Letters to the Editor: December 2, 2022

Unkind and harmful

The homeless have to move once a day. After 12 hours, they are allowed to return.

Some have pulled structures together to protect from deadly weather elements. Some may have a tent, but no sleeping bag or warm clothing; some an RV, which may or may not start.

They have to physically carry what they need to stay alive. How far in what conditions varies day to day.

They have to relocate on very little sleep, poor caloric and fluid intake, inappropriate attire and weakened emotional fortitude. Lack of support, police harassment, public disdain and inability to maintain their dignity can combine to break a person.

I observed police earlier this week in an exchange with individuals not moving fast enough to dismantle makeshift survival structures. Of course, in 12 hours, it would be OK to put them back up.

It’s true that many of these areas are in need of cleaning up. Their residents would be happy to do so, but the city provides nothing but sweeps in which precious items they have gathered are confiscated.

The officers spent the night in warm beds. How would they want to be treated if life somehow put them on the streets?

Most street dwellers did not see their lives leading to this outcome, and it’s next to impossible to get back. There are many scenarios that have led them here and many of us could find ourselves in a similar fix under adverse circumstances.

I fear some may die of hypothermia after police confiscated their shelters. Officers think they will drive them away, but more will soon find themselves in similar circumstances. These folks need compassion and resources, not loss of personal items and threats of jail.

Power wielded to beat down those that can barely right themselves is not protecting and serving. It’s unkind and harmful.

Deborah Lynn Schwartzkopff


Changes coming

Mr. Angerano’s letter “More Republican nonsense” fails to note that the newly elected Republican majority has not yet taken office in the House. That happens on Jan. 3.

The long-overdue investigation into Hunter Biden’s activities has been suppressed by the complicit press for too long. It is possible evidence that Joe Biden may have been involved; the truth should be revealed.

When the new Congress begins in 2023, the real work will begin.

The Biden administration has had free rein to dismantle our border security, our economy, our energy production, and our foreign policy for the last two years. Republicans must use the power of the purse and congressional investigation to repair the damage.

It will take more than a few days, but buckle up. The changes are coming.

Steve Wozniak


Vulnerable victim

I noticed Anthony Tafolla has been convicted on minor charges relating to a domestic assault, but acquitted of the more serious charges of strangulation and sexual abuse. Since I wasn’t one of the jurors, I cannot render judgement on his guilt on those charges.

I suspect the defense attorney succeeded in persuading the judge to conceal the most incriminating evidence. And I suspect jurors presumed he didn’t have deadly intent or was unlikely to succeed because he didn’t use a gun.

The prosecutor should have presented FBI homicide data documenting the fact that while most men who murder their partners do use firearms, rape victims murdered by their assailants are almost always beaten, bludgeoned, stabbed or strangled to death. The horrific reality is that the average man doesn’t need a weapon to kill the average woman or child.

Since Mr. Tafolla will be out of jail before Christmas, his victim would be well advised to either flee or arm herself. I recommend she buy a Glock 9 mm with at least one 33-round magazine in addition to the standard, 17-rounder.

Unfortunately, Measure 114 passed by a narrow margin, and will prevent Tafolla’s victim from acquiring my recommended means of defense, given the decision by the secretary of state to prematurely impose provisions that include a ban on magazines exceeding 10 rounds.

What’s more, there is no evidence the system mandated for acquiring permits to purchase will be functional any time soon. Given the backlog of 30,000 applications, and the reasonable suspicion that the Oregon State Police are stalling background checks, it seems likely Mr. Tafolla’s victim will remain extremely vulnerable.

James Crawford



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