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Letters to the Editor 9-21-06

Response to religious slams quite different

I see the Muslim community is not satisfied with Pope Benedict's apology after quoting a Byzantine emperor's words on Islam. It appears that if any spoken words are offensive to the Muslim world, violent payback is assured.

In contrast, I didn't see any Christians rushing to the street, performing violent acts after the mean-spirited and offensive words of Rosie O'Donnell when she stated that Christianity was just as threatening as radical Islam. Of course, I doubt Rosie sees the difference.

BEVERLY ANN SHARPF

Tualatin

Another solution to Lukus' situation?

I was and still am deeply saddened by the death yesterday (Sept. 16) of Lukus Glenn, the 18-year-old boy who lived near Tigard.

I had the privilege of being Lukus' teacher for two years while he attended Metzger Elementary School. Lukus was a wonderful student, excellent leader and well liked by everyone. Even after all these years, I still have fond memories of Lukus and the time he spent in my classroom. I doubt Lukus changed all that much to take the path where he ended up being killed by police while in the emotional state of despair described by local news.

I grew up in the same Metzger area. My father was a Portland policeman for many years and retired after serving his 30 years on the police force. I have always been 'pro cop' even when it has cost me friendships. However, in recent years, much of my feelings have changed. I do not understand, and I strongly disagree with, what seems to be the 'new age' police philosophy of first shoot to kill, then ask questions later.

Lukus was 18. He had a knife and was making threats. I understand that is a volatile situation. What I don't understand is how a young man, not so tall or big in stature, with a knife, is scaring - life-threatening scaring - three policemen in bulletproof vests who are larger and stronger than Lukus. I understand no one wants to get cut up or hurt by someone wielding a knife, but wasn't there another way other than killing Lukus?

How about all of the policemen rushing Lukus? How about sending a dog to jump him? How about something as ludicrous as lassoing him like cowboys do in rodeos? All of those might have worked and Lukus would still be alive.

I know the bean bags didn't work. I know the situation was tense. I'm sure the police did try to calm Lukus down. But is the message the police want people to know, 'If bean bags don't work, we'll shoot to kill! So think about that!' That's definitely a frightening thought.

Lukus was 18. He was upset and needed help. He didn't need to be killed. My heart aches for his family. He was an only child. My heart aches for his friends. And my heart aches for the policemen who made the choice to shoot and kill a kid because he was afraid. It is sad that this is what choice often happens in our life in our society today.

I don't feel this way just because Lukus was in my class. I feel this way because Lukus was young and deserved a chance to get the help he needed. I feel this way because people in our society deserve more help than they often get from more than just the police but from everyone in their community.

CAROLA STONE ERICSON

Vancouver, Wash.

Thanks for help of so many people

I would like to send a personal and special thank you to all the wonderful volunteers who helped make our Family Festival on the Mountain a roaring success. So many people worked so very hard before and during the event.

We had very little time and a multitude of roadblocks, but in spite of some discouraging days and a lot of misdirections (some of it our fault and some just dumb bad luck), we produced an event that created a lot of goodwill and a ton of fun.

Also a special thank you to all who came to share in the fun. We are grateful to every one of you, no matter where your home is. It was great being a community with only fun in mind for a day. Let's do it again soon.

And let us not forget the staff of Alberta Rider, the staff at Washington County and the sheriff's department, the Tigard-Tualatin School District, the emergency services personnel and, most especially, the principal of Alberta Rider, Darin Barnard, for all their incredible help.

DIANNE HILL

Unincorporated Bull Mtn.

Group educated us about icorporation

Many of my neighbors were searching for a way to get accurate information to the questions they had regarding the incorporation of Bull Mountain. I believe as voters, it is our responsibility to be educated on issues affecting our community so that we can make informed decisions.

I contacted the Bull Mountain Residents For Incorporation group at their Web site at cityofbullmountain.org and invited them to send a representative to my house to join my neighbors and myself for a cup of coffee and to explain the facts of the proposed incorporation.  The talk was excellent.  We demanded straight answers and accurate information to help us better make informed decisions. The talk helped us understand the incorporation issue, from both sides.

I encourage other residents of the proposed city to do the same, as it really helped us to see the complete picture, from the failed annexation to the proposed incorporation. 

HOLLY SHUMWAY

Unincorporated Bull Mtn.