Water infrastructure upgrades needed in near future

I am on the South Fork Water Board as part of my City Council duties. Recently, I attended the American Water Works Association annual conference in Boston. It was highly informative and I learned a great deal. One snippet to let you know how cheap the water in West Linn is: We pay about $17 per gallon for beer, $6 per gallon for milk, and less than 3 cents per gallon for our water. It could be argued that we can live without beer and milk (maybe a tough argument) but we literally can’t live without water. It is an amazing resource, managed well, and we all should be proud of our water system. That being said, our infrastructure is aging and we will have to take steps in the near future to upgrade and update. So, the next time you drink a glass of water recognize what a bargain you have and what a responsibility we have to protect it for our children.

City Councilor Mike Jones

West Linn

Use tobacco settlement funds on prevention programs

As a recent graduate with a degree in public health, it is upsetting to see the high number of Oregonians still using tobacco products. Not only is tobacco killing 7,000 Oregonians each year, it is also costing us $2.4 billion in direct medical expenditures and lost productivity due to premature death. Even though Oregon has seen a decrease in use, the numbers are still far too high, as tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable death.

I have a family member that smokes on a regular basis and our entire family has been urging him to quit for the past few years without success. He has a wife, and a son in elementary school. Even though someone may have family or friends urging them to quit, that’s almost never enough. I think many of us struggle with unhealthy choices but there is something that we can do to help others and prevent this from happening in the first place.

It is important that the dollars awarded to Oregon from big tobacco companies through the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement are applied to Tobacco Prevention and Education Programs, as was originally intended. I urge legislators to protect our community’s health by demanding the necessary funding for effective tobacco prevention programs.

Amanda Lindsay

Oregon City

Contract Publishing

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