Letters to the Editor January 7

Help for victims of sexual assault

Our community was startled to read on Wednesday about a sexual assault investigation involving a woman left unconscious by the road. Regrettably, sexual assault occurs frequently, even in "safe" places like ours. In this first week of the New Year alone, four Jackson County women came to us for care. Still others remained silent about their assaults. The question is, what can we as a community do?

Knowledge is a crucial first step. So please know this for a friend, for your family, for yourselves: There are people here to help.

The Jackson County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) has specially-trained nurses who respond to area hospitals 24/7 and coordinate care with victim advocates from Community Works' SAVS program. Victims don't have to report their assaults to police to receive help, and we offer anonymous evidence collection to preserve their options while they decide. People can report to any hospital ER within seven days of their assault or call Community Works' HelpLine: (541) 779-HELP/4357.

All services are confidential and free.

SART also sponsors a free healing group, SASH, for long-term survivors: (541) 951-0859.

We offer sexual assault survivors healing, justice and hope. Please help us spread the word.

For more information about SART, visit www.jacksoncountysart.org or call 840-0904.

Judith Rosen

Jackson County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART)

Postcards a bad idea

To me it seems that the policy of requiring all family correspondence to be written on 5x8 cards is not such a good idea as it may appear (see Jan. 5 article "Mandatory jail postcards instituted to save money"). It's not right that there is this assumption that a prisoner can commit identity theft from a jail cell. Incoming mail should simply be opened in front of the receiving inmate and any piece of a dubious nature would simply not get passed on to the inmate. It would, of course, be confiscated.

Outgoing mail shouldn't be a security issue either if the inmate cannot write any letter to any other inmate within the same or any other prison facility, which I believe to be the current law. It's already okay to have prisoner's telephone calls randomly monitored, which may seem like a breach of civil rights, but the truth is it's a good thing for all members of the community concerned.

However, I do feel that personal letters to family members and other members of the community, as well as those letters to their attorneys should be sealed. That's a basic, unalienable right to privacy. So, for sure the postcard idea would be another step in the depersonalization of the prison inmate. It's reassuring to know that the Multnomah County jail officials, who must oversee a larger system, are not attempting to implement the postcard rule.

Victor Conway


Rabbit photo offensive

I found your lengthy article ("Figuring out their niche") written by Paul Fattig in the Jan. 5 edition of the Tidings offensive. To see the photo of those adorable rabbits caged for a future of suffering and slaughter was more than offensive. Bob and Janice Bradford are veterinarians, as well. I always thought that veterinarians cared for and saved animals' lives. If they are interested in farming, why not return to their previous business of vegetables?

Barbara Keen


Scanners necessary

It's amazing how much press a story can be given, without much intelligent analysis being put before the public. After the better part of a decade since 9-11, our airplane security is still effective only at making it inconvenient and difficult to fly, especially for the disabled and Arabic.

The bottom line is that the full-body scanners are just common sense, and are (unfortunately) needed to prevent more planes being blown up. The fact is that U.S. intervention, really, was mostly all that was keeping Amsterdam from having had such scanners in place (which most experts do agree would have easily detected the bomb). They already had them and will soon be scanning all passengers.

See, the scanners are necessary because it's easier to make sure weapons of terrorism don't get on a plane than to figure out what's in every passenger's gray matter. The world is full of fanatical and violent groups, most of them non-Arabic, that might turn to Kamikaze tactics.

The new U.S. executive plan does not include universal scans. Should this omission lead to another passenger plane being blown up, I hope people will remember who warned them ... and who didn't.

Sean Lawlor Nelson


Vote yes on 66 and 67

Critical statewide measures 66 and 67 are coming up in the special election on Jan. 26. Measure 66 would slightly increase taxes on household income above $250,000. Measure 67 would raise Oregon's $10 corporate minimum tax for the first time since 1931, to $150.

If your family doesn't make more than $250,000, you won't pay any more. That's because these measures are meant to protect the middle class while preserving critical funding for schools, health care and public safety.

I believe that cutting our schools while corporations continue to pay just $10 is unfair. This unfairness has been going on for 78 years, since 1931.

If these measures fail, Oregon's schools could lose $280 million, which would likely mean thousands of teacher layoffs and larger class sizes. We could also lose state troopers, and thousands of seniors could lose their in-home care.

Measures 66 and 67 will help the unemployed, preserve vital services, protect our schools, community colleges and job training, and protect the middle class from getting squeezed even more.

For more information go to www.VoteYesForOregon.org.

Vote yes on measures 66 and 67.

Carola Lacy


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