Community response in turning in medications was very impressive

As we are integral members of a thriving community, we make up the fabric that upholds the sense of strength and cohesiveness that Hillsboro symbolizes; thus, it is within our responsibility to not only keep our homes safe for ourselves, but also for our neighbors.

On Oct. 26, our community exemplified this sense of responsibility as a steady stream of cars lined up throughout the day to properly dispose of unused and expired medications at the Hillsboro Police Department building on 10th Avenue. It was a spectacular sight.

Given the rise in reported cases of drug abuse in recent years — nationally and locally — our efforts to curb this problem are now even more meaningful and impactful because of the severity of such statistics. Since this year’s turnout has been greater than years before, it is evident we are making considerable progress.

Generation Rx of the American Pharmacists Association and the Hillsboro Police Department would like to thank everyone who showed up on “National Drug Take-Back Day” to turn in unwanted drugs, because such support is important to our success. The upward trend in the amount of medications collected over the years truly demonstrates the level of awareness and commitment this community embodies.

According to the Hillsboro Police Department, in April 2012 about 90.8 pounds of drugs were taken in, but last month’s event gathered nearly four times as much with a total of 390.8 pounds. Simply put, the numbers don’t lie: This community is committed more than ever to ensuring a safer neighborhood.

We here at Generation Rx are very excited about the success of this year’s event, and on behalf of the Hillsboro Police Department, we would like to once again express our gratitude and encourage the community to continue to practice responsible drug disposal.

Duy Q. Nguyen

Generation Rx Committee Chair

Forest Grove

How to brighten the holiday season for others

As the holidays approach and you relish the shopping, wrapping, cooking and holiday rush, I encourage you to take a few minutes each day to stop and look around you. Get outside of your normal circles, and find ways to reach out to people in need.

Notice when a neighbor needs a hand with groceries, keep in touch with an elderly relative or take time to really listen when a friend seems troubled. For many, this “season of stressors” can seem unbearable, but here are some simple ways you can help.

If you know someone who will need special assistance this season, maybe you can share the "Guide to Holiday Assistance by 211 info” to help them find a warm meal on holidays, sign up for delivered meals or locate food or Christmas boxes.

Consider joining our “One Warm Coat” project ("Help keep people warm; donate coats," Hillsboro Tribune, Nov. 1 issue), give food to a local food bank or contribute to a charity. There are many worthy causes.

Especially, keep an eye on people around you. Our deputies will respond to increased calls involving domestic violence and mental health crises during the holidays. They perform hundreds of welfare checks per month through the winter at your request. They check on your relatives or the guy next door. Sometimes your calls help us avert tragedy.

Washington County is a warm and caring community. Join me this season in trying to make the season brighter for people who are struggling.

Pat Garrett

Washington County Sheriff's Office

Intel's products clean, but processes dirty

Intel: Are you a clean semi-conductor manufacturer? Yes you are — for the chips and component parts you make. Your chips have to be made under the strictest conditions of cleanliness. Even your employees wear white coats and other apparel with special procedures to guarantee no dust or contaminant goes from the employee’s body to the chip. Some employees have told me they wonder whether Intel is as concerned about things going the other way — toxins from the environment into their bodies.

As much as I am concerned about employee safety and health, I am really concerned about the health of the people who live within a 25-mile dispersion radius from any Washington County Intel manufacturing plant. Many of the toxic chemicals, some heavier than air, are colorless and odorless. And it does not take much exposure to adversely affect a person’s health.

In addition to hazardous air pollutants, which include the hydrogen fluorides Intel has been emitting, I am concerned about the amount of greenhouse gases Intel wants to emit each year — 819,000 tons.

Fred Marsh, a research chemist for 39 years who worked at Los Alamos labs for more than 25 years, told me “819,000 tons of greenhouse gases Intel could release under the proposed permit is equal to 2,244 tons per day, 93.5 tons per hour, and more than 1.5 tons per minute.”

The current and proposed Intel air emission permits allow the release of an entire year's amount of any permitted compound, no matter how toxic, in a day, or an hour, or as short a time as they wish. Marsh also said Intel’s New Mexico permit allows them to release 5.9 tons of phosgene (a deadly chemical warfare agent that caused 80 percent of the poison gas deaths in World War I) in an hour, which would kill thousands, if not tens of thousands, in nearby communities. Intel can say, but maybe not in good conscience, that they meet all state and federal guidelines!

Intel operates 24/7/365. I hope they will be good neighbors and install redundant equipment so when something fails to clean the air, another system is in place to do so. Anything else is unconscionable.

Dale Feik

Forest Grove

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