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Letter writer doesn't understand the provocation

In response to Sherry Anderson's letter in the Wednesday, Sept. 13, edition of The Outlook. This is an example of people with the "blame the victim" attitude. She cites that President Bush and his cronies should be tried as war criminals and put in jail. American policy is to 'Only fire until fired upon.' We did not fire the first shot in the war we are engaged in. The World Trade Centers were the first receivers of fire by a foreign nation upon the United States.

I presume Anderson believes that anyone who is 'provoked' should have the opportunity to strike at whomever one wishes without just cause and that all criminals should have the right to defend themselves on lines of 'provocation.' Or does she believe the assumption that the victim was the real criminal in any event, if America did not strike back at Japan, we would all be speaking another language. Or there is the case with Germany in World War II, and the Cold War, if Reagan had not increased military spending, the Soviets would still be at it. There are still some people in this country who believe that world peace is achievable even if we are in conflict with other nations and our life and security are at stake. Some people act like they were born yesterday.

MIKE P. BRINK

Gresham

Voters have right to know about all candidates

With election time fast approaching, I am curious about who all is running for governor and who decides which of them can and cannot participate in gubernatorial debates. It seems to me that learning as much as possible about all of the prospective candidates is a key ingredient to a successful election.

To wit: Curious about her candidacy, I looked at Mary Starrett's Web site, and decided to write to her with some questions that I had. While she took the time to reply, she dodged most of my questions and seemed to talk out of both sides of her mouth on those she did answer. For example, when asked if she, as governor, would make exceptions for victims of rape or incest in her vigorous efforts to restrict abortion, she said that it was wrong to punish an unborn child by aborting it because it is not the fault of the child that its father is a criminal. (I guess that punishing the prospective mother by forcing her to carry an unwanted pregnancy resulting from a rape is OK, however.)

Her analogy for this was that society does not punish the children who are found to be living in the drug houses of their parents. In the next breath, she said we ought not be educating the children of illegal immigrants. I guess in Mary's world, it is OK to punish those children for the crimes of their parents. I contacted her again, making this point, and asking her to reread my original e-mail and please answer the original questions, which she did not do. That was very telling for me, but save for this forum, it would only be me who ever knew that - other voters would not have that information.

So, in my opinion, it is vitally important that we get the views of ALL of those who think they have the right or know-how to govern us, so that we can make an informed decision. We deserve to have the ability to know what their agendas are, particularly when they can devastate our very lives. Our current leaders owe us that opportunity.

CARMEN LOHKAMP

Gresham

City forester will cost Gresham money

Richard Ehr makes a good point about the city claiming "jurisdiction" over privately-owned trees on private property (letter in the Sept. 13 edition of The Outlook). The Kowalskis will defend themselves from the city's lawsuit easily, and more city tax dollars will go down the drain pursuing it. It may well turn out to be a Measure 37 issue.

There's a larger issue arising from this case.

The city employs a city forester, who enforces the city's claimed jurisdiction over private trees. Some edicts issuing from the city forester's office are absurd.

An example is the requirement (in my subdivision, at least) to plant the red sunset maple, Acer rubrum, in the parking strips. This tree is a fast-growing, genetically-modified species of the maple group, and it does fine in open parkland, such as Red Sunset Park, which was named for the maple developed by a local nurseryman.

The problem is that the red sunset maple grows fast, and its roots don't penetrate deeply, but spread out. It has a guaranteed tendency to heave the sidewalks and street paving where it is planted. Additionally, the city requires these street-side trees be trimmed back to an espaliered configuration, with no street overhang under 10 feet nor sidewalk overhang under 8 feet. You can't do that to a young tree and have it develop properly: sending out branches in all directions.

A city forester is supposed to know these things. I would think that the current controversy over GMOs (genetically modified organisms) would also give the forester some pause to reflect on the fact that the red sunset's ancestor, the big leaf maple, Acer macrophyllum, is predominant in our deciduous forests and is threatened by the red sunset, but that issue has apparently zoomed right over her head also.

The bottom line here is that the intense micromanagement of the "look" of the city is going to cost its citizens severely, and in ways that they did not foresee.

Just wait until the first accident lawsuit blamed on the raised planters in the middle of Powell. It's inevitable.

GEORGE SCHNEIDER

Gresham

It's time for a change- vote for Nielsen Hood, Becker

I make it a point to follow elections on both the local and federal levels so I can make an informed decision when I place my 'X' on a ballot. I am no longer a registered Republican as I feel that party is leaning too far under the power of the church, nor am I a registered Democrat as I feel that party is heading for a Socialist agenda. As a registered Independent, I vote, as I always have, for a person, not any particular party.

That said, I have checked into and favor a couple folks whom I feel are the best qualified to take Gresham into the future. For many years, I have watched Gresham struggle as a large city that still wants to keep the little town charm. We've gotta change and grow up.

Carol Nielsen Hood has the people skills, can multi-task, is professional and pays attention to detail. She is organized and efficient. She leads the Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce in its day-to-day operations and knows firsthand Gresham's needs for future growth and attitudes.

Her daily contact with the local business community greatly enhances her ability to see what needs doing in Gresham. I feel that she is the best choice for Council position in the near election.

I have known and respected our current mayor, Chuck Becker. I have supported him in the past and thank him for his dedicated service to Gresham. He has served Gresham for many, many years and will always have my respect as an honored past mayor of Gresham.

Gresham needs change. Shane Bemis has been in training for the past several years to take over as mayor. Bemis has been consistent in his service on the City Council as Council President, elected by the other Councilors because of the respect they have for his abilities to lead, and in that position has worked through times with difficult elected officials to maintain professionalism and end knee-jerk decisions by others to obtain consensus.

Bemis has been effective, organized and consistent in his leadership service to Gresham. He has the skills to take Gresham into the future in a positive manner, and I support his election as mayor of Gresham.

LARRY A. WARD

Gresham

Reporter captures life of a hero

I must commend Mara Stine for the story she wrote about the death in Afghanistan of Oregon Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Nathaniel "Brad" Lindsey.

The way she captured the reaction of his family was so touching. I finished reading it with tears in my eyes. Though I never met my fellow Troutdale resident, Mara's words bridged that gap and brought this hero closer to all of us.

So many Oregonians have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan that I fear that like we did during the Vietnam War we might soon become numb to the deaths and far too accepting. As long as we have reporters like Mara Stine reminding us of what we have lost, though, I do not fear that happening to readers of The Outlook.

LLOYD WOODS

Troutdale

Minnis is minus morals

Voters in House District 49, as well as citizen's all over Oregon, are sick of House Speaker Karen Minnis' support for out-of-state payday loan corporations, and their large contributions to her political coffers.

Voters in Oregon are sick to death of Minnis' love affair with the pharmaceutical industry, and the tobacco industry's money, and her disregard for public health.

Oregonians are chilled by Minnis' close relationship to the Bush White house.

Not surprising that in a campaign where the Republican, Minnis, has apparently outspent her opponent, Rob Brading, by nearly 10 to one because she finds herself in the race of her life, she slimes her opponent.

How utterly cheap! How transparent!

Were Minnis so dedicated to fight porn, where was her voice during the Republican party's congressional committee's June 15, 2003, fund-raiser hosting, none other than curvaceous porn star Mary Carey.

Minnis' trashing of the constitution, vis-à-vis her obstructionists politics here in Oregon, aligns her directly with the White House, Rovian slash-and-trash politics. I defend the right of children to have the innocence of youth, just as long as they can, in this crazy world.

I also believe they should have good health care, education and the opportunity to succeed, free of financial predators.

WILLIAM DODDS

Gresham

Police officer handed out illegible ticket unnecessarily

Listen up folks, I was driving west on Burnside one day and saw a police car had pulled another driver over. They were pulled over into a parking area, I took note, then went around, giving a lot of space, just like the drivers manual says to do, and I got a ticket. Why? Because, I didn't pull out into the left-turn lane to go past the police car, even though there was a big distance around. And the ticket was not legible, I could not read it. I took it to the City Hall, but they couldn't read it either, so I had to go to the police station to get the ticket read, the hand writing was so bad.

Is the city so in need of police that they don't even have to learn to write? When I went to school the first thing in the morning was penmanship. I never saw printing, only in magazines.

Now, I'm 85. If they take my Social Security check to keep the city working, just think what a younger person is paying in tickets to keep the quota up, whether you're guilty or not.

JEAN MCGREGOR

Gresham

Carol Nielsen-Hood will make good councilor

I have known Carol Nielsen-Hood personally and professionally for more than 20 years. She will make an excellent city councilor and will certainly get my vote.

I hear complaints that nobody is in charge at the city and that staff promote their own agendas instead of following city codes. Taxpayers who pay the city's bills are forgotten customers.

The City Council's job is to listen to citizen's concerns and then see that the city manager makes his staff develop answers and solutions. That's the way the council manages the city manager. As CEO of the chamber of commerce, and working with a board of directors, Carol understands that process well. She will work with other councilors to create a management program that will restore the public's confidence in the city.

The city did not work with the state highway department to maintain access to downtown businesses during the Powell Boulevard construction project. Carol worked to improve coordination. As a councilor, she will make better project planning a priority. She believes that it's just as important to retain the businesses we now have as it is to recruit new ones.

Carol has a broad view of the issues and realities facing East County from her 35 years of experience as an appointed and elected member of 15 boards and commissions.

We will all benefit from having a councilor who has worked with and has the respect of leaders across the region.

That councilor should be Carol Nielsen Hood. Please vote for her in November. You won't regret it.

GUSSIE MCROBERT

Gresham