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Spotlight readers react to opinions published in previous issues, as well as to hot-button political issues.

Mask non-compliance could be bad for business

As thousands of Americans continue to die from COVID, it is discouraging to see so many Americans who can't bother with something as simple as wearing a mask in public places.

I have noticed many massless shoppers in the Scappoose Fred Meyer. Store employees tell me that management doesn't want to offend the offending shoppers as it might be bad for business. So checkers have to serve people without masks, something that bothers some of them.

I work in Portland and have noticed that mask compliance in the St. Johns Fred Meyer appears to be much better than Scappoose, so I do as much of my shopping as I can in the Portland stores. Others who work in Portland might want to do the same.

Ray Horn, Scappoose

You can always get help from SAFE, Law Library

The Columbia County Law Library helps people experiencing domestic violence.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the Columbia County Law Library is a safe place to learn about different types of protection orders and get assistance in filling out court forms. We can help with:

• Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Abuse Prevention Act (EPPDAPA) restraining orders

• Family Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA) restraining orders

• Sexual abuse protection orders (SAPO)

• Stalking protection orders

• Extreme risk protection orders (ERPO)

Please call 503-396-5433 to schedule an appointment or email the law librarian at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you need help with safely planning or wish to speak to an advocate, you can always call SAFE of Columbia County at 503-397-6161.

Brandee Dudzic

Law Librarian, Columbia County Law Library

Oct. 15 letter misinterprets what's going on

I think that the letter writer who posted in the Spotlight ("Parents' rights matter in school," letter to the editor published Oct. 15, 2021) may be confused with what Merrick Garland has proposed.

Read letters to the editor published in the Spotlight on Oct. 15, 2021.

There have been well-financed campaigns to go after school board members and election workers. These people have been followed, phoned and frightened with threats against them and their families.

There is nothing innocent about these actions. I see no reason not to call what they are doing "terrorism." I agree that school boards do need to hear from parents, but not with threats and intimidation.

To my knowledge, "critical race theory" is being taught as a college-level course in some universities. I seriously doubt if it is being taught in any elementary school anywhere. My guess is that the people complaining about it don't have the slightest idea what is being taught or who is teaching it.

The Spotlight letter writer evidently needs to know that Antifa isn't an organization, it is an idea. Conflating it with Black Lives Matter will confuse some people. BLM was formed as a social movement to protest racially motivated instances of police brutality. The violence in Portland was not instigated by BLM, but by other groups, like the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer. [Ed.: Anti-police demonstrators threw objects and shone lasers at police during last year's demonstrations in downtown Portland, reportedly injuring multiple officers. Portland police frequently responded with force, deploying tear gas and rubber bullets and beating demonstrators with batons. Far-right activists have clashed with demonstrators on other occasions, including a high-profile incident this past August in which Portland police chose not to intercede.]

Lastly, the Spotlight letter writer advocated education vouchers. I personally believe in our public education system and I do not desire to have my public tax money going to support someone else's private school.

Bill Eagle, St. Helens

Students need to learn American history

A recent citizen opinion suggested that the only fit subjects to teach children are literacy and mathematics ("'Identity politics' don't belong in schools," guest commentary published Oct. 22, 2021). But I would submit that ignoring our history is a perilous course to chart.

Read the commentary by Tiffany Jacob, published online Oct. 18, 2021.

The writer used the words of Thomas Jefferson from the Declaration of Independence to somehow try to buttress her argument. When Jefferson wrote, "All men are created equal," he surely could not have believed those words himself.

First of all, he left off half of the population. Jefferson and the all-male contingent who later wrote our Constitution did not believe in equal rights for women.

And, Jefferson was a slave owner. He most decidedly did not believe that the people he enslaved on his plantation were his equals.

These are the kinds of truths we need to share with our young people so they can begin to get a grasp of the complicated history that has made our country what it is today. That is how we build a better future.

David Pauli, Forest Grove

Oregon deserves better than anti-environmentalist Johnson

Betsy Johnson has been my Oregon senator for many years. Because I oppose environmental poisoning of our forests with 7 to 8 pounds of toxic herbicides an acre and the use of leaded fuel in private pilot education out of Hillsboro Airport, she has refused to answer my emails, phone calls or see me when I go to the Capitol.

Read our editorial on Betsy Johnson and her gubernatorial bid, first published online Oct. 26, 2021.

She and her husband own the Scappoose airport. Their pro-aviation stance includes encouraging Portland Community College pilot training programs that fly lead fuel using planes over our organic farms, orchards and schools. She has used her position on transportation to make sure her aviation interests are expanded.

She also stood on the Capitol steps holding a sign to support big out-of-state corporate logging interest. Wall Street timber companies like Weyerhaeuser, that poison our forests, have used propaganda to convince our local loggers that Timber Unity is there to protect their jobs when nothing could be further from the truth. We have shipped their milling jobs overseas.

Sen. Johnson has a 41% score on the Oregon League of Conservation Voters' 2021 legislative scorecard, and has a lifetime score of 64%. It gets worse every year. She voted against 100% clean energy for all, electric vehicle incentives, recycling modernization, energy-efficient appliances, and upholding our strong land-use laws by allowing luxury homes to be built on exclusive farmland.

If she refuses to legislate for the health of Oregon and refuses to correspond with voters, as she has refused to talk to me, then she is unsuited to sit in the Senate or the governor's mansion.

Ellen Saunders, Manning


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