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DEQ should do the right thing

Many people now wish that public health took precedence over the artistic beauty of colored glass. The toxic emissions from Bulleye’s Glass are the tip of the iceberg. I am especially concerned about On-Semiconductor in Portland and Intel in Washington County. These industries convinced Dick Pedersen, who just resigned as director of DEQ, to not require them to apply for the highest standard of air permitting — a Federal Major Source Prevention of Significant Deterioration permit.

This is similar to what happened with ESCO. DEQ did not require ESCO to have appropriate emission control devices on their stacks. Similarly DEQ declined the opportunity to regulate Intel for the highest greenhouse gas emission standard. This is a pattern. Intel needs to eliminate 6.4 tons of bromoform from their permit and use salt instead, and revise their permit so that their emissions match their production levels.

For these reasons and many others, I filed with Multnomah County Circuit Court a petition for judicial review of the air permit that DEQ issued to Intel in January. My group, Portland Clean Air, wants DEQ to do the right thing. It seems DEQ is not currently motivated independently to do so.

Perhaps DEQ can join us and become inspired in attending the March 9th hearing in the U.S. District Court in Eugene. Kelsey Juliana sued Governor Kitzhaber when she was 15, claiming the state of Oregon was not doing all it could to protect her future by reduc-

ing global warming. At age 19 her suit has worked its way to the Court of Appeals. 

Dale Feik


Portland Clean Air

Forest Grove

Minimum wage bill ‘important, courageous’

Oregon has a well-deserved national reputation for pioneering legislation including the Bottle Bill, Vote-by-Mail. Death With Dignity and Motor Voter.Now along comes another pacesetter for the nation, courtesy of the 2016 Oregon legislature, in the form of its important, courageous and correct decision to provide a wage increase for more than half a million Oregon workers. A three-tier system in the new law accommodates the differences in living costs between the Portland area, rural areas, and parts of the state in between, while a six-year glide path allows for a smooth transition to full implementation.Consider the ripple effect of this increased income helping working families struggling to make ends meet, allowing them to spend more dollars in their local businesses, and ultimately strengthening Oregon’s economy. Furthermore, research has consistently shown that higher wages sharply decrease employee turnover which can reduce hiring and training costs.

A hearty thank you is owed to our state legislators from Washington County for voting to support this thoughtfully-designed, common sense increase in Oregon’s minimum wage.

Paul Erickson


‘Trump tree’ grew from seeds of ignorance

Politiicans are a direct reflection of the voters supporting them. [Donald] Trump’s rise is not possible without an irrational, uninformed electorate.

Up until the 1990s, we had ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, PBS and NPR. There was a fairness doctrine and the major networks prided themselves on integrity and journalism. They did their research and homework. We had Murrow, Cronkite, Huntley, Brinkley, Koppel and MacNeil/Lehrer. News sources were generally reliable and people were reasonably well informed.

However, the end of the fairness doctrine in the 1980s led to an explosion of conservative talk radio and Fox News. By the spring of 2007, of the 257 news talk stations, 91 percent of the programming was conservative. Opinion was marketed as fact. Opinion is a money maker, because overhead is low. Why? You don’t have to hire investigative reporters or research staff or real journalists to ferret out the truth. Just hire talking heads to bloviate and speculate.

Talk is cheap. Huge profits followed. Millions became addicted to the opinion-based media. The result was millions of Americans being dumbed down. Unfortunately, while you are lazily taking in someone’s opinion and wild theories, you are not busy thinking, learning history, hearing evidence-based arguments or understanding science. With opinion-based media, literally, the more you listen or watch, the less you know. That is not good, because as my father once told me, “If you are not learning, you are going backward.”

Trump is no accident. The Trump tree grew from the seeds of ignorance, planted by the conservative media.

Robert L. Seward

Forest Grove

Trump and his platform a product of ‘years of propaganda’

Republicans are going crazy over the fact that Trump is leading in the primaries. They’re doing whatever they can to disavow themselves from his extreme talking points. Yet, Trump and his platform are the culmination of years of extreme Republican propaganda.

The right wing has been pushing fear and pitting Americans against each other for years via Fox News, Limbaugh, Beck and their ilk. They let the Republican media spout extremism while the candidates do it more subtly so they can play the “who me?” card if called on it.

Well, looks like the Republican chickens have come home to roost and when faced with the monster of their creation suddenly are in a panic. Just what did they expect would happen after all these years of attacking one group or another as the enemy of America? They’ve been working toward just this moment with their hate and blame game.

It looks like there’s no stopping Mr. Trump now and I have no sympathy at all for the right. I am however, saddened by the vehement anger against fellow Americans and I very much fear for us all. Thank you Republican party for not just splitting this country but, breaking it completely.

Kathy Wnorowski