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Topics range from health care legislation, to the Sauvie Island Bridge renaming, to cutting emissions.

Salinas' health care focus aids Oregonians

What a tremendous win for Congresswomen-elect Andrea Salinas.

The 6th Congressional District, the state and the country are getting themselves a federal leader who will deliver on policy issues that matter to constituents and all Oregonians. I am particularly excited to have somebody with her health care expertise serving in Congress. During her time in the legislature, Salinas was a leading voice on health care issues, working — successfully — to improve health care access and affordability.

Now she will fight the good fight in Congress and we can rest assured she will be ready. Even while in the state Legislature, Andrea Salina was advocating for federal policy changes that would improve lives here in Oregon. This was shown in a Portland Tribune opinion column ("Salinas: Congress must act to help Oregonians living with obesity") where she called for bipartisan and common-sense congressional action to help patients living with obesity by modernizing badly outdated Medicare rules that do not cover anti-obesity medications and treatments.

Now, as a new member of Congress, Andrea Salinas will be on the frontlines of fighting for expanded coverage of affordable and effective obesity treatments and better health outcomes for all Americans. And that fact fills me with a great amount of hope. We are lucky to have a leader like Andrea Salinas in Congress.

Rosie Stephens, Lake Oswego

Try fixing infrastructure rather than rename bridge

Who cares what the name of the bridge is, ("Sauvie Island Bridge to be renamed for Indigenous people," Nov. 18). Change the name of the island. And while the county is at it, fix the roads that are in disrepair due to huge off-island tourist and agricultural use.

Our taxes continue to increase as the infrastructure crumbles and the county, time after time says "we have no money."

Stan Nowack, Northwest Portland

Want to cut emissions? Look to the Pentagon

The best thing our government can do to slow down climate change is to work for peace.

Peace and stability bring better communication; they lead to cooperation, sharing and coalition building. Once countries are working together effectively, they can focus on problem-solving about climate solutions, not on destroying each other.

Plus, peace and stability mean you can reduce the military budget. (Of course, many peace advocates contend that reducing military budgets pro-actively and unilaterally should be the first step towards peace, rather than the other way around.) But how do military budget cuts affect the climate?

One, you have more money to dedicate to climate change solutions — and to pay reparations to the countries suffering the most from climate change. Two, a smaller military means less dangerous carbon emissions.

The Pentagon is the world's single largest institutional emitter of carbon emissions, emitting more CO2 than 120 other countries (all those tanks, jets and ships run on fossil fuels). Also, the United States uses its military might to protect its access to oil and gas, rather than transitioning to green, renewable fuel.

As COP27 (the United Nation's climate change conference in Egypt) fades away, we must push our government to reduce the environmental impact of military activities while also publicly and regularly reporting the Pentagon's overall fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Thank goodness Rep. Earl Blumenauer supports this first step towards reducing CO2 emissions.

Peace is the answer.

Annie Capestany, Southeast Portland

Democrats and GOP: pox on both houses

After moving to Columbia County in 2010 I registered as a nonaffiliated voter because of the progressive liberal socialist swing in Democratic party policies with the election of Barack Obama. In the years since I have maintained what I thought was a respectable civil profile of my political views.

Between President Obama's pursuit to fundamentally transform (socialize) the nation, the hatred spewed by President Trump, and the disgusting tribal behavior of both political parties during the 2020 and 2022 elections, it is time to take the gloves off and call politics for what it is.

The Oregon Legislature, with a Democratic majority, passed the Oregon Motor Voter law in 2015, forcing people to become registered voters, of which the majority are now nonaffiliated voters. Therefore Oregon is no longer a "blue" nor "red" state.

The entire 2022 election was nothing but a disgusting, name-calling de facto fight between the fascist far right and progressive liberal socialist far left. The Democrats were more scared of losing power than concerned about the failing economy and the high gas prices. No more discussing the issues of the day, it was a contest of how many lies can a candidate tell in a $2 million. 30-second ad during prime time. Can either political party really solve the problems of homelessness and inflation before the next election cycle? Hell no, they'll be too busy trying to raise funds for the next election's ads.

Joe Turner, Columbia City

Congress: Set rules for benefit managers

I wanted to write in support of Mike Millard's Nov. 16 opinion piece: "Pharmacy wait times are warning sign for Oregonians."

Under-regulated pharmacy benefit managers are harming communities by replacing independent businesses and reducing patient access to care.

These middlemen were originally designed to work with drug manufacturers to secure rebates for various medications. In theory, once these deals were struck, pharmacy benefit managers would pass the savings on to patients who needed to pick up these medications at the pharmacy counter. But due to insufficient oversight into these practices, studies have shown that too many pharmacy benefit managers pocket the savings for themselves to pad their profits.

I agree with Mike: We need to improve our regulation of pharmacy benefit managers and the new Congress should focus on this critical health care policy right away. I hope that our existing leadership (as well as our new members) see this as an opportunity to bring positive change for all patients and communities.

Mick Harris, Southeast Portland

Petition seeks top to tolling proposals

Tolling on I-5 and I-205: This project is unconstitutional. This is a Kate Brown, Tina Kotek project. Let me remind readers that we turned down this project, twice. Our elected officials are ignoring the very people who pay their salaries. Have they forgotten, they work for the people of Oregon, not the other way around.

There is a petition going around to stop this illegal activity of theirs. I am one of the people circulation this petition. Anyone wanting to sign this petition can contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I also have a copy of a Forbes magazine article from 2016 that states that Gov. Kate Brown and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum have accepted millions in campaign contributions in exchange for billion dollar contracts. This is also known as taking a bribe.

Doesn't matter if your Republican, Democrat or Independent. I am sure no one wants this toll.

Jeff Molinari, Milwaukie

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