Extra! Extra!

May2909page1Quick! Grab your Street Roots and head to the park! Summer time is here and it always seems to vanish before we really get to enjoy it. Your vendor knows it too, and they all have their summer sales hats on, with new papers in hand starting Friday morning. Here’s what’s on tap:

Shock waves: The number of veterans hittings the streets is on the rise- but not necessarily who you might expect. Older veterans, from conflicts long past, are falling through the cracks now widened by even more wars and economic priorities. Mara Grunbaum reports.

Community’s heart for Vision into Action beats loud and clear: The city pulled the financial plug on Visions into Action, but people are rallying to spread the word on how important the cultural empowerment program is to Portland’s minority communities. Rebecca Robinson reports.

Out and down: After serving time, many former inmates find that the real trial begins upon release.

The Latino Obama?: Rafael Correa won a landslide second term as president of Ecuador in a “citizens’ revolution,” but he faces huge challenges in realizing his election manifesto and placating a demanding electorate.

The paper is just packed, but it doesn’t hang around long.  When they’re gone – they’re gone. Just like summer!

Posted by Joanne Zuhl

2 responses to “Extra! Extra!

  1. John Milliken

    Street Roots
    211 NW Davis St.
    Portland, OR 97209-3922
    Wednesday, June 03, 2009

    RE: Shock waves

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    May I say that the reportage quality and content of Street Roots has risen to an extraordinary level? I thank you all for the insight and effort present in each edition.

    I am moved to respond to the May 28 piece Shock Waves describing the state of homelessness evidenced by veterans. I too am a Viet Nam era veteran. I served with the 1st Aviation Brigade supporting Fire Base Bronco near Duc Pho, south of Quang Ngai and My Lai.

    What affected me most in the piece by Mara Grunbaum is the portrait of what is missing. The words of each veteran interviewed or quoted seemed to carry the pain of self worth laid low by betrayal. Some may have suffered the wound of deceit early in life, some during their tour of duty or others after separation from the service. The fact of the matter is that we, as a community, tend not to value or respect those who stumble and fall. Each person who carries the burden of such a wound does not need pity – empathy and respect are required – to enable them to get back up. Most of all each veteran needs time, space and support to discover their value as a member of our community. The prize of that effort is self respect – not an easy gift to open or embrace. And it may be impossible to realize it when it is hidden by homelessness, denial or addiction.

    For my part I am fortunate. I have had good teachers. I am in the company of solid friends. I am graced by a fine family. My work has brought me into the company of ethical people. To be sure I labored long and hard on the road to self respect. I worked to overcome but not forget the pain, worked to heal the wound but remember the scar, worked to recognize the anger but reject violence to myself or my community.

    Know this too. The awareness of what war does to us is borne by all. In speaking with civilians and soldiers here in the US, in Viet Nam and Israel I know we feel it. The aware acknowledge that feeling, the wounded suffer it and the wise heal in the learning from it. I wish peace and healing to all of the brothers and sisters who suffer it. Respect them – they are our teachers.

  2. Joanne Zuhl

    Thank you, John, for your insight on this issue. Your words are eloquent and so true.

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