I read with disbelief the article about Dr. Bill Toffler and his refusal to follow the directives of his employer, Oregon Health & Science University (Doctor's ethics run counter to hospital policy, April 21). Why the hand-wringing? Toffler has willingly accepted employment and willingly continues to work for and be paid by OHSU.

OHSU has told him to do something that is legal and not counter to his contract. Toffler can argue against doing it and try to get the policy changed, but in the end he either has to do what his employer tells him, quit and set up his own business with his own rules, or be fired.

Anyone who works for someone else, whether they have a fancy title like 'M.D.' after their name or not, has to do the same. End of story. Get over it already.

Scott Parker

Southeast Portland

Doctor is right to stand up for beliefs

I really appreciate Dr. Bill Toffler's right to not have to be involved in an abortion or to have to recommend patients seeking one to another physician (Doctor's ethics run counter to hospital policy, April 21). If there's a conflict between Toffler and a patient, OHSU should have the resources to allow the patient to find another provider.

Dr. Bill, you are my hero.

Elroy Knutson


Magnet schools not just for the wealthy

It's sad that when resources are tight, parents stomp their feet and point fingers, saying, 'No fair, they got É' (Closure proposal shows wrong priorities, My View, April 7). It reminds me of my 7- and 9-year-olds fighting.

It's ironic to have commentator Mary Campbell frame her support of Hollyrood Elementary School, which could close, by criticizing focus-option (magnet) schools that aren't targeted for closure. She refers to the focus options, which often are out of a family's neighborhood, as a 'choice available only to the financially advantaged.'

But focus options are not just for the 'financially advantaged.' My children attend two of those programs Ñ Creative Science School and Sunnyside Environmental School (a K-8 program). At their schools, 30 percent and 23.9 percent of the students, respectively, qualify for free- and reduced-price lunches because of low family income (including our family).

In fact, Winterhaven has 15.9 percent, Buckman 20.1 percent and Richmond 18.8 percent. It smarts to be called elitist by someone whose school, Bridlemile, has 14.8 percent of its students receiving free and reduced-price lunches.

Creative Science School raised $15,000 in its biggest fundraiser, while some schools in wealthier areas collect much, much more than that. But I would never whine that parents at those schools are participating in an 'elitist program that enforces a two-tiered public school' because I don't believe turning on one another is going to help me or my children.

Kathryn Schwartz

Southeast Portland

LumberJax television strategy makes sense

With regards to 'Butts in seats, not on couches' (April 4): While the authors of that piece seem to think that a television blackout for LumberJax home games would increase attendance, they forget that the Jax are trying to sell a product that is new to the Portland market.

By giving fans who are either totally unfamiliar with lacrosse or only have experience with the field game the opportunity to sample the product in their homes, the Jax are increasing the potential of those viewers actually attending one or more games next year; this is the 'escalator theory' of sports marketing.

Offering home games on local television is comparable to the Foo Fighters releasing a CD before going on tour. How many people would shell out more than $10 for a band that they had never listened to before?

Hamish Knox

Director of Marketing

Calgary Raiders Jr. A Lacrosse Club

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Animal rights change takes work, creativity

First, I don't know why anyone thinks Tualatin needs a fur store (Fur flies at weekly protests, March 28). We out here in the communities west of Portland prefer that our animals wear their own pelts.

Second, harassment isn't education, and it doesn't promote social change. If Matt Rossell believes the point of fur coat cruelty is being lost, he surely has participated in sidelining the cause.

Buyers at this store (Schumacher Furs & Outerwear) are just at the tail end of the problem.

While an occasional civilized protest with educational materials can help, making customers run the gantlet week after week isn't going to cause them to rethink the issue. It's just going to make them mad. As long as it's legal to sell a given product, much as we don't like where it came from, retailers have the right to sell it.

The hard work of social change is the slow work of education. It doesn't happen on a street corner in front of one store. There are other venues. And there are other methods.

Plus, Portland has a terrific neighborhood mediation system that I've seen work in cases so polarized that I remain mystified about how they resolved them.

It's a very impressive program. This has become so personal between the parties that they need to sit down and work out a mutually satisfactory agreement. And in the process of exchanging views, maybe real education can take place.

Gail O'Connell-Babcock

Citizens for Humane Animal Legislation


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