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Readers express their thoughts on the legislative session, coastal construction, park design and more.

Boquist was only defending himself

I am concerned regarding the treatment Sen. Brian Boquist has received regarding his comments and behavior surrounding the recent Republican walkout over the cap-and-trade climate change bill.

Sen. Boquist was the only legislator to expose other senators' campaign finance crimes as well as some sexual abuse/payoffs by other senators. He was threatened by the majority power not to deny quorum again or "be chained to his desk in an orange jumper." Once he and other Republicans did leave the state, Gov. Kate Brown illegally ordered his arrest and sent armed guards to locate him. His comments regarding defending himself against an unprovoked arrest are minor when compared to the harassment he and his family have received from the majority power. Now he faces a special hearing on his conduct July 8 with the aim of removing him from the Senate entirely. [Ed.: This letter was submitted prior to Monday's hearing, at which the committee voted to require Boquist to give 12 hours' notice before arriving at the Capitol and authorized a heightened security presence in the building while Boquist is there. Additional disciplinary action is possible.]

I think the only inappropriate conduct he is truly guilty of is exposing more corruption in the state Capitol than we knew existed.

Chanda Costello, Tualatin

Oregon Democrats are trampling on Constitution

We have a severe problem here in the formerly great state of Oregon. We have a Democrat-controlled legislature that is hell bent on punishing the innocent and rewarding the guilty.

For example, SB 978, the so-called omnibus gun laws bill, which thankfully failed, is a direct attack on the constitutional rights of legal, law-abiding gun owners who have committed no crime nor broken any laws. It doesn't matter that you may be innocent of any crime, the Democrats seem determined to decide what rights you do and do not have, regardless of the Constitution.

On the other hand, HB 2015, passed by the House on June 18 and passed by the Senate on June 29, allows undocumented illegal aliens to obtain a driver's license. Which means that if you are here in violation of our immigration laws, an act which makes you a criminal, the Democrats in the Oregon Legislature want to reward you for breaking the law. In addition, the Democrats added an "emergency clause" to the bill making it impossible for Oregon voters to hold a referendum, something that was done with Measure 88 in 2014. In other words, the Democrats in the Oregon Legislature know what's better for you and the state of Oregon, than you do. Remember, in their minds, they are the masters and you are the servants.

It is way past time for legal Oregon citizens to vote the Democrat plantation owners out of office in disgrace, and replace them with citizen legislators who will protect the rights of all legal Oregon citizens and work to protect and defend the Constitution as it is written.

It is time to return to a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, to the people of Oregon!

James Kolousek, Gaston

Suburbs need to host their share of public housing

Metro has declared and the voters confirmed that public housing is a regulated regional matter. Metro must now establish and the counties over which it has jurisdiction, i.e. Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington, must demand parity of public housing percentages per total county housing units and equitable distribution of public housing as a fundamental, inviolable policy. The current imbalance stands at: Clackamas 3.01%, Washington 4.44% and Multnomah 10.25%. Parity would be 10.25% before Metro bond funds. The future imbalance stands at: Clackamas 3.61%, Washington 4.97% and Multnomah 10.72%. Parity would be 10.72% after Metro bond funds.

Metro's argument to distribute bond funds according to tax bases is specious. It is merely a coverup for a regional policy of NIMBY favoritism and economic segregation favoring Washington and Clackamas counties. Multnomah County should not continue to be the regional dumping ground for public housing units. Metro must redistribute its public housing bond funds to achieve parity among Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties. This means that all Metro public housing bonds funds currently targeted to Multnomah County must be reallocated to Clackamas and Washington counties.

Richard Ellmyer, North Portland

Building in Oregon's 'death zone'

Kathryn Schulz's recent New Yorker article about Oregon's shockingly shortsighted decision to allow development of long-lived public assets in Oregon's tsunami inundation zone, which might be more appropriately labeled "the death zone", should give us pause. As Ms. Schulz points out, the risk of death in the inundation zone is virtually 100%.

Four years ago, I worked on a blueprint for reducing development and financing evacuation infrastructure in tsunami risk areas. See "Preparing for a Cascadia Subduction Zone Tsunami." But few, if any, coastal cities have adopted the recommendations, largely because the lure of attracting new high-value development to one of the most beautiful natural wonders on Earth — the Oregon coast — trumps common sense. It's like the "Jaws" syndrome on a massive scale.

Is there a more compelling argument for gradually returning a narrow band of coastline to a more natural state than to avoid certain and massive loss of life? The answer, apparently, is no. The debate we should be having is what steps can we take to shift people out of the "death zone"? Clearly we should not make matters worse by building critical infrastructure there.

Why aren't we having this discussion? Well, it's complicated. Imagine the complaints if cities suggested expanding their urban growth boundaries to accommodate urban development displaced from inundation zones. Regardless, the arguments the State Legislature used to pass HB 3309 and put schools, hospitals, fire stations, prisons, and other essential public assets in "the death zone" are shameful. Gov. Brown, please veto this bill.

DJ Heffernan, Northeast Portland

Local parks should be kid-friendly

I was just walking in my neighborhood park, Amberglen Park, and let me say up front I love Amberglen Park, with its three ponds, two fountains and resident ducks. But today I came upon a new construction project in the park. It's a concrete sculpture. I immediately thought, what a shame it's not going to be something the kids want to climb on. And that is a shame.

And you know what else is a shame? That this city is installing a concrete monument in a park that doesn't have a playground.

Priorities a little out of order, Hillsboro leaders?

Roseanne Lasater, Hillsboro


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