Our readers also write in about homeless students and the Sugar Policy Modernization Act.

With Portland's population hovering around 633,000-plus (I know, where are we gonna put 'em all?), not to mention Oregon gaining some 65,000 or so folks in the past year, what if, on just one given day, say a day in December, our entire population threw 50 cents into a fund earmarked for housing for the homeless? Boom! That's roughly $316,500, just like that.

I recently read where one of the chosen manufacturers of tiny houses for homeless families designed for Portland homeowners to sponsor a homeless family in their backyard figured they would cost $75,000 each. That little 50-cent fund just bought four of them with about $16,500 left over for any number of basic services for people to recapture their humanity.

Yes, 'tis the season for a plethora of people and causes to have their hands out, but really … 50 cents? It's a numbers game. Multipliers.

So yeah. Maybe this idea would give all Portlanders a sense of ownership in such a project.

Imagine folks walking down the sidewalk pointing with pride. "I bought that pink shingle with my 50 cents."

And hey … what if we all reached into another one of our pockets and fished out two more quarters?

Let Santa deliver some shelter once and for all for these desperate folks.

Mark L. Brown

Southeast Portland

Solutions for homeless students

Regarding "Homeless student number sets record" (Nov. 23 Tribune): I am shocked about the number of homeless students in Oregon. As an international student who was in Chicago for almost seven months before I moved here, I did not imagine that Oregon, which is a quiet state, has this huge of an issue. I appreciate the Oregon Department of Education's effort to make a school environment a good place for students who face challenges outside. Also, I give my support for "The Every Student Succeeds," and I believe that it is extremely helpful.

I would share some suggestions to figure out these issues or at least decrease the number of homeless students. First, I think that violence at home could be one of the main causes of homeless students who do not want to stay in a house that's like a hell. Therefore, if a student already knows there is a safe place for staying when he faces violence at a home, he won't prefer to stay under threats that may adversely affect his life and future.

Second, the Oregon Department of Education must do more research about causes of student homelessness. Honestly, finding reasons is the only way to prevent this issue, or at least decrease the number of homeless students. Lastly, we should worry about the homeless student issue because it can affect someone and destroy their life.

Abdullah Almutairi

North Portland

Bill would end sugar price inflation

Rep. Earl Blumenauer is a hero for consumers in Oregon's 3rd district as well as for consumers across the county. He is a stalwart opponent of the nation's beet and cane sugar cartels. Blumenauer continually votes to reform the vastly outdated U.S. Sugar Program and resists the massive amounts of money that the cartels throw onto Capitol Hill.

He understands the damage this program causes to consumers and businesses alike and why reform is so desperately needed.

Fortunately, there has been a bill introduced to relieve the burden on consumers and businesses. Reps. Virginia Foxx, R-North Carolina, and Danny Davis, D-Illinois, as well as Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire, and Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, have introduced the bipartisan Sugar Policy Modernization Act. Blumenauer already is a co-sponsor of the bill and intends to fight for reform.

This bill will finally reduce the burdens on American taxpayers, consumers and manufacturers in the food industry. We are happy to praise the hard work Blumenauer puts in to help hard-working Americans.

Thanks to members of Congress in the pockets of the sugar cartels, the U.S. Sugar Program continues. The Sugar Program is a Soviet-style command and control scheme that restricts planting and imports. This inflates the price of sugar in the United States to almost double the world price.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the program means Americans pay $3.5 billion every year in increased grocery costs, which breaks down to upward of $50 per family.

The Independent Bakers' Association is an international trade association that fights to protect the interests of mostly family-owned wholesale bakers and allied trades. For more information about IBA and sugar program corruption, visit

Nicholas A. Pyle, president

Independent Bakers' Association

Washington, D.C.

Contract Publishing

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