As a school parent in Beaverton, I appreciate the history lesson about Portland schools and the insight into the players, constituencies, and complexities ["School Colors," Nov. 14]. From a community viewpoint, it is undeniable that we all want our kids to go to a school with kids from our own neighborhood...and for this school to be in our own backyard. Even if the plan of giving people the choice to move around and seek better schools in other areas "worked"—that is, resulted in more balanced social-economic representation in Portland schools—the approach would still not address the real underlying issue: How do we improve the quality of neighborhood schools outright so kids can walk to school in their own neighborhood, accompanied by friends from their own neighborhood?

Portland is a culturally vibrant city but has no vision and leadership when it comes to education. It's ironic how a city that touts itself as being so progressive is so incapable of making progress on what must be the most essential issue of livability...local school quality.

I love Portland, and its fate affects Beaverton and the state as a whole. We must get this issue of school quality right at the K-12 level as well as at the university level. We need world-class education for our kids because they are the future of this state. If any business leaders are listening, please think about how you can help Portland and Oregon at large can solve this fundamental issue.



Regarding the Nov. 14 Night Cabbie: Anyone who doesn't tip cabbies heavily during the holiday season, the one time of the year we're encouraged to be generous, is missing a chance. I've been riding cabs for 40 years and have never had a bad ride, not once. Cabbies have stopped my ride in the middle of a bridge after midnight, got out and walked across traffic to talk a jumper out of leaping into the water, and then apologized for the delay and the shared ride with a weeping woman. Said I didn't have to pay. Cabbies have saved me from being mugged in NYC. Cabbies are stone angels, and you can prove this the next time you need to go somewhere but instead you're standing stranded on a corner in darkest Portland, wishing you were home, safe, warm, and dry. Pray for a cab, and sure enough, one soon appears. Miraculously, your ass is ferried.

Five bucks is a reasonable tip in the month of December. If you've been drinking and are too impaired to drive, consider giving more. And for goddess' sake, send some money to the Radio Cab Foundation; they're collecting money to buy turkey dinners for people just like you, only much poorer.

Night cabbies, bless 'em. When you need one….

Jeff Taylor


I am one of the interpreters who came to the states recently ["Lost in Translation," Nov. 7]. When I came I felt I lost, because I did not know what to do in this country. Frankly, I regretted coming here, but when I read this article I realized that there is somebody who cares for interpreters who served the U.S. army to achieve the mission in Iraq. All I want to say is thank you, we appreciate your kindness, God bless you.