Don't ridicule

power of voting

In 'Pondering Black History Month: A college professor's view' (Insight, Feb. 14), Kimberly Springer, an assistant professor at Portland State University, made light of the right to vote,Êstating that 'in this post-2000 election climate of Supreme Court-selected presidency, I cannot blame them (her students) if the thought of voting seems, frankly, ludicrous.'ÊÊ

Professor Springer should understand and remind her students that those who wish for better government have only themselves to blame if they do not vote. We can talk and organize and rally, but our most powerful tool for good government, for social justice and for change is to exercise our right to vote at every opportunity.

Barbara Fredericks


Suffering ought

to spur action

I read with interest and dismay the article detailing the impact of state budget cuts on AIDS patients Bill Hancock and William Reed (Difficulties, even death, stalk needy, Feb. 4).

I remember Hancock and Reed from a 1996 Oregonian article on the surprising turnaround in life expectancy for these two men, who had separately entered Our House to spend their last days. I was moved by the hope and the unique challenges presented to them by the unexpected prospect of survival. Their story has stayed with me over the years.

I hope that elected officials and private citizens in this state will be moved by the article and others like it to take the required steps to provide for the young, the old, the poor and the infirm members of our community.

I appreciate the work the Tribune is doing to make the reality of recent budget cuts vivid and clear to your readers. I hope it will spur people to action.

Kathy Edge


Give us a day

without crime

Criminals of Portland, please take the day off. As of Feb. 1 there isn't enough jail space to lock you up (City leaders' outcry over budget cutbacks falls on deaf ears, Jan. 28).

Your parole officers have more clients than they can supervise. The courts are overloaded with cases and can't schedule you for weeks or months. The police, well, they can stop you, arrest you, tow the car you 'borrowed,' and try to take you to jail, but you'll probably only get a ticket!

For all the good, decent, law-abiding people of Portland, please pick a day, any day, when you let us live in peace. Don't rob us for some drug money, don't steal our cars for a joy ride, don't pollute our environment with your drug residue, and please don't burglarize our homes because you want our property.

Take the day off to enjoy our public libraries, visit a public health clinic, or go to one of our many public parks. That would be a good day for us all!

Barrett Taylor

Southwest Portland

Heartfelt essay

struck a chord

I wanted to express my appreciation for the column by guest writer Gina Daggett (Street scene tugs at the heartstrings, Insight, Feb. 7). I read the article while visiting Portland recently.

Daggett reminds us all that compassion for the elderly and frail is something we should all practice.

Jayne Mitchell

Valier, Mont.

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