What's Inside: Protect the right to reproductive health, Trump administration is hurting animals, too

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP - LOGOI'm a 17 year old Boy Scout with Troop 544 in Gresham. I am writing to you to let you know that I am concerned about our school budgets being consistently cut, and vital programs being eliminated.

Our teachers deserve to be paid as much as a college professor makes. My parents pay taxes from their paychecks and property taxes and fuel taxes. We need those tax funds to get to the schools. Our classroom sizes are too big and it makes it very difficult to learn. Students need smaller classroom populations to improve learning. These reduced classroom sizes could help improve the graduation rates in Oregon. We are at 73.8 percent for graduation. Oregon is the third worst for graduation rates in our country.

We need to do better for our current and future generations!

There has to be a better way.

Anything you can do to help remind the school districts that students and teachers matter, would be greatly appreciated.

Matthew Merritt


Protect the right to reproductive health

My mother, Jeanne Radow, co-founded the Portland chapter of Planned Parenthood in 1962 and watched it grow into a mainstream institution here. She was thrilled when Barack Obama was elected president.

I'm glad she did not live to see that in 2017 we would have a vulgar mysogynist president and that we are still fighting to save Planned Parenthood. The anti-choice picketers who intimidate their patients should be ashamed of themselves.

Many, if not most, of Planned Parenthood's patients are desperate for the care they receive there and have no other option. All are there to exercise their basic right to reproductive health care. Portland should set the example for the rest of the country: "Planned Parenthood. Our. Doors. Stay. Open."

Anno Ballard

Southeast Portland

Trump administration is hurting animals, too

As he was signing edicts hurting one group after another over the past two weeks, it was only a matter of time before President Donald Trump got around to hurting animals — already the most oppressed sentient beings on Earth.

The animals' turn came last recently— by taking down the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) site that reports on government regulation of roughly 9,000 animal-handling facilities. These are laboratories, dog breeders, fur farms, circuses, zoos and aquariums. The site is used every day by animal-protection activists to monitor government enforcement of the 1966 Animal Welfare Act, the only effective federal law protecting animals.

Taking down the APHIS inspection site is a huge setback for animal protection. It almost certainly will lead to reduced government inspection of animal facilities and more animal suffering — a virtual repeal of the Animal Welfare Act.

Ironically, this oppressive act (to take down the site) was launched by the same dark-of-night process as that of pulling more than 100,000 visas from thoroughly vetted Muslim immigrants one week earlier — no notice, no hearings, no due process, no public announcement.

The oppressive mind-set doesn't really care who the victims are. Hopefully, the courts will.

Peter Orwell

Northeast Portland

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