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Readers write in to defend clean energy, call for more Alzheimer's research and criticize the vaccine rollout.

What not to do, but not for reason columnist thinks

In the February 2021 "My View" column by Rachel Dawson of the Cascade Institute, the writer makes clear her preference for fossil fuels and her scorn for sustainable energy resources.

We are all entitled to our opinions, but Ms. Dawson would do better making her case than using the recent Texas winter storm management debacle.

Her references, such as "frozen windmills," fail to acknowledge readily available information. Decisions made by Texas state government officials and their partners in the utilities field were what set the stage for the catastrophic situation. From the governor on down, these people chose to deregulate the energy industry, defer maintenance, including winterization of the equipment, and keep Texas disconnected from the national power grid, in the name of, they claim, savings for the consumer, but in reality for increased profits. (By the way, El Paso, on Texas' western border, kept its lights on and its residents warm because it alone remained connected to the national grid.)

Simply stated, technology, sustainable or fossil fuel-oriented, did not fail Texas residents; the folks supposedly in charge hold that responsibility. Plenty of cold-weather places (Scandinavian countries, for example) know how to care properly care for their utilities. Meanwhile, in Texas, "the folks in charge" are busy blaming each other.

Yes, fossil fuels will remain part of our state and national energy portfolio for some time, even as sustainable energy resources increase in capacity. However, using fallacious and inappropriate examples to support a case against renewable energy, frankly, appears more tilting at "frozen windmills" than sound reasoning.

Brian McGahren, Tigard

Congress must keep focus on Alzheimer's research

The coronavirus pandemic has underscored the importance of medical research. As Congress addresses the needs of our nation's most vulnerable, they're also working to address another disease affecting millions of Americans — Alzheimer's.

My family has been impacted by Alzheimer's. My mom suffered for over 10 years. I watched my dad struggle to meet the demands of caretaking, while also navigating the emotional, physical, and financial stress Alzheimer's puts on families. Sadly, in June of 2020, we lost my mom to this disease.

Today, over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's, a number expected to triple by 2050. In Oregon, 69,000 people are suffering from Alzheimer's and that is projected to rise to 84,000 by 2025. Without medical breakthroughs, this number will continue to rise.

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici can play an important role in addressing this issue. By increasing funding for Alzheimer's and dementia research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by $289 million, Rep. Bonamici could provide millions of Americans a sense of hope.

With these increases, scientists can work quicker to advance basic disease knowledge, explore ways to reduce risk, uncover new biomarkers for early diagnosis and drug targeting, and make discoveries that can lead to a treatment or cure. We can't afford not to fund research.

As our nation continues its collective focus in 2021 on keeping people safe and healthy, it is time to honor the requests of scientists for additional funding so they can bring hope to millions of Americans affected by Alzheimer's.

Kelly Kalkofen, Beaverton

Vaccine rollout flop deserves a pie in the face

Having spent hours each day with other Portland area seniors trying in vain to get an appointment for COVID-19 vaccinations for my wife and me, I want to send a digital pie-in-the-face to my Kaiser Permanente chief executive officer, the Oregon Health Authority leadership and especially Gov. Kate Brown for showing us and the rest of the nation what they are incapable of doing.

Swimming happily in member monthly payments, the health plans involved should have opened clinics for their members and let health authority help the rest of the public at the Oregon Convention Center.

Instead they chose the gulag approach.

And lots of extra whipped cream on those pies.

Frank DiMarco, Portland


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