It was with great sadness that I read of the Murrays' plight in losing their home ["The Long Goodbye," WW, Aug. 6, 2014]. The point to take is—and I say this after nearly 30 years of estate planning in Portland—own your home free and clear at retirement. Borrow to buy it; never borrow again.

Yes, we incur debt or need to help our adult children in divorces, lawsuits and other catastrophes. But refinancing to pull out the equity is frequently the kiss of death. It is a tragedy that has befallen many Oregonians of all socioeconomic backgrounds.

Sam Friedenberg
Northeast Portland

I feel bad about the Murrays' situation, but it's not unique to any one particular demographic. My German-American grandparents were forced to sell the home they'd lived in since the 1950s due to financial insecurities.

Bringing race into the discussion is a tactic to capture more eyeballs and get readers worked up. I hope the Murrays are able to find a solution to stay in their home.


Black people, especially those born before 1960, seem to have the worst luck in Portland when it comes to mortgages. I think it is a reflection of the limitations racism has placed on their lives.

Their lack of knowledge of what a mortgage is and its terms, along with the poor service many of them get from loan officers and lenders, leads to stuff like this occurring within their demographic more than most others.

—"Fred Stewart"


A good, body-positive article, WW. Thank you. ["Transgender at 10," WW, Aug. 6, 2014.] And the parents are awesome for accepting their child for who she feels she is: a healthy youngster with a lot of energy and an amazing sense of self-awareness.

I hope the positive voices she hears outweigh those who would say something otherwise. Welcome to Portland!


Thank you for writing a wonderful article about a fabulous family. We can't make change in our world if we are afraid to overburden the brains of our people.

Please use as much terminology as possible. Define words, so that people who need them can use them in the future. I've learned through my own experience that there are critics in every corner, and you can never please everyone.

Your article does a great job of describing the struggles, efforts and triumphs of a family in transition.

—"C. Hegarty"

This is really an inspiring story. Life will never be "the same" for these children, but it can be close, and so much nicer to be able to start early instead of somewhere in adulthood, as so many transgender people have had to do.

—"Jayna Sheats"

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