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Letters - Sept. 15, 2011

Bond measure poses small cost for seismic safety

To the Editor:

Having begun reading the Tidings after my recent move to West Linn, I learned of the community effort to enact a bond measure for the construction of a new facility in the Willamette neighborhood to house the West Linn Police Department.

The department's current facility near the Willamette River invites potentially catastrophic loss of life and property to the people of West Linn when another major earthquake and resulting tsunami occurs in the Cascadia subduction fault zone off the Pacific Northwest coast as it did on Jan. 26, 1700. That temblor, estimated at 9.0 on the Richter scale, generated a tsunami that devastated many adjoining coastal areas of the Pacific Ocean, even in far-distant Japan.

Any such earthquake would surely level our current seismically vulnerable police facility and almost certainly kill or severely injure many or most of the very police officers required to preserve lives and property here during the quake's aftermath. And a tsunami anything like the one in 1700 could well push up the Columbia and Willamette river basins, sweeping any surviving officers and other first responders away in the deluge.

The recent 9.0 quake and tsunami that visited massive death and destruction upon Japan, which lies on the other side of the same Ring of Fire that we, too, occupy, should dispel any notion that such events could never again happen here.

The modest property tax levy required to ensure that the people of West Linn have a seismically safe police facility on high ground, where police personnel and their equipment will be prepared and ready to respond to such emergencies, is a bargain by any estimation.

Roy D. Taylor

West Linn

Keep our first responders safe

To the Editor:

West Linn is fortunate to have a strong network of agencies such as the West Linn Police Department and Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue that partner in providing a safety net for the families and children of our wonderful community.

Many of us live here because of the secure feeling that we have about the community environment. If an emergency occurs, we know where and who to call to get help and can count on them to respond.

Incidents do occur here and are handled in a professional, efficient way to guard our safety. As our daily lives continue to be busy with activities, we can easily take for granted how fortunate we are.

We know who to call when we need help from our police department. And it is part of our responsibility to provide a decent, safe and updated facility from which the men and women who serve and protect us work.

Please join with me in voting yes for Measure 3-377 for a new West Linn police station.

Bill Hill

West Linn