Readers' Letters

by: L.E. Baskow, Sister Tasha Salad (middle) holds hands with Sister Anja Knees (right) and others during a recent Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence ceremony. Although the group has a social-service aim — advocating safe sex — a recent Rose City visitor decried it as a “cheap attack on something beautiful and decent.”  

Mocking nuns isn't right

I was aghast at the coverage given to the sad, sad article headlined 'Nuns with condoms and fake lashes? Don't tell the pope!' (On the Rocks, July 21).

What poor judgment by your editors to allow this garbage nearly an entire page in what is supposed to be an instrument to publish 'news' honestly and impartially.

Instead we see free advertising of another cheap attack on something beautiful and decent, and an insult to the memory many of us have of Catholic sisters who gave their lives, and are still giving, to teach, nurse and serve in this country and throughout the world.

I wish I could find a way to apologize for your ignorance in giving coverage to these idiots because so many of us owe the sisters so much. I'm glad I don't live in Portland where the ethics of journalism evidently are at an all-time low.

Mary Ann Johnson

Fernley, Nev.

Voters need details of schools' costs

One thing that wasn't mentioned in your article on ballot measures, including one for Portland public schools, was that the recent approval of a teachers' contract by the school district came without any concessions from the union (Fill 'er up: Local ballot taking shape, July 21).

There are pay raises of 2.5 percent to 10.5 percent for teachers, no change in the health insurance premiums paid by taxpayers, and no change in contract language as to who is actually running the district, which is the union.

We have declining student enrollment with soaring Public Employees Retirement System costs. The raises are unsustainable even under the most optimistic scenario. Therefore, the tax measure is a tough sell especially in a climate where the electorate feels its pocketbook being threatened.

Harry Doyle

Northeast Portland

Everyone has stake in the 'New Look'

Your recent article on Metro's New Look covered a lot of ground, but it missed one of the most important issues that Metro must address in this process (Get ready for the next million, July 11).

The issue is equity - the right of every person to access opportunities necessary for satisfying essential needs and advancing his or her well-being. Unfortunately, like its absence in your article, it's likely to be overlooked by the New Look unless we demand otherwise.

Why care about equity? Americans share the belief that all groups, including future generations, deserve equal access to opportunities. Our adopted regional policies reflect this, and the New Look should help us advance it. From a practical standpoint, equity also is important because the social costs of leaving people behind drain resources and diminish overall economic prosperity.

How do we ensure that equity is part of the New Look process?

First, we must make sure that all of the new strategies considered look carefully at who benefits. Do they distribute the benefits and burdens of growth fairly? Or do only certain communities benefit? If so, how can we justify this? These questions must be central to New Look discussions.

Second, participation is critical. Metro must meaningfully engage all residents in its process. This requires using outreach tools that work well in the full spectrum of communities that make up the region, and follow-up measures that communicate how a policy was adopted and who was involved in its passage.

A 'New Look at regional growth' without equity on the table, won't be new at all. It will just be another look by the same old people, asking the same old questions.

Jill Fuglister

Executive Director, Coalition for a Livable Future

Southwest Portland