Letters to the Editor for March 13
Doyle endorsed by Beaverton workers
Workers in Beaverton represented by the Service Employees International Union have endorsed Councilor Dennis Doyle for mayor. The endorsement followed a process that allowed both Mayor Rob Drake and Councilor Doyle to respond to written questions and speak at a forum before a group of members. After the forum, leaders took feedback from members that overwhelmingly endorsed change in Beaverton.
Members said they appreciated Doyle's sincere desire to increase citizen involvement and transparency in city government. At the forum he did not promise any outcomes, but did promise to have an open door where workers could come to him with ideas on how to make the city better as well as to address problems with the city. An open door to workers was a key factor in the union's decision.
The majority of our members believe it is time for a change in the leadership of Beaverton. We are excited to support a candidate who is committed to hearing our concerns and will create a more open city government.
Since the forum, members have had the opportunity to talk further with Doyle about his candidacy and hear his plans:
- He wants to increase the transparency of how decisions are made in City Hall and ensure that citizens have a voice in the process.
- He wants to rebuild relationships with businesses and have a collaborative relationship to increase jobs and finish developments.
- He wants to expand the city's efforts to become sustainable and take the work to the next level by looking at how other cities are working on it across the country.
SEIU Local 503, Beaverton Workers Local, is excited to be in collaboration with the Beaverton Police Association in endorsing Councilor Doyle. With all the organized employees in Beaverton endorsing Doyle, there is an opportunity for workers to unify in bringing new leadership to the city of Beaverton.
President of SEIU Beaverton Workers Local 503
Keep bullfighting out of the U.S.
KPTV showed a video of a bullfight in Peru recently. It was being promoted because a young boy was the fighter and he was supposedly seen as brave. There were other adults around to help out.
I want to express my point of view since the TV reporter expressed their point of view that the young boy was such a brave boy.
I see nothing brave about bullfighters. They are people who choose to put themselves in a situation that intimidates an animal into defending itself. They are throwing spears in the back of the animal, which causes it to bleed. As it bleeds it becomes weaker. After it bleeds out, it becomes too weak to fight.
If a person were to cut their self and not stop the bleeding, they would become weaker. The bull sees something waving in front of its face so it is probably defending itself. Bulls don't eat meat so they are not going to attack, but they will defend themselves when they feel they are in danger.
There is nothing brave about a bullfighter. They are people who have trapped an animal and forced it into a position of trying to defend itself.
I hope bullfighting doesn't become acceptable in the United States.
Smoking rules will let us breathe easier
Four years ago it became illegal to smoke in public places in Ireland, including all pubs, bars and restaurants. My wife and I were in Ireland that year just before this law was going to go into effect. Most bartenders and pub and restaurant owners were crying doom-and-gloom and saying what a debacle this non-smoking law was going to create as smoking and drinking Guinness beer in Ireland has gone hand-in-hand for what seems like an eternity.
The doom-and-gloom is over, the businesses on the 'Emerald Isle' have survived, and I understand many are doing better than ever.
In Oregon, it will become illegal to smoke in virtually all public places as of Jan. 1, 2009. It is better for businesses to jump on board earlier than later. Why wait to the last minute and spring it on your smoking clientele?
Let's face it, not smoking in public places is good for everyone - especially the employees of these establishments.
We have known for more than a half-century that there is a correlation between smoking and lung and heart disease, not to mention cancer. We have also known for more than 20 years through extensive medical research that there is a correlation between second-hand smoke and non-smokers contracting smoker diseases.
I think most folks would agree that breathing clean air is better for your heart and lungs than smoke-filled air. The sooner existing businesses jump on the bandwagon and adopt non-smoking rules the better. What possible logical reason is there to wait until the last minute, especially when the new law makes it inevitable?
The state campaign, 'Why Wait' is right on the money. Breathe easier everyone, better times are ahead for your heart and lungs.
War more costly than dollars spent
The consequences of the war in Iraq grow greater with each passing month.
This war, soon to be 5 years old, is now the second longest war in the history of our nation. The war in/with Iraq will soon be the costliest in our history. Our nation is now spending more than $780 million a day in this seemingly endless war.
Not only are the costs so expensive in terms of lives, deaths, injuries, dollars and destruction of cities, towns, villages, neighborhoods and refugees, but the psychological, social, political and spiritual damages and casualties are greater and greater as each day goes on.
Some time ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. warned about a nation losing its spiritual soul, and Dorothy Day sought for most of her life to warn us of the danger to the human psyche of war making.
The consequences of the present Iraq war become more and more serious, with ramifications that will take a generation or more to heal and bring wholeness to the human family.
REV. WESLEY TAYLOR