Letters to the Editor: Dec. 15, 2023

Enough with the taxes

Instead of increasing the taxes we pay to the city 42.6% next year, our city councilors are planning on only increasing them 14.2% each year for the next three years. How considerate of them.

On an average home, that means your annual tax bite will have increased $360 when the entire raise is in effect. Hope you thought about this while you were paying your property taxes last month.

If councilors are so sure property owners want more services from the city, thus will support an increase of that magnitude, why not put the matter to a vote? Instead, they treat our wages and savings like a slush fund that is burning a hole in their pocket.

This is in addition to the tax the council recently added to everyone’s monthly utility bill.

What will it take to put a stop to these never-ending tax increases coming from City Hall? Why can’t the city instead figure out a way to live within its budget?

Mark Bierly



Problems vs. solutions

Regarding the Dec. 5 story, “A lot of the trees are going to have to go.”

This solution generated many thoughtful comments. The safety of pedestrians, and protecting Third Street infrastructure, were primary considerations. It’s evident the aesthetic value of the trees is also appreciated.

The problem with solutions is more problems, and a new one was suggested in the Aug. 25 letter, “Caution, please.” The author said:

“I’m writing in response to Jeb Bladine’s column, ‘It’s time to chop downtown trees.’ I’d like to share our 2 1/2-year experience here at Alchemist’s Jam, just off Third Street.

“Last year, two beautiful and very old trees across the street from our business were cut down. The temps inside our shop instantly got at least 10 degrees warmer …

“Where we used to be able to bake and make jam in our shop during the day without being too uncomfortable, even in the summer, it’s now unbearable.”

The problem may be more than loss of shade.

Most of us have experienced cars parked in the sun getting hot faster the last few years. This is due to a band of ultraviolet light that our ozone layer is no longer blocking effectively.

Only UVA and UVB used to get through. Now it’s also UVC, a very penetrating band, the short wavelength end of which borders on soft X-rays. Thus the sun no longer feels as good on their skin, and surfaces such as sidewalks get much hotter than before, a danger to two- and four-leg critters.

Of course, we could get along without the trees, which themselves suffer from UVC exposure. But we would have to invest more in awnings and air conditioning. And what of our tree-dependent insect, bird and squirrel friends?

I suggest considering the trees individually, with creative pavers and grates where possible.

Dan Katz



Health care for all

Health care is very important. That’s why Oregon is moving forward with health care for all at a time when some members of Congress want to defund all government programs for health care coverage, making it a choice — similar to participating in Social Security vs. investing in stocks.

Medical debt is the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States. I recently spoke to staffers at Capitol Hill Citizen about the crisis of health care. I affirmed with them that Oregon is way out in front of most states, perhaps creating a model leading the way for the rest.

Oregon’s Joint Task Force on Universal Health Care completed its work in the fall of 2022 and submitted its report. The report included a concept plan for a single-payer system providing better care to more people at less cost.

Senate Bill 1089 created the next step in the process by establishing a governance board. As a result, what basically started in 2017 as a mere idea is now becoming a reality.

There are several possible ways to fund this program. I advocated for research into a state bank, incorporated into a bill vetoed earlier this year by Gov. Tina Kotek.

A state bank could reduce the interest cost on loans and provide funding for infrastructure and operational expenses. It could also lower the interest on loans for students and small and mid-size businesses.

But there are other workable options. Let’s keep moving forward, Oregon.

Troy Prouty



A helping hand

Many churches and nonprofits are dependent on volunteers to function. These capable people give their time and share their skills contributing to worthy endeavors.

For retired people, volunteering gives added structure and importance to the week. For everyone, volunteering offers a chance to meet new people with similar interests and be a part of a team making at least a small corner of the world a better place.

We may think that volunteering is mainly for retired people, but most programs can use volunteers of any age and time availability. And younger volunteers often have tech skills that may not be as prevalent among older volunteers.

There are all kinds of opportunities to volunteer in our communities. They are offered by churches, museums, animal shelters, nursing homes and libraries, just to name a few.

Even a couple of hours a week adds up. It lightens the load for the paid staff and helps organization be more effective.

This year, whether you are a teenager, retiree or something in between, make a News Year’s resolution to really make a difference. Then contact a local organization that interests you and say, “How can I help?”

Nancy Thornton



No so fast!

An open letter to the Sherwood Police:

Your speed camera at the Highway 99W intersection with the Sherwood-Tualatin Road is issuing tickets for exceeding 35 mph. But all the signs before and after this intersection indicate the posted limit is 45 mph.

I was mailed a ticket for doing 46 mph at this intersection. The ticket says for “46 in a 35” zone.

Moving violations should be issued by a real police officer who actually makes contact with the driver, not by a guy who was sworn solely to rubber-stamp robot tickets. This proves the point.

There is a YouTube video post featuring other people who have received tickets for traveling at the posted speed limit. It can be found at https://www.youtube.com/shorts/pQ5ZWi6D6fM.

David Feist




David Feist, I got the same ticket on Oct. 6. There were 35 mph warning signs and a speed limit sign right before the intersection (literally about 40-50 feet before the light!) until the day it came down-December 8, 2023. I know this because I drove up to Sherwood in the morning on the 8th and the sign was there.
When I drove home it was gone! I turned around and went back through the intersection driving north. The warning sign was on the ground and the sign right before the intersection was gone. I took a photo, that's how I know the date. If your ticket was issued before that day, there was indeed a sign. Having said that, the problem is that the sign was extremely difficult to see from the road. When the trees had leaves, when I was ticketed, the tree branches partially obscured the sign. And WHO PUTS A SPEED LIMIT SIGN 2 SECONDS (I counted) BEFORE AN INTERSECTION??? Also, the last time I went through that intersection, before being ticketed, I could swear the change happened just before Home Depot, north of the intersection. They moved it!! I actually planned to slow down as soon as I got through the light!!! If they really wanted to create a safe slower speed limit through that intersection you would think they would have changed the speed limit sooner than about 50 feet before the light. I took photos of the 35 mph sign on October 18 and will try to add to this post. (It won’t let me add the photo.) I am going to contest the ticket in court.


Note added for my Letter above: Problems vs. solutions

The sun has not changed.

But the ozone layer is collapsing.

The feedstock for ozone is oxygen coming up from plants.

But much of this oxygen is not making it up to the ozone layer.

The ozone layer is at 100,000 feet.

Consider the spraying we see overhead most days.

This stratospheric aerosol injection intercepts the oxygen.

Therefore, although this geoengineering program has dimmed the sun overall

by some 22%, we have for the first time UVC on the surface of the Earth.

Are we bearing witness to the sterilization of planet Earth?

Is there a feedback loop of UVC killing plants, including plankton,

thereby reducing atmospheric oxygen, therefore less feedstock for ozone,

the remaining feedstock intercepted by aerosols injected below the ozone

layer, whence increasing UVC on the surface, and so on?

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