Senator should see beyond trees


I could not believe the article reflecting Sen. Gordon Smith's ideas for reforming Oregon's economy (Smith: Resources can rescue state's economy, July 8).ÊIt is obvious the senator still doesn't get it.ÊLack of trees didn't drive Crown Pacific into bankruptcy. We are in a global economy, not the 1960s.ÊIt has been well reported that cheap softwood imports, including imports from Southern states, have been decimating our wood products industry. Yes, the North American Free Trade Act has really hurt Oregon's mill towns and agricultural communities.Ê

As a former logger and millworker I empathize with Oregonians in smaller communities around the state.ÊIf the good senator truly wants to help our communities he could work to repeal NAFTA so our farmers could have a decent chance in the marketplace.ÊOr, he could legislate some funding for stream restoration, to put out-of-work loggers back to work and to help rebuild our salmon runs.

Paul Maresh

North Portland

Helmets aren't

foolproof protection

Does Dr. Randall Chesnut really believe that when traveling on the freeway at high speed a helmet will prevent a head injury if there is an accident (Helmetless pay cost, and so does society, Insight, July 11)?

When the pitch was made in 1988 to mandate helmet law, it was said insurance costs would go down. Well, I can tell you insurance costs did not go down. Some medical insurance does not cover motorcycle accidents and some life insurance policies do not pay if death occurs on a motorcycle.

As motorcycle ridership increases, so can accidents.

Where do you draw the line on who needs to wear a helmet Ñ white-water rafters, drivers of convertibles, snowboarders, snow skiers?

Remember, if the helmet law is repealed, Dr. Chesnut and anyone else still can wear a helmet.

Julie Russum

and Jimbo Hibbard

Southeast Portland

Tired statements

deflate arguments

The commentary by Ridwan Laher Nytagodien and Kimberly Springer would have been more effective had they not indulged in the same sort of dismissive rhetoric of which they accuse their perceived opponents (Blame game adds to injustice, Insight, June 27).

The words 'quick-draw cops like officer Scott McCollister' are then underlined by the sarcastic 'otherwise caring and ethical policeman.' This device is used to deprive the officer of his humanity and thus, without saying so openly, accuse him of being a racist. Would those words have been used if McCollister were black? Or Indian? Or Asian? Or Hispanic?

They are put there to divert attention from the central problem: Why did Kendra James die? One might start by asking, 'Which Kendra James?' We have seen two sets of photos over the last few weeks. One shows an attractive, smiling woman and the other a woman with severe problems. Two different people. And it was the latter one that died that night.

No matter. Her death was a result of pervasive and continuing racism, as far as Nytagodien and Springer are concerned.

They remind me of the Freudian and Lacanian critics who know what they are going to find in a novel before they even open it.

Robert R. Brock

Southeast Portland

Not all remember

Yaw's so fondly

I didn't go out to the Hollywood area on July 19 to celebrate Yaw's Top Notch Restaurant (Burger devotees recall a Hollywood classic, July 15). As a person of color growing up in Portland in the late 1940s and '50s, I would not be served at Yaw's because of my color.

Jim Thompson


Things aren't as bad

as DePreist indicates

James DePreist's words indicate an overexcited mind (A nation that closes its eyes is sure to stumble sometime, Insight, July 8).

His McCarthy 'reign of terror' reference makes it sound like East Germany's Stasi had been loosed upon the land, which has not been the case. Most importantly however, he is making a false comparison between that era and this.

The courts are addressing the overreaching of the government's security efforts. In part because of McCarthyist excess, very few lives and careers are being destroyed, much less with reckless abandon. As for the hazards of celebrity É well, they've located their livelihoods in the transient state of popular affection.

DePreist is what he denounces: posturing and platitudes. Real concern exists, and communicating hysteria doesn't help a bit. Noble language doesn't make a man noble, but keeping a calm mind in dangerous times can.

I wish the graduating class calm logic and clear action.

Lawrence LaBeck

North Portland

Tough leash, cleanup

laws for dogs work

I am a dog owner and have lived in the beautiful city of Madison, Wis., for the last 25 years.ÊHere in Madison, we have a very strict law about dogs being on a leash at all times outside your own yard (Off-leash debate turns toxic? July 18). There are also large fines if you are caught leaving your dog's 'mess' on the ground.ÊWe do have several no-leash areas where dogs can run as they like with other dogs, among other dog owners.ÊThis system works wonderfully, and most of the city's residents take the laws very seriously.Ê

Madison is considered one of the top cities in the United States to live.ÊTake a lesson from a city that usually gets things right: Leash your dogs Ñ especially in city parks!ÊCity parks are developed for the human citizens in a city, not the canine type.ÊThe dogs get their own parks here in Madison.Ê

For all those stubborn owners who won't take their dogs to a dog park, I say stick it to them with some hefty fines and they might think twice the next time.ÊThis of course means you might need to beef up your patrol of the parks until you get this problem under control.Ê There is truly no other solution.ÊPets cannot freely roam our parks ÑÊthe parks are there for our enjoyment; perhaps to share with a dog who is leashed and whose owner is going to pick up their 'mess' every time!ÊGood luck!

I am sickened by the crazed individual who would resort to killing innocent dogs to get a point across.ÊMy heart goes out to the owners of those dogs who have died as a result of this insanity.

Lisa Fenn

Madison, Wis.