I would like to make a couple of points of clarification regarding Aaron Mesh's article ["Fiscal Bluff," WW, Feb. 13, 2013]. The first is that the residents at the Clark Center are not vagrants, which is a pejorative term for wayward beggars. The residents of the Clark Center are citizens of this city, which has a 7.5 percent unemployment rate and less than 4 percent rental-vacancy rate. They are the human cost of those statistics.
Second, the Clark Center is a short-term residential program, not a shelter. This may seem like semantics, but it is essential in understanding the purpose of the Clark Center. Out of the 356 individuals who have come through our doors since July 2012, over half exited to stable and sustainable housing options. We do this through providing mental-health support, tenant-education classes, wellness groups and a lot of hard work.
It would have been nice to see this in Mr. Mesh's article, since our fate is being decided by "a coin flip."
DAVID DOUGLAS FAN CLUB
I taught American history at David Douglas High School for eight years ["Miracle on 135th Avenue," WW, Feb. 13, 2013]. Trust me, it was the highlight of my teaching career. Great kids, dedicated teachers and supportive parents. The school will always get an A rating from me.
I wish someone would help the district with its shortfall next year. Schools as outstanding as David Douglas need continued financial help.
—"Ray M. Smythe"
I have been mock-interviewing David Douglas High students in their career program for a few years now, a program required for graduation. Each time I finish spending 90 minutes with these kids blows me away. They are so engaged, eager to learn, and frankly give me hope for the next generation.
Sure, there are a few kids slacking off now and again, but overall these students work hard. And they have great teachers and staff working with them.
HOMER WILLIAMS: SURVIVOR
Having been involved with other people's money peripherally, I find [Homer Williams'] survival instinct laudable ["Lien on Me," WW, Feb. 13, 2013]. Even a die-hard liberal socialist like myself would have to say the Portland of today is better because of his endeavors.
I am usually suspicious of so-called public/private ventures, and while I miss the smell of Henry's, I enjoy the walk in the alphabet streets of today's Pearl.
TRIMET NEEDS LATER HOURS
It's unfortunate TriMet won't consider later service hours, at least on weekends ["Hotseat: Neil McFarlane," WW, Feb. 13, 2013]. Public transit is the best weapon against drunk driving in a lot of other cities.
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