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More fix, less fuss for our jails

by: ,

Recently, I've had an opportunity to digest the district attorney's report on the state of corrections in Multnomah County, or 'jailin',' as Multnomah County Sheriff Bernie Giusto states.

The report is an indictment of the civility and cooperation lacking in the county building when someone sees political advantage.

We've forgotten that our business is not to make a situation worse, but to do our best to make it better. There may be a disagreement on how to do this, but we cannot simply do nothing.

For years, we've argued over jail space, overtime and sick leave. This report gives us further impetus to help the sheriff start correcting these issues.

This means that the sheriff and the Board of Commissioners need to speak to each other in a manner that develops trust and cooperation. I, for one, will work to this end.

I've suggested that we bring in outside expertise to assist the board and the sheriff - to make recommendations and find solutions to our problems. We need corrections professionals who know and understand these issues and problems. We do not need to further politicize this issue; we need to fix it, now.

I hope that you, the citizenry, would call for the same.

Lonnie Roberts

Multnomah County commissioner, District 4

Eat not this flesh, this dairy, this gasoline

In the Nov. 14 article 'A vegan village in the big city,' writer Barbara Schuetze quotes Karen Boelling pointing out the environmental benefits of her vegan diet.

Being a vegan myself, I share the same perspective. However, the article states how 'every Sunday, Boelling drives from Tigard to Southeast Portland to shop at Food Fight grocery store.' That's 11.5 miles one way, to buy groceries?

While making more sustainable dietary choices is commendable, folks who want to reduce their environmental impact could choose to drive less, or not at all. It's a hard choice to make, but we should think about the environmental impact all of our actions have, not just the convenient ones.

Erik Hovmiller

Southeast Portland

Unitarians are down with R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Making a commitment to be very public and 'tooting our own horns' does not account for the enormous difference in church attendance between most 'traditional' churches downtown and First Unitarian Church. Your article (Churches seek salvation, Nov. 14) only scratches the surface.

If you delve deeper, you will find that what draw so many people are the principles and spirit of the church. First Unitarian Church offers a fresh choice in values and principles such as living out an active respect for the environment, respect for gays and lesbians, and respect for people of all colors and backgrounds.

It teaches spirituality and life-giving practices that empower people, not condemn them. Marilyn Sewell, First Unitarian Church pastor, pushes listeners to get involved to create a community we all believe in and love.

Amie Belisle

Southeast Portland