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Taser: unnecessary force?

Thank you for the article 'Medical examiners walk uneasy path' (March 24). I have to wonder if a person on a drug overdose experiencing 'excited delirium' (which means the person is extremely stressed and overheated) isn't on the edge of death already.

Then to be caught up in the melee caused by their actions Ñ adding more stress Ñ and finally to be tasered at least twice, it leaves me wondering again why a dozen police officers cannot subdue one man without using other force, especially when he already was on the ground.

I understand that the police have a difficult job, and I understand that drug users are a serious problem and need to be dealt with, but this whole police picture is getting out of hand.

Then, thinking about the medical examiners' connection with the Oregon State Police, I am bewildered and suspicious as to the real facts of this and many other police-related deaths.

Jeanie Reed

Northeast Portland

Article unfairly took police, Tasers to task

The article 'Medical examiners walk uneasy path' (March 24) was really bent against Tasers and tasted anti-police. It painted the police as somehow being involved in deciding outcomes of death investigations.

Nothing can be further from the truth. Portland Police are supported by the citizens of Portland, yet we do not arrest people based on who pays our salaries, nor do we determine the outcome of an investigation based on who pays our salaries.

Tasers save lives by giving officers the ability to stop subjects out of control with the least amount of harm to those involved. Cops often volunteer to be tased for the experience and for training purposes and therefore know the experience of the Taser's effects.

Also, the sidebar had the headline 'Father's picture of son looks different from police's.' What kind of statement is that? The only thing officers see is the situation they are put in and have to react based on those circumstances. Who, given the same set of circumstances, has time to call for references? What does that have to do with being tasered? Nothing.

I also am sure that none of those involved are making judgments on the man, but on the circumstances at the time of the incident.

Maybe your reporters write articles based on the Tribune's interest in gaining popular newsworthy articles rather than on the truth, because the Tribune pays the bills. Maybe that sways the paper's investigative reporting.

Lori Goodwin

Southwest Portland

Creating altars takes effort and trust

I am impressed with your willingness to address the topic of creating altars (Altared spaces, March 7).

The article gave a wonderful overview of the symbolism that emerges in the practice, the uniquely creative form that one's practice embodies, and the practical results. There are a few more insights that were not included in the article that I see as fundamental to understanding its value.

The purpose of an altar is to create a physical reminder of the sacred and to consciously offer our intentions to the sacred as a gift and act of trust. In this act, we communicate to the sacred that we hear its call and are willing to see it through.

The results come not only because we have chosen symbolic items, considered colors, elements and ideal locations or created it on a particular day.

It is not magic Ñ though the article gave that impression that that's how we see it. It is in the experience of creating it, depth of intention and emotion, willingness and ability to let go of outcomes, degree of trust in the sacred, time spent with the altar to cultivate inner knowing, conscious attention given to the intention, ability to tap into one's intuition and invitation to spiritual helpers that supports one in allowing what they desire to manifest.

Creating altars is a spiritual practice that opens the doors to one's intuition and wisdom within. It deepens one's connection to their unique understanding of the sacred. That alone is infinitely valuable.

Holli Nicknair

Northeast Portland

League of Women Voters offers guide

The League of Women Voters of Portland thanks the Portland Tribune for working with us to include the Voters' Guide, a source of unbiased information for voters to use in the May 2006 primary, as an insert in the paper's April 25 edition. (The guide also will run in other publications of Community Newspapers Inc. on April 26 and 27.)

The guide is free and also will be available at the Multnomah County Elections Office, branches of the Multnomah County Library and on the Internet. Voters can find candidate information for Portland and Multnomah County races at www.lwvpdx.org, and information from candidates for statewide office at www.lwvor.org.

We want to thank our corporate donors for their continued support. Without generous donations from Portland General Electric, Vernier Software and Technology, Wells Fargo, TransCanada, West Coast Bank, Neil Kelly, Paloma Clothing and Ater Wynne, we would not be able to provide the many free copies of our Voters' Guide to the public.

Additional support comes from the Rose E. Tucker Charitable Trust, Ralph L. Smith Foundation, Wyss Foundation and Sara Frewing Education Fund.

Carol Cushman

president, League of Women Voters of Portland