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Readers' Letters: Parking puzzle really about city money

A sentence in the first paragraph said it all: The city isn’t making enough money (Defrauding disabled parking, July 11). That’s it in a nutshell.

I can’t believe there are even 1,000 parking spots in the totality of the areas perused, let alone that many using handicapped spaces. And, seriously, acting like people using the placards of deceased is some big issue, come on, that’s in here to be sure people use it as the next big griping point.

Look, if there were actually spaces marked for “handicapped” only so that one could actually park within a block of where we need to be, I wouldn’t mind actually paying for the space, but sometimes it’s three or four-plus blocks I must walk after I have parked ... some help that is.

Therefore, I don’t feel I’m taking any advantage. Wasn’t charging for Sunday parking bad enough? Now you want to take away handicapped parking, too? How desperate are you people anyway. Shame on you.

Margie McClure

Downtown Portland

College loans just tip of problem

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, like too many others, is not facing the facts (Yellow balloons tell tale of student debt, July 11).

College costs, whether private or public, have increased far more than the rate of inflation for more than 30 years. Whenever there is a subsidy (i.e., below-market interest rates), it will be overused. In this case, the institutions will take advantage by charging over-market tuition rates while the student, thinking it’s a great deal that will guarantee a good job upon graduation to repay the loan, will load up on debt. It’s a similar story where subsidies create potential bubbles similar to what has occurred in the housing bust and is likely to repeat itself in our national medical system.

The more pertinent questions to be asked are:

n Can we deliver a good and practical education at greatly reduced costs by use of modern technology?

n Are we teaching the right subjects (how many anthropologists does the country need)?

n Is a college education necessary for certain productive careers?

n Can we establish an impartial panel that will rate the effectiveness of our institutions of higher learning similar to what Sen. Ron Wyden has proposed so prospective students have some concrete criteria upon which to choose?

More government subsidies address the symptoms, not the underlying problem.

John C. Braestrup

Dartmouth College alumnus

Portland

Superintendent should give back his raise

I am a new parent to the Beaverton School District. As a Northwest native, I was alarmed to come back from California to have my children in a class size of 36.

My children go to Ridgewood Elementary, where the staff is outstanding and the parents are very involved. Instead of complaining, I have put my efforts into helping make the school a better place. When the bond levy was proposed, I was all for smaller class sizes. I was disgusted and disheartened to read that the new superintendent gave himself an $8,000 raise during a time of major cutbacks.

He did this as the school year ended, and we are all supposed to forget about this during the summer. Well, I haven’t. I feel bamboozled by the levy, which was supposed to be for the children.

This raise left a bad taste in my mouth as a parent, taxpayer and citizen of Beaverton.

Shame on you, Jeff Rose, taking from our future. We, the people, did not vote on this levy for your personal gain. It was for our children, the children of Beaverton.

I would ask Jeff Rose to do the right thing, and give this money back to the district where it belongs.

Kendra Beebe

Southwest Portland

Zimmerman verdict shows broken nation

I was sick Saturday when breaking news reported that George Zimmerman had been acquitted and then proceeded to show a clip of his emotionless face as the verdict was read on his behalf. Utterly. Sick.

I am sick that our nation is so broken and so divided by the colors of our skin. I am sickened by the understanding that human life has been so cheapened that defending our “stuff” is more important than preserving another life. I am sickened that our justice system is not at all just.

And, I am saddened because regardless of what the jury ruled in this case, one young man is gone and another man was validated in the taking of that life. I am sure that he and the jurors will have to wrestle with that one for the rest of their lives.

I am Trayvon Martin. I have been watched and followed, and assessed based on the color of my skin and the texture of my hair.

My husband is Trayvon Martin. He has witnessed women clutching their purses closer as he boarded the bus, clean-shaven and well-dressed, headed to high school.

My son is Trayvon Martin. Clad in any one of his hoodies while listening to his iPod, the idle passer-by would never figure him for the scholar and godly young man that those who actually know him understand him to be.

The truth is, regardless of race or gender, we are all Trayvon Martin to eyes not knowing nor understanding, instead simply reacting to what they have been socialized to see and believe.

Helen Butler

Aloha