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Board played scorpion with custodians

Readers’ Letters

I read with indignation former Portland Public School Board member Sue Hagmeier's comments (Teachers union looks out for itself, Insight, Nov. 14). In her opinion, the new school board is making a mistake by bargaining in good faith with the teachers union, the Portland Association of Teachers, which, in her words, will sting it like a scorpion as it did the old school board.

As an 18-year-plus custodian for the Portland Public Schools, I was stung by Hagmeier and a majority of the board when they voted on July 8, 2002, to contract out the jobs of more than 318 civil service custodians to a low-wage, minimum-benefits private contractor.

While some of us have found survival jobs, the majority of the former custodians face the impending end of their unemployment insurance benefits with the holidays drawing near.

I applaud the new school board members for their effort to bargain responsibly with the teachers and other represented school district employees, and I look forward to a reasonable decision to bring back the Portland public-school custodians.

Mark Schnoor

Southeast Portland

Jaynes' advice could

have consequences

Dwight Jaynes recommends that consumers have their 'money, checkbook or credit card out' when standing in a long line at the grocery store, rather than waiting until hearing the total cost (Certain questions have no answer, Nov. 14).

I highly recommend not taking Mr. Jaynes' advice, considering the number of crimes that occur regularly.

Having your money in your hand while standing in line only provides an opportunity for someone to walk behind you and snatch that money right out of your hand.

Just last year at a local fast-food restaurant, I witnessed a man grab a $20 bill out of a customer's hand while the customer waited to order. No one was able to catch this money snatcher. Had the customer waited until it was time to pay before pulling the money out, this crime would not have occurred.

Now, if Mr. Jaynes had a problem with grocery customers bearing 25 items in the 10-items-or-less express line, or those who get in line, realize they have more shopping to do and want you to save their spot Ñ now those are legitimate gripes.

However, suggesting that we have our money out in the open while standing in line is not very smart advice.

Jim Metzler

Southwest Portland

Why don't we say

bon voyage to Blazers?

The $10,000 fine that Bonzi Wells received is only a drop in the bucket (Try, try again, Nov. 7). To him it means nothing.

I was a Blazer fan and season ticket holder for years. I would like Ñ and can afford Ñ to be a fan again. But I cannot support this overpaid team. They are an embarrassment to the fine city of Portland.

If team owner Paul Allen can not find another city to accept them, I suggest the Blazers move completely out of the universe.

James D. Chambers

Southwest Portland