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Readers' Letters


U.S. ‘has to find a way to control guns’

Your Dec. 27 editorial, “Make students’ safety our top priority,” while correct in most regards, contains, I believe, a popular yet critical error in judgment.

The notion that we cannot control the number of guns in society because too many guns are already in society is specious reasoning. In today’s ubiquitous 24/7 media, a thing repeated often enough, becomes accepted fact. That it might be a myth promulgated by the likes of the NRA, disappears from sight as the mantra is taken up across all platforms.

So it is with guns in the United States. It is time, however, to examine the facts. Industrialized societies that have serious gun control in effect, despite similar social problems, have on average one-twelfth the number of gun-related homicides, as does the United States.

If we want to change that, we have to find a way to control guns. Rejecting the NRA’s talking point that serious and far-reaching gun control is impossible is a good start.

Lawrence J. Feldman

Lake Oswego

‘Keep the music alive’ in school

I am a seventh-grader at Lakeridge Junior High, and I was assigned to submit two pieces of writing in order to get merit for the semester. Then I thought to myself, what is important for people like me to experience? What do I have an interest in? Then I realized music.

How important is music to children these days? Greater music accessibility will give kids from fourth grade through high school the chance to know what music really is. One small reason that the U.S. is ranked so low in math and science is because music isn’t thriving throughout their schools. According to researchers, regularly playing an instrument can raise children’s and adult’s IQ’s. Playing an instrument makes you smarter, which could help Lake Oswego, Oregon and the U.S.A in science and math ranking. There are also many other reasons that music is good for you at effectivemusicteaching.com

When I was in elementary school, I started learning how to play the string bass in the external strings program. I learned true music. But the music class in elementary school didn’t feel the same. Singing the same song for an entire semester doesn’t teach children music, it bores them to tears. I propose using any extra money that schools might possibly have and putting it to better music supplies and a better music curriculum.

When it comes to budget cuts, don’t take it out on music classes. Music is just as important as anything else like math or language arts or science. It’s time to do something right and let kids experience what music really is and how important this is to people’s education. Keep the music alive.

Harrison Schaffer

Lake Oswego

Headline no match for content of story

Pages A2 and A3 of Jan. 3 issue in bold lettering (jump heads): Best of 2012.

Really? Included in text: Three homicides. Choice of headlines certainly in poor taste.

Nancy Jones

Lake Oswego

Story on organ transplants in China strikes chord

I was deeply touched by Cliff Newell’s article, “”Harvest of evil,” and by the perseverance and strength of Nataly Teplisky, who persistently speaks out against this evil (Lake Oswego Review Jan. 3).

Years ago I read a quote from a person in a Chinese village near a “detention center.” To make this comment in China puts one at risk. To get it to the rest of the world puts many people at risk ... so these are precious words indeed.

He or she said; “At night we hear the screams and we smell the burning flesh.”

As long as one person is enduring this how can we sleep soundly?

Kathy Gillis

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Regarding differences in letters to the editor

I noticed you put a letter from a West Linn resident into the Lake Oswego editorial section, a letter that supports the LOT water plant.

Yet the three letters from West Linn residents that oppose the LOT water plant are only shown on the West Linn Tidings page. Why is that? Lake Oswego residents should read all the West Linn opinions, not just the ones that fit with the LOT agenda.

Julie de Vries

West Linn

(Editor’s note: When we run opinion pieces in the Lake Oswego Review, priority is always given to Lake Oswego writers. The reverse of this is true in the West Linn Tidings. When space is at a premium, there are times when not all opinion pieces submitted are able to run in the newspaper. An additional point of fact is that some people submit their opinions to both papers, others only to one. While the editors may share opinion pieces if there is additional room, they typically don’t when space is tight.)

Protect our children year round

We mourn the deaths of the children taken from us through seemingly random shootings. We grieve for their families and for the lost potential of the young souls who have died.

For those of us at Children’s Center, where we help the victims of child abuse, we deeply feel the impact of these tragedies — here in Clackamas County and in Connecticut. We embrace the community’s reaction to these events and the heightened awareness that keeping our kids safe should be our top priority.

In the wake of the senseless deaths of 20 children, President Obama called on us as a nation to make caring for our children “our first task.” He asked us to reflect on whether “we can honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children—all of them — safe from harm.”

Sadly, we at Children’s Center know, as Obama concluded, that we are not doing enough to protect our children. (During the past year), we have provided medical exams, forensic interviews and family support to 450 Clackamas County children who are suspected victims of abuse and neglect. We remember that 19 children died in Oregon as the result of maltreatment last year and 22 died the year before.

We could not agree more with political leaders who are calling for us to focus on the safety of children as our first and shared priority. Children’s Center now hopes that we can act together in meaningful ways to protect all of our children from the violence and betrayal of abuse that occurs every day in our community — a form of attack that steals young souls and lives from us. We hope the new light that shines now on our obligation to protect our children also shines on those who are silently abused and violated behind closed doors. We call on each citizen who suspects a child is being abused to take action and to report their concerns to the Clackamas Child Abuse Hotline by calling 971-673-7112.

Barbara Peschiera

Children’s Center Executive Director