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The Times hears from readers about climate change, vaccinations and Tualatin's new parks utility fee.

Not taken in by Post's excuse-making

Regarding Rep. Bill Post's column, "Want to speed up legislative process? Drop partisan bills:" I noticed that Rep. Post conveniently forgets that the Democrats last used the "walkout" ploy in 2001, while the Republicans have used it multiple times in the last several years. He sounded like Democrats should be empathetic to Republicans using every tactic necessary to "stop what they consider to be extreme, partisan legislation."

Read Rep. Bill Post's commentary, originally published online April 9, 2021.

If Rep. Post really believed what he said about "keeping the eye on the prize to help all of Oregon," he and his Republican colleagues would have stayed and done their jobs. If they disagreed so strongly with what they felt was "partisan" legislation, then they had the responsibility as legislators to make their case about their disagreement, instead of throwing the legislative equivalent of a temper tantrum and walking out. They abdicated their responsibility, and while some of their constituents likely cheered them on, many others likely did not.

Rep. Post can say all he wants about how high the percentage of bills is on which both parties actually agree and pass. However, how legislators act regarding that 10% of those so-called "partisan" bills says volumes about their true commitment to their constituents and to the legislative process.

The actions of Rep. Post and his Republican colleagues simply show their unwillingness to engage in open debate on issues that, by their so-called "divisiveness," need to see the light of day because they affect "all of Oregon." They can disagree or agree on bills, or pass them or not, but they all need to be there doing the work of the citizens, because that is why the citizens voted for them.

Brian McGahren, Tigard

The climate crisis, and a solution

There is no doubt about it: climate change has become a climate crisis.

To millions of people, it is already a matter of life and death. The increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events like hurricanes, wildfires and droughts threaten the world's food supply and drive people from their homes to search for food and income. The extreme weather events destroy roads and bridges, leaving families isolated. And it contributes to other natural disasters that claim lives.

It is said that by 2050, climate change could increase the number of people at risk of hunger by as much as 20%. The planet has lost around one-third of its farmable land over the past 40 years, in large part due to climate disasters and poor conservation. According to NASA, the six warmest years on record on Earth have taken place since 2014.

Right now is our moment to recover from COVID and Build Back Better. President Joe Biden's American Jobs Plan is an excellent blueprint that sets us on the right path.

We must take action to get millions of people back to work in new good-paying jobs in the clean energy economy while tackling climate change and environmental racism. Clean energy is the fastest-growing industry in America and provides a huge opportunity for high-quality, union jobs that help rebuild the middle class.

We have to meet the scale of the crises we face with the big investments needed to truly build back better with justice and equity. People can't wait any longer.

Lisa Perrinre, Beaverton

We must act on environment for future generations

When an airplane goes from point A to B, once crossing the halfway mark, it is called "the point of no return." At the rate our pollution is going, we can actually pass the point of no return.

Today. Our oceans are being polluted (there is an actual mass of trash that has gathered into one huge floating chunk, the size of Texas). Today. The melting of glaciers will cause unstoppable sea level rise. Today. Natural gas is more deadly than coal in 19 states. Today. The destruction of primary rain forests has increased 12% from 2019 to 2020.

These facts are not mine alone, but have been compiled by scientists, research institutes, globally.

As a child, remember lining up dominos in snaky lines, tapping to watch them fall, one after the other until they were all level. That is exactly what is happening with the pollutants now permeating our planet Earth.

Each of us should call, write, sign petitions. One voice matters little, but millions of them create a sound that cannot be ignored.

If not for you — then for your children and their children.

Aurelia Phillips, Aloha

To end COVID-19 faster, U.S. must share excess vaccines globally

The COVID-19 outbreak in India is a humanitarian crisis with global implications. It's also a powerful reminder that we won't end this pandemic anywhere unless we end it everywhere.

The world is facing a vaccine access crisis. While wealthy countries continue ramping up vaccinations, only 0.4% of COVID-19 vaccines globally have been administered to people in low-income countries. The U.S. alone has secured well over 550 million excess COVID-19 vaccine doses.

We are in a race against time. These vaccines are desperately needed around the world and will save lives and stem further mutations that could result in a resurgence of the virus in the US and around the world.

Gov. Kate Brown, Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici should call on the Biden administration to do more to share America's vaccine stockpile equitably with countries in need.

Regardless of whether you live in Beaverton or Banjul, The Gambia, we're all in this fight together. Sharing excess vaccines isn't just the humane thing to do, it's the smart thing to do to reduce the spread of variants, reopen our global economy, and help to end this pandemic faster, everywhere.

Elizabeth Dix, Beaverton

Blindsided by new parks fee in Tualatin

I am shocked and dismayed that the mayor of Tualatin and all the councilors with the exception of Maria Reyes would vote yes to increase my utility bill for the parks department.

Read our May 12, 2021, story on the monthly parks fee approved by the Tualatin City Council.

Why was this not voted on by the community? What else will the mayor and the Tualatin City Council vote on to increase my bills without my vote?

Robyn Biehler, Tualatin


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