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Nursing board chief good pick

by: , In our Rethinking Portland Arts section published Sept. 25, the Tribune examined how Portland can become a world-class arts city. Readers are invited to comment on the section at www.portlandtribune.com/rethinking.

I take issue with the online comments slamming Jim McDonald (Outspoken member voted board chief, Sept. 28).

Although I am not a nurse, I worked with McDonald at Multnomah County and found him to be wonderful to work with because he has the guts to call things as they are.

I wish McDonald well in his time as president of the Oregon State Board of Nursing and hope others will step up to bring about positive change.

Melissa Dailey

Northeast Portland

AARP isn't all it seems to be

Your editorial staff needs to be more cautious about its endorsement of the AARP (Support AARP's health care effort, Oct. 9).

AARP is one of Washington's most aggressive lobbying interests and derives considerable profit from the selling of health insurance products.

Under most circumstances, AARP would vigorously resist the consolidation of Medicare interests with an 'All American Plan.'

And don't confuse 'affordability' with the requirement for cost containment and controlling skyrocketing health care premiums. Affordability usually is code for finding a new source of funding, so that health care is less expensive for someone else. Most economists would suggest this is inflationary and not deflationary.

Stephen Gregg

Northwest Portland

Imitation a sign of cultural insecurity

It appears that Elise Morris, in her Oct. 9 letter, 'Arts should be worth it,' has discovered the dirty little secret of many Northwest metropolitan areas - they are composed primarily of people from somewhere else who want their new home to be like somewhere else.

Eugene wants to be like Portland. Portland wants to be like San Francisco. Seattle wants to be like both San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Not that imitating a good idea is wrong - the vast majority of creative ideas are just a variation or a synthesis of previous ideas.

The problem arises when the imitation is driven primarily by a sense of cultural insecurity. When this happens, the art form rarely rises above the level of a poor reflection.

This poor reflection is likely what Morris is talking about in relation to the Portland art scene. I believe that Portland can only become a 'world-class arts city' when it discovers (and embraces) that which makes Portland art unique.

As for Morris' experience with Last Thursday (which is an imitation of the Pearl District's First Thursday), it is good to remember that most of the Alberta Arts District's galleries have additional open hours throughout the month.

Paul Barthol

Northeast Portland

Two-tiered license plan hurts the poor

I volunteer at Portland's Julia West House, and we often take people to the Department of Motor Vehicles to help them obtain an identification card.

Often, homeless and low-income persons have difficulty obtaining required documentation, even under the current regulations.

While Gov. Ted Kulongoski makes inflammatory comments about foreigners who come to Oregon, his proposal for a two-tiered Oregon driver's license system will disproportionately harm the human rights of the poor and marginalized.

To homeless people, having an Oregon identification card often means a guarantee of basic human rights, including access to social services, shelters, housing, food boxes, health care and an ability to cash checks.

It is disingenuous to solve this problem by merely offering a driving privilege card that is marked 'not for identification.'

In fact, such measures will open up a wide and lucrative market for criminals, both in the counterfeit and identity theft sectors, as well as in the sector that creates black-market financial services, housing and other living necessities for the undocumented foreigners and underdocumented American poor.

The Rt. Rev. Sarah A. Morrigan

North Portland