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The Times hears from readers about police activity and the Interstate 5 bridge plans.

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Police logs offer valuable insight

Newspapers' police logs are always interesting to read. It gives the police departments' activities visibility, instills confidence and can sometimes even be lighthearted.

I would also enjoy reading a weekly report on how many mediations are requested and fulfilled by both Hillsboro and Beaverton. As you probably know, these two cities provide free mediation service to residents in all of Washington County.

I was very encouraged to recently find out the extent and quality of the Hillsboro mediation program. I am also a graduate of the Beaverton Center for Mediation & Dialogue training so have some prior understanding of the value of mediation for creating civic peace.

I believe that mediated cases reported in aggregate form in a table alongside the police logs would provide useful, anonymous and uplifting information to your readers, who would be perhaps encouraged to engage those services for their own needs. In presenting information, it would be interesting to know whether a mediation request was citizen-generated or police-referred.

I like the idea of the city police forces vying for who can refer the most mediations for resolving neighbor-to-neighbor conflict rather than issuing citations.

As the middle housing codes start to effect neighborhood densities, conflict is inevitable. We are fortunate to have equitable, efficient, and free mediation services available to all county residents. Let's celebrate and promote that.

Bruce Bartlett, Bonny Slope

States risking $2.5B with nonsensical I-5 bridge plan

Washington and Oregon are risking $2.5 billion of federal grants to replace the Columbia River Interstate 5 Bridge.

The U.S. Coast Guard has suggested the Interstate Bridge Replacement Program (IBR) consider a tunnel as an alternative to an impractical tall bridge (178-foot clearance). The USCG must see that the IBR's "Tunnel Concept Assessment" is incorrect and misleading.

The IBR is ignoring the USCG's 178-foot clearance requirement and has pressed municipalities and agencies to approve its "Locally Approved Alternative" (LPA), a too-low bridge (116-foot clearance). If the IBR's plan to politically pressure the USCG to accept its LPA fails, federal funds will go to better projects.

The Washington-Oregon Legislative Committee should support the USCG's tunnel evaluation recommendation and hire a consultant, independent of the IBR, to do an honest evaluation of an I-5 immersed tunnel.

Bob Ortblad, Seattle

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