Letters: Domestic violence spurs other problems
Thank you, Crystallee Crain, for your article, "Workshop has vital part in #MeToo."
Homelessness is a major problem in our city. We scramble to find a solution, but we fail to address the third-leading cause of homelessness: domestic violence. It's a well-kept secret by the perpetrator as well as by the one being abused.
Domestic violence must be addressed in our schools and churches. Let's keep the dialogue going. Self-respect leads to respect for others and their environment.
All children have right to life
A few weeks ago, I heard a Right to Life congresswoman passionately questioning if our country no longer cared about human life.
It is because I so deeply care about the rights of humans that I support Planned Parenthood and the woman's right to choose.
I care about the hundreds of thousands of children in foster care. Statistics show their chances of leading productive lives are slim.
I care about the tens of thousands of teenagers living on the streets, the majority escaping from abusive homes. What are their chances? How will their lives evolve?
We are the beneficiaries of the most beautiful of God-given planets, which human beings are rapidly destroying.
Every unborn child deserves the right to be loved, to be nurtured and to be wanted.
Why didn't Valderrama pay her fare?
Regarding the uproar and possible lawsuit over the arrest of Rosa Valderrama, a David Douglas school board member, on March 13.
People seem very upset that an adult woman who knows right and wrong was arrested for committing a crime. What seems to be missing from this conversation is why a senior public servant, a school board member, is habitually skipping paying fare in the first place.
Is this the example we set for our young people? Is this really the standard we set for our public officials? Just pay the fare or be willing to pay the fine.
Deckert is who we need
Pamplin Media Group's endorsement of Ryan Deckert [for Washington County Chair] was spot on ("Ryan Deckert stands out in the pack as the best of the bunch, as a proven consensus-builder and as a big-vision kind of candidate.")
The recent attack ads by opponent Bob Terry were shockingly deceitful, and clearly the effort of someone who will do anything to win. More importantly, Bob Terry is simply out of touch with the realities facing Washington County families today.
I trust Ryan Deckert to prioritize the needs of working families in our community. Ryan has a track record of consensus building that proves he can work across party lines to create workable, affordable solutions that are in the interest of our families and our community.
Ryan Deckert is the positive, unifying breath of fresh air we need.
Be careful of your imagery
It's important for your newspaper to avoid giving free publicity to hate graphics.
On Page A12 in the May 1 Portland Tribune you reproduced a powerful hate image that fictitiously compared Democrats to Nazis. Let's be honest — Democrats are individual people, not a stereotypical "class." I have been a registered Democrat for most of my life.
Contrary to what Republican candidate Thomas Donahue is accusing me — as a Democrat — of, I do not believe in censorship or "media mind control." I do not "worship the government," nor do I "hate Jews and whites." I do not say "No guns." I do not pretend to have the answer to gun violence. I wish I had a simple answer, but I do not.
But there is a simple solution to the Portland Tribune's news policy: Don't give free publicity to hate graphics. I think you owe your readers an apology for this one.
Thousands of your readers have now seen this graphic, which you so unwisely reproduced. I hope that your readers will use their sensible judgment and realize this graphic for what it is: Hate.
I hope that your newspaper in the future will use better judgment than to reproduce images such as this one. I was shocked to see this image in your usually fair paper.
Ogden would bring fairness to BOLI
Vote for Lou Ogden for Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI).
Ogden has been the very successful mayor of Tualatin for over 20 years, shepherding it through lots of growth in population, industry and jobs. As commissioner, he would bring fairness in protecting worker safety and rights with renewed emphasis on skills retraining and apprentice programs starting right in high schools. He would bring help and fairness to employers navigating the bureaucratic minefields in current law.
Without hesitation he condemned the big-punishment approach of Commissioner Brad Avakian saying that the $135,000 fine in the [Sweet Cakes by] Melissa wedding cake case that put the bakery out of business was excessive and should not have rolled out as it did.
In contrast, his opponent Val Hoyle said she really didn't know enough about the case to have an opinion. Really?
Odgen has the judgment and management experience needed to run this bureau. He has the endorsements of those who know his mayoral success, including Tom Hughes, president of Metro, Washington County Chairman Andy Duyck and 17 other mayors in cities surrounding Portland, from Hillsboro to Oregon City.
He has real-world experience from owning and running an insurance business and a working farm. No puffery here.
In contrast, his opponent, Hoyle, misleads in the Voters' Pamphlet, listing her occupation as "Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, University of Oregon," but she has no advanced degree, has no law degree, teaches no classes and only had an unpaid courtesy appointment in the past so she could talk to a political science class. We need honesty above all in state offices.
Lou Odgen is that honest, fair, competent and accomplished person we should elect for commissioner of labor.
Residential Infill Project deserves lawsuit
As the Charlie Hales-designed developer giveaway and neighborhood-busting debacle known as the Residential Infill Project lurches toward the Portland City Council, Portlanders should hope a community-minded attorney will file a class-action lawsuit forcing this terrible idea on to a ballot so that the tens of thousands of affected renters and homeowners get to vote on it.
Without a vote on this, there is no transparency or democratic process.
The public testimony process is just part of the scam.
Enact city income tax for wealthy
All Portland and metro-area residents pay various regressive taxes (property and gas taxes and the arts tax) to fund our local governments. But after years of lowering tax revenue, our finances are in a horrible state. This condition is leading Mayor Ted Wheeler to talk about a possible $4.5 million or 5 percent cut in city services.
These types of austerity budgets only serve to kick the can down the road, and insist that our grandchildren pay for our mistakes. We must demand no cuts without further increases in revenue and look for new ways to raise the revenues so desperately needed.
To paraphrase Luke 12:48, "To whom much is given, much will be expected."
I urge Portland-area residents to consider an income tax on Portland's wealthiest citizens. A marginal income tax of between 2 percent and 8 percent, beginning at $250,000 for a single filer, could raise at least $114 million per annum.
This idea is supported by 1-percenters such as Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.
If they are supportive of a wealth tax, why aren't the 1,000 millionaires living in Portland?
For details on this proposal, contact the Portland chapter of Democratic Socialists of America.
Cutting administrators just a con
Public school administrators are masters of the con. They can make taxpayers believe they are decreasing administrative costs while in reality they are increasing them.
Your article, "PPS cuts 35 from central staff," brought back memories of how this con was used when the then-new superintendent, who was going to "cut" central administrative costs, was Matthew Prophet Jr.
It works like this: You eliminate administrators, including some who are eligible to retire anyway, and reassign their responsibilities to what are titled "teachers on special assignment." They assume the role of administrators while retaining the job description of a teacher. They are given substantial bonuses for assuming their new assignments.
In addition to the increase in their net pay, because they are contractually teachers, their work year is 180 days. The administrators they replace work under a contract that requires a 220-day work year.
Now add this to new hires to cover the teachers' old responsibilities and you have replaced central administrators at a greater cost to the public than if you had not "eliminated" these positions. But then you would not be able to con the public that cost-saving measures are being taken by reducing administrative staff.