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Readers' Letters

Do the right thing and clean up after your dog

We are so fortunate to live in beautiful West Linn, recently named the safest city in Oregon, and the 36th safest city in the country. Unfortunately, something I notice when I walk our dog in the community is the inconsideration of dog owners who don’t clean up after their dog. Even more of a head scratcher is the people who scoop up the mess, but leave the full bag!

It is a rare walk when I don’t encounter the residual of someone’s dog’s walk. Every now and again might be an “oversight,” but by the amount I see, there are a lot of dog owners who are blatantly neglecting their duty as good neighbors and responsible dog owners. It only takes 30 seconds of your life that you can’t get back to do the right thing.

Nancy Martin

West Linn

‘Call before you dig’

Spring is in the air, and gardeners in our beautiful part of the country will soon roll up their sleeves to get started on long-awaited yard work.

If that work includes digging, NW Natural wants to remind you to call 8-1-1 - the Utility Notification Center - to locate underground gas and other underground utility lines.

This is a free service, and it’s not only a smart thing to do to help prevent damage: It’s the law. Once you call, a technician will visit the property within two business days to locate your gas and utility lines.

If a gas line has been accidentally damaged, remember these tips: Smell. Go. Let us know. If you smell rotten eggs or hear a hissing sound, immediately leave the area on foot and then call NW Natural’s 24-hour emergency line at 800-882-3377.

Be safe this spring, and be sure to call before you dig.

Scott Gallegos

NW Natural compliance supervisor

Pre-registration to vote bill has flaws

I enjoy constituents visiting the Capitol, so seeing Elise Brown, the Tidings’ student columnist, there recently was a pleasure. In her March 28 article, she described House Bill 2988, which allows pre-registration of 16-year-olds to vote. Sadly, I couldn’t support her enthusiasm. In fact, I spoke against the bill on the House floor.

Pre-registering kids to vote isn’t a bad idea. I visited West Linn High’s government class last December, and we talked about the bill’s merits; I said I’d give it consideration.

House Bill 2988 did not come to my committees. I read bills from other committees the week they come to the floor for a vote. If heard in my committee, I would not have let it pass out without an amendment.

The bill doesn’t just pre-register kids to vote. With a public records request and a few hundred dollars, your 16- or 17-year-old’s address and date of birth are available to marketers, political consultants or anyone else who wants the list.

Think for a moment about the power that gives child predators. If Gov. Kitzhaber signs this into law, it won’t just give a predator access to your child’s information; it gives them tools to match data from the Secretary of State to your child’s Facebook page, including her photos and details of her personal life.

An amendment to protect your child’s privacy was offered to Rep. Ben Unger, the bill’s sponsor. Unger, a political consultant by trade, has no children. The bill’s chief proponent, the Bus Project, is a partisan political machine. Watching partisan politics win out over child safety when the bill received a majority of votes was stunning. Sen. Richard Devlin sees this bill on its next stop, and hopefully he can insert strong language into the bill to protect our children’s privacy.

Julie Parrish

State Rep. House District 37

West Linn

‘Have we been suckered’ on LOT agreement?

The advanced water treatment facilities planned for the Lake Oswego-Tigard water plant are state of the art.

A high rate clarification process will remove sediment and algae. Next, ozone treatment will remove undesirable taste- and odor-causing compounds, pathogens, algal toxins, disinfection by-products, pharmaceuticals and personal care products. And finally, filtration will remove the remaining particles and impurities.

Wouldn’t these safe drinking water parameters also make the virtually unlimited water from the Willamette River (and wells along the river) drinkable year-round?

If so, this would allow us to locate the water treatment plant within the city limits of Lake Oswego and save the $9 million tunneling cost of another river crossing from the Clackamas River source, plus more funds for piping water through West Linn, and the $5 million fee for inconveniencing West Linn residents.

Presently, Lake Oswego needs additional water from the new river crossing only to satisfy peak demand for a few summer days. In contrast, Tigard plans to replace its principal water source with this alternate water source. Lake Oswego justifies the huge costs and skyrocketing water rates of the partnership with Tigard by postulating a huge growth in water demand in the future.

This projection requires a belief that the population of Lake Oswego will experience a large, continuing increase, which is predicated on a much denser population in a much faster-growing metropolitan area.

Have we been suckered into a very costly, one-sided agreement?

William Barbat

Lake Oswego

Column’s key points missed the mark

In (his column in) the March 28 edition, Mikel Kelly, the Pamplin Media Group associate editor, excoriated his auto insurance company for increasing his insurance premium after an accident (that) he admitted was his fault.

In his comments he referred to the insurance companies to be as “expensive, as worthless and as cowardly as banks,” etc.

Two principles come to mind: 1) that they apparently paid the claim, saving him about $4,000 and 2) he didn’t mention whether or not he shopped for a better rate at other insurers (there are more than 300 auto insurers licensed in Oregon).

As part of making his case about evil big businesses, Mr. Kelly also made the statement that oil companies “always report profits of something like 9,000 percent. Every year.” 9,000 percent of what? Sales? In 2012, Exxon made approximately 9.5 percent on sales. Chevron was at about 4.5 percent. A company among the highest returns was Apple at roughly 27.5 percent! Maybe 9,000 percent of their net worth? I could find thousands of venture capitalists to invest in such a business in no time.

He then goes on to say that if the principles of government support of such industries were applied to his business (i.e., the newspaper), “then, like the insurance industry, we’d have a guaranteed income stream ...”

Not quite the same because if I don’t take a newspaper it won’t affect anyone else’s well-being. Unlike damaging their car or their person.

Mr. Kelly, you substantially ruined your case by revealing your ignorance of basic economics. I suggest you take a couple of courses in the discipline.

Bill Eaton

Lake Oswego

Giving all for nothing is not a good trade to me

Can you see it? All of America’s scofflaws, criminals and dangerous people are huddled around their TVs anxious about having to comply with new proposed laws to limit their access to guns. They’re shaking in their boots, afraid they’ll never get the firepower they need to intimidate, threaten and kill. They know if Congress makes a gun or a gun transfer illegal, they’ll have to stop in their tracks.

Not. Criminals will continue to buy whatever they want on the black market. Think how easy it is to buy illegal drugs. Oh yeah, I guess a black market would continue to operate just fine. However, Johnny Paycheck and Brenda Business who are otherwise 100 percent law abiding and never even roll a stop-sign, will feel compelled to obey and disarm themselves of anything the government says is “too dangerous,” register their arms in a nationwide database and submit to background checks as if they were already a criminal — just to “keep and bear arms,” a natural right, a human right by the way. At the core, what we have at risk is our personal sovereignty.

Furthermore, our founders rightly recognized that if ultimate power rested in the federal government, then individuals would be powerless to check an out-of-control government.

Being disarmed as a people is about as foolish an idea as one could have. Check your history books.

If we disarm ourselves, you can consider the great experiment of America’s days to be numbered, and our children’s children to be eventual slaves of the state. That’s just the nature of being disarmed.

Granting the federal government these proposed new powers would disarm the wrong people, give away all — our personal sovereignty — and do nothing do reduce gun deaths.

Does “all for nothing” sound like a good trade? Not to me.

Mike Hall

Lake Oswego




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