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Get behind Jefferson High principal

by: JIM CLARK, Jefferson High School’s new principal, Leon Dudley, needs the full support of students, parents, teachers and the community to do the job he was hired to do, a letter writer says.

Having taught at the high school level all of my professional life, it seems to me that Leon Dudley, the new principal at Jefferson High School, probably is as good a choice as the district could find (All eyes are on Jefferson's main man, Sept. 12).

He has experience in schools in cities that are similar in size to Portland that have been in difficulties for a period of time. His enthusiasm for his task is a must. I appreciated his opening-day priority of shaking hands with the whole student body, signaling a change directly to them. Other comments mention his high-energy approach, which must carry him for days, weeks and months. His comment suggesting that his job is not to please people but to get the job done says even more, because that is what he was hired for.

He may not make it, but he sounds like a great hire. Now it's the job of all you people closest to the situation - students, parents, community members and, most of all, teachers - to give him as much support as you can muster.

The problem has been going on for years, and all of your individual thoughts and ways of doing things haven't changed the outcome and lack of success.

Get on the bandwagon. The bunch of you can beat this rap … but only together.

Barry Adams

Southwest Portland

What Schrunk has done is extraordinary

District Attorney Mike Schrunk is the finest example of the young people who answered President Kennedy's call to public service in 1960 (The DA's way, Sept. 5).

After 25 years in the same elected office, he has a rock-solid reputation for integrity, fairness, effectiveness and mature judgment. I hope his record inspires a new generation of young people to serve the public with honor and distinction.

Pete Sandrock

Former Benton County District Attorney

Southeast Portland

MAX was really born 10 years before it ran

Although MAX started operating 20 years ago (Happy 20th birthday, MAX!, Sept. 5), it was actually born 10 years earlier, on Sept. 28, 1976, when light rail was rescued from the reject pile.

On that date, the Multnomah County Commission, led by Don Clark - with strong support from Commissioner Mel Gordon - recommended to then-Gov. Robert Straub that light rail should not be eliminated as an alternative worthy of consideration as part of the Banfield Transitway Project and should proceed to public hearings. The purpose of this project was to upgrade Interstate 80 to replace the defunct Mount Hood Freeway as the future I-84 and to add a transit component.

In June 1976, a Columbia Region Association of Governments subcommittee, the Interagency Coordinating Committee (the predecessor to the Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation), eliminated light rail as an alternative. This was with the concurrence of Oregon Department of Transportation, TriMet and the city of Portland.

The main reason for retaining light rail as an option, as expressed to the governor by the county commissioners via letter, was that 'there is citizen interest and support for light rail in the Banfield corridor. Elimination of this alternative prior to public hearing in light of this interest and support does seem to violate the open process for consideration of alternatives specified in USDOT regulations and in the ODOT Oregon Action Plan for Transportation Planning.'

The rest is history.

Jim Howell

Northeast Portland

Parents have a right to protect daughters

I raised a daughter, and she now has two daughters, 13 and 10. The 13-year-old has a blood condition that causes slowness in clotting. The thought that she could be taken by someone to strangers at an abortion center without her mother's knowledge and risk her bleeding to death makes me sick.

Parents have a right to know when their daughters are facing a situation so profound as a pregnancy. They know their daughters best. I'm voting for Measure 43, which would prohibit teens under the age of 18 from getting an abortion without parental consent.

It's common sense.

Mary A. Bell

Southeast Portland

Metro's skills match health care planning

You are right to be concerned that Metro not be distracted from its core area of expertise (Editorial, Health care not Metro business, July 21). But what is Metro's area of expertise if not to plan for future growth and the regional needs of our community?

The Make Health Care Work plan would call on Metro to bring exactly that expertise to the important issue of health care. The plan would not rely on Metro to become health care experts, but rather would draw on Metro's strong track record of bringing stakeholders together and planning for the future.

Under the plan, Metro would bring a variety of health care purchasers, consumers and caregivers together to assess our community's health care needs and then use that assessment to evaluate the impact whenever a health care corporation wants to close, expand or build a hospital.

Giving the community a voice on health care planning would allow us to hold them accountable to meeting community needs and not simply increasing their bottom line.

Leslie Kochan

Northeast Portland