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In Weavers case, silence is golden

Readers’ Letters

Ward Weaver's name has come up again, this time in a front-page story (Weaver reveals autopsy files, Nov. 21). It must have been sweeps month for the papers, not just the TV stations.

As a co-victim of a violent crime Ñ a serial killer at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., murdered my son, Eric, in September 2000 Ñ I am saddened again by hearing Weaver's name in the media.

Most people I have spoken to about all this media hype are sick of hearing his name. No matter what Weaver says to the media, it will not change people's opinion of him, or the facts of the case.

My opinion is that KPTV (12) and Kelley Day are no friends of victims of violent crime. They gave Weaver a forum to spout off about his wild theories. Weaver wanted to counter what he perceived as coverage that 'made him look guilty.' The more he talks, the more he sounds guilty. Clackamas County Circuit Judge Robert Herndon did a huge favor for Weaver by putting a gag order on him. Weaver will get his day in court!

Craig Plunkett

Parents of Murdered Children

Southeast Portland

Responsibility for James-must be shared by all

James G. Barrett's letter, (Blame in James case lies closer to home, Insight, Nov. 25), provides an excellent example of racism, blaming the victim, disparate treatment and refusal to hold those in authority accountable for their actions.

He predicates his criticism of the 'leaders in the Northeast community' upon his assumption that they have done nothing to address the issues of drug use, warrantable offenses and the fear of police brutality that Kendra James experienced. Since this is simply untrue, I am left to wonder:

• What are the available tactics and solutions that Barrett feels the Northeast community leaders are so carelessly failing to employ?

• What makes Barrett exempt from the responsibility of directly taking action?

• Why would any of the descriptors Barrett attributes to James preclude her right to live?

I honor community and clergy members who recognize that Kendra James deserved fair treatment. If we allow this to happen unchallenged, we are in complicity with a system that discriminates as to who is worthy of justice.

Responsible people are not staying silent while their tax dollars are paying the salary of an officer who has been institutionally supported to think Kendra James wasn't perfect or important enough to live. Those taking action to support the lawsuit by the James family are strategically spending their time and effort to prevent government-sanctioned murder. The next step would be for all of us to responsibly create a government that invests in justice for everybody.

Lore Wintergreen

Sandy

Hey, what about-the rest of us?

If someone has an ethnic-sounding last name, does that mean he or she understands how gang members with similar names think (Makeup of gang group questioned, Nov. 18)?

Where are the Italian, Russian, Polish and Vietnamese representatives on the Gang Violence Roundtable? As a member of some of those groups, I feel I am being discriminated against by a community that won't acknowledge my ethnic group's potential for gang affiliation.

Michael Bednarek

Tigard

Metro One bests -the big guys

I found a statement in the recent story about Metro One Telecommunications that -doesn't seem to make sense: 'The company has spent more than $30 million so far this year on a series of television, radio and billboard ads to persuade people they need InFone instead of cheaper, less helpful assistance from the companies that beat Metro One out of the major contracts' (Dial-up optimism, Nov. 14).

Why would a company spend millions and millions of dollars promoting a service that supposedly is more costly to the consumer? That just doesn't add up.

Some quick phone calls to Sprint PCS, Qwest and Cingular yielded some interesting yet unsurprising results. On average, directory assistance is $1.25 per call. The average is also $1.25 for nonoperator assisted directory assistance without connection to your desired number. If you want to be connected, it will cost you an extra 75 cents per call. InFone's charge is 89 cents per call, with no extra charge for connection to your desired number. To the consumer, that's a deal!

As a consumer who votes with her dollars, I'd give my 89 cents to a local company that employs real human beings over a megacorporation using automated voice response, which in the end, is more costly. Metro One employs 250 local people, as well as 5,000 people nationwide. As more companies are moving their customer service operations overseas and eliminating decent-paying jobs (with benefits) for local people, we will all pay the price eventually.

Who do these Wal-Martish corporations think will be their customers and purchase their products, if the middle-income jobs in the United States keep disappearing overseas to cheaper competitors?

Cheaper isn't always better.

Katalena Fenris

Southeast Portland