Stop the smears

The nasty, vile and misleading tactics have started again in politics with the Freedom and Responsibility PAC mailer Nov. 21. Kudos to Commissioner Paul Savas for his integrity and rising above these smears.

The person who sent this told me, “I believe that Paul is sincerely doing what he thinks is best for his constituents, that he listens to people, carefully considers each issue. Therefore I regard Paul to be an honorable man!!” Really, then stop the smears.

Jeanne Freeman

West Linn

Electric vehicles use lithium ion batteries for power

In responding to a previous article in the Tidings that indicated that electric vehicles cost less to own and operate, letter writer Andrew Weisenberger suggests that “the PC green movement” keeps “secret” ... “the heavy metals needed to make batteries and the toxic nature of mining, refining and storing the toxic metals ...” used for electric vehicle batteries such as those for the Nissan Leaf.

The fact is that electric vehicles use lithium-ion batteries for power and the “heavy metal” lead-acid battery used for interior power in the Nissan Leaf is the same type of battery that Mr. Weisenberger has in his vehicle. Fortunately, the “PC green movement” and economic commonsense has ensured that the lead in these batteries is recycled to well (above) the 90 percent level so that mining and refining costs and toxic impacts are minimized.

The attraction to buyers of electric and hybrid vehicles is not only the high reliability and reduced gasoline consumption in favor of electric power (particularly in oil-poor areas such as Oregon and Norway where Teslas are selling well) but also the design which provides aerodynamically favorable low-drag coefficient (0.28 or less compared to 0.4 for a slab-front and rear SUV) and high starting torque for excellent performance and efficiency.

The era of buying vehicles designed to simply appeal to the “reptilian brain” rather than innovative design (and one is reminded of Walter Chrysler and his “Air Flow” design many decades ago, a genius ahead of his time) is over for all but a few.

Craig Stephens

Lake Oswego

Winter pet safety

The Oregon Humane Society offers these tips to keep pets safe and healthy during cold weather:

  • Bring pets indoors when temperatures reach 30 degrees with or without wind chill.
  • Wipe your pet’s paws clean after walks — chemicals used to melt ice and snow on sidewalks can irritate pets’ paws and can be dangerous if ingested.
  • Indoor pets get less exercise in the cold months, so feed them less.
  • An outdoor dog needs a dry, elevated shelter with clean, dry bedding and a flap over the opening to keep drafts out.
  • Consider adding a dog door to the garage, and then place a soft cushion in the warmest corner of the garage for your dog.
  • Make sure drinking water is not frozen. Check bowls periodically throughout the day. Even in cold weather, pets need water.
  • Use plastic food and water bowls rather than metal; when the temperature is low, your pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to metal.
  • Give outdoor pets more food. Outdoor pets need calories to produce body heat.
  • Make sure a cat hasn’t crawled under your car seeking warmth near the engine. Slap the car hood before starting the engine to startle any animal sleeping there.
  • After a walk, check your pet’s paws for bleeding or cuts from snow or encrusted ice.
  • Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the pet to freeze to death.
  • For more tips for “winterizing” your pet, visit

    David Lytle

    Public affairs manager

    Oregon Humane Society

    Contract Publishing

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