Thank you for publishing 'The Secret Watchers' (Sept. 13-Sept. 27). I had no idea that innocent and peaceful citizens were being spied on for doing no more than exercising their rights of free speech and assembly. I thought that was only something that would be found in a fictional thriller.

The Tribune did an effective job of showing how the police bureau seemed to be trying to cover up what it was doing. If they were not trying to cover up their actions, they at least did not punish those officers, like Winfield Falk, who broke laws to further their investigations.

It is important to keep America safe from harmful and ill-intentioned individuals, but the way to do that is not by stereotyping or racially judging citizens. People should be watched based on their violent behavior, not for attending a school board meeting or a peaceful protest.

Anastasia Sittser


Activists who damage

property are criminals

Thank you for printing the article 'Hunt for ecoterrorists pays off' (Sept. 27). Ecoterrorism needs to be exposed for what it really is: criminal acts. Luka Singh of the Cascadia Forest Alliance claims that acts of arson, bombings and sabotage are mere acts of civil disobedience.

That no one has been killed or seriously injured is not reason to dismiss these actions as inconsequential or unintentional. A protest rally is civil disobedience. Rioting and destruction of private property or endangering others lives is a criminal act.

Arson and vandalism are crimes against property. Those advocating, supporting and committing those acts are violating the basic tenets of law laid down by the framers of the Constitution more than 225 years ago and consistently reinforced in the ensuing years.

These are acts of terror, carried out by individuals cloaked in anonymity. Civil disobedience is an individual taking ownership and responsibility for his or her beliefs.

John Stewart

United Four Wheel Drive


Lakeside, Calif.

City discarded

good tram idea

The story 'Second tram idea set aside' (PDX Update, Sept. 24) is disturbing. The second tram idea, which was for a smaller gondola, could have been an effective bargaining chip to offer the Corbett and Lair Hill neighborhoods.

One option was to run this gondola instead of a tram, aligned with Southwest Grover Street rather than hotly contested Southwest Gibbs Street.

This idea has less visual impact. With stations at Southwest Barbur Boulevard (and possibly Naito Parkway), it would provide transit access to the neighborhood, to Oregon Health & Science University and to the Macadam District, that must have better transit access.

This gondola idea would have spurred the reconfiguration of the deplorable Ross Island Bridge west-side ramps and Naito Parkway, and brought redevelopment which the neighborhood has supported for decades.

The tram idea only serves OHSU and as such does not deserve public funding. It is better for OHSU to expand its campus elsewhere, but the tram idea is not the best idea. I want to know why, really why, with factual details, the gondola idea was set aside.

Art Lewellan

Southeast Portland

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