Letters to the Editor: Aug. 6, 2020
Protest, revolution have been part of our country from the beginning
Things were totally out of control. There was rioting, protesting, disrespect for the established central government, and after the wanton destruction of property known as the Boston Tea Party, something had to be done! So in the spring of 1774, the good and wise King George III sent in the troops.
The people of Boston could tell right away that these were military men, for they sure as heck weren't dressed like civilian authorities. Heavenly armed, they roamed the streets or the riotous city, enforcing laws and showing the people who was in charge. And after a brief show of force, known as the Boston Massacre, the anti-government activists melted away like snow in the spring.
The good people of Boston rejoiced that the good king had at last asserted his power. Restoring law and order at the point of a bayonet seemed in all ways right and proper to them. And that is how the story ended, so there is nothing else to say except, "Long live the king!" Am I right?
Now, you may call yourself smart to find the parts of the above narrative that diverge from history. But you would have to be dumb as a rock not to see that I'm talking about Portland in 2020, not Boston in 1774. But you're not dumb as a rock, and you know he's not a very stable genius, don't you.
My only hope is that those of us who know our history won't be forced to sit on the sidelines as others repeat it. Otherwise, it's going to be a long and bloody revolution.
Clayton Callahan, Aloha
Paper should ease up on Trump, take harder look at leftists
The hatred of President Donald Trump is so great that it has obscured most factual reporting on almost any issue at hand. We now have few real journalists but activists posing as journalists.
Your description of the federal agents as henchmen (editorial, July 23, 2020) is reprehensible! It is legally proper for the federal government to use agents in this way.
Refer to our editorial in the July 23, 2020, issue, from before the federal government began a drawdown in Portland.
Your description of what happened sounds like you took it from some of the Marxists who are perpetrating this extreme violence, including not just simple acts of graffiti but also arson, assaults on police and destruction of businesses. It has gone way past the protest stage. These acts of violence across the U.S. are planned and orchestrated by people wanting to overthrow our present government and cultural system.
Write about the Marxist roots of antifa and Black Lives Matter organizations and what they really want. Your constant denigration of our president is red meat for many of your readers, but I detest it.
The media is totally complicit with the Democrats and the distortion of truth. You have very little objectivity. Anything to get rid of Trump.
Troy Smith, Beaverton
Local, state officials have failed to deal with protests
I am writing as a concerned citizen to express frustration, disappointment and disbelief at our elected officials' handling of the current rioting in Portland.
I support and stand for racial equality. However, when peaceful protests turn to violent riots and anarchy night after night, it is time for leadership and action.
Our governor, Portland mayor, and Rachel Prusak, current state representative for House District 37, believe it is unconstitutional for the president of the United States to protect federal buildings and federal employees against attacks by violent rioters. They believe that freedom of speech allows violent rioters to destroy federal buildings and that the United States Constitution mandates that the president do nothing while local officials fail to protect people and property.
The lack of leadership serves to protect criminals, allowing rioters to attack injure, and potentially kill federal employees and other citizens. It is past time to demonstrate leadership, restore order, and stand up for our federal employees, property, and our city. The destructive behavior that is being allowed by elected officials undermines the ability to focus on positive meaningful change towards racial equality that is much needed.
Peggy Fisher, Tualatin
What sort of people will we be?
I spoke recently to an elderly resident who moved to Sherwood from Portland to be closer to her family. She would like to go for walks and shop in a grocery store. Not unreasonable. But she cannot because people walk on the sidewalks and outside grocery stores — with no masks. Let's think of her when we vote this November.
November is a choice between two major political parties with two competing creeds. One is, "We're in this together." That party knows that failing to superbly educate all our children, or curb carbon emissions, or provide affordable healthcare for all, puts each of us at risk. Its elected representatives respect and listen to all voices in the community. And, yes, they wear masks.
The other major party's creed is, "Everyone for himself" — cut taxes on the wealthiest and regulations on big business, ignore experts, demonize Portlanders and foreigners, and shut down our democratically elected Legislature. They preach their right to not wear a mask in public.
Sherwood, let's look after our new neighbor. Wear a mask, politely ask our neighbors to wear a mask, and vote for Democrats this fall.
John Vandenberg, Sherwood
Another open letter to the Forest Grove community
I am writing in response to all that has transpired over the past several months with respect to former Forest Grove Police Chief Janie Schutz and what has been communicated through various venues.
To begin with, I would like to acknowledge former Chief Schutz's service to the community and the good she did with that service for all of us despite the outcome of her status with the City.
In my opinion alone, the open letter sent by the mayor and council president released to the Forest Grove News-Times ("An open letter to the Forest Grove community," published July 30, 2020) addressed the nature of Ms. Schutz' social media posting but failed to recognize the good that former Chief Schutz did for the community and residents of the city of Forest Grove. Had I had the opportunity to review the letter beforehand, I would have urged the letter be more constructive with this regard.
It is unfortunate that these two signatures imply council consensus or approval when open deliberations by all members was not held prior to its release.
Read the open letter from Forest Grove Mayor Pete Truax and Council President Malynda Wenzl, published online July 29, 2020.
I was one of the few councilors that met with former Chief Schutz and listened to her side of things. I used to be a member of the Public Safety Advisory Commission prior to being elected as a city councilor, and then I was appointed to be the council liaison to the commission. Thus, I had had many opportunities to observe and interact with former Chief Schutz. She is a good and decent person and represented the department well within the community and with other agencies.
The issues leading to her retirement were convoluted and complex. The problems resulting from a multi-year, high turnover rate of both veteran and new officers was not something that could be ignored nor go unaddressed by city administration. There was ample cause for a deeper investigation, and doing so was a reasonable action by the city. In the end, the result was not something anyone willfully sought by unjust or unethical actions.
Let us as a community acknowledge the positive service rendered by former Chief Schutz and move forward in realizing a safe and healthy community with a police department that is still highly regarded by the residents of Forest Grove.
Councilor, City of Forest Grove
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