forest, found in remote, steep canyons, shelters tributary streams of the Umpqua and Smith Rivers and protects species that thrive in old-growth trees.

But these groves grow on lands managed by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, and these majestic trees could be logged at any time.

When I visited the Devil's Staircase, I was stunned by its peaceful beauty. We must protect these remaining giants, and we have a limited opportunity to act. Sens. Wyden and Merkley have co-sponsored the Oregon Wildlands Act that would create the Devil's Staircase Wilderness. It was voted out of committee in the U.S. Senate, and could be considered during the lame-duck session.

A parallel bill, sponsored by Reps. Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici and Kurt Schrader, could pass the House of Representatives, leading to permanent protection for the Devil's Staircase.

I'd like to applaud the support of public lands protections from all of these Oregon legislators.

Felice Kelly, Portland


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