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Readers write in about immigration enforcement, Sen. Betsy Johnson and more.

ICE plays 'follow the leader'

Agents of ICE are completely out of control. They question people without probable cause, a warrant or even identifying themselves as agents the federal government. When they determine they are wrong, they don't apologize. Recently, they held a young man who was a citizen in jail in Texas for a month and then claimed it was "mistaken identity." No, it was racial profiling.

Everyone in our country should be concerned about this, since we are one step away from a Gestapo or NKVD. The legal protections of due process must apply to all of us, or soon, they will apply to no one.

And the tone has been set by the current occupant of the White House. No need to mince words, he hates immigrants, all people who are not white, and everyone who challenges his belief system. Every word out of his mouth is a lie, including a, and and the. He fuels the fire of bigotry and enables ICE agents to ignore basic human and civil rights.

Is this what we want for a leader? Not me.

David Pauli, Forest Grove

Johnson tells us our votes don't count

The Aug. 7, 2019, commentary by state Sen. Betsy Johnson is revealing for several reasons.

One, is that Johnson makes it clear she does not trust her peers in Salem to exercise any fiscal responsibility or direction. Next, she confirms the obvious: that being the will of the people (voters) exists in name only in Salem.

Refer to Betsy Johnson's commentary, published Aug. 7, 2019.

Johnson says she reluctantly voted for House Bill 3427; and did so with great reservations, as she didn't believe the promises of other legislators in the chamber. Once this was done, Johnson was stabbed in the back by legislators who hurriedly rammed Senate Bill 1049 down her throat.

She then goes on to point out the folly and deception attached to HB 2020 (cap-and-trade) and acknowledges the facade of the flawed idea. After that, Johnson cynically points out the constitutional blunder of SB 870 and the desire to ruin our time-honored and tested national election system (eliminating the electoral college and replacing representative democracy with direct democracy, thus creating the nightmare our founders warned against).

She was not finished. Johnson concluded by pointing out several egregious acts that fly in the face of the voter. From death penalty considerations to Measure 11 cancellations, Johnson makes it clear the idea of casting a vote in Oregon is now a moot issue. The will of the people is not a consideration.

Lastly, HB 2015 gives driver's licenses to illegals. Voters decidedly voted against this by an overwhelming margin five years ago. (Oddly enough, it now seems like citizens who want to uphold the law and retain a civic code of conduct are in direct contradiction to their elected officials. The betrayal of laws is actually promoted from within the Salem Capitol.)

In this and other issues, the legislators have told voters to go pound sand, your vote does not count.

Betsy Johnson is in trouble. She points out the folly of her peers and exposes their egregious disrespect for laws, voters and oaths of office. This cannot make her a friend of others in Salem, but it does provide a glimmer of hope for some Oregonians.

Jim Speirs, North Portland

Betty Bode will be missed

Sadly, former Beaverton City Councilor Betty Bode passed away at home in her sleep on August 17. Betty had been ill for over a year. She served with distinction as a member of the Beaverton Planning Commission, chaired the initial Beaverton Human Rights Advisory Commission and was a multi-term elected Beaverton city councilor.

Read The Times' story on Betty Bode, published online Aug. 19, 2019.

Betty was a strong advocate for social justice, transparency in government, making certain every resident was heard and treated with dignity, and was always proud of her profession as a public nurse for many years. She also served as the executive director of the Beaverton Virginia Garcia clinic. Hers was a career of public service and caring immensely for others. She greatly valued the trust that residents had in her and her support for an open-style government. People felt they could count on Betty in so many meaningful ways.

Her public service career was a perfect example of how to serve others and make a positive impact for Beaverton residents. Thank you for your service, Betty!

Rob Drake

City Manager, Cornelius

Former Mayor, Beaverton

Cancer patients could suffer under Trump proposal

Fifteen years ago, wife Sherie was diagnosed with stage-three ovarian cancer and our family founded the Sherie Hildreth Ovarian Cancer (SHOC) Foundation to raise funds for ovarian cancer research at OHSU.

SHOC supports research into the developments of better cancer treatments and we believe public policies must ensure access to the best treatments for all patients in need. That is why we are very concerned with the Trump administration's proposal to base U.S. drug prices on those paid in 14 foreign countries.

Known as the International Pricing Index model (IPI), this idea may sound good on the surface but tying drug prices to other countries could have serious consequences for cancer patients. Patients across the United States had access to 95% of cancer drugs launched between 2011 and 2018. This is not the case for countries that follow the International Pricing Index model, Britain only had access to 74% of cancer drugs launched between 2011 and 2018. Even worse, cancer patients in Greece only had access to 8% of cancer drugs.

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network has noted that the IPI "could actually make it harder for cancer patients, especially those living in rural areas, to find the right provider to treat their cancer with the right drug." In addition, a report by the U.S Department of Commerce unveiled that IPI along with other foreign price control models hampers investment in global research and development by 11% to 16% annually.

In our 15 years, we have donated over $1 million to the Gynecological Cancer Lab, but that is just a small fraction of what is needed to fuel the development of more effective treatments of cancer. Once better treatments are achieved, it is critical that those in need have access to them. This IPI proposal endangers both.

Bruce Hildreth, Gladstone


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