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Turning a blind eye doesnt help

If the blinders of willful ignorance could be removed via one good dope-slap, I'd recommend that one be given to Angie Biggs (Missing teen: How much danger does she face? Nov. 11), whose 14-year-old daughter still carries Andrew Garver's picture. The fact that this woman does not think Garver is a predator or pedophile bodes ill for her daughter.

Similarly, Rebecca Dawson, director of the Aloha Softball Association Ñ through which Garver coached both her daughter and Mimi Smith Ñ was oblivious to the fact that assistant coach Dean Meier was convicted of misdemeanor sexual abuse of Mimi Smith. I find it equally appalling that Dawson witnessed Garver 'coaching' girls to the point of tears and didn't fire him!

So-called adults who choose to remain abysmally ignorant with regard to the way sexual predators operate should not be in charge of children of any age, period. And a final note to Biggs: No girl who has just turned 16 is in any way 'like a woman in her 20s' Ñ no matter what appearance and/or attitude she may adopt. Understanding age-appropriate behavior is a basic requirement of good parenting.

Nan Wilder

Northwest Portland

Assisted suicide

defies possibilities

Thanks very much for printing the two views on assisted suicide (Oregon's controversial assisted-suicide law provokes passionate debate, Insight, Oct. 10). I appreciated the fact that both writers spoke calmly and with reason, and included religious as well as ethical and personal perspectives.

A point I'd like to add from a spiritual perspective is that assisted suicide (or suicide itself) implies we know all there is to know Ñ it involves turning our back on divine possibilities. As one of my favorite thinkers, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote in her book 'Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures': 'The wisdom of man is not sufficient to warrant him in advising God.'

What makes this especially relevant is that she goes on to say God's will has nothing to do with death Ñ it is our steadily progressing understanding of God's will that is increasing life spans and ever more remarkably saving lives. Spirit saves and heals, which I think makes life a never-ending promise, not a prelude to death.

Jerry McIntire

Southwest Portland

Hotel's new owners

need lots of luck

Great news on the restoration of downtown Portland's Governor Hotel (Portland gets new tenant, Oct. 24).

How do they plan on making it with no money, because of the fact that no businesses can survive in this economy?

Mayor Vera Katz tries to make it sound like it's something positive to hang her hat on. This does nothing for our general economy.

Mike Keller

Tigard

How about helping

the poor at home?

President Bush will get his $87.5 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan. I'm not an economist, but I am a single parent living on unemployment after losing my job in September. So maybe I'm learning a thing or two about making ends meet. I know writing a check for $87.5 billion on top of a $400 billion deficit this year is not how I run the finances of my little household of three.

I used to run an AmeriCorps program for very low-income youth at Portland YouthBuilders. When AmeriCorps came up $100 million short this year, the U.S. Senate asked President Bush to bail out the program and allow the 20,000 Americans waiting to volunteer to proceed and help their communities. By his lack of action, he said, 'No.' AmeriCorps has been cut in half across the country. My 65 very low-income students lost their chances at college scholarships, and I lost my job.

It seemed to me that if the president is so eager to send $87 billion to fight a war in a foreign country, he should be able to spare $100 million to help 20,000 of his own citizens volunteer for their country.

But what do I know? I'm just an unemployed mother of two. If I ran my house the way the government runs its finances I might as well have gone out and put $165,000 on credit cards. What a Christmas it could be if I ran up debt like the U.S. government!

This summer, President Bush gave me a flat-screen DVD/VCR television. His $800 child rebate check came to me about a month before I lost my job. I saved $500 for bills and splurged the rest on our house's only working VCR. Of course I did feel strange about his 'gift' when I stopped to think about how much it would end up costing me and my children through additional payments on the national debt. It felt a bit like a husband giving his wife a diamond ring but charging it on her credit card. Gee, thanks.

The good news is that I am starting back to work again in two weeks. I am going back to the same agency but to a new position with a cut in pay and hours. It turns out that I will actually be making a few dollars less than I make right now on unemployment. But I am eager to position myself well for future opportunities. I'm trying to do right for my children. I wish President Bush would do the same for the economy of our country.

Sara Kirschenbaum

Southeast Portland