State doesnt raise kids ÑÊparents do

Readers’ Letters

I do not doubt for one moment thatÊoverworked, overwhelmed state employees who work in Human Services missed several critical steps in their handling Ñ or not handling Ñ of the complaints lodged against the adults accused of molesting Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis.

But when will the headline print the truth:Ê'Parents failed Ashley and Miranda'?

It is the callous, immoral and illegal behavior of the adults in these girls' lives that is to blame for their hideous deaths. Where were the family members when the children made these allegations? Why were they not immediately moved out of harm's way?ÊThe 'whys' are almost endless but should not end with pointing the finger at the state of Oregon and at law enforcement.Ê

We are allowing ourselves to accept the belief that government should raise our kids and that 'someone else' is to blame when we make poor life decisions. Let us please come to our senses and place the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of theÊirresponsible people who gave birth to these unfortunate babies.

Roberta Sproul

Northeast Portland

City Hall ideas

are baffling

The city scraping up half a million bucks to decide whether to bid on PGE (A public takeover of PGE looks less far-fetched after city vote, Aug. 30) ranks right up there with these classic bamboozlers from City Hall:

1) Mayor Vera Katz calling the OHSU tram the city's postcard to tourists.

2) Her half-baked plan to put a lid on Interstate 405 through downtown.

Glenn Gillespie

Southwest Portland

Innocent people are

destroyed by suspicion

A resounding thank-you for the reports on the 'intelligence gathering' of these freaks (The Secret Watchers, Sept. 13). This kind of behavior by these kinds of pathological individuals, as you point out, has been going on for some time now.

My journalist grandfather, W.K. Bassett, covered the Mooney case after the 1916 Preparedness Day bombing in San Francisco. The American Legion hassled him in the 1930s at his own publications. And in 1954, he was 'accidentally' hit by a car and killed in Hawaii while serving as executive assistant to Mayor Wilson of Honolulu after being targeted by the U.S. Senate as 'un-American.'

These activities have caused an immeasurable amount of damage in our communities, and you can bet your keyboard it is still going on today. The question I have is, how do we show our profound disapproval of this antisocial behavior? Should there be grave-spitting vigils? What? No one should be allowed to get away with this, even in death. The police need to know that there will be serious consequences for their destructive actions.

Peter J. Bassett

Southwest Portland

Bush protesters

weren't vandals

The Tribune's review of the protests the day President Bush was in Portland (Rally strength surprised cops, Aug. 27) says 'the crowd É left a trail of vandalism in its wake.'

Other news accounts of the protest indicated that mostly sidewalk chalk was left behind. The Tribune article makes it sound like the streets were covered in broken glass and spray paint.

Also, the article continually refers to protesters becoming violent; however, it seems the only clear violence committed by demonstrators was by a handful of idiots who jumped on a police car. In my three hours at the protest, I was indeed amazed at how respectful and peaceful the vast majority of people were.

Finally, the article reports that the demonstration did not have a permit and that Portland Peaceful Response Coalition voted to not obtain one, but you don't clarify why. This is crucial to the argument over whether political demonstrations should have permits. I would wager it has to do with our human rights to free speech, public assembly and civil disobedience Ñ and not that 'they think they don't have to follow the rules like everyone else' as Assistant Police Chief Greg Clark


Please contact Portland Peaceful Response Coalition and report in your next article why no permit was obtained.

Daniel Lerch

Southeast Portland

Police, Bush backers

taunted other side

I was among those pepper-sprayed by the police in the protests during President Bush's visit. I walked forward through the crowd toward the barricades with the folks who were going to see the president, and I was to photograph the interface between protesters and police. Kevin Mannix, the Republican candidate for governor, was right behind me. We were moving slowly, but at no time did I observe anyone block his path, taunt him or scream obscenities 4 inches from his face, as he claimed (Mannix: 'That's the ugly side of free speech,' Aug. 27).

I witnessed the Bush supporters generally being ignored by the dense crowd, while some of the Republicans were taunting crowd members. Mannix, for his part, kept shouting to the riot police to help him get to the front of the line faster. He was not at all uncomfortable, leading me to believe that his account to your newspaper was not accurate.

Demonstrators were noisy and filled the street, but they were peaceful and respected the police barricade. The event got out of control when the police streamed forward on each side of the barricades toward the crowd. The police made room for themselves by knocking down those in front of the protest, including an Associated Press reporter and me.

When the crowd did not back up fast enough for their taste, the police broke out the pepper spray. This was unwarranted and could have led to serious injuries. I filmed the event and can support this description with videotape.

Stu Sugarman

Portland National Lawyers Guild

Southeast Portland

Story of Sept. 11

ropes in new reader

The article 'A year of healing' (Sept. 6) was wonderful. I haven't read the Portland Tribune paper that much, but I picked one up at the Bones & Brew festival. I was very impressed with the article. I told my husband that he had to read this article because it is one of the best articles I have read. I wanted you to know that your article was so good that I'm planning to pick up the Portland Tribune more often.

JoLonna Windsheimer

Northeast Portland

Invasion could result

in endless violence

I offer some thoughts in regard to our national decisions involving Iraq: If you are sailing on the open sea in a ship, is it wise to go to war with the people on the other side of the ship? Perhaps you decide that it is, and you decide to bomb the enemy. When your bombs take the terrible toll that they were intended to take, and you shout, 'Hurray! Their side of the ship is sinking! We're winning!' are you really? For how long?

In a self-perpetuating cycle of attack and counterattack, in an age of ultrasophisticated weapons capable of mass destruction, is there a bomb that is not, ultimately, a suicide bomb?

Who is it that is telling us there is no other way? And why are we listening?

Laurie Schaad

Southwest Portland