Letters to the Editor: May 28, 2020
Ode to our gardens
Tell us your tale
of corn, carrots and kale.
What else are you hoping to grow?
Fighting snails, slugs, and bugs,
secrets to rid those darn thugs,
so we can reap whatever we sow.
Gardens posted on-line
and hope we'll all dine
on a harvest so fondly created.
Fruits, veggies, and herbs,
Jammed, Canned and Preserved.
Potatoes might even be Grated.
Bounties of veggies.
Squash names like "spaghetti"
Grown secure in our great Carbon Sink.
is just the right place.
Active Ag 'bout time don't ya think?
So, till up your soil.
Take pics as you toil
to share with your neighbors and friends.
Throughout our great County,
We'll share our big bounty.
Grown with love that never ends!
The pandemic has shown us,
we'll take on the onus
to approve a new Community Plan.
Our visions are clear;
fewer cars and more deer.
Active Ag; won't you join our new band?
No development now.
Stafford's not the "Cash Cow."
Cities can't pay infrastructures $3 billion.
Climate Change, National Debt.
Our children, you bet,
They'll be burdened by over a trillion.
Kids might give us all pardons
if we build the gardens
that'll feed 'em for generations to come.
Maybe they'd thank us,
Not Scorn, Hate, or Spank us
Because we are Smarter, Not Dumb!
Like the Garden of Eden,
Lots of room for the feedin'.
Grandkids, some young and some Old.
Fresh water and air,
You'd think would be fair.
Working Easement will need to be Bold!
Adam and Eve,
Cain and Abel believe
Stafford could be like a Garden of Eden.
Land of cattle and taters.
Diverse, without haters.
Preservation might make us like Sweden.
So, think of your garden
as dirt once that was hardened.
Now a place where all things can grow.
No place for resentment.
Quiet, open space for contentment.
Remember, "You Reap What You Sow!"
RJ Cook, Stafford
Washington County leaders let constituents down
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining,
The band is playing in Albany, and in Medford hearts are light,
And in Bend men are laughing, and in Baker City children shout,
But there is no joy in Hillsboro — mighty WashCo leadership has struck out!
Like Sleepy Joe Biden would say: "Come on, man." You didn't see this coming? You weren't communicating with the governor's office?
We are waiting to open our economy because of something you had control of? If some higher-ups in Washington County leadership would have gone for nine weeks without a paycheck and waited on the phone with the state employment office for 300 minutes and still not gotten an answer, Washington County would have been the first one in line with their application.
Elections have consequences!
Monte Akers, Hillsboro
An open letter to Gov. Kate Brown
We are a group of Protestant ministers living and doing ministry in Hillsboro and the surrounding areas. We are writing to you to thank you for your leadership. The restrictions and guidelines set up by your task force indicate to us that loving care and compassion for the citizens of Oregon, along with sound science and good data, have guided your decisions in these pandemic times.
We were dismayed by the lawsuit filed against your administration by 10 congregations and 21 individuals, ostensibly in the name of freedom and the exercise of religion. We were further appalled to hear of the misguided ruling of Baker County Circuit Judge Matthew Shirtcliff to render these restrictions "null and void," encouraging faith communities to freely assemble in their buildings despite the serious risks.
Furthermore, we take exception to the suggestion that the restrictions implemented to slow the spread of the coronavirus have closed our churches. We have not closed our churches. We have pivoted. We have adapted. We have gotten creative. We are worshiping communities, and that is what we are doing — worshiping on Sunday mornings, in Zoom meetings and conversations, streaming on social media platforms, and in our service to those most in need in our community — all the while maintaining the guidelines set up by health professionals and your task force.
We certainly acknowledge that this time has not been easy for any of us and we are all dealing with unanticipated hardships. Nevertheless, we continue to find creative and innovative ways to serve our congregations and the communities in which they reside. So please know that the few congregations named in this lawsuit do not speak for us nor, we believe, do they speak for thousands of faith communities around the state whose core mission is to love God and neighbor.
The Rev. David Eppelsheimer
Pastor, Community of ChristChurch
The Rev. Clay Andrew
Pastor, Hillsboro United Methodist Church
The Rev. Tracie Bullis
Pastor, Old Scotch Church
The Rev. Adam Hange
Pastor, Hillsboro First Congregational Church
The Rev. Jorge Rodriguez
Pastor, Las Naciones Iglesia Metodista
The Rev. Karen LaJoy Smith
Rector, All Saints Episcopal Church
The Rev. Julie Smith
Director of Spiritual Care, OHSU Tuality Healthcare
The Rev. Bob Stebe
Pastor, Hillsboro Presbyterian Church
The Rev. Karen Tiegs
Assisting Priest, Ss. Peter & Paul/Ss. Pedro y Pablo Episcopal
Scouts still leading the way during pandemic
At a time when groups cannot be together, my Girl Scout troop of freshman girls at Tigard High School still found a way to show respect on Memorial Day.
The troop started eight years ago. The troop likes to do community service projects, help others and have fun together. Some of the girls have been making masks; those that don't sew are knitting or crocheting bands for the elastic to go around and save the ears.
While working on their leadership skills, girls are leading badges virtually to younger Girl Scouts, keeping the connection.
As the leader, I'm very proud of these girls and wanted to share. Thank you for your time.
Troop Leader, Girl Scouts Service Unit 5
Don't make unfounded claims about pig farming
I just read Mr. Stevens' letter (published May 21, 2020) regarding our "slaughter system." He is so far off base I hardly know where to begin.
We have a CAFO permit (confined animal feeding operation) for our swine operation, and it is clear that Mr. Stevens did absolutely no research to see what is really involved with getting and maintaining this permit. Our facility is inspected every 10 months to make sure that absolutely no waste runoff finds its way into any stream or other waterway, so there is no chance of any contaminants moving downstream of our farm. We are charged a minimum of $100 for this inspection, and if we were ever found in violation (which we never have been), we would be subject to huge fines.
These pigs are a good share of our income, so we like to keep them comfortable, healthy and well-fed using a balanced feed ration, and we feed no antibiotics.
Ernest Rieben, Banks
Time for focus on actually ending this pandemic
COVID-19 has brought my college-age children home.
Though I'm glad to have my kids home again, they have shed light on the fact that kids their age are not taking COVID-19 seriously enough. Some lessons they'll learn on their own, and sometimes that's a good thing. However, things are far different and more dangerous now; the wrong decision could mean their lives.
This same dynamic is playing out in our country as some states move to open up despite not meeting federal guidelines while others, like Oregon, continue to take steps contain the COVID-19 threat.
As individuals or states choose to set aside social distancing, regular citizens need to know we can rely on our healthcare professionals to take care of us. However, I'm extremely worried about the impacts that COVID-19 could have on our medical personnel in the event of future flareups particularly in the fall. Will we face more PPE shortages? Will more frontline health workers become ill?
When medical professionals are removed from the front lines, our country loses its ability to help patients, especially our most vulnerable, often those who are older or immuno-compromised. But even with personal protective equipment and the utmost amount of care, they can contract this virus and potentially spread it to their families. Our inability to protect those we need most just reinforces the dire need for a vaccine.
Oregon's leaders in Congress must make it clear to their colleagues and the White House that we will all remain under threat of this disease until the day we have a proven vaccine. Until then, our government needs to throw its support behind those companies working so hard to develop a COVID-19 vaccine or treatment. They've already made significant progress to counter this crisis, and ultimately, the vaccine they eventually produce will restore normalcy. In the meantime, Congress needs to be all in on medical research.
Rachel McClain, Sherwood
Look at coronavirus pandemic through wider lens
We are rightfully concerned by the COVID pandemic — the first worldwide and largely uncontrollable pandemic in 100 years.
This is not exactly accurate unless we also specify "human pandemic." Pandemics are caused by "disease" (fungal, bacterial, phage, prion or viral) and we should realize they are a force of nature for other species as well. The white-nose death of bats, the honeybee die-off, the oak sudden death, the starfish wasting and the chestnut blight might be considered pandemics — not to us, but certainly to the species they impact.
In an uncontrolled pandemic, many individuals will die off, while some are usually left with new genetic resistance.
Pandemics are a constant presence in nature because DNA, for all its wonders, is subject to errors and attack.
Sadly, not all pandemics have been survived. Some have led to decimation or extinction.
The American chestnut no longer grows as mature forest tree. We have lost many different species. We lost the passenger pigeon to the (from its perspective) pandemic of shotgun pellets. Sometimes human intervention can helps (as in the Dutch elm disease) but not always.
From a global nature perspective, COVID is not terribly unique and might serve to remind us of two things. First, we are very privileged to have scientific medicine that gives us tools to combat it. Second, it can remind us that we are still part of nature, and that competition for survival does not give humans a free pass — at least not yet.
Gerritt Rosenthal, Tualatin
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