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Letters in the Spotlight this week discuss Memorial Day, political theater and the Portland Trail Blazers.

Honor those who gave their lives for America

Memorial Day is always observed on the last Monday of May. This year, it falls on the 31st.

With the continuing restrictions and unpredictable schedule imposed by our state government, there has been no official plan for a Memorial Day gathering at any of our local monuments for the second year in a row. Be assured that the memorials will have informal participation from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Foreign Legion members, and anyone stopping by your local memorial will be greeted by a veteran.

As has been the local custom for many years, the VFW will be present at multiple public locations this Friday and Saturday, May 21 and 22, offering the traditional "Red Poppy" so familiar to everyone and seeking small donations to assist in the efforts the VFW provides for veterans all year around. This past year, many have experienced difficulties, such as sickness, economic hardships coupled with losses of family and friends due to this deadly virus.

Assisting our veterans is the mission of the VFW, and there are many needy veterans seeking help for a multitude of needs, as simple as assistance with a power bill or information and guidance on gaining the education and medical benefits they are due.

This weekend, please stop by any VFW location and get a poppy, donations are optional. On the holiday, Monday, May 31, pause a moment and reflect on the sacrifices made, and are still being made on behalf of the citizens of our nation by our relatives, friends and neighbors.

God bless and protect our service members and this Republic.

Tom Ford

Member, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4362

Not taken in by Post's excuse-making

Regarding Rep. Bill Post's column, "Want to speed up legislative process? Drop partisan bills:" I noticed that Rep. Post conveniently forgets that the Democrats last used the "walkout" ploy in 2001, while the Republicans have used it multiple times in the last several years. He sounded like Democrats should be empathetic to Republicans using every tactic necessary to "stop what they consider to be extreme, partisan legislation."

Read Rep. Bill Post's commentary, originally published online April 9, 2021.

If Rep. Post really believed what he said about "keeping the eye on the prize to help all of Oregon," he and his Republican colleagues would have stayed and done their jobs. If they disagreed so strongly with what they felt was "partisan" legislation, then they had the responsibility as legislators to make their case about their disagreement, instead of throwing the legislative equivalent of a temper tantrum and walking out. They abdicated their responsibility, and while some of their constituents likely cheered them on, many others likely did not.

Rep. Post can say all he wants about how high the percentage of bills is on which both parties actually agree and pass. However, how legislators act regarding that 10% of those so-called "partisan" bills says volumes about their true commitment to their constituents and to the legislative process.

The actions of Rep. Post and his Republican colleagues simply show their unwillingness to engage in open debate on issues that, by their so-called "divisiveness," need to see the light of day because they affect "all of Oregon." They can disagree or agree on bills, or pass them or not, but they all need to be there doing the work of the citizens, because that is why the citizens voted for them.

Brian McGahren, Tigard

Blazers, Moda assists fall short

Am I alone reacting with cynicism when Portland Trail Blazer announcers effusively proclaim the Moda Health/Blazer Assist Program during games? Moda and the Blazers each contribute $10 for every assist during the regular season to build community playgrounds. [Ed.: St. Helens won the 2020 Moda Assist Program, receiving more than $25,000 for an all-abilities playground at McCormick Park.]

Read our April 6, 2020, story on St. Helens being named winner of the Moda Assist Program that year.

For the past two years, the Blazers have finished near or at the bottom of the NBA in assists, averaging 20 per game and with 80 games, that amounts to a combined contribution of just $32,000 per season. This season has fewer games because of COVID-19.

Does that sum seem paltry when Moda in 2004, paid approximately $40 million over a 10-year period to secure the naming rights for the Rose Garden?

Adding to that question is that during the pandemic, according to industry reports, health insurers have fared well financially, and the cost of a good commercial playground typically exceeds $50,000.

When I hear Moda's motto to "Be Better," it makes me wonder if the company needs to be more introspective.

Don Williams, West Linn


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