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Local resident offers thanks to police officers for responding to incident last Saturday

I would like to give a shout out to all the officers that handled the situation on Saturday night, April 8, in front of the bowling alley on Highway 99E with the gentleman that was having mental issues.

Sometimes they don't get a thank you. But I would like to thank them. It really means a lot.

So thank you to all that were involved in helping that man get some much-needed help.

Marivel Gonzalez

Gervais

AARP instructor rebuts writer's claim on safe driving distance

In the "Readers' Letters" section on April 12, Don Hearn stated that he learned in a class at the Woodburn Estates that the safe following distance is "drive one car length behind the vehicle in front of us for every 10 mph." That means at 30 mph a safe distance would be three car lengths from the car ahead.

That is old information which has been replaced with the following in the Oregon Driver Manual: "A safe following distance is defined as 2-4 seconds. For speeds greater than 30 mph, a safe following distance should be 4 seconds or more to allow you time to make a decision and take action.

"To determine if you are following too closely:

• Watch for when the rear of the vehicle ahead passes something like a sign or pole. Count the seconds it takes you to reach the same spot.

• You are following too closely if you pass the mark before you finish counting at least 2 seconds.

• If so, increase the space ahead and count again at another spot to check your new following distance. Repeat until you are no closer than 2 seconds behind the other vehicle."

This is a bit wordy. But it is right out of the 2016-17 Oregon Driver Manual.

Chuck Smith, AARP Smart Driver Instructor

Woodburn

Protestors seem hypocritical about freedom to assemble

Recently I attended a meeting of the Oregonians for Immigration Reform in Salem, and as usual the protestors were out en masse with their silly signs and meaningless chants.

They attempted to block the entrance to the motel where we met. Most people drove through them (not over them) but I drove around back and parked quietly. As I usually notice, their message was so compelling that virtually no one was willingly standing around listening to them.

When we started the meeting we were advised not to confront or interact with the protestors. We want to respectfully honor their right to protest, and we did so. However there were police and a hired private security guard there to protect our right to have a peaceful meeting. At one point the security guard had to prevent the protestors from entering the motel conference room and disrupting our meeting.

I don't get it. How can these protestors, who demand freedom of speech, tolerance and acceptance, be so willing to violate our rights of free assembly and freedom of speech by attempting to shut down our peaceful meeting? We were doing nothing wrong or illegal. We were not advocating violating the laws to accomplish an evil purpose. We were simply sharing information and discussing ideas of working within the existing laws to accomplish change. What was so wrong about our meeting that these protestors find it acceptable to not practice what they preach?

Jim Kolousek

Gaston

Call 811 before you dig

After a long and dreary winter, it's time for outdoor spring projects to start. NW Natural reminds contractors, homeowners and landscapers to call 811 when a project involves digging 12 inches or deeper.

Calling 811 to locate underground utilities two business days before the start of a task is the simple, smart and safe thing to do. Overlooking this important step may cause property loss, serious injury or worse.

Following safe digging laws helps to prevent accidental damages, which is needed since approximately 800 incidents occur each year in NW Natural's service area.

No damage is too minor to report; even a small dent or scratch could weaken a pipeline. If a gas line is accidentally hit and there's a smell of rotten eggs or the sound of gas escaping, be sure to leave the area immediately and then call NW Natural's 24-hour emergency line at 800-882-3377.

Have a safe spring, and don't forget to call 811 before you dig.

Bruce Anderson

NW Natural Community Affairs

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