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Tragedy calls for positive action

Readers’ Letters

Like most Oregonians, I've followed the Ward Weaver saga.

This tragedy filled our conscious minds for most of 2002 Ñ from the sudden disappearances of Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis to the shocking news of their murders.

Neighbors, friends and community gathered at a wall outside Ward Weaver's home as a tribute to the two young women. The wall was replete with messages, memorabilia and stuffed animals interspersed with tears left for the families. A media frenzy ensued. Local television news stations were quick with 'We brought it to you first.'

This tragedy, however, pales in comparison to the loss of more than 3,000 men, women and children in the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy. At ground zero, notes, memorabilia and stuffed animals lined the walls near where the World Trade Center once stood, interspersed with tears and American pride.

Have we magnified the Gaddis-Pond event out of proportion? I think so.

What will happen to Ward Weaver's three children and their families? As a parent and concerned citizen, I suggest money that was raised initially through fund-raising efforts to find the captor/criminal be allocated for the education of Ward Weaver's children and grandchildren.

With education, support and good mentoring, the Weaver family can create a different destiny. The same holds true for the Gaddis and Pond families.

Jacqueline Lerner-Aderman

Tigard

Spare the activist, and

razz the real culprits

I take exception to your inclusion of property-rights activist Ben Langlotz on his 'Dear Neighbor' mailing (2002's best, worst and in-between, Dec. 31). The people you should have put in this paragraph were our socialist land grabbers in Metro and City Hall. I happily and willingly give money to Langlotz's organization.ÊI do not give for the tax deduction, but for the idea of turning around the bureaucrats and their 'clean streams' scheme.Ê

Why don't you do a follow-up on how Metro wants to continue with the 'scheme'? Of course they do not want to compensate landowners for their takings.ÊÊ

Jim Flynn

Southwest Portland

Langlotz helped

expose Metro's lies

You got this so very wrong! (2002's best, worst and in-between, Dec. 31).ÊYour list named property-rights activist Ben Langlotz as sending out the most misleading mass mailing of the year, when in fact the most misleading mailing of the year was the propaganda sent to me from Metro.ÊA bunch of utter lies!ÊTelling me that they were out to protect streams É when all they wanted to do was annex my property.Ê

But then you are 'journalists,' after all.ÊAnd completely without bias.ÊYeah, right.

Dean M. Dordevic

Southwest Portland

Esperanto would

suit Middle-earth

'There aren't any sock puppets. Or Esperanto,' writes Dawn Taylor in her review of 'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers' (Ring intrigue rises with 'Two Towers,' Dec. 20).

I won't regret the absence of sock puppets, but too bad that Esperanto is lacking. As a speaker of the language since my teens, I have enjoyed it. With its poetic flavor and its pleasant sound system, Esperanto would contribute to the atmosphere much better than English, which seems out of place in a Tolkien-ish setting. Well, I can always dream.

Claude Piron

Gland, Switzerland

For all his flaws,

Trent Lott is honest

A friend of mine suggested I send this to you in the hope that you might be adventuresome enough to publish a political comment in the form of a poem. Thank Dr. Seuss.

I Believe Him!

He said what he meant

and he meant what he said.

Trent Lott was truthful

one hundred percent.

I know what he said

and I know what he meant.

I am glad he got busted

one hundred percent!

Thomas R. Owen

Northeast Portland

Hip-hop shouldn't

suffer city's squeeze

Those who know and love true hip-hop know that it represents unity and a love for people, music and urban culture (Portland outside hip-hop nation, Dec. 6). The four elements you mentioned are not meant to be a rash of illegal and disruptive activity. MCs and DJs bring an element of passion and life to the music, break dancers possess an amazing ability to woo the crowd, and graffiti artists are just that: artists!Ê

This culture is a way of life Ñ an exciting, diverse, artistic, fascinating combination of physical and mental talent!ÊThose who choose to abuse the hip-hop culture (i.e., gangbangers) are making choices based on their own lives and situations; it has nothing to do with the music. For hip-hop to be phased out of Portland would be a loss of something I thought Portland would provide Ñ a network of love that hip-hop has always brought to my life.

The people who run this city and ultimately decide the fate of this culture are basing their notions on ignorance and racism.ÊIt's these people who force illegality on the culture instead of embracing it.ÊThe crap heard on the radio is not real hip-hop, and the majority of our culture is not based on drugs and gangbanging.ÊTheir focus should be on the individuals responsible for their own distasteful/illegal actions.

It is prejudice to blame the music, the clothes and, of course, the color of someone's skin. And we all know those are the factors used as the basis for discriminating against hip-hop.ÊIt is time for people to realize that the hip-hop nation is real, and in its realness, it is intelligent and powerful.ÊIt's our life and our love, and it's a shame more people don't realize this because they are closed-minded.ÊI'm going back to Chicago.

By the way, this is from a 25-year-old, drug-free, white woman!

Nicole Revello

Southwest Portland

Is it time to consider

a cannabis tax?

It's a simple fact: Everyone knows it, yet few in power will admit it: Our nation's 'war on drugs' is a tragic and very expensive failure. Whether you use illegal drugs or not, as long as you tolerate the government treating you as an incompetent child and then smilingly accept the insult, it will continue.

Here in Oregon, as elsewhere, the lack of any intelligent debate on adult drug policy in this last election is particularly beguiling in light of the excessive posturing by many candidates on so-called 'freedom of choice' issues such as abortion or death with dignity. If we are considered competent enough to make these very important personal decisions on our own, do we really need Big Brother and his laughable 'zero tolerance' drug laws?

A tax on cannabis, probably the state's most valuable cash crop, is one most people would accept. Pot revenue could go a long way toward helping ease budget shortfalls. Introduction of hemp agriculture, the nonpsychoactive parts of the same plant, might provide a healthy boost to both the economy and the environment.

However, none of this is possible under current law. Instead, most lawmakers are determined to continue wasting public money so they can look 'tough on drugs.'

Floyd Ferris Landrath

American Anti-Prohibition League

Southeast Portland