Hey, Matt Rossell of In Defense of Animals, I got news for you (Fur flies at weekly protests, March 28). It's not up to you to decide for all of us that Schumacher Furs 'has no business having a full-scale fur salon here.'

In fact, your statement encourages me to go in and buy a fur, just to show you that we still live in a city where businesses can thrive, despite your personal political beliefs. I applaud the Schumachers for standing up to these dictators posing as 'free-speechers.'

Portland Police Bureau Cmdr. Dave Benson and Commissioner Randy Leonard should be ashamed of themselves for suggesting that Schumacher move elsewhere. Suggesting they close on Saturdays and remove all references to fur from their windows to appease this small group is both appalling and laughable.

The problem with downtown Portland is the lunatics are running the asylum, and that includes our local officials.

Cecilia Campa

Northwest Portland

Fur industry deserves exposure

I recently read the story 'Fur flies at weekly protests' (March 28). I have been following the protests against Schumacher with interest ever since I learned about the inhumane treatment of animals in the fur industry.

I am a working professional in Portland, and I believe that Schumacher Furs is a black mark on the whole downtown area. I cringe when I drive past the store and see the gruesome fur displays in the windows.

My impression of the protesters has been similar to what Portland Police Bureau Cmdr. Dave Benson described when he said, 'They are generally very nice people that have very strong views about selling fur.'

These are people who are taking a stand against the animal abuse and suffering that occurs in the fur industry.

Contrast the protesters with Gregg and Linda Schumacher, who appear to be the epitome of selfish elitists. I was disgusted at their harsh criticism of the police for not being harder on the protesters. Their idle threats to have their next location in Beaverton instead of Portland, and Linda Schumacher's implication that the City Council is not supportive of downtown businesses are ridiculous.

I'm troubled the article described footage shown at the protests as 'videos the protesters claim prove that animals are treated and killed inhumanely for their fur,' implying that there is no clear evidence of the abuse inflicted upon animals raised for fur.

In actuality, many photos and videos show animals being abused; a CNN documentary showed animals skinned alive. I have researched this issue extensively and have been shocked to learn what goes on. If more people knew the facts, they probably would not want anything to do with the fur industry.

Schumacher Furs doesn't belong anywhere, but especially not in a progressive city like Portland.

Melanie Hlavacka

Northwest Portland

Fluoridating water is a health hazard

I want to thank you for taking the time to report the fluoride issue fairly (Fluoride foes get validation, March 24).

I agree with National Academy of Sciences panel member Robert Isaacson. I have the personal misfortune of having thyroid problems related to fluoride intake, and it was not fun. But it was pretty amazing how quickly I started to recover after I stopped drinking public water with fluoride.

There was one thing missing from the article: How about all the people who can't tolerate fluoride at all? People with renal failure, etc. It's amazing how these people are overlooked time and time again. Or is this doctor-assisted suicide?

Maria Harvey


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