Tarra Martin's article regarding refugee musicians reflects a shift across Oregon and the country to protect and preserve the cultures of our immigrant communities ["Two Journalists Record Refugee Musicians on the Run From ISIS," WW, Jan. 4, 2017].
It is so moving to see how these refugees have preserved their warm and welcoming culture although they were so cruelly uprooted from their own lives. Only two days after the election, I was in Washington, D.C., lobbying for sentencing and immigration reform with fellow Oregon constituents because it became increasingly evident that the future for immigrants is unclear.
However, the initiatives taken by local leaders like Sasha Ingber to support immigrants in America are truly inspirational. It is why legislation like the BRIDGE Act, a bipartisan bill introduced to protect the futures of young immigrants, is more important now than ever.
I urge Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley to co-sponsor the BRIDGE Act in response to the tireless work of constituents to preserve their diverse communities.
—Sitara Nath, student University of Portland
Handling the City's Problems
Charlie Hales and Steve Novick are gone, and that's a good start ["City Haul," WW, Jan. 4, 2017]. It will be interesting to see what Ted Wheeler can do in the new era of Trump. Wheeler's got the chops, for sure.
Chloe Eudaly may be in over her head, but time will tell. The worst-case scenario is Wheeler has to reassign some of her responsibilities.
I would like to see the traffic problems on outer Southeast Division Street resolved. Put in speed bumps or get drivers to slow down—the recent spate of pedestrian deaths is inexcusable. If this had been Southeast 39th and Hawthorne, there would already be three city commissions and task forces assigned.
Yes, Amanda Fritz is a puzzling choice to handle the Bureau of Emergency Communications, or anything you want to succeed.
If only there were a Department of Not Preparing for Meetings.
Controlling Federal Lands
"If this was long-term, it would be the end of family ranching in the West." ["Year of the Grouse," WW, Jan. 4, 2017.]
This is the same old, sorry, sky-is-falling excuse used whenever the slightest regulation or request for conservation is requested.
If this statement were true, there wouldn't have been one tree logged in the past 30 years, the oil industry wouldn't exist, and Monsanto would be broke because it couldn't make DDT.
Western ranchers just don't want to give up suckling on mommy government's teat.
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