I’m a law-abiding citizen, Army retiree, father, husband and owner of some of the firearms they now want banned ( Letters, Jan. 3).

I’m like the vast majority of gun owners who will be made into criminals by these proposed laws because I’m not giving up the firearms I have to protect myself and my family, and I’m in the company of millions like me who obey the law and want to protect their families as well.

Why punish the many for the misdeeds of the few? Why blame a type of firearm for the actions of a madman instead of fixing the system that allowed that madman out in society in the first place?

That same madman who could have just as easily used a car or a homemade bomb instead of a firearm.

James Ellington


Taking away guns won’t make us safe

Only evil would suggest to disarm the good (Letters, Jan. 3). There are no evil things, only evil acts.

Why would anyone suggest to punish or restrict good people because of the act of an evil one? In a world where insane people are allowed to walk among us, how does taking away our weapons make anyone feel safer?

Russ Leone

Vancouver, Wash.

Packy deserves a little freedom

The op-ed (Zoo elephant controversy raises questions, Jan. 3) makes me think of an idea of how to save Portland taxpayers some money and help the elephants.

Now that we know the new preserve is targeted to become a breeding ground, not a retirement home, how about if the zoo takes the funds now slated for the on-site and off-site facilities and uses it instead to transport the elephants to sanctuary?

In addition to the costs for breeding and doubling the herd size, there are all the normal maintenance costs of elephant care, including staff and veterinary. Foot care alone is thousands of dollars each month. With eight elephants on 1.2 acres, the elephants don’t have enough space to have any semblance of a normal life. Their feet get infected and many end up with foot rot, which often proves lethal. They are Asian elephants, not polar bears, so cold damp weather is not what they thrive in.

And if all that weren’t enough, the zoo sells elephants to abusive circus trainers.

I know that Portlanders love the elephants, but keeping them in the zoo in these conditions is animal cruelty. For those who argue that you have to see elephants in a zoo to be inspired to save them, I ask: Where’s the evidence that that is working? Elephants are being killed in the wild, and they are suffering in captivity.

The best and kindest solution is to send the elephants to sanctuary, and start with the oldest: Packy. He deserves a little freedom for his 50 years of service.

Courtney Scott

Northeast Portland

Several urban wineries in Portland

It was great to see the Portland Tribune recognizing one of our Portland Winery tasting rooms (Winemakers Dive into Dinner, Jan. 17). However, writer Jennifer Anderson needs to check her facts. Listed in the first line of the article she states that SE Wine Collective is “Portland’s only urban winery,” while in fact SE Wine Collective is one of the newer urban wineries and not the only one.

I am proud to report that Hip Chicks do Wine is in fact the oldest urban winery inside the Portland city limits. Established in 1999, we moved our operation into Portland in 2000, opened our tasting room to the public in 2001 and were even featured in a Business Snapshot in the Portland Tribune in 2005.

Our urban wine scene has grown substantially in Portland especially in the last two years. As of January 2013, there are at least 12 wineries in full operation, crushing, fermenting and bottling wine and many of them have tasting rooms as well. In fact, 10 of those wineries are members have come together to form the PDX Urban Wineries Association. I would encourage people to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to set the record state and feature all of our Portland wineries.

Laurie Lewis

Southeast Portland

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