Letters to the Editor: June 4, 2020
Lessons from the late Mitch Greenlick
One of the best ways to honor/remember/learn from Rep. Mitch Greenlick is to read his book titled "Capitol Letters." Rep. Greenlick takes us inside the Capitol and gives us a front-row seat to the process of law-making. Following are quotes from his book:
"It is very difficult for legislators to think 12 years off ... but I think raising issues to create a better future is one of my most important functions as a legislator. My experience as a health services researcher feeds my approach to considering legislation. While I work on immediate and pressing things each day, I always try to imagine a better future! And I ask myself what steps need to be taken today to move a little step towards that better future. I told a story in the committee hearing on commuter rail about Napoleon. It is told that he brought his arborist in and told them he wanted them to work on plan for trees that would completely cover one of his favorite roads. They told him it would take 100 years to get trees to look the way he envisioned. He responded, 'Then begin today.'
"I was mentored by a Republican legislator. You can accomplish a lot if you don't care who gets credit. Truth is, sometimes we can get things done, sometimes we have to compromise to get a part of what we want accomplished and sometimes we fail altogether. It's a little bit like life.
"I wake up each morning planning strategy and tactics. The work in the legislature is a continuous, rather than an annual process. There is no way for one legislative session to bind another session. There is a great deal of work that is begun in one session and continues into one or more future sessions.
"Rights come from wrongs — my personal story. I am willing to wager that each of you has heard a personal story depicting the wrongs that come from people not having access to effective and affordable health care. Three years ago (in 2013) I went to a routine dental examination..." Read page 269 of "Capitol Letters" to learn how that examination saved his life and changed Rep. Greenlick's point of view.
"If there is a most important take-away message from reading my book it is that the Oregon Legislature comes to work and generally gets the job done, however difficult that job may be."
I am going to reread Rep. Greenlick's "Capitol Letters." I have much yet to learn from Mitch and Harriet Greenlick.
Dale Feik, Forest Grove
Keep your children well
It is safe to say that the majority of parents in Oregon are anxious.
So much feels out of our control. Instead of looking forward to a summer vacation, a family reunion, camping and picnics, moms and dads are trying to figure out whether their kids will be able to go back to school this fall.
Regardless of whether kids are in a classroom or learning in their homes, there is one important way you can protect them from disease. And no, this does not involve wearing a mask, social distancing, or handwashing!
In February, just as COVID-19 was rearing its ugly head in the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported that 42% of young children were behind on their vaccinations, including prevention for whooping cough, measles, and chickenpox. Today, that number has increased to 63%.
While we wait for a vaccine to be developed for the coronavirus, we do have proven, safe, and effective vaccines available for communicable diseases that once caused considerable death and misery.
Please follow up with your healthcare provider to make sure your child's vaccines are up to date. This is one step we can all take to keep our kids healthy.
Teri Mills, Tualatin
2019 Nurse of the Year, Oregon Nurse Foundation
If anything, Twitter is too soft on Trump's Tweets
Recent misuse of Twitter by President Donald Trump has not resulted in the company denying him use of its platform.
Let's be clear, if any other citizen had used this forum for the following, they would be banned: False claims about fraud in vote by mail. Personal attacks on people using degrading language. Accusing someone of murder when no evidence exists.
And this is just the worst, but not the only abuse.
That Twitter has not suspended his account seems to confirm what the president has often implied and stated outright: He is not subject to the same rules as any other citizen. And, if that is true, what kind of country are we living in?
David Pauli, Forest Grove
It took considerable effort to secure measure's passage
The Times had a recent article about the passage of Tigard's new police tax. Mayor Jason Snider highlighted the impact volunteers had on the campaign.
I'm sure the volunteers did a wonderful job. But Snider was being too modest. He did not reveal that the PAC set up to drive the "yes" campaign raised a whopping $30,000 . That's an amazing amount of money for a local tax measure, and was the decisive factor. The "yes" PAC, established June 2019, had almost a year to work on the tax increase. There was no organized opposition whatsoever.
Snider also didn't mention that Tigard chipped in with two separate "informational" mailers sent out at taxpayer expense, or the two flyers inserted into a local paper. There was also a large flock of campaign signs on many roads.
It is surprising that despite all the advantages, the tax measure only passed with 4.4 percentage points above the required majority. Hopefully such a narrow margin will discourage Tigard management from continually raising the tax rate at renewal time.
Paul Hoffman, Tigard
County candidate thanks supporters
I would like to thank the 2,568 voters who believed in me during the Oregon May primary last week.
I appreciate every one of your votes in the Columbia County commissioner's Position 3 race. Unfortunately, I was unable to convince more of you to vote likewise.
I wish my opponents well in the fall — may the best person be elected to lead our county for the next four years as I am able to mark another item off my bucket list.
Thank you again for believing in me.
Jeanne Correll, Warren
Delamater should be elected to KCCA board
For over a year, I have worked closely with Mary Delamater on the budget and finance committees. During many meetings with her, I have been impressed with her dedication and willingness to serve on several committees, and her ability to articulate her concerns and offer sensible alternatives. This is exactly the kind of person that we want to have as a voice on the King City Civic Association Board of Directors.
She has spent hours writing and posting in narrative format the workings of our board during their meetings, and posting these narratives on our NextDoor network. Perhaps you have seen these postings — they bear a strong indication that she means what she says in her flyer and newsletter candidate statement that she'll listen and communicate with the members, and will be a force for true transparency. As Tom Selleck says on TV — "I trust her, and I think you can too!"
Her credentials are exceptional, both in the technical/software field and the human-interaction arena — skills that will immediately be valuable to our association. Since she works from home and maintains her own schedule, I'm certain she will find the time and energy to make the contributions to us that she promises.
Please join me in voting for Mary. We don't want to miss this opportunity to place an individual of her caliber on our Board of Directors.
Jerry Larsen, King City
States should uphold obligation feds will not
Can individual U.S. states join the World Health Organization? Remember when 24 states chose to uphold our pledge under the Paris Agreement?
President Donald Trump is not acting in the best interest of the United States or Oregon. It is critical that nations across the world support each other during a global crisis.
Climate change is a global crisis, and half of our country stepped up to maintain our commitment to the world when Trump pulled our country out. Now he is doing it again. With 100,000 dead (and growing), he is removing us from the global effort to support this pandemic. His decision isn't based on science or medically backed strategy but on a personal, political motive, and more U.S. citizens will suffer because of it.
Like the pacts the states made to aid each other with supplies and reopening strategies, U.S. states *must* step up and make commitments to the WHO where Trump will not.
Meredith Cook, Beaverton
Do Columbia County cops have an aggression problem?
Maybe we do not have a race problem with Columbia County law enforcement, but we apparently have an aggression problem.
The headline story in last week's Spotlight was very disturbing. A St. Helens police officer allegedly manhandled a man with an injured shoulder so severely that he spent days in the hospital recovering. The man may have been hurt even worse if other officers didn't tell the cop to stop.
Has there been an investigation? Were charges ever filed? Is the alleged abuser still on the job, "serving and protecting" us? Does the city have any say in the matter? Policies should not shield officers from accountability. Training should not include techniques that are known to be dangerous.
It was not long ago that local law enforcement was in the headlines for letting dogs attack prisoners in the county jail. They thought it was fine policy. It took the state to tell them that they could no longer be that savage.
I hope the Spotlight follows through with details about this story, and that the police department and city cooperate.
Lona Pierce, Warren
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