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Writer marvels at Portland protests, questions city leadership and what lies ahead

I've come to the conclusion that you just can't make this stuff up.

Sixty-three consecutive nights of violence in Portland, generally in the blocks surrounding the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse, and where are "Portland's finest?"

All arrests seem to be being made by the federal officers defending federal property while being subjected to the "peaceful" demonstrators tossing Molotov cocktails (and using) vision-damaging lasers, explosive mortar fireworks, backpack spray devices filled with urine and bleach, and anything flammable they can toss over the temporary fencing helping ... protect federal property.

Where are the Portland Police? The police protection that the Portland taxpayer is paying for and relies upon, is being withheld by the Silver Spoon Mayor, Edward Tevis (Ted) Wheeler, who also is the Portland Police Commissioner.

Now, on news from Wednesday, July 29, some agreement has been reached where the federal officers will be replaced with Oregon State Police in a phased plan. While state police and Federal Protective Services will continue to secure the exterior of the courthouse, federal officers will remain to secure the interior of the building as they always have.

The governor seems to have gained little if anything as she has stated that she expects the "protests" to continue. Along with this word soup, I'm treated to the news that the temporary fencing surrounding the federal courthouse was erected without a Portland city permit. The esteemed Councilwoman Chloe Eudaly is fining the federal agency $500 every 15 minutes until it is removed. To date, she has affixed a fine of $192,000 and she says she will collect. Can't make this stuff up!

This past Saturday, I was visiting St. Helens and on Highway 30 were over a dozen Black Lives Matter demonstrators. Please recall that only weeks ago, during the first week of June, St. Helens hosted a BLM gathering in front of the county courthouse where between 700 to 1,000 people showed that, no matter the size of your town, they can come in mass. I certainly hope the police chief and his 16 officers have inventoried their riot control gear, locked up their tear gas and have some basic training in barricaded defense.

Can't the Republican Party in Oregon find a "real" Republican candidate for governor who would actually believe in Reagan's "three-legged stool" concept of conservatism? Anti-communism, free market economics and religious traditionalism with respect for all life seem to have become scarce commodities here in Oregon.

Tom Ford, Scappoose

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