Letters to the Editor are written by Hillsboro-area readers on any local issue of public interest.

Law enforcement should uphold ACLU policies

President Trump's mass deportation agenda doesn't just threaten undocumented immigrants — it jeopardizes the ideals of our nation.

Trump has demanded that local law enforcement officers participate in this effort, which would make our communities less safe. When local police have to enforce immigration laws, they alienate the community. People won't report crimes or come forward as witnesses if they are afraid of the police.

The ACLU has developed nine model policies for local law enforcement that protect communities and preserve our rights. As part of the People Power movement, which has been advocating for these policies, I was happy to find many of them already in place at the Hillsboro Police Department and Washington County Sheriff's Office.

There is likely to be more pressure from the Trump administration to involve local law enforcement in immigration policy. I support the Hillsboro Police Department and Washington County Sheriff's Office in their community policing efforts and encourage them to follow the nine model policies laid out by the ACLU.

I urge Sheriff Pat Garrett and Hillsboro Police Chief Lee Dobrowolski to hold fast to these values in the face of the current political climate and the possibility of further demands from the President.

Sarah Moll, Hillsboro

Call 811 before you dig

After a long and dreary winter, it's time for outdoor spring projects to start. NW Natural reminds contractors, homeowners and landscapers to call 811 when a project involves digging 12 inches or lower.

Calling 811 to locate underground utilities two business days before the start of a task is the simple, smart and safe thing to do. Overlooking this important step may cause property loss, serious injury or worse.

Following safe digging laws helps to prevent accidental damages, which is needed since approximately 800 incidents occur each year in NW Natural's service area.

No damage is too minor to report; even a small dent or scratch could weaken a pipeline. If a gas line is accidentally hit and there's a smell of rotten eggs, or the sound of gas escaping, be sure to leave the area immediately and then call NW Natural's 24-hour emergency line at 800-882-3377.

Have a safe spring and don't forget to call 811 before you dig.

Scott Gallegos for NW Natural, Portland

Watson will fight for school arts programs

I am a proud supporter of Mark Watson in his bid for Hillsboro School Board, Position 2. As the music director at Century High School, I oversee 200-plus students in three symphonic bands, three jazz bands, drum line, color guard and the largest marching band in Oregon. In our program, students gain important character traits like teamwork and grit — all while developing their musical skills. At the same time, the brains of these teenage musicians are forming powerful neurological connections that often result in higher achievement in math and science.

We need school board members like Mark Watson who understand that extracurricular programs in music, drama, and art are not "extras" to be slashed when times are tight, but that they are absolutely essential to keeping kids in school, getting them to graduation, and substantially improving their chances for success in life.

I'm confident that Mark Watson will fight for arts programs in Hillsboro schools and that he has the skills, strength and character to guide our district in the right direction.

I urge you to join me and other arts teachers in our schools to vote for Mark Watson by May 16.

Jim Dunlop, Aloha

Speak your mind

The Tribune offers a weekly column of letters to the editor on our Opinion Page where local residents can share their thoughts about topics of local interest.

Letters should be limited to 300 words, and submissions may be edited for length, grammar, libel and appropriate taste.

An online form is available for readers to submit letters and longer opinion pieces.