by: COURTESY OF MULTNOMAH COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE, Legally growing marijuana for people who suffer from chronic pain or are going through chemotherapy is not an invitation for criminal activity, one reader says, and the Portland Tribune shouldn’t suggest that it is.

Your article 'Pot growers lure home invaders' (Dec. 21) was yet another example of sloppy reporting regarding the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program.

Unfortunately, patients and activists are used to such careless reporting from virtually all of Oregon's media, so the Portland Tribune has plenty of company in this regard.

First, the headline is misleading and inflammatory. Marijuana growers, medical or otherwise, do not 'lure' criminals into burglarizing their homes. To lure means to actively attract, such as when a fisher lures a fish.

Thieves prey upon anyone who possesses valuable items. However, I doubt your publication would ever print the headline 'Porsche owners lure car thieves.'

Also, the story implies that the Portland area suffers from a home invasion crisis due to marijuana gardens, and yet there aren't any statistics to back up such a claim.

The article mistakenly states that Marinol contains 'the active ingredient in marijuana.' Marinol only contains synthetic THC, which is just one cannabinoid contained in marijuana.

Many patients use marijuana to alleviate pain, survive chemotherapy treatments or treat glaucoma. These patients deserve fair reporting, not propaganda spread by those who wish to treat them like criminals and provide a taxpayer handout to the pharmaceutical industry.

Anthony Johnson

Southeast Portland

Say yes to methanol, no to GM's policies

Thanks for the article on hydrogen (Fuel-cell advocate has hydrogen hopes, Jan. 8).

I heard a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, George Olah, on NPR's 'Science Friday' say we should concentrate on producing methanol, not ethanol. Methanol (methyl alcohol) from trees can be shipped via pipeline around the country, whereas ethanol can't. Methanol can be converted to hydrogen. Ethanol can't.

Olah co-wrote the book 'Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy,' which argues that shipping methanol in a pipeline is the only practical way to transport hydrogen.

I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for GM to develop a fuel-cell car. They recently announced they are delaying introduction of the Volt electric car because its battery pack would not move the car the promised 40 miles down the road.

They said the car needed streamlining. Really? More streamlining to go 40 miles?

GM also took the EV1 electric cars back and crushed them in the California desert. They don't like reliable cars that won't need to come back to the dealer. They would rather thumb their noses at the planet.

EC Miller

Northwest Portland

Community Justice plays key safety role

Your report on county jails (Lockup dust-up, Jan. 8) referred to the effectiveness of the Department of Community Justice in managing the county juvenile detention center and supervising defendants awaiting trial.

Whatever your opinions are about who should oversee county jails, facts show that DCJ has played a vital role in keeping our community safe.

Each year, we supervise around 9,000 adult offenders on parole and probation and more than 700 on juvenile probation. We also supervise more than 3,000 adult defendants who are out of jail while awaiting trial.

As the recent public safety report showed, DCJ has cut re-offense rates among parolees by nearly 10 percent in the past decade. This drop translates into at least 240 crimes averted each year, which includes at least 70 fewer victims of violence.

Our pretrial supervision program has been just as effective: More than 97 percent of supervised defendants remain crime-free while awaiting trial - a better public safety record than the pretrial program previously run by the county sheriff and those operated in most other cities.

We also have taken significant steps to hold down costs at the county juvenile detention facility. To cut use of sick time and overtime, we have changed management, tightened policies, disciplined staff and renegotiated contracts with neighboring counties so that they pay a greater share of the facility's operational costs.

We pride ourselves on being data-driven. As a result we are always looking to find better and less expensive ways to keep the public safe and change the lives of adult and juvenile offenders.

Scott Taylor

Director, Multnomah County Department of Community Justice

Southeast Portland

Let's honor Chávez at new library branch

It seems the majority of folks writing in to the papers have suggested renaming something already in place to honor César Chávez. Something new would be renaming the county library currently being considered for the Kenton area (halfway between the St. Johns Library and the North Portland Library).

If the City Council, the Metro councilors, the Multnomah County Library folks and the Chávez Committee sat down together, maybe everyone could agree to name the new library after César Chávez. Or, if that isn't their common practice, it could still be called the Kenton Branch Library in the César Chávez Memorial Building.

The Chávez Committee could then research and create displays for reference materials about Chávez's life and successes in a building that hosts hundreds of people every month. This would give young people of all cultures and nationalities the opportunity to learn about this amazing man. Who could possibly vote against that?

Barbara R. Parmelee

North Portland

Tram budget would fill a few potholes

How many street repairs could have been paid for with funds wasted on the aerial tram and the streetcar?

It's absurd for the city to squander millions on these white elephants and then come to citizens with a tax increase when it's time for basic repairs.

Andrew Fabbro


Don't stick up for uninsured drivers

An open letter to Mayor Tom Potter:

On the radio recently, I heard a sound bite of yours suggesting that the poor are most affected when their cars are towed and impounded. You even had the temerity to list no insurance as one of the causes.

Mr. Mayor, having insurance coverage on your car is the law in Oregon. Driving is a tremendous responsibility and is a privilege afforded by the state, not a right for the indigent. When they drive without insurance it is a crime and having the car towed is the punishment.

When they do not have the money to insure, it follows that they also do not have the money for proper tires, brakes and necessary repairs.

For you to champion the cause of uninsured drivers demonstrates that you have disregard for another law, and I find that reprehensible considering you were once a police officer.

It also demonstrates your disregard for the safety of Portland's motorists, who, when crashed into by your uninsureds, have to stand the gaff of repairing injuries to body, car and lost income all on their own.

Why do you, even for a moment, sympathize with uninsured drivers, when they have no concern for other motorists, themselves and their passengers?

Ric Zittenfield

Southeast Portland

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