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Smoking's bad; so are smokers

Regarding your Pioneer Square smoking article (Some bristle at city rule to clear the air at the square, Jan. 2), people are not allowed to smoke at any MAX stations. Pioneer Square is a MAX station, and it's annoying that even Tri-Met employees smoke there.

It is frustrating when it you cannot get a breath of fresh air in Oregon, when our environmental principles are one reason people move here. Walking through people's clouds of carcinogenic smoke is annoying. One smoker can stink up 100 square feet and more of public space.

City Commissioner Dan Saltzman is an intelligent, healthy man who is tired of idiots shortening his and others' lives. We've known that cigarettes are bad for 40 years now.

Smokers generally are less educated, angry, unhealthy, ugly people. Nonsmokers are intelligent, healthy, good-looking, nice people.

If you wonder why more people don't speak up against smokers, it's because they don't want to deal with the violent, ugly reactions smokers give when you ask them to move downwind. These folks even throw their cigarettes on the ground. That is littering.

Your article was pro-smoking, which is an idiot's position - that cartoon with the mafia guy cutting off someone's cigarette was ridiculous. Is the Portland Tribune a pro-smoking paper? I thought newspapers were supposed to be objective.

Charles Wood

Southwest Portland

Programs at homeless school are needed

I am writing in response to the Jan. 23 article 'Activist targets Multnomah County homeless school.'

For the past year, I have volunteered at this school with a group called Street Yoga. We teach yoga and wellness practices to youths to end the cycle of homelessness.

This article infuriated me. The Community Transitional School provides a safe, constant environment for these kids. The environment is vital for their growth and helps them make positive changes. The learning and teaching that occur here are both authentic and necessary for these kids. Taking funding from the school would cut programs that are important to the kids.

Lauren Turley

Americorps member

Street Yoga Alternative Wellness Educator

OHS can recapture that sense of wonder

Thanks for the article on the Oregon Historical Society (Step into Oregon's attic, Feb. 6). As a former staffer, I enjoyed reading opinions from familiar people. My 19 years at OHS began as a museum guard and ended as museum collections manager.

During my early years, the atmosphere in the historical society reflected a sense of wonder. Of the three curators on staff then, only one had graduated from a museum school; the other two moved up into the job.

We had a keen interest in historical artifacts, unencumbered by the practices instilled by formal schooling.

Historical magic is what new director George Vogt refers to when he says, 'There is something that stirs the blood about seeing the real thing.' If Vogt reconnects the excitement of history with Oregonians, he will find crowds at the historical society's door.

But he must temper professional discourse that implies, 'You might think you know history, but let me tell you about my graduate degree.' If so, the historical society will find a state eager to participate in its own heritage.

David A. Gillaspie

Tigard