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Readers write in about general aviation, fall sports, downtown Portland protests and more.

Hillsboro aviation has a fan

I love airplanes and Hillsboro Airport, et al. Made paper airplanes in school during World War II and helped defeat the Axis. Learned to fly in 1959 and, during a 40-year career, sold millions of pounds of aluminum into the aeronautics industry.

Don't know how many planes fly over our house each day, but I love 'em all. Go bird-men and -women!

Garry Laine, Hillsboro

Fall sports should not happen this year

Like most fans, I look forward to football season. Fall 2020, not so much.

COVID-19, of course, is the reason. Rising infection rates, inability to identify sources of illnesses in many cases, long-term disease effects, the potential for the asymptomatic to transmit the disease to the more vulnerable, rising rates of infection in the young give me pause.

However, most riveting are photographs and highlights from the 1967 NFL Ice Bowl championship game, Cowboys versus Packers. Seeing megaphone-like clouds of expired air coming from the mouths of players, knowing inevitably they reached their opponents was unnerving.

What clinched it was imagining repeated physical closeness of huddles and post fumble pile-ons. Easy call with or without face-guards (masks).

We cannot place college and especially high school athletes in harm's way.

COVID-19 is more powerful than a concussion this year. Better we remain on the sideline.

David Nardone, Hillsboro

Value sensitive lands over fuels buried below

President Donald Trump's "Energy Dominance Agenda" detachment from the realities of climate change and new economies is illustrated by the latest set of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land leases next to iconic public lands such as Canyonlands and Arches National Parks and Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. In the face of climate change and a glut of oil and gas, this auction is not in the public's best long-term interest.

I have visited these areas over the years. Oil and gas activities would degrade the experience by visitors like me, significantly. The BLM falsely stated it had "coordinated with as a leasing partner" Grand County and the city of Moab. A recent letter from the city states, "Had we been adequately consulted, the city of Moab would have urged a much more robust environmental assessment of the cumulative and far-reaching impacts of oil and gas development activities on recreation and the regional tourism economy."

In 2008, economics student Tim DeChristopher, Bidder 70, outbid industry for leases in this area, risking jail as an act of civil disobedience for the climate. The 2008 auction was overturned because the government found it was not following its own rules, but DeChristopher went to jail. The lawlessness of this second attempt to risk iconic public lands for short-term gain should not be allowed to stand.

Even though Utah's national parks are a two days' drive from here, it is well worth the time and energy to see and experience the vastness and stark beauty of these lands. Nowhere on earth are there such exotic landforms easily accessible to the average American. Take advantage of this access and go there soon, and help protect these areas by supporting environmental groups fighting to protect this national heritage.

Joe Walicki, Beaverton

Frontline workers deserve gratitude during crisis

Oregon's reopening is stalled as we work to address an increase in new COVID-19 cases throughout the state. From the start of the COVID-19 crisis to today, our essential businesses have remained open and adaptive to the challenges we face, increasing supplies of critical medical products and equipment to meet the surge in demand. These businesses and their employees are fundamental to our public health, providing the necessities to put food on the table, keep prescriptions filled, and care for those in need.

As one of the founders, past executive director and current board chair of the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber, I've watched closely as the pandemic disproportionately impacted our community. Latinos people make up 13% of Oregon's population, yet we account for 27% of our state's COVID-19 cases. In part, this is because Oregon's Hispanic and Latino communities account for an outsized share of our state's frontline, essential workers who face increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 in order to keep our communities healthy and cared for.

From local pharmacies and corner stores to supermarket employees and medical suppliers, essential workers are public health workers, and we should be forthright in recognizing their sacrifice. Each time we shop or go to the pharmacy, we have an entire system of tireless workers ensuring our medications are available, treatments are being developed, and food shelves are stocked. These employees deserve our thanks and support, both through our COVID-19 battle and afterwards.

Gale Castillo

Board Chair, Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber

Feds out of Portland

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf is clearly misleading the country and should be invited to step down in response to his claim that Portland is under siege by rioters to the point that federal agents need to attack Oregonians who are exercising democracy.

As our elected representatives, I am confident that Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, Sen. Jeff Merkley and Sen. Ron Wyden are keenly aware of the disaster that has resulted from these malicious attacks from federal authorities on our local community. Perhaps there is even some additional Fourth Amendment action we can take to expel these federal soldiers from our states, since we do not need to host them in our community.

Alden John Snow, Gales Creek

Envisioning the last two days of George Floyd's life

Sunday, May 24, 2020. No work today, most likely won't be driving. Worked his security job for a few hours last night? May never know. But if he did, I would imagine he had a lot of fun doing it.

I can just see his smile as he greeted the patrons. He actually called them friends. Yeah, man, I bet he was looking forward to Sunday. It was most likely gonna be a lazy day.

Monday came quick, where did Sunday go? Got some things to do today, better pick up a pack of smokes.

I might imagine as he lay in bed that morning, unable to decide if he should get up now or just lay there a little longer, he thought a little about his life as it were. Maybe he said to himself, "I've had a simple life. I'm not rich, not famous, not particularly good or bad. Just me, you know, a fellow trying to make it one day at a time. Other than my kids, I've never done anything significant. I'm friendly with most everyone, but real good friends with only a few. I love my kids and wanna do better for them. That's why I'm here. A new start, a new beginning, man, starting over. Haven't amounted to much, but the amount I got, I've shared with anyone that needs. That's how I am. That's me."

Appears he picked up a couple of those friends he had. Went to get those smokes he was talking about. Headed back to the car to chat a little before heading out. Then it all came crashing down. In a matter of less than a half-hour, he will be dead.

I'm willing to bet that was not a part of what he expected that day. This day, he will become famous. This day, he will become significant.

He was murdered on May 25, 2020. His murderer wore a policeman's uniform. It has become clear and obvious that his murderer is completely devoid of humanity. [Ed.: Derek Chauvin has been charged with murder and is awaiting trial. He has not been convicted of a crime at this point.]

This "person" (I shudder to call him a man) choked the life out of him with his knee as he lay on the ground, on his stomach, with his hands cuffed behind his back. He cried out in pain, begging for mercy, "I can't breathe, sir, please, I can't breathe." As the life drained out of him, he called for his mama, "Mama!"

What a despicable "person" that so-called policeman is. You see, he never let up except to reposition himself to put even more pressure on his victim's neck. And yes, this "person" was assisted by three other cowards in policeman's uniforms who helped him with his dastardly deed.

Little did they know they would be the catalyst for their victim to change the world. That day, an insignificant man became significant. The entire world called out his name.

His name is George Floyd. He is famous now. Now he is significant. For you see, God used his servant George to change the world. His life mattered.

Becky Davis, Hillsboro

Thanks to Witt for help with benefits

I want to thank Rep. Brad Witt for fighting for Oregon's workers.

It is unacceptable that it can take up to 14 weeks to receive unemployment benefits. Oregonians and employers paid into the unemployment insurance fund for times like these and we all deserve to receive our benefits in a timely manner.

Rep. Witt is the only legislator to demand accountability from the Oregon Employment Department. It's hard to stand against members of one's own party, but Rep. Witt has done just that.

I hope the secretary of state and Gov. Kate Brown listen to his call for an investigation. Thank you, Rep. Witt, for having the backs of the working people of Oregon.

Jolene Jonas, Scappoose

Good dining alternatives to meat this summer

COVID-19 heralds some good news for this summer. We won't be facing heavy traffic. And, the scarcity of meat will keep our outdoor grills safe.

Folks who grill hamburgers and hot dogs face a nasty choice. The U.S. Meat and Poultry Hotline advises grilling at high temperature to avoid food poisoning by E. coli and salmonella bacteria. But the National Cancer Institute warns that high-temperature grilling of processed meats generates cancer-causing compounds.

Fortunately, we no longer need to choose between food poisoning and cancer!

A bunch of enterprising U.S. food processors have met this challenge head-on by developing a rich variety of convenient, healthful, delicious plant-based veggie burgers, veggie dogs and soy nuggets. These products don't harbor nasty bugs or cancer-causing compounds. They are missing the cholesterol, saturated fats, drugs, hormones and pesticides of their animal-based alternatives. And, they are waiting for us in the frozen food section of our favorite supermarket, along with nut-based ice creams and other dairy-free desserts.

Let's declare our independence from the meat industry, which exposes its workers to COVID-19 infection. And let's stay away from both the COVID and the barbecue bugs!

Charlie Richter, Portland


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