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Readers weigh in on the House District 26 and House District 37 races, coronavirus responses, and more.

Stevens is the right fit for HD 26

I am voting for Peggy Stevens for state representative in House District 26.

I have known Peggy for about 30 years. I am always impressed with her willingness to serve our community with the attitude of doing the right thing for the right reasons. If you have been the product of Peggy's lifelong service, then you know what I am talking about.

Peggy has nothing to gain by running. She is not running to further her political career, nor to climb the political ladder. She is running because she cares deeply about our community and wants to be our voice in our area. She will stand for give back local power to our school board and city officials. She will stand strong on voting "NO" on new taxes. She will be fiscally responsible with our tax dollars.

We cannot continue where we are headed. I want change like so many of you! Join me in voting for change by voting for Peggy Stevens! Please visit Peggy's website and read more about this incredible woman at

Susie Cottle, Sherwood

Quit policing other people's behavior

About two weeks ago at a Tualatin kids summer camp, a person driving by said he saw either a child or an adult violate one of the social distancing rules for the Wuhan flu. He got out of his car, complained to the camp counselors, and then filed a formal complaint to the federal Occupational Health and Safety office (OHSA). Thankfully, they didn't close the camp.

This person would have been a reliable street enforcer in China's Red Guard purge of cultural infractions or an informant in the Romanian Ceacescu regime. The last thing we need now is reactionary, hyper-vigilant, microbophobic controllers of everyone else's behavior — especially when too many of the current rules feel politically, and not scientifically, motivated.

The CDC has already stated that children are far less susceptible to this virus than adults. [Ed.: A significantly lower rate of serious illness and deaths have been reported among children relative to adults, and particularly older adults; however, studies have not shown children to have a lower chance of infection than adults when exposed to SARS-CoV-2.] So if you are one of these obsessive-compulsives, please add some blinders to your mask. We are too artificially restricted as it is.

How do I know this happened? One of the counselors told me.

Lyneil Vandermolen, Tualatin

Regional government must shield nature park

I call on Metro to protect wildlife and habitat in Orenco Woods Nature Park during the construction of a major water pipeline that will slash through the park, removing trees and plants and diverting Rock Creek. The construction in the nature park would degrade a vital part of the Rock Creek wetlands habitat. It also would endanger the wide variety of native fish and wildlife that use Rock Creek as a crossing within the park.

Voters in the past decade have twice overwhelmingly approved Metro tax measures for acquiring more natural areas to protect water quality and wildlife habitat amid rapid urbanization.

Metro's management of 17,000 acres of parks, trails and natural areas across the Portland metropolitan region has never been more critical. Metro's top priority is buying sensitive habitat, such as Orenco Woods Nature Park.

Portland Audubon and Urban Greenspaces Institute join Hillsboro residents in urging Metro to protect the habitat, fish and wildlife in Orenco Woods Nature Park, and create a temporary wildlife safety corridor during the pipeline construction. Voters depend on Metro to do so by requiring compensatory mitigation during and after construction to minimize the harm to wildlife and habitat.

Contact Metro officials Juan Carlos Gonzalez and Jon Blasher and urge them to protect these vital resources: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sheila Christensen, Hillsboro

Decisions about school should be made locally

Regarding attempting to give direction to all schools about COVID-19: It should be obvious to most that the size and makeup of schools is an indication that all schools can't be handled the same way. Teachers and parents should evaluate their school and if there is a safe way for students to return to the classroom or not.

A big-city school district can't and should not be run the same as a small school with a small student body. There has to be some leeway with local administrators, local school boards, local teachers and local parents coming up with the most safe learning plan. They should come up with the best plan for their area.

Years ago, it snowed and Portland Public Schools were open, so I sent my son. He was on a school bus that went off the road in the snow, and they were stranded for several hours until help arrived.

I was concerned about my son's safety, and the school principal said, "It is the parent's job to make sure their child is safe. If it is not safe in your area, don't send them." I was very surprised at that notion, since I had always operated under the model of school is open and you send your kid.

Parents need to evaluate each and every learning experience and then decide what will be best for their child. The governor can't possibly know what will work for each school district or setting.

Patti Waitman-Ingebretsen, Tigard

Taking Trump's words to heart on weight control

President Donald Trump says a major reason for the increase in COVID-19 cases is widespread testing. He feels if there was less testing the pandemic would not appear so great.

I find this observation inspiring. I have been concerned about a recent weight gain. Thinking like the president, I realized weighing myself is the source of the problem. So, I have stayed off the scale, and any weight gain is no longer apparent.

Thank you. President Trump.

Richard Botteri, Beaverton

Why reader wants Stevens for state rep

I met Peggy Stevens in July 2020, when she volunteered to help with efforts by local small businesses in Wilsonville to provide a Fourth of July celebration. Peggy not only volunteered multiple times during the event, but I watched her genuinely reach out to meet the people of Wilsonville and serve them with joy. I was struck by her approachability and openness to listen to my community members.

It is evident Peggy cares about my community, not politics, and wants control to be in the hands of local government, not Salem.

Peggy isn't afraid to say "no" to politicians because she is a citizen first, politician second. She will bring years of accounting experience to advocate for fair budgeting; Peggy will fight for tax relief and believes our hard-earned money should stay in our pockets. She will promote solid educational reform, as she has done for over 11 years on the Sherwood School Board.

A vote for Peggy will create a balanced representation in Salem which will provide an opportunity for all voices to be heard. I admire her strength and grit for taking this step to run for politics. Peggy Stevens has my vote for state representative in House District 26.

Carrie Postma, Wilsonville

Neron understands plight of small businesses, workers

Small businesses are the lifeblood of our Oregon communities. They provide good-paying jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for our neighbors and their revenues flow back into the community in the form of spending, investment, and the community tax base. Sadly, small businesses have been the hardest hit by the pandemic.

During her tenure in office, state Rep. Courtney Neron has fought for financial relief for small businesses in peril because of the pandemic and for the workforce itself.

We Oregonians depend on legions of public facing workers from grocery clerks to medical professionals and so many more, who put themselves at risk every day to meet our daily needs. She continues to push for PPE, testing and hazard pay for these quiet heroes. And for those laid off, she is working to get them healthcare plus better access to unemployment benefits.

What I know about Courtney Neron as a friend and as a legislator is that she is all about compassion in action. Who knows who among us will be next to seek out aid she has already helped put in place?

Courtney's opponent declared a policy of cutting tax revenue and shutting down agencies she deems "unnecessary." I cannot imagine a worse time to choke off services and financial aid to Oregonians struggling to survive this pandemic.

In November, those of us in Oregon House District 26 will be presented a choice between two starkly different visions. I hope Oregonians give Courtney the green light to continue her good work fighting to get small business owners and hard-working, at-risk workers back on their feet. Which future will you choose?

Bruce Toien, Sherwood

House District 37 candidate Sloop has right priorities

Kelly Sloop feels a balanced education with activities like sports, music, robotics, library and band is a basic need for kids. Lawmakers are neglecting this, and it will have a major impact on kids' mental health and well-being.

Jeanette Chaffee, Tualatin

Immigration ban blocks some essential workers

President Donald Trump has used COVID-19 as a justification to continue his war on legal immigration, implementing a number of bans and restrictions for purported public safety reasons. What he and his enablers in Congress will not acknowledge is that one of his most recent actions is actually hindering efforts to fight COVID-19.

Trump issued an executive order suspending several categories of work visas through the end of 2020. This does not exempt medical engineers, scientists and others with expertise in testing and manufacturing, which in turn has made it difficult for needed medical workers to travel to the United States.

I have spent my career in public health and hospitals and this order baffles me. We need these researchers to find a cure or create a vaccine while ramping up manufacturing and distribution capabilities. The last thing we should be doing is limiting the ability of that industry to safely bring together leading experts on U.S. soil.

Congress needs to ensure that Trump's ill-advised war on immigration does not include workers who are essential to pandemic response.

John Cochran, Southwest Portland

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