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Letters to the Editor for Dec. 20

More B teams would equalize competition

My son plays basketball for a Youth B team in Forest Grove. We have gone to two tournaments and 85 percent of the teams we face are A teams. Our district has an A and B team, but most districts only have an A team.

With the lack of B teams we have to play A teams. It merely becomes a lay-up drill for the other team and we're typically beaten by 30 to 50 points.

Inner-city schools neighboring Beaverton have many kids try out and only 12 kids make it. For the rest, it's too bad, because there's no B team.

Some are teams of robots that are programmed for superiority and trophies.

I want to encourage other districts to create more B teams.

SHANNON O'BRIEN

Forest Grove

Answer for substance abusers is quarantine

Although I agree with Greg Francisco ('Stop getting tough on drugs, get smart,' Valley Times, Dec. 13) that cigarettes arguably kill more Americans than all other drugs combined, his comparison of nicotine use to alcohol, heroin, methamphetamine or other such substances shows the weakness of his entire argument. Tobacco is a legal substance for adults to purchase and ingest. Tobacco does not impair one's ability to drive or think clearly, nor do nicotine addicts rob, steal, burglarize or murder to support their nicotine habit.

Apparently what Mr. Francisco fails to grasp is that most of us don't care about what type of substance anyone ingests as long as it has no impact on us. The problem with substance abuse and addiction is that abusers and addicts behave in ways that put me and my property at risk. That's where I draw the line.

If someone wants to drink himself or herself into oblivion, fine, just stay in your own home and off the roads so you don't harm anyone or damage property.

If you choose self-destruction by sticking the needle in your arm or pipe in your mouth, I don't care. However, when you harm the innocent or steal property to support your suicidal behavior, you have become a danger to civilized society and need to be removed from it.

If that consequence seems too harsh to the bleeding hearts who are seemingly in the business of manufacturing pathetic excuses for this anti-social behavior, boo-hoo.

There are countless private and taxpayer-funded programs available to addicts who show a desire to clean themselves up. Many take advantage of those programs, most don't.

Mr. Francisco may be correct when he claims that all drug addiction is a 'medical problem.' What he fails to appreciate is that the behavior of those affected by the 'disease' sometimes impacts the lives of innocent people with fatal consequences.

Therefore, I support quarantine.

TODD BRADISH

Tualatin

Emphasis on sports is upside down

Our attitude about sports is upside down. There is too much emphasis on performance and not enough on what sports is supposed to be about - the best someone can generate (naturally) against someone else's best. When I say naturally, I mean without drugs that can damage someone's body. But the drugs are rampant.

It's partly our fault. We love to see home runs, slam-dunks, knockouts, touchdowns or whatever the case may be. We actually pay these people to watch them do what they can do. Part of the honest truth is that they wouldn't be able to do some of what they do now without drugs.

Would that be so bad?

I have been noticing that athletes are acting more and more like thugs on TV. They disrespect the media, disrespect the fans and sometimes each other. It's kind of sickening, and I have to ask myself the following question, 'Is this a symptom of the drug abuse in the last few years?'

We are losing heroes fast, and it's hard to watch. We have lost Marion Jones, who probably inspired more than one American girl to run. Who's the next superstar to fall and make another mother or father explain why it's not a good idea to emulate a child's hero when that hero tests positive for some substance?

SCOTT BUENDIA

Fitness professional and martial arts instructor

President of Urban Warrior Incorporated

Tigard

'Right to Repair Act' protects owners' rights

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation has declared its support of the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act (HR 2694) and strongly urges Congress to pass the legislation in order to safeguard individual vehicle ownership rights.

The legislative intent of the Right to Repair Act is to offer protections for motor vehicle owners by making it illegal for vehicle manufacturers to withhold information necessary to diagnose, service or repair motor vehicles.

The fact is that consumers are entitled to the right to choose how their motor vehicle is maintained or upgraded. The point of Right to Repair is not to discourage vehicle owners from using the dealership for service but to protect the freedom of American consumers to choose how they take care of their motor vehicles, whether in their driveway or at a trusted repair facility

We have formally committed to support the Right to Repair Act because we believe that safeguarding individual ownership rights is an absolute must. Access to accurate information when it comes to the repair or upkeep of a vehicle is essential to the safety and well being of the entire American motoring public.

We encourage all motorists to visit www.righttorepair.org to send a letter to each of their congressional representatives, urging them to support the Right to Repair Act by adding their names to the growing list of co-sponsors.

JEFF HENNIE

Vice president of government relations

Motorcycle Riders Foundation

Washington, D.C.

Can government's meth info be trusted

After all the lies of reefer madness the government and law enforcement say about cannabis (marijuana) how do citizens, and especially youth, know they're telling the truth about meth? ('Continue, expand fight against meth,' Valley Times, Nov. 29.)

According to government reports, cannabis is the biggest problem in North America, not meth - just ask the U.S. drug czar.

Today's pot is more like cocaine, causing cancer and all. Cannabis which, to my knowledge, has never killed anyone in over 5,000 years of documented use is a Schedule I substance right next to heroin, and meth is only rated a Schedule II substance - so meth must not be a big deal, right?

What's the truth?

STAN WHITE

Dillon, Colorado