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Local officials number among the readers writing to the editor in this week's mailbag.

School districts should be shielded from COVID-19 liability

The Beaverton School Board and district staff are working hard to prepare for when our students are eventually going to return to in-person learning.

Regardless of when we return to our school buildings, our school district needs certainty that if we meet all state and federal safety and health guidelines, we will not be at risk for lawsuits related to the unintentional spread of COVID-19.

Our liability insurance policies do not offer coverage for disease outbreaks like COVID-19. The current uncertainty, and the financial risk it would pose for our district, is creating a barrier as we work to prepare and resume in-person learning.

It will be a top priority in all of our schools to protect students, staff, and families. We also have to protect our district, and make sure our finite resources can go to students — not lawsuits. I hope you will join me in encouraging legislators to pass limited liability protection to ensure schools can safely reopen without fear of lawsuits.

Becky Tymchuk

Chair, Beaverton School Board

Think globally, act federally

We focus on the pandemic's impact on our community, our family and friends, and ourselves — as we should. It's vital that we practice social distancing and wear masks.

But we can't completely escape the COVID virus unless a global strategy is enacted. The virus has spread globally, and it must be harnessed on a global scale by bolstering worldwide health initiatives.

It's important that Oregon's seven federal legislators put their full support behind effective programs like the Gavi vaccine alliance and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

Kip Phelps, Tigard

Hillsboro city councilor urges neighbors to participate in Census

Will you make sure everyone in your home is counted in the 2020 Census?

The Census has been used since 1790 by the United States government to get an accurate and complete count of people living in the country. Since then, the Census is conducted every 10 years, and Census counts are used to determine how much funding schools, cities, counties, and states receive to provide critical services and resources for all community members.

Don't wait for the deadline. Fill out your Census now.

For your health and others, you can fill out the Census online at www.2020Census.gov so a Census taker doesn't need to knock on your door to gather information. This information — your name, address, phone number — cannot be used against you. Fill out whatever you feel comfortable sharing. Even filling out a portion of the Census will help.

It's more important than ever for you to report that you are here and you count. Taking the Census is easy, and it matters.

For too long, Latinos and other people of color in the United States have been undercounted and left out of the Census. As a result, our communities haven't received the resources and funding that the Census decides. It is critical that all people living in Oregon are counted to remain visible, maintain political power, and participate in our democracy.

If everyone in the Latino community is included in the Census, it will increase our resources and funding for schools, students, families, and so many more. We need all kids counted so we have enough resources to meet their needs. Your information will go a long way to help many other people over the next 10 years.

You count. We count. Hillsboro counts.

Thank you to everyone in Hillsboro who takes the Census at 2020Census.gov.

Olivia Alcaire

Councilor, City of Hillsboro

Criminals who wear body armor would be punished elsewhere

Antifa is wearing ballistic vests in the Portland riots.

Tennessee, Florida and many other states have laws against commission of a crime while wearing body armor. Oregon has zero!

David Runyon, King City

Nuclear age requires constant vigilance

Having just marked the dates of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, this might be a good time for us to reflect on that horrific event.

We have been extremely fortunate that the intervening years have not seen further use of these weapons. We have made a small bit of progress with the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963, and subsequent arms limitation agreements, but we have stalled out in this effort.

The only way to we can have some hope is through intense diplomatic efforts which convince all nations that nuclear weapons benefit no one. But our current president prefers saber rattling and bluster to the hard work of negotiation.

It is not too late to undertake these efforts, but the clock is ticking. Now is the time to work toward a future for humanity.

David Pauli, Forest Grove

House candidate Stevens has leadership chops

A vote for Peggy Stevens is the the best choice in a statewide race. [Ed.: Stevens is running for state representative in House District 26.] She has been a voice in the Sherwood community for many years. She was a great school board member in Sherwood. She is supportive of many changes and improvements and works well with others. This is a time we need her more than ever.

Dedicated to make our community safer and better is a theme she reflects in every action she is involved with. I urge every voter to make sure she is elected.

Sherwood is such a great community that has benefited from the leadership of Peggy Stevens.

Gary Langer, Sherwood

Neron's tax-and-spend record is out of step with constituents

Our own Oregon state representative, Courtney Neron, voted for $3 billion in new taxes last year. The crown jewel of Neron's taxing spree was a new $2 billion tax on Oregon sales. And this was when our state had more of our money than anytime in state history.

Our local families are paying a new hidden sales tax during COVID when we can least afford it. And Rep. Neron refused to pause the new $2 billion tax before it went into effect despite pleas from our local business owners.

Things we all buy at Target, Home Depot, Al's Garden or even your carpet cleaning service, dentist and doctor visit, are more expensive because of this tax. Yes, even diapers, medicine, and Clorox wipes. Even our local, family-owned toy store in Sherwood is subject to this new tax. Construction projects for our local schools now cost more because construction companies are adding the tax into the project cost.

When you're at the store, this tax isn't listed on your receipt. The new tax on Oregon sales is just built into the new higher prices we all pay.

We didn't elect Rep. Courtney Neron and pay her new state salary to vote to make things more expensive for us.

She also voted to take over $100 million from our kicker tax refund so our local families have less money when they need it most during COVID.

If that wasn't enough, Rep. Neron just voted for a new cellphone tax this summer. When will it end?

When I discuss this with friends, too many are not aware of this new tax on Oregon sales. We're all paying for Rep. Courtney Neron's taxing spree.

Dana Crocker, Sherwood


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