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The News-Times welcomes meteorological summer with letters about leaf blowers and fantastical nonsense.

Get gas leaf blowers out of Portland and Washington County

I am relatively new to Portland and was drawn here by its reputation as a livable city. One thing I did not expect in moving here from a bigger city was the terrible impact on Portland's quality of life caused by noise and pollution from gas leaf blowers.

I get around the area almost completely by foot and bike. I feel fortunate to have the mobility to avoid the noise and emissions of gas leaf blowers that I encounter daily. I was pleased to hear about the recent Oregon House Committee on Energy and Environment's recent informational hearing on House Bill 3023, a bill to ban the use of these devices within any urban growth boundary in Oregon encompassing more than 300,000 people (which essentially means the Portland urban growth boundary). This can't come soon enough.

I am also aware of the 2019 Portland City Council resolution to stop purchasing these terrible machines, as well as interest on the part of both the Multnomah and Washington County boards of commissioners to stop the harm these devices cause to the health of workers, the public, and our environment.

Might your newspaper help move these efforts forward to enhance our quality of life by starting a campaign? And to my fellow community residents, if this problem troubles you, please contact your county commissioner and ask for prompt action to eliminate gas leaf blowers.

Thank you for supporting efforts to improve our quality of life.

Matt Morrissey, Portland

Media must shun the many crackpot theories

The news media has been using the term "conspiracy theories" to identify a number of outlandish, untrue and often convoluted claims such as former President Bill Clinton and his wife are involved in child sex trafficking and COVID vaccines contain microchips with which to track those receiving the vaccines.

I encourage the news media to use alternative labeling for such nonsense because conspiracies actually do occur and there are legitimate theories about them.

Alternatively, there is nothing legitimate about these outlandish and often scurrilous assertions. One good alternative in my view would be "crackpot theories" since these fact and logic-free speculations simply don't hold water. Those who propound such hogwash can be appropriately identified as "crackpot theorists" when spinning these fanciful, if often vicious, tales.

In an era overflowing with misrepresentations, distortions and outright lies, such as Donald Trump actually won the 2020 presidential election, it undermines public dialogue when legitimate news sources provide an air of veridicality to claims with zero truth value.

Suspected conspiracies can be investigated. Cracked pots are simply thrown away.

Please do all of us interested in fact and logic-based discourse a favor and affirmatively label theories that hold no substance as the crackpot theories they, in fact, are.

Hank Robb, West Linn


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