Thank you for this informative article (Vaccine is cheap, easy way to fight flu, guest column, Jan. 23).

It is so important for health care professionals to advocate for vaccines, especially the flu shot. The influenza vaccine is safe, effective and the best way to protect against the flu.

While we may feel like a broken record, health care workers need to continue to get this message out — we need to be louder than the misinformation found on the Internet.

Melody Butler

Registered nurse

Lindenhurst, N.Y.

Ask health pro your flu shot questions

Thank you Dr. Roger Muller for the informative article (Vaccine is cheap, easy way to fight flu, guest column, Jan. 23).

Being a public health student in Oregon, it is still amazing to see the number of people who are concerned about vaccines. While vaccines are not 100 percent guarantees, they still remain the best option that we, as a society, have to protect individuals from various infectious diseases.

For anyone who has questions about vaccines, please take the time to address them with your medical providers before simply believing something that you read on the Internet or heard from a friend.

And for anyone who thinks they are not at risk for the flu, just realize there are those around you who are at greater risk for these diseases and cannot get a vaccine for a variety of reasons. That is why it is encouraged for you to get vaccines by health officials.

Benjamin J. Ashraf


Blazers finally have a team that clicks

How about these stats: Robin Lopez is the No. 1 reason the Blazers are winning like they have thus far this year (Robin Lopez is Blazers’ new superhero, Jan. 23).

He’s also the No. 1 reason that LaMarcus Aldridge is able to, for the first time in his professional career, actually play his proper position. And the No. 1 reason that the Blazers have more points in the paint (and not just his) than any Blazer team in recent memory.

I love smart, unselfish athletes who make everyone else around them so much better. Robin is definitely all of that, but so are most of the other guys on this team. Finally, a Blazer team that fans can get behind without reservation.

Jill Otey

Northeast Portland

Economics a big part of opportunity gap

In almost every nation, there is an opportunity gap between financially advantaged and disadvantaged students. In the United States, this opportunity gap correlates to race (Courageous Conversations: Parents say policy fails in practice, Jan. 16). Any approach that focuses solely on skin color and not economic issues is doomed to be shallow and ineffective.

Bruce Scherer

North Portland

Buses serve region better than light rail

The costly aspect of forcing light rail onto the Interstate 5 Bridge and into Clark County, Wash., does not serve our region well (We must find a way to build the bridge, Jan. 16).

Clark County has a working public transit system with no debt using economical bus service that better fits our population and density. Clark County voters rejected light rail on the proposed Columbia River Crossing twice, in 2012 and in 2013.

Only about 2.5 percent of trips across the bridge are on buses, a demand that can continue to be met by bus service for decades. A lane for buses can be shared with all other vehicles, as southbound I-5 is today.

Oregon should open the high-occupancy-vehicle lane on northbound I-5 to all traffic all hours and stop shutting out freight, commercial and other vehicles when needed most, during 3 to 6 p.m. rush hours weekdays. Bridge lifts for sailboats should not be allowed during peak traffic hours like 6 p.m. on weekdays.

For details on bus vs. light rail see:

Margaret Tweet

Camas, Wash.

Satisfy residents’ needs, not developers

The recent secret meeting held by city staff to defy the state Land Use Board of Appeals ruling on Wally Remmers’ controversial project on Northeast Fremont between 44th and 45th avenues gives us pause.

LUBA was clear in its remand of the permit that features of the building needed to be relocated, modified or deleted to bring the building to code. However, a private meeting of city staffers on Dec. 26 represents an attempt to override that ruling on behalf of the developer.

Beaumont-Wilshire Neighbors for Responsible Growth filed their appeal of the project in April 2013, before the developer broke ground. Since that time, the developer has continued to build at his own risk. This risk could have been avoided if the developer hadn’t delayed the

LUBA process numerous times. Sometimes, as this case shows, risk doesn’t result in reward.

City code should apply to all equally and, if applied, helps protect neighborhoods from onerous, unmitigated development. The city needs to prioritize the interests of its taxpaying residents over those exploiting the opportunity to do business here.

Margaret Davis

Beaumont-Wilshire Neighbors for Responsible Growth

Northeast Portland

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