Featured Stories

New Jeff's a big 'charade'

by: l.e. baskow, Some people are excited about the single-sex programs at the Jefferson Campus — such as Willie Holmes, the John H. Johnson Leadership Academy for Young Men’s new administrator — but one reader who attends Jefferson’s coed high school says the division limits options for most students.

I am a Jefferson High School student, and I am angry! The district officially changed Jefferson back to one high school this year; what a farce (Eyes already trained on single-sex schools, May 25).

The girls academy (with a population of 170) will offer Spanish and French while we in the Science/Tech and Arts/Tech academies (with combined populations of more than 500) get only one language, Spanish.

Do Jefferson male students have to get sex-change operations to take French and other classes offered only to those in the girls academy, even though we're enrolled at the same high school?

Do Jeff females in the Arts/Tech and Science/Tech academies have to enroll in the girls academy on a different campus to take French and other classes offered only there, even though they attend the same high school?

Since the girls academy is only grades 6 through 9, what about Jeff's males and females in grades 10 through 12 who want to take courses offered only at the girls academy, since it's supposedly all part of the same high school?

The boys academy (with a population of only 50) 'aims to offer courses in entrepreneurial, law, sports and entertainment management careers.' Yet not one of these courses will be offered to the other 500-plus Jefferson High School students (a student population 10 times greater).

Do Jeff female students have to get sex-change operations to take business and law courses offered only to those in the boys academy, even though they're enrolled at the same high school?

Do Jeff males in the Arts/Tech and Science/Tech academies have to enroll in the boys academy to take business, law and other classes offered only there, even though we attend the same high school?

Since the boys academy is only grades 6 through 9, what about Jeff's males and females in grades 10 through 12 who want to take the courses offered only at the boys academy, since it's supposedly all part of the same high school?

The superintendent and every member of the school board who voted for this (which was every single one of them) needs to speak face to face with every Jefferson student and parent to explain honestly what prompted them to vote for this charade.

They need to explain how they truly believe it is lawful or ethical to offer courses to a small segment of Jefferson High School students while excluding the majority.

They need to explain why the students in the single-sex academies are getting preferential treatment while the majority of Jefferson students who are enrolled in the coed academies are treated like stepchildren.

How dare they call this one high school?

Rebecca Smith

North Portland

Mayor condoned breaking the law

To Mayor Tom Potter:

Sir, with all due respect, I am dismayed by your remarks regarding the immigration raid on June 12 (Immigration anxiety hits home, stays hot, June 15).

Typically, illegal residents work for less money, thereby saving a business thousands of dollars. Those individuals are breaking the law regardless of their wish to support their families.

Why not let Del Monte hire only illegal workers and let the residents of your fair city find work elsewhere?

Bad labor policy is hiring those who break the law. I live in California, where this is a huge problem. Did anyone bother to see if these detainees had a valid driver's license, or car insurance?

If I break the law I will be arrested. To have a mayor condone breaking the law is unconscionable, and if I lived in your city I would work hard on a recall election.

Teresa Carroll

San Clemente, Calif.

Illegal workers take jobs from citizens

This is a prime example of illegal aliens taking jobs away from legal American citizens (Immigration anxiety hits home, stays hot, June 15).

How do we know this? Because after the raid and arrest of more than 200 workers at the Del Monte plant almost all of the jobs have been filled within 12 hours with legal citizens.

It disgusts me when people say we should let the illegals stay because they are doing work that Americans don't want to do.

I think they should all get their heads out of the sand because it's not that they're doing jobs we don't want to do; it's that they are undercutting our pay and taking our jobs away from us and this is a perfect example.

I have no sympathy for any of them and think they should all be deported. They are breaking the law, period.

Michelle Barwick

Beaverton

City's poor priorities make traffic troubles

The June 12 Portland Tribune editorial, 'Republicans must say yes to funding,' was underwhelming, to say the least.

The Tribune called on the state Legislature for 'the first time in almost 15 years to invest substantially in its roads and highways' and 'to begin to reduce stifling urban congestion.'

For openers, the fact that the tax rate per gallon of gas has not gone up is irrelevant. The number of gallons sold has gone up and the amount of federal funding (from the 18.4 cents per gallon paid into the national highway trust fund) has risen.

Additionally, weight-mile taxes paid by truckers, which along with studded tires cause almost all road damage, have risen.

We have not added new roads because we have chosen to spend our federal, state, city and county transportation funds on projects that do not and are not designed to increase mobility.

When people talk about state transportation congestion problems, they really mean Portland metro problems. Portland metro problems do cause both interstate and intrastate problems.

If we increased Portland metro funding by 10 percent, 100 percent or 500 percent, we would improve mobility negligibly, if at all.

How do we know that? Because Metro and the City Council have made it clear they will build no new freeways. They say they will increase mobility by putting more traffic on arterials.

The reason freeways carry so much traffic is because they are faster and safer. Diverting more traffic to arterials and neighborhood streets slows traffic and makes neighborhoods less livable.

One of the greatest benefits of freeways is the diversion of traffic out of neighborhoods.

Metro and the city of Portland prefer to spend money on trolleys. Trolleys take no cars off the roads because the trips are too short. They divert people from walking, biking or riding the bus.

The city spends money on esplanades and couplets that take no autos off the roads. It spends money on bike paths and lanes, medians, wide sidewalks, bubble curbs, and on and on.

Of course, the city never heard of a light-rail or commuter-rail route it could do without.

The result is that, using the latest data available, the modal split between auto and public transport is 97.71 percent for auto and 2.29 percent for public transport. It has never been lower for public transport.

Each year, the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A and M University publishes mobility reports for all major U.S urban areas (mobility.tamu.edu).

Their reports show that since 1986, when the light-rail era began in Portland metro with the opening of the east-side line, our congestion has increased as much as or more than in any other major urban area.

New highways are needed to conform to today's travel patterns, not just a few short lane additions. If we embark on a program dedicated to such a program, that would be the time to consider funding increases.

Melvin Y. Zucker

Northwest Portland