Letters to the editor

ICCA fired a good person

Your recent front-page story, "Heads roll at ICCA," reported that Jean Hallinan was fired in April (director Sharon Schreiber said) for specious reasons. My dictionary defines "specious" as "apparently good or right though lacking real merit."

I am (or was, until Jean's firing) a volunteer receptionist at ICCA. I had never met Jean until taking this position in 2005. I have loved working with Jean because she exemplifies the care and compassion, coupled with (when necessary) toughness, needed to provide emergency and other services along with encouraging and assisting recipients to become as self-sufficient as possible.

Quoting from the training manual provided me during my first week: "Maybe the only thing we can do is be respectful to each and every client that passes through our door ... 'homeless' is just the name we give to folks that are not able to cope with day-to-day challenges at different times in their life experience ... Many times they are folks who are challenged in many ways, ways we cannot know until we get close enough to hear their story."

Jean, to me, exemplified the qualities needed for her difficult and challenging position. That is why, to quote your story, she was "the longest serving employee in the 28 year history of the Rogue Valley organization." I have seen her call the police, when necessary, and have also seen her give a compassionate hug to someone much in need. Incidentally, I rarely saw at ICCA the folks I noticed downtown asking for money.

I do not know why Jean Hallinan was fired, but I do know that, without her, ICCA now has a much different feel &

not a place I wish to be associated with further.

Jack Altman

Ugly truck is okay

One truck has been parked on Morton and Morse for two years and Jim Martin cannot name one specific incident when this truck caused harm, disorder, or catastrophe?

His claims are a bunch of "what ifs" to scare a neighborhood into joining his side in the name of public safety. Maybe there are speeding and lurking teens on Morse. Shouldn't the police be citing the speeding cars?

I'm fearful too. I'm afraid of living in a town where a group of citizens can lead a witch hunt because they complained about an ugly truck, didn't get their way, and had to brew up other reasons to get support.

Having knowledge of this truck and driver, I know that these concerned citizens started their quest by leaving notes on his windshield with sentiments such as, "Leave now, Trucker," and "This is your last warning, Mr. Trucker," and approaching the driver to and from work to tell him his truck was ugly, not dangerous.

Mr. Martin, did you know that it is trespassing to climb on the steps of a truck to leave a note and that the nature of the notes can be called harassment, both of which are already against the law?

Learning the facts about truck safety, driver experience, and handling of fuel and hazardous materials is important to understanding why this proposition is unfair. I encourage all citizens to attend the city council meeting on May 24 in order to hear this driver speak on the matter.

Carmen Ortega

Letter of thanks for gay rights

Governor Kulongoski,

My partner of almost 14 years, Samuel Whitford, and I just wanted to thank you and your colleagues in the state legislature for supporting and signing into law a momentous piece of legislation that is surely the zenith of GLBT history in Oregon. I applaud your compassion and insight, but mostly your courage in promoting legislation that doesn't render us second-class citizens anymore.

And though it seems imminent that your legislation will be challenged at the ballot box, I fervently hope and pray that voters will not allow themselves to be engulfed in hatred and bigotry when those ballots are cast. Again, Sam and I thank you, sir, from the bottom of our hearts.

Kurt Bernhardt and

Sam Whitford

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