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Downtown retailers deserve city help

If a man wearing only a black ski mask and a jockstrap Ñ like the one I saw recently in front of Schumacher Furs & Outerwear Ñ were riding his bicycle in front of NikeTown and shouting about child labor to discourage people from shopping there, would police Cmdr. Dave Benson and Commissioner Randy Leonard suggest Nike move to Bridgeport Mall or close on Saturdays (Fur flies at weekly protests, March 28)?

If the young woman wearing only a skimpy G-string Ñ again, like an animal-rights protester in front of Schumacher Ñ were yelling in front of Nordstrom, blocking the sidewalk and protesting cosmetics tested on animals, would Benson and Leonard let a pack of her friends continue to dance around showing videos and yelling at clerks and customers?

I don't even own a fur coat but believe everything possible should be done to make downtown more attractive for retailers and their customers Ñ and that does not include suggesting that a business that's been here for 111 years close on Saturdays or relocate.

Nancy A. Hogarth

Northwest Portland

Anti-fur protestersannoying, but right

Let me tell you, protesters really make my eye twitch sometimes (Landlord jumps into fur fight, April 4). Often their methods are even more despicable than the issues they're protesting.

Despite the Schumachers' somewhat immature response to the situation, I feel kind of sorry for them. Truth be told, if it were out of jest rather than hate, I would think their signs were kind of funny.

That said, though, the issues these protesters are representing are very real. Matt Rossell gave a tasteful description of fur industry practices in his guest commentary, 'Portland's no place for fur' (April 7).

It's not just the fur industry, though, people. Pat yourself on the back if you pass up that tempting fur coat in the window, but if you really love animals, your health, Mother Nature, or starving children who deserve to eat, too, do a little research into vegetarianism. The surprising and appalling practices of the meat, dairy and egg industries are easy to learn more about Ñ it's just one quick Google search away. Or take a look at www.tryveg.com.

So you don't want to know because you like eating meat, milk and eggs? No worries. You still can. For a buck or two more, you can eat the fancy, organic, free-range stuff at Wild Oats or New Seasons, and you'll still be making a huge statement to corporations about which practices you are and aren't willing to support.

Suzi Fei

Southwest Portland