Letters to the Editor for April 11


Liberals, conservatives will never stop arguing

There is never an 'end of story' as Mike Mattingly demanded at the end of his letter of April 4. The ideological struggle between liberals and conservatives (I prefer the proper name as opposed to the perjorative 'neocon' that Mattingly enjoys spewing) will go on for as long as the human race runs. I read Bob Woodruff's book about his experiences with brain trauma; I hope Mike finds that an acceptable resource for the consciousness-raising he deems appropriate for me. As for the VA, it has been a laughingstock in the medical community for a number of decades - it's an excellent example of what happens when government runs health care, a particular Hillary Clinton hobby horse. And as for Mike's demand that there be a rule that I personally must serve in this war, I have looked into being an Army Reservist for my particular area of medical expertise; I am too old. If he chooses to impose a rule that would apply to me, I suggest he start there.

Jane Pluemke

Eagle Creek

Wal-Mart decision not a win for anyone

I am writing to you in regard to the article with the headline 'Wal-Mart wins land-use hearing' in the Saturday, April 7, issue of The Gresham Outlook. There is so much wrong with this, I do not know where to start. First of all, the last stage of this process was not really a 'hearing.' Second of all, the decision that the state Land Use Board of Appeals made was a remand. Not a 'win' or loss for anyone. Thirdly, there were no comments from the other participants in this process. Three neighborhood associations and a local activist group have been in this process from the beginning and have not considered there to be a 'loss.'

I guess if you want the Wal-Mart spokesperson to state a win or loss on a situation that cannot be a win or loss, they can say they won, because in essence they did not lose. Having the process move to another step is just that. Very poor reporting. Poor and incorrect facts, with a poor presentation that did not even take information from all sides. You call yourself a 'Community Newspaper,' yet when you have a huge section (thousands) of your community who have been involved heavily in this process with Wal-Mart for the past two years, you do not even gather information or get a comment from them. After the community has put up such an effort in the Wal-Mart case, your terrible and inaccurate headline is an awful blow to them. I think you need to apologize, get out a retraction and maybe try to write an unbiased article.

Suzan Wells

President, Southwest Neighborhood Association


People can support troops and not war

In response to George Schneider's letter to The Outlook on Saturday, April 7, I too am a veteran. I served in the Army in Europe during World War II. I went back in the Army as a Chaplain in 1955 feeling my time as an enlisted man in combat in World War II might help me to serve the young men drafted at that later time. I served for three years with a ski-trooper infantry Division in Alaska.

I cannot be accused of not 'supporting the troops.' I have the highest admiration for those who serve in the military. That admiration doesn't mean that I must condone and agree with every use our nation makes of its military. In the case of this present situation in Iraq, as with Vietnam, I truly believe that going to war was not the way to accomplish what was needed in Vietnam and needs to be accomplished in Iraq now.

A peace vigil by followers of one who was called The Prince of Peace is neither traitorous or unpatriotic or 'against the troops.' Our nation is not great because we meekly follow the lead of those in positions of power, but because we are indeed free to differ with them and object when needed to their decisions.

Christians do believe there is evil not only in the world, but in each of us. It would be so much easier if we could rationally call some people evil and the rest all good. How simple it would be if there were indeed 'evil empires,' which we could obliterate and then live happily ever after. The reality is that we all have both the propensity for evil and for good within us. The same is true of nations including our own. Calling each other names doesn't accomplish anything and destroys the possibility of working together to find common ground and to discover ways to peacefully find answers to perplexing and difficult problems.

Jesus was a realist. I am sure when he counseled us to 'turn the other cheek' he was well aware that in many if not most cases we would get our other cheek slapped as well. Yet he urged his followers to 'love those who spitefully use you' and to 'return evil with good.'

I deeply love my country, not because of its military might, but for its freedom, justice and respect for human life. Our country and the world desperately needs to hear the voice of those who seek to find peaceful ways to solve our problems and are willing to risk life itself in order to give love a chance.

Joe W. Walker


One Republican candidate gains support

Many Republicans look at the field of presidential hopefuls with the same look of a child about to swallow bad tasting medicine.

None of the touted 'front runners' really seem to adequately reflect the views and values of the Republican Party.

Fortunately, one man of 20 years service in the United States Congress is emerging as a very real contender as the party's nominee.

Tom Tancredo has declared his candidacy for president of the United States. He is gaining financial support and enthusiasm within the party on a rapidly advancing scale that has surprised almost everyone. The reason is simple: He is direct and consistent. It is easy to understand where he stands on the issues. That stand is for the hard-working citizens of our country. That position has not always endeared him to the powerful corporate interests; but Tom Tancredo has always been there for the people of our country.

Thomas Duncan


Speed bumps needed in school zones

I am very outraged about speeding cars in Gresham's school zones. Gresham students deserve to get to school safely. I think we need more speed bumps around school zones. There are many reasons why my idea will work.

First, my idea will work because if we have more speed bumps motorist will be more cautious in their driving. If they do speed, the speed bump will slightly damage their vehicles. So motorists will slow down.

People say that speed bumps cost too much money. However, if we put in speed bumps near school zones, then we will save students from serious injuries. If we construct speed bumps, we will also save money on insurance rates rising from accidents.

People think there is something wrong with my idea. If an emergency vehicle is trying to get through, and then the speed bump will slow them down. However, 20 percent of the emergencies are from car accidents. In addition, if more speed bumps will slow down cars, there won't be as many disasters.

Most people hate construction because it slows the motorists. However, keep this in mind: All the accidents in the future that are caused by us not taking action will overcome the time it takes to install speed bumps.

As you can see, Gresham school zones need slower traffic and constructing more speed bumps is the way to do it. Speed bumps will give Gresham students a safer trip to and from school by helping drivers decrease speed. I believe in my idea very strongly, and I hope you will, too.

Alicia Ramage