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Lack of police training is hurting us all

Readers’ Letters

Recently I woke up with my heart broken once again: another young person's life taken, and for what reason?

A young man, only 28, has been shot and killed by the Portland police (Traffic stop ends in death, outrage, March 30). To me, it's another death as a result of poor training and no concern for the young black Americans in the city of Portland.

I believe people need to get together to file a class-action lawsuit against the Portland police, seeking not money, but better training for officers, especially regarding traffic stops. Just because they have a black man as the police chief does not change what is really happening.

When I look back over the years, one of the first things that comes to me is when officers of the law drove through Northeast Portland in 1981, tossing dead opossums in front of a black-owned business.

I am afraid for my sons and for your son and daughter, because it could happen to anyone. We as a people need to take a stand and fight for better Portland police rules and training of officers. Citizens should help in hiring these people.

My dad was an officer in Ohio for many years. I am glad he made good decisions when he was employed as an officer.

Let's get it together, Portland. I am a taxpaying citizen, and what's going on is not right.

Reba Strickland

Northeast Portland

Long-term benefits

outweigh bins' cost

Like most critics who can find no good in the public sector, letter writer Ralph Lockhart needs to take his cost-benefit analysis one step deeper by considering the benefits of TriMet's expenditures (TriMet is trashing its reputation, Readers' Letters, March 23).

Yes, $915 is more than any of us would spend for a trash can. But they are virtually indestructible, theft-proof and attractive, and have a useful lifetime many times that of a standard trash receptacle. When you add in the labor costs of purchasing, transporting, replacing and disposing of worn-out or damaged cans, TriMet's purchase of the $915 can is actually very shrewd. Do we really want tourists to be greeted by cheap plastic or galvanized garbage cans?

I vote for the $915 garbage cans.

Gary Duell

Happy Valley

Stewart helped make

world a stylish place

I take offense at 'Bye, Martha, hello, reality' (Weekend Life, March 19). The article was an appalling strike at the efforts of American households, as well as Martha Stewart Living, to diminish the ugliness and chaos of our surroundings.

Has columnist Jill Spitznass not noticed swarms of people pursuing similar objectives at places such as Michael's, the Home Depot, Mill End, Kitchen Kaboodle, Kmart and Williams Sonoma? Surely she is familiar with Home & Garden Television and the Food Network. Are these all really just blips on the 'cultural radar screen,' or are they manifestations of a nation bent on redefining the good life?

Whether the put-down of Martha Stewart was written with tongue in cheek or tongue up nose, it was poorly reasoned drivel, and the columnist should hasten back to her own 'taste-challenged ways,' i.e., gardening with old tires and empty Clorox bottles and joining her family tree in mopping up the residual homemade gravy on their holiday dinner plates.

But as she salivates over the prospect of Martha behind bars, she should keep in mind that the fall of what she Enronically describes as a 'bloated empire' neither pirated retirement funds nor stole any state's income taxes to help break the fall. With head held high, Stewart bore the brunt of her multimillion-dollar mistake, and not without honor.

Don Bryant

Lake Oswego