Letters to the Editor: Aug. 20, 2020
Walk this weekend to support Alzheimer's research
The Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's is the world's largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer's care, support and research. I am joining participants of all ages in the fight against the disease at Walk to End Alzheimer's on Aug. 22 in Portland.
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Alzheimer's Association is encouraging participants to walk as individuals or in small groups on sidewalks, tracks and trails across their communities. Alzheimer's is not taking a hiatus during COVID-19 and neither can we. This year, more than ever, we need to come together to support all those affected by Alzheimer's and other dementia.
With the dollars raised, the Alzheimer's Association can continue to provide care and support to families during these difficult times while also advancing critical research toward methods of treatment and prevention.
I walk to support my grandfather, Charles Jaskwhich, who passed away from the disease. I also walk for members of my team whose families are now experiencing the personal effects of Alzheimer's.
According to the Alzheimer's Association 2020 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report, there are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer's disease, including 69,000 in Oregon.
Alzheimer's disease is relentless, but so are we! In recent years, Congress has made funding Alzheimer's and dementia research a priority and it must continue. It is my hope that Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici will continue to support an increase in Alzheimer's research funding at the National Institutes of Health.
Please join me in registering for this year's Walk to End Alzheimer's at alz.org/walk.
Timothy Sobol, Beaverton
Prusak is a true public servant
My name is Walter Darrh, and I was one of the thousands of Oregonians who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. During this difficult time, I found help in state Rep. Rachel Prusak.
Rachel was the nurse practitioner that cared for my wife, Marilyn, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2015. She loved Rachel because of the respect and decency she showed us until my wife's passing in 2018. Rachel continues to show her compassionate leadership during this pandemic.
I work at Edward Byrom Elementary School, and when schools closed in March, I lost my job. I went weeks without a response from the Employment Department. Since I knew her from caring for my wife, I reached out to see if Rachel could help me.
I'm not a constituent, living outside of District 37, but she went above, beyond, and completely out of her way to help. After weeks of silence from the Employment Department, I finally received my aid.
This is Rachel Prusak. She will always be deeply invested in you and your well-being. She genuinely cares about everyone she meets, not just people that will score her political points.
I believe in Rachel Prusak personally, professionally, and as an elected official, and know the positive impact her leadership will have today and tomorrow.
Walter Darrh, Tigard
A 10-year-old's thoughts on distance learning
Here's how I feel about distance learning. Hi, I'm a fifth-grade student at Deer Creek Elementary School starting a weird year with COVID. I worry if distance learning will make me ready for the future. Will I be ready for middle school next year? Who knows — this situation we're in with the coronavirus is stupid, because in other countries like Canada or China things are not as bad. It should not be this bad for us here.
There are some kids I never saw in our class meetings last spring. They seemed so happy at school. I imagine this is a big hit to them. I liked the online meetings with my teacher. I just wish they could be longer, maybe 45 minutes. More chances to talk with other kids would be nice because I haven't done that in a long time. Math is hard to do on tablets.
I remember when the people were out protesting for teachers. Protesting is great, but if we can skip it by solving the cause, that's better. Courtney Neron is a caring teacher and mom, and I think a teacher/mom would bring the right attention to make online schooling better.
Dutch Harrington, Bull Mountain
A silver lining to postponing fall sports?
The Oregon School Activities Association acted wisely in postponing fall sports until spring.
Understandably, those affected, student-athletes and their families, may be disappointed and wondering: Is it possible for those who regularly play two-to-three sports, be able to participate in two spring sports? If not, which sport will the student-athlete choose? Will the choice have a negative impact on a scholarship offer? All valid concerns.
Yet, I envision this setback as an opportunity. There are student-athletes who might not otherwise make JV or varsity in "normal" years, will now be able to compete for a spot and have a better chance to earn a "letter" or even a starting role. Do the math.
More students will be able to participate and savor the physical and social benefits of winning and losing. More for families to enjoy. "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." — Albert Einstein
David A. Nardone, Hillsboro
Sloop would bring common-sense approach to Salem
"For a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself by the handle." — Winston Churchill
Kelly Sloop will not step into the immense bucket created by our legislators. She doesn't like taxes. A common-sense, straight-forward approach to address issues whether retirement, health and welfare, education, infrastructure, our district and our future depend on fixing the causes on the issues we face. Throwing up toll gates on Interstate 205, or throwing more money at schools or anywhere else, does nothing more than fill the bucket; it fails to lift us to prosperity and/or success.
Prioritizing essential government services, while getting families back on their feet, and giving taxpayers a well-deserved break is a start. Emptying the bucket in Salem is her quest.
Mindful of the many COVID issues surrounding us, other referenda also merit our deliberation. Please consider Kelly when you vote!
Elaine O'Toole, West Linn
School districts should not be 'shielded' from COVID-19 liability
Opening schools with COVID rampant is ridiculous!
If they open, I want to see all administrators and school board members — particularly the School Board chair of the Beaverton School Board — in the classrooms, shoulder to shoulder with the teachers!
Jessie D. Moran, Forest Grove
Metro, let's protect our natural areas
I call on Metro to protect wildlife and habitat in Orenco Woods Nature Park during the construction of a major water pipeline that will slash through the park, removing trees and plants, and diverting Rock Creek. The construction in the nature park would degrade a vital part of the Rock Creek wetlands habitat. It also would endanger the wide variety of native fish and wildlife that use Rock Creek as a crossing within the park
Voters in the past decade have twice overwhelming approved Metro tax measures for acquiring more natural areas to protect water quality and wildlife habitat amid rapid urbanization. Metro's management of 17,000 acres of parks, trails and natural areas across the Portland metropolitan region has never been more critical. Metro's top priority is buying sensitive habitat, such as Orenco Woods Nature Park
Sheila Christensen, Hillsboro
Not all who criticize Trump are 'fake news'
In response to Troy Smith's opinion piece ("Paper should ease up on Trump, take harder look at leftists"), which ran Aug. 6. Wow Troy, you have to be the No. 1, all-time poster boy for conspiracy theories. I bet you have already signed on to the new "birther" claim that Kamala Harris does not qualify to be VP because her parents were born elsewhere.
Please explain why it has been so easy for you to accept Trump's lies. Do you not find it just a wee bit odd that all news is "fake news" — including this paper — but Fox News is gospel at least part of the time, providing Trump is not disappointed with their reporting?
You seem to believe that anyone who disagrees with King Trump has a hidden agenda. If I am not mistaken that would include all Democrats, Black Lives Matter, the press and most probably but not limited to Mickey Mouse.
You ask why so many despise Donald Trump and my response is, "What is there not to despise?" Could it be 165,000 dead due to his failure as a leader and putting politics above saving lives?
But then, I would imagine you still believe the pandemic is a hoax.
Lin Vanderzanden, Forest Grove
Vote for Neron is vote for equality
Like many white Americans, over the past few months I've been awakened to how disheartening, difficult, and downright terrifying it can be to be Black in America. As a privileged white person, I'll only ever be able to read about the Black experience—I will never know what it's like to walk in Black skin in this country.
We white Oregonians need to put our shoulders to the mammoth task of moving the needle of social justice toward greater equity for all — and voting is a key tool for doing that.
I'm encouraging my fellow citizens in House District 26 to re-elect state representative Courtney Neron. Courtney has demonstrated a willingness to fight for social justice in the areas of equitable healthcare, housing, education, and pay. She understands that we have more work to do before all Oregonians enjoy the kind of life everyone wants for our kids.
She'll continue to stand up for working families by fighting for childcare access, equal pay for equal work, and increased access to sick leave for families impacted by COVID-19.
Please join me in supporting Courtney Neron. She's working to make Oregon a welcoming home for all of us.
Jane Glasser, Sherwood
Removing nuclear weapons key to future
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 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 sabre 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.
Dave Pauli, Forest Grove
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